Even though the US Midwest
produces some eye-popping trophies, we don't get many reports on whitetail hunts in that area. A number of reports we do get from there are on high-fence operations, such as Report 8965
filed by subscriber Mark Hampton on a December 2012 family hunt he took at Pine Ridge Lodge in Iowa
. This month, however, we have two detailed reports on free-range whitetail hunts in Illinois
First up is our first-ever report on Harpole's Heartland Lodge
in southwest Illinois. If you watch hunting shows on TV, or read any of the "mainstream" outdoor media, you've probably heard of this outfit, which has gotten a lot of attention. Well, here's a first-hand report from Charles Jordan who not only went himself but also took four of his friends, all novice deer hunters, with mixed results:
"I was asked by four Ecuadorian friends to organize a relaxing bow hunt in the US with hopes of harvesting a big buck or two. After searching the web, I chose Harpole's Heartland Lodge (HHL) in Illinois. HHL was reputed to be a 5-star lodge with stellar service and thousands of acres of prime hunting under lease. While the lodge was indeed impressive and the staff accommodating, several issues during our visit left our group with mixed feelings.