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can you really make money doing this?



Calif hunter-There are outfitters out there that make a living totally off of guideing and outfitting, some in the six figure range! Most outfitters are just doing it to make ends meet, I think. This business is getting like any other business and the little guy is being crowded out by the big corporate outfitting businesses, and the big corporate ranches. In the end, an outfitter will have to be big business to survive and the people that use them will have to have deep pockets to use their services and hunt the land that they are leasing up all over the country. Money and greed has taken over our country and the small time mom and pop operations will be a thing of the past much as the small farms and ranches are almost that way right now. Theres no money in it really unless you have the numbers, and the money to back ya to start with. bcat

If you aint the lead dog the scenery never changes
my wife and i were talking today about guides and outfitters and she asked me "these guys really make a living showing other people where to get there deer or whatever?" i said well i think they do.
so my question is this do you guys live year around off your guide money or is it a "side" business? is there a school for this or is it just the school of hard knocks?
Hi Californiacoyotes,interesting question.I am a registered guide in two states,N.H. and Maine.I live on the border so hunt both states.Have had my guide licenses for about 5 years.\
I do it part time.I do it for two reasons.One is that I love it.It is neat to get paid to do something you love.Two is that I am obsessed with hunting with hounds ,which is very exspensive.I take a few hunters each year and this still doesnt break me even on my exspenses but it helps.
Most of the guys around here that guide full time also have other sources of income.Many run camps for vacationers,snowmobilers.etc.Alot of them pound nails during the summer too.
I own apartment houses and also work a somewhat "regular" job.I have to for the insurance benefits.I can also take hunters for way less than most of the full time guides because this is not my livelyhood just a fun thing.
Check out my web site at

As Bcat said, there are folks who make a living at guiding, but they are few and far between. Most of the outfitters I know have some other type of income. I myself have a regular job as a firefighter that pays the bills. I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to have two days off for every day I work. I save up my vacation and take the month of October off to guide elk hunters. If I need a few days off in the winter to guide a lion hunter, I can just take off one shift from work and that gives me five days to hunt. I chose to be an outfitter because this is what I have done and loved since I was 14 years old and it is what I plan to do "full time" when I retire in another ten years. It is very hard to make much money in this business, but the rewards are great!

"The worst advice you can give a person with a sour attitude is to be himself"
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I am a full time four season guide.I start guiding fishing in may and work 4 to 7 days a week till mid august.Thats when I start getting ready for bear hunters in Sep.We take about 40 hunters a year(Bait and Dogs)Till the first of Nov.when our deer season starts.I don't guide Manny deer hunters
(I like to hunt them myself)Dec.our Bobcat season starts We don't always have good running conditions for cats so I don't book menny.I also do some odd jobbing and take care of several camps,Witch requires maintenanch.I also trap witch doesn't pay like it useto.I may not be rich but I am having fun.Thank God My wife has a full time job.I am also a therd generation guide in my family

We having fun yet//Tobey

[This message has been edited by Tobey (edited 01-23-2001).]
I got started when I was very small.My grandfather and uncle Guided deer hunters and fishing.I always idolized my grandfather and wanted to follow in his foot steps.I got my guides license back in 1974 when I was 18 and I wanted to set the world on fire.Do to slow times and not many people hiring guides I started working as a sheet metal mechanic,Then got married and started my own sheet metal bisness with a brother ass partners.I still guided part time and longed to do it full time.In 1995 I sold my interest in the sheet metal bisness and here I am.I have had hounds all my life and have guided bear hunters for 18 yrs.I have a older brother that has been here guiding full time for 32 yrs and raised 3 kids doing it. I will tell you the last 5 yrs has been the happiest time of my life so far.I will say that its a lot harder work and more hrs. than the sheet metal bisness ever was.

We having fun yet//Tobey
how do pick your areas to increase the hunters chances? do you go out a week or so before and scout it? what type of reseach or planning do you do to pick an area for a specific animal?

I started out guiding summer trail rides for a local guest ranch during my summer breaks from school. I feel like I was cut out for this as horses and hunting have always been my main interest. From there I expanded into working during the fall and after I graduated from high school I worked for another outfitter from May through November.

For me scouting is very important. I am able to keep tabs on the elk and other wildlife as we do many summer trips into the areas that we hunt. Also in the course of running cattle during the summer, we see the game and what is in the area. One thing that has bit me in the butt is, not scouting the area the last two weeks before the hunt. Elk could be in the area during the entire summer and decide to move at the last minute. I am now careful about that and make sure I scout just before bringing in hunters.

"The worst advice you can give a person with a sour attitude is to be himself"
[email protected]

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