Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Share you waterfowl hunting gear tips and questions here. Including blinds, camo, clothing, etc... For decoys and calls, please see the other appropriate forums for that type of genre, Thanks.

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Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby schmidtty140 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:20 pm

Hey all I am a new poster to DHC! :hi: I love the site being that this is my 3rd year in the sport. Being new to the sport I was just wondering some peoples opinions on whether I should join a hunt club next year ($1500) with some prime properties... or invest in a boat and lots of equipment, decoys, etc :huh: :huh: . Just wanted to know opinions from the more experienced guys out there. Thanks a lot in advance! :thumbsup:
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby mudpack » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:20 pm

I suppose it depends on how "prime" those properties are. Is that $1500 a yearly fee, or does it buy you ownership rights?
$1500 won't buy much in the way of boats, good decoys, etc., but it will be a one-time expense on the gear instead of every year for club membership.
I don't think $1500 will buy much in the way of a hunt club....unless it's one of those nation-wide organizations that claim to have prime properties all over the USA (American Hunt Club, etc.). Even those don't seem to work out very well for those interested in waterfowl only. When the say "prime properties", it's usually marketing hype, not fact.
Some of them have some properties that can be good for waterfowl, but those seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Only you can make this decision.
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby Spry Yellowdog » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:35 pm

Something to consider is how long will the hunting club hold birds after the season pressure starts?
Do you have plenty of propertys to hunt without membership to follow the birds movements as the
season progresses? If you have plenty of options of where to hunt but just need the tools to do so
then more gear might be the answer. Does the club have boats,decoys,dogs, ect. thats part of the fee?
Or do you still need your own to hunt it?

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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby m.teeter » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:31 am

You can never have too much hunting gear.
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby schmidtty140 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:30 am

Mud pack I think you bring up a good point about the club. It's looking like a scam to me. I also forgot to mention my buddy would also be saving 1500 so we could get a lot of gear. Not to mention the fact that my dad may be buying a new aluminum skiff for us. In terms of the club they have all the amenities decoys, blinds, etc. But I think I am more interested in adding to my gear collection. Also the clubs $1500 fee is yearly :shock:

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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby mudpack » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:33 pm

Yes, I have been contacted by two of the national hunting clubs, trying to entice me into joining. In each case, after I explored just how many waterfowl properties they offered and where they were, my conclusion was that I'd have to travel a great distance to get into decent waterfowl. Most of the "spots" they showed were properties being "considered for future use".
Also, they have very restrictive rules on the reserving and use of those properties. Some hunters can deal with those types of clubs, I cannot.
If there is good hunting near you, you won't need a club to get in on the action. If there isn't good hunting near you, you'll have to travel regardless.
Sounds like you are making good decisions at this point. Best of luck to you!
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby SmackinTheQuackin » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:32 am

I have done both, private club and public land. Both have pros and cons, and one major pro to the club is the convenience. The thing that I personally don't like it that hunting in a club usually limits you to one spot or a couple spots usually on rotation. This means you are generally waiting for birds to come to you instead of pursuing the birds and actually "hunting" them. When hunting from a club I lost that self satisfaction even when shooing limits. I love the hunt, and the chase, I knowing I did my homework even if it was for a single bird. This is just my opinion and fuel for thought.
I say buy the gear and go out and hunt down the ducks with it, don't site in the same hole everyday you hunt and wait for birds to come to you. Good luck with your decision, I hope this helped.
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby aunt betty » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:35 am

I have a different view of the club vs. freelance thing.

My dad took me duck hunting on public a half-dozen times or less and then said, "you're on your own, fly little bird fly".
He's wealthy and was a club-hunter but for some reason free-lanced with me.
So I had to learn just about everything on my own. My dad sucked at calling and about everything because he was just starting out at about the same time I did only I was 14 and he was much older. Plus he hired guides to do all the "work". Dad's from South Dakota. He hunted ducks but only shot at passing ones. That's how they do it up where he's from. No decoys, calls, etc.

I had to teach myself how to kill ducks consistently. It took many years, many mistakes, and many, many bad hunts.
There's a lot of stuff to learn for a beginner.
Calls, guns, decoys, dogs, waders, boats, boat motor maintenance, and so much I can't list it all.

THAT is why I recommend joining a duck club for a few seasons as you can collect up all the stuff and know-how you need to be successful and MOST IMPORTANTLY...not mess it up for everyone else. Hopefully a club would have good guides to learn from.

Of course there are complicated rules and you need to call ahead to let the club know you're coming or you're SOL. The rules are there for a reason. For instance how would you feel about three other club members from another state showing up out of the blue unannounced and cramming themselves into the blind with you and your kids? You had it all in your head that you had the place to yourselves for a nice little family hunt and...doh.
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby Rtyler4616 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:52 pm

Invest a portion in equipment and put a portion aside.

Find a few water holes and fields that birds are using and try to get in contact with the owner. If the owner is feeling iffy about permission or often lets others hunt it, try to set up a simple lease agreement with the property owner using the money you set aside.

When scouting, go to areas with a lot of AGR fields. Try to take advantage of the waterholes in the area by using google maps. Field hunting is my favorite type of hunting but takes a lot of equipment to do successfully. But with 2,000 bucks between you and your buddy, you can get a pretty good start. Buy duck and goose shells mainly instead of fullbodies, quantity is important in fields, for ducks, make sure you have mojos running when field hunting. Layout blinds are a must for many field hunting situations as well.

Between now and summer time you should be able to snag some really good deals on equipment.
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby lou_01 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:15 pm

Are you considering on joining a club because of places to hunt or because they have equipment? If you have spots of your own i would invest in equipment, actually even if you dont have spots of your own i would still invest in equipment and maybe between you and your buddy you could knock on doors to gain permission. Maybe offer some help around the property or a few bucks to lease it. Aunt betty makes a valid point about clubs may teach you alot due to others experience if your extremely green. I myself am a self taught hunter, (my dad doesnt hunt) but i have learned alot from friends and actually alot from this site as there are alot of good hunters on here that have pointed me in the right direction on many occasions. But i have found with clubs there comes alot of political b.s. I am a member of 2 different deer clubs, i rarely deerhunt anymore but still join for access to swamps and beaver ponds. I also have gained alot of other properties by knocking on doors. As stated above i get just as much of a thrill out of chasing or scouting ducks as i do pulling the trigger, i know that may sound dumb to alot of guys but to each is own i guess. Im not one to sit in the same blind everytime out and just hope some ducks come thru. Anyways goodluck in whatever you decide!
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby schmidtty140 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:31 am

thanks guys for all the great advice! :thumbsup:
I have a while to decide but I am leaning towards hunting from a boat blind and buying more gear. This means I would have to scout harder, go out of my comfort zone and hunt the numerous waterways and public spots nearby my home. Being I am only 16 I have a while to go. Any tips on hunting public land? I live in Delaware where there is a fair amount of public land and waterways to set up on. How do you go about setting up on a river or bay?

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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby SmackinTheQuackin » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:28 pm

I'm not from Delaware but I do hunt public lands here California. My tip for hunting public areas, or any areas in that matter is it doesn't matter what species or where where you are hunting. You have to get familiar with the area and the species you are hunting. Tis may take a couple years even, but the best way to do so is to keep logs, date, weather, wind direction, and what you saw the birds doing, where you saw birds going etc...that way for future years you can find out the wheather from news, look back in your logs and help get a game plan together before you head out. You also have to scout like you said. Pre season is good, and also if you can do a little on your way in after a morning of hunting. God luck bud, we want to see some pics from this upcoming season! :thumbsup:
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Re: Hunt Club vs. New Gear

Postby jeepman » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:09 pm

schmidtty140 wrote: Any tips on hunting public land?


Not sure down there, but up here the early bird gets the worm. All of the scouting in the world won't help you if you get beat to your spot.
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