Yeti

MT Guide - Low-Maintenance Hunter Inquiry

Glaze

New member
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
21
Hey all - kind of new here. Just signed up after lurking for a long time. Going out to MT for a general archery elk hunt later this year. First instinct was DIY, but new to MT so thought about the idea of getting a guide for a day or two of new country. After looking at tons of guide pages I am not really finding anything I am looking for. This makes me think maybe nobody has what I want in a guide or I am too particular, so I figured I would put this out there and maybe receive some idea or new direction I have not thought about.

What I am looking for: I do not need provided shelter. I have everything needed for a base camp or backcountry trip. I do not need to be fed. I know how to prepare food and bring it for a week's journey. I kind of just want to pay someone for knowledge about the unit and maybe teach some local tactics along the way as we move through the land. I can carry my weight and pack out my share of the meat if we end up getting lucky. Just wanting a hunting buddy that I pay and learn from I guess to get me started.

Does anyone have any contacts or recommendations for such a person/guide?
 

rmyoung1

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Jul 12, 2010
Messages
1,905
I don’t really think that’s a thing. Running an outfitting business is not cheap and dedicating manpower simply to show someone around at vastly reduced rates (presumably) isn’t going to fit the business model.

It sounds like what you really want is a self-guided experience but understand that there’s a learning curve to climb. My advice would be to look into drop camp opportunities if you have some cash to burn or simply put on your pack and enjoy the process.
 
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Straight Arrow

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Jun 10, 2009
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4,828
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT
Unfortunately elk hunting knowledge and skills are difficult, if not impossible to gain in a one-trip, quick course hunt. As explained by rmyoung, the outfitting / guiding service is professional and valuable, typically providing the knowledge, guidance, and opportunity to harvest, as well as guest accommodations and services so the hunter may concentrate on the hunt itself.

DIY is a fun and satisfying learning experience, sometimes with hunt lucky success, depending on hunting knowledge and skills brought to the hunt. However, often it is very challenging to come to a new unfamiliar area and learn what's needed to be successful.

For some of us it has taken years, if not decades, to be successful. Personally, for several years I thought elk were mystical animals, conjured up by elk hunting gear manufacturers ... because I could not find elk where they said elk should exist.
 

kwyeewyk

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Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
1,010
Location
Washington
I certainly don't know all the rules but my understanding is that what you are proposing is basically illegal, if someone accepts payment for guiding they need to be a real guide and follow the rules. Might want to frame as you would cover expenses for the hunt, pay for gas whatever, I think you're walking a line. I've heard of people selling scouting info but not sure how that works, and I think most people on this forum are against it.
 

Glaze

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Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
21
I appreciate the responses and the extra information. I hope my post did not come across as insulting to the guiding process. My intention was to find a perfectly legal guide service without all the frills and to pay in full whatever that cost may be for the guide/hunt. It appears I will have to reassess and do more of a DIY-type hunt and just put in the work.
 

Derek44

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Nov 13, 2020
Messages
281
Location
North Central Washington
I’d just go for it and enjoy the experience. The learning is all part of the satisfaction. If However you do feel the need for the “help” just call some of the outfitters local to the area you’d like to hunt and visit with them. They may have options that would fit your bill. I’ve seen hunts advertised through GoHunt that seem similar to what you are talking about. They were in other states IIRC, but you’ll never know for sure unless you call and ask.
 

Glaze

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Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
21
I would suggest you introduce yourself, include where you live and just ask for some local help. You would be amazed what a offer for cheap beer and a good attitude can get you if you ask right...
Looks like I was typing my last comment as yours came through. Thank you for the advice and the recommendation.

My name is Drew, and I am just a whitetail hunter from GA. I am an avid outdoorsman and grew up hiking around Appalachia and trout fishing streams. Also used to help run a kayak/tube outfitter on the Chattahoochee for the owner in my teens. September-January was always filled with whitetails and wood ducks - mallards if we could bring them in. Summer was for striped bass and spots on the lake. I want a change of scenery, and the wife wants to move out West at some point. So I want to start spending my early falls going out west from now on, so I am finally taking the preverbal plunge as it were this year.
 

Caseknife

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Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
360
Location
NE Washington
Maybe something like a mentor would fit the bill. Put your feelers out for relatively local elk hunters and befriend them, pick their brains, offer to provide gear and travel expenses to accompany them on their next hunt out west. That, or look specifically for a packer only in the area that you are planning on hunting. When you are getting to know him, pick his brain for tips.
Hunting elk has a steep learning curve, especially when you are archery hunting with the limitations of getting up close and personal. Good luck and have fun in the process.
 

Glaze

New member
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
21
Maybe something like a mentor would fit the bill. Put your feelers out for relatively local elk hunters and befriend them, pick their brains, offer to provide gear and travel expenses to accompany them on their next hunt out west. That, or look specifically for a packer only in the area that you are planning on hunting. When you are getting to know him, pick his brain for tips.
Hunting elk has a steep learning curve, especially when you are archery hunting with the limitations of getting up close and personal. Good luck and have fun in the process.
Shoot, I would help pack out a couple quarters for a chance at following a local/veteran on a hunt. The experience of being out in the timber is all I am after. If I can leave with some prized meat all the better, but I fill the freezer during whitetail bow season anyway. We are allowed quite a bit of meat here in GA in that respect.

How do people often connect? Maybe this is misconstrued by my understanding, but it seems like mentioning specific HDs is taboo. Or is that not the case?
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
Messages
6,530
Location
Northern Illinois
Sounds like you've got a good handle on it. It can be a little intimidating. I say just go for it it'll come together as you go.
 

dgc1963

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Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
861
Just some food for thought I live in Pa and being from the east just letting you know getting in the best shape you can will help a tremendous amount you really cant train at 300 ft for 11000
Their is a learning curve for western hunting esp elk enjoy the experience
 

Wallydeuce

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Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
1,078
Location
NV
You have about 6 months. Learn how to call. You'll have a head start if you can make good enough sounds to get a bull to respond. YouTube is your friend. There are several good tutorials on elk calling.

Welcome from Nevada
 

Luis

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2022
Messages
13
If you pick a guide, choose wisely. I was driving up a forest service road one Sept going to a grouse area. A truck was parked on a turnout with two guys sitting inside. I stopped to ask if they needed any help. The driver was smoking a cigarette, said he was guiding the other guy(hunter), and just pulled over to take a break and do some glassing. Elk don't move into that area unless there is a lot of snow on top, which could happen in Nov if we're lucky. The hunter didn't know that he was being taken to an area that would not have elk in Sept.
 
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