Yeti

Outfitter Issues

fowl_minded

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Aug 28, 2014
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Now im not saying outfitters are bad or anything! this topic is about one outfitter in specific that did not want anyone hunting " his" area, even though its public. Did anyone have a run into with an outfitter this year in the North Bridgers. He was giving hunters a bad time about accessing Redrock or farther. I did during archery season and it put a pretty good damper on my bow hunt i planned for about four months. i have been going into this area for years with my family we have accessed it from a different way but still hunted the same area i was going to hunt this year. i have done some archery hunting up there but i have never done a four or five dayer anyone go in this year? This outfitter was threatening to call us in and that if we went in there he would watch us like a hawk and that people have been walking all over him and his business for years and on and on. Any thoughts on this.
 

brendog84cj8

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Bitterroot/Missoula
If its legitimate public land, then I personally would tell him to pound sand. If he was giving threats then it would have been I that would have been making the phone calls to the authorities. That type of behavior from an outfitter or one hunter to another claiming that a given area of public land is "theirs", is uncalled for.
 

James Riley

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I did not have that problem there. Sometimes outfitters think their competition is encroaching on their territory with paying hunters held out as DIYers. But that is not your fault if you are a legit DIYer. I'd complain. Nothing worse than dreaming for months about something only to have someone crap on it without cause.
 

hank4elk

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If on public land I woulda called him in and registered a complaint with Outfitters Lic. Board.
Folks like that give us all a bad name and re-enforce bad feelings toward a group that does alot for hunters on the whole,IMHO.
...but don't get me started on the A-holes.........I have a long list here in NM!

That said, I have several good friends that are outfitter/guides.
Guy I know has been outfitting and guiding since the 70's and for his family before. He doesn't consider it his land that he hunts,just some consideration. I give him that,and then some.
In return I get great tips,and a drop camp/pick up as back up.He knows if I ever get the dough,I'd go in a heart beat.
 
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fowl_minded

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Anyone that knows anything about the area I'm referring to. Knows that it is kind of a special area it has great country and great hunting. Some of it is checker boarded but there are lots of area still hunt able. There are a few different trails leaving the forest service trailhead that is on the usfs map. (Which is something he brought up that this trailhead shouldn't be public) And they do cut a couple corners leading to other forest service. Which in the past has always been allowed. And he did say he was ok with us using these same trails but when i told him my destination which is checker board he immediately goes into a defense mode saying oh you can't go there that's my land and if you do I'll turn your ass in. The game warden will be here to confiscate your stuff and that's just the way it is. I said bs bud it's not your land it's someone else's land and your leading it people have been doing that exact same thing I just said for 30 years or more. Just curious to see if anyone else had a run into with this guy. And if they truly are putting a lock down on it. Because there has always seemed to be some unwritten rule that hunting this area is ok.
 

Topgun 30-06

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It now sounds like in your second post that this issue isn't as cut and dried in your favor as you led us to believe in your first post. If you are going anywhere off the public land onto private property to get to another legal piece and the guy has the lease on the private property I can see where he would have a problem. You seem to be saying now that's what you're doing because it's what everyone else has been doing in the past, but that doesn't make it legal. Is that really what is happening here and that he was upset about or am I misreading what you stated in your second post?
 

fowl_minded

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He said he didn't have a problem to me with us using the trail. .. the same trail the crosses the corners as long as we didn't hunt his stuff however he did say that he would be watching us which I can understand that and I'm ok with but when I told him where we were going he had a problem with us going in that far he seemed to not like that idea. I don't know why he would sure go ahead just stay on the trail and don't hunt my stuff then he goes into defense mode when I told him where I wanted to hunt. I can understand that it isn't ok to hunt checker boarded stuff and I'm fine with that. I'm also not saying that just because everyone else does it makes it ok. But this guy has put gates up to close public roads and not allow access to these trailheads which are clearly marked on maps and he's saying that using this spot is illegal access anyways. There is lots of good public besides the checker board that this trail head gives access to I don't think it is right for him to do that at all.
 

fowl_minded

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I guess besides the outfitter my main question was did anyone that hunts this area experience the same thing I did with this guy in there. I'm not the only one to hunt this area it has been hunted for years. Everything from corner crossing to just plain accessing the trail head.
 

Topgun 30-06

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It's hard to figure this out without seeing a map and exactly what is what. If the USFS doesn't have legal access across private property where he's putting up gates to close the trails off, it would be his right to do so. If the trails are legally accessible and he's closing them off illegally, then notify the appropriate authorities and let them take care of the situation and do whatever is deemed necessary.
 

hank4elk

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With the second discription of situation,you are crossing private to access FS. Checkerboarded? All bets are off unless you have written permission to hunt those private lands. Not to mention trespass.
You could be cited for hunting without owners written permission ,just by crossing.Tag and all in hand is hunting.
 

fowl_minded

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I understand the corner crossing deal, I get that. I guess this is one of those deals that's a you had to be there moment. I'm all for respecting private property and I am definitely not the kind of guy to put my privilege of hunting in jeopardy, I have way more respect for the sport than that. I should have just stuck to the main question and asked if anyone else had a run into with the outfitter in the area. I have much respect for outfitters I respect what they do and I support then for making a good honest living for themselves and there family. I guess the guy must have just had enough of people abusing the privilege of using the trail for access. I was just curious if anyone that hunts the area had a run into with the guy. That is my main question. I doubt I go back to the area in the future because there are lots of other places to good and explore for the future. I am gonna call the usfs and ask them about it though. Thanks for the input
 

dwhite0622

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Jul 15, 2013
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Bozeman, MT
I know that area of the Bridgers very well and hunted it hard for a handful of years. It is VERY checkerboarded, and in order to get almost anywhere in that area you do have to cross private land. There are two trails in that area that support easements, therefore allowing you to reach the FS inholdings. When I first started researching that area I spent almost an hour in the regon 3 FS office looking over maps with the rangers, and followed that session up with an extended period of phone tag between myself and the game warden. The conclusion was that I could hunt in that area but I had better be well acquainted with my GPS and land owner maps. If you pick up a copy of the Gallatin National Forest North map in the region 3 field office it shows where the easements are. They are the trails marked purple. To answer your original question, I have been harassed by other hunters more than land owners up there, one of which I had a very heated argument with. There is one outfiitter in the area who has quite the "reputation". Its a beautiful area and there are elk up there. But I dont hunt it much anymore due to everything described above.
 

Straight Arrow

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I also hunted that area for years previously. Initially there was public access through private to Hatfield Mountain on the north, but due to unethical hunting incidents, noxious weed problems, and overuse / abuse by hunters the access was closed, contested and then remained closed. One landowner allowed my son and me to hunt occasionally after that, but the checkerboard array on Hatfield and Redrock is a tough situation as far as knowing for certain whether you are on private or public, GPS or not. (and with the corner crossing issue you really do need permission from the landowners involved, some of whom lease to outfitters or outfit themselves.) It is a great area for deer and elk and I'm personally pleased that the habitat is there and that wildlife thrive and move from there to other public areas I can more easily access. 'Don't know if it's the same outfitter, but for many years there was one up there from the south end who was hard to deal with.
I appreciate and admire your researching and knowing the area to assure public access to where you hunt. For me, it was a matter of not wanting to risk a trespassing or private property issue, so I moved on.
 

Dakota79

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Oct 18, 2012
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In South Dakota a outfitter cannot guide on public land or any land managed by the game and fish such as walk-in areas. With me being a outfitter I'm just fine with that and think it should be that way.
 

SFC B

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There was an outfitter question in Bugle this month.....A hunter had hunted with an outfitter for several years (on public land), the outfitter raised his prices significantly and the hunter could no longer afford to use the outfitter. The question was whether or not it was acceptable to hunt the same general area of public land as a DIYer. Personally, I would say a qualified "yes" depending on the area. I wouldn't crowd the outfitter and would probably have a talk with him about to ensure this. My view is that as an outfitter on public land this is part of your burden.
 

Apparition

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Feb 23, 2013
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Pine Grove PA
. The question was whether or not it was acceptable to hunt the same general area of public land as a DIYer. .

Hmmm thats an entire thread by itself. I can see that both ways, I think for myself, while I wouldnt hunt the exact same area, I could see myself hunting near the area. All the areas Ive hunted out west have been huge, so I dont think there would be an actual hunting conflict. Not to mention, I think a good deal of what you are paying for when you hire an outfitter is information, information on how to hunt and what area the game inhabits.

Years ago I did a turkey hunt in the SD black hills with a group like the NWTF, they provided areas that they had scouted and they knew held birds. A guy stopped in that had by the conversation been on that "hunt" in the past and was now hunting on his own, while the "guide" didnt say anything to his face, he let it known afterwards that he was pissed about this guy coming back and hunting. I dont think he was hunting the exact same areas, at least no one said anything about running into him.
 

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