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Living Up to Their Name - Meet Travis South of Integrity Outfitters, Kentucky

Living Up to Their Name - Meet Travis South of Integrity Outfitters, Kentucky

More often than not, it is a Dad who sparks the interest of a lifelong passion for hunting and fishing for his children. Travis recalls some of the great memories of hunting with his Dad who once told him, "Son, you can't get a deer from the couch." Chuckling, Travis said, "He was right. That afternoon I had one of the best hunting adventures of my life!"

Our Dream Sporting Trips writer recently interviewed Travis South of Integrity Outfitters in Burnside, Kentucky, and we think you'll enjoy learning how he has built his business with an emphasis on trust and integrity. He emphasizes that Integrity Outfitters is "truly after the buck--the one with antlers and not dollar signs."

Dream Sporting Trips 

How did you get into this business? What made you decide to become a hunting guide/outfitter?

Travis South, Integrity Outfitters

From very early on I was completely consumed with the sport of deer hunting, as my Dad would let me tag along with him when school permitted. At the time, the majority of our deer hunting entailed traipsing through public hunting grounds which tested us every outing. Each time we sought to not only better ourselves as woodsmen, but to use the time together to truly enjoy the camaraderie and the bond between us. These shared experiences are what hunting should be about.

After working for an incredibly large outfitter, I was taken back at how commercialized his business was. I sought to have one with integrity, hence the name and what our operation is hinged upon. By priding ourselves on low volume and a focus on quality in and out of the woods, we enjoy the ever evolving relationship from client to friend through shared hunting experiences and the creation of additional memories.

Furthermore, we are blessed to consistently harvest mature Kentucky bucks, all the while showing our clients the difference through transparency, accommodations, and an unwavering determination for success. 

Dream Sporting Trips

Where do you take your clients to hunt?

Travis South, Integrity Outfitters

We offer two farms consisting of over 4200 acres. By having such large, mostly wooded parcels, our deer can easily reach their full potential through the control of their home ranges, supplying our herd with over 40 year round food plots, and sound management/harvest policies entailing an 18 inch outside spread minimum.

Moreover, better tabs are kept on the properties with good neighbors being better than any posted sign and we aren't traveling all over the state to hunt smaller farms where your hard work only helps others.

Dream Sporting Trips 

What is your favorite game to hunt? What game do your clients primarily request to hunt?

Travis South, Integrity Outfitters

That's an extremely tough question. The thought of leaves crunching behind me from a whitetail deer still gives me an incredible rush as does a wise old gobbler who is spitting and drumming fifty yards away debating on whether or not to close the distance.

All and all, I'd have to side with deer hunting. Specifically, early bow season is my favorite. Here, your hard work and due diligence can pay dividends as opposed to lucking out being at the right pinch point during the rut. Of course, luck is still a factor early in the season, but I find the harder I work, the luckier I get.

We actually only offer whitetail deer hunts however, a very limited number of turkeys will be hunted mainly for TV footage. We choose to specialize in whitetail hunts and not chance jeopardizing pushing mature bucks off of our properties. With this mindset, clients can see we are truly after the buck--the one with antlers and not dollar signs.

Dream Sporting Trips 

Is there a particularly exciting hunting adventure you'd care to share with our readers?

Travis South, Integrity Outfitters

It was a much cooler November than usual which inevitably drove my six-year-old self to talk my Dad into getting an early lunch despite my new insulated camo coveralls. These "new" coveralls were two sizes too large, had an uncooperative zipper, and were passed down from my older brother.

After thawing out and getting a bite to eat, my Dad remarked, "You can't get a deer from the couch." He couldn't have been more correct than that afternoon. A button buck was completely enthralled with a doe at the time and failed to notice my Dad and I walking the same old logging road. Five yards separated what we had worked so hard for and what my Dad wanted for me perhaps more than I did at the time.

To this day I'm sure the buck became alert because he could hear my heart beating out of my chest. We were staring each other down for what seemed like an eternity--only my stare was down the barrel and to the brass bead. The crack from a New England Firearms single shot 20 gauge loaded with buckshot sounded off and dropped my button buck instantly. I made my dad very proud that afternoon and will never forget my first deer nor our experience together.

Dream Sporting Trips 

What is the most commonly asked question you get from potential clients?

Travis South, Integrity Outfitters

Our most common question entails our minimums. We ask that harvested bucks have a minimum of an 18" outside spread. Through instituting a spread minimum and using the "ear tip to ear tip" method, a quicker and simpler size assessment can be made with most minimal bucks in the 140" range. This gives our clients a more fair opportunity to qualify a buck. We are not out to make money on trophy fees!

Dream Sporting Trips 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Travis South, Integrity Outfitters

This line of work is highly rewarding as it offers many opportunities to bless people and their lives. Sometimes tags are filled, but at the very least my clients bring home stories they will cherish for many years to come. This can be expected. On the other hand, last week while shed hunting with my German Shorthair, the unexpected happened.

We had stumbled upon a balloon with a note affixed with faded letters #wemissdeki. After typing the hashtag into Instagram, I found the person who released the balloon a week prior in Texas. The balloons were released over 1000 miles away in lieu of her best friend's one year memorial. I had made her day along with many, more people she said.

How incredible it was to be a part of something much larger, unbeknownst to me at the time. The list of reasons to thank social media is relatively limited, however, this recent occurrence tops my list.

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[below] Integrity Outfitters' Lake Cumberland lodge features ample space, beautiful views, multiple bedroom and bathroom arrangements, and an authentic hunting/fishing cabin atmosphere.

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What do others say?

"I just had the pleasure of hunting Nov 20-22 and saw good bucks each day. Sealed the deal on the 22nd by taking "Corkscrew" what a unique buck. Travis South of Integrity Outfitters goes the extra mile to make your hunt a lasting memory. I will hunt with them again and recommend them to anyone looking for an outfitter. Thank You Travis!" - Bill M.

"Had the pleasure of hunting with Travis South at Integrity Outfitters this past week. The lodging and hospitality were excellent. I've hunted with many outfitters, but never hunted with anyone with more drive and determination. If you are a serious hunter and want to take a top quality buck, this is definitely the place to go. I will definitely hunt with Integrity Outfitters again." - Scott S.

"The name says it all, INTEGRITY!!! I would recommend any serious whitetail hunter give these guys a call. Truly a low pressure, high quality hunt." - Tim H.

If it's whitetail deer you're after, then check out Integrity Outfitters!

They strive to be the most knowledgeable, accommodating, easiest to work with, and most successful outfitter you have ever booked with. 

Click below for more information on their hunts and for information on how to contact Travis:

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