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  #1  
Old 03-11-2018, 9:15 PM
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Default is Wilderness Unlimited hunting club as good an idea as it sounds?

From my understanding of it, they provide members with a way to access private land for hunting.

It's not "high fence" hunting, you need tags, and the guy I spoke to was VERY clear that the animals were wild.

In other words, it sounds like it might be fairly ideal for someone like myself just barely getting started as a hunter, with no real contacts or idea of the "lay of the land".

Is there some dark secret I don't realize?
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Old 03-11-2018, 9:25 PM
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I have a coworker who just forefitted his membership. He found the land in SoCal was shrinking. He found the land available was heavily pressured. He figured he could do several paid trespass and guided hunts a year with a much higher yield rate for the same price. Lots of the “huntable” land was rough going and basically inaccessible. Look into rules regarding booking land, only 1 reservation at a time. I was told it might be better if you were retired due to availability times. However my coworker quit last year and is retiring this year. We also work irregular hours/days and he had 3 weekdays and all weekend off and still quit. It seems as though potential and new clients have the best outlook but no results. Apparently there are some members on message boards who claim to do well but no one I know is killing it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:50 PM
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You are probably better off with a guided pig hunt and an out of state hunt for deer.
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Old 03-12-2018, 7:56 AM
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No personal experience but came of age as a member of it’s precursor (American Sportsman Club). I think what you’ll find is the better properties will be heavily impacted and it’s a lottery to get on.
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Old 03-12-2018, 8:04 AM
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Was a member for a few years, not really worth it. Draws are call in first come; fees are what you'd pay for a private duck blind or a few guided hunts per year.
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Old 03-12-2018, 8:29 AM
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It's just not worth it, nor is Golden Ram. It's not hunting to me if I don't have a secure place to hunt, when I want to hunt. I don't like crowds all fighting for the one buck that might be on the property. You are paying for the right to hunt on private land. They do not guarantee that there are "wild" animals there. Like other previously said, pay for a guided hunt. You'll have better opportunity to see and tag animals than you would on Wilderness Unlimited or Golden Ram. Wait until you go through the sales pitch. Way too much pressure.
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Old 03-12-2018, 9:00 AM
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Based upon your previous post about doing a guided pig hunt, it appears you may be considering doing this in lieu of that pig hunt. If I were in that situation I would go on the guided pig hunt. From what I recall reading here and in various other FB groups, other forums, etc. the majority of their properties (or maybe the majority of the "good ones") are in Norcal. The people that like WU or GR the most typically can hunt whenever.

The sales pitch is legendary however I did recently read of an incident where the strong arm tactics were not used.
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Giving lewdogg21 advice on hunting. Thatís like David Hogg giving advice to the NRA.
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Disagree. Been trying to teach lewdogg21 how to hunt. It's like trying to teach Steve Wonder how to see. Not sure we're ever going to get there.
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Old 03-12-2018, 9:39 AM
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You can save yourself years of hiking around, driving, gas, all that by going with a guide to shoot a pig, turkey, waterfowl. Plus you will learn so much from them. Echo the comment above about going out of state for deer and bigger critters. Enjoy!
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:16 AM
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Go on a couple of guided hunts first, to see if you enjoy the activity. Your success odds will be better, and you'll have someone to help teach you the ropes, if your guide is good. It will cost less, you'll learn more, and then you can decide next year if you want to become a member or not.

I am not a member, and have little interest in joining either WU or GR, though I understand why some would.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2018, 12:03 PM
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Our plan is to do at least two guided hunts before we think about going off on our own. We're setting the date for the first one right now, in fact.

Wilderness Unlimited was on my mind because we just came from the Fred Hall show.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:13 PM
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How much are they asking?
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2018, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckhandmike View Post
How much are they asking?
Doesn't say on the flyer, and the guy didn't mention.

I figured it would be expensive, but so is guided hunting... :-)
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Old 03-12-2018, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewdogg21 View Post
Based upon your previous post about doing a guided pig hunt, it appears you may be considering doing this in lieu of that pig hunt. If I were in that situation I would go on the guided pig hunt. From what I recall reading here and in various other FB groups, other forums, etc. the majority of their properties (or maybe the majority of the "good ones") are in Norcal. The people that like WU or GR the most typically can hunt whenever.

The sales pitch is legendary however I did recently read of an incident where the strong arm tactics were not used.
I personally received the strong arm tactic, the WU guy came to my house with photos, maps, contract, etc, was told I'd never receive another offer ever if I didn't signup before he left and the guy got really pissed when I said no. Personally I don't think you want to give your money to an organization that pulls shenanigans like this.

BTW I did receive another offer a few years later but respectfully and without hesitation declined... lol.
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Old 03-12-2018, 1:50 PM
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Originally Posted by zio707 View Post
I personally received the strong arm tactic, the WU guy came to my house with photos, maps, contract, etc, was told I'd never receive another offer ever if I didn't signup before he left and the guy got really pissed when I said no. Personally I don't think you want to give your money to an organization that pulls shenanigans like this.

BTW I did receive another offer a few years later but respectfully and without hesitation declined... lol.
I had a similar experience. I told the guy (Mike I think) that I wasn't sure on a date to meet, so I will call him back. He said he will schedule the appointment anyways, and I can cancel later. I tried to say no and he just shut me off. Whatever. I called him back and left a voicemail the next day canceling, and left him a text too.

A week later, this dude shows up at my door. I wasn't home. He called me and I told him I canceled, he insisted I never did. Then got pissed off and said "This opportunity will never present itself again. You cancel, you're never getting in." I told him in more or less words to **** himself, and I hung up.
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Old 03-12-2018, 2:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreek View Post
I had a similar experience. I told the guy (Mike I think) that I wasn't sure on a date to meet, so I will call him back. He said he will schedule the appointment anyways, and I can cancel later. I tried to say no and he just shut me off. Whatever. I called him back and left a voicemail the next day canceling, and left him a text too.

A week later, this dude shows up at my door. I wasn't home. He called me and I told him I canceled, he insisted I never did. Then got pissed off and said "This opportunity will never present itself again. You cancel, you're never getting in." I told him in more or less words to **** himself, and I hung up.
Wow, not the kind of experience I had with a hunting club. I joined one that doesnít even advertise and is invite only. They bought me breakfast and gave me a tour. No pressure what so ever. No, Iím not going to name it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 2:03 PM
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Most if not all WU lease agreements with the landowners state how many big game animals can be taken. It's for the most part way less than one would expect.
Ask them how many animals can be taken in each property.
Ask them how many member are hunting these properties.
Don't think you'll get a straight answer. I didn't.
I was a member for several years. Varmint hunting was what I was mostly doing. (against their rules). Wasn't worth much for anything else.

The duck hunting properties I saw were for the most part pathetic. Recall opening day one duck season at one of their duck clubs in the north grasslands. No water!

Also: Ask them how many members are sharing all properties. There's a reason they wont answer.
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Old 03-12-2018, 3:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick1085 View Post
Most if not all WU lease agreements with the landowners state how many big game animals can be taken. It's for the most part way less than one would expect.
Ask them how many animals can be taken in each property.
Ask them how many member are hunting these properties.
Don't think you'll get a straight answer. I didn't.
I was a member for several years. Varmint hunting was what I was mostly doing. (against their rules). Wasn't worth much for anything else.

The duck hunting properties I saw were for the most part pathetic. Recall opening day one duck season at one of their duck clubs in the north grasslands. No water!

Also: Ask them how many members are sharing all properties. There's a reason they wont answer.
Ah yes... the old Rubino blind 8 no water trick - Ive been there brother. FYI western wildlife adventures picked up Rubino after WU lost it fixed all the water issues, installed more blinds, cut the damn tules, and it shot really well this year.

Wu is a scam and I hope sharing my expeience of being duped will help save others from making the same mistake.
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Old 03-12-2018, 5:07 PM
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It's a high pressure sales deal, they are going to tell you that you only get to sign up one time. If you don't sign up that day you don't get to sign up ever.

Why would they put restrictions like that on it, if it's such a good deal? They'll tell you it's because they want to limit it to only the "right kind of people" but why would someone wanting to think it over before making a multi-thousand dollar decision suddenly make them a less desirable person? You'd think that thoughtful, intelligent people would be the type that they'd want to attract.


Each membership level; camping & fishing, small game hunting, big game hunting, etc. cost a different amount. There are individual membership and family memberships, you can't bring guests to big game hunt, even if they're family members. Each ranch has a set quota, many are archery only, most do not allow black powder hunting, you cannot access the hunting ranches when you want, you have to apply for access.

Expect a big game membership to be in the neighborhood of a couple of grand per year plus there is a one time joining fee of a grand or more. You'll probably be paying $3,000 - $5,000 to sign up for a family membership with fishing, and big game hunting access, with the right to apply to hunt on different ranches but no guarantees that you'll get to hunt there. What they will do is guaranty you the chance to hunt but it could be 300 - 500 miles from your house in the last week of the season after it has been hunted heavily. Anything close to the SF Bay area or LA with actual big game hunting will have every member who lives in the area applying to hunt there, so you'll be competing for very limited access during hunting season.
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Old 03-12-2018, 5:19 PM
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Years ago I looked into joining.
Guy came to my house spoke with me and my wife, showed us pics and graphs and all the goodies, then said if I donít write him a check at this meeting I would loose my opertunity forever.
Told him my wife and I needed time to talk about it.....he got all upset and said ďif your not serious Iím wasting my timeĒ. I kindly asked him to leave.

Not a good way to treat new members I think.
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Old 03-12-2018, 7:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFatGuy View Post
Doesn't say on the flyer, and the guy didn't mention.

I figured it would be expensive, but so is guided hunting... :-)
They won't tell you the cost until they meet with you and your wife. I remember that there was two, maybe three different yearly pricing structures. Not cheap.
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Old 03-12-2018, 9:36 PM
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Understood.

Thanks, all, for the feedback!
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Old 03-12-2018, 9:48 PM
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Oh man ...... look up Ponzi scheme it's that but for acces to hunting land ... not to be a jerkus but search WU and you will see my opinion I can assure you that I am statistically much superior on public land
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:32 AM
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In a word, NO. Past member many years ago
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Old 03-13-2018, 8:00 AM
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I wouldn’t do it.
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Old 03-13-2018, 5:54 PM
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I passed on an option earlier this year. The guy kept calling and insisted he wanted to meet with me & my wife. He would never discuss price until meeting with us. I figured thereís a reason for this and that an out of state guided or semi guided hunt or 2 each year would be $ better spent.
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Old 03-13-2018, 6:50 PM
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It's like a time share for hunting. Total hard sell tactics and very few (if any) satisfied members you can verify on your own.
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Old 03-14-2018, 3:24 PM
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my best friend who introduced me to hunting 20+ years ago was initially a member. he bought the biggest package they offered that allowed a guest (me) to tag along. we did 4 hunts on various wu properties before he passed away and they all sucked. we shot 2 quail and 1 planted pheasant that flew from a nearby bird club. duck/geese hunts where awful, lots of walking and found no game etc.

for just $800 including tags and all expenditures i have managed to tag a big game animal every year in wyoming.
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Old 03-14-2018, 6:52 PM
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Seems most all of these sportsman's clubs follow the same trajectory. Lease hunting rights for some good properties as a co-op. Then add salaries for a board of directors/officers. Then add base + commissions for salesmen. After awhile, the lion's share of the $ is going to the internal infrastructure and not the properties.

Once it becomes a "business" the writing is on the wall. I watched it happen to American Sportsman's Club growing up. Was like $1500 for family membership. We found a ranch near Willits we did good at. Hunted it for say 10 years. Then it became much tougher to get "drawn". Most workaday types schedule their deer hunting trip months in advance so not knowing if you're gonna "get lucky" doesn't work. They had a provision that you could mothball your membership. Many did this and the money ran out to stay viable. Went belly up. Much of the same "brass" formed WU with many of the same properties. Lather, rinse, repeat.
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