BOOKING YOUR HUNT: Things to Know
My phone rings literally a hundred times a year from guys inquiring about hunting with us in southern Iowa. It is a pure joy of mine to take that call, whether the guy is a plumber from Pennsylvania, a lawyer from Florida, a doctor from Michigan, or anything else in between. Everyone comes from a different walk of life, and it's my job to get them perceiving the way that I do regarding whitetails. This makes the hunt go much smoother because we work more efficiently as a team. I can't begin to explain just how important that is. That means I have to get a plumber and a doctor (anything in between those two job titles) to think the same way. It's a challenge, a fun one for sure! So, below are things that I want all inquiring hunters to read through prior to booking with me at MDL Outfitters. If you dislike or disagree with any of them, I wouldn't necessarily run for the door, but hey, bring it up in a discussion over the phone so that we can hash it out before it's too late for either of us. I do try and select the best hunters to hunt with us. This is NOT a "caked" hunt in any regard.
Semi-Guided hunts are just that - they are semi-guided. That means that I am going to provide some guidance, but some decision making opportunities & responsibilities fall into your lap as the hunter. I want you to invest more into the hunt, in terms of time and effort, so that the reward is that much greater in the end of a successful harvest and hunt.
Booking before the year of your hunt is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but every year we have some slots open up. If you are not the procrastinating type, great! This helps me so much that it's hard to put into a little paragraph. Planning ahead is obviously the name of the game as you prep for your tag by acquiring 1 preference point per year up to the year of your application. Don't stop there. Plan ahead and get booked 1-2 years out, but for 3 years out (getting 2nd point), contact me. Let's see where we are sitting and if we need to get booked due to demand. We can always reschedule if needed. Part of this planning ahead thing also includes finances... (continued below at next bullet point)
If booking before January 1st of your hunt year (any year before the year that you hunt with us)we will require that you deposit $500 through our website booking form. The remaining hunt balance will be divided into two 50% payments with one being by February 1st of the hunt year and the other being due August 1st of the hunt year. For each of the deadlines, there is a late fee that will continue daily until you make that respective payment. The late fee is 1.25% of the total hunt cost (not the 50% payment). So, if your hunt cost is $4,000, and your payment is 4 days late, your late fee is 5% of the hunt cost, $200, which will be due with that respective 50% payment coming in. If you can't make the payment due date, I need to know 30 days prior, so January 1st or July 1st. If after the 30-day mark, I can't promise that I'll be able to accommodate you.
If booking between January 1st to June 1st of your hunt year (same year you plan to hunt with us), we will require an immediate 50% deposit at the time of booking (due within 10 business days - this is a deadline). The remaining 50% will be due by August 1st. The late fee mentioned above also applies here as well. Please plan accordingly and communicate openly with me on this. Again, the late fee is 1.25% per day of the overall hunt cost, not the hunt payment due. If you can't make the payment due date, I need to know 30 days prior, at booking or July 1st. If after the 30-day mark, I can't promise that I'll be able to accommodate you.
I ask that my hunters all have some technology skills. We use smartphones to help with GPS for driving to/from farms, where to park at farms, lodging, local eats, etc. This also applies to stand and blind sets. You will have aerial maps provided to you to study, and we will have very strict entrance/exit routes that you need to abide by. When walking along a creek line, a fence line, through a timber patch, through a brush patch, you will have the trails marked with orange contractors tape and cat eyes (reflective markers). Going across an open field is where guys could get confused, which goes back to reiterating the importance of studying the aerial maps. If you use an iPhone, I recommend using your standard "Maps" app... not Google Maps. If you don't use an iPhone, I can't help much. Droids are another language to me. So, we will use onX Maps as well as we get closer to the season and into the hunt. It's an app that you can download to your phone and use on the computer. Create an account, pay for the Iowa subscription, and it will be a great tool for you!
Plan to have a Zoom (like Skype but better) call with me after the tag draw, probably starting around mid-to-late August or even into early September. This is when we will informally meet and go over the aerials that I have emailed you. We will talk a bit of deer, a bit of strategy, and I'll answer any questions that you have. Prior to, please do NOT be a stranger over the phone with calls or text messages. Please make an effort to build a friendship or at least a working relationship with me. We will work as a team on this hunt. Anything less than that is not acceptable to me. I ask that you put forth the same effort physically and mentally preparing for this hunt as I am. Trust me. It'll be worth it in the end.
Please read through our Terms & Conditions prior to submitting payment on your booking. If you have any questions, do NOT hesitate to ask for help or clarification. Also, you will be required to sign a Hold Harmless / Hunt Contract Agreement prior to hunting with us. Again, if you want this prior to arriving, just let me know. I'd be happy to share it with you.
Please be understanding that I am a small business owner/operator, but I also have a family and another job. I try to be available literally as often as I can, so if I do not answer a phone call, respond to a text message, or reply to an email promptly, I got tied up with something more urgent. Leave a message or wait, and I will get back with you as quickly as I can. If you haven't heard from me within a few days, call me at 563-320-6875. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience you encounter (if any). I try to be as efficient as possible with communication.