If you’ve been coming to my site for more than a couple of years, you’ll know that I talked with Sparky Sparkes from M2D Camo a LOT. I first met Sparky when he came out with M2D Camo – a great pattern that works in any environment. I last had a good check-in with Sparky almost 2 years ago exactly. I thought I should touch base with him again. Sparky has consolidated a bunch of his activities all on one site – Joker’s Wild Outdoors. In particular, I thought it would be interesting to chat with Sparky about his hunting properties and guided hunts which you can check out at M2D Camo Properties. Thanks again to Sparky for taking some time out of his crazy busy schedule to answer some questions for my readers! ~Desert Rat
1. You have properties now in Idaho, Washington and Indiana. How did you get stated in outfitting hunts?
I have had the Idaho properties now for over 13 years. Specializing in Elk, killing 60-75 a year both cows and bulls. We also kill plenty of Whitetail deer, some antelope (not enough), bears and the occasional moose. In Washington, we have been chasing turkeys for about 15 years now and are fortunate in that we can hunt Merriams and Rios both in our area. We also have WT deer hunts in Washington. Indiana, I picked up because it is a great mid-western state with the potential for BIG bucks. To shoot 160-plus class bucks you have to hunt where they exist. I also recently picked up a new lease of 6000-plus acres in Western Kansas with WT deer, Mule Deer, Pheasants, Turkeys and Waterfowl. 2020 will be a trial year in Kansas but I already know the land and expect good things from it.
2. Are all the tags over the counter or are some of them draw?
Every state is different, and every animal is different. Idaho rifle bull elk is a draw, rifle antelope is draw. Archery elk is OTC, Archery antelope is draw but guaranteed. Deer are over the counter for archery and rifle. Moose is draw. Bears are OTC. In Washington, turkeys and deer are over the counter, no draw. Indiana is over the counter for WT Deer and turkeys. Kansas is a draw for Deer only.
3. Of all your hunts, which one do you feel is the best value?
I think our Idaho elk hunts are one of the best in the US especially for archery elk. Elk every day and potential for 350+ bulls on an OTC tag is rare. Our Idaho deer hunts are almost guaranteed rifle deer for good, respectable bucks. Our Idaho ranch is 90-100% rifle success on most animals depending on the client’s ability. It’s very hard in today’s world to have such high success rate. All our hunts are respectable, reasonable and we work our asses off to be successful. We’re also very honest about what we offer and what you can expect to shoot. We do not oversell anything.
4. Which hunt is the most under-rated?
Cow elk in my opinion along with our Idaho deer hunts are the most underrated. The cow elk is about 98% shot opportunity and they are delicious. It is the same hunt as hunting a bull elk but 1/3 the price with the same experience. Our WT deer are so plentiful that you are 100% shot opportunity so that makes it a great hunt, but because it is Idaho people don’t think of it as a great WT deer state.
5. For someone going on their first guided hunt, which one of your hunts do you recommend?
This is a tough question as it really depends on what that person wants to hunt. If you want a bear, a guided hunt is the right way to go. If you want a deer, a lot of guys can learn on their own. Elk I feel is a must to do a guided hunt if you have never hunted them. They are not easy, and they can take years to harvest. The average archery elk hunter shoots an elk once every 8 years. That is a long time to hunt to kill one elk. I say go on a guided hunt every other year, or every 3 years and increase your odds drastically as long as you hire a good, reputable guide that will put you on the animals. Too many bad outfitters are out there, selling promises and failing the clients. I hear a lot of horror stories and I hope there was a better way for people to avoid that. I wish more people would do a lot more research when booking guided hunts, even with me.
6. You’re becoming quite a celebrity – do you make an appearance at each of the hunts?
I am just your average guy that has made a good business in the hunting industry. I am no better than the guy hunting with me. I enjoy taking people and getting them their first of anything. I do not need accolades and am definitely no celebrity. I am just a hard-working, fun guy that loves to do things right and be successful and possibly enjoy a drink or two.
7. Talk about food, lodging, etc. at your hunts – what can we expect?
On our fully-guided hunts you will stay in a nice cabin with all the normal luxuries of life – showers, TV, beds, etc. As I was a firefighter for 20 years the food is usually pretty good. We do not skimp on food and we serve high-end food. It is usually rib-eyes, brisket, salmon, shrimp, tacos, ribs and more. We mix things up and cook to please if we have allergies or people who don’t like certain things, but you will not go home hungry. We also enjoy some spirits in the evening while telling lies.
8. How do you select your guides?
Finding a guide is not easy as it takes more than just a hunter. They have to know how to hunt many species, be friendly, courteous and know how to read their clients. They also have to be thick-skinned because I expect perfection and hard work and can be a real asshole. It’s not always easy to put up with or work for me, that is for sure.
9. Of all the hunts you offer, which one is your favorite?
I enjoy most all of our hunts but the experience that you receive on a fully guided archery elk hunt is a lot of fun. You are so close to the majestic animals, calling them to you, playing games with them, and seeing inexperienced hunters or new elk hunters have that close encounter is special. Especially when they do everything right and put an arrow in any elk.
10. You hunt a ton – what’s on your bucket list?
I have been very fortunate over the years and have harvested many spectacular animals. I actually enjoy watching others harvest more than myself anymore, but I still enjoy a great hunt with good friends. I would rather spend a week in camp with good friends hunting and being unsuccessful than going on some special hunt and killing something just for me. Hunting is about time in the field together; too many have forgotten that. Someday I will check off a few things that I would like to harvest like a brown bear, mountain lion ( have hunted 7 times never killed one, my nemesis), and also – Africa is on the list, hopefully a lion.
Thanks again to Sparky – an all-around great guy. I really hope to make it up to hunt with him one of these days. He’s got a bunch of stuff going on.
You can learn more about his TV Show here: Livin The Dream
He offers some of the best pricing around on a number of hunting products. You can shop online here: BUY Hunting Gear I have sent several people to him to buy Vortex optics – he has the lowest prices I have found.
And of course – you can learn more about his camo here: M2D Camo
Finally – if you want to look at his hunts in Idaho, Washington, Indiana or Kansas – visit him here: Guided Hunts