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Outfitter Review - Rocky Branch Outfitters

Submit Date: Oct 30, 2009

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Rocky Branch Outfitters

Outfitter / Contact: Darrell Hafford

Location: IL, USA

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: Whitetail Deer

Game Quality: poor

Game Quantity: poor

Accomodations: Very good

Camp Condition: Very good

Food Quality: Excellent

Guide Experience: pathetic

Other Personal Experience: N/A

Review Information

Hunter: Jonathan Gregory

Phone:

Email:

Would Recommend: Never

Overall Impression: Worst ever see below

I went on this hunt in late October 2009 with a friend. In over 25 paid hunts I have been on, this one was by far the worst. In 4 days of bowhunting I had a neighbor woman walk within 150 yards of my stand with her 3 dogs. Called my guide and he said "Don't worry, she probably won't come near you." As if 150 yards wasn't close enough. The afternoon of the same day I was taken to a stand @ 2:30 in some timber off a bean field. Look to my right at 4 p.m. and there is a guy standing there @ 60 yards with a crossbow who proceeds to get in a tree 100 yards behind me. Once again I call my guide and he says "That guy is on his side of the property line. I didn't think he'd hunt there." If you have "over 7,000 acres" why would you place one of your hunters near the property line (My friend and I were the only 2 hunters in camp that week) especially if you knew a neighbor had a stand nearby? Either you are inept or don't care. For that matter, my friend and I were placed 100 yards apart on two separate occasions. I guess so we wouldn't disturb his "7,000 acres" for the TV crews that were coming later. The rest of the week saw minimal activity as we saw no bucks over 1.5 years old. Mr. Hafford takes real pride in his food plots, especially clover, but we never saw any of these. They must be magical as he bragged to us that he did plot work for neighbors at a price of $1000 per acre. Boy, I am in the wrong business. But back to the deer hunting. I did manage to shoot a doe late on the second evening, 1 of 3 deer in bow range for the week. She ran a short distance in the CRP field bleeding well but we lost the track. The guide was unable to pick up the track the next day due to overnight rainfall. I was never taken back there as It was raining hard the next day. Meanwhile we saw no deer under 250 yards away for the remainder of the trip. On our last morning after picking us up, our guide never even asked us what we saw. I guess he did not care. Or maybe he knew we wouldn't see anything. The amount of total deer sign was minimal, as well as total buck sign. I was offered another day of hunting by Mr. Hafford in return for being placed on the property line and encountering the neighbors the first day, but why take it if this was the best we could do. Like I said in my first paragraph, I've done quite a few guided trips and I don't expect to kill, or even see great animals every time I hunt. But with that experience comes the knowledge that tells when you are being placed in a good situation for a shot, and when you are not. I believe this was a poor excuse for an outfitted hunt.

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