top of page

MDLO BLOG POST PAGE

WE ARE BACK FOR 2023! Operational Update October 2022

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


What is not included?

- Lodging, Meals, and Travel Accommodations

- Must field dress own deer and take active help in removing deer from farm to vehicle

- Extra stands/blinds to use on farm in setting up additional sets/locations

- Fees/costs to have deer processed or caped by processor or taxidermist

- Delivery of deer to processor or taxidermist if not handling themselves or taking home

- In-Person guidance/direction unless requested 1 week prior and approved by MDLO

- Tips to MDLO/guide/worker who helps with retrieval, dressing, or removal of deer physically


We also adjusted our hunt prices, dates, availability, and structure. Prior to 2023, our offerings were unique in a sense that we offered our hunts for 7-21 days and only archery hunts. So, whether you hunted for 1 week or 3 weeks in bow season, it was the same price. Furthermore, not having public gun hunts somewhat limited our operation, but I was willing to do it with the support of the archery hunters. Now, all Archery Season hunts are 7 days long, sitting all day long dark to dark. Our Gun 1 Hunt is 5-days because that is how long the season lasts. Our Gun 2 Hunt is 7-days long in a 9-day season starting on the Monday following the opening of Gun 2 Season. Our Late Muzzleloader hunts start after Christmas and are offered in two separate 7-day slots. All of our hunts are viewable on our Home page and their corresponding subcategory page. Prices have been adjusted to combat inflation and rising input/overhead costs.


FUTURE POTENTIAL - NEW ACCOMMODATIONS?


It is no secret that "deer camp" is a blast. I am often unable to devote 7-10 straight days of being gone from home with how old my kids are and my obligations within my community, but if there is a way for me to spend 2-3 straight days down there once a week in the future, I would like to do so. Furthermore, I would need to rent something around Bloomfield and around Centerville (or in between). As of now, especially with current economic issues & inflation, it is slim pickings. Yet, the ability for us to do such would come when we can book full and have enough interest in doing this. Here is the curveball, a hotel is usually cheaper, but we've seen hotels range from $75 to $100/night per person, and I don't know if I can do a short-term rental that competes with that. So, if savings are to be had, I'd rather pass them off to you instead of having to charge for it and either eat the loss or make the profit. So, we will table that one for now.


2022 OUTLOOK


With minimal ability to devote the effort & time (and resources) to 2022, I am going into the season as minimally positive as I can. Deer numbers seem slightly lower. I've seen coyotes, bobcats, and even a mountain lion on camera this summer! Next, we will have black bears and wolves! Gosh, I hope not. Yet, I have not heard of any EHD in Iowa, but there is in IL. Cameras have been normal to moderately slow showing desirable deer numbers, but the corn holds all of the secrets. We only have a few hunters for this year, so hopefully that leads to a lot of success (instead of indecisiveness). Time will tell.


Oh, you may have noticed that there are no social media pages for MDLO. We removed our Facebook and Instagram pages. As of right now, I do not know if we will start those back open or not. Social media management and marketing is a full-time job in and of itself that costs a lot of time and money. Content production is a huge thing, also. For now, the website blog is where to catch updates and what-not. If you need something more, send us an email at MDLOutfitters@gmail.com.


Hope you all are well and about to embark on a fun hunting season, wherever that may be. Blessings from Iowa,


MDLO


"Numero Uno 2.0" - Local homebody just admiring our trimming job



173 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page