my buddy was just there this year for opening day of rifle season. He said there was 44 guys in camp for the first week, and 35 guys coming the second week of rifle. there was a couple big bucks shot but he said the people who did shoot the big bucks were returning customers from numerous years of going there.
from what my couple buddies told me when they went this year I wouldn't go to this place. my two buddies that went that I know, neither of them got deer. He went with a group of people, I think there was 12 of them. I think he said they got 2 or 3 deer out of there group. I think he said out of the 44 people in camp that week there was around 12 deer taken, I know the four biggest taken were 171,169, 160ish, and a 159 I know there was a bunch that went under 130 I think he said that had to pay fines, my two friends that were on the trip didn't even see a buck that was over the minimum limit. The one guy in is group was put in an archery stand where he only had a 15 yard shot and they were hunting with rifles. Not saying this is a horrible place but I just hate to see people spend thousands of dollars on hunts and have a bad experience, do your research!
Yeah I read the reviews on bowsite and on their website but was still skeptical. I did some other digging and the negative reviews started to surface. Just wanted to get some thoughts on here from members that may have hunted there and have first hand knowledge. Few guys from the camp I hunted out of this year were talking about this place so I just wanted to look for myself.
My 2 sons and 4 of their friends booked a hunt with Whitetail heaven outfitters in January of this year for the Kentucky rifle hunt. W./H.O. represented that hunters would enjoy a 5 star lodge...great food...fabulous hunting...knowledgeable guides...40,000 hunting acres...comfortable tower box blinds. 40,000 acres is a great exaggeration. They placed a lot of hunters a small 150 to 200 acre farms. Instead of tower box blinds my son's group were placed in latter tree platforms with 40 yard views, no safety harness,no shooting rest, and no deer of any quantity or quality. the sat on the stands for 10 plus hour each day. As for the expert guides: they were young men from out of state from out of state. they new nothing about the hunting area. One did not show one morning. The other forgot the key to the farms gates twice. guides were very poor. as for the 5 star lodge, it does exist. Odds are however, due to the fact it hold about 20 hunters and 76 were booked this week, you will not stay there. You will stay in a third rate motel and eat fast food. When these fact were discussed with (Tevis) of W.H.O. his response was "I will check into it and get back to you". He never did. He would not return phone calls or texts. Several hunters packed up after a couple days and went home, due to hunt being so misrepresented. Question: Why are the reviews on W.H.O. so positive? Easy answer: Trevis blocks and deltes the negative reviews, that tell the real story, from their F.B. Tevis has blocked all of ours. the word must to get out and identifying these dishonest outfitters. They are ruining an activity I have enjoyed all of my life. DON'T HUNT WITH W.H.O. !!
Hunting western Kentucky is worth the trip, have done it twice, killing two bucks and a doe, but no trophy buck. Country is rolling farmland with high hills and steep ravines. Big bucks are certainly there. Christian County both times.
The first hunt was with an outfit's first year, hunting his own farm out of his butcher shop/check station. The bucks we saw coming through there to be checked in/processed, were simply incredible. Don't know if he's still in the outfitting business, name was Ralph Livingston. At that time he only hunted about 10 hunters and had several leases in addition to his own farm. Frank and I each killed average bucks the last day of a three day hunt.
Second time was with an outfit called Bucks and Beards, owner Jerry Woosly. That was per-intertnet and I've seen a lot of bad reviews about the place since. Woosly was a little strange and the camp was packed but we (the camp) killed a pile of deer. After the first day, his fairly large walk-in cooler was packed floor to ceiling with deer, to the extent that we had to hang them outside on a meat pole. No problem as it was cold. I killed a big doe and an average buck on the second day of a three day hunt. Several pretty nice bucks were killed but no really big ones. I did see a monster the first morning but had no shot.
Packed camps seem to be the norm out there. If I wanted to go back, I'd see if Larry at Premier Hunting Adventures has any hunts listed. From everything I've heard, you can't go wrong when booking through Larry.
Update: just looked at Larry site, don't see Kentucky listed, but I'd give him a call anyway.
I hunted there in Turkey season and feel I made a mistake. Met a guy from Northeast PA who was a guide for Whitetail Heaven. Sounded like they were mostly deer outfitters with lots of land for turkeys. I checked out website and sent deposit. I ask for unguided hunt and just expected lodging and access to private land. Never received confirmation of deposit but had cancelled check and a few text messages confirming I would be at West Lodge for opening day.
As I was leaving for Tennessee to hunt public land several days before KY, I reached out to my contact and he had left WhitetailHeaven and moved to Montana or Wyoming. I asked if Whitetail Heaven knew I was coming and he said, "I hope so.". In a panic I reached out to Whitetail Heaven and they said come on down we'll make room for you.
So I'm skeptical but went anyway and arrived Friday afternoon. Wow. Beautiful place. BUT...tons of people. Like 48 hunters and about 20 or 30 staff and guides. I was to bunk in the basement of a mansion. Beautiful place. But...about 15 or 20 guys in the basement. Main lodge had tons of food and a band. Nothing like I expected or wanted. Many repeat customer with guides they had before. I'm new guy and unguided. And I'm not going to west Camp.
First day we go to a property about an hour and a half away. Two guys in my group with one guide and another couple on the property with a guide and me. Hunted all day and no one killed. Now we take long late ride back to lodge and the food was pretty well picked over. Hunted two more days and never got close. Not surprisingly many of the repeat clients killed.
My take on it is this. Just too big. I have hunted a few other places with very small groups and just the property owner. Very nice. If someone is from the city and just excited to get out in the woods a enjoys the lodge I think they might like this.
I felt like I was a fool so I haven't really spoken about it. And just to make me feel better the turkey God's smiled on me when I got back to PA. First five days in NEPA I called in a jake for my father in law, two longbeards for me and two for a buddy. Should have bagged the trip to Whitetail Heaven.
To the point of 79 hunters in 2 weeks, think about how many people that they would have to have working there to give any kind of decent service to their customers. Something that people need to keep in mind when looking at any outfitter. I have been to one place in NE where they had 10 people hunting per week and had 3 people working to get them to their stands, retrieve any game shot, and get the hunters picked up after dark. We were fortunate tagging out the first morning, however, we went along for the ride to pick up other hunters at the end of the day. Sometimes it was hours later till some hunters were picked up.
One other thing I've learned over the years - you may not see everyone say positive things about an outfitter, but if you see a few and they are recurring themes in the reviews, I avoid them. I ignored the signs once and got burned, won't do that again!
There are various forums out there to submit your reviews, I definitely do and would encourage anyone to do it. I remember these people at the Sports Show in Harrisburg - very impressive display, they serve food, wife is there selling her cook books. She looked more like a model than the typical outfitter's wife where they struggle to make ends meet. I looked at them for a potential hunt, but I have other places to go for less money that have as good or better quality deer.