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Hello Deer fellows,
I just completed the regular deer season with my 12 and 14 year old-I no longer hunt myself, but take the boys. We saw nothing on 4 hunts of 3 hours each-I'm afraid they will lose interest. Can someone inform me of a private guide service/land I could go to for the next year's Youth hunt -I will pay a proper guide or lease fee-give to a charity/church-give the meat to the landowner,etc..
Also, I hate to do it, but does anyone know of a Deer game preserve(like a pheasant preserve) type hunt that is close to natural? Your help is appreciated-I'm frustrated for the boys as I used to love hunting when I was a young man from the Thumb.
Mark L.-Rochester Hills
 

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Did you try knocking on doors in the thumb to ask for permission? Try to hunt some farm land in the thumb.
 

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I dont have any advise for finding land to hunt but its a good thing your doing. Families who hunt together stay together.
 

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There are several state land pcs down there and they do have good hunting on them. I would think that youth season they would see deer.After gun season the deer pretty much move only after dark.
 

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Hello Deer fellows,
I just completed the regular deer season with my 12 and 14 year old-I no longer hunt myself, but take the boys. We saw nothing on 4 hunts of 3 hours each-I'm afraid they will lose interest. Can someone inform me of a private guide service/land I could go to for the next year's Youth hunt -I will pay a proper guide or lease fee-give to a charity/church-give the meat to the landowner,etc..
Also, I hate to do it, but does anyone know of a Deer game preserve(like a pheasant preserve) type hunt that is close to natural? Your help is appreciated-I'm frustrated for the boys as I used to love hunting when I was a young man from the Thumb.
Mark L.-Rochester Hills
A number of things comes to mind:

1) For 2010, if I'm in your shoes, I would secure a hunting lease. The two best sites to register with so that you can stay aware of what's available are:

http://basecampleasing.com/ -spend the money on their site to become a "Wall Hangers" member so that you get first dibs on what comes on the market.

http://nationalhuntingleases.com/

Also, on occasion there are decent leases posted on Craigslist, although the competition on there is fierce, so unless you spot the posting almost immediately someone else will snag it.

Once you find a desirable property and have signed the papers and paid them their money move to step #2.

2) Eliminate most or all of your leasing cost by then adding one or two carefully selected and screened lease partners who will have access during the times when you don't hunt (I'm assuming that you're only firearm hunting) For example, let's say you secure an 80 acre lease for $1,400 and your interest is to take the boys out for the September youth hunt and then again during firearms season. What you might do in that case is add two archery hunters to the lease at a cost of $500 each, and spell out in writing the period when they're permitted access (such as the 1st 15 days of September for hanging stands and then October 1-November 10th for hunting).

Key points here are that: (1) you first secure the contract in your name so that you maintain control and make the rules and that (2) between now and next year it would be fairly simple to secure a quality and affordable hunting experience for your boys by doing what I outlined above.

In the short term, I'd post a thread in the whitetail forum asking for permission to take your two boys out for an afternoon hunt during the late antlerless hunt which begins on the 21st. Ideally you'll find someone close to your home who will be gracious enough to grant you permission and also who would be willing to supervise one of your boys while you supervise the other, as they have to be under direct adult supervision while hunting until they reach age 17. If you don't find anything local I'd be able to set you guys for an afternoon hunt sometime during that timeframe...just don't know if you want to drive a couple hours, as the farms that I own and lease are in Calhoun County.
 
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