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What is your best outfitter experence?

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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1,450
I had same experience and my dad who is really “old school” couldn’t believe that we weren’t going to do any skinning or packing. It was hard to get used too for a day 😂 I went to Africa once for ten days and harvested 11 animals. It honestly could ruin you for normal diy western hunting. It was like being on a relaxing vacation where you also get to hunt amazing variety of animals. I have always just hunted mostly my home states of Idaho and previously Montana so no reason for a guide to do what you always have. But Africa for me was amazing. I had no idea how much of our potential hunting time we use at home just getting elk out etc. it’s pretty nice to harvest a great animal and then just start hunting again. I used outfitter for a hunt where it was required by regulations. Those experiences were ok. Africa was excellent👍 I want to go back but I’m scared too for 2 reasons. One when I got back I hiked way up to one of my favorite deer spots and thought about all the boning and packing that would follow the shot and decided to head back home ha ha. 2 I don’t want to mount anything more from Africa! I am probably going to hire Alaska guide for mountain goat if anyone has references unless I draw Idaho soon. I have a few points in Montana but my odds are still almost zero
Mine are all euros. Eight from Africa and room for lots more. Though my daughter and I are in the taxidermy business, I think fur and glass eye mounts are grossly overrated. And for elk and moose, cap mounts only in my house. 20201010_111915.jpg 20200912_161525.jpg 20210501_143453.jpg 20200407_115649.jpg 20200416_123437.jpg 20200421_040257.jpg
 
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Happy Myles

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Sep 11, 2020
Messages
219
I have been hunting all over the world for many decades with countless guides and most have been good ones, only a few bad ones. I have hunted such a wide variety of game over a multitude of environments and am probably set in my methods. What I look for is someone who is friendly, efficient and most importantly knows his territory and provides the necessary logistics. Get me there and back. Once, I arrived in the jungle of the C.A.R , there were several PHs waiting on the strip for the charter to unload various hunters. Among the nicely dressed PHs one stood out in a torn T shirt, scruffy beard and looked the worse for wear. He was mine. He mentioned he had not been home to France in ten years. The thought crossed my mind he must be wanted for murder in Paris. He turned out to be brilliant and one of the best PHs I have eve had. An amusing event happened in Tanzania. I was assigned an extremely successful and wonderful PH who was from Zimbabwe. This was his first job in Tanzania. He was asking the men on back of lorry which way to go and meant to ask, “straight ahead?” Instead he kept saying, hot water {maji moto}. I corrected him saying he should say, kwenda moja qua moja { literally. One by one}. He stopped the lorry and asked the men. They laughed and said I was right, but they knew what the PH meant. He started driving then grinned saying, “first day on the job in a new country and my client knows more Swahili than I do.” He has become a great friend and we have had several great safari since then. Worst one was many decades ago I arrived at a small airport in British Columbia and was met by a Mounted Policeman who informed me my guide was in jail, Instead of getting on the plane and going home I bailed him out and went on the worst hunt of my life.
 

OntarioHunter

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
1,450
I have been hunting all over the world for many decades with countless guides and most have been good ones, only a few bad ones. I have hunted such a wide variety of game over a multitude of environments and am probably set in my methods. What I look for is someone who is friendly, efficient and most importantly knows his territory and provides the necessary logistics. Get me there and back. Once, I arrived in the jungle of the C.A.R , there were several PHs waiting on the strip for the charter to unload various hunters. Among the nicely dressed PHs one stood out in a torn T shirt, scruffy beard and looked the worse for wear. He was mine. He mentioned he had not been home to France in ten years. The thought crossed my mind he must be wanted for murder in Paris. He turned out to be brilliant and one of the best PHs I have eve had. An amusing event happened in Tanzania. I was assigned an extremely successful and wonderful PH who was from Zimbabwe. This was his first job in Tanzania. He was asking the men on back of lorry which way to go and meant to ask, “straight ahead?” Instead he kept saying, hot water {maji moto}. I corrected him saying he should say, kwenda moja qua moja { literally. One by one}. He stopped the lorry and asked the men. They laughed and said I was right, but they knew what the PH meant. He started driving then grinned saying, “first day on the job in a new country and my client knows more Swahili than I do.” He has become a great friend and we have had several great safari since then. Worst one was many decades ago I arrived at a small airport in British Columbia and was met by a Mounted Policeman who informed me my guide was in jail, Instead of getting on the plane and going home I bailed him out and went on the worst hunt of my life.
Good to hear from you Happy! I remember that B.C story. Wasn't he in the can for beating up his wife?
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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Looks great 👍 I love Africa
Yeah, it can become an addiction. If I wasn't comfortably wealthy, I'd probably sell my home and wife to go back. But seeing that she passed away ten years ago and my home is less than 800 sq ft, I think the bids would be pretty low. (Excuse the humor, Cathy. You know I still love you.)
 

geetar

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Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
2,203
Location
North Carolina
Get ready for a whole different experience in Africa. They will NOT let you do ANYTHING. It's a source of pride for trackers and staff to do all the work and they get quite hurt and indignant if you try to "pull your own weight." PH explained that to me when I tried to insist on dressing my own animals. And again when they were packing out the kudu.
Odds are pretty low I go there but thanks for the heads up. I’m sure Africa is a great experience but if I have the money to spend there I’d more likely put it towards a mountain hunt in US or Canada.
 

mdhunter

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Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
1,154
Location
Maryland
I live in Maryland but love to hunt out west. I think I am a respectable hunter and can put in a solid effort when hunting out west however the logistics can make it very difficult. I have hunted on my own in multiple states but I have also hunted with outfitters that have been vetted by Huntin Fool or Epic. My own experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I show up in shape and ready to hunt. Honestly, I get the "only on my own" mantra but when you live 2,000+ miles away that doesn't always work. There are some great people/guides out there that don't get much props around here.
 

TN_Rifle_Junkie

Active member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
152
Location
Eastern Tennessee
I used a great outfitter in the Meeker area two years ago, H&H Outfitters. They were extremely professional, had great guides, and the outfitter was on site all day, everyday, until everyone tagged out. He was the coordinator for the guides and the coach for the hunters. He knew the area like the back of his hand. It is a family run and oriented business and the whole family pitched in to make everyone's stay a wonderful time. They are "more expensive" than most if not all the other outfitters in the region, but sometimes, you have to pay for quality. I would highly recommend this company to any hunter just wanting to see 100's of elk and mule deer in non-pressured environment during the winter migration.
 

LopeHunter

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Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,828
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
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.
My brother and I used Cottonwood a few years ago as well for the late rifle mule deer hunt there. Was a very good experience as well for us. Mountains, snow, wall tents, horses, deer.

Ruby Mtns snowstorm mule deer hunt Nov 2012_Fotor.jpg
 

Happy Myles

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Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
219
Good to hear from you Happy! I remember that B.C story. Wasn't he in the can for beating up his wife?
Hello Ontario,
No, my guide put his neighbors boyfriend in the hospital, among other things. Additionally, a couple days earlier he had picked up a hitch hiking young lady who claimed she only spoke French. We came back to his cabin after a couple days in spike camp, she was gone and so was my cash I had hidden in the toe of my extra pair of shoes. Ah, love. Since then my money stays in a money belt. If it gets stolen I want to be there when it happens. Kindest Regards
 

lifeisgoodsteve

Active member
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
113
Location
Bitterroot Valley
I had a great experience on a backcountry horse guided cow elk hunt with the Wood River Ranch folks out of Meeteetse, WY.

It was my first elk hunt, first archery elk hunt and first out of state hunt. As I didn't grow up hunting, haven't had a mentor and had my cow elk tag in thick grizzly country, it was fantastic to go with such a solid group of guys. I also ride horses so the pure pleasure of riding 13 miles up to base camp and then doing cool rides every day in gorgeous country was worth it in itself. Their camp was very comfortable, made with timber supports they leave on site and reuse every year.

I admit that it was luxurious compared to what I'm used to camping in just a small nest tent most often, but that's not something I'll complain about. There were 3 dogs for grizzly warning in camp plus the camp cook was excellent and a nice warm kitchen tent to read with coffee in snowed in mornings and sip a spot of whiskey and shoot the shit in the evenings.

The guide was cool to charge as hard or slow as I was up to.

Learned a ton, stalked down to this sleeping big bull who we thought had 2 cows with him. Turned out they were spikes who took off before we arrived. Watched him at 25 yards while he slept then after he woke up he was super curious about us, coming within 19 yards pissing himself and then just couldn't get our wind. He stuck around for about 30 minutes in that bowl checking us out. We also had a couple more stalks on cows but never got to full draw. We heard awesome bugles every day and saw a couple dozen gorgeous bulls.

For a first elk hunt I loved it and appreciated the solid outfitter team. Was worth it just for the backcountry experience alone.
(ps - none of those young folk in the pics are me, as they have no grey hair)


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Greenhorn

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Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Messages
7,769
Location
Montana
I'm fairly positive I'll never go on an actual "guided" hunt. I do have many "experiences" with guides and outfitters in the field though, some very excellent folks, and even more that were rock bottom douchebaggettes. My "best" experiences were all in the 1990s, with a guy name Tom Heintz and his guides/campsites in the northern Madison range. Many encounters I will never forget and still laugh about. They were such sour pusses..

Can't imagine paying that crew to even give you a horseback ride.
 

gussyfarm

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Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
522
Location
Clark County WI
In the early 2000's i was hunting in the black hills for turkey's, got hit with a big snowfall and got stuck. Spent the night in my truck and at first light the next morning a guide from seven J outfitters come through and stopped and pulled me out.
 

Jim Anderson

Active member
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
86
Location
Meeker, CO
I worked for an outfit a couple years ago. It was a terrible experience. I feel absolutely awful for the clients.

Pretty much everything they were told about the hunt was a lie: ridiculous success numbers (90% archery elk for example), phony
“home cooked meals” were DIY ham and cheese and frozen lasagna, a 5-day hunt got you a box of granola bars or crappy danishes to eat in the mornings, “60,000 acres of hunting property” was 58,000 BLM lease and 2,000 private, guides were only “allowed” to bring one little water bottle per client per day, selling archery elk hunts in a winter range unit, owner taking his kids out during the hunt and using a ranger,
packing dudes in rangers because more clients were booked than he had room for, yelling at clients, yelling at guides....it was a shit show!

A couple of us (who were honest) did the best we could to stay positive, work hard, and not just phone-it-in like the rest. But, man I felt like such a douche being associated with that guy. Everyone was always so upset, I spent more time being a counselor and mediator than a guide.


He preyed on older, inexperienced guys from back east that he recruited at shows. Told em everything they wanted to hear. Zero return clients.

I met some nice folks though. It was a tough situation all around and I never blamed folks for being salty.
 

Doublecluck

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Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Messages
1,340
Location
MT
Best and only outfitter I ever went with was snow Goose hunting the sac valley. First day showed up to blinds, guide asked if we wanted to “jump the roost” or “pass shoot as they trickle out” or “hunt the blind with the decoys”. We wanted to decoy birds so we proceeded to walk down the dike and push 50,000ish birds off the ponds watching the guide pass shoot his limit from the truck as they flew off. We stared at the sky till noon, shot 1 pintail each, discovered the blinds were filled with beer, proceeded to drink the beer till dark at which point the birds returned exactly 10 mins after legal shoot time. Day two we opted to “jump the roost”, spent a hour chasing cripples, limited on snows, decided to wait it out for our pintail, all shot 1 pintail by 10, drank the rest of the beer in the blinds, went to the casino and drank more, woke up with terrible headache.. drove home in the morning. If it was your beer in the blinds at that waterfowl club I apologize. It was hot and we were thirsty. PS your club sucks.. try not leaving your decoys in the water for 5 seasons.
 

LuketheDog

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Joined
Nov 29, 2015
Messages
2,652
Location
Sedalia, Colorado
My best outfitter experience was bumping into a packer who was out for a hike on his day off while we were after a moose we'd spotted from across the valley. He told us to come up the road to the lodge if we got a moose down and he'd make us a hot breakfast before giving us a hand. He and his coworker ended up taking that bull out for us on horseback the next morning. Preston and Tate, great guys...

F8927175-9171-4C8B-9BB7-8A90A07FA7AE.jpeg
 

BZNHNTR

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
8
My wife and I have been on one guided hunt, for Dall Sheep, as that’s the only option. Was with Hidden Alaska and was an amazing trip. Outfitter, our guide, and other guide and packer at base camp were all great. Went into it ready to put on miles and elevation, not expecting to be catered to, and knowing the guide knows far more about sheep hunting than we ever will. Ended with a ram, my wife got a caribou, and many great memories. Biggest complaint was our guide didn’t drink coffee and my wife was not ok glassing two hours before the stove came out, haha.
 
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