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Selecting an outfitter

Old 09-04-2011, 06:37 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Selecting an outfitter

What should I look for in an outfitter/guide for the first time?
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:04 AM
  #2  
Typical Buck
 
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Good luck bear,

Find an outfitters that seems to be honest and not over bragging his % and the number of game in the area. Most of them will tell lil white lies to make themselves to seem a lot better than what the real deal is.

Best way is to find someone that you think you'd be happy dealing with. Then call the Division of Wildlife, Forest Service and Clients he's taken out even getting a number from one or two that may have not taking game and would tell honestly how their hunt was. But remember you can't please half the people half the time.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:11 AM
  #3  
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Thanks...Blackelk.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:25 PM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Can go through a booking agency that doesn't cost you anything to use. You still want to talk to past hunters of the outfitter though.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:02 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by SJAdventures View Post
Can go through a booking agency that doesn't cost you anything to use. You still want to talk to past hunters of the outfitter though.
While I agree with you on that comment you can still have everything in line and have it go bad. This is an example. Say outfitter/owner XXXX takes a group of hunters elk hunting and they go 4 for 4 in the third day of the hunt. Then they go back to camp and eat a hearty diner every night prepared by a great cook and stay in a nice cabin with mountain views. So you call these guys up as a reference and they tell you the hunt to the food was awesome so you book the hunt based on what you heard. Now you arrive in camp a year later and the outfitter pairs you up with another hunter and a guide. First the guide turns out isn't the owner that took the 4 hunters words you went off of and now you have to worry about the "other" hunter. Now you find out the other camp was full so your staying in a roach motel miles from your hunting area and have to get up at 3am to make it in remotely before getting into the hunting area. Then halfway through the hunt you realize your guide is a filler because the outfitter is booked up. Then to top it off your stopping at a convenience store eating some old cheeseburger that has been sitting under a heat lamp all day because by the time you get back its to late to find a place open to eat. Chances are even if that burger hits the spot now it will definitely hit the spot later! LOL

See, went from sounds good to bad in a few sentences. Been there done that!! You can never guarantee your going to get the same as the other hunters that told you it was awesome.


Here is a list I go off of:

Who is the guide? How long has he guided for you? How old is he? Is he a local?

Who are you pairing me up with? How old is he/she? Who decides who gets the first shot?

How far is the hunting area from where we are sleeping?

What are your expectations on the game you are hunting?

Oh, and always, always be the first in camp. Be the last and see what happens and what guide you get.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:13 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by SJAdventures View Post
Can go through a booking agency that doesn't cost you anything to use. You still want to talk to past hunters of the outfitter though.
While I agree with you on that comment you can still have everything in line and have it go bad. This is an example. Say outfitter/owner XXXX takes a group of hunters elk hunting and they go 4 for 4 in the third day of the hunt. Then they go back to camp and eat a hearty diner every night prepared by a great cook and stay in a nice cabin with mountain views. So you call these guys up as a reference and they tell you the hunt to the food was awesome so you book the hunt based on what you heard. Now you arrive in camp a year later and the outfitter pairs you up with another hunter and a guide. First the guide turns out isn't the owner that took the 4 hunters words you went off of and now you have to worry about the "other" hunter. Now you find out the other camp was full so your staying in a roach motel miles from your hunting area and have to get up at 3am to make it in remotely before getting into the hunting area. Then halfway through the hunt you realize your guide is a filler because the outfitter is booked up. Then to top it off your stopping at a convenience store eating some old cheeseburger that has been sitting under a heat lamp all day because by the time you get back its to late to find a place open to eat. Chances are even if that burger hits the spot now it will definitely hit the spot later! LOL

See, went from sounds good to bad in a few sentences. Been there done that!! You can never guarantee your going to get the same as the other hunters that told you it was awesome.


Here is a list I go off of:

Who is the guide? How long has he guided for you? How old is he? Is he a local?

Who are you pairing me up with? How old is he/she? Who decides who gets the first shot?

How far is the hunting area from where we are sleeping?

What are your expectations on the game you are hunting?

Oh, and always, always be the first in camp. Be the last and see what happens and what guide you get.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:18 AM
  #7  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Picking an outfitter cold is scary, you are laying a significant amount of money out to an unknown person, in an unknown area with unknown employees. The trick is to remove as many unknowns as you can!

Here's what I'd suggest:

Step 1: Figure out your budget, total cost, not outfitter cost, how much can you spend on this hunt?
Step 2: Figure out what animal you want to hunt, in what part of the country, including any size goals you want (a 350+ elk is going to be MUCH harder to come by and probably more expensive, than an "elk").
Step 3: Combine 1 and 2, then hit the internet, see if your budget from #1 can be met by a random search of outfitters in step 2. this tells you if you have realistic goals given your budget.

Step 4: Hit the biggest hunting show you can find, they are loaded with outfitters. Start talking, have list of questions:
- What is your succes rate?
- What is "success" to you? (could be anything from guide sees an animal, to an animal on the ground)
- Can you guarentee me a shot chance? If they say yes, RUN AWAY SCREAMING.
- How long have your guides been with you?
- Describe a typical hunting day start to finish?
- what happens if I don't get along with my guide?
- what happens as other hunters tag out (do we juggle guides)
- What's included in your price? (airport pickup, butcher, caping, etc.)
- how do we get to the hunting spots? ATV, horse, truck, walk....
- how much land do you hunt
- how many hunters will be in camp?
- how do you pair up hunters who come single?
- Oh ya, can you give me a reference list? Now that you have hte one he gives you, et another one of unsuccessful hunters.

Hit the references:
- describe a hunting day?
- describe the lodge/tents/whereever you stayed
- how many animals did you see
- why didn't you get one
- how was the guide
- what suprised you about the hunt
- would you go back again?

When push comes to shove, you have to decide if they are being honest, the BEST advertising they can possibly have is word of mouth. But you need to make a gut decision.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:39 AM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Weeding out the inconsistant outfitters (some trips great some trips under par) and only utilizing time and tested season after season outfitters is what a booking agency is supposed to do for the hunter.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:51 PM
  #9  
Spike
 
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Check references - for sure. Ask for clients from a specific week the year before. Don't let them pick the week.

Repeat customers are a sign of a good outfitter. I think back of all the Outfitters I have used over the years and there are several I would go back with and others were a complete flop.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:29 AM
  #10  
Spike
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Default Finding the right spot

I realize you may have already picked the outfitter you want.But like everyone has said ask lots of questions, as a guide you are right if I gauranttee you a bear there is no way it might happen. For starters I can put you in an area to see a bear but can't gauranttee he is going to wait for you to get the right shot.The best I can do is work hard to make sure you have a good time remember the best hunt does not mean you have to shoot something.
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