Im just curious who he used in Eastern Nebraska as a guide kuz my uncle is friends with most of the guides there so the chances are i know the guide. i know every year they take at least one buck scoring 160 with my uncle last year they took one scorin a lil over 190 a monster.
Getting back to the start of this thread "The truth about outfitter success ratios". I have been in the outfitting/guide industry for going on three decades. I think if I was on the other side of the counter at the sports show wanting to interview prospective outfitter's for my next hunt I might want to ask for references from the previous season's hunters that did not kill game. It seems most clients that kill say... a trophy bull elk on their western hunt could have been eating baloney sandwiches and sleeping in a wet tent for ten days and still give you a positive reference. As spoken in the mentioned article the show an outfitter puts on is a huge part of the hunt. Another cringing question for an outfitter to be asked would be, how many return guides to you have for the coming season? The best outfitter in the country is no better than the guide he hires and places you with. I would want a guide that knows the area like the back of his hand, I mean that's what you guys are paying for anyway isn't it? And success ratios? Just where does one confirm what he's told by an outfitter? I never had to register my kills in the state of Montana or Alaska with any governing agency or confirmation resource. So what ever percentages or kill ratios any given outfitter may tell you has to be taken as the truth. (I'll probably get beaten up here, Surly this day and age there has to be a state that registers every animal that is killed and by witch outfitter and guide involved) But any way we have to be able to trust outfitters and guides after all their all hunters and fishermen and we know there is a strict code of ethics about lying among this group The internet and forums such as this are a fantastic tool for researching which outfitter to book with as well as the areas he might want to hunt.. You guys spend a lot of money for these hunt and should do all you can to be sure you get your moneys worth .
Well, I'll throw my two cents in. Most outfitters that I've been happy with don't believe in success ratios. let me explain, most of the good ones will tell you when you talk to them that success ratios are BS. The unscrupulous outfitter will pad his stats with words like oppurtunities ie. I'm running about 95% oppurtunities. Thats erroneous, because he might consider a 400 + yard shot an oppurtunity or a chance at a spike as an oppurtunity. So the best outfitters I've dealt with will tell you that the ratios are bunk. And, just so you know if you're talking about elk hunting even the best areas are a 50 - 50 shot. You've got just as good a chance of coming home empty handed as not.
I've never hunted with an outfitter. The only time I might have ever needed one was on an out of state archery hunt for antelope. I studied topo maps, spent time on the phone w/ biologists and practiced shooting from a portable ground blind. Ultimately I arrowed a respectable 14" buck. My conclusion at the end was that possibly an outfitter is completely unnecesary if your willing to do your homework, but if you'd rather not do the homework and have the $, why not hire one. My success rate was pretty good on that hunt, but of course, I also must admit that I might have shot a record class buck if I'd gone w/ an outfitter.
A outfitter is only as good as thier guide and the guide really is only as good as the hunter, i have nearly hoisted hunters and thier gear on my back or hiked them within yards of a great spot and stock only to have them miss. (We make the shooters sight in pre hunt) so if the hunter comes unprepared or out of shape it all lowers "success rates" Those ratios are useless. We tell everyone, its no garrentee, if one wants that find a canned hunt i bet those hunts ratios are 100% You can lead a horse to water...
I run a small outfitting business in New Mexico and have a different opinion on what success is. For me it all boils down to one question when the hunt is over; would you like to book another hunt with me? That is how I rate myself. As it has been mentioned in the article and other posts, there are too many many ways to skin a cat. After the 06 season was over I was at 100% success rate with all last years clients applying this year to come back. Two of last years clients are also aplying to bring their daughters out for a youth elk hunt. I had a good year and plan on having another one!
I must admit that I have missed a big game animal with a rifle. And not only was it a bull elk, it was the largest bull that I have had in my sights with a tag in my hand. But, as with most "missed shot" stories, I have an excuse. Moisture doesn't really ever bode well for hunting equipment. When moisture (either rain or snow) gets into a firearms barrel, nothing good takes place. A couple rain drops down there can change the point of impact drastically and a barrel jammed with snow after a...