Here are 6 very important questions you should asked your potential deer hunting outfitter or guide before you decide which hunting outfitter or guide is the best.
1. What is your repeat client rate?
- 1 1. What is your repeat client rate?
- 2 2. What is your average success rate?
- 3 3. What will this hunt cost and what is included?
- 4 4. How many hunters are in camp each week?
- 5 5. What about previous hunter references?
- 6 6. What is the weather like?
- 7 Calling the State Wildlife Department
- 8 Use a hunting booking agency
- 9 Plan an outfitted hunt at least a year in advance
Ask your potential guide/outfitter what percentage of hunting clients return to hunt the following season. A high repeat client rate is a good sign this outfitter is both knowledgable and proficient in getting clients within shooting distance of that trophy whitetail deer, mule, bear, elk, etc.
Read as many reviews about this hunting outfitter/guide from many different sources as possible. Or ask your hunting guide to provide you with a list of recent clients to contact via phone.
2. What is your average success rate?
A high success rate means the outfitter is doing everything possible to get the client within shooting distance of a big game animal. That is a good hunting guide.
Find out what are the top and average trophy scores from past seasons. This gives you an idea as to what size trophy animal you can expect to take.
If the hunting guide or outfitter has a website, checkout the photo galleries from past seasons.
3. What will this hunt cost and what is included?
There are many questions to ask your outfitter when it comes to cost. Are trophy fees included? What about lodging and meals? What about field dressing and preparation of your trophy whitetail deer, mule, elk, bear, etc for the taxidermist?
And many, many more.
You need to know exactly what you are paying for so there are no surprises. Also, you’ll know the true cost of your guided hunt, so you can decide if you are getting value for your money.
Guided hunts should be a hunting experience to remember forever, but you must do your research so you select the right outfitter/guide for that trophy whitetail deer, elk, mule, bear, etc hunt this hunting season.
4. How many hunters are in camp each week?
The number of hunters in camp each week is a good indication of what to expect from your outfitter. Fewer hunters (i.e. 1-3 per week) usually means you’ll get more time and attention from your guide.
It also shows that your outfitter wants you to be successful by limiting hunters and hunting pressure to a minimum.
5. What about previous hunter references?
Checking outfitter or guide references is important. However, be wary of the source. If the reference is coming from the guide, be skeptical. If your friend or somebody who knows your friend recommends a certain outfitter, that is a good reference.
Another idea is to read reviews left by other hunters on various forums or websites related to hunting outfitters, guides. Look at many websites and read as much as you can.
6. What is the weather like?
Your deer hunting guide should know what to expect when it comes to weather for any day of the year during hunting season. This information is vital because you want to be dressed appropriately for the expected hunting conditions.
Nothing ruins a hunt quickly than bringing hunting clothing not suited to the climate or weather youll be hunting in 90% of the time.
If your guide tells you to bring wet weather gear or recommends specific clothing, its advisable to listen to him/her. They know the area and what the weather is going to be like when you’re hunting.
Calling the State Wildlife Department
Its a good idea to call the state wildlife department who issues outfitter licenses in the state you wish to hunt.
They can inform you right away whether any particular outfitter has a good or bad track record, if their license has been revoked, etc. A few phone calls can save you lots of time while researching your outfitter.
Use a hunting booking agency
Hunting booking agencies are another option. They actually hunt with the outfitter and then rate them before recommending to their clients. This screening process is more time saved researching an outfitter that you don’t have to do.
Booking agencies do cost a little more. However, if your spending thousands of dollars for that once in a lifetime hunt then consider that extra expense reassurance that you’re going to experience a great hunt, accomodation, food, etc.
Plan an outfitted hunt at least a year in advance
Research, research and more research. Spend lots of time researching as many outfitters as possible and at least 12 months in advance. Never book a hunt with an outfitter at a show unless you have done your research first.
Grab information about that outfitter and then find out as much as you can about them.
The bottom line is don’t rush to book a hunt with an outfitter. Hunting outfitters may tempt you with an irresistable offer to get you to sign right away, but never do this until you have thoroughly researched that particular hunting outfitter.