Hunting clubs: The more, the merrier

By Tresa Erickson

Some folks prefer hunting solo. They enjoy being out in the field alone and having no one to account for. Others prefer hunting with a few buddies. Not only do they have someone to look out for them, but they have someone to share stories and tips with. If you are just beginning, you might find it best to hunt with others, at least for the time being. Don’t know of any hunters? No problem. You can join a hunting club.

Hunting is as popular as ever, and there are hundreds of hunting clubs across the country. To find one in your area, conduct a search online. You will find many Web sites where you can look up hunting clubs in your area. Before you contact any clubs, be aware that membership usually does not come free. You will probably have to pay some sort of annual or monthly fees.

There are several perks to being part of a hunting club beyond the camaraderie. Members often receive information on various locations and developments in the field as well as discounts on hunting gear and equipment at a number of retailers. You might also receive information on various tournaments in the area and the chance to represent the club at a particular one. Other perks include access to privately owned lands, accommodations at certain lodges or cabins, guided hunts and more.

As with anything, you need to choose a hunting club carefully. Find out what type of hunting the club does. If you’re interested in hunting whitetail deer using dogs, make sure the club is akin to that. If the club owns land, find out how much, where it is located, how wooded it is, what kind of game it holds and how many members use it. Ask to see records of the harvest and compare the acreage to the number of members. Most experts recommend there be no more than one member per 100 acres. Find out about any amenities offered on the land as well. Is there a clubhouse or at the very least some sort of shelter with electricity and water? If not, are you prepared to rough it?

There are good clubs and bad clubs. Look closely into any that interest you and know what you are getting into. The better the club, the higher the fees may be. You definitely get what you pay for with a hunting club.

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