Rules vary slightly for each property managed by Wildlife Cooperative. The following is one example.
MEMBERSHIP: Dues $4,000/year. Individual membership only. No family membership. Member is the individual who pays the dues. Family are considered guests; not members. Dues cover lease, food plots, corn, minerals, water at camp. Member year runs Jul 1 – June 30 the following year. Renew with 50% deposit by Feb 28 and balance by Apr 30. Miss the deadline; your slot will be filled.
INITIATION FEE: New member pays a 1-time $1,000 initiation fee in addition to annual dues. This ensures every new member has skin in the game like the rest of us. Initiation fee funds are used for lease improvements such as feeders, cameras, road repairs, etc.
GUESTS: Limit = 1 hunting guest per trip during deer and turkey season except during members-only days. You can bring non-hunting guests to hang out at camp. You are expected to limit hunting pressure while also keeping a peaceful retreat atmosphere around camp. Use discretion! Accompany your guest onto the property and ensure rules are followed. Game harvested by your guest counts toward your limit.
MEMBER-ONLY DAYS: Reserves first 10 days of rifle season opener and 15 days of peak seeking/chasing rut phase for members-only. No hunting guests during these two periods. A non-hunting guest can sit in the stand with you, but the guest is not permitted to hunt.
BUCK: Limit = 2/year. A shooter buck is to be 4.5 years or older. Any male deer killed – including button bucks – counts toward the 2-buck limit. Not all 4.5-year-old bucks look alike. Here is a guide to help identify a shooter buck: A typical 4.5-year-old buck on this property has 8-10 points AND 16-18″ inside spread AND 21-22” main beams AND weighs 200-210 lbs. By contrast, a typical 3.5-year-old buck (not a shooter) on this farm also has 8 pts but a 14” spread (even with tips of his outspread ears) and 18-19” main beams and weighs 175-185 lbs. If in doubt, don’t shoot!
UNDERAGE BUCK: Our goal is to intensively manage for quality deer without regulating the fun out of hunting. Mistakes do happen. Killing a 3.5-year-old buck won’t get you booted out but it will draw scorn from fellow members. It comes with sharing a lease with other QDM stakeholders. Killing a 2.5-year-old buck is considered a serious violation. The penalty for killing a 2.5 YO buck is $500 (due within 10 days) plus forfeiture of your 2ndbuck that season. If the underage buck is your 2ndbuck of the season, then your buck quota next season is reduced to one.
DOE: Limit = 4/year. Doe harvest ends at dark Jan 1. Kill does early in the season to concentrate bucks around remaining does.
CULLS: Not allowed. Research supports our position that culling bucks cannot measurably improve genetics among free range herds.
GOBBLERS: Limit = 3 gobblers/year. No jakes! Your guest and you must sign-in and hunt within the same area in turkey season.
ONE THAT GOT AWAY. It rarely happens but an unrecovered deer or turkey still counts toward your quota. If it staggers but runs away, flies away, or falls but gets up, or leaves blood/hair/feathers…it counts as a kill.
FEED & MINERALS: No hunting over bait. Period. Official feed and mineral stations are set up to hold deer in strategic locations on the property and away from stands. Bait is allowed only at those sites. Minerals are replenished in Spring. Feeders are operated throughout deer season strictly to hold deer on the property. Corn and minerals are included in member dues.
SIGN IN. Stands are first-come-first-served at time of the hunt. No signing in the night before. No signing in this morning for a stand you want to hunt this evening. Do not sign-in and then go back to your camper to get ready. The intent is to sign-in and head to the stand. Sign in for one stand. Sign out before going to another. Limit = 2 different stands/day.
PARK-N-WALK: No vehicles in hunting areas during deer & turkey season except to retrieve deer or fill feeders. Park at designated spots and walk from there. No driving UTV or vehicle to stand. Electric bike is allowed to travel directly to/from the stand. Use stealth when going to/from a stand.
SCOUTING & CAMERAS: No scouting and no SD trail cameras during deer season. Do your part to minimize disturbance of feeding areas, bedding areas, travel corridors. The only cameras allowed in deer season are cellular cameras and those maintained by the manager. Photos collected during season are to be shared with all members simultaneously.
DATA: Record data for each buck, doe and turkey killed. Follow instructions in sign-in notebook. Extract jawbone. Email close-up photos of your kill along with: hunter name, date, where killed, antler measurements, weight, beard & spur length, etc.. Send to lease manager within 24 hours after the kill.
ROAD & TRAIL RIDING: Protect roads and camp area from rutting and damage. No vehicles or ATVs in green fields except to retrieve a deer. Interior roads are open May-Aug for scouting to learn the property. Interior roads are closed Sep-Apr to avoid disturbance of deer and turkeys.
TARGET SHOOTING: No firearms target shooting Sep-May. Okay to target practice Jun-Aug.
SCENT CONTAINMENT: Hunt the wind! Use the chart of best/worst wind for each stand. If wind is bad for a stand, don’t hunt it. Leave no trace you were ever in or around a stand. No smoking in/around stands. Leave stands clean. Close windows and latch shooting house door.
METHODS: Still-hunt only for deer. No stalking, slipping, pushing, or deer drives. No roaming around hunting areas during deer season.
CAMPERS: Water included in dues. Park RV in a spot designated by the manager. Set up service through local electric cooperative. In the unforeseen event of a water bill spike due to frozen pipe or water break at your camper, you only pay for usage beyond the historical avg. billing for that period. Use your camper electrical hookup for charging batteries (cart, trolling motor, etc.). Do not charge them using barn electrical hookup.
CAMP ATMOSPHERE: Camp is the first thing people see when visiting. Keep it clean at all times. Dispose of carcass immediately. Store trash out of site. Take it with you when leaving. Wash skinning area after cleaning a deer. Disconnect skinning shed water hose if hard freeze is forecast. This is a family environment. Be considerate of those who don’t drink. Leave no trace of alcoholic beverages around camp.
WORK DAYS: The intent is for each member to participate in 4 full days of club-approved work details between Mar-Sep. You agree to participate in-person or pay day labor to work in your place.
LAWS & SAFETY: Abide by hunting and fishing regs. Report game violations immediately to the lease manager and to local game warden. Concealing a game violation on our property, committed by you or someone else, may result in forfeiture of membership. Never drink alcohol before a hunt that day – it is grounds for immediate forfeiture of membership.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: I agree to join/renew on these terms and understand that rule violation may result in membership forfeiture without a refund.
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