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What is your best outfitter experence?

220yotekiller

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Joined
Oct 15, 2017
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57
Hey guys, I was surfing the internet and found a disturbing trend. There are dozens of stories about terrible guides and shady outfitters but very few good stories so, what is your best experience hunting or guiding with an outfitter? Whether it was just an awesome hunt or the guides and outfitters were great, let us know!
 

AggieHunter

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Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
594
Location
Colorado
Went twice with West Elk Wilderness Outfitters’s for OTC elk in Colorado and had a great time. The guides were good hunters and great people too. The best part was probably the food. The cook managed to prepare amazing meals every day even while being 6 miles in the backcountry.
 

Ridgerunner6901

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Joined
Jan 2, 2019
Messages
135
Location
Libby, Montana
Guess my best outfitter experience was meeting one who wasn't a complete asshat. Cant say as much for the others. Never hired one so maybe thats the cause for my sentiments.
 

6mm Remington

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Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
1,589
Location
Westen Montana
This was my likely one in a lifetime hunt and I loved every minute of it! Worth every penny by far. My guide was just a terrific person and we got along tremendously. The outfitters were genuine people and everybody working for them in their camp were fantastic. I highly recommend them.

 

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
12,330
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
My best outfitter experience was taking a break by a campfire couple of guides and a dude had going in the Snowcrest Range one cold November day. Good peoples. I enjoyed visiting with them. Never hunted with an outfitter and doubt I ever will.
 

antlerradar

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Oct 23, 2012
Messages
1,894
Location
SE Montana
Have met some I liked and too many that I didn't. Best experience was busting some of the ones I didn't like for hunting on the wrong side of the fence or shooting stuff they shouldn't have been . There is a reason they are on my bad list.
 
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LopeHunter

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Joined
May 31, 2007
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2,828
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
683731AD-2535-448F-9A8D-E7FF0416FE93.jpeg

Have used a few to either get me deep into wilderness, help me the first time hunting a new species or to access private land. Only one situation where felt would not recommend the outfitter.

The best was my NV muzzleloader hunt with Cottonwood Ranch. Great food, experienced guides, excellent camp set up and outstanding horses. Tough to draw that elk tag and have a mandatory wait first though will perhaps pull a mule deer tag soon.
 

Western Traveler1

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Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
812
Location
The Front Montana
I have hunted exclusively DIY with the exception of an archery elk hunt in Arizona that took 10 years to draw and a Canadian moose hunt in Alberta. Both hunts were awesome experiences and I have zero regrets for doing them guided. The Arizona hunt had 5 licensed guides in the camp with 3 tags and me the only paying customer. The other two tags belonged to family members of the guides which were all friends. I was treated like one of them, pouring over maps and strategies and sharing information each night. When I killed my bull everyone showed up for the 3 mile pack-out in one trip.
Alberta was 1 on 1 guide service which was a regulation. We went deep into The boreal forest via quads to a base camp (lots of old quadrants cut into the forest years ago with oil exploration). Both the elk and moose hunts averaged 10-12 miles per day on foot. I did a lot of research before booking and was successful on both. The thing I noticed on the moose hunt was client attitude was everything. I suspect it was the same on the elk hunt.
 

3855WIN

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Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
1,894
Location
Mississippi
View attachment 149691

Have used a few to either get me deep into wilderness, help me the first time hunting a new species or to access private land. Only one situation where felt would not recommend the outfitter.

The best was my NV muzzleloader hunt with Cottonwood Ranch. Great food, experienced guides, excellent camp set up and outstanding horses. Tough to draw that elk tag and have a mandatory wait first though will perhaps pull a mule deer tag soon.
Fine outfitter right there. Blaine is the real deal. We packed into the Jarbige with him for a mule deer hunt some years back. Great horses, camp, cook, guides, etc.
 

Steiny

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Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
616
Location
North Central, IN (the corn belt)
I've been on lots of guided hunts and really only had one that I would consider a poorly run operation, it was a kansas deer hunt.
The bad experiences are usually tied to shopping for a bargain hunt. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I'd suggest that anyone starting from scratch would be well served to go through a reputable booking agent such as Atchesons, WTA, etc. The success of their business relies on them putting clients with good outfitters.

Hunted four times with Stoney River Lodge in western AK and had success and great experiences every time. First class outfit, all the way.
 

Gerald Martin

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
5,473
My best outfitter experience was taking a break by a campfire couple of guides and a dude had going in the Snowcrest Range one cold November day. Good peoples. I enjoyed visiting with them. Never hunted with an outfitter and doubt I ever will.
Those are good folks. My first experience elk hunting was a lodge based unguided with their help and advice. We had a great time and have remained in contact for over 20 years.
 
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greatwhitebuffalo

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
407
Location
Wyoming
I'm thinking about booking a guide, just because I never have. I've hunted solo for decades with a few Very Rare exceptions. Nothing to do with personal reasons; just never ran across many with my interests, schedule, etc. ...

I'm actually thinking about trying to book something for a cow or doe hunt. Again, really just to see what it's like to be out with a guide and maybe 'take it easy' on a hunt for once. Care to share (good or bad) experiences? What advice do you guys have?
 

KB_WalkingInTheWoods

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Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
272
Location
Bozemen, Montana
for the 2020 season i wanted to get my dad an elk hunt, I looked into a few outfitters in various places. I happen to be a big MMA fan and Chad Mendes runs an outfitter services called Finz and Featherz. Purchased a guided cow elk hunt for my dad in North Powder Oregon on a ranch. That was the perfect trip for someone who has never hunted elk and may never get a chance to do it again (dad is older). They got us on elk right away (like 300 head) and tagged out right away. Everyone was kind and just a bunch of cool dudes. Its not cheap but the whole trip is a lot of fun and the food is always good.
 

mtmiller

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Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Messages
10,301
Location
Montana
When I first moved to nc Montana 20 years ago, I attended a FWP public meeting. Local guide approached the podium, banged his fist down and told us the whole town should kiss his ass for all the money he brings into the community.

Seed was planted that day. ;)

Don't have much else.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

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Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
407
Location
Wyoming
When I first moved to nc Montana 20 years ago, I attended a FWP public meeting. Local guide approached the podium, banged his fist down and told us the whole town should kiss his ass for all the money he brings into the community.

Seed was planted that day. ;)

Don't have much else.
Precisely what I am trying to avoid.
 

jryoung

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Jan 16, 2012
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4,938
Location
Unable to determine due to velocity
Only been on one real outfitted hunt. The guide and wrangler/cook were dating, on day 2 she came out of the main cabin in tears and slammed the door while walking off in to the woods. The rest of the week was icy between them and just flat out uncomfortable. That was probably the best part of the experience with them.

Years later I was telling this experience to someone else that hunted with an outfitter in the same area. Turns out they were still together, and he, at the campfire with everyone, including her, was bragging about his menage a trois exploits (with girls that didn't include her). They were a dumpster fire for sure.
 

noharleyyet

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Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
27,692
Location
TEXAS
I've had good and bad. Like most things I've learned, the bad were worth what they charged...so were the good & then some. It doesn't take long to know what you're in for.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
Messages
1,450
A couple years ago I filled in on a cancellation goose hunting trip to SK my brother's boss organized. Not a great experience. The outfitter did very little except lead us out to the field and provide very old and funky decoys for US to set up. And the lead us to cafe when we were done. Weather was horrible. For about 45 minutes the last day we had some good shooting. Fortunately I brought my three dogs along or it would have been a lot less fun. When was the last time any of you went on a guided bird hunt and no dogs provided? The fellas went back the following year without me and had a worse time. Very bad. The guide just doesn't give a shit.

My only other guided hunt was South Africa two years ago. Everything was just right. Not a five star joint but very nice. Food was good. Lunches in the field were very simple which was exactly what I wanted. A big lunch in the gut doesn't set well when I'm hunting. I typically don't eat anything during the day. Guide is like a son to me now. Great fella. The lodge owner and his wife were very nice but not patronizing. Saw a ton of animals on half a dozen different properties. I shot seven the first two days and four of those the first morning before noon. Could also have had a eland and hartbeest on that property if I'd been interested. We had a couple of exciting moments those first two days. Then spent six days trying to get my kudu. Lots of frustrating missed opportunities. Turns out the new Nikon scope on my gun went boobs up after taking gemsbuck the second day. It fell off the back seat onto the floor. Not that traumatic but enough I guess. I finally got my kudu just before dark on the last afternoon. Probably the longest shot of my life. Shot it with a borrowed CZ 30-06.

I generally only hunt public land by myself so my experience with guide services is very limited. 2019-08-28 kudu with gun.JPG
 

thusby

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Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
1,213
Location
Douglas County, Wisconsin
Only hired a guide one time up in northern MB for bears over bait. Had a great time and now that outfitter is one of my best friends for the last 10 years. We meet up and hunt/fish in US or Canada nearly every year. Sometimes I guess it works out.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

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Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
407
Location
Wyoming
I'll probably still inquire with another outfit or two. But, sounds like I might need to hang on to my $5,000 (+/-) for now and get a new tent, stove, tires, boots, scope, etc. ....
 
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