Elements to Consider When Choosing an Outfitter
Statistically, most hunters like their sport near their home and several of them never hunt beyond their home state. So sensibly, not everybody is looking for a guided hunt. However, there is a corollary to that because most people offer these services. That makes the selection personally more vital and more difficult. The good news is that most outfitters are good, trustworthy guys who’ll try their best to please you. Here are tips to help you choose a good outfitter.
First, know what you want. This is the first thing you should do. It is not as easy as deciding whether you wish to try for a monster mule deer or a huge elk, although the preferred species is undoubtedly a basic step. In addition, you should think if you desire a more comfortable lodge or a tent camp, backpacking in, or a hunt by horseback or from a 4×4. You should do a bit of watchful self-analysis; are you in a position for a really physical hunt? Outfitters providing fairly tough hunts often ask their customers about their health and condition. You should be honest with yourself as well as with the outfitter and only select hunts that are well within your abilities. If you do otherwise, you will be looking for something lying between bad experiences to grave problems.
Also, know what you can afford. Many guided hunts for a specific species have a quite broad price range. Factors that determine the cost include area; for example, private land elk hunts cost more than public land, intangibles such as the reputation of the outfitter, facilities and amenities, and at times, the season or time of the year. There is no sense in choosing a hunt you cannot afford. Thus, it is wise to have a budget. A cheap outfitter is not necessarily bad or good, and the costliest might not be the best. However, as you research, you will be able to tell which outfitter will deliver a great experience within your budget.
Location is something else you need to consider. While you definitely wish to get a competent outfitter with equipment, experience, and facilities to deliver the most enjoyable hunt, selecting the correct area is very vital. Even the most outstanding outfitter cannot do much for you within a region where the animal you want to hunt is nonexistent or scarce. Thus, before you start looking for an outfitter, you should do some due diligence and figure out some great regions for the animal you wish to hunt. By sticking with those regions, you will greatly narrow down your list to the number of outfitters to consider.
Is the outfitter connected? There are many ways of finding great outfitters. Word of mouth from trusted persons is among the best ways. If you know nobody who can refer you, consider hunting conventions and sports shows. Also, talk with different outfitters in-person to see if you like them. Whether you talk with a potential outfitter one-on-one or over the phone, or by mail, ask tough questions to determine their suitability.