13 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Maine
Joined: 01/21/2007
Posts: 28
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

I am a guide and I would like to know what you hunters look for when booking a hunt. What's most important to you? $ / references / gauranteed game / a lodge witha hot tub ?

Shawn Howard
Howard Bros. Guide Service
http://www.howardguideservice.com

Offline
Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

I look for price first. If it wasn't with in my budget then I won't be going and I want to be in an area where there is a decent chance of scoring. I don't have to kill an animal to have fun. I want to hunt hard (I don't want an easy, guaranteed hunt...unless I booked a preserve hunt but I know that ahead of time) and know that we did the best we could under the circumstances....whatever they turn out to be on that hunt. I would sleep in a tent in the woods if thats going to give us a better shot at what we are hunting but I don't want to come to the conclusion after a few days into the hunt that I am being taken for a ride because we havent seen any good sign.....I just want a decent chance at the trophy we are hunting. If were not seeing anything that means its time to work harder to find it.

AND ABOVE ALL....don't lie because when I figure out that I have been lied to.....I won't like that person anymore.

Offline
Location: Phila., PA
Joined: 03/15/2007
Posts: 171
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

This is an intersting thread. I just started looking to book my first "Guided" hunt. I am going to Africa this July, but a friend of mine is a PH over there, so it is not the same as picking a guide "out of the blue". I am looking to book a hunt in Maine. I am finding myself looking at the price first, but not foremost. If I totally can not afford the cost, I move on, but if it's "just out of my price range" I read, and try to figure why it's more or worth more. I think the outfitters who are able to give you some flexability as far as meals included/excluded different grade packages etc get my vote.

I agree 110% w/ hunter777...do not lie.

Good luck with this!

Offline
Location: Maine
Joined: 01/21/2007
Posts: 28
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

I think the "don't lie" is a great point. I do not garantee game because I can't. This is fair chase hunting. I do scout year round and make sure I'm where the game is but that doesn't make it a sure thing. Obviosly both of you are about the hunt, I like that. I also like to hunt hard, I would love to guide some clients that want to "work" for thier hunt. I think a little sweat and dirt makes for a fine hunting expierence! As far as prices go, I have set my prices for hunts but I am comletely flexible, I want to get your business, and if you can't afford to pay the full price, let's figure out something that works.

Thank you for responding,
Shawn Howard
Howard Bros. Guide Service
http://www.howardguideservice.com

Offline
Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

I realize that it takes a certain amount of money to make a hunt go off smoothly and that most outfitters are barely making any money if any at the end of the year even if they are charging $3,000 or more for it. Most times thats what it costs them to do the hunt and their profit is the enjoyment they get out of it. Its too bad every once in awhile a real ass shows up in camp and messes up what should have been a great hunt (If the outfitter is doing their part) if they only listened to the advice they were givin by the guide they were paying, didn't complain about being uncomfortable, and actually hunt!
Those are the "hunters" that preserves are made for Duh
I heard a quote from an outfitter that I respect alot because of his excellent camps and very good success rates but I still cant afford to hunt with him Oops!
"the most successful outfitters are the ones that can lie the best" He said you will find them at all of the sportsmans expos. He doesn't run the expo circut anymore because his buisness is completely dependent on return customers and word of mouth advertising.

Offline
Location: Phila., PA
Joined: 03/15/2007
Posts: 171
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

Let me reverse this question...
Being a guide, what and how would you recomend finding a good outfitter?

Offline
Location: Maine
Joined: 01/21/2007
Posts: 28
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

Ask a lot of questions, talk on the phone. I think a lot of communication is lost in an e-mail. If you know you don't want to sit on stand all day, let the guide know. If you think the price is out of whack ask why. No guide should feel offended when questioned. I'm a regular guy, blue collar worker who loves the outdoors, I want to guide and I am willing to do whatever I can to get your business, once I have your business I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make your hunt successful. If you don't feel like a guide or outfitter is excited about having your business, or they just don't seem interested in your questions, move on.

Shawn Howard
Howard Bros. Guide Service
http://www.howardguideservice.com
shawn@howardguideservice.com
(207)474-4632

Offline
Joined: 04/09/2007
Posts: 1
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

I agree with huntmaine, don't be shy to ask the guide questions and lots of them. They are looking for your business and if they are not flexable enough to make the hunt work for you, then move on. A;ways remember you get what you pay for. I try to price my hunts so that I stll make a little profit at the end of the day, just like any other blue collar working man.
I run a guide outfit here in B.C Canada and know what it takes to make a hunt work. On average per hunt every year I spend $500 to renue my license, $150 for every assistant guiding license (have two every year) $!50 a day per assistant guide. $100 a day for the cook, $70 a day for horse feed, Food for 10 days,etc.
The list goes on and on, and that is only for one 10 day moose hunt. So always make sure what the outfit is offering is equal to the cost of the hunt.
Another thing to mention is ask the guide if he or she is an avid hunter. If all they do is guide for 2 or 3 months a year than they have no clue what a hunt like that means to you and what makes it fun.

Offline
Location: Maine
Joined: 01/21/2007
Posts: 28
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

There seems to be a lot of viewers in this discussion but not many posts. Please hunters, I really want to hear your comments!
Also, guides feel free to ad your thoughts. Sometimes I think there seems to be a wall between guides/outfitters and clients. Before I was a guide I spoke to several outfitters and booked a trip with one and to be honest I was very intimidated. I'm not sure why, but I was. I think I was nervous about hunting in a place I had never been with people I had never met. Has anyone else ever expierianced this? I try to keep this in my mind when I'm talking with a potential client, hopefully this helps me be a better guide.
Perhaps we can get more dialog between guides and hunters here at this forum, as guides it may lead to customers, as clients it may lead to a great hunt that you truly feel comfortable booking.

Shawn Howard
Howard Bros. Guide Service
http://www.howardguideservice.com

Offline
Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 68
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

I am actually looking for a guided Hog hunt now in Northern California. And here are some of the things I am looking for...

1. Value - While overall cost is not necessarily a major concern it is important to keep costs in line with the service. I don't mind paying more for better service but there needs to be some sort of distinguishable difference to support a higher cost hunt.

2. Location - The general area of the hunt. The hunt I am after needs to be in at least the general area (few hours travel isnt' a huge issue).

3. Accomodations - License, tags, field dressing, food, vehicles/horses, etc... anything that makes planning the hunt for me easier. I am a first time hunter and in all honesty have little idea what needs to be done short of the very basics anything you can do to help make that easier certainly has an appeal for me as a first time hunter. If you can not do something(like tags for example) it is also helpful to at least let me know that you can not do it and that it still needs to be done.

4. Special Circumstances - In my current hunt my father will be joining us. He is starting to get to the point where he can not move around as well as he once could but he still enjoys being active. The ability to accomodate him in some way is a huge factor for us. It doesn't matter if it's by putting him on a horse, a 4-wheeler or by simply keeping the hunt planned to short distance travel so long as the issue is addressed in some way.

5. Gurantee - I'm sorry but I laugh every time I read where a guide gurantees a kill on any hunt. The only way he can even come close to guranteeing a kill is if he were planning to take the shot himself or if it is a farmed hunt(not actually hunting the animal but shooting them in a pen) and if that is the case then why in the world am I paying for the hunt. No offense to those outfitters who post a gurantee but I take it as a sign that you are simply a salesman trying to sell me a hunt at that point. Post your historical records if you feel the need, you could even offer a guranteed sighting or shot if you want, but please do not try to lie to me and tell me that you can gurantee me a kill, for all you know I can't hit the broad side of a barn regardless of what my claims are.

PS - These are not necessarily posted in order of importance, this is just a list of the items I look for not in any particular order.

Hunting for me is about the actual act of hunting, it is not necessarily based on the actual bagging of a game though that is always nice.

Offline
Location: Maine
Joined: 01/21/2007
Posts: 28
What do you look for in booking a hunt?

hostage67,
You make some great points. I will make some changes to my website to include things like where to purchase a license and permits and I will put in more info about what the client can expect for walking distance and terrain to the stands. Thank you for the info and good luck with your hog hunt. I did a hog hunt in Texas a few years back and it was a great experience.
If your ever looking for a Maine hunt, drop me a note.

Shawn Howard
Howard Bros. Guide Servcie

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Booking Agenttxbritman408/10/2006 16:44 pm
New Mexico Antelope Huntingmedinabowhunter007/08/2011 14:05 pm
now booking for hog huntshoosierhunter06007/05/2006 09:55 am
booking a huntreddog65509/10/2007 18:38 pm
wanted hunters/fishermen to help book some of my huntsTHT601/28/2006 18:32 pm