Frequently Asked Questions
Hunting Questions and Answers:
Why hunt on a preserve?
Here are just a few reasons preserve hunts are a great way to hunt:
- Time. Most free range hunts require years of applying for a tag and also generally require more than a week to even have the OPPORTUNITY to harvest ANY animal. The majority of free range trophy hunters will go home empty handed and end up eating their tag.
- Animal Quality. Your odds of winning the lottery are FAR BETTER than harvesting a trophy quality (bull > 330, buck > 180, stag > 300) on a free range hunt.
- Opportunity. The majority of individuals dont have easy access to ANY form of whitetail or elk hunts locally. The only free range Red Deer hunts are in New Zealand; way beyond the realm of most individuals.
- There are no requirements for a license or permit. We can accommodate hunts from September thru January.
- The majority of trophy class hunters realize the kill is not the thrill. We love the hunt and just the opportunity to SEE trophy animals. Preserve hunting at Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch allows one to experience the thrill of the hunt, as real as it gets, and also the ability to see trophy animals of multiple species. Then, the ultimate bonus is actually having, the opportunity to harvest a trophy!
- Healthy animals. Our herd is closely monitored for sickness or disease. All harvested animals are CWD tested. The ranch has never had a positive result for CWD or other disease.
- Preserve hunting is a great way to introduce new and/or young hunters to the sport. They will have far more sightings and harvest opportunities than in a free range setting. The preserve offers a safer and more controlled environment for inexperienced hunters that they will cherish for a lifetime.
- Preserve hunting may be the only alternative for hunters with disabilities to harvest a trophy quality animal.
Is preserve hunting too easy?
Some preserves are easier than others. At Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch, we dont over stock animals just so we can push as many hunters as possible through our ranch. Our hunts are challenging and our guides can adapt their plan based on your ability and desired outcome of the hunt. The vast majority of our animals have been living within our ranch their entire lives. They know every square inch of the ranch and use it to their advantage. As a matter of fact, we have trophy whitetail bucks that we may only see once or twice a year if were lucky!
Isnt preserve hunting more expensive than free range hunting?
Generally NO, especially when comparing guided free range versus guided preserve hunts. When you add up all the incidentals, guided free range hunts can be significantly more costly (per antler inch). When you factor in the extra time commitment, licensing requirements (years of waiting), and animal quality/size, preserve hunting is really an attractive and cost effective answer to getting a trophy for your wall.
Why Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch, LLC versus another preserve?
- Animals!!! We pride ourselves on the size and quality of our animals. We have been told in the past that our animals are noticeably larger (for a given age) than elsewhere. Our feeding program is tailored for the health of our herd. They probably eat better than most domestic livestock!
- We do not overstock or stock animals prior to hunts. The majority of our animals were born on the preserve or have been there for at least 2-3 years prior to being hunted. Our goal is to let our herd be as naturally (hands off) raised as possible so your hunt is as real as it gets!
- Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch is NOT a spa type hunt. We dont offer fancy accommodations or have snooty, know-it-all guides. We offer rustic, down-to-earth hunting experiences that are as real as it gets!
- Red Stag. There are only a handful of preserves in the country that offer Red Stag hunts. Once you see and hear these magnificent animals, youll be hooked. A lot of our guests that have previously booked elk hunts, will return for Red Stag the next year after seeing these animals up close.
Are hunts at Hemlock Hills guaranteed?
We guarantee an opportunity at a shot at the animal of your choice, within your class. Our guides will give 110% to get you the animal you desire. However, we have no control over your ability to harvest the animal. Since we do not pre-stock and over-stock our ranch, hunts can be more challenging than at other ranches. Our hunts are as real as it gets! We have never had a hunter not harvest the animal they desired.
Can you accommodate hunters with disabilities?
ABSOLUTELY! We welcome any/all hunters with disabilities. Let us know your specific needs and situation. We will make every attempt to provide a hunting experience that can accommodate a hunter with most any disability.
What weapon will I be allowed to use?
We do not limit or restrict the choice of your weapon. But, you will be perusing large game animals and as an ethical hunter should choose your weapon with the idea of making the best, and most humane shot possible. We do require that you are proficient in whatever your final choice of weapon is. We guarantee a shot opportunity at your class/type of animal. If you wound an animal you will still be responsible for payment. We recommend bring a back-up weapon. Our hunts can be challenging. Many an expert bow hunter has given up and ended up harvesting their trophy using their back-up rifle.
What will my hunt be like at Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch?
Guest generally arrive the afternoon or evening prior to the day of your scheduled hunt. You can unwind and relax that evening at the lodge. Get to bed early! You will need your energy for your hunt. We will meet for breakfast between 4:00-4:30 AM. Be hungry and prepared to eat a warm and hearty home cooked meal. We will go over your and our expectations and strategize for the days hunt. You will be on stand and ready to hunt before first light. Depending on how you have chosen to hunt, we would typically stay put at the initial stand location until lunch. At lunch time, we can take a break and get something to eat (only if you want) or just move to another location if we arent seeing the type/size of animals you are looking for. After lunch we may try a different tactic or set-up in a new location for the afternoon-evening period. If by nightfall you havent harvested your trophy, we will break for the night. You are on your own for dinner. We can offer many recommendations depending on what you are in the mood for. If you havent harvested yet, we would repeat for the next day. Perhaps we may get a bit more aggressive in our tactics if need be. After a harvest, your guide will determine the recovery strategy based on your shot. Hopefully, recovery will be quick and easy. If a bad shot is made, we may need additional help and may have to wait until morning until a recovery attempt is made. We then celebrate, field dress your animal, get the animal trailered, take pictures of and score your trophy, and get it to the processor as quickly as possible.
How many hunters can hunt in my party? What is the guide-to-hunter ratio?
There can/may be up to a maximum of 4 hunters at a given time or in your hunting party. We will provide the number of guides needed to best accommodate your given group of hunters and their specific needs and type of hunt. Generally there would be no more than 2 hunters per guide. However, all bow hunters will hunt with a guide; no exceptions. If you would prefer to hunt without a guide or have a semi-guided hunt we will consider accommodating you based on your specific situation and request.
How do I book a hunt?
The first step would be to contact us to discuss what would be available and let us know what you are looking for. Once that has been determined we will mail out a contract, waiver form, and hunt questionaire for you to fill out, sign, and return along with the required deposit and the date(s) of your hunt. It’s as simple as that. Once all information and the deposit is received in our home office, we will begin planning your hunt. Date changes can be made as long as another party has not already booked your requested dates. NOTE: hunt dates and animals are subject to prior sale and NOT guaranteed until a signed contract and deposit is received.
What should I bring for my hunt?
We recommend bringing all the essentials and equipment that you would use on any other hunting trip. Here is a list of the items we feel are mandatory:
- Weapon of choice (with ammunition or arrows/broadheads).
- Back-up weapon of choice (with ammunition or arrows/broadheads).
- Hunting clothing. There are no requirements; whatever you are comfortable hunting with. We strongly recommend camo from head-to-toe, scent control is preferable. Bring extra clothing if weather is cold and also rain gear. Boots should be warm and comfortable. If there are multiple hunters in your group, we require either an orange vest or cap. Plan on having gloves and hand warmers if weather dictates. Mornings can be quite cool, even in the fall.
- Scent control sprays, shampoos, soaps, etc.
- Approved safety strap/harness.
- Snacks? If necessary and if you want, we will stay on stand from sun up to sun down. You may want to have some small (quiet) snacks and/or bottled water to get you through the day.
Can I bring a non-hunting guest?
Absolutely! We would encourage guests such as children or spouses who are not hunting. We can have them sit near you or can set them up in their own stand just to observe all the trophy animals; make sure they bring their camera! Non-hunting guests are charged $150 per night to cover the lodging and meal plan.
What if I miss an animal?
We have fulfilled our guarantee to give you the opportunity to harvest the animal of your choice/class. Our guides will continue to work with you that day to give you an additional opportunity. If you have not harvested an animal that day, and desire to continue hunting, you will be responsible for any additional days guide fee ($100/day) and lodging/meal plan ($150/day). If you do not wish to continue your hunt, the deposit would be forfeited.
What if I wound an animal?
We have fulfilled our contractual obligation and you will be charged the amount of the class of that animal based on the guides estimate of SCI score or your contracted class of animal, whichever is GREATER. We will make every possible effort to recover your animal. You must take great care to get the best killing shot possible. Do not take shots at multiple animals because you think you missed the first time. If you wound or kill multiple animals, even if it was an accident, you will be responsible for payment of both animals.
Is complete processing or taxidermy included in my price?
No. Field dressing, basic processing, and caping is included. We have a meat processors and taxidermists we work closely with who can offer you great service at a great price. If you do not desire to keep your meat, only the cape, Hemlock Hills will pay for the processing and donate the meat to a family in need or use it for future ranch events.
Elk/Venison Meat Products Questions and Answers:
Why Elk and/or Red Deer Venison Meat?
Elk and Red Deer Venison is a low calorie, low fat, low cholesterol meat that is also high in protein and very healthy alternative for you and your family. Elk and Venison meat has shown to be much healthier than Pork, Chicken, or Beef. Elk and Venison are probably the most tasteful red meats you can buy but don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself!
Why Elk and/or Red Deer Venison Meat from Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch?
At HHTR we naturally raise our animals. We never use antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers or any other ‘un-natural’ product at our ranch.
Our Elk and Red Deer are raised locally at our ranch in North Central Wisconsin. Unlike most other elk/deer meat providers you will come across on the internet, we are NOT a processor or meat plant that purchases animals to resell. We raise deer and elk and contract with a local (USDA inspected) processor to process OUR animals.
Is shipping included? What are the costs and why are they not displayed?
Shipping and handling are not included in the price of the product. We personally process each order and determine the best and most cost effective way to get your product to you. It makes no sense to purchase the highest quality meat from us and then skimp and cut corners on the shipping. We want your products to arrive to you as fresh and safe as possible.
Is it legal to purchase venison/elk products over the internet?
This site and Hemlock Hills Trophy Ranch is not offering to sell any product in a legal jurisdiction where the sale of such a product is not lawful. None of our products are intended for sale in areas where local restrictions prohibit the purchase or possession of such products. Be advised that when you purchase products from HHTR, you are buying products from Wisconsin where farm raised elk and venison sales are legal. You, the customer, are responsible for adhering to your own state and local regulations as they pertain to the purchase and possession of farm raised elk and/or venison.