Why is it so hard to find a new club member?

Jim I think you will see it for sure. I know of a couple of guys that have already bailed for this year, and I bet we see this impact a lot of leasing and hunting for a while...until the economy restarts and folks get cranking again...
I have been in the same club since I was old enough to hunt. I am 38 now. We do not have a lot of turnover and have had the same members most of those years. I dread the day we lose our lease. I just can’t see driving 2-3 hours to hunt. I love working on our lease but it would be tough if I had to drive that far to do it. I live 10mins from my lease now. If we loose our club I imagine I will be trying to buy a small property to hunt.
After reading 6 plus pages of this thread during the past hour or so, DANG, it has surely made me DEPRESSED now.

However, I thought that I would hopefully change the mood and add my $100 worth as well to this discussion.


After reading about some of the horror stories involved with hunting club members.....well it made me think back many years ago when a relative and I leased some property for us to deer hunt on back then. This property was only 75 acres and was owned by some older relatives of ours. This man was the TAX Commissioner of the County and he let us just pay him the annual property taxes for the use of it and WOW was his property super cheap by him being the Tax Assessor, I would suppose. :pop:

We technically also had an additional 250-300 more acres of CORP land that adjoined this property and we hunted it as well back then. We actually set up an encampment with a couple of campers for the two of us and it was located about 50 yards inside of the gate. We finally had a power line run to within 30 yards or so of this campsite so we began to "live in high cotton" after we got the electricity installed. We ended up with a few other realtives that hunted and fished with us during this time.
This property was technically "waterfront" property on Clark Hill Lake in the Cherokee Creek section as the real property line came within 1/4 mile of the actual water line at one point and then was only about 50 feet away at another point. At that location, we had a floating boathouse that we would fish off of especially during the spring and summer months and during a lot of nights, we had a fantastic time as we caught lots of huge crappies and when they were pulled out of the water, I immediately would proceed to dress them and wash everything good and add a quick "jacket coating" of flour/corn meal/pepper and then drop them immediately into the hot grease. Within 10-12 minutes of being caught, these slabs were done frying and we would sit right there on the deck of the covered boathouse and do our best to eat every fish that we had just caught. We had the Life of Reilly back during those times.

As it turned out, I NEVER spent but about a dozen nights in my camper during all of these years BUT my older brother decided that he would visit whenever he wanted and would use "our place" as a hunting and fishing vacation for anytime that he decided to visit down our way. Trust me, he never paid his part on anything for all of these years.

We managed to kill around 20 deer during these years and they were both does and bucks in those days.

Of course, over a total of 25 years we did that up until the time that the older couple (relatives of ours) ultimately passed away and the property immediately was sold.

The reason that I share this information is the fact that even back in those days, I ended up paying the majority share of the cost of leasing this "heaven on earth property" and also the cost of the electric bill each month. I also built several tower stands back in those days before most people even thought about a true enclosed tower stand that had a roof and also with the "special green fabric" that I have that is totally weather resistance for 15-20 years and it was attached to the railings on all four sides. I had some office style swivel chairs that I put in each one of them and I could sit in the chair and peep over the railing and the critters would never see me at all. I used these deer stands for several years that way. and managed to kill quite a few deer as well.

The reason that I share all of this information is back then I had a great time while hunting and fishing and over the course of each year, it was worth it me as I love being in the outdoors.

After loosing this prime property, unfortunately my wife became disabled due to heart disease that included multiple heart attacks and surgeries at only 46 years old and that changed my life tremendously. Ultimately I did not hunt at all for a period of 10 years which included 4 years even after my wife died at 52 years old.

It really took me those extra 4 years to get my head together again so that I could finally enjoy life again and then I decided to start using trail cameras when I began to hunt some again. I have always loved the sport of hunting but somehow I changed somewhat in the fact that I only harvest a buck when I decide that I need some more venison as I share it with my Daughter and Son-in-law and thankfully, they love to fix it in all sorts of various dishes. However, they lost everything in their freezer recently including all of the venison from 2017 as their freezer bit the dust without any warning. I do plan on helping to replenish their freezer with venison during this upcoming season.

I didn't even hunt at all this past season and only went 3 times back the year before that. I actually never even got a fishing & hunting license at all last year as I didn't go fishing or hunting. I did go online recently and got my updated free fishing and hunting licenses. To that note, I have gone fishing several times recently just to get out in the sunshine and open spaces to help cope with this crazy virus situation.

The fact is, every year, I spend a lot of money just enjoying what I do out in the woods with nature. I keep the receipts for each year and it really does end up costing me approximately $3000-$3500 each year. This includes the property taxes on my property and also the lease costs on some property that I have nearby and all of the travel costs associated driving back and forth up to the country and also with trail cameras etc, bush-hogging, and feed costs etc. I actually LOVE being by myself out in the outdoors so I always hunt and fish alone.

I am looking forward to hopefully hunting again this coming season and the bottom line is that I don't care what it cost for me to keep enjoying life as such. In reality though, the venison might well actually cost close to $ 140-$180 per pound in reality.

Do what you want to do in LIFE and LOVE what you DO !!!

I feel like I really am a "Son of a Gun" because I am just like my Father in every respect because he was a real pistol for sure. He taught me to always stand up for what is right and to kick tails and take names when necessary.

I always loved Lewis and I have a bookcase full of his books. He was one of the funniest and most awesome personality to me. I loved his sense of humor.


ps: Thanks for a good reminder. :cheers:

Now back to our regular scheduled program.......


Senior Member
Hurray just got email contract for the 96 acres I’ve been leasing for 28 years now! They must have put off selling at least another year! Just pay it myself and do what I want and not
have to worry about other people! Be good to go as long as China flu doesn’t get me!