Here's what a few of our customers have had to say about us.
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Thanks again for a great turkey hunt in a beautiful part of the country. If you ever have last minute cancellations, specials, etc. keep me in mind.
Thanks so much for a great Rio hunt!! We were happy that our entire party got birds!! I am so glad that I found you online and that the outfit was exactly as described. The accommodations were top notch, the food was excellent, conversation was lively and most importantly, the hunt was fantastic. You put the time in to put us on birds. Thank you for helping us get that much closer to our Grand Slam! One more bird to go! We will definitely be back and might try one of your other hunts next!! Take care and thanks again!
Spring 2016 - Glen Elder, Kansas
Jeff and Jessie, Thank you so much for a great turkey hunt. I was fortunate enough to harvest a nice Rio. You sure have a lot of birds. I had opportunities ever time out. You were true to your word in every way. I especially want to say thank you to Jessie for the personal conversations and time spent while with you. I would highly recommend your outfitting operation to anyone looking to harvest a Rio Grande turkey. You're The Best! Jeff Hokenso
spring turkey - Rader Lodge
We had a very successful archery hunt for Rio's at Rader Lodge. Jeff puts a lot of time and effort in locating turkeys on his farms, he put us on the best turkey hunting i have experienced in 20+ years hunting turkeys, other bow hunters in camp were successful, the mood around camp was very pleasant. Jeff is easy going, he had breakfast ready for us every morning, and dinner ready when we got back. The Lodge is clean and well kept, everything you need is there. We will definitely book again with Jeff. John K. Pa.
Hi Jeff, Just wanted to take moment to say thanks for the archery hunt this year. It was awesome. The accommodations were great. Couldn't ask for more.
I just want to thank Jeff for everything he has done for me to shoot these 2 birds. Jeff has worked very hard for me these past 2 years. We had horrible weather with an ice storm and temps in the 20's but my one buddy still shot a tom and the others shot a jake a piece but I went home empty handed. Jeff still worked very hard to get me my bird but it didn't seem to work out.
So I told him I would come back this season the weather was a total opposite from the previous season in the 80's. Jeff told me he had the birds scouted and I would be done before 8. I went out the first morning and there was turkeys all around me on the roost. When they flew into the field I think there was about 15 toms in the field with me and 8 in the field on the other side of the ditch. By the time I was done I killed both these birds and done by 7:50 in the morning. Jeff was right and had done a great scouting job for me. There was 3 more birds killed in camp before I left and everyone was having a good time.
Jeff really works hard to put his hunters on birds. Jeff and Leon also feed us very well when we are there. So in closing all I have to say is Thanks Jeff for all your hard work you done for me. Delvin Stewart
Jeff and Leon, Chris, Ron and I had a great time at Rader Lodge and we are eagerly looking forward to this coming season. The ducks and pheasants were great as were the accommodations and meals at the lodge. Folks if you want some winter fun in the field just before Christmas, get in touch with Jeff. You will not be disappointed.
Hey buddy, I sure hope that you are having a great Monday! I just wanted to write and thank you for the great experience that we had at Rader Lodge! Lee and I really enjoyed ourselves... The hunting, food, and hospitality were all exceptional! I hate that we headed out before getting to say good bye to you. Lee had to get back to the store and my wife was in need of some help on Sunday, so we decided to head on back home a little early. However, we are already making plans to come out again next year for the archery season! We are only back a day and already have six ready to go with us! Our goal is to bring a group of ten if you feel that it will not be too many... What do you think? Thank you so much for the great experience! Take care Jeff!
We made it home in good time and I just wanted to send an extra thank you to you and your staff. Chief is a real hoot and fun to talk to. Steve did a great job finding birds for us and the Kid is such an outstanding guide it was unbelievable to see a young man like him to be able to work the birds the way he did for us. Words cannot describe how happy I was with this past week in Kansas. I have already talked to the wife about bringing our youngest daughter back next spring for a turkey hunt. I will be getting in contact with you at a later date to make arrangements for a 3 day next year. We have to work out her school schedule and things like that.
The trip was amazing never had that much fun fishing a the guide was awesome.
"I love bowhunting Kansas, and Rader Lodge has some of the best whitetail ground I’ve ever set foot on. One morning I’ll never forget saw me rattle-in two different 170-plus-inch bucks from the same stand, where I glimpsed a total of six different Pope & Young-class bucks. If you’re a serious whitetailer and haven’t hunted Kansas it’s time to start.
Editor, Archery Business
Managing Editor, Bowhunting World
My hunt with Rader Lodge was fantastic! Jeff and his crew do the research; they know their land and their deer! The planning is well executed, the attention to detail is accommodating and the overall experience is memorable - I look forward to my return with great anticipation. - Lee Hetherington (Bowhunting World Magazine)
Jeff, thank you for the great time I had while hunting Pheasant, Quail, and Whitetail. You and your staff did a great job and my 11 point Buck is now at the taxidermist for mounting. Tell Steve he can have his kitchen back. I won’t be there cooking breakfast or getting in his way. Again, thank you for your hospitality and I look forward to coming back
Hi, Jeff... I hope everything is going good for you... I wanted to send you a copy of the story of my hunt with you, that will be in the next edition of the NCBA mag. I think you get the mag. If not let me or Raymond know and maybe we can send you a copy...you can use me as a reference any time.... Again I hope all is well my friend... Take care and tell everyone hello for me. Tom McIntosh
Jeff, now that I'm back in Louisiana and have had time to sort of catch my breath, I just wanted to tell you once again how much I enjoyed the week with you and steve. You guys really worked hard to see that we had a great hunt. I'll be sure and tell all my friends down here in the south all about you. I look forward to next year and another trip to Kansas. Take care and I'll see you next year!
- Mike Brooks
Jeff,excellant liberated pheasant hunt. Great accomodations. You've recovered from the fire well! Great flying birds. This is our 3rd. trip here from western Kentucky 700 miles away. We will be back again and again. Mike adams
Hi Jeff can't say again how much I enjoyed this trip. Might get a full boat of just NE guys next year, as the pic's are worth a thousand words. The photo is of Scott and I after our two hours of fishing the damn with 54 Crappie, two white bass and one Walleye. - Larry Gramps
I arrived at Rader Lodge in Glen Elder, Kansas on November 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm. Checked into my room, number 8, and got ready for a quick self guided pheasant hunt adjacent to the lodge. Without a dog I managed to flush four cock pheasants and shoot and miss two of them. Jeff Rader the lodge owner arrived after sunset and we discussed plans for the next morning. Since I was the only hunter in camp that night I volunteered to cook on my own a well aged rib-eye steak for dinner. That was no inconvenience to me since my wife Rita has me well trained in the kitchen. Settled in for bed around 9:00 pm.
Thursday morning I got up at 4:00 am made coffee and waited for Jeff Rader to arrive. After eating a quick breakfast, I followed Jeff about 30 miles north for my first morning hunt. The weather was cold and windy. Jeff placed me in a hang on stand adjacent to a new wheat field and creek bottom. The morning started off with numerous turkeys clucking and gobbling in the trees nearby. They flew down shortly after sunrise and began their normal daily routines feeding and flocking in the bottom near the creek. I observed 5 deer all does and fawns from the hang on stand. The turkeys stayed with me all morning. Finally I had to get down around 9:45 because my bladder could no longer stand the strain. The turkeys which included about 18 gobblers and 20 hens did not spook away. One of the hens actually walked up to within 10 feet clucking and purring. I thought she was going to come within my reach. The others stood where they had been all morning. Had it not been for not yet having a turkey tag I would have taken one with my bow. Unbelievable!!.
After driving back to the lodge and having lunch I returned and hung a climbing stand adjacent to the deer crossing along the creek. Going into the stand I spooked a nice buck and a couple of does. Unfortunately no other deer came by that afternoon. Later that evening, I visited a local bar and grill, “the Hindquarter” with Mike and Anna. They serve as the cook and lodge staff. Got in bed around 12:00.
Friday morning was windy with 40 mph gusts, so I stayed in camp until 9:00 and returned to the hunting area around 9:30. While going in I saw a nice 8 point and then 4 other bucks one of which was a very nice 10 point that would have scored about 140-150 inches. After doing some scouting I got in my stand around 2:30 pm. That afternoon I saw 5 does and 5 bucks. Two of the bucks were nice 8 pointers.
Saturday morning was a perfect deer hunting morning with calm winds and a huge frost. I had two nice 8 pointers past directly beneath my stand. One of them still had frost on his back from the nite before. I saw several other bucks and does. Some of the smaller bucks were chasing the does. Before the morning was over I had a nice seven pointer and doe bed down underneath my tree where they stayed until another buck got the doe up and all three wandered off.
Saturday evening and Sunday morning were spent in the same stand. Each hunt was rewarded by numerous sightings of nice bucks and does as well as copious numbers of Rio Grand turkeys and red squirrels. Two of the bucks were shooter eight points but they were not in bow range.
Thinking that I was repeatedly seeing the same deer, I relocated my climbing stand on Sunday afternoon. After climbing the new tree and sitting for only 10 minutes, two does appeared with a shooter 150 inch perfect white antlered 10 point in tow. Unfortunately, I was in a sitting position with both does directly underneath me. Trying to stand without spooking the does proved to be impossible. Consequently one of the does spooked taking the 10 point with her. I saw other does and smaller bucks that afternoon as well as numerous turkeys.
On Monday morning I returned to my stand. The weather was terrible with high winds and lightening. After hearing weather sirens from two nearby communities and a too close for comfort lightning strike, I got down at 8:00. Because another hunter had taken a stand in close proximity I relocated about a half mile north along a creek. I spent part of the morning and the afternoon in the new location. This produced sightings of several bucks one of which was a nice eight pointer. I observed that most of the deer were using one trail and I decided to move to that location on Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday evening hunt was rewarded with several sightings of both bucks and does. Driving into camp that nite, I was feeling a little homesick and decided that I would attempt to take either a nice doe or cull buck the next morning and end my hunt.
Wednesday morning was another made to order deer hunting morning. The winds were calm, skies clear, and the ground covered in a heavy frost. The full moon was so bright that no other light was needed for my hike to the stand. I settled in and waited for daylight. At 7:15 a nice 9 point buck appeared. He was a two year old with frost on his back. I noticed that he was focused on the nearby creek bank where another smaller buck appeared. The nine point laid his ears back and in an aggressive manner moved toward the other buck who backed away in submission. No sooner than these two bucks appeared three other bucks appeared pushing two does. Soon all the deer were circling in and around my stand and providing a text book exhibition of rutting behavior. One of the nicer eight pointers gave me tempting shot, but after seeing many other better bucks and not wanting to deny this buck from reaching his full potential, I passed.
Eventually these deer moved on unaware of my presence. Around 9:00 a heavy antlered buck crossed an adjacent milo field. I watched him through my binoculars and he appeared to be an exceptional dark horned 10 point that would score in the 140-150 inch range. He was alone and heading in the direction of the other deer. He was out of my view in short order. I decided to stay put hoping that either he or another nice buck would come my way. Around 9:30 I caught movement in front of my stand. It was the 10 point moving silently toward me. He was no more that 20 yards from my tree stand head down and slowly moving directly to me. I came to full draw and leaned forward in the stand waiting for him to clear a couple of trees. Leaning forward and looking down through the peep site I positioned the 20 yard pin in the center of his shoulders. In a millisecond the arrow was gone.
The 10 pointer jumped his white tail in the air and bolted to a stop about 15 yards away unsure of what had just happened. A clean miss. This awesome animal stood before me staring directly back at me and then turned and walked away. A thousand thoughts were going through my mind, but the one echoing theme was how could I miss a target at less than 25 feet? No doubt a straight down shot with a bow is not one that is normally practiced by most archers and I am no exception. At the age of 52 and having successfully hunted deer with bow and arrow for more the 30 years one would think that a seasoned bow hunter would have made numerous practice shots from a vertical position. However in preparing for my Kansas hunt I did not practice any vertical shots from a tree stand. The painful lesson learned here is to carefully anticipate your hunting environment, including vegetation, shooting positions, clothing to be used, etc. Also in choosing a stand location one should take a position adjacent to the deer trail rather that directly above it. Ultimately these variables will affect an archer’s ability to successfully deliver an arrow to the target.
Am I sad that I missed? Yes, but I am glad for the experience and the time spent outdoors in the piece of heaven on earth known as North Central Kansas. I’m also glad to have gained new friends and to have safely returned home with indelible memories, new knowledge, and a desire to return next season.
September 30, 2008 10 am, our estimated time of departure, came and we were off to Kansas. Bert Moore, Darrell Wimberley and I were leaving for a Pheasant hunt that we had gotten at the NCBA banquet last March. The truck was loaded with everything we thought we might need and we were both apprehensive and exited. Our trip was uneventful and we managed stops at Bass Pro Shop in Sevierville near Pigeon Forge Tennessee and at Cabalas in Kansas City Kansas. These were had to stops, (you guys know what I mean). From Kansas City we drove and drove and drove (seemed like forever) through back roads (we took the wrong route) to arrive at Jeff Rader's shooting preserve.
We had reached our destination at about 3 pm and since we were not going to start hunting until the next morning we shot a few clay pigeons to warm up and to check our guns. Jeff had a fire earlier in the year and his lodge had been destroyed, but they were well on the way to be finished rebuilding still Jeff provided us with great accommodations and we soon settled in unpacked and traveled to where he served us a great meal!
Very early next morning we met for breakfast and once again the food was great. Since the weather was warm they wanted us to get an early start to help the dogs stay cool and take advantage of the dew. We soon were on our way to begin our first Pheasant hunt. Jeff told us we would be hunting "liberated" birds which meant they were pen raised but at a point in time were released into an area. They would mix in with wild birds in that area so some birds would be wild. Kansas has a 4 Pheasant per day bag limit so we could take 12 birds. Jeff provided us with a great guide and two fine dogs which would flush the birds and retrieve them for us. Kansas has a lot of CRP land and there are quite a few terraces growing thick vegetation that the birds spend lots of time in to hide from aerial predators. It wasn't but a few minutes before we had our first bird flush, which I managed to shoot dead. From then on the action was fast paced and our shooting was pretty good. After only an hour we had our limit for the day.
We went back to the lodge where Jeff has a very nice deer and bird dressing facilities. We helped our guide and very soon we were through with this project and it was on to lunch, which as before Jeff fed us very well. We then spent a leisurely afternoon resting from the morning as well as the long trip to Kansas.
Jeff loves to fish, which is good because right beside the lodge is a 12,000 acre lake. Jeff also loves to have people go fishing with him, so at about 5 pm five guys plus Jeff piled into the biggest Jon boat I have ever seen and headed to his hot spot on the lake. Soon we were landing white bass nearly as fast as we could reel them in. Jeff told us the lake was stocked on a regular basis with white bass, striped bass and several other types of fish. He swears there are 15+ pound stripers in the lake and I believe him. It was a beautiful afternoon and the lake was perfect. All too soon we were back on shore and off to dress the fish. The parking area of the lake has a wonderful fish cleaning facility and Jeff made quick work of the fish. Then it was off to eat again. Jeff certainly feeds his clients well.
After a restful night we started over again, breakfast then out to chase birds. Again we had a great hunt and soon had our limit of Pheasant. Jeff had placed Chukkas in the area so we decided to hunt them for a bit. We had very good success on them also and soon it was time to go. We went back to the lodge and dressed the birds. Meanwhile Jeff had pulled out his laptop computer and showed us trail camera pictures of deer on the preserve. These pictures were taken at locations where Jeff has stands placed. We talked to him about his bow hunts for deer and decided we would be back next year for Pheasant and deer hunting.
Soon we hit the road for North Carolina and before you know it our adventure was over. We had an absolute great time and look forward to going out for a week during the rut next November.
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