Guided Hunts--when would or have you done them?

When would you go or have you gone guided?

  • I frequently go guided without thinking twice about it

  • If federal, state, or provincial law requires it

  • For a "glory tag" (high point or OIL type hunt)

  • If I'm hunting somewhere I've never been

  • If the location is so remote that horses, boat, aircraft, etc are needed

  • As a gift or as part of a professional/business outing

  • As a companion to the elderly or disabled

  • To access private land I'm interested in hunting

  • Never, ever, ever will I go guided

  • Other


Results are only viewable after voting.

TC207

New member
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Messages
25
I think the only guided hunt I would ever likely go on was if I can someday afford to go to Alaska for sheep, which would require one. Other than that I'd much rather put in the work myself.
 

sneakypete

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
1,445
I've done two guided hunts for moose in northern BC. I did my research and broke it down to three outfitters. I had face time with each and chose the best now outfitter/ friend. I'm trying for another hunt with my son in 2021! My best advice is that animals that can take a lifetime to draw and if you have the means you're missing out. Theses are free range wilderness hunts with one garuantee, they'll hunt hard you! The only other guided hunts I've been on is a spring snow goose hunt, again hunting is hunting. We missed the migration, but had fun.
 

thusby

Active member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
251
Every couple of years some friends and family go with a no-frills guide for pheasant in SD. It's worth it to access great private land and have a more relaxed hunting getaway.
Nothing wrong with guided pheasant hunt get-aways. You get to sleep in, let someone flush birds for you in corn strips with 100s of birds. Then back to the lodge by 2 p.m. for happy hour followed by a big dinner and some cards. No problem hunting like that for birds after punishing yourself all season hunting big game.
 

wllm1313

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
4,520
Location
Aurora, CO
Nothing wrong with guided pheasant hunt get-aways. You get to sleep in, let someone flush birds for you in corn strips with 100s of birds. Then back to the lodge by 2 p.m. for happy hour followed by a big dinner and some cards. No problem hunting like that for birds after punishing yourself all season hunting big game.
I've done it, and it's fun... not sure if it qualifies as hunting.

It's kinda like walking around central park with a latte, nursing a hangover and then telling people you spent the day hiking.
 

thusby

Active member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
251
Pheasant lodges are pretty light vacations for sure. It's pretty much the Michelob Ultra of hunting.
 

Blockcaver

New member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
14
Location
British Columbia
I've been lucky to live and bowhunt in CO and BC as a resident and plus take a bunch of DIY trips when I drew a tag or bought an OTC license in various states and provinces (+20 species). That said, some of the critters I've had on the bucket list were Alaskan Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Grizzly, Muskox, Dall Sheep, Tule Elk, Woodland Caribou and Central Barren Ground Caribou. I had to go guided to hunt them. As long as the guides are good and understand bowhunting, it can make for very interesting trip where I learn from them and hopefully hold up my end of the deal as well. However nothing beats the satisfaction of a hard earned DIY critter!
 

ashersdad

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
3,001
Location
Portland, OR
I’ve been on 7 guided hunts. All Alaska or Canada where it was required. I much prefer DIY but I had/have bucket hunts where a guide is required. Luckily all my guided hunts were good experiences even when an animal wasn’t taken.
 

mdhunter

Active member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
829
Location
Maryland
I am an equal opportunity outdoorsman. If I am hunting in my home state if Maryland I would never hire a guide or outfitter. I will admit to hunting out west on my own for antelope. I will also admit to having used a guide when elk, moose, or dall sheep hunting.

If you have a nice boat i will let you be my guide while we fish together. If you will pay for the fishing charter I will certainly come along and mooch all the information the captain is willing to share.

For me personally using a guide makes the travel aspect from the east to the west coast much easier and less time consuming. Like everyone else, I have a family and the less time I am gone the better. Using an outfitter helps in this regard.

Honestly, I have met some great people when being guided. Not every trip successful but I do not regret any of them.
 

Tikka06

Active member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
418
Location
East Tennessee
I went on a semi guided whitetail hunt in Ky a few years ago. Being all private land and no fences it was an ok experience. I did not care for the lodge atmosphere and opted to stay in a local hotel. The guide picked me up in the mornings and dropped me off close to the stands. I ended up killing a nice buck and my guide was a pleasure to work with. I actually helped him drag a couple of other bucks out of hell holes that the other hunters wouldn’t even attempt. I just couldn’t not help, paying or not. The real kicker about all this is my wife paid for the trip and booked it without any of my insight and gave it to me at Christmas. I was terrified she had booked some high fence mess with no refund. I was even hesitant about it after learning all the details but it worked out in the end. I highly doubt that I would do it again. One hunt I wouldn’t mind paying a guide/outfitter for would be a horseback, backcountry mule deer or elk hunt or of course the Alaska scenarios. Being from the east and not having any stock of my own it would just make more sense to do it that way. The wife and I have went on half day inshore guided fishing trips on our beach vacations before and she actually loves those. I enjoy those myself as they are largely inexpensive and we have always had a good time.
 

TimeOnTarget

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Messages
1,141
Location
SD
I've done a couple guided fishing trips but never hunting. For me personally, I've always felt like hiring a guide was cheating. For me, I like putting in all the logistical work as much as the physical work that is required to make a hunt successful. I don't like not being in control of how my hunt goes, I don't like just showing up and hunting without having a general knowledge of that particular valley/area.

Like was mentioned previously, I get a week or 2 a year to hunt out of state, and they are all hunts of a lifetime for me. Not just another day on the job as it is for a guide. I will push myself way harder than any guide is going to push me.
 

marshman

Active member
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
229
Location
Southwest Washington
Given the Hunt Talk community is largely a public land, do it yourself bunch--I'm interested to know under what scenarios you have or would go on a guided hunt.

I've gone guided as a gift a few times. While still enjoyable it wasn't as fun a doing it on my own. I never have, but would like to do a remote back country horse pack elk hunt at some point. I could also see doing something guided with aging relatives under the right circumstances.
This is what I did. A guided pack in spike camp for elk in Idaho in September. It was my dads idea and it was a really wonderful experience. My dad was semi disabled from an occupational injury and could get around but no serious hiking or mountain climbing was possible for him. He shot a beautiful 6X6 opening morning a ten minute walk from camp. Mine came in day 6 of the hunt 5 miles from camp after climbing a mountain. I am DIY all the way and have not been on a guided hunt since (1993), but this was a trip of a lifetime for my dad, something he said he always wanted to do, and i will never forget it.
 

ajricketts

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2016
Messages
754
Location
South Florida
I'll be honest, for +/- the same cost as my trip out west I could drive up to NC/SC/TN and spend 5 days (meals and lodging included) hunting whitetails with a 3 or 4 deer limit. Free range, leased land. It's almost tempting to take a year off sometime, just build points, and go on the "guaranteed" thing lol. Not sure I could actually do that, but it's tempting . . .
 

2rocky

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
1,432
When I will hire a guide:
Fishing trips that require a boat.
Law requires it (AK Dangerous Game, Wyoming Wilderness)
For Drop camp in wilderness with Pack Stock.
Out of Country
Special outfitter draw or Special outfitter area.

It is up to you as a hunter to be communicative about what you value on the hunt. I've paid an outfitter where we used his packstock, but ran our own camp and spotted, stalked and retrieved our own game as if we were just local hunting buddies. We used his gear, camp and base facilities. We paid less than the handheld clients, and hunted the same country for 6 years. We paid for the outfitter's knowledge of the trails and animal movements. We powered up the learning curve instead of hunting multiple years before we killed something. But to be honest, we are pretty handy (my dad, 77 uncle 73 and I 45) and usually get asked if we are locals when we are checking in game at the meat locker.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
17
Location
CO
Given the Hunt Talk community is largely a public land, do it yourself bunch--I'm interested to know under what scenarios you have or would go on a guided hunt.

I've gone guided as a gift a few times. While still enjoyable it wasn't as fun a doing it on my own. I never have, but would like to do a remote back country horse pack elk hunt at some point. I could also see doing something guided with aging relatives under the right circumstances.
Given the Hunt Talk community is largely a public land, do it yourself bunch--I'm interested to know under what scenarios you have or would go on a guided hunt.

I've gone guided as a gift a few times. While still enjoyable it wasn't as fun a doing it on my own. I never have, but would like to do a remote back country horse pack elk hunt at some point. I could also see doing something guided with aging relatives under the right circumstances.
I've been some guided hunts. if you go with the right outfitter you can learn a ton and apply what you learn to your diy hunts. just my opinion on it
 

clharr

Active member
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
114
I've been on the other side of guided hunts as I used to guide part time for hogs and sometimes deer for a ranch I use to work. Most of the time it was new hunters who were smart enough to know they didn't know what they were doing. I can tell you I worked my ass off to make sure they had a enjoyable time and learned what they needed to go solo. I didn't make any money out of the deal it was more a labor of love because I had once been in there shoes. Many years later and I'm still in contact with a few of them. Some have sent me pics of their first big bucks, invite me to go hunt at their lease, etc. One even became one of the best friends I've ever had in my life and was the best man at my wedding this year. I have a Barret Fieldcraft sitting in my safe because of him.

Guides get a bad wrap and often times rightfully so but there are also guys out there who genuinely love what they do. If you think about it, Randy has been a guide for many of us in certain ways. I never knew how easy it was to hunt the west until I stumbled across his videos on youtube. Now I'm going on my first hunt this year.

Having said all that, I've never been on a guided hunt. I can't justify the financial costs to myself. Someday when I go to Alaska I suppose that will change but my cousin who lives there is a native.

Bottom line is I love to hunt and don't look down on the legal means and ways others choose to do so.
 

beginnerhunter

Active member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
728
If I had the money I'd go on a guided elk hunt to soften the learning curve for future DIY hunts. Fortunately I have an experienced friend helping me on a backcountry elk hunt this year. Kinda like a guide.

I'd go on a guided duck hunt for the social aspect and the fact they aren't terribly expensive. I'd be interested in a pheasant hunt for the same type of atmosphere.

No offense to Bowtech, but I cant see the utility in a guided whitetail hunt. They're everywhere nowadays.
 

thusby

Active member
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
251
I would use a guide to hunt northern Alberta whitetails. I’ve seen some racks from a guy that hunted with Doug Percival up there.
 
Top