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Outfitter Review - Blackwater Hunting Services

Submit Date: Nov 17, 2005

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Blackwater Hunting Services

Outfitter / Contact: Terry Hiers

Location: SC, USA

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: WHITETAILED DEER

Game Quality: TERRIBLE

Game Quantity: TERRIBLE

Accomodations: VERY GOOD

Camp Condition: VERY GOOD

Food Quality: VERY GOOD

Guide Experience: BELOW AVERAGE

Other Personal Experience: GREAT COOKS

Review Information

Hunter: LOU KEITH

Phone: 904/403-6003

Email:

Would Recommend: NEVER

Overall Impression: VERY POOR

I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HARVEST TWO OR THREE MEAT DEER WITHIN A SHORT DRIVE OF MY HOME IN FLORIDA. SADLY, MANY HUNTING OPERATIONS IN THE SOUTHEAST ARE "HUNTING MILLS" THAT HAUL SPORTSMEN TO STANDS IN GROSSLY OVER HUNTED AREAS. AN ACQUAINTANCE TOLD ME THAT A FEW YEARS AGO HE HAD HUNTED AT BLACKWATER AND THAT AT THAT TIME THEY HAD A FAIR DEER POPULATION. ALTHOUGH SKEPTICAL, I CALLED TERRY HIERS. HE TOLD ME AT THAT HE HAD AN "ABUNDANCE" OF DEER SINCE HE DID NOT ALLOW OVER HUNTING. HE SUGGESTED A RUT HUNT(EXTRA COST), SAYING THERE WOULD BE PLENTY OF DEER ACTIVITY. BLACKWATER'S LODGE WAS CLEAN, MODERN AND WELL APPOINTED. IT HOUSED FOUR BEDROOMS, EACH WITH THEIR OWN BATHROOM. MEALS WERE A CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, WITH A LEFTOVERS-AND-SANDWICH LUNCH AND A CLASSIC, HOME COOKED SOUTHERN SUPPER(HIGHLIGHT OF THE HUNT). LATE MODEL CREW CAB PICK-UPS WERE USED TO TRANSPORT HUNTERS TO THE WELL-MAINTAINED STANDS. THE STANDS WERE LOCATED IN PLANTED PINES AND POWER LINE RIGHT-OF-WAYS WITH CORN PILES LOCATED 100-150 YARDS AWAY. IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL(NOVEMBER 9,2005), TERRY HIERS BEGAN MAKING EXCUSES AS TO WHY NO ONE WAS SEEING DEER(TOO HOT, TOO DRY, TOO MANY ACORNS). TOO HOT? THE MORNING TEMPERATURES OF THIS HUNT WERE 48, 35 AND 36 DEGREES. SOUTH CAROLINA'S DEER SEASON STARTS AUGUST 15TH WHEN THE AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE IS 91. WHY DOES HIERS BOOK VELVET BUCK HUNTS(EXTRA CHARGE, OF COURSE) FROM AUGUST 15TH TO 31ST, IF DEER DON'T MOVE IN HOT WEATHER? TOO DRY? LO0K AT HIERS' HOME PAGE: "BLACKWATER CONSISTS OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT TRACTS OF LAND ENCOMPASSING RIVERS, SWAMPS, CREEKS..." I'VE KILLED DOZENS OF DEER IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH TEXAS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS DRY, OFTEN HOT, AND SOMETIMES THERE'S A LOT OF ACORNS ON THE GROUND. GOOD GUIDES MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, NOT EXCUSES. THE HUNTING WAS TERRIBLE. I SAW SIX YEARLINGS(45-60 LBS) IN 3 1/2 DAYS. THESE EXTREMELY SPOOKY AND WARY YOUNG DEER CONSTANTLY LOOKED AT THE STANDS, A COMMON SIGN OF OVER HUNTING. THE MATURE DEER IN THIS AREA WERE OBVIOUSLY NOCTURNAL. AS MENTIONED EARLIER, HIERS BILLED THIS AS A RUT HUNT. ONLY ONE OF EIGHT HUNTERS KILLED A BUCK. NOT ONE HUNTER REPORTED SEEING A BUCK CHASING A DOE. TWO HUNTERS EACH SHOT TWO UNDERSIZED DEER AND THUS PAID FINES TO HIERS OF $200-$300 FOR EACH YEARLING. ONE OF THE HUNTERS SAID THAT HIERS WAS ACTUALLY CONSIDERING EXPANDING HIS OPERATION FROM EIGHT TO TWELVE HUNTERS DAILY NEXT YEAR(!). I'VE HUNTED FOR OVER 45 YEARS AND HAVE BEEN ON NUMEROUS GUIDED HUNTS. THIS WAS THE WORST I'VE BEEN ON. WHILE MOST OUTFITTERS WON'T GUARANTEE A KILL, WHEN A HUNTER DOES NOT GET A SHOOTING OPPORTUNITY, MOST REPUTABLE OUTFITTERS WILL OFFER CONCESSIONS, SUCH AS A PARTIAL REFUND, A FREE HUNTING DAY OR A FUTURE DISCOUNTED HUNT. HIERS DID NOT APOLOGIZE FOR THE POOR HUNT NOR OFFER ANY CONCESSIONS.

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