View Full Version : Advice on choosing Guides.
January 4, 2001, 12:33 PM
I am hoping to start hunting out of state in 2 or 3 years and want to start hunting for guides for Elk in the Western part of US.
Also if anyone can give me general advice about hunting in other countries. I would like to get at least one African Lion someday and also would like to go hunting in Norway or Sweden for Moose. And possibly do bear and Sheep hunting in Asia.
January 4, 2001, 07:08 PM
This is a tough question to answer. I've hunted elk for 11 years and have been on two fully-guided hunts. I wasn't real happy with either one of them, and now prefer to hunt on my own, or with trusted friends.
One guided hunt was marred by guides drinking heavily, and the other by a surly, impolite outfitter who had a talent for rubbing everyone the wrong way.
If I had to consider another guided hunt, I'd talk to the outfitter a LOT about the details of the hunt before committing. References are good to check, but they'll usually only give you the names of favorable clients. Repeat customers would be the best to talk to. Also check membership in outfitter associations, and see if past clients have filed complaints.
I would NOT pay much attention to magazine advertising. I've heard of some outfitters who advertise heavily to keep getting a new client base, because they don't get repeat business.
For elk, I lean toward outfitters who are involved in the RMEF(Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation). Shysters and fast buck artists usually don't donate to good causes. If you can make it to the sport shows, it's good to meet an outfitter and get an idea of their personality. Beware the man who promises too much.
I guess I'm really saying that you have to hunt for a good outfitter, just like you hunt for game.
Good Shooting, CoyDog
January 4, 2001, 08:43 PM
Funny you should ask that question. I was driving home in Atlanta rush hour traffic this afternoon and decided that this year I am going to go on a guided elk hunt in Idaho (first choice) or Colorado. I will be doing some of the same research you are, only with a shorter time frame. Gotta get started! :)
January 4, 2001, 10:49 PM
Hawkman, Idaho's a great place to hunt (and live). Go to http://www.ioga.org and check the outfitters there.
I've hunted with Leo Crane, of Clearwater Outfitters, out of Orofino. Great trip and although I didn't kill an elk, my buddy did; a very heavy beamed five point, that made most six points look like babies! It was an excellent camp; great food, very good guides and horses, etc.
I've heard through the grapevine to stay away from 62 Ridge Outfitters, but I haven't hunted with them.
Look in "The Bugle" quarterly magazine of the Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation. They have lists of outfitters, many who support the Foundation.
Hope you have a great hunt in this great state. J.B.
January 5, 2001, 10:11 AM
Thanks for the info. I went to the RMEF outfitters list last night, and there is quite a large number of guides listed. While I know the general steps in choosing one, a personal reference means a LOT! I would hate to waste the money on a bad experience. BTW, Clearwater/Leo Crane was listed as a heavy contributor.
January 5, 2001, 01:20 PM
I went on an elk hunt in September with Wayne Hill Outfitters in Noxon, Montana. He runs a first class operation, with plenty of good, hot food and a comfortable lodge. We were bowhunting, and in on bulls several days.
He knows the country, has been doing it a long time, and has a very good reputation. Most of his clients are repeats. It's a public land hunt, so it is more affordable that the private ranch hunts.
It's rugged country, so be in good shape. Very good shape.
Very thick brush, steep hills.
He offers gun hunts too, but your chances are better during bow season, when the elk are bugling
Hope this helps.
[Edited by Matrix on 04-20-2001 at 01:58 PM]
January 5, 2001, 03:14 PM
I know a bunch of Wyoming outfitters. For what it's worth, the best success for large branch antlered bulls is in the remote wilderness areas or in the small limited quota mountain ranges with limited public access. If you have lotsa bucks, go with a big name outfitter and go well in to the backcountry. If you want a less physically difficult hunt, go with an outfitter on Copper Mountain, Shirley Mountain, Laramie Peak, etc. When you ask for references be sure to inquire about success percentage on mature bulls, and get references.
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