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Selecting The Right Guide Outfitter For Your Hunt
If you wish to experience a successful hunting trip, you must plan in advance. Before anything else, you need to decide the type of game you intend to go pursue: black bear, caribou, deer, antelope, moose, or Roosevelt elk . Your preparations should include researching areas where you intend to hunt for your trophy animal. Your plan must include applying for and obtaining the necessary permits in time. However, none of this relieves you from the all-important task of selecting the right outfitter for your hunting trip, which is a daunting task in itself.
Posted October 11, 2013 by Justin Ott
If you hear people say that an outfitted trip is meant only for the unskilled hunter, do not let it deter you from seeking out a good outfitter. Hiring a professional outfitter/guide can simplify your preparations and enable you to gain access to prime hunting areas and new vistas of outdoor adventure that may never have opened had it not been for the professional operator.
However, you must be circumspect in your selection of the outfitter. The Internet can be a great resource to provide you with credible information about many reputed outfitters, most of whom maintain a presence on the web. Begin your search by using the name of the region/area you prefer for your hunt and the particular species of game as keywords. Do not be swayed by the grandeur of a website. The quality of the outfitter may not match the quality of the site. You may also try contacting a hunting consultant or booking agent as they are more commonly referred to. Booking agents usually have booths at sportsman's shows or can be found by making a web search. As they promote a number of outfitters, you have a better chance of making a comprehensive survey of what different outfitters have on offer and select a good one, to fit your needs and budget. It will increase your expenses though, because booking agent commissions will also come out of your hunting fee.
Once you decide on an outfitter you will then need to contact him. Your initial contact will get you the most important information if you speak to the hunt operator directly. When you manage to talk to the right person, make sure to ask about all that is provided against the price you will pay; whether it covers accommodation, meals, equipment, transport, travel etc. What is the mode of transport involved in the trip such as planes, boats, all wheel drive vehicles, trucks etc. and whether the fees cover expediting relevant licenses or not.
The next thing to ask about is the size of their operations i.e. how many clients the outfitter helps every year. Checking success ratios can be advantageous in choosing the right outfitter. However, many present twisted statistics to support their sales pitch. There are some who term a wounded animal as a success. Ask for several client references checking for successful hunters and speak to them. This will provide a much clearer picture of the real success rates and the quality of services of an outfitter. It is also important to ask outfitters about the length of time that they have been in business and whether there has been anything that can be termed as a serious problem in their dealings with clients.
Although every businessperson would say their services are the best, be sure to ask what service you should expect when you make a booking with them. Make a note of the details and check if they have a brochure. Ask the outfitter to send you one along with any other additional information he may have with respect to preparations for the hunt. Many outfitters will send you a kit that has a lot of useful information after you book with them. Compare its contents with whatever information was given to you during the conversation.
Getting the right outfitter is crucial to the success of your hunt. Take care to select the best one for an enjoyable hunting trip.