Brian N. Beisher
P.O. Box 6241
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801
Big Buck Outfitters, Inc. is a hunting business located in Wyoming, Montana and Kansas. We hunt whitetail deer, mule deer, antelope, elk, prairie dogs and Merriam turkey. Our focus is on hunting private land with strictly controlled access, which land has been managed for years to ensure quality age structure and appropriate herd dynamics. We don’t have any high fence hunting, just large expanses that are conducive to game management. We are based out of our lodge located 12 miles South of Sheridan, Wyoming.
We also hunt the Big Horn National Forest in areas with great quality elk and beautiful scenery - these are not private land hunts, but it is a limited draw area, even for resident hunters, that is managed for trophy quality elk. There are lots of elk in this area and great upper-end quality bulls.
We hunt dozens of properties comprising hundreds of thousands of acres.
Our area of the country and herd management philosophy ensures high game concentrations. One of our main “problems” with our herd management is culling out enough does every year. For the past few years, we have been taking 300+ does each year. Although we are not professional butchers, we debone and sack up the meat and have a great network of needy families that are thrilled to receive what the hunters don’t take.
For the first time in our area, our clients can harvest an unlimited number of doe deer as long as tags are available.
The standard number has been four doe deer and four doe antelope, in addition to the buck tags - which in our areas are two buck antelope and possibly two buck deer but tags are more limited with buck deer.
We have really noticed good results from our aggressive doe harvest. Herd health, antler quality, and the buck/doe ratio have all been clearly and positively impacted.
We are very interested in hosting clients that can shoot long range
, as there are many benefits to our program of taking our does at long range. We have found that our harvest goals are easier to reach when the does are shot from a distance. We are personally interested and experienced in distance shooting. Our country is ideal for long range shooting, i.e. relatively open country and large crop fields with high concentrations of game.
One of our newest offerings is one with the long range hunting community in mind, and that is the Maximum Harvest hunt. It is a two day, three night hunt, with four doe deer and four doe antelope included - the only extra is the price of each doe license. A couple years ago we had a corporate group on this hunt and the four hunters took 36 does in a weekend - and they showed up with two shotguns to test out loads! Filling tags, especially with long range weaponry and skills, is not a problem. One day, I returned to camp with three clients, 18 does and one buck in the truck. Buck deer or buck antelope can be added to any Maximum Harvest hunt with a little bit of planning.
Our top volume shooting experience is still prairie dog hunting. We have a lot of prairie dogs in our area, and if a guy can load, reacquire targets and shoot, 800 round days are not unrealistic. We have one repeat client that has shot over 1,000 rounds a day with us many times.
What is your opinion of the future of the Long Range Hunting industry?
My general thoughts on the long range hunting industry are that it is skyrocketing to the top. As an outfitter, I cannot describe the good feelings when a proficient marksman shows up in camp. In the outfitting industry, one of the biggest problems and most disappointing issues is the standard client’s inability to shoot proficiently. I recommend to many clients that they apply next years’ hunting budget to a long weekend at a shooting school and a new shooting rig.
As disappointing as it is to the client to miss a shot (and we all do) or not be able to take a realistic shot, it is often far more disappointing to the guide. We are invested in the hunters’ success - no one guides because he doesn’t want the client to succeed - and we want the shots to meet their mark and the client to leave camp smiling.
Believe it or not, we still have clients that show up personally unwilling/unable to shoot past 100 yards and a lot of clients are not comfortable, let alone proficient, at 300 yards. This is especially difficult to grasp when some of our clients are routinely taking game at ranges exceeding 500 yards. I don’t know if I was the first to coin the phrase, but I like saying it: “500 yards is the new 300 yards.” 500 yards is a standard that is easily met with a bit of practice and good equipment.
Some in the industry - I won’t name names - are still wrestling with the ethics of long range shooting. Our objective as sportsman should be taking game cleanly at distances at which we are proficient. If we are consistently reaching that goal, then we are meeting any ethical obligations we may have to the wildlife or the sport. There is always bow hunting for those that need the “up close and personal” experience.
Who are some of the key members of your operation?
Our core team is comprised of Herb, Chris and myself. Herb does not big game hunt personally much anymore - he has “been there, done that” and really enjoys bird hunting when out for himself. He gets his fix when the hunters he guides take the big bucks. No one is happier than Herb when a client lays down and drops a critter at 500 yards.
Tell me about your (or some of your team's) personal hunting style, location, species, etc.
Chris and I still enjoy big game hunting for ourselves, although we do not do as much of it as we used to. Chris and I both have sporter rifles set up to shoot distance. Chris has a 7 MM Mag that he had built last fall, and shot a doe through the shoulder twice at 798 yards - two shots, two hits - he couldn’t give himself the extra 2 yards?!
About ten years ago, I had Rifle’s Inc. build me a .300 Rem Ultra Mag on a Remington 700. I topped it with a Swarovski TDS reticle scope. At the time, that set-up seemed like a lot of money, but looking back my only regret is not having it built years before. I heard once that gamblers don’t remember the wins, but obsess on the big beats. Well, I have a few “big beats” in my hunting past that I would like to have back!
At distance, I have harvested lots of red stag in Argentina, coues deer in Old Mexico and oryx in New Mexico, black bear in the mountains, deer from the hills to the plains to the big fields from Montana to Texas, elk from Arizona to Montana, lots of antelope, and mountain sheep in British Columbia and Alaska in places I’m not sure I would want to go back to (think high and steep with lots of rocks)! Many times, I would have come up short on my trips had I not had a long range gun in my hands.
I invest a lot of time and effort, not to mention financial resources, in researching, scouting and hunting. I want to attain my goals while hunting as well as in life, and I always hope to maximize my efforts. One of the very best ways for anyone to maximize the effort expended and experience rewarded in the hunting field is to have a gun that can shoot and the skills to use it!
Tell me about your family.
I am passing the hunting tradition on to my 13 year old son and 11 year old daughter. My son has already experienced great success in the field and, among the many shots that he has completed (most recently a Wyoming turkey with his bow at the short range of 10 yards), he has a couple of long range shots under his belt - black bear and antelope at over 500 yards with the trusty .300 Remington Ultra Mag. My daughter is still working on the short range shooting - prairie dogs with the .17 HMR and turkeys with a .20 gauge - but we may see her shooting long range someday.
Chris, his boy Dominic age 5 (with his second Kansas Rio Grande), and my kids and me, with the kids’ Kansas birds from spring 2011.
What non-hunting and shooting hobbies or activities do you participate in?
There are non-shooting activities and hobbies? Oh, yeah, we fish on occasion too!