Monday, March 30, 2009

River Ridge Outfitters Independence VA

Most people who know me know that, as a hunter, I’m a big fan of public grounds. I love the challenge and the pureness of hunting National Forest and the like. However, I’m not too stubborn to turn down private hunting lands either. I know some hunters who are hardcore DIY public land hunters and I applaud them and believe in their code of ethics myself. But, when it comes down to it, if I have an offer to hunt on a great piece of property, whether it is public or private, I’m going to take it. Hunting is supposed to be something we enjoy and not a completion of who had the toughest hunt. With all of that being said, I will say that most of my turkey hunting this year will be on private property and that a truly great opportunity has came to Josh and I. Todd Caudill of River Ridge Outfitters has invited us to his property to do some filming and turkey hunting this spring and, having visited with him, it is going to be our pleasure to take him up on it!

Last week Josh and I left Wytheville, after work, heading toward Independence VA. It was a beautiful 45 minute drive and I had forgotten how much National Forest was in between the two areas. I will certainly be driving back that way soon to get a better look at the area but that is for another post. Anyway, we arrived at RRO and found Todd finishing up some of his daily work. Todd is a “good ol' boy” who instantly makes you feel right at home. He is the kind of guy that you feel like you’ve known forever after you start talking to him. He comes from a very blue-collar background and that’s the way he runs his business. At this point in time he is running the business by himself and you have to be willing to pitch in and work hard to take care of all that he has to take care of. Todd immediately started showing us around his immense property. We knew very quickly that he had enough land, and the right location to have a great outfitting business. Having great land is not all that is needed though, and when you talk with Todd for a little while you learn that he isn’t just a laid back, hard working, country boy, he’s also a very smart business man and outfitter. Todd knows exactly what needs to be done to grow big deer and keep the other animal populations healthy as well as show his clients a great time. The business model Todd is using is slow and steady growth. His goal is not to be the biggest on the East Coast but just to make sure that each client gets his money’s worth and then slowly grow the business from there. An Archery Range, as well as quail and pheasant hunting, are also in the works and if it’s like everything else Todd does then it will be some of the best in the region. Trying to make sure everything is always top notch is a sure sign that someone will most likely be successful and Todd certainly has that going for him.

When Josh and I headed to Independence we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. We had only met Todd once at an outdoor show and while he seemed to be a nice fellow you just never know what will happen when you meet someone in a different capacity. As mentioned above though, our time with Todd was nothing but a good time! He showed us what seemed like every square inch of the free range, 100% fair chase acres that he outfits and we saw a ton of turkey and deer. After Todd had shown us around we sat in his truck for a while just talking about the world, family, and hunting. We all had a great time and I fully expect us to have an even better time next month when we show up there to film some great turkey hunting footage. Paying for a hunt is something that you have to enter in to with your head on straight. You have to know that you’re going to get good value for your money and I have no problem whatsoever recommending River Ridge Outfitters.

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