First Hunt of the New Season


I finally joined Wilderness Unlimited. It was years in the doing, but not because of the cost (it’s really a rather good deal). It was the bad experiences reported by a hunter here or there, and just not wanting to be a “clubber,” feeling like a traitor to my brothers-in-arms left behind at the public ponds and woods.

But that solidarity got tougher and tougher over the past few years. Sky-busting at the refuges. People blowing goose calls in the middle of the night. Waking up at 2am to go stand in line. That awful ugly gambling and grumbling called The Waterfowl Draw, and its even worse alternative, The Sweatline.

Of course at least the public refuges had ducks and geese (when they bothered to put in enough water and some feed greens). I’d never even seen a deer in the taxpayers’ forests I’ve hunted.

So I finally did it. I joined the club.

And now I think the naysayers might be members who want to keep a good thing secret, or just people who thought their membership entitled them to a big buck without any effort. I enjoyed my first Wilderness Unlimited experience. Even before my boot hit their dirt.

I don’t deer hunt much, but waterfowl season is still a ways off, and so when I noticed it was archery season in the A-zone, I thought, why not try out this week-old WU membership?

So I flipped through the big binder of properties, chose a place in Santa Barbara (about three hours away), and called. No DFG forms to fill out and mail in. No one-in-a-thousand odds of being drawn. No waiting to hear, no wondering if I’d be going hunting or not. I just called. And got a reservation. Snap.

The property was beautiful. The campsite was dotted with big shady oaks. I hunted for two days and never saw a buck. But I know they’re in there; I saw several does with fawns. The best part was, I was hunting when and where I wanted to. No one had to pick my name out of a bucket. I didn’t need any points.

I’m looking forward to waterfowl season now more than ever. I’m flipping through the binder, making plans, easing into the daydreams.


~ by SpeakingZenaphorically on August 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “First Hunt of the New Season”

  1. Great Post…had heard about Wilderness Unlimited. Been “sitting on the fennce” to speak. Santa Barbara area is indeed a beautiful area with ideal weather.

    Thanks for the information..

  2. hello niel welcome to w.u. i am looking forward to hunt with you and your son

    see ya on the goose field.

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