As many of you know, MDLO "closed" down in 2021 following the 2021 deer season as it was becoming too much to balance MDLO and my full-time job. Of course, we honored all hunt bookings for 2022 and 2023, but we were not booking any new hunts or taking any new clients. This was by design so that MDLO could shut down after the last hunter in 2023 so that I could truly invest myself into the new full-time job running the company that I helped launch and build with a friend since 2017. This was the plan all year long in 2022, so all of the calls/emails that came in looking for hunts went out to two other outfits, one doing semi-guided and one doing fully guided, two guys I know and respect in the hunting/outfitting industry here in Iowa. Unfortunately, the full-time job ended six months earlier than what was agreed upon due to economic and business health issues by the end of June 2022. Since then, I have been contemplating revamping MDLO to "full-time status", a complete reversal from what we did after the 2021 season. I am posting this Blog update today now confirming that yes, MDLO is back and full-time for 2023 and beyond with a slightly new approach, new feel, new website, and a fresh outlook!
Bachelor Group in mid-August 2022 - Southern Iowa
WHAT IS DIFFERENT?
We further critiqued and adjusted our "type" of hunts offered. In 2016, we offered Fully Guided Hunts. Those included lodging, meals, travel to/from the farm, etc. We offered such into 2017 as well. By the end of 2017, for 2018 and beyond, we changed this to be "Semi-Guided" which meant that no accommodations would be offered, but we would still be present and mobile to accommodate our hunters and their physical needs. This continued into and through 2021 and into 2022. Mind you, no new bookings or operational improvements/changes were made in 2022. So, for 2023, we are making a much-needed adjustment and further explaining what it means: a DIY+Semi-Guided Hybrid model. We will explain this more down below:
DIY Hunts are hunts that are basically simplified short-term leases (i.e., weekly lease). Semi-guided hunts actually have stands and blinds in place on managed farms and guidance from the outfitter/guide occurs via communication prior to and following hunts. Our hybrid DIY+Semi-Guided model accomplishes those things together for a unique feel.
What is included?
- Farm is preset minimally with stands and/or blinds as determined acceptable by MDLO
- Ability & privilege for hunter to add their own setups as desired/needed to be agreed upon w/ MDLO prior to action
- Scouting report prior to hunter arrival & aerial maps to use & study prior to and during the hunt
- Completely open line of communication to MDLO prior to and during the hunt to plan the hunt per hunter's choice
- Verbal (phone call) and written (text message) guidance to hunter prior to and during the hunt
- Tracking of any hit deer within the legal guidelines and laws per the Iowa DNR (requirement)
- Assistance (not 100%) on field dressing and removing deer from property to hunter's vehicle
- If MDLO is present and able to accommodate such, trophy photos (hero shots) of hunter's deer