IN-14-155-inch-bruiser-2017-300x225 We have felt for many years that Indiana is another one of those relatively hidden gems for hunting whitetails, and have taken note of some of the truly big whitetails that have quietly slipped into the record books from this state. For example, Tim Beck with his incredible 305” record buck! And with the law change a few years ago limiting hunters to one buck- it just gets better. So when this outfitter from south central Indiana reached out to us for marketing assistance, we perked up immediately and took notice. As this outfitter is brand new to us for 2020, we started our vetting process to try to ensure he was a quality outfitter we could represent. Here is some of what we learned:

“He is a high quality human being. That’s why I believe in them…because he will make extraordinary efforts to put you on good bucks. This will be my third year with him. He’s comfortable to be around and he puts me in locations that could produce a 140 to 170 class buck. I killed a nice 9-point my first year and a good 8-point the second season. I was very close to pulling the trigger on 160 class buck year one. I have seen with my own two eyes the heads of a 12-point, 13-point, 17-point and 18-point that were harvested. The opportunities are there.” Billy S, Michigan

Here is another reference with a truly different story: “I have hunted whitetail in New York (44 years), Pennsylvania (40 years), Alabama (6 times), Ohio, Saskatchewan (4 times) and Idaho. I have killed well over 100 bucks. Not bragging, just giving you an idea of my experience as a whitetail hunter with bow, rifle, muzzle loader, shotgun and crossbow. On opening of rifle, I saw one quality 10 pt that was short on the brow tines, so I passed. I saw 16 deer total, 6 bucks. Four were 10 point and I saw a 4 and spike. Unfortunately, after my opening day hunt, I had an accident in the cabin chasing a bat, and blew out my knee (yes a bat), I was relegated to the front porch of the camp for the next 2 and 1/2 days. I did get the bat. During my day 4 porch hunt, the outfitter phoned me and offered to take me to a parcel that I could hunt from a ground blind, and he would transport me by Gator to get there. A very nice gesture. We sat in the blind an hour and I managed to shoot a nice 164 and 1/4 ten point. We saw 6 deer in the first hour. I really doubt that I would have had a successful hunt if it wasn’t for the offer by him. That is the kind of person he is. He did not know me from Adam, and he went out his way for me. He knew I was hurt, frustrated and very disappointed, previous to his offer. He made this a success for me. I highly recommend him. I am going back next season, I also plan on booking a Turkey hunt this spring. Honestly, the nicest, straight forward and honest outfitter that I have dealt with. With a few more seasons, I expect this outfitter to be one of the best, and one of the best to produce great deer and great properties to hunt.“ Dan L.


When you hear that sort of praise from a very serious whitetail veteran, it counts! Although taking out your knee on account of a 4 ounce flying bat…sheesh…! Dan also pointed out some things we would want you as a client to be aware of. Guiding at this operation is done by taking you to the property and showing you the boundaries; then advising on what they know about deer movements from trail cams, etc., and then telling you the location of any existing stands on the property. Depending on your lodge (they have 3) you may be transported via an ATV to your stand. After that, each day you are basically on your own on the property you have assigned, although the outfitter can be phoned for any problems or to make a recovery and transport. So you can bring your own stands (you are advised to do so), you can scout, read sign, do all the things you normally do, rather than being put into one spot and told not to move. We like that as experienced whitetail hunters. And the guides are very knowledgeable about the properties they hunt and the deer behavior there.

Minimum is 120” – no fines but PLEASE try to not kill anything under 120”. We want big deer and that means 3 to 6 years of age on them. Obviously not every hunter will see or kill a huge trophy, but we think 130” to 140+” is realistic, with 160-class bucks always possible. The outfitter told us this in January of 2020: We took 3 Boone and Crocket bucks (meaning 160 plus – low book) off our properties this year and had pictures of 15 bucks that we estimated being 150 inches or better.”

IN-14-165-inch-archery-buck-2017-300x226 He has over 40 parcels of ground – various sizes from about 30 to 40 acres and up, with some up to 200-250 acres. This is agricultural country so deer density is good and they are well fed. Rolling hills and tons of crop ground. In November of 2021, Hunt Nation founders Butch and Joan Manasse both did an inspection hunt on this property. They came away firmly convinced the outfitter is a heck of a fine guy, honest to a fault, hardworking, lots of experience and whitetail knowledge, with tons of good land and well set up blinds (and lots of them).

Butch stated the land is an absolute heaven for whitetails, and they have some great turkey hunting too! The rolling hills, the tons of corn, beans, alfalfa and other agricultural crops, with interspersed smaller wood lots, create perfect habitat for growing big deer. Butch called it some of the finest whitetail habitat he had ever seen. Stories and pictures of big deer abound, and you come away knowing that on stand, the next deer you see could be one of a lifetime. Joan and Butch did the second rifle hunt, having been warned by the outfitter that the second rifle hunt meant much lower odds. Butch saw only one buck, Joan saw 4, but on her last morning the giant came out at about 250 yards. He was guesstimated at about 160” plus (he was also on deer cams). Joan has taken well over 100 whitetails, but somewhere in transport – in the car or on an ATV – her scope shifted point of impact, putting it 15” low at 250 yards! Still, they left Indiana very impressed at the potential. They felt the bow potential was awesome as well.

IN-314-very-nice-Indiana-buck-300x225 The majority of the stands are set up to watch the entry and exits to the crop fields, so pre-rut you should be able within a day or so to fine tune your stand and set up. And the deer will be relatively unpressured in October and the first week of November. The outfitter figures they are about a 30% kill rate on the bow deer, and probably 80-100% on opportunity! The gun success rate for the first week of the rifle season is very high, usually 80% or so, and there are misses and wounding of course. But you may have to book far in advance for that first week hunt due to return clients.

He takes about 50 hunters per year between bow, crossbow, rifle and muzzleloader. Spread that out over 46 parcels of land plus all of the various seasons and properties and that is not unreasonable. Usually only 1-3 people per parcel and no mixed groups. Now obviously if they know a big buck is being seen on a parcel, they may try hard to get hunters on him, but that is required if you want big deer. He has some multiple stands up on every parcel, but also will supply climbers so hunters can move or re-locate on the parcel. You choose your stand. Stands that are up are various types: some are ground blinds of cloth or fiberglass, some are ladder, some are doubles, some are ladder sticks and stands. No charge for a climber if you want to use one. You must supply YOUR OWN safety equipment and sign a waiver. You are prohibited from using screw in steps or bow hangers. You can also bring along your own stands.

He puts out about a 100 trail cams, primarily checking trails on way to existing stands. He has a north camp and a south camp and a rustic cabin for up to 4. He runs one camp, his partner the other camp. Butch and Joan inspected all 3 camps. They are doing work on all of them, but while rough on the outside, the bedrooms and living rooms were clean and very comfortable. Adequate for most hunters, but if you prefer more, you can stay at the Quality Inn nearby, and it is only a 1-5 to 25-minute ride to most hunting areas.

If you stay in one of the lodges, then meals and lodging are provided and seemed very hearty. He provides the supplies for your breakfast and lunch, but they do prepare the dinners. Nothing fancy, but very adequate for most serious hunters. However, the 4-man cabin requires you to prepare all your meals, not just dinner, but they do provide all the food for you to prepare. He does expect hunters to stay on their parcel for hunt duration, but in extreme cases of not seeing anything they may allow a move. However, they are putting you where trail cams show prime locations, and many times they have moved a client who insisted on a move, and the next day someone else sat his stand and killed a monster! These are good people who want you to leave happy and they try hard for you. Not everyone will succeed, and for sure not everyone will see giants, but the very possibility is present all the time. And if a group is on a parcel and someone tags out and the other guy(s) feels he would like to switch properties, they can usually accommodate.

They shot 3 over 160” in 2019 and 2 the year before. They had a 2021 bow kill of 182” and several of equal quality as well. They typically take about 25 bucks a year, which we think is pretty good for this sort of operation and with such a wide variety of weapons and with all the various levels of expertise he gets.

Archery hunters enjoy about 80% opportunity and approximately a 30%-35% success rate, which we think is very good. Because the muzzleloader season is after the rut and also after the gun season, success rates are usually lower than gun season (but there are also fewer hunters in the woods and the pricing is excellent, and the truly smart bucks are still out there! Game retrieval and field dressing is typically done by the hunters along (we think those chores are just part of the fun!), but if you need help they will oblige. Game processing in town is available, but you need to get your animal there.

PARTY SIZE: There is no party size limit, so book solo or with friends and family.
LICENSES: They are over the counter/on line and cost around $150. TRANSPORT: Drive; or fly to Indianapolis, Louisville or Cincinnati and rent a vehicle.

2023 PRICES (subject to change without notice until deposit received)

Archery/Crossbow: 5 days (Monday-Friday) – $3,475 per person with food and lodging. Archery season approx. October 1 to January 5. Add 2 days of bowhunting to a 5-day archery hunt for just $1,400 extra per person November 13-19. Rifle season approx. mid-November to the 3rd weekend in December.

Rifle: 5 days (Monday-Friday) – $3,875 per person with food and lodging.

Muzzleloader: 5 days (Monday-Friday) – $2,875 per person with food and lodging. These are December hunts.

TURKEYS: 3-day self-guided hunt (some pre-set blinds available) $850 per person, includes lodging but no meals.

Observers: $100 per night



307-637-5495; info@hunt-nation.com; www.hunt-nation.com