Creating a Hunting Club: Video — First Deer Down!


Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment to a 12-part, comprehensive series about building a hunting club with buddies from nearly the ground up. Author Thomas Allen will share what he learns as he learns it. His hope is that anyone who reads this series can learn from his successes and failures, and apply them to a one-day fruitful hunting club. Click here for the first, second, third and fourth installments.

Further Preparation

It’s hard to imagine this life without passion, especially passion for the outdoors. It just makes everything better. But, it comes at a cost. I can’t think of a single aspect of hunting or fishing where success demands hard work, perseverance, study and sacrifice.

If it were easy, a lot more people would do it.

To have a passionate pursuit in this life is to truly live. Aside from faith and family, the author loves nothing more than to breathe the air from a 20-foot elevated position in the whitetail woods. The work that goes into being successful can hardly be considered work.

The truth is, successful whitetail hunting absolutely requires a lot of educated preparation. You can’t just pick any tree, hang a stand and expect to shoot a deer. But when you do locate good spots based on your Most Recent Information (MRI), then comes the patience to wait until conditions are right to access and hunt a good stand. And, of course, the commitment and endurance it takes to tough it out when the conditions are ideal, yet less than comfortable.

Our task list is getting smaller, and we’re closer to being a fully functional hunting club. The season has started, and we’re already enjoying the fruits of our labor.

The Wasp War Wages On

There are so many species of wasps and hornets that have taken up permanent residence in our shooting houses, that it’s hard to keep them straight. All I know is they are big, scary and seemingly pissed all the time.

With the season upon us, and still some warm fall days in the forecast, we had to take action against the angry little bugs.

There really isn’t an easy way to beat a hive of angry wasps. But take your time, do your best to stay safe, and don’t get too close until you’ve put a big dent in their existing regiments. It will take many cans of spray, and return visits to get them eradicated.

To engage these things, you can’t go all in the first time and expect to have them whipped. In fact, it will likely take cans upon cans of wasp spray and several return visits to eradicate a hive from a shooting house. So be persistent, but patient.

Several of us attacked the infested houses from the outside, killing as many as possible while they vacated their fortress while under siege. We then made a return trip a couple days later hoping to finish them off.

If you would like to enjoy one of these battles — a laugh at my expense — watch the video below.

Treestands and Ground Blinds

Based on the tens of thousands of photos I’ve been gathering from my Wildgame Innovations trail cameras, I had a few locations in mind that warranted a treestand or two.

Having an abundant collection of Wildgame Innovations trail cameras has put us in position for imminent success. There really isn’t a substitute to this kind of information gathering. Thanks to the absentee “set of eyes,” we were able to move into a productive area when the conditions were right, and capitalize.

Since we had no previous seasons to build a game plan from, I decided to hang a few sets based on doe movement, knowing that the bucks would eventually show up when the scent of love begins to float through the air.

Finding the right tree overlooking food proved to be a difficult task because most of the trees are of insufficient size for a bow set. But the author did find a few, and they are sweet spots.

The other thing we’ve learned is that most of the trees surrounding each food plot are not of adequate size for a treestand. But the few that I did locate made for a promising elevated ambush, whenever the wind will accommodate. I fully expect to have multiple shot opportunities from each spot, like this one.

Because of the limited trees near several of our food plots, we elected to set up a few ground blinds as well.

The number of places we can hunt with an assortment of wind direction is beginning to increase substantially. And that’s a confidence builder.

To accommodate the lack of large enough trees, the crew set up several Field & Stream ground blinds overlooking the BioLogic food plots. This also provided additional options for different wind directions.

Repaired Shooting House

This was a big item on our to-do list that we knew was going to take some time. But, with the gun season literally days away, Gary and I decided to tackle the project.

Tip: Make sure you have adequate materials before you get started. The last thing you want to do is leave halfway through the project to get more wood or screws. Make a list and stick to it.

We managed to complete the project in only a couple of hours. Gary brought a small generator along so we could operate power tools, which was tremendously helpful.

Renovating this shooting house was a critical project to accomplish before the season started. It’s overlooking a green field of BioLogic’s Winter Grass Plus, and now will conceal a hunter in comfort as he or she waits for deer to arrive and feed.

We think it turned out pretty good!


This section doesn’t need many words from me. Alabama’s youth season opened up November 10th, and I was able to get my 8-year-old daughter out to hunt over one of our Mossy Oak BioLogic Maximum plots, which is pulling deer like a boss. Taylor killed a big old doe on a hunt neither of us will ever forget!

During the first evening of Alabama’s Youth Firearm Season, the author’s daughter shot a big, old doe from a lush BioLogic Maximum field. It was Taylor’s second doe, and the first on our new hunting club. Hard work, preparation, patience and dedication held a large part to our club’s success.

The very next night, my 10-year-old son and I sat over a BioLogic Winter Grass Plus field, and he shot a nice doe as well — his first hunt from a treestand. It was a very exciting weekend for the Allen family, and our freezer is starting to look a little fuller.

The following evening, the author’s son Tommy made good on a great opportunity, and killed the Club’s second deer of the season — a fine mature doe. This was Tommy’s second deer, too.

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