Why Choose Full Potential Outdoors as your Iowa Outfitter?
Full Potential Outdoors LLC offers an outstanding hunting experience. We are a Southern Iowa Outfitter in Zone 5 offering unique whitetail hunts for individuals and small groups. We strive to offer you the best hunts in the industry by paying attention to detail and by focusing on the hunting experience. Southern Iowa has some of the best habitat and trophy whitetail deer in the nation. We are proud to offer these hunts and hope you will consider us. Please take the time to read the information provided on our web site.
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Guide to Choosing Your Iowa Outfitter
Of course I’m biased. But just wait a minute…when you actually consider how few people I will be outfitting year in and year out, your reaction to this page has very little impact on my business. Especially considering there are tens of thousands of hunts sold each year through outfitters. This is more of a guide on what to consider when booking an outfitter based on my experiences with outfitters. They are not vast but I can tell you that if you are anything like me booking a hunt with an outfitter that does not fit your style of hunting or goals will frustrate you to no end and leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Especially if you are spending your hard earned money on the hunt.
I’m one of those kind of guys that is always thinking of how something could be better; or how would I do it to make it better. So I think the best way to write this is to relate my outfitter experiences with you.
I was on a hunt with an outfitter in Missouri in the earlier parts of October a few years back. Going into the hunt I predicted or anticipated hunting food sources in the evenings and possibly hunting the mornings in areas we could sneak in that wouldn’t jeopardize our evening hunts. This being my first outfitted hunt I had no other expectations. To my surprise and dismay, the “guides” put us in the timber for our evening hunts and had us bumbling around in the mornings with deer snorting and bolting all over. It was quite frankly a joke. After a couple days, we insisted on hanging a couple of our own sets on food sources for the evenings. Our sits got noticeably better but time ran out. And the lodging…the lodging itself was ok but living and sleeping quarters were shared with other hunters. I’m not opposed to sharing a camp with other hunters but what happened at this camp was unacceptable. The other hunters spent most nights up partying and keeping the rest of us awake. There were nights that I got only a few hours of sleep. Between guides that had no clue and living arrangements that were unacceptable I found myself wondering why anybody would pay for this!
I hunted with an Iowa outfitter once that had similar sleeping arrangements. I shared a room with a guy that was up late each night reading hunting articles he cut out of magazines and writing down notes. It was very peculiar. Oh, and to set the stage it was in November and it was pretty cool out…why is this important; because he insisted on leaving the windows open? Then he was up by 4 AM each morning for what I have no idea. So, once again the sleeping arrangements ruined the hunt. The outfitter had very good ground, and we did see some good bucks, but when you can’t stay awake on stand it puts a quick damper on things. After this hunt I said “I will never ever pay for a hunt with common sleeping arrangements—ever”!
I was on a hunt in Mississippi once that was a 3 day hunt with something like 12 or 16 guys in camp at any given time. Can you imagine 16 guys in camp rotating out every 3 days or every 5 days? I don’t know how any outfitter with this arrangement could ever claim you were hunting unpressured deer and fresh stands. Needless to say just about every deer we saw, saw us first. Some even seemed to know exactly where to walk around the stand sites. The lodging was awesome but the hunting was terrible. Never pick an outfitter that cycles through hunters!
The last example I will give is a bit different. I didn’t hunt with the outfitter; rather he leased the ground around a farm I hunted. Our farm was awesome. We spent countless hours and years developing the habitat on the farm. We created interior food plots in the timber in numerous areas. Small yet strategically placed clear cuts were made throughout the farms timber. We had plenty of food plots that were always very good. And, we managed the deer herd. I can’t stress how good we had it. Then, the outfitter started selling hunts around us. He literally placed stand after stand feet off the line fences. Week after week throughout the season this guy pounded his clients through these stand site. By doing so, he not only ruined a lot of good spots on our farm but I can’t imagine being one of his clients. He also did some things that were actually against the law and I have no doubt his clients didn’t even know. But here’s the thing, if you were to look at the web site for this outfitter all you would see are pictures of big bucks and TV personalities. Yet I know of people who have hunted with him that have gone days without seeing a buck. So here’s the deal…if you haven’t figured it out yourself what he was doing was running the “average” hunters through by the dozens on burned out stands in bad areas and saving the better spots for the advertisers. Be careful when picking an outfitter that runs through hunters and advertises personalities. If you want to know if they are running through hunters or not ask them how many hunters they had each of the past couple years and if they are at all evasive…you probably got your answer!
For me, when I am going on a hunt even on my own property, I am concentrating on the experience. I want the hunt to be mine. I want the option of hanging my own stands if I feel I need to. I feel I am a better hunter than most “guides” so I want to make my own decisions. I want fresh stands or better yet fresh ground. If I am going to justify spending good money on a hunt I need to know the outfitter has my interests in mind. And I want my own living quarters. I surely want more than 3 or 6 days to hunt if I want it. Can you imagine waiting 3 or 4 years to draw a tag and then hunting for 5 days only to have three of those days with hot weather and the other two in torrential rain; it happens. If I can’t have these things I am not going to risk taking a week of vacation and the out lie of money on the hunt. I want good food plots!
So, how do you know if the outfitter you are interested in offers what you want out of a hunt? Do your homework and don’t be sold on hype. Call and talk to the outfitter and ask pointed questions…if they are evasive, short with their answers, or are more interested in “selling” you the goods, you might want to look elsewhere. By pointed questions ask if they will have any previous hunters on stands that you will be sitting when you show up. Ask how many hunters they have each week of the season. Ask if they lease land or own it. If they lease it ask if they also plant food plots on the leases. Ask if there will be standing crops once the fall harvest comes off. Ask them as an outfitter what is their goal for each hunter. Ask them if they are willing to customize your hunt if you have unique concerns or requests. Make a list and go through it. If things are important to you make sure you get the answer you need to hear. Don’t talk yourself into buying a hunt that isn’t for you. Interview the outfitter and if it doesn’t sound right it probably isn’t.
Iowa DNR website Link