• Help Support TNDeer:

The end of an era? Ames Plantation

fairchaser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,874
Location
TN, USA
Ames has announced the possible sale of some of their land. As much as 5500 acres could be sold soon. This sale would include two units of five that are forestry only. The other 3 units include a mix of ag, forestry and cattle. The units used for field trials will be kept in tact.

This is yet another blow to deer hunters who have been already affected by the discovery of CWD several seasons ago. Ames management has been working around the CWD issues by lowering antler standards and even removing them altogether.

The question remains how this will affect the hunting clubs going forward for deer and turkey.
 

TNRifleman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
Messages
5,672
Location
Collierville, TN
I'm pretty sure me and my bad karma caused this. I have never been a member but decided to join this year. I have last years contract in hand to review and was about to send in my $100 deposit when I got the email last week. I assume they will reduce the number of memberships significantly and getting in as a new member will likely be impossible this year. I guess we will see.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,712
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
The question remains how this will affect the hunting clubs going forward for deer and turkey.
Very disappointing to hear this.
However, add some perspective, and the sky isn't falling on your hunting there?

AFTER (if) this happens, the deer & turkey hunting clubs should still have in excess of 10,000 contiguous acres to hunt?

The number of hunters (at least for anything other than some "organic" or "free-range" meat) continues to rapidly decline. If you think otherwise, it's an illusion.

The future of hunting is not just about the number of hunters, but also about just how many days each is interested in hunting annually. The number of days allocated for annual hunting per hunter may be dropping much faster than the number of hunters buying a license.

Unlike so much of the times past, we now have many other opportunities for entertaining ourselves, some of which actually does include hunting, but better and/or different hunting than we've grown up with in Tennessee.

Rather than pay a high annual lease or club fee for two or three weekends of hunting, many are choosing to just spend similar money on a week of "vacation" hunting in some other state. Heck, if I didn't have family here, I'd probably be spending what's left of my time in Alaska, hunting nothing but "public" land.

Add to this that most avid "serious" lifetime hunters may currently be over the age of 55, and by all appearances, only a fraction of this dying breed will be replaced by younger hunters.

For those of us who haven't yet bit the dust, we may actually end up with more acres to hunt per day afield than in times past.

Ames can easily just operate it's hunting clubs on 1/2 to 3/4 its current membership numbers, charge the same annual dues, and your hunting could actually be comparable to before they sold any their hunting land. It also wouldn't surprise me if some of the current hunt club members may plan to hunt the newly sold land (and may be dropping their memberships in the Ames clubs).

I know some think I'm crazy, but I see a future where avid hunters are begged to come hunt (deer), instead of being offered over-priced land-lease prices for a place to hunt. This is already happening.

It's all about the law of supply & demand.
You'll end up just fine, at least with your hunting opportunities at Ames.
 
Last edited:

TNRifleman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
Messages
5,672
Location
Collierville, TN
Very disappointing to hear this.
However, add some perspective, and the sky isn't falling on your hunting there?

AFTER (if) this happens, the deer & turkey hunting clubs should still have in excess of 10,000 contiguous acres to hunt?

The number of hunters (at least for anything other than some "organic" or "free-range" meat) continues to rapidly decline. If you think otherwise, it's an illusion.

The future of hunting is not just about the number of hunters, but also about just how many days each is interested in hunting annually. The number of days allocated for annual hunting per hunter may be dropping much faster than the number of hunters buying a license.

Unlike so much of the times past, we now have many other opportunities for entertaining ourselves, some of which actually does include hunting, but better and/or different hunting than we've grown up with in Tennessee.

Rather than pay a high annual lease or club fee for two or three weekends of hunting, many are choosing to just spend similar money on a week of "vacation" hunting in some other state. Heck, if I didn't have family here, I'd probably be spending what's left of my time in Alaska, hunting nothing but "public" land.

Add to this that most avid "serious" lifetime hunters may currently be over the age of 55, and by all appearances, only a fraction of this dying breed will be replaced by younger hunters.

For those of us who haven't yet bit the dust, we may actually end up with more acres to hunt per day afield than in times past.

Ames can easily just operate it's hunting clubs on 1/2 to 3/4 its current membership numbers, charge the same annual dues, and your hunting could actually be comparable to before they sold any their hunting land. It also wouldn't surprise me if some of the current hunt club members may plan to hunt the newly sold land (and may be dropping their memberships in the Ames clubs).

I know some think I'm crazy, but I see a future where avid hunters are begged to come hunt (deer), instead of being offered over-priced land-lease prices for a place to hunt. This is already happening.

It's all about the law of supply & demand.
You'll end up just fine, at least with your hunting opportunities at Ames.
Interesting perspective that is hard to argue with. Basically hired pest control.
 

fairchaser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,874
Location
TN, USA
Nothing official has been released with respect to memberships. IMO, they aren’t likely to reduce the number of memberships or reduce the dues. They will likely allow attrition to reduce members. They might hold the line to existing members until they know how this will impact the memberships returning. The turkey club has always had a long waiting list. I doubt this will change things. The current season has been poor to mediocre. So, there will likely be some turnovers but the number won’t change.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,712
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
Interesting perspective that is hard to argue with. Basically hired pest control.
What I was saying was mostly regarding deer hunting.
It is much less true for waterfowl hunting, albeit everything seems to have a "cycle", and fewer getting seriously into hunting will ultimately mean fewer waterfowl hunters as well.

We serious hunters remain a dying breed.
 

fairchaser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,874
Location
TN, USA
I'm pretty sure me and my bad karma caused this. I have never been a member but decided to join this year. I have last years contract in hand to review and was about to send in my $100 deposit when I got the email last week. I assume they will reduce the number of memberships significantly and getting in as a new member will likely be impossible this year. I guess we will see.
You should go ahead a put in as if they add any new members, you might be the first to be called. I know several members dropping out.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,712
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
The turkey club has always had a long waiting list. I doubt this will change things. The current season has been poor to mediocre. So, there will likely be some turnovers but the number won’t change.
I'd totally agree with you, at least in the short term (next year or two or three).

Unlike many hunting leases, Ames has separate deer and turkey hunting "clubs", as most are for both "deer & turkey"?

It ultimately all comes back to supply vs. demand.
If turkey populations continue to decline across TN and the entire Southeast,
that will correlate with a decline in interest for turkey hunting.

You and I are relatively "old".
Who will replace us, pay what we did, for the "privilege" of what was our hunting?
If what I see in Stewart County is any indication, it ain't happening.

Add to these thoughts that more of the newer hunters are more about just a source of organic "food" (wild game) than the hunting. For many of them, killing a turkey or a deer on their neighbor's 5 acres, for "free", is going to win out over paying a relatively high annual fee for what they see as similar "privilege".
 

fairchaser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,874
Location
TN, USA
What are their reasons for dropping out?
Reduction in land holdings, diminishing deer herd due to CWD, requirements to kill does through earn a buck, aging members, fewer number of trophy animals. Basically getting less for the same money.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,712
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
Reduction in land holdings, diminishing deer herd due to CWD, requirements to kill does through earn a buck, aging members, fewer number of trophy animals. Basically getting less for the same money.
There are several hunting clubs & leases in Stewart Co. I believe the number one reason (there) is "aging members", while "younger" potential members simply cannot afford the costs. Never mind there may not be enough seriously interested "younger" people no matter the leasing costs.

Speaking of those costs, it's not limited to the cost of a lease.
If you have to travel anywhere very far from your home, you can quickly have more annual costs in "wear & tear & gas" on a vehicle than the cost of a club membership. At least Ames is close enough to the Memphis area to have less issue with travel & lodging costs compared to some more rural areas.
 

BigAl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
19,826
Location
Fayette County, TN US
Ames has announced the possible sale of some of their land. As much as 5500 acres could be sold soon. This sale would include two units of five that are forestry only. The other 3 units include a mix of ag, forestry and cattle. The units used for field trials will be kept in tact.

This is yet another blow to deer hunters who have been already affected by the discovery of CWD several seasons ago. Ames management has been working around the CWD issues by lowering antler standards and even removing them altogether.

The question remains how this will affect the hunting clubs going forward for deer and turkey.
You going to try and buy a tract or two? :)
 

Gphunter

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Android phone
Hate to hear that i was thinking about getting back in Ames after hunting there for over 8yrs ago . Hunted there whenit wasn't a club and when the club began . I think everything proubly changed when different trustees change from bank of Boston to bank of America . Plus the managers not naming names are fixing to retire and might be fattening they're pensions. There is some greed out there but its not the members its Ames . Its sad but , i saw this coming along time ago . Sad ! 😔
 

AT Hiker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
9,717
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
What I was saying was mostly regarding deer hunting.
It is much less true for waterfowl hunting, albeit everything seems to have a "cycle", and fewer getting seriously into hunting will ultimately mean fewer waterfowl hunters as well.

We serious hunters remain a dying breed.
Personally, I would love to see hunter numbers decline. The loss of habitat and access just doesn’t seem to support the numbers of hunters we have. Im speaking big picture though, think states that draw systems and limited quotas.

Of course I welcome the decline of hunters with the catch that we increase the number of people who support hunting. Not sure how likely this is to happen anytime soon, shooting giant backyard bucks in high end neighborhoods and blasting it all over the internet is not very recruiting.

Im excited for public land hunting to become “un-cool”...doubt it will ever happen though.
 

Latest posts

Top