Whitetail Deer Hunting
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Words can’t describe the awesome 6 days I had the last week of 2021 bow season. I’ve always had a trip like this on my bucket list of things to do in life and it did not disappoint. From my great guide I had Zach who everyday gave me a chance for a buck of a lifetime. Which I did on the final morning. Gary was right when he said at orientation to stay persistent and to be ready for that 10 second moment. The great food,staff,and cabins. I can’t say enough great things about my stay.I highly recommend this place.I only hope I have a chance to return again. November 2021
“I have hunted with Harpole’s every year since 2016, most years booking a hunt for both Deer and Turkey. Understanding I hunt solely with a longbow, most years have led to opportunities for both Deer and Turkey. Deer hunts have always been exciting, having opportunities to observe shooter deer chasing, fighting and bedding within 40 yds. 2021 was another first, I observed a 10 point and an 8 point in a stand off with two does close by resulting in an aggressive snort/wheeze (23 yds). I normally climb into the stand prior to first light and do not come down until after dark. Matt has always gone the extra mile to ensure good stand placement through advanced scouting. Often while in the stand I would text Matt describing a deer, only to Matt send a trail cam picture back to me of the actual deer! Fun stuff. Following the hunt each day is a great time of telling and listening to stories while eating dinner in a family style environment (meals are exceptional). Harpole’s staff have almost turned into family members! My time spent in the woods at Harpole’s continue to be cherished highly!” Gary Bird Inman, SC October 2021
Like many people I have talked myself out of using an outfitter over the years because I thought I would leave disappointed and feeling like I had wasted time and money. Well... with much encouragement from my wife we decided to go to Harpoles Heartland Lodge in early November 2020. We are both in the medical field and were WAY over due for a vacation thanks to COVID. I was to hunt for 6 days while she rested and enjoyed being away from the hospital. To say Harpoles was amazing is an understatement! My wife and I were made welcome by the staff and within a short time we all knew each other’s names and felt like friends. The accommodations were fantastic. Clean and cozy with everything you would want for a comfortable stay. Each meal served was excellent and absolutely more than enough. Even the lunch sent with me to the field was delicious and plentiful. All of these things are why we will be returning soon! I will not be concerned that I may be wasting my money.! As far my time ... it was absolutely perfect! It rarely happens that you are in the right place at the right time but when it does WOW.! The evening we arrived I was introduced to my guide Zach. After orientation he asked my preference of stand type. My reply was... put me in a place that you would go if you were hunting in the morning. Zach did just that. Now I have hunted for 40+yrs and have taken some very nice bucks but only two times now have I had the “Perfect Morning “. After getting settled in a lock on and daylight started to break a very nice 8pt chased a mature doe right by me. Soon after the woods were alive with deer. Some does but mostly young bucks with good potential. For a short time things got dead still, then I hear movement with deep guttural grunts. Yep.. a mature buck with a great rack. The buck did everything you could possibly want, he grunted, trashed a large bush, snort wheezed at another buck and then presented a broadside 20 yard shot! I look at my watch and it’s 0820 on day 1 and I have 150” buck on the ground!!! Doesn’t get much better than that right?! Wrong... the rest of our stay was the most relaxing vacation my wife and I ever had. The proprietor Gary Harpole loaned me his personal shotgun and we hunted quail and pheasant! My guide Rod was a real joy to hunt with. He had fantastic dogs that worked well together. I hunted deer also the rest of the week because I have dreamed of Pike County since childhood. I saw lots of deer and other wildlife and even saw a buck bigger than the one I took. He better look out in 2021. Thanks to Gary, Zach and all our new friends at Harpoles Heartland Lodge . We will be back!! Harvey - November 2020
Our experience at the Lodge Exceeded our expectations. The food and staff were top notch. Our guide was Matt, his professionalism and patience was appreciated! He has restored my faith in Outfitters. My son and I are looking forward to another whitetail hunt with Heartland Lodge. We will be talking about this deer hunt for a long time. Thanks Gary and Matt! Bill Hasse - December, 2020
Harpole’s truly is “God’s Playground.” From the beautiful scenery and landscape, to the healthy, abundance of wildlife diversity. The staff is beyond welcoming and friendly. Always treating you like family and aiming to please. Guides are “TOP NOTCH”, knowledgeable, courteous and work their tails off to put you on your hunt of a lifetime. From the staff to the fellow hunters from all over the country, Harpole’s is my new favorite place on earth. Jim Bauer Pittsburg PA Whitetail Hunt Nov 1-6, 2020
I've been before on an upland hunt but this was my first deer hunt. My experience was great and I can't say enough about Matt. He is a wonderful asset to your business. The girls working in the lodges are the best and always smile and have encouraging words. Gary is Blessed to have such a great crew! John Long, November 2020.
The experience at Heartland was outstanding! Zach is a great guide--friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, respectful, and efficient/prompt. I very much appreciate the conspicuous God loving decorations and plaques. "Deer camp" is sometimes crude (some in our hunting party, for sure!), but it is refreshing to see God honored in the way you outfit and operate your business. Zach is a living testimony of your Christ centered world view. Thank you!!
Matt Brunet is an awesome guide! I actually think of him as a friend, not just a guide. Matt has taught me so much in the past five year about hunting whitetail in Illinois and is a huge reason why I keep coming back. Harpole's Heartland Lodge has become a regular stop on my vacation tour list every year. Everyone at the lodge loves what they do and make sure you have everything you need when you stay with them.
Tim McGuire–Fairbury, IL
This was my 4th time visiting Heartland for the doe reduction season. Each time exceeds my expectations. Matt has been my guide each trip and continues to go above and beyond to make this a great experience. He has put me on deer each year. Weather was not perfect and I appreciate his honesty on deer movement. He still put me on deer. I was fortunate to have two does. Also, want to acknowledge the outstanding job that Stephanie does with check in and out. More than that, always there to help through my stay. Great job! See you in 2020.
Kyle Sahs–Homer Glen, IL
It's become a tradition of mine to spend my Thanksgiving week hunting with Heartland Lodge. What started as a quick getaway to deer hunt has turned into something much bigger. Every year I come down and it's not just a deer hunting trip to me, it's a deer hunting trip with my Pike County family. I look forward to seeing everyone and catching up with how they have been. From walking in and seeing Melissa greet me to the safety meetings and camp talk. It's become a part of my life. Heartland Lodge isn't just deer hunting to me it's my home away from home. And one of these days maybe I'll decide to shoot a buck while I'm there!
Gary runs a great place. You can't control the weather or whitetail deer but all the areas in their control are well planned and attention to detail is top notch. Would definitely recommend! Thanks to all!
Audry & Gary Elwyn
Amazing staff and food. Hunting was great as well. Third time here and my dads fifth time. We love it! Definitely coming back in the future. Couldn't ask for better. Thank you!
Robert Parrott–Chesterfield, MI
I spent a solid month researching and settled on Harpole's for our group and wasn't sorry that I did so. From the moment we arrived and were greeted in the office to the moment we left, everything was top notch and the staff from top to bottom is friendly/professional. Zach Jumps is a pros-pro and will do everything in his power to put you on a quality animal. I was fortunate to harvest a buck of a lifetime but myself and others in my group had decided to return next year before I harvested my buck on day four.
Mason Beck–Nazareth, PA
Zach Jumps was amazing and made our experience with Heartland great. The food and staff far exceeded expectations.
Rusty Coyle–Nashotah, WI
The staff at Heartland Lodge are fantastic, detailed, and caring. I came as a solo hunter but left as close friends of my guide and other whitetail hunters. The hunting was great until an unusual storm front dropped 15 inches of fresh snow. Even with the snow, we hunted hard and in the 3 1/2 days of hunting I had a shooter buck out of range and a total deer count of 9 bucks and 23 does. Will definitely be back for another hunt!
Third time here and it is a very well ran business. Top notch guides, service, and accommodations.
This was my fifth trip and most successful hunting trip, but even if I didn't get my big buck, I would come to Heartland Lodge. Great friends make it a great experience. I have already booked for next year.
Leslie Thomas–Dubach, LA
Love our experience at Heartland Lodge. As first timers, it has exceeded our expectations. The food, staff, the whitetails, and the kids enjoying the snow. Zach was a great guide! He is very knowledgeable and helpful! I got a 10 point on my last day. He fixed me up a great spot in a ground blind with great deer action during my hunts. Thanks so much!
Fred Ode–Columbia Station, OH
The accommodations were superb! Much better than anticipated. Staff were over the top friendly and capable. You should take great pride in the culture you have built. Most importantly, the hunting set up was obviously one of the best-if not the best for whitetail hunting. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, capable, and professional--we will ask for him next time.
Randy Solar–Leechburg, PA
I have hunted at numerous outfitters. Most are high production, get in and get out, some try to be good outfitters. Heartland makes you feel welcome and the guide works hard at knowing what animals are in the area and does his best to put you in the right spot. Most outfitters put you in a spot and let you set there not knowing what is there, just going for the pot luck. Not Zach--He is there to get you a quality animal and as a bonus, the rest of the staff want to make sure you are happy as well. Matt is very serious about his guides, making sure they are doing their job. It's not easy keeping quality people. Hats off to Matt.
This is our third time hunting - Zach finally landed us a big one! Regardless of getting a buck, its ALWAYS an exciting experience. The guides are just as excited about getting you a deer as you are. They all work their tails off to give you the best experience and they always go above and beyond. We cannot wait to book our next hunt!
I had a wonderful time - met a lot of interesting and fun people. All of the staff were fantastic. My guide couldn't have been a better match.
It was another great experience with the weather being warm at first, everything was still good. The food and service is unbelievable. Zach did an awesome job! Mat was very encouraging as always. Would recommend this place to anyone, its awesome. Planning on returning next year.
Keith Sahs–Lemont, IL
I always love and enjoy my time at Heartland! From the first step in the door the entire staff is friendly, accommodating, and treats you like they've known you for years!! It may be a little time before my next booking but I'll always be back! Zach and Matt are awesome guides!
Kyle Sahs–Homer Glen, IL
60 degree weather in November does not make for ideal whitetail hunting conditions. However, my guide Matt and the other guide Zach did their best to make for an ideal hunting camp. I would love to leave a review saying I shot a buck of a lifetime, but that wasn't the case. I did, however, have a hunt of a lifetime in what may be the last deer hunt ever for my 79 year old Grandfather. The staff and Matt went above and beyond to make this a hunt of a lifetime. God willing, my Grandfather is already talking about coming back next year. Thank you!
I travel a lot in my business. I stay in a lot of difference resorts for both business and pleasure. Heartland lodge is one of my favorite places to visit time and again. The only way I can explain it is that it is just like home away from home. I just finished a hunt in November and have already booked next year. I can't wait to see everyone again next year.
This was my second Muzzleloader hunt at Heartland. Had a great time and booked to return next year!
Dales Somers–Portage, MI
Awesome hunt, great lodge, people are great, enjoyed every part of this! Matt is a great guide--he looks out for people's needs and wants!
Kyle Sahs–Homer Glen, IL
I first came to the lodge back in 2010. I was just let go from my job and had second thoughts of coming. That week I had hunted with Matt and it changed my life forever. The professionalism and courtesy of staff makes you feel like family. I was in a very sad place and had the time of my life at Heartland. I've hunted w/Matt every year but once since then. I've dealt with cold, rain, heat, misses, lack of deer or ducks, anything you can think of, but I keep coming back. Thank you for always having such a wonderful setup that I can't stay away from. I've yet to harvest an animal, but I've always enjoyed my time here. Maybe next year is the year!
Bryan Craven–Montgomery, AZ
Gary--We had a great time! The lodge was outstanding! The food was just like Momma's! And, the time with good friends was invaluable. Thanks for creating a back drop for all of the these things--May the Lord continue to bless Heartland and those that work so hard to make it the best hunting destination in the country!