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Location: WNY
Joined: 06/01/2008
Posts: 3
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Hey guys. I thought I'd post up a quick introduction, and ask a question or two.

I live in western New York and am a pretty hardcore waterfowler. I start September 1st and don't quit until March 10th. I hunt mostly in my area, and in Southern Ontario, with a couple of trips do Arkansas mixed in every year. The only big game hunting I do any more is archery whitetail. I've always wanted to hunt western big game, and now I have the oppurtunity to do so. Next year I plan on applying for tags and points, and hopefully will be able to draw a good tag in a couple/few years? Big smile

Anyway, I've never hunted with a guide or outfitter, and was wondering......When I start looking for one, what questions do you think I should ask? References, success rates....I really don't know?

Keep in mind that this is for an archery elk hunt.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to chatting with everyone around here! Big smile

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Moderator
Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Welcome to BGH gandergrinder! I guess your name says it all! Big smile

We published an article on selecting an outfitter quite some time ago, back in 2001. However many of the points still apply today to finding an outfitter.

You can read the article at the following link:
http://www.biggamehunt.net/sections/Off_Season/How_To_Select_a_Guide_and...

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Location: Plymouth, Indiana
Joined: 01/27/2007
Posts: 151
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Not sure where you're planning to hunt but Central Montana is a good choice. Colorado has more elk but a lot higher elevation. I've hunted with several outfitters but mostly muledeer, antelope & whitetails. Send me a PM with a little more detail & i'll help you as much as i can.

mccoiges@hotmail.com

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Location: Umatilla Rez, Oregon
Joined: 12/10/2007
Posts: 150
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Ask them if they serve beer for breakfast

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Location: WNY
Joined: 06/01/2008
Posts: 3
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Thanks for the replies....even you Rez Big smile

7 Mag....I haven't really decided on a location yet. Colorado or Wyoming would be my first choices.

What would be some good indicators that a particular outfitter would be someone to steer clear of........or possibly consider?

What would you look for...or look out for? Big smile

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 08/01/2007
Posts: 82
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?
gandergrinder wrote:
Thanks for the replies....even you Rez Big smile

7 Mag....I haven't really decided on a location yet. Colorado or Wyoming would be my first choices.

What would be some good indicators that a particular outfitter would be someone to steer clear of........or possibly consider?

What would you look for...or look out for? Big smile

I am a Colorado outfitter, my license number is #2140

You are welcome to ask me anything that you like. (970)529-6691

http://www.kmoutfitting.com

Thanks,
Kevin

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Location: Plymouth, Indiana
Joined: 01/27/2007
Posts: 151
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

If Wy. is one of your choices i encourage you to apply for a preference point this summer so you have one for next year. The Wy. drawing is in Jan. so it's not that far off. As Kevin mentioned, you can ask any question you like but the one most outfitters don't like to answer and for a good reason is success rates. Fair chase hunting & the clients ability to shoot play a major role. I would ask for references both successful & unsucessful as well as deposit information, trophy fees, how many guys in camp, hunter to guide ratio. I pretty much go 1x1 for most of my hunts but 2x1 works ok & it's cheaper. If you hear more than 2x1 than i would look elsewhere & get everything in writing. If you want to take some of the risk out, use a booking agent. I use Chris Lemke from outdoor connections. http://www.lemkesoutdoorconnection.com His service won't cost you anything extra & they only use reputable outfitters who they've personally hunted with. Get in the best shape possible, elk hunting is tuff & the mountains are unforgiving. Elk hunting is nothing like chasing a whitetail, you'll need to extend your shooting range to 40-50 yards if you can & be able to shoot from your knees. A buddy of mine shot a 6x7 at 67 yards in Montana a couple of years ago, be prepared you'll spend a lot of money on this trip & you want to be able to make that ethical shot when it's presented.

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Location: WNY
Joined: 06/01/2008
Posts: 3
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Thanks for the helpful info 7Mag! I will be applying for a preference point this summer for sure. Getting in shape seems like a very common recommendation, and one I don't plan on taking lightly.

I'll check out Outdoor Connection....

Thanks again Big smile

cowgal's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Gandergrinder, after you have found some outfitters you think sound promising, type their names (business and personal) into a search engine like Google. That may turn up some good and bad info for you. Also there are sites that allow people to rate guides and outfitters. Though not everything you find online is 100% reliable, it might give you an idea on how previous clients feel. If you read about a lot of problems, I would probably steer clear.

Find our how long an outfitter has had their license and who exactly will be guiding you. If a hired hand is guiding you, find our their name(s) and how long they've guided. Another important question is how far off the road they will take you to hunt. You don't want to ride around in a truck for your whole hunt. You'll also want to know how much acreage you will be hunting, public or private, and how many people total will be hunting during that same time frame. Obviously if its on public land it would be impossible for the guide to know that, but your hunt should cost considerably less if its on public land. For private land hunts, they should have exact numbers for you.

I don't believe there's any advantage to using a booking agent. In fact if you contact outfitters directly, you can sometimes work out a deal with them, especially if you're bringing a group of people to hunt.

Get everything in writing.

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Location: Umatilla Rez, Oregon
Joined: 12/10/2007
Posts: 150
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

Yep, cause some times they don't serve beer for breakfast Cry

cowgal's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
What Questions Should I Ask An Outfitter?

I know you're joking rezhunter, but I would have serious concerns if an outfitter DID serve beer for breakfast. You should not be drinking any alcohol before or during your hunt.

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