Shooting time started, and with no wind, the birds were numerous, and were comingfrom every direction. The pace was so fast, that it was difficult to decide which group ofbirds to shoot at. I must say that for early season hunting, that the weekend was excellent.
My 9 year old son and I go upland hunting and have a great time. I take him big game hunting with me and always feel safe doing so knowing that there is a limited number of people on a property at any given time and that the members are responsible hunters and not the usual yahoo's found on public land.
It was a 200 lb. sow. Now, let me tell you, ...........it took me along time to become okay with shooting a sow. I can't explain it,but I feel the same way about shooting a doe. It is the connection,female to female, mother to mother, that makes it so difficult toremove that part of my thinking.
After everything calmed down, my hunting partner told me he was going to go take a look because he thought he heard the "Thmp!" sound that means impact and penetration. I was like "whatever"....... I didn't hear anything except my .270 going off in my ear. Softer than usual, but it was ever present!
Wilderness Unlimited changed their mind about me. WU has proved me wrong by sending a straight shooter, Mike Drozen, out to debunk some of the myths and let the WU option sell itself. WU is as forwards as a family outdoor club can get in California. They do not helo herd and serious about enforcing CA Fish and Game and private land rules. The law is there to protect the opportunities as well as the ecology, and WU respects that, contrary to what some reviews would have you believe. Albeit he is an old timer and better at hunting geese than voicemail, Mike clearly explained the WU option to me. Yes, the cost is still high, but it seems most of the reviews up here are contradictory after talking with him, as he explained the conservation angle better and the sad state of Fish and Game resulting in private companies like WU to manage the land and the demands upon it economically, and the challenges faced when knuckleheads don't follow the rules. If you are not the kind of person who feels at home in the field, cannot be trusted with a firearm, let alone a rod and reel, and you have to wash your hands 20 times a day because you feel dirty inside, the outdoor life and clubs that support it are not for you. Here's your sign. On the other hand, if you want to get in on the conservation, WU is the best option I have found so far. The system seems fair, and the prices are only high to me because I am a poor renter in Berkeley right now. If you want to get in on all the picnics, camping, and fishing with one guest you can get in about a month of responsible safe time, booked two days in advance on private land for about $2000/year+tags, ammo, gas, and food. Apparently there's a long waiting list, but if you can afford it, it's a deal. I'm going to try to convince my dad and get my uncle to ship my rifle and shotgun up so we can have some wild trout, bass, venison, pheasant, and quail this year in a new freezer instead of blowing twice that on grocery trips. I'll add the 5th star if my dad says ok and it works out.
I write this only because it came up in another search that I did for something ells, and I notices some comments on here from people that are not even members, they made a judgment on the club............ so as a member of the club I can talk about it because I'm not talking from second hand information, I'm talking from my own personal experience. I am a avid outdoorsmen, that has not bout meat from a store in over 13 years. I know many people that LOVE the club and I have talk to some that don't like the club, I have friends that I have flat told them that the club is not for them..... In my experience the deciding factor if you like or hate the club are the RULES. To me I love the rules as they are all geared to better manage the game and not over harvest any animals and to protect the good old fashion quality time one can spend in the good old outdoors. For example, I was talking to guy that wants to kill as many Pigs a year as he wants, (how much pig can one family eat?) and its not that you cant take more then one or two pigs a year you can just not all at one time. its not about killing its about harvesting good quality meat for your family to eat? If you over harvest them the hunting will be no better then public land, some people just don't get that and for that person the club is not a good fit. Next biggest factor is this, This is a family club so if your looking for a place where you and your buddies can go and party..... well this club is not for you. its one thing to have a beer back at camp its another thing if your going to set in camp all day and night partying, for that person they will hate the club as they will kick you out. they need not apply. as the club was designed not only for a good place for me to hunt and fish but a safe place for me to take my wife and kids. Some are looking for the good old boys club were people don't bring their family they escape their family and call it a hunting trip.... sorry but you will not like WU if that's what your looking to do. one thing that I LOVE about the club is that there is not one person in the club that does not go through a interview, to make sure they are good fit for the club, this is not a right a check and your a member type of club. if you are married you both need to be in the interview. the reason is this. if you get excepted as a member your spouse is made a member as well, they will have to sign a liability release and they have to sign that they under stand and except the rules of use. if you both do not want an interview, well don't wast the clubs time as the membership is limited and they do not always have opening. if you are looking for information on the club, search it on the web. you will see some love it and some hate it. you need to make that choice for your self. Hope this helps some of you that are looking for a club with great family values Mr. Dickerson All The Outdoors
I've been a member for almost 10 years now, and have shot 10 deer., 5 pigs, 1 bear, and unknown numbers of pheasants and fowl. Like every other organization, W.U. isn't perfect, but name me a comparable club that's better. Here's the deal; your hunting in California! If you want a deer, you better be ready to work for it. It takes me at least 7 days of humping up and down mountains before I get my shot. The moon has to be right, the weather has to cool off, and most importantly you have to know the ranch! That takes a few trips per ranch. As far as ranch quality, not one is better than the other. There is a ranch that suits everyones preference. I've hunted big game from Caliente to Yreka. I shot deer on northern and southern ranches. These are working ranches, and business is business . I'd rather have cattle browsed landscape than empty beer bottles and trash. Name one public place where you can hunt 5000 acres and run into no more than 5 other hunters! There are rules,,but they make sense. This isn't your own private club! We all share the properties, and the rules ensure fairness, safety, and quality. As far as the patrolmen, most of them can be very helpful if you give them a chance and listen to their stories of where they harvested animals in the past. Most will flat out tell you where the hot spots are. There's no good old boys club! Put multiple ranches on your lottery and you'll get drawn. Pheasant being the only exception. If you've hunted ducks for at least three seasons, you should know how important weather is. I watched million dollar membership clubs in the butte sink stare at the same empty skies I was watching last season. You do have to share a blind sometimes, but that can be fixed by spending thousands of dollars to lease your own property. I did, 7k for forty acres. Same empty skies as the rest of the valley. When the wind blows, W.U. Properties are as good as anywhere! Finally, most people think your going to walk into the ranch, pick which buck you want, shoot it, and be home for dinner. Again, your hunting in California! You have to put your time in, get out and walk, and earn your game. It's a great deal if your smart enough to figure out how to use it.
I know for sure, that both my blind mates had as great a time as I did. In fact the entire club shot well, and several members commented how well there days were.
I normally don't write Reviews, but this came up in a search I was doing for something else and I thought I would add my two cents.Over the last 16 years I have been a member, I have come accross a few people that hate the club and a lot more the love the club, I have friends that don't like the club and friends that love the club. How ever it is rare for me to come across a person that does not like the club, but for the ones that don't, I understand way they don't. The club has rules, for me they are what I would call Common sense. but as we all know what is common for 1 one person is ridiculous to another.I'm sorry I like that people have to pick up their own trash, be responsible and not get drunk before or way they are hunting, that their rights are never more important than my rights ........ You know common sense stuff like that or they get kicked out. I'm sorry but no I am not. Im glad because I like having family friendly rules, Like not razing hell about the camp fire like you see on public land.Bottom line I was looking for a safe place to take my family for hunting and fishing. I like that they do a background check, I like that when I go I might only see one or two families on a 5000 acer ranch, unlike other places where you see a person everywhere you look.I hunt for my food and since I have been a member of the club I have not had to buy meat from a store. So ya I love the club. People that I have met that don't like the club are normally rude and think the rules do not apply to them. I like that you can't get info on the club unless you are looking for member ship, (bottom line poachers try to get all the info they can just so they can poach a good place)I'm going to end with this, there is not a club in Cal. that has over 100 ranches, that has been in business for 30 years and still growing and adding ranches all the time. Is the club for you??? I don't know, but worth looking into. If you are making your decision on looking into the club or not looking into the club because what you read here....... Well I know this I own one of the biggest outdoors forums in the State and I have never seen one person that got kicked out of anything that thought it was not their fault.... And now has a score to settle. And I have seen a lot of other business owners act like regular joe's and come on place like this to talk down the commission, so don't just read a few.... read them all you will see with 95% positive and 5% negative, it's easier to see which post are real and which post are people just looking to burn the competition
Interesting reading these reviews. I don't agree this club is "as good as it gets"; neither do I agree that is a scam or a good ol' boys network.WU has ranch property throughout California and Oregon. I have been a member for over 25 years and property leases come and go, which is not unexpected. I have used the Club properties primarily for big game hunting and some quail/pheasant opportunities. I choose not to participate in the waterfowl program because most of the good waterfowl properties are 4-6 hours driving from my home.The advantage of this organization is the limited access to private property. In most cases, you can leave your camp or vehicle knowing your possessions are secure. I have never had any problems of this type. Access to ranches can be a problem occasionally; more so on weekends. Since I am now retired, I have the option of hunting during the week and access is usually available. I understand that $1200-1400 is a significant investment, but it is unreasonable to expect you are buying unlimited access and opportunity for this price. My friend left WU and joined an expensive ($4000) private property club this year. They have 30-40 members and took about 8-10 deer during A zone season.Bottom line: WU provides "hunting" opportunities on leased private property. You don't necessarily see game every trip. On the other hand, members are NOT paying exorbitant fees for a "guaranteed shot opportunities". It's hunting. You have to get out and make the most of time afield. I killed a decent buck on my local ranch this season. I hunted there a total of about 10 days and saw deer on every trip.