This is my 2nd year hunting with Tad and I am seriously considering coming back for a 3rd to chase a 150+ 3-year old I saw within 40 yards for 3 hours on one sit that will be a monster next year. There were numerous big-bodied dear that were killable (broadside presentation at 100 yards or closer) that I saw on almost every sit. I ended up taking out a 4 1/2 year old “management” buck that is every bit a trophy to me on our last morning sit. We just don’t get to see them get that old where I hunt back home. I owe it to Tad to leave a detailed review here. But if you’re short on time - Book a hunt with Tad and you will have ZERO regrets about your decision. For those with more time, read on.
Accommodations: There are flat out horror stories of other outfitter camps I’ve heard about and experienced personally. Tad’s operation is top notch. I was a single hunter and I had my own private bedroom and bathroom all to myself. Guests stay in cabins that have 4 bedrooms and each bedroom has it’s own bathroom. The cabins themselves are newly constructed within the last couple years and all the creature comforts are taken care of. Each cabin has plenty of room for gear, washer/dryer, full fridge, big screen tv, WiFi, etc. All utilities, plumbing, HVAC, etc. were great. You don’t think about these details when you book a hunt, but they make all the difference after a hard all day sit, or if the weather isn’t cooperating and movement is slow. The best detail of all is the guest cabins are separated from the “main” cabin, where all food/scents are prepared. So your gear is completely separated for all you scent-obsessed hunters like me.
Food: Tina makes some of the best, hearty meals you could ask for. We had steak, chicken, lasagna, with desserts and fixins. When you book a southern hunt, you expect good down-home, rib-sticking meals. Tina delivers in spades. There was always plenty of food left over and if anyone went hungry it was their own fault. I was in the stand all day, every day expect for one, when the wind shifted. When we came in there was a full breakfast spread, complete with French toast, bacon, eggs, biscuits/gravy, etc. Tina also made bag lunches for those that did all-day sits. Tina herself is also a gem. She’s so warm and hospitable. A true asset for Tad’s operation.
Camp: Tad has access to thousands of acres of prime land to hunt (more on that below). But he only takes 10 hunters in camp at a time. There was no crowding and the size was right for the guides. You truly feel like you get individual attention and you’re not just a number. Almost all hunters in camp are repeat clients, and those that are new typically have been on a waiting list for multiple years.
Hunting: The hunting is fantastic. Tad has hundreds of prime stand locations on thousands of acres to choose from. We moved around a lot for the weather/wind conditions and in a lot of situations, we were the first hunters in those sets this year. Important to note, Tad has whole farms that are dedicated to bow only hunts, and those that are set up for rifle hunters. So some of the farms we went to hadn’t had a hunter on it all year. Tad can do this because he takes 10 hunters at a time even though he could comfortably accommodate more than double that for each hunt. We had a bad rain storm blow in on one day. Tad was able to give all hunters an option to sit in an established ground blind if we wanted to. Important to me (and for anyone hunting with a son or loved one), each and every ladder and lock-on has a hunter safety line and harnesses are required.
Tad, Barry, and Larry (the guides) are all great and knowledgeable of the area, farms, and deer that are roaming around on each. In every location I sat in Tad was able to point out what’s been seen there (though no guarantee during the rut) and the route the deer typically take. He was pretty spot on. If you chose, once you shoot, you don’t really have to do the hard work of dragging, loading, hanging, skinning, gutting, quartering, etc. if you don’t want to. The guides are happy to help do all of this. Shout out to Larry for the taking the time to show me a couple pointers on my deer while I was skinning it out. Tad and his guides truly want hunters to shoot big mature deer. They work their tails off positioning clients for success. I’m not sure you can say that for all outfitters out there. Getting clients on deer is something that you can tell weighs heavily on Tad. That effort doesn’t go unnoticed and the results speak for themselves.
Hunting is hunting. You’re fair chasing here. No high fence operations. So your experience will vary from other hunters. In most of my sits I saw numerous 2-3 year old bucks, plenty of does, coyotes, bobcats, turkey’s, hawks, etc. I had a chance at a brute 8 point but wasn’t quick enough on the trigger and I passed on shooters that I didn’t want. What is evident is the hard work and care put in to each set up. There are numerous food plots and stands set up perfectly in bottoms, draws, pinch points, etc. This is prime western KY hunting at its finest.
If you’re looking for an opportunity at a true KY giant, Tad Ladd has to be one of the best around. Most hunters in camp are like-minded and are looking for a true trophy. Tad understands what hunters (who are shelling out thousands of dollars to hunt) are looking for and expect. Each and every facet of the operation is top-notch.
Thanks Dave, we do our level best to ensure our guests are safe, comfortable and successful.
Weather was cool, though one afternoon got into the high 50s/low 60s. Storm also blew in half way through. Last day was snowy and frigid, perfect.