01/13/2014Eagle Lakes Ranch and Lodge
I'd like to preface this post by saying other customers I met during my stay were very happy with their experience. Most of them went duck hunting and caught their limit of birds with excellent guides.My experience was very different. My 12 year old son studied extremely hard to get his hunters safety course in so that he would be able to hunt with me. To celebrate my wife and I booked a planted pheasant hunting session for Chase and our German Short Hair. It's very difficult for me to get time off from work and with my boy, so you can imagine how excited we were.When we arrived at the Lodge there was immediate confusion about our reservation, but we got through that quickly and had dinner. The lodge offers one option for every guest. Frankly, for what is advertised as gourmet food was about what you'd get at a Denny's. If you like that, then you are in for a treat.We were informed that our wake up call was for 5am, which seemed odd to me, but I rolled with it. In the AM, we awoke at 5 and had breakfast with the rest of the hunters. After everyone was assigned a guide, we were informed that our hunt was at 9am and they made a mistake. We rolled with the news and went back to our room and waited. At 9am we came to the lobby and met Mike, the owner, and our guide. The let us know we'd be heading out to a place where they were pretty lucky with wild quail. I asked about the planted birds we signed up for. Mike said he'd make a call on the way there, and informed me at the hunting spot that we were out of luck. Again, I rolled with it and tried to make the best of the situation.After trudging around his secret plot of land for 3 hours and not seeing one bird (quail or pheasant) I was pretty upset. To top it off, our 'expert' guide, had never hunted the plot of land we were dropped in at and didn't really care for hunting pheasant. Not the expert we felt we were signing up for. However, the guide felt terrible and tried to take us to one of his spots that was also a bust. After trudging around on what I thought was going to be a planted hunt for hours and not firing a single shot I was extremely mad.When I arrived back at the lodge I was greeted by Mike and he asked my how the hunt was. My initial reaction was to walk by without saying anything, but Mike took offense to that so I let him have it. I'm normally extremely calm, but I lost it. I basically said that I ordered a planted hunt, they made a mistake and his response made me totally lose it. He said, "We don't make mistakes." There were several from the wake up call, the the quail hunting instead of pheasant, to NO planted birds. His attitude toward providing a service was more like, thanks for your money, now F*&^ off. My recommendation if you want to do a planted bird hunt is go somewhere they know what the heck they are doing and have some sense of what providing customer service is. This lodge accommodations are not nice enough to justify what they charge and you can eat better by scraping up your own road kill.