Networking for Hunting Opportunities

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A number of years ago I went on my "hunt of a lifetime" (there have been many of those) and wrote about it on some Internet site.  I don't even remember where it was.  Someone read the story and dropped me an email telling me he liked the story.  Always interested in chatting with another hunter, I answered.  We started what turned out to be a strong "pen-pal" friendship that lasted for several years.

Three years ago, he flew out from New York to do a mule deer hunt with me here in Washington.  Groovy Mike was an instant friend and great hunting partner.  (he introduced me to this site)  He fulfilled one of his dreams; a Western hunt for the floppy eared muley. 

As I was reading the tip "Don't Wait" by Ed T this morning, I thought of Groovy Mike's hunt and how it happened.  Mike had a pretty good hunt and went home with a respectable mule deer buck that hangs on his wall today.  And he did it on a working man's salary.

Which leads me to my tip...... if you would like to host a fellow hunter on "your" hunt in exchange for being hosted by him, maybe we could set up a forum on this site for those of us willing to exchange hunts.  I'd love to go on a quality hog hunt sometime, or javelina, or....... the list goes on and on and on......

So, if you want to go on a specific hunt and don't want to pay the high dollars of a professional guide service, put out a notice on this site of where you'd like to go, what you want to hunt for and what you have in exchange.  You can ask Groovy Mike if he enjoyed his trip out West. Come to think of it, Mike owes me a hunt.


Boots's picture

Yep, love it.

This is a great idea. It doesn't even have to be far away either. I put it out there on facebook that I was going on the mountain and anybody that wanted to split gas was welcome to tag along. I got a response from an old friend, he ended up taking me to the spot where I took my first elk this last year. So, great idea, it definately works, and it will probably work better on this site because it's targeted toward outdoorsman.

ndemiter's picture

i myself have "swapped a few

i myself have "swapped a few hunts." fortunately, i have met respectable and friendly guys on other hunting sites and have traded several hunts. one with a guy from florida for alligator and hogs and another for bear in oregon. all i have ever really been able to offer is whitetail. but at least good whitetail hunting.

i have heard stories from other guys who've done this and end up in compromising situations and feeling uncomfortable taking animals in those situations. but i am thankful to have met some good people and have been able to retain these relationships for quite some time now.

i do agree that this site could use a feature somewhat like that, as i've met some very knowledgable and helpful people in this online community.

and while i'm thinking about things this site could use... an automatic spellchecker!

Deer Slayer's picture

I think this is a great tip.

I think this is a great tip. This may be the wave of the future for hunting opportunities. With the prices of everything becoming so astronomical, us hunters must band together and take matters into our own hands. Let's offer hunts to our friends in our area's and in turn they can offer us hunts. Everyone probably can't offer boarding but I'm sure some of us could. You would have the cost of travel, maybe boarding, licenses, and some food. If we could get alot more people to do this maybe we could get some of these astronomical prices that outfitters have to come down then more people could afford to do them.

ManOfTheFall's picture

That is a great tip. I would

That is a great tip. I would love to go on a western hunt. I live here in Ohio and have shot alot of whitetails but would love to go out west and take a muley, antelope, elk, and the list goes on. I also know some of the western states have earlier seasons on whitetails and I would love to take a nice whitetail in velvet.

groovy mike's picture

I do owe you a hunt my friend!

I do owe you a hunt my friend!          


The trouble is that I have nothing that compares with the awesome mule deer hunting opportunity that you provided.  I would be delighted to put you on my white tail stand but in reality the deer I have on my property are deer that you would likely pass on.  I’ve seen outfitters offer swap hunts online, but what I have found with you and with others is what really pays off is friendship.  I met Arrow-flipper and Rem2Arms through online hunting sites and over the days and weeks that followed we got to know each other and took a gamble and hunted together.  There isn’t much better than sharing a hunt with a friend or two.  On the other hand, I have met folks from online and we just didn’t click.  There are some guys that I have hunted with that I have not had any kind of bad experience with but we just didn’t hit it off.  I’m not mad at them and their not mad at me but they just aren’t folks that I’d fly cross country with to hunt with again.  Arrow-flipper is the kind of guy I’d fly cross country just to hang out with even when the hunting season is closed and friends like that are worth even more than a big floppy eared muley buck to smile at on the wall.        


I guess I’ll just have to drag you along when I pull an elk tag etc.

arrowflipper's picture

Thank You

Thank you Groovy Mike, the feelings are certainly mutual.  I'll never forget meeting you at the airport, having never seen you before.  It just didn't take long before that bond of friendship started to take hold.  And after a week in the field together, it was even better.  And that is not to mention that muley you have on your wall.

I'm looking forward to you coming back out this fall and joining us again.  I can't guarantee you a buck, but I can sure guarantee that you'll see fifty or so of them.

hunter25's picture

I think this is an excellent

I think this is an excellent idea and have seen some members here make offers like this in the past. Like you said it would be a way to save a lot of money. I do most of my out of state hunts after countless hours of research but still have a lot of guessing and uncertainty when we go.

The only problem for someone like me is that I don't feel what I have to offer is good enough for someone else as we struggle to fill our own tags.

Again I think this is a great tip and could work out well for some of the guys here.

jaybe's picture

I'm with the both of

I'm with the both of you, Wade and Mike. I have the opportunity to go out west this year with a good friend who has hunted there many times. From what he tells me - and from the stories and pictures he has brought back - I will see quite a few deer and probably have a chance to shoot one if I want to take it. The down side of this trip is going to be the cost. Pulling my 5th wheel out there at 7 miles per gallon will be a whole lot more than driving out in my van that gets 24 miles per gallon. Of course, if I had to stay in a motel, that would add to the cost significantly, but if I were staying with a friend like Arrowflipper or someone else out there, it would be much more reasonable.

This is a great tip, but like has already been said, unless a guy just wants the experience of sitting in a patch of Michigan hardwoods for hours on end to maybe see a deer, and maybe be able to take it on whatever license he has, I'm not sure that it would seem like a fair trade for what I have heard is the normal experience of hunting out west and seeing "fifty deer" or so.