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Mar 25th, 2012
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Gray Ghost Outfitters #4995851
02/27/14 04:25 PM
02/27/14 04:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Texas
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BudTexas Offline OP
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Texas
Good morning everyone,

I am new to this site and hope I am making my first post in the right area, if not, I am sorry. I am looking for information concerning Gray Ghost Outfitters in Maydelle, Texas managed by Hugh Byrd. I have friends who are thinking of joining a lease by Mr. Byrd and I have been asked to join them. I am the type who likes to do research before actually making any kind of committment. Does anyone know anything about Gray Ghost Outfitters managed by Hugh Byrd?. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks !

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4996040
02/27/14 05:30 PM
02/27/14 05:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 570
Nacogdoches, Tx
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Russ79 Offline
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Nacogdoches, Tx
I know about it...I was on one of his leases for five years and I don't think you are going it enjoy the experience. I know if you go to TexasBowhunter.com you will get lots of feed back. I haven't been on his lease in about six or seven years so things might have changed but a leopard doesn't generally change his spots. I was on his Mt. Hope lease. He is going to overcharge you for a spot to start out with, he will charge you if you ask him to do anything for you, and unless he has changed this he will try to charge you for doe tags. I used to know the game warden for Cherokee county and he and I had exchanged info about him. He has been caught with untagged deer in his truck. He hunts the lease but doesn't pay anything. When I got on it we were under LAMPS and two years later we went to MLD III for a year or two the dropped back to MLD I. He was double dipping on the doe permits getting both LAMPS and MLD and was trying to get lease members to pay $50 each for them. Right before I got off there were some members that believed, but couldn't prove it, that he was day leasing during the week and hunting those folks out of the community stands. The first year I was on it we were a club with eight members all paying $1000 each. Beginning the third year I was on it he dissolved the club and started adding members. Everyone paid a different dollar amount- by the time I left he was jumping my lease amount to $1800. The first year he started doing this I was told by his hired hand that he personally pocketed $30,000 after paying Campbell for the lease. It was 1800 acres and by now he might be paying $7.50/acre for the lease. My advice to you is put your hand on your wallet and run away.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4996053
02/27/14 05:36 PM
02/27/14 05:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 570
Nacogdoches, Tx
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Russ79 Offline
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If you do tour the Mt. Hope lease, take a look at all the RealBark stands that are out there. They were all paid for by former "club" members. When I got on, to join the club you had to buy a RealBark stand for the club that belonged to the club but it was yours to hunt out of as long as you were in the club. If you left the club the stand stayed. When I bought mine it cost around $1500. When he dissolved the club and made it just a lease, nobody had to buy the stand to get on. When I left the club I asked to take my stand since I didn't leave the club- he dissolved it- and nobody else had to buy them. He said because he kept my lease fee lower than is really should have been he was going to keep the stand to make up for that. Now, is that someone with the kind of ethics that you want to get in bed with?

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4996335
02/27/14 07:32 PM
02/27/14 07:32 PM
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Texas
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BudTexas Offline OP
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Texas
Good afternoon Russ79,

Thanks for the information, I will pass this along to my friends and let them know what they may be facing. From the information I have recieved so far, Mr. Byrd is looking for 3 hunters on a 80 acre spot called the Dog Leg section at a price of $5,900. My first reaction was woww, why sooo much for such a small spot. Then my friend told me Mr. Byrd mention the area is known for very big deer, averaging over 200 lbs for bucks. I do have some doubts on what Mr. Byrd said, but have heard in some areas of east Texas do have big deer. This will be the first time I ever hunted east Texas, normally I hunt hill country. But this year I decided to tag along with friends and try east Texas. I am due to look at the place this weekend, I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks alot Russ79.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4996349
02/27/14 07:40 PM
02/27/14 07:40 PM
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txhunter1010 Offline
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ive never hunted east texas but a 200lb deer in East texas?!!! I dont think so unless they have a feed sack tied to them...3 hunters on 80 acres is close quarters..and that comes out to $74 an acre!!! For almost $2000 find you a great guided hunt and be almost guaranted a buck atleast 130+ inch or better!!! just my opinion

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4996437
02/27/14 08:17 PM
02/27/14 08:17 PM
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Posts: 570
Nacogdoches, Tx
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Russ79 Offline
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If the dog leg section is on Mt. Hope then I know exactly where it is. In fact I believe that is what we used to call my hunting area. If that spot goes out on a long ridge that drops off pretty good on both sides, terminates at the end of the ridge with a nice little clearing, with one of those black plastic RealBark stands in the air about halfway down that ridge then that was my spot. I missed a really big buck from that stand about 10 years ago but I don't think I ever saw a deer that had a live weight of 200 lbs. That kind of a price is what I was talking about earlier. I know he can't be paying more than $8/acre- I lease from Campbell myself so I know what their leases go for. The sad part about that is he will find someone to pay that. Hugh Byrd is a salesman and can talk a good game. He is a likeable guy but he will get to you if he can.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4997703
02/28/14 01:51 PM
02/28/14 01:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,016
Murphy, TX Dickens county
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That is way over priced. Don't waste your gas and time looking at it. East Texas is the worst lease experiences I've had in my 30 years of hunting. If you lease there, you should pay much less than that and run as fast as you can from any place your looking at that is brokered and has negative references like you have read already.


Marc C. Helfrich
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www.insured-wealth.com
469-323-8920
Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4997721
02/28/14 01:59 PM
02/28/14 01:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 11,247
Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
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Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
Welcome to the forum Bud. This sounds like every east Texas "deal maker" I've ever come across. Lemme guess - he's a part-time minister too?


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4998043
02/28/14 05:00 PM
02/28/14 05:00 PM
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Posts: 570
Nacogdoches, Tx
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Think about it like this- even if you did know them , would you share 80 acres with another hunter much less two and if you would, is it worth $1975 for that opportunity? At least when I left he was only putting about one hunter for every 100 acres...When he finds some other sucker to take this deal (because I am assuming you will pass and he will find someone else)he will be putting about $5000 in his own pocket, just with this one transaction.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4998284
02/28/14 06:49 PM
02/28/14 06:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 349
Hunt in Juno, TX
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I don't know this guy, but sounds like a bad deal for sure. That is insane money for 80 acres.


If ducks had horns I'd probably be a duck hunter.
I am a horrible deer hunter. Probably the worst. Ever.
Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4998289
02/28/14 06:51 PM
02/28/14 06:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 349
Hunt in Juno, TX
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My place is a little under $4 an acre in West TX.


If ducks had horns I'd probably be a duck hunter.
I am a horrible deer hunter. Probably the worst. Ever.
Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4998390
02/28/14 07:36 PM
02/28/14 07:36 PM
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check your pm Bud

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4998599
02/28/14 09:35 PM
02/28/14 09:35 PM
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Nacogdoches, Tx
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Russ79 Offline
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Well, I got some clarification from Campbell on this "special" guy. Apparently, I was told that for that money you get a food plot planted twice a year, one or two feeders that are kept full, and possibly even a protein feeder. He is basically charging you for his services so that all you have to do is show up and hunt. I guess for some it is worth the money to pay to have someone do all the work, but I always enjoyed doing all that myself.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: Russ79] #4999048
03/01/14 02:58 AM
03/01/14 02:58 AM
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John Humbert Offline
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
Well, I got some clarification from Campbell on this "special" guy. Apparently, I was told that for that money you get a food plot planted twice a year, one or two feeders that are kept full, and possibly even a protein feeder. He is basically charging you for his services so that all you have to do is show up and hunt. I guess for some it is worth the money to pay to have someone do all the work, but I always enjoyed doing all that myself.


Danger danger!! Almost every time I hear a lease manager doing this, I also hear moaning about someone running day hunts while the lessors aren't there.

Also think about this: if you have 2-3 hunters on 80 acres, even if it is "safe" you are all hunting the same deer at the same time. If someone shoots, I promise you the deer will vacate those 80 acres and the hunt will be over for the other two for that day, maybe weekend.

So you are basically going to be in a lottery with the other guys each hunt. And probably not more than 1 decent buck (if that). So it becomes a lottery for the season too! Unless there are an exceptional number/quality if deer in the area.

That $4500 for 3 people becomes $4500 for one marginal deer, and you have at most 1 in 3 chance.


Run, don't walk, away from this deal

Last edited by John Humbert; 03/01/14 02:59 AM.
Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #4999081
03/01/14 03:22 AM
03/01/14 03:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
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Nacogdoches, Tx
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Russ79 Offline
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John, the dollar figure is $5900 for the three, which is even worse. The thing is, I know this lease manager, dealt with him for five years when I was on this lease. This guy is a heckuva talker and must have convinced Campbell that is running a world class operation. If it such a great place, why are there always openings? You can check with him every year and he will have multiple openings.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #5000191
03/02/14 03:34 AM
03/02/14 03:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 151
North Texas
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A couple buddies and I were on this lease with Russ for one season. I had a feeder and stand stolen that year. I agree with everything Russ has stated. At that time we were paying $1250 for about 60-80 acres.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #5002101
03/03/14 02:19 PM
03/03/14 02:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 688
NE TX
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Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
That is way over priced. Don't waste your gas and time looking at it. East Texas is the worst lease experiences I've had in my 30 years of hunting. If you lease there, you should pay much less than that and run as fast as you can from any place your looking at that is brokered and has negative references like you have read already.
This^ I am an east texas hunter and really good leases are like diamonds, rare but do exist, just ask hill country, west texas, and south texas hunting properties who makes up the bulk of their leases, folks form east texas....tough hunting here, thick woods, mostly pine plantations and you pay for hardwood bottoms which you must have to consistently see deer, put it to ya this way...if you see a doe and a button buck in one sitting you have had a good hunt, flipside tho hunt good spots and you will take some nice bucks but if you like seeing a lot of deer stay in the hill country...I did for past 8 years and finally got on a great lease 1k a year 1k acres with 8 hunters. if we ever lose it will be headed back to hill country...my 3 cents...


I dont shoot innocent animals...only the ones that bare thier teeth at me... Semper Fi
Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #5003058
03/03/14 10:04 PM
03/03/14 10:04 PM
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Posts: 732
Round Rock
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I found the following in Cherokee County paper, notes from a Lions Club Mtg from 2009.

A. H. (Hugh) Bird, who owns and operates Gray Ghost Outfitters from Maydelle School Lodge on U.S. Highway 84 and FM 2138 spoke at the June 3 Lions Club meeting. Several years ago, he bought the old Maydelle School Building and land from Rusk ISD. He often rented it out to various organizations such as the annual Maydelle School Reunion for a place to meet on the 3rd Saturday in October.

He has had to do a lot of repair on the building such as a new roof and now he is replacing all the flooring. He is transforming it into a hunting lodge. People like to come and hunt deer and wild hogs and other wild animals. They rent deer stands from Mr. Bird to hunt on acres of land which he has leased that extends all the way to Anderson County.

---------------------

BTW, I played basketball in the Maydelle Gym when I was in 8th grade. Grew up less 15 miles from Maydelle and hunted back then. Saw one deer back in the day that may have gone 200 but it's rare. I have a friend that hunts ET after he lost his lease out West. He struggles to get past the antler restrictions on most deer he sees. It's tough.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #5003085
03/03/14 10:21 PM
03/03/14 10:21 PM
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Nacogdoches, Tx
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I was on his lease when he reroofed the Maydells school gym. I am pretty sure that money he made on the leases he has helped pay for that. It may have changed, but the locals at Maydelle didn't have a lot of good to say about him.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #7015825
12/29/17 05:56 PM
12/29/17 05:56 PM
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Good Morning,
I wanted to share my story about Gray Ghost Outfitters with you. I am 52 years old and have been on leases most of my adult life. Before kids I had two leases at the same time one near Freer and the other near Lampasas. When my sons were born, I had to move closer to home so I could be involved in their sports and scouting programs. So I found a lease near Edna and was on it for 15 years. Land was sold out from underneath us the during the 2013 season, so I had to find a leases quick or sale all my stuff. Found Gray Ghost Outfitters through a Craig list add, never hunted east Texas before, but Hugh had a great sales pitch, so I bit. This is my 4th year with them and second spot. The first was called " Dog Leg" a great looking 100 acre high ridge with a deep canyon with year around water and hard woods.
Sale price was 5900.00 . It had one of his blinds on it which i did not need or want but because it was there I had to pay " Rent" for it which was included in the price. Also above the 5900.00, I had to pay a 200.00 deposit and 200.00 annul fee for my trailer with no electrical and no water. I was blow away by the the price about found it hard to compare it with leases in the area. Two years later I had had enough and told Hugh enough I am gone. He ask me to stay and offer me trial pictures of a new area called " Mountain Top " north of Maydella plus do some horse trading on the fee for work to be done on the school. I looked at the spot and liked it, we did the deal. It is much easier to do a deal than move when you have as much stuff as I do. The new spot was 50 acres at 5000.000 plus the space for the trailer doubled to 400.00.I horse traded for this and did not pay that amount. We ( sons and I ) put up 9 cameras that stay up year around, no deer only hogs. My son loves shooting hogs and the deal I made was in my favor, so I stayed. I am finishing my fourth year and the harvest has been 1 small doe, one bobcat, and I guess about 2 dozen hogs. This is by far the worst decision I have made in years.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #7016221
12/30/17 12:17 AM
12/30/17 12:17 AM
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Nacogdoches, Tx
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Russ79 Offline
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Just an FYI...he leases this from Campbell Group- what used to be Temple Woodlands. Campbell charges $100/year if you have a structure (such as a travel trailer) on it for the entire year. If you only have it on for deer season they don't charge anything. I have been told by a rep for Campbell to be careful what I say about this on a public forum that sometimes they let some lease managers do things outside of what is normally allowed. I'll take my chances- I hate to see folks get taken. He will not lease to locals and he has been caught day leasing outside of leasing to members. He has also been caught not tagging deer by the game warden. He also used to try to sell the LAMPS tags to the lease members for $50 a pop when he got them for nothing from TPW. I got my first lease from Campbell myself the last year I was on the Mt. Hope Hunting Club. It has been eight or nine years since I was on his lease and would hope that things have changed but apparently not. There is a game warden for Cherokee county that is a member of TBH that can tell you some stories.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #7024058
01/04/18 06:46 AM
01/04/18 06:46 AM
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Those prices are insane. I can pay $4,500 for a 9,000 acre place with lodging, feed, blinds, and 150+ inch deer 2 hours from the house. Plus tons of all other game. Some folks are getting ripped off.

Re: Gray Ghost Outfitters [Re: BudTexas] #7028955
01/08/18 02:45 AM
01/08/18 02:45 AM
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^^^^ Got any room for 2 more guys?

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