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Why a guide?

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Unread 12-03-2007, 12:20 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 362
Just do it yourself,, turn on those lights in your head and go.. I have been on two guided hunts and free lanced over I don't know how many.Both guided hunts made me angry with myself for not doing it the right way.Honestly I just wasn't as proud of my harvest. Plus I did not see eye to eye with my guide. Not that they were not good people, but that they push you threw like numbers.. Although on both guided hunts I did meet real and I mean the real Mcoys when it comes to guides..I just did not have the privilige of hunting with them ,, It is just to much of a crap shoot for the money involved..
Lowcountry Wildlife Management
Knowing Wildlife Beyond Science
Genesis 9;2
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Unread 12-03-2007, 01:19 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 286
I am personally anti-outfitter, at least for the USA. As others said, you may get some access with them, but what you're forgetting is the more money you make the outdoor-whores, the more land they are going to monopolize access too. So you're basically supporting a return to the "king's deer" here in the good ol' USA.

What you're paying for with an outfitter depends largely on the outfitter, For the best of them you're paying to have a guy take you to the game that has been scouting pretty much non-stop in his areas, which is going to result in a better chance of a harvest. You're also paying to have access to the areas that he has leased or has access to (buy buying/leasing land surrounding BLM etc.), usually a gauranteed tag and of course doing the work after the kill and keeping you fed and lodged in some cases.

For the worst of em' you're just getting robbed. Most of them are somewhere in between, but in my opinion they are all bad for the future of our sport here in the USA.
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Unread 12-03-2007, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 178
I worked for an outfitter on the Alaska Penninsula one fall and we had 8 people we outfitted for unguided caribou hunts. Only one pair of hunters had any idea of what they were getting into and all the rest shot animals that were convenient or they misjudged the horns. We had to pack out one animal because the guy couldn't physically do it. This is a good place to have a guide.

I outfit now on my own ranch and I do it to suplement my income as well as because I enjoy it. In many private land areas an outfitter will get you access to land that is managed for trophy quality. Where I live you can do it yourself but you will get marginal public land or possibly private land but the private land is almost guaranteed to be over pressured. You still may kill a good deer but it will be a very long shot and you will have to be very lucky. All of my clients have money but not time. Also, it's easier to pay me a certain amount for a few days hunting that is comparable to a family vacation than to buy a ranch for 2 or 3 million that returns maybe 3%. I make every effort to be very clear on expectations because I want myself and my guides to enjoy a hunt as much as a client. A client that has been mislead or misunderstood your operation is somewthing I will avoid at all costs.

Hunters need to understand that in private land states like Nebraska most outfitting and land leasing isn't what a lot of landowners want. This trend has grown out of the lack of prosperity on the farm or ranch. So, the next time you buy a steak in the grocery store realize that the price you are paying is a lot of the reason for the proliferation of outdoor-whores. This is a trend that society has created not the people you blame.
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Unread 12-03-2007, 10:31 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 870
I have a real hard time feeling sorry for the poor farmer/rancher that you describe. There are many people living on much less than the 90k you describe as scraping by. The beef prices have been pretty high the last few years and most of the cattle farmers I know are doing fairly well. Ranchers have access to more government help than almost anyone, CRP, BLM leases, state land leases just to name a few. If a rancher wants to shutdown thier ranch and sell the deer they don't own have at it but don't say it's everyone elses fault. Yes this is a personal pet peeve and I will stop the rant!!!
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Unread 12-03-2007, 10:37 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Missoula, MT USA
Posts: 278
I have worked as a guide for several outfitters and in some cases outfitters are helpful.

1. Single older gentleman who's wife doesn't like him in the woods alone
2. Getting deep into backcountry on horse with mules to pack out the animal
3. Guaranteed elk tag in MT if you book through outfitter, others must put in for lottery

That said, I have never worked for an operation that I felt was worth what the clients paid. Most people do have more money than time which is why they might book an outfitter. I don't think paying for it cheapens the experience, it's not like we keep them in pens or anything. You're still out there working your ass off long hours in the cold and often coming up empty handed. If you can go into unfamiliar territory with limited time and kill a good elk by yourself and get it out of the backcountry you should do that.
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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:02 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Eastern Oregon
Posts: 371
Originally Posted by buffalorancher View Post
Hunters need to understand that in private land states like Nebraska most outfitting and land leasing isn't what a lot of landowners want. This trend has grown out of the lack of prosperity on the farm or ranch. So, the next time you buy a steak in the grocery store realize that the price you are paying is a lot of the reason for the proliferation of outdoor-whores. This is a trend that society has created not the people you blame.

Thanks for posting that, I never really looked at it from that perspective. I understand its hard to make a living farming and ranching. Good point. I live in Eastern Oregon and find it hard to find a place to Pheasant hunt, or hunt anything really on private land. Tons of Hunters from the other side of the state with money and come over here and lease up the land for hunting. This peeved me for so long it made me bitter. I gave up pheasant hunting for the most part. But, I understand where you are coming from needing to suppliment for income. Its fast becoming a rich mans sport.

Another thought about guides and fenced hunts. Is it really even hunting, or should it just be called killing since someone does all the work for you to pull the trigger.

Last edited by Flybuster; 12-04-2007 at 12:29 AM.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 12:01 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 92
Guided Hunt

I have been on four guided hunts. All four were great experiences. One was the hunt of a life time. I saw 10 legal bull elk in one day on a ranch(35,000 acres) in NM. I am a handicapped hunter, so a DIY hunt is difficult. I have done a few, but they are difficult. I have not had a bad experience on a guided hunt. But I let the guide tell me what to do. I watched several hunter's in each camp have a miserable time with the same guide's. The problem was these guy's thought they knew more than the guides-THEY DID NOT. If you are going to spend a lot of cash, then in my opinion you should listen.

I told the outfitter exactly what I expected, and needed, before the deposit was sent. We had several discussions, and each outfitter understood what I wanted, and they all provided what I expected. IMO you need to get all details ironed out before the hunt. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the hunt(I have to sit).

I sat next to a beautiful pine tree(the only large tree in the area) in NM. Watched and listened to the bugling bull elk. For as far as you could see. It was truly the best experience of my life. I have hunted on public land's, there really is nothing like lightly hunted private ground. Tom.
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