Membership Problems.....

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by freedomhound, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. freedomhound

    freedomhound Well-Known Member

    I’d like to get some ideas….. Our deer camp in south central Arkansas is having an issue with turning away members. Currently we have 2,125 acres and 38 members. This problem has come up every year when the children of current members just automatically become voting members. So this year we voted to come up with a committee to find a solution. So I’m very interested in any suggestions anyone might have as simple or as complicated as they might be. Don’t get me wrong I’m all about kids getting into the camp but we’ve gotten tooooooo crowded…..
    Do your camps have a “per acre” membership number?
    Do your camps limit the number of stands someone can have or limit the distance between stands?
    How long are your waiting lists?
    Generally how do you handle membership issues like this one?

  2. Matthew.loftis

    Matthew.loftis Well-Known Member

    We have just enough members to cover the leases. We take more but we are selective. 4 stands per person a minimum of 300yds away from other hunter's stands. Everyone is voted in and must make it through a 1 year non-voting conditional membership.

  3. pruitt76

    pruitt76 Well-Known Member

    We currently have 11 paying members and about 8 children and spouses hunting on 1425 acres. We try to keep the number of members as low as possible as long as we can afford the lease fees. On our lease if a child is over the age of 18 and out of school, the child has to become a paying member. As long as he or she is still in school they can continue to hunt on their parents membership.

    Everyone basically has one "area" on our lease. Anything left over is fair game. I think we have a 200 yds or line of sight rule as far as stands go. We, luckily, have a good group of guys and haven't had any real problems on our place.
  4. deltabowhunter

    deltabowhunter Well-Known Member

    We set a rule that if once a kid was out of school they had to become a member instead of hunting off their dad's membership. We ended up ammending that to say "provided there was an opening." However, our club is mostly folks from one family and that rule never gets followed by them just like the rest of the rules.
  5. Nuge Fan

    Nuge Fan Well-Known Member

    like pruitt76, in our camp you can hunt on your parent's membership as long as you are in school AND living at home. If not you have to pay to be a member. Guest fees are $35 opening week of Rifle and $25 a day for the rest of the season. Everyone that isn't a paying member or child in school living at home has to pay a guest fee.
  6. 4hunting

    4hunting Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have had a problem that has been in the making for a while for it to have gotten to this point. Math on this says there is someone hunting on every 56 acres and that is just members and limited to just a single stand, throw in non-member guest that may double or more that number & muliple stands per members, GEEZ, man that is crowded!

    You right, either need to cut back on some folks or find some more land cause the way it appears you could have a real safety issue that needs to be addressed.
  7. x2 on that.
  8. Tony Harris

    Tony Harris Super Moderator<br>2012-13 Deer Hunting Contest Wi Staff Member

    Here is simple way to solve your problem and have a space in between. Get a topo of your lease. If you have a 300 yard radius between stands find or make something to that scale in a circle shape. Start in one corner of your lease and cover, without over lapping, every inch of space on the lease. When you are done count the circles you have drawn and divide it by the number of members. You will have the number of stand allowed per member based on land. Present this to your membership and let decide who stays and who goes, by atrition of course. The little spaces in between are buffers and some folks will overlap their stands to section off an area so you will have more room. This will help everyone see how crowded it is unless something is done and give everyone an idea of how much room you really have.
  9. arkansas hilton

    arkansas hilton Well-Known Member

    we have 3700 acres with 14 members. children have to start paying or they are dropped from the parents membership after graduating college.
  10. Nuge Fan

    Nuge Fan Well-Known Member

    not many of the camps I've seen or been apart of in arkansas have had children capable of graduating college :smack: So they would never have to pay :fit:
  11. 16section mafia

    16section mafia Well-Known Member

    well at our camp if u live at home and are still in school u can hunt off ur dads membership,and hunt on ur dads stands or a uncle if he doesnt care,but the kid cannot put up a stand of his own until hes a member.After he grads he has a option of becoming a member or pay guest fees of 30$ a day!!! and we have officers elected also.....if a new prospect comes alon he cannot come in unless a member sponsors him in other words the member bouches for him...and u r responsible for him and making sure he doesnt hunt on anyones stands etc..:twocents:
  12. arbowhntr

    arbowhntr Well-Known Member

    Well at least your dues should be cheap! On our we have 11 members on 3000 acreas and were all friends. No real prob with stands.
  13. over 18 have to pay

    kids who are out of high school pay their own dues....stands are shared between members....I hunt from a climber so really not an issue for have ground blinds and 2-man stands for the kids
  14. Arkie_3_fan

    Arkie_3_fan Well-Known Member

    I've been in one hunting club where anyone out of high school had pay their own dues.
    Another club has close to 5,000 acres and around 45 dues paying members. Recently the 2 stands per member rule was voted in because a a select few members had stands all over the lease (As in 5' lean-up stands made from scraps used to just claim spots).
    As far as the children of members joining a lease, one club that I often associate with, has a rule where members' children go to the top of the waiting list. They also leased some additional land recently as well.
    Some of the clubs in this area have crazy waiting lists. The year before I joined the club that I'm in, I was considering joining another club just to the North because they were looking for members. A year later, they had a waiting list of 60+. Even some of the smaller clubs have lists of 20 - 30 wanting to join. Crazy!
  15. jasmith1101

    jasmith1101 Active Member

    My club has 1200 acres and only 4 members. Everyone has 1 claim stand that they get 1st right to hunt. All the other stands are "community" stands. Our dues are a little more than usual but well worth it for the amount of land available to hunt. Definatly sounds like you are over crowded with hunters. Good luck figuring out how to solve it.
  16. Levee Hunter

    Levee Hunter Well-Known Member

    I agree, too many folks in this lease.
  17. buckhorn

    buckhorn Well-Known Member

    Our lease has about 5600 acres and about 40 full paying members. Wives hunt on husbands membership. Kids hunt free until they are 16 and then they are half price. They are full price at the age of 18. Absolutely no guests ever!!!! Limited to 2 permanant stands per paying member but you can put up as many ladders and lock-ons as you want. If a paying member wants your alternate stand spot then you give it up. I can put up with a lot of things in a lease but
    overcrowding is something I just could not deal with. A single membership cost me about $451 last year so I was out about $675 for the lease I am in.
    Little pricey, yes but it is not crowded and when you look at it as a place I can escape to 365 days a year, it is worth it. It doesn't hurt that my wife loves hunting as much as I do.:thumb:
  18. sprtsmn001

    sprtsmn001 Well-Known Member

    Our club has around 5500 acres with 20 memberships and only 16 true members. Four members have an extra membership they bought and pay dues on each year. Once the kids turn 21 they have to get a membership, that is why some members bought extra memberships for their kids when they get older. We own our lodge which is a mandatory $4000 buy in. Our current dues are around $1200 per year. Even members kids have to be voted in. If even one memeber doesn't agree, they wont get voted. That means the kids have to get along with everyone. That keeps a lot of turmoil out of our camp. We each have one "main" stand but no limit on any other stand we put up. Since we are so stringent with our joing rules, we've hardly ever had an issue with stands being too close. If it does happen, the latter person is always ok with moving it. There's too much land to squabble about that. So I guess that means that for now if we have openings, it runs about $5200 for the first year then whatever dues are (which they do seem to increase due to timber companies raising cost) each year after. Oh, if someone leaves, they get their $4000 joining fee back. But we also have a nice lodge to stay in also.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  19. That is way to many people for that amount of land. How do you reduce ain't gonna be pretty.
    I have 1500 and only had 8 on it this year. I paid way more then I should have but I can't let go.
    I too am looking at options to keep it going with the lest amount of people.
    I have always said wives hunt on a family deal but I don't know if I can continue to do that.
    Children as son as been paying full dues since He graduated high school and he is 20. A college student so I pay his.
    It's tough to manage a piece of land for hunting and make everyone happy.
    I wish I could find a few that didn't mind paying more to have fewer people but that is hard to do......:smack:

    Good luck have a problem and like I said the way to solve it is not going to make some people happy.
  20. Nuge Fan

    Nuge Fan Well-Known Member

    we had to do the same thing with the 2 stands rule last year. We had a couple of guys who no lie had close to 200 stands if i had to guess. They got mad and said the rule was directed at them so they left the camp. Noone misses them :whistle: