Hi i just wanted to see if any of you guys know or heard anything about Golden Ram and Wilderness Unlimited. Are they over hunted? Is it worth the money? Which club is better? Maybe if any of you know of maybe another club that has biggame,upland,waterfowl that is in or around california???
I've hunted both, but wasn't a member of Golden Ram, only a guest. In my opinion, I saw a lot more game on Golden Ram than on WU. I dropped my WU membership because I thought it was overhunted and too difficult to get on properties. I've posted before about having trouble getting on some properties and finding out the caretaker was letting their buddies on every weekend. This was at a couple of ranches at WU including Cummings. I have heard that both of the caretakers in question were fired eventually, but by then I was too fed up and left. But I'm not bitter...
Wilderness Unlimited I believe is better. Was a member in 89-94 with my dad, but we dropped the membership when my sports got in the way of being able to use the ranches and now my wife and I have memberships and love it. My wife and I have killed came on every ranch we have hunted. I've learned with the wilderness unlimited ranches that if you want to make reservations on the last minute on a sunny weekend it could be difficult to get the ranch you want but if your willing to go anywhere it isn't a problem. There are tons of game on all the ranches but some ranches you have to be willing to hunt the harder to get too areas. I've enjoyed my membership so much that I actually increased my membership to 2 plus members that allows me to bring two none members big game hunting with me. None of the ranches are over hunted or shot out. They control the game take and the amount of people hunting on the ranch per given day very well. There are always a few bad apples but the they are everywhere. Some people consider a ranch not good huntign when they can't shoot one from the pickup but on nearly all the ranches if you get off the road there is plenty of game to be seen especially when you figure out the funnels and springs on the ranches. If you have any specific questions or want more info feel free to contact me. I am not a fan of Golden Ram becasue the allow the use of quads and dogs and to me that just isn't hunting.
I was a member of WU and now a member with GR. I believe this is like choosing a Ford Vs Chevy everyone will have there prefence. I have been very successful on GR. When i was a WU member we ha a hard time with getting on the ranches. I have never been denied a reservation with GR. My family and myself have had get success with GR. The past deer season we harvested 4 bucks ( one 4x4 and three 3x3s) The ranches have there share of road hunters. You can use quads on the roads and if you caught going off the roads you will be turned in to the owner and he will take action from there. The camps are nice and alot of great people. I don't know where people think we use dogs. There are a dog use on all big game ranches due to the cattle. I have never seen one dog in the hunting field. The ranches have game on them you just have to learn how to hunt each property. The past 5 years my family and I have killed 9 deer, 2 pigs and alot of ducks. We have not hunted the pig like Iwish i could. I more for the deer hunting. I do alot of walking and glassing. The past couple year the ranchs have produced a few B&C bucks. I took one in 2005 out of a covelo ranch that was a 5x5 26 1/2" wide he scored 158 SCI and 148 B&C. Good luck with your disission.
It's interesting how these two clubs are always being compared. I've never been on a WU property so I have no first hand knowledge. I have been a GR member for about 25 years, however. In fact, I believe both clubs eminated from the old American Sportsman's Club that went defunct in the early 1970s. One guy started the GR (Lou F.) and the other guys started the WU. The fact that they're both still around must mean that they can offer decent hunting properties that the "average" guy can afford. I also know that GR is way smaller than WU in membership and number of properties. My sons and I mainly hunt deer and pigs on GR properties now (we used to hunt ducks/pheasants too, but have since leased a blind).
As for quads and dogs, I'm confused by the "dog" reference. I'm sure you must mean using dogs to hunt for deer/pigs/bear, correct? I've never seen that in all my years with GR. And, I don't see any difference between a quad-riding road hunter and a jeep driving one. We hunt off the roads and get bucks, but have to admit I've shot a few driving back to camp too.
So, check them both out and decide for yourself. Good luck.
Maybe I have miss spoken but the last couple of years my neighbor who is a GR member has been training his dog to hunt pigs on the properties. Maybe GR has a few ranches that they allow this I am not sure. I've heard a million different things. But I think it is well put by ophir284. Both are doing well and have been around for over 25 years. GR does have a top notch Ranch in Covelo that they kill some primo bucks on. Fact is a deer hunt for 2 non -members was autioned off at the last COHA dinner for $4800 on the ranch. WU does have a ranch that borders the south side of the ranch and we also killed some good bucks this year. Attached is a picture of a pig I took from that ranch.
I have been a member of W.U. since i was a munchkin (My father was a member of American Sportsmans), and have also been a member of GR for 8 years now. I hunt both clubs at least 10 times each, every year for for every type of game they offer. I mainly joined G.R. because they have two of my favorite ranches in A-zone and B-zone.
While i have never been denied access to a GR property on opening and closing weekends on big game ranches there are a LOT of people on the ranches. during the archery and Rifle openings this past season i counted over 50 hunters on each ranch. There were people everywhere. And i'm not talkin just driving around. I spend more time on foot than in my truck. Though it was a lot of people, I was one of the few who got shots at hogs in archery season, and killed a buck on opener of B-zone rifle. They have a good number of game and you will probably see game, but you will see a lot of guys. No dogs are allowed on their properties and I have met my share of good and bad apples. All in all I like the club because i know the ranches and can get on whenever i want. Its just frustrating to see so many people. I have also done pretty well with waterfowel this season.
Wilderness Unlimited is run quite a bit differently. While it can be more difficult to get on the ranches when you want (There are drawings for openers of archery, rifle big game and turkey season, which you may or may not get on your prefered ranches), when you get on the ranches, there are far LESS people. They do a great job of managing their properties with members and quotas. I've never seen a property that is overhunted, but there are properties that have less game than others for natural causes (lack of year-round water/ resources) just like any other ranch. They also have far more properties and a lot of them hold a healthy number of game. This year alone i missed a great buck in B-zone and could have taken a great bear and a few hogs if i had not already filled my tags. W.U. is also far more family orientated. They regularly hold Jr. and women hunting events such as Youth outdoor camps and special hunts.
I could go on for a while about the pros and cons of each club, and if you want to send me a PM, i'd be happy to give you more info. But bottom line, to finally answer your question, for the money you pay to be a member, either club is worth the money if you put in the time to learn the ranches. Think about how much money an Average guided hunt costs for blacktail deer in Cali... the cost of that hunt alone exceeds a year long membership with either club that has access to a bunch of ranches for all california game, throughout the year.
I have another option for you depending on what your looking for, send me an email and I can give you the details. It can't compete with the size of the clubs mentioned above, but it has been around for nearly 35 years and is limited to less than 90 members (also a non-profit Club).
Why is it that GR and WU are both so secretive? It seems to me that if you are joining a club and putting out that much money (enough money to go on a guided trip and have an extremely high success rate), that the club could easily publish or let people know the success rate of hunters. I know they keep the records of how many members kill deer, hogs, etc., but they never say we have 33000 hunters and last year 1280 of them killed a deer so the success rate is X%. It seems like that would be a must for selling services like they offer. I agree that both will give you a higher chance of harvesting an animal than not. As for GR having too many people on it, I haven't had that experience. The ranches I was on were limited to a certain number of people each weekend just like WU. When I was a member of WU I did talk to a lot of people who seemed to magically get drawn for the top ranches every year and my friend and I didn't get drawn 6 years in a row. Maybe the people we talked to were B.S.-ing and didn't make on the ranches, but it did seem much harder to get on properties there than GR. Also, as I stated before, I saw a lot more game on GR than WU. It was probably just coincidence or the properties I happened to be on, but I sure walked my butt off for 6 years on various WU properties to be skunked on several of the years. Now I harvest an animal almost every year. Just my 2 cents.
boarhunter67 those are good questions and being part of a smaller Club (and having been part of the American Sportsman Club) I now know the answer to your first question regarding success rates. If a particular property is red hot and is advertised as such, large Clubs such as WU with alot of money at the ready will swoop in and try to take over the lease. Money talks, especially in this economy!
Everyone talks about how expensive it is to join a hunt club and I laugh when someone says I can go on three guided hunts. You can't even go on un-guided hunt out of state for the price that WU is. Many places you can't even get a duck blind for three months for the cost of a WU membership. I looked at the price this morning for my elk and deer tags in 2010 for Colorado and it's almost a $1000 for one 7 day hunt trip in tags alone. Tack on the butchering and your are higher than a WU membership cost and you haven't even got to and from your destination or ate. The unt clubs are very resonable and especially if you use them. If your going to go only hunting once or twice a year it would be stupid. But if you going to hunt 80 days out of the year like I do and you eat it every day like I do it more than pays for it self. I don't kill something every time I go but I am quite sucessfull. I even paid more than a normal membership the last two years to increase the quanity of pigs i can take.
One of my favorite old American Sportsman properties was 'My Ranch'...is that property still in the GR/WU mix? There used to be some absolute toads that came off of that place...
Keep it in the spot!
It's not part of WU.
Your right no one said anything about out of state hunts and sounds like you have a killer deal on guided pig hunts. Sucess rate is probably 10% for the Road Hunter which is probably more than 50% of the Big Game Memberships and closer to 50% for the non Road Hunters depending on the number of days you hunt. I've never experienced a year not killing at least 2 pigs or 2 deer as a WU member. Then again I have never experienced in my 20 years of big game hunting in California not filling both my deer tags on both private and public land DIY hunts. Everything is based on each individual hunter though. Percentages don't mean much to me. It's all about the time and dedication you put in. What type of equipment you use and the time you spend using it. Some people won't shoot more than 100 yards. Some wont shoot unless it's next to the road. Some wont shoot at moving targets. Some wont shoot at anything but wall hangers, so to look at percentages is rediculous. I challenged myself this year and bought 2 AO Deer tags. Filled them both. Yet the state percentage was maybe 12%. To the hunter that likes to hunt and will use the properties on WU or GR it is a good way to go. I enjoy WU and like all the special programs they do. I've worked a ton of the events they sponsor for the youth. My wife does stuff with the Women groups that WU has and she goes to the game clinics they put on. Good luck hunting to all. If you want to improved your success start your deer hunting in June with your spotting scope and camera. Gain confidence in an area and it will totally change your attitude when the season comes around.
That's about the truth of it.To the hunter that likes to hunt and will use the properties on WU or GR it is a good way to go.
Tonight at an Elk Foundation dinner in Sacramento they autioned of a hunt for two blacktails on the GR ranch in Covelo for $1400 unguided but access to all 20 + thousand acres.
I am a member of WU and live in Southern California. I am jealous of the members who live in Northern California because they have so many more ranches to choose from up there. GR doesn't appear to have any ranches south of the Bay area. WU is a much better choice for me because it does have several nice ranches within a 3-hour drive of my home in Ventura, and several more within a 5-hour drive (i.e., still south of the SF Bay). I don't mind driving ten hours once or twice a year to get to a premium ranch, but I also like to do short 1-2 day hunting trips closer to home. WU just added a 4,000 acre ranch about 10 miles from my home!
Although I'm new to hunting and not always successful (skunked on my A and D13 tags last year, but I got a nice pig) I've seen game on every WU ranch I've been on. But then I hunt on foot and from a mountain bike, so that gives me an edge over people who mostly stay in their vehicles. I also have enough flexibility at work to schedule a ranch during the week, so I always can can get on my first or second choice property when I want to hunt.
I enjoy the challenge of figuring out game habits and how to hunt a given ranch. Granted, being new to hunting big game, I have a lot to learn. I also favor WU's game management policies and family-oriented programs.
Different strokes for different folks. I think either club could be a great resource for hunters in this state. But some folks either won't abide by the rules, or want to be guaranteed a shot at a trophy from the comfort of their vehicle. Neither club will make them happy. I think that most people reading this thread should have a good idea of which club suites them best. I'll stick with WU and public land as long as I'm in So. Cal.
I to have been thinking of joining GR. What is the reservation process during deer season or to just hunt pigs?
~Hunting the West and beyond~
I sent GR an email when this thread started looking for information and prices. I never got a response.
Golden Rams Has a web site www.goldenramhunting.com
The reservation process for deer is you will recieve a flyer in the mail that has a return date on it. You fill out you 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of ranches you would like to hunt. If you don't get it in you can call for a reservation at a first come first serve basis. There are dates set for phone in reservations. Hope this helps.
This is the best thread on an old subject hands down. Very inteligent replies vs past threads. I have belonged to WU a few years ago and I did not harvest any big game but I did get some quail at the ranch near Teachappi. I did blow a nice opportunity at a small pig and a bear oh well thats hunting. If someone lives near the WU ranchs and has a lot of time its a good way to go. I am torn about rejoining or maybe one or two guided hunts a year aand by guided maybe just pigs and a cow elk. i agree its a good idea to get off the road and WU is not a canned hunt. One disadvantage over a club hunt if if your employer can't spare you to take a vacation)which happened to me) that cuts down on ones membership vaalue vs a guide can just give you a rain check but keeps the money for next year while he re-books. I have no first hand knowledge of GR.
again this is a much better thread then we have had in the past about private club hunting.
Just a question on deer hunting or pig hunting a ranch. When you "secure" a date on a ranch during a pig or deer hunt. Do you have the "whole" ranch to yourself during your hunt period or will numerous other hunting parties also be on the ranch during your same dates?
~Hunting the West and beyond~
i just signed up yesterday and did my app gor w.u jerry i was wondering someone else told me theres other fees involved when you go you have to pay a trespass fee or land owner fees or somethin is that true or are my dues i pay all the cost i have to pay
Has far has Calif gos you 9at least when I was a member ) pay any aditional fees to the land owner. There are WU ranchs in Oregon where you do pay an additional fee to hunt elk.
anybody ever hunt the wu properties in OR? Do they have alot? Only on the west side? Or on the east side too? There site is worthless...why are they so secretive?
I've been told I need a life...I tell them hunting is my life...they tell me thats what they mean
Their sales people should be current on info.
I've been told I need a life...I tell them hunting is my life...they tell me thats what they mean