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Author Topic: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt  (Read 2881 times)

Offline ljsommer

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Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« on: December 06, 2022, 03:48:05 PM »
Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt (no success)
https://shattuckcreek.com/idaho-guided-hunts/idaho-guided-deer-hunts/guided-trophy-whitetail-deer-hunts/

From Nov 15th - Nov 19th my wife and I hunted whitetail in Elk River, ID with Shattuck Creek Outfitters. This hunt was very expensive (price listed on link above, total came to over $10k after fees and tip) but the wife and I justified it for a few reasons:
1. Life has been particularly hard the last few years and we felt we deserved a break
2. This was intended to be part of our honeymoon as we were married recently
3. We both wanted to invest in learning more about how to find success in hunting, and then getting the reward of success to fuel further hunting ambitions going forward
4. I have one deer down, she has yet to bring home any game animal

The reason we selected this hunt in particular and justified the price was the description of the hunt, which reads as follows:
"This is the trophy whitetail hunt you've been looking for! Our whitetail hunters are 90% successful, and can expect an opportunity at a 130 to 180 BC class trophy. Hunters will stay in the lodge for this 5-day hunt."

I won't make this a longwinded review, so I'll quickly state that the food and lodging were both great, and the guide (the owner's son in our case) was hard working, intelligent and polite. The landscape was beautiful and made the single digit morning sits in frozen snow much more bearable. We saw fewer than 20 deer total between myself, my wife, and the guide often sitting different spots, glassing sunup to sundown. Total buck count was 2, with one being a spike and the other being a tiny 2 point. We did not harvest any deer, and out of the camp of 6 hunters there was only one buck harvested after the entire week.

The owner and the staff were all wonderful, polite, and wholesome people who were considerate with their language and responsive. The last evening of our stay, the owner invited us into his home to have dinner with his family which was a wonderful experience and I am very appreciative of that.

The temperatures ranged from single digits (1 degree coldest morning, 9 degrees warmest morning) to high 20s. We got to ride quads quite a bit in the snow and ice, often in the morning or at night and that was a really cool adventure I'd never done before so I really enjoyed that.

I am very satisfied with every aspect of the outfitter, except the hunt description and the corresponding price. To be blunt, the outfitter simply does not have the quality or numbers of deer that they state on their website. I am not in the business of outfitting and this is my first outfitted hunt so I won't comment on the appropriateness of the price they charged, other than to say that this was a significant investment for my family and we made it after serious consideration. We are disappointed in that aspect of it.

I emailed the owner on November 21st thanking him for the week and giving similar feedback to what I shared above, reflecting how happy I was with many aspects of the hunt but that I was pretty disappointed with what was available vs what was marketed. I expected some sort of offer to return and hunt with them again, as they knew we were new hunters looking to get some deer down. I have not received a response as of this date, 12/6.

Overall I can wholeheartedly recommend this outfitter as a fun outdoor experience, but I cannot recommend them as a place where you'd go hoping to see or harvest animals.

Offline borntoslay

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2022, 04:12:30 PM »
Sounds like they need to update their expectations/success. Sounds nice other than that.
(  .  )(  .  )

Offline Alan K

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2022, 05:36:06 PM »
It's still hunting... Those temps are pretty darn cold compared to what we often experience not too far from there during similar dates. Maybe affected deer movement/patterns.  Where my family and I hunt not far from there we average 4-5 deer seen per day, though usually a couple of those are branched bucks.

I remember the work you put in learning to hunt locally here when you first joined the forum and wish you'd have been successful on this hunt.  Glad to hear you had a good time otherwise. 

Timber whitetails are not something I'd consider for a guided hunt for relatively new hunters.  I'd think more open country such as eastern Montana if you're up for trying again in the future.  Somewhere where you will see a lot of animals to keep interest up, while also having a great chance at success, maybe even pick and choose from a few bucks.  It sounds like the lodge/guided experience was part of it (honeymoon aspect), but for the money spent in a DIY fashion you could buy solid landowner tags in some states and stay in good hotels and eat at quality restaurants. 


Offline buckfvr

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2022, 05:46:30 PM »
I would need to see reviews and results from last 5 years in order to see the trend.  My guess is wolves on the landscape and predators in general are affecting their overall deer/elk success same as everywhere else on the western range.  Decline in quality (age class of animals), quantity, and success is on going.

Offline HUNTIN4SIX

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2022, 06:44:21 PM »
Always beware of outfitters promising or guaranteeing a certain size animal.  Unless of course it is a high fence hunt.  About the best a outfitter can ever guarantee is maybe a shot at an animal.  Half of the responsibility or guarantee is on the hunter for shot placement.... :chuckle:.  Sounds like they at least worked hard and provided good service, that says a lot.  I guided on some of the worst years in Montana when the wolves took over.  Heck sometimes we just went wolf hunting.  :chuckle:   We worked our arses off for the guest knowing the animal population was bleak.  It was mentally rough.  Its hard times for outfitters in many areas.

Ill never forget, at sport shows the number one question well partner whats your success rate?  My response....How good of a shot are ya?  We never played the game or got ourselves in a corner on success rates or promises.

Offline dyhardhuntr

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2022, 07:21:30 PM »
Glad to hear you had a pretty positive experience. Like stated above it is still hunting and it can be good or not so good. One piece of advice for the future is to ask the outfitter for phone #s from successful and unsuccessful hunters. That can also help your decision making. It sounds at least that your guide put in the effort and camp was good. I worked for an outfitter in the SE corner of Idaho and he was a dirtbag but those of us that guided worked our butts off for the clients.

Offline ljsommer

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2022, 08:54:55 PM »
Thanks for the feedback folks. Absolutely, hunting is definitely still hunting. All we wanted was some opportunities, not any guarantees. I can say with certainty that the character of everyone working at this outfitter was commendable and I thought they were all genuinely good people. I honestly wish the owner would've emailed me back asking if I'd like to return for another chance, I probably would've taken him up on it.

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2022, 09:21:12 PM »
 A well written, level headed description of your experience. Id give the owner a chance to make it right, as you have. If a couple weeks go by without a reply, Id contact them again with the same level headed demeanor and give them another chance to make it right.

 If nothing is resolved, Id certainly be posting my experience on every forum I could find with multiple search engines, on every site they are listed. :twocents:
The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first!

Offline jrebel

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2022, 09:48:25 PM »
This is a hard one for sure.  It could have just been a tough year....or it could be all their hunters feel the same way.  I would think if the year was tougher than usual and success rate was sub 20% they would at least off a discount for the following year. 

I'm not overly familiar with guided whitetail hunts...but 10K (which included tips, etc) for two hunters on a guided 5 day hunt out of lodge, seems cheap.  That would have been the first red flag for me.  With that said, there are some really good deals out there and if you find them....stick with them year after year. 

I'm glad they worked hard for you and hope they offer a discount or a second chance next year. 

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2022, 09:50:11 PM »
A well written, level headed description of your experience. Id give the owner a chance to make it right, as you have. If a couple weeks go by without a reply, Id contact them again with the same level headed demeanor and give them another chance to make it right.

 If nothing is resolved, Id certainly be posting my experience on every forum I could find with multiple search engines, on every site they are listed. :twocents:

That seems like reasonable advice.

I admire your level head about your experience.

I get that it's hunting, but it seems like you were overpromised.
I'd be disappointed if I paid that much for that experience.
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I wonder how many people will touch their nose to their screen trying to read this...

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2022, 11:16:08 PM »
little more research on whitetail deer in that area and the west woulda led to a conclusion that is BS. I dont even see a single buck barely exceeding 130 in all the harvest photos. 140" plus whitetail is hard to find and I would venture to say in a whitetails lifetime if given a full life that maybe 2 out of 10 bucks will grow antlers exceeding 140.

That area with more research woulda also led to that its hammered by hunters and wolves have a huge impact on deer there. Also that terrain is tough to hunt deer and let alone see multiple shooter bucks in a week.

Offline MountainWalk

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2022, 11:20:01 PM »
Caveat emptor.

 They can control the food, lodging, guides and area, but cannot control weather or beast.
The way that you wander, is the way that you choose
The day that you tarry, is the day that you lose

Offline Chesapeake

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2022, 11:40:49 PM »
Some of the deer in the pics look like they would gross 140-150 to me. Of course hard to say with a long arm pic.

I cant help but think $10k would have bought a canvas tent, stove, cots, ect.. A potlatch access permit and a few deer tags and you could have done a DIY adventure somewhere around Dworshak with maybe similar results. But youd still have all the gear.
But maybe you already own all that stuff.

Hopefully it was a good honeymoon. Sounds better to me than some tropical vacation.

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2022, 12:38:41 AM »
I must have a few 200"  :chuckle: theres maybe 1 buck that goes 130 or a little over, point is the claim on the website is a stretch for that country and with a little research you woulda known. Is there 150" bucks in that country? yup, chances of seeing 1 in 5 days and getting a shot... low to none.

The only way I would ever guide in that country is having access to primo private ground, that is tough sledding in that area.

Offline HntnFsh

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Re: Trip report: Shattuck Creek Outfitters - Whitetail hunt
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2022, 06:13:11 AM »
I know some aspects of a hunt cant be controlled. But to tell you the truth his website seems like false advertisement to me! Thats a lot of money for a trip to a bnb.

 


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