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Andy, Diane, Adam, Carol and Cj,
I would like to extend my appreciation for your hospitality and customer service this past week! The hunting and camaraderie amongst friends are memories Frank, Rick & myself will always cherish! Every year is a new & enlightening experience and the fellowship continues to grow each year I visit your facility. Your attentiveness & mentoring shown for the youth group visiting this past week was just marvelous, and something every hunting facility should emulate! Wow! Another year has passed my brother, and it just gets more exciting and better every year I attend! Cj was a wonderful guide and the attention to both Frank and I was just plain first class!! Diane & Carol should alse be commended for the great meals they prepared each day and the lovely "Christmas Decorations" . I truly love to visit with you my brother Andy and am very sad when the venture comes to an end! Over the years your friendship and fellowship with everyone is something I truly continue to treasure more & more... Your commendations and customer service contunues to be Five Stars. I'm already looking forward to next year!
To Adam, Carol, CJ, and the entire Wilderness crew,
Thank you so very much for the wonderful weekend. My friends cannot stop talking about going out again. And I haven't been able to wipe the smiles from they're faces. Your hospitality and kindness is always outstanding.
Your friend and God bless
David R Hatter
Hi Kevin, I would to thank everyone at the Wilderness for a wonderful weekend. My kids(Stephani & Eddie) and I had a great time. Kevin I want to thank you for your patience with the boys, it just shows me the type of person you are. Each time I've been at The Wilderness I've been treated like family what more can you ask for. My friend Rob and his son would like to say thank you also. Hope to see ya at the end of the year. Thanks for great time.
Oleg Pliss- Russian Boar
A Russian’s Russian Boar
A Guides View: Guiding any hunter on a Russian Boar hunt can be a real challenge. Add snow halfway to the knee and a language barrier and the hunt can be even more challenging. Thus was the day with our first hunter from Russia who joined the ranks of many friends we have come to know. “I would like to see Ram, I would like to see Boar” was his wish as we broke from the lodge.
We were clearly the first hunters to break tracks in the deep snow, in the farthest ends of the North side hunting area this particular day. Stalking became trekking, a very different form of movement in deep snow that is slow, grinding and strenuous, taxing every muscle and breath. Gray skies and new falling wet snow did not add to my optimism of things getting better any time soon. An experienced hunter in great physical condition, my client hunted hard, in awe of the surroundings and various animals we were encountering. The band of Rams on the big ridge stood against the background like so many mountain sheep my memories hold of guiding in the Colorado Rockies, it was a great day to be in the field. The decision to pass on them was not a quick or easy one, my Russian client wanted to hunt a Russian Boar.
Once locating a good band of Boar and identifying our options, my mind could not help but to wonder how different this experience may be for both him and me when the shooting had silenced. How differently does someone from Russia react, compared to here, when the animal is anchored, I thought to myself. The setup was great, the animals were on a flat several yards from a ridgeline (which offered them easy escape), and as we were above them we should be golden if the shot is true at about 70 yards.
We were a substantial distance from the Boars, but it was necessary to remain undetected and not start a long day’s foot chase in heavy wet snow. We had about an hour and a half of trekking behind us already as Oleg took a knee and raised the rifle to his shoulder. Hoping his rest would be steady after the strenuous climb we had just made; I peered through binoculars and cleared him for a shot. At the rifles report it was obvious the hit was solid, but the tough old Russian Boar broke into a frenzy of sprinting and zig zagging toward the ridge edge. As it fell out of sight several tufts of snow could be seen just at the ridge line, being thrown into the air.
I didn’t want to count my blessings too soon, so we crossed the long distance to where the animal had last been standing before the shot. Easing toward the ridgeline the Boar had gone over, rifle at the ready for any possible backlash from a wounded Boar, the outline of the downed animal came into view. “No movement, that Boar is down”.We couldn’t possibly have been farther from the entry gate and my transportation to bring this animal out. Going to be a long solo trek out for me as I will need to leave my hunter with his trophy to protect it.
I gave the touchdown signal as I turned to my client. What I was met with was an extended arm, a sharp smile, a gleaming eye and a high five that terminated with a gripping hand shake. A new friendship and brother, like so many before. My wondering of how this would go was laid to rest, I couldn’t help but think, “I guess things aren’t different over there”!
Would like to thank you guys again for the fun time I had this past Friday at The Wilderness. I had never done something like that before and was quite impressed at the way it was set up and that it wasn't so easy to track and take an animal as at some other places I have heard of. Josh was a great guide and gave me an enjoyable time and I look forward to working with him again. It was by far the most enjoyable deer hunting experience I have yet taken part in. I'm looking forward to another visit and will surely be by again this Spring or Fall or if I am able to swing it both. And let Josh know next time weather permitting I hope to be able to make it fully dressed and ready to hunt as the 2nd photo at the bottom.
Thank you again;
A big thanks to all of you (Andy, Adam, CJ & Carol) for making our weekend getaway so memorable. Not only was the hunting fun but appreciating the animals, the lodge, the other guests and the family atmosphere you all provided made it more than worth the trip. It was our first time at The Wilderness but it will not be the last. Here is a picture of the beautiful Fallow buck we got. Thanks Again and God Bless you all.
James & Doreen Giarraputo
Thanks so much for being our guide today and helping us to each get an amazing ram. We are all very happy with our rams, and we can't wait to head back to the Wilderness for our next adventure! I have attached a few pictures from todays hunt! Thanks again for all your help!
Hello, Joe and Jared Dvornicky here,
We enjoyed our stay at your facility and are looking forward to retuning.
The facility, staff and experience was top rate, Feel free to use us as a reference anytime.
Just wanted to send you guys a photo and say thank you to CJ, Adam , and Carol for making my weekend with you guys exceptional. Not only did I harvest an animal of my dreams but my son was there to enjoy the moment also. CJ is a great guide and showed exceptional patience trying to get my son a shot at a black Russian boar. He decided not to shoot at the last minute but that's his decision and CJ respected that. At eight years old he just wasn't ready yet. That gives me an excuse to come back next year. My son has announced that he wants to hunt a stag so we will see. As a repeat customer my hunt was everything I expected and more. You have a beautiful lodge and grounds there and I will certainly return for my "exotic" animal quests. Thank you again.Sincerely, John and Jared Jeffries.
"A Soldiers Dream Hunt Comes True At The Wilderness"
On Friday November 19/20, my pal Bill Landis and I had the true pleasure of meeting one of our nation’s heroes in the form of Mr. Doug Biddle, an Iraq Veteran, joined by his lovely wife Melissa.Doug’s dream was to harvest a whitetail buck, and our role thru The Way Outfitters’ was to come to The Wilderness Lodge to host Doug and Melissa, and make that dream come true for Doug.
As you can see by the attached photo, Doug and his wife achieved this goal with great success, but it’s the story behind the pix that we really want to share.
Doug suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a brain injury, and a subsequent brain aneurysm.Although we didn’t ask Doug to disclose more than he wanted, we did learn some of his story which he was willing to share…in short, you get to learn his abridged story via this email.
Doug lost 6 of his buddies in Iraq….his first loss occurred when he was in a Humvee…there were three Humvees on patrol that day…and a notorious IED discharged under his vehicle.The vehicle flew, landed on its roof, instantly killing his buddy who was the top gunner in their vehicle.
During a separate incident, Doug described how his 27 soldier unit had to rescue fellow servicemen whose chopper had been shot down within an insurgent-filled town.Thru the use of air strikes and mortar rounds that they called onto locations of insurgent armament, his unit documented 129 enemy kills in an effort to extract the downed US chopper crew.They successfully pulled the crew to safety…Doug noted that of the nearly 2000 rounds of ammo he was personally carrying that day, he was down to approx 80-100 rounds when they got out…he mentioned that he was getting scared that he was going to be out of ammo and that would not have been good, obviously.
Lastly, Doug described how he was standing guard by a military installation when a suicide bomber using a car sped directly toward his post, pulled up to Doug and started to strike his detonation device multiple times right in front of Doug’s eyes…Doug realized the Iraqi was fully adorned in explosives and he was trying to spark the switch to blow up himself, and Doug……that’s when Doug pulled the gent from the car and showed him what a trip behind the woodshed means in American.Doug said he couldn’t shoot the bomber for fear of detonating the explosives, but the rest of the story you can imagine…
All of this, told to us thru tear-filled eyes at times, combined with what Doug didn’t want to necessarily share, is understandably how a young man of just 22 years of age can come home from war as a changed individual (he’s 27 now).What an amazing honor to know that young men and women are willing to put their lives on the line each day in the spirit of freedom and love of country.
Doug is blessed with a delightful wife, and three boys ages 6, 4, and 15 months.As Melissa (Doug’s wife) stated, she needs to learn how to enjoy hunting because she’s in a household where there’ll soon be four of them!!For the record, Melissa actuallyclimbed into the treestand with Doug, and was with him the entire duration of his hunt, and during the harvest experience of his whitetail.In her words, she’s now “hooked on hunting!!!!!!!”How awesome!!!
And, for what it’s worth, as Bill and I drove away from positioning Doug and Melissa in their treestand, shoulder to shoulder as they were, sitting out in the elements of the cool November air,we looked at each other and commented how special it was to see this young couple in the woods, enjoying nature, and spending this unique, quality time together…it was a special moment for me, and for Bill, just to witness this wife supporting her husband and loving every minute of it.They are a neat couple.
Please know that we continue to be tremendously grateful to all of you for your donations of prayer, time, funds, and all-around support.It isan honor for us to be a small part of a valuable experience, each time we go afield.
May you find a genuine sense of Thanksgiving in your life, as you take a moment to ponder this story, and the thousands of soldiers who are risking life and limb while we enjoy a family-filled holiday in the safety and comfort of our homes this Thursday.
Blessings to all.
Hey Hosts! (Wilderness)
We had an awesome time! And we put plenty of pork in the freezer! I never thought I would get a mountable animal such as the hog I shot! We will definitely book with you for next year. I think your selection of animals was real fine and we had a good time meeting everyone. Sure felt like family!!
Bless you all.
Gail, Steve, & Pop Olinick
I have never hunted a ranch before and didn’t really know what to expect. I must say it was incredible. The lodging is nicer than my house and every bit of the 5 start experience you talk about. With all the trophy animals in the lodge you really get pumped up before heading out to hunt. I love the fact that you don’t know what you’re going to see in the woods up there. The property is so large that my guide didn’t even know all the differant bucks in the class I was hunting. I brought my gun and bow just in case we couldn’t get within range, left the gun in the truck. Adam was my guide, we headed out and I fell in love with the first buck I saw. It was a giant 9 point scoring 150, WOW!! what a buck it was. I was sold right there Adam said you got buck fever, lol lets go scout some and really let you see others in that range. He said if I was still in love we would go hunt that big boy. We hunted and worked hard to get me the buck I wanted, a job well done, I felt a great sense of accomplishment after the hunt and my money was well spent. Before coming I thought you walk up and shoot them but when dealing with the illusive whitetail this is not the case. They are very smart and make it very challenging to harvest with a bow even under ranch conditions.I have since hunted other outfitters after hunting with you I can truly say no one compares. Even your food was awesome and you were more than generous with it and everything else, it was like the feeling of being at home. Warm water in the morning to take a shower goes a long way. All those that say you got to take a cold one on hunting trips are just jealous. Thank you for the hunt of a lifetime. And yes to answer the golden question. When I was in the tree stand and the moment of truth was upon me yes I had buck fever, real bad. When you’re in the presence of 150 class whitetails you get the shakes . I loved it! You guys are the best!!!
To Adam and our Guide Randy,
From Todd and Ike Himelright, Strasburg, Virginia
I just wanted to let everyone know that we had a great trip and a great hunt. This was the first time that either myself and my father had went to a hunting lodge. The lodge was wonderful, the cooking was great, and the hunts were exciting. I must admit that we were a little worried about just being able to "shoot fish out of a barrel", but it was not even close to that at the Wilderness. We spent the majority of the morning just scouting the animals on both pieces of property. Our guide, Randy had heard us talking about just being able to see some of the 150 class and above whitetails, so he went out of his way so that we see them and get them on film. My father and I decided which type of rams we would be attempting to harvest and by that time it was lunch. After lunch we returned to the woods in an attempt to harvest the animals. Randy was able to locate the rams we were after, and after some intense stalking and waiting, we were both able to make great shots on each of our rams (which are now at the taxidermist). We highly recommend the Wilderness and look forward to booking another great hunt next October. Thanks again for a wonderful experience. Feel free to use us as a reference and we'll see you at the show in Harrisburg.
Andy & Adam, I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful hunt that my son and I had a couple weeks ago. My son Aaron was the one that hauled sawdust all year to save up for our hunt. I never dreamed that he would shoot a buck that big! I guarantee we will be back, although I'm not sure how long it will take us to save up the money. We shoveled a lot of sawdust this past year. I've been telling everyone here at work and all of my relatives how great a place you guys run. Hope to see you again soon!
Thanks for accommodating my son Dan and I on such short notice. We had a great time on Tuesday and that high-tined six-point is quite impressive. When the fellows who hunted on Monday started showing us pictures they had taken of that deer, we had pretty much decided he was the one we wanted. Dan really enjoys coming out there and we are already talking about the next time.