Here’s what a few of our customers have had to say about us.
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Well, after a 4 hour delay last night in Baltimore, and over 14 hrs of airports, I am back at work and already missing Illinois. I want to thank you again for providing such an awesome experience for my family and me. Though they didn’t get a trophy this trip, I know that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I think my dad will tell his stalk hunt story until the day he dies. It was an amazing experience for him (and Eric too I think). As for myself, what more could I ask for? Trophy on the ground on day 1, hour 1. Must be some kind of record.
As far as your operation goes, kudos to you and everyone at IWC. You have a great group of people surrounding you there. Kyle was awesome and I hope that next year he is there to guide me again (hopefully with a bow this time). Slick and Eric, though not my personal guides, were also very accommodating and helpful. I hope you are able to keep everyone in tact there, because they truly make your place shine.
Tami and your aunt (forgot her name – sorry) were awesome. Food like that can help others forget that they didn’t shoot anything…seriously. And see if you can get that secret horse-raddish dip recipe from your aunt – stuff was kick ass. I plan on making Tami’s ice cream pie dessert thing at Thanksgiving…I’ll let you know how fast it disappears.
Your boy Hunter is hilarious and I don’t think he has ever met a stranger. It makes me happy to see kids get to grow up like he is – he is so much more adept than most kids his age are, which reflects on Tami and yourself. I want pictures when he turns that bow of his lethal.
I know I’m getting long winded now, but thanks again for everything. I’ll never forget it. I’ll be in touch.
PS, don’t be afraid to send pics of new kills – I have customers ready to jump.
Jason W. Mims
First I would like to thank Ryan and all his staff for all the hard work they do. This was my first time at IWC. I was very impressed from the start. The lodge and accomodations were great. The first two days it was windy and warm but i still saw deer. On the third day i killed the biggest buck i have ever seen in the wild. Ryans knowledge of hunting big deer is the best ive seen. From stand placement, wind direction, entering and exiting stands he leaves absolutely nothing undone and is always willing to assist you in any way he can. There is always more than enough from plenty of food, plenty of guides, plenty of stands, and most of all plenty of deer. If your looking to book a great hunt than i would highly recommend giving Ryan a call you wount be dissapointed. Once again thanks Ryan for making this a hunt i will never forget.
Jennifer and Jason Cross
Ryan and Tami
Thank you so much for making our Thanksgiving week a GREAT one once again. Although we didn’t get “the big one” for two year in a row(our own fault!!) we can’t help but want to come back. Your hospitality and welcoming spirits always make us feel right at home. Y’all have truly been blessed with an amazing family and we have enjoyed getting to know all of you these past two years. I think we might just have to come back next year (if i can convience Jason)…….especially if Super 8 is still around! LOL!
Jen and Jason Cross
This was my first trip to Illinois hunting deer. My brother-in-law has been going to Illinois Wildlife Connections for the last 3 years and telling me how wonderful it was. I can honestly say it was one of the best times I have ever had hunting. The Lodge is wonderful and the food is even better “PECAN PIE”. IWC’s has wonderful guides and great cooks. I gained 7lbs but still fit into a large IWC fleece. My brother-in-law and I saw a ton of great deer and I had the good fortune of harvesting a great buck. Ryan and Evan put me on a great stand that was packed with activity and I had a wonderful buck come past and he is now in my freezer. The best part about Ryan is he wants you to see big deer and make the necessary changes to do this. I have heard so many stories of going to a hunting outfitter and feeling like a person in a checkout line..they ring you up and say have a good day. This is so far from the mission at IWC and it showed the first day I was there. The experience combined with the knowledge of IWC makes a wonderful hunt. The other hunters were great guys and we became friends in no-time. I had an expectation of hunting big deer, meeting some nice folk and eating good…all three were met and I got a chance at a shooter. Hats off to you Ryan for keeping a good thing good. I felt like apart of the IWC family and already looking forward to next year. I want to say thank you IWC crew, you made my week amazing and I have some great memories. Keep up the great work and keep in touch.
Steve Smolenski – Pennsylvania
My son and I hunted with Ryan for 3 days on a late December hunt in 2010. My primary goal was to provide my son with an opportunity to take his first deer with a bow.
This was my first time hunting with an outfitter I did not know what to expect. Without a doubt Ryan manages a first class operation. Every night and morning Ryan studied the maps and wind directions and ensured we were placed properly. Not one time did we hunt a bad wind. All hang-on stands and climbing sticks were in good condition with bow holders.
I can’t say enough about the food. My son and I talked about the meals all the way back to South Carolina. The Lodge is very comfortable and relaxing. The washer and dryer came in very handy and I noticed that our bath towels and sheets were washed in scent free soap. Nice touch…
As far as the deer; we saw plenty. The first evening I passed on a 130 and passed on numerous other small bucks while I was there. I did see some monsters, but not in bow range.My son harvested a 180 pound doe on the last morning. He managed to let a 150 class buck sneak up on him 20 yards away while calling me on his cell phone; he’ll never forget that lesson.
Overall I was very pleased . We saw deer every time we went out; corn and soybeans were being hit hard.
My son and I have decided to try and make this a yearly trip. Call you soon Ryan.
Clay Still, South Carolina
A true whitetail hunters paradise, is the best way i can describe this place! Ryan, his family and his staff were top of the line, and the lodge is just the icing on the cake. They definitely go out of their way to make you feel like you are part of their family throughout the entire stay. Ryan’s truly worried about one thing and one thing only, making sure that you are in the best spot possible for a chance at a shooter, and there’s no shortage of mature bucks. My trip this past November was by far the best few days of hunting I have experienced in 14 years of hunting, not even counting taking my first buck with a bow in the rain/sleet on Thanksgiving day. I am definitely a return customer for as long as ya’ll are in operation. Thanks for everything and I’ll keep in touch.
P.S. Tell Hunter to keep practicing with his bow and thanks for hanging out with me and beating me in pool.
Clint McLaughlin, Florida
This place has got it all! First and foremost the hunting was excellent. We saw tons of deer and this place definitely holds some big ones! And I really can’t say enough about how great Ryan, his family, and the staff treated us. Every aspect was top notch; accomodations, hunting, food, guiding, property, stands, staff,etc. I really enjoyed my trip, made some new friends, and look forward to this trip being the highlight of my hunting seasons for many years to come. Thanks again for everything Ryan and we’ll talk to ya soon.
Rorrey McCarthy, Fernandina Beach, Florida
Ryan, I want to thank you again for a wonderful trip. I’m not sure I could have asked for more. I have hunted all over the state of Illinois, and this is by far the best place I’ve had the pleasure to hunt. I hunted here for the first 4 years I hunted in Illinois, then I went to White and Gallitan counties, then to Pike county for 3 years, and now back to Jasper county at Illinois Wildlife Connections where I will hunt from now on. I have also hunted in about all of the big states for whitetails from Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and Ohio. I can honestly say that I will never stray again. There are places that have a large quantity of deer, but lack the sized. Then there are places that have the size but no quantity. Ryan has the best mix of quality and quantity that I have ever seen. He may be the best out there. I sure do believe so. I have harvested over 331″s of antler in the past two years! I’m a very satisfied customer. I’m also proud to say that Ryan is a good friend of mine. Not only in a professional manor, but on a personal level as well. Great people are hard to find. And he truly is a great person, as is the whole staff. The whole experience is absolutely wonderful. I would be more than happy to recommend his outfitter services to anyone in the country. If anyone wants to talk to someone who has been there and experienced it all, I would be more than happy to speak with you. I can’t recommend Illinois Wildlife Connections enough. Thanks again for a great trip!
Josh Myers, Ohio
Ali, Mike, and scott
Ryan And Family, We enjoyed hunting at your lodge. The food was fantastic!! The deer are awsome this year. I might have missed the biggest deer of my life but I had the most fun ever. You just can not find that kind of experiance anywere else. we will see you all next year.
Ali, Mike, and scott
Ryan, Thanks for yet another great hunting experience at IWC. My week spent hunting at your place is by far the highlight of my hunting year. You, your family, as well as the guides and staff, are top-notch, and second to none. The meals prepared by your wife were incredible as they are every year. And lets not forget about the appetizers my guide Slick fixed every night. Speaking of guides, what a dedicated and hard working bunch of guys. These guys don’t punch no time-clock,they are workin their butts off all day long and well into the night studying maps,checking wind and weather, tracking deer, or just making sure your hunt is an enjoyable one. I tip my cap to them. With all the stuff i have mentioned i have forgot to talk about the deer. Call them what you want, monsters,giants,toads,studs or anything else………these are big,midwest white-tails that any bowhunter would be happy with. Please pass my good luck wishes on to the rest of the hunters coming in this year and i’ll see you in the spring for turkey season and to participate in the IWC Bass Tourney. Thanks again my friend.
Eric Kilman Smithton,IL
Ryan, There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about those whitetails in Illinois! You have an incredible place out there that words cant describe. I can’t wait to eat just one more piece of that pecan pie… I hope this year coming will be as great or greater than the 09 season. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again. Tell everyone I said Hello.
Andy, Latrobe Pennsylvania
Ryan and Slick you can’t find better folks. Real down to earth and will do anything to make your stay feel like your at home. An the cooking is second to nun. The food is just like MOM’s cooking. You will fall in love with this place. Closing all I can say I know I made some GREAT new friends and hope to continue hunting with these guys.
Mike Guidry/ RIPPIN LIP GUIDE SERVICE Louisiana fishing guide.
Josh “Bowdropper” Haga
Ryan, I would like to thank you, your family, my guide Jason, and everyone else at Illinois Wildlife Connections for an excellent hunt. This year, given lifes responsibilities, I chose to concentrate my hunting into a week spent at your lodge rather than my normal time hunting locally over several weekends. I believe whole heartedly that I made the correct decision. Everything about IWC shows the professional manner in which it is run. From the well prepared meals and comfortable rooms to the extensive knowledge of you and your guides, it was worth every penny I paid. I look forward to returning in future years. Very sincerly.
Josh “Bowdropper” Haga Raleigh, North Carolina
First off I want to thank you and guides for all the hard work. The cooks for everything that was prepared for us to eat. Justin, Uncle Jaye and I all had the time of our life. It was such a pleasure to see you and the family again after such a long break. The hunt was amazing! I sat the same stand daylight to dark for 5 1/2 days, and boy did it pay off. I took the best buck of my life. A 153 5/8″ stud 8 point! I saw over 30 different bucks from that one spot! And some real quality bucks for sure, 1 B&C, 5 above 140″ and countless 125″ bucks. If anybody ever wanted to talk to someone that has hunted with Ryan feel free to give me a call anytime! I can guarantee you wont be disappointed in your experience with Illinois Wildlife Connections! I have hunted all over the state of Illinois and all over the country from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, and Ohio and this place is the BEST! BY FAR! Give Ryan a call and come hunt some of the best ground in the country! You wont regret it! I will see you next year! Good Hunting.
Josh Myers, Ohio
Ryan, thanks to you,your family and staff for yet another fantastic hunt. i had a great time and will be phoning you soon to make arrangements for next year. the guides do a helluva job putting you on deer and your wife and the other ladies in the kitchen do a equally great job putting together one outstanding meal after another. please tell them all i said thanks for everything and look forward to seeing them next year. good luck to the rest of the hunters coming in this week. IWC is one great place. talk to you soon….
Eric Kilman, Smithton IL
Thanks for another great hunting adventure Ryan. We really enjoy coming to southern Illinois and you folks are great hosts. I hope to visit again soon!
Todd Merkle, Hamilton Michigan
I would like to thank you, your father and family for an outstanding turkey hunt this past week. The patience and professionalism you showed our group was simply outstanding. Your determination and never give up attitude proved to be the difference in everyone bringing home their first turkey. This hunt was truly memorable and one I will cherish forever. Once again the food was outstanding and we thoroughly enjoyed the warm interaction with your family. I hope the rest of the season brings the same level of success for you and your hunters. I will be in touch soon to book our return for the 2010 spring turkey season.
Jon Plimpton, Crystal Lake Illinois
i’d like to thank you and your wonderful family for making my first turkey hunt one that i’ll never forget. you truly run a first class operation and i could not be happier with the outcome or how i was treated. as i’m sure you know, i have a lot to learn about turkey hunting, and i asked a million questions, and i want to thank you for patiently answering each and every one. the lodge was great, the meals outstanding, and the kindness and generosity of you,your wife and kids, as well as your father and grandpa, went above and beyond the call of duty. please tell them all i said thanks and i look forward to seeing them in the fall when i’ll be making my first of many return visits to illinois wildlife connections. hope the rest of turkey season goes well for you and your hunters. will phone you soon in regards to deposit for 2010 spring turkey hunt. a million thanks
Eric Kilman, Smithton IL
Hey Ryan, I don’t normally write testimonials, but i had to write and tell you about your operation.The week i came down to hunt with you the weather could not have been worse!! The first 3 days were close to 80 degrees and the last 2 days it was raining. Still we hunted hard and so alot of smaller bucks. You and your guides are among the best that I’ve had the pleasure to hunt with.I’ve been to several guided hunts and killed some P&Y bucks.You and your guides live there year round and have grown up in the area you hunt. To me that is a great advantage to all of your hunters.As you know I’m already booked for NOV.2-7 2009. Looking at the rut predictions, this should be a great week for me!! Don’t think i forgot about the meals and lodging. Your wife added about 6lb’s with her cooking, and your lodge is awesome and super clean and comfortable. I finally found the outfitter i can come back to year after year!!!! e-mail me anytime you want with trail cam pictures or just to say hi. Thank’s again Ryan,
Ray Keskeny, Wales Michigan
Alethea, Micheal, and Scott
We enjoyed our stay and look forward to coming back next year. The meals were fantastic and your hospitality had surpassed our greatest expectations. Thank you so much for such a memorable trip.
Alethea, Micheal, and Scott, Pennsylvania
Toby and I would like to thank you and your family for a great time. I don’t know where to begin everything was above and beyond our expectations. From the hunting, food, and lodging everyone involved in your operation does one hell of a great job and made us feel right at home. We talked the whole way home about when we are going to return.
Mike Kletcho, Uniontown PA
Boy you have really came a long way since I was there! I couldn’t imagine it now. Randy has been trying to get me and Brad to come back out with him for a couple of years now. I was just curious as to what you had open for next fall? In all of the hunting that I have done in the state of Illinois, still to this day, yours is without a doubt the best that I have had the privilage to hunt. We have been to Pike County for the past 3 years and it was decent but not what everyone says it is cracked up to be. It is over hunted so bad that it isn’t funny. I hope that your dad, wife, and whole family are doing well.
Josh Myers, Ohio
This was the first time I was on an guided hunt. (December 27-31) It was more than I expected. Ryan and his staff treated us like we were important. No one in camp was sucessful, however all of us saw Pope And Young bucks. I myself saw 5 Pope And Young bucks during my time, but they seemed to stay just out of effective bow range. Deer and Turkeys were everywhere. Mrs. Michl fixed meals that were out of this world. The lodge was great. I slept very well every night. One of his guides went above and beyond by offering to carry your backpack, bow into the stand for you. They are the friendliest people you can meet. You are foolish if you don’t consider him as a legit option for your next hunt to Illinois.
David Long, Virginia
This past November was my third hunt with Illinois Wildlife Connections, and I’am going back in 2008 season this place is unreal. They are a first class operation the food is great and they make you feel at home in the lodge, tami will hurt your with her pumpkin crisp and the bucks are big and everywhere! In 2005 I missed a shot at the biggest deer that I’ve ever seen in the woods, that was until the one buck I missed this year in 08, the bucks are huge, this year I saw bucks everyday, more bucks than does. I missed a shot a very nice buck one afternoon and shot a nice 10 pt the next morning on the same stand. My guide’s Ryan, Craig, and Mark worked hard for me every week they did everything he could to put me in the right spot to see deer. Ryan and his wholefamily are the first and will be the only outfitters I’ve hunted with and plan to hunt with for many years to come and made a new good friend I think now days its hard to find a true down to earth guy like Ryan.
Shane Armand, Mandeville, Louisiana
Ryan, Just wanted you to know how well of an operation I think you have. The trip was great. Starting from when we arrived the guides coming out and unloading out luggage, guides taking us to our stands and making sure we got in our stands before they left, the food was great and the ladies were very friendly and courteous and the hunting was awesome even though I did not kill a buck I saw alot and had a great experience. You have a great thing going just wanted you to know I appreciate all you guys did. Hope you have a good rest of the year.
Shane Odem, Alabama
Ryan, what a year for you guys. Just wanted to let you know that I had a great time hunting with all of you, even though the weather was not the greatest. Craig did a wonderful job putting me on some great deer and I can honestly say that I saw the two largest bucks of my life (16 years hunting). I saw that one of the pics looks like the split G2 that I saw the night I hit mine. Wondering if that is the same deer? I plan on coming back in ’07 and there are about four guys that want to come with me. Just wondering when we should make arrangements? They keep asking to see the picture of me holding that huge 12 point rack that your buddy shot the day after your dad’s deer. Hope your spring turkey season goes well and say hello to the guides and, of course, the greatest cooks in the world. My wife still gets mad at me when I bring up how great the food was during my stay. Guess she is kinda jealous! Thanks again and let me know when I should contact you about ’07.
Have a great ’06, Tony Kraft
ATTENTION BOWHUNTERS!!!! IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOWHUNT, JUST KEEP ON LOOKING. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A REALY GREAT BOWHUNT,EXCELLANT LODGING,KNOWLEDGABLE GUIDES,FINE COOKING,AND LOTS OF BIG BUCKS RUNNING AROUND. YOU HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT PLACE. I HAVE BOWHUNTED WITH RYAN AND HIS FAMILY 5 TIMES AND I ALWAYS CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK AND DO IT AGAIN. RYAN AND HIS FAMILY RUN A QUALITY OPERATION. IT’S A FIRST RATE WORKING FARM WITH 4 GENERATIONS OF MICHL’S LIVING ON AND WORKING THE DAY TO DAY FARM CHORES. WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY IS THAT THEY ARE THERE 365 DAYS A YEAR AND THEREFORE THEY KNOW EYERY NOOK AND CRANNIE ON THE FARM AND EVERY BUCK THAT LIVES THERE. THEY WILL DO THEIR BEST TO PUT YOU ON A BIG BUCK.THEY HAVE STANDS SET UP FOR ANY WIND DIRECTION AND THEIR GUIDES KNOW THE PROPERTY AND HOW TO MAKE YOUR HUNT A SUCCESS. I HAVE ALWAYS SEEN MORE BUCKS IN 5 DAYS WITH ILLINOIS WILDLIFE CONNECTIONS THAN IN 5 YEARS AT HOME. THE LODGE IS NEW AND IMPRESSIVE AND IS FULL OF BIG BUCKS TAKEN ON THE FARM. RAYN’S WIFE TAMMIE AND THE GIRLS REALLY KNOW HOW TO COOK AND TAKE CARE OF FEEDING YOU. YOU’LL BE LUCKY IF YOU DON’T GAIN 5-10 LBS. RAYN’S GRANDMA MAKES OUT OF THIS WORLD APPLE,PEACH AND BLACKBERRY PIES AND OTHER DESERTS.RYAN’S DAD GARY CAN’T BE BEAT AND WILL GO OUT OF HIS WAY TO SEE YOU GET A CHANCE AT A BIG BUCK. LAST YEAR 8 BIG BUCKS WERE KILLED THE 5 DAYS I HUNTED WITH ILLINOIS WILDLIFE CONNECTIONS AND MORE WERE SEEN OR MISSED. SO FOR A GREAT BOWHUNT I DON’T THINK YOU CAN FIND ONE ANY BETTER THAN WITH RYAN AND HIS DAD AND FAMILY. ILLINOIS WILDLIFE CONNECTIONS IS A GREAT FAMILY RUN OPERATION THAT WILL MAKE YOU FILL LIKE ONE OF THEIR FAMILY.
GOOD BOWHUNTING: RANDY GILMORE
If you are looking for a great hunt you will make the right decision if you choose Illinois Wildlife Connections. Ryan and his dad Gary run a first class quality operation I have deer hunted and turkey hunted there the last two years. The amount of game you will see is incredible. The first deer hunting trip I saw 25 bucks from one stand in 5 days! The first afternoon I had a chance at 150 inch 10 point. This year I saw 8 pope and young bucks and three more over 160 inch or better one that was a 300 lb 180 inch monster. The turkey hunting is great also The first day before day break Gary put us under 8 gobblers within 100 yards! Ryan and Gary have a great knowledge of the property and the game animals and will do what ever you like to help you take your animal. This is only half of the fun. The accomodations and the food (lots of it) are very tuff to take. If you dont gain five pounds you didnt eat. Everyone there will make you feel like one of the family. If you choose to hunt here you have made a good decision. I have already booked 2 return trips.
Terry Lockwood, Indiana
Please tell Tami that dinner was swell, from the steak to the cheesecake! Too bad Brian couldn’t get there in time for dinner. We thought the Lodge was really excellent. We were very comfortable staying with you, and we considered it a real find! Kindest regards to you and Tammy.
Larry Gordon, IL
Ryan I want to thank you, the ladies, and guides for yet another awesome time. This was my second time hunting with ya’ll and it will not be my last, I hope. Don’t get my wrong the first time was great but when you take an animal like I did the first time on the stand at 8 yards, what can I say. I’ve been telling every hunter I know that they are missing out by not coming up there. As always the food was out standing, the hunting was phenomenal and I had a ball! Ya’ll are top notch and ya’ll do it right. See you next November.
Brandon Britain, GA
Ryan I wanted to thank you for the hospitality that you and your family and guide’s gave Mark and me this past week. You run a top of the class operation that is second to none. The lodge is clean your wife made fantastic meals everyday and the deer are huge. As Mark and I were on our way home we both decided that it wouldn’t be our last trip to IWC. I look forward to hunting with you again. Have a great holiday!
Thank you! Tom McDowell
This past November was my second hunt with Illinois Wildlife Connections, and I’ve booked for the 2006 season. They are a first class operation the food is great the lodge is immaculately clean, and comfortable, and the bucks are big and plentiful. Last year I missed a shot at the biggest deer I’ve ever seen in the woods, this year I saw deer everyday, more bucks than does. I missed a shot at very nice buck one afternoon and scored a nice one the next morning. My guide Mark worked hard for me all week he did everything he could to put me in the right spot to see deer. Ryan, Gary and their whole family are by far the best outfitters I’ve hunted with and plan to hunt with for many years to come.
Mark Ruggiero, Somerset, New Jersey