Hunting season has wound down at Oak Creek and you may be wondering “What now?” Oak Creek is home to 4 full time employees and two part time workers. That’s a lot of people for a seasonal business right? Well at Oak Creek we spend 8 months out of the year just preparing for the next 4 month hunting season. The easiest way to break it down is to combine a few months at a time.
This time of year in Missouri is frigid cold and very wet. Not much can really be done outside due to weather so we spend a majority of our time inside. We typically take this time to repair and maintain equipment to prepare them for the warm weather coming. In March, we usually can start some ground work such as burning and stand moving. This is also the time for marketing madness. A lot of this time is spent booking hunts for future years and also time to speak with clients from the year about their hunts and just see how everyone is doing.
These months are very chaotic. They are chaotic because of turkey season. Everyone that works full time for the ranch has a particularly deep passion for turkey hunting. Most of the time our mornings are spent in the woods before work. This time is also when we start working the ground and getting food plots in. This is also time we start strategizing for stand sets and what may and may not work as far as feeding to make sure we can pattern deer come fall. This is all hands on deck for two long months!
Starting the dog days. Usually by this time it is very hot and dry. This time of year is special at Oak Creek. We usually host two big events during this time here. The first is the Missouri Blood Trackers Association yearly workshop. Anywhere from 50-100 blood tracking dogs and owners will take to the ranch to listen to seminars taught by the top trackers in the nation and also to test for their tracking certifications. The second is a Cross Trails Outfitters summer camp. This camp is very special to all of us here and to the young men that come out to learn about god and spend a week in fellowship in the outdoors. They take part in hunting different species and learning about being outstanding men. These are fun months!
August is meant for fine tuning. Hunting season is a month away and we are running around like chickens with our heads off trying to get everything perfect for the first set of hunters. We are making sure the lodge and all places on the ranch are spotless. With September comes dove season! (Click the link to watch last year’s dove hunt) There are 12 guides that work at Oak Creek and we have to get everyone on the same page and make sure we’re all prepared. The first weekend of September we have a BBQ and dove hunt for all of our guides just to hang out and wind down before we get started.
Although it may seem like there isn’t much to do outside of hunting season for an operation such as ours but the truth is, hunting season is just a small part of what we do. It is arguably the most important time to our business, but it is also when we can step back and see the results of all of our hard work. We get to enjoy all the smiles and stories and all of our friends new and old. I think I speak for us all when I say we are blessed with this incredibly crazy wonderful life doing what we love.