Got a guided deer hunt booked for this year? Well, here are five things your guide won’t tell you.
While going on a guided deer hunt can be a great way to have a very fun and successful hunt, nothing is guaranteed in life and plenty of guided deer hunts end up being complete disasters. The vast majority of deer hunting guides and outfitters are honest, have good intentions, and want nothing more than for you to have a great hunt.
That being said, there are most likely still a few things your deer guide isn’t telling you. Sometimes the deer guide is keeping quiet because he doesn’t want to embarrass a clueless client. However, some of these things are general rules of the business that are often left unsaid to new hunters.
Regardless, it’s important that you as a client and a hunter know the things your deer guide isn’t telling you. Doing so will help you be a better and more informed hunter as well as likely help you have a more successful and more fun guided deer hunt.
Click through the slideshow to see five things your deer guide isn’t telling you.
Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams at The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigGameHunt.
Guides Love It When A Client Can Shoot
Few things are more frustrating for a hunting guide than working their tails off to give a client a shot at a monster buck, only to have the client blow the shot.
It should go without saying, but good marksmanship is a very important skill for a deer hunter to have. Unfortunately, there are far too many hunters whose marksmanship skills are sorely lacking. An experienced guide will quickly be able to tell how good of a shot a hunter is by the condition of their rifle (or bow) and how familiar they are with it.
A brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box weapon is often a sign of trouble. However, a used but well-maintained one that the hunter handles with familiarity and ease is a good sign that the hunter really knows how to shoot.
Don’t Pass Up A Deer On Day One That You’d Shoot On the Last Day
Before your hunt, you need to decide what size deer you are willing to shoot and what size deer you are willing to pass on. When making this decision, it might be useful to talk to your guide and see what is reasonable considering the average size of the deer in the area. There is no wrong answer here and for the record, I don’t see anything wrong with shooting a doe or a young buck. That being said, if you’re paying full price for a trophy buck hunt, shooting a small deer can be tough to swallow.
Regardless, you still need to set a goal and stick to it. Don’t be afraid of shooting a deer that meets your standards on the first day of the hunt. Resist the temptation to get greedy and wait for something bigger. However, if you get a little too picky, you may find yourself shooting a much smaller deer than you planned or going home empty handed.
If that happens, you’ll be wishing that you didn’t pass on that deer on day one…
You’re Way Too Concerned With Counting Inches and Points
There is nothing wrong with wanting to shoot a trophy buck. However, far too many hunters are way too concerned with counting inches and points. Many deer hunting guides would love it if hunters would be more concerned about having a fun hunt and shooting a mature buck instead of insisting that they only shoot a deer that meets a certain B&C score or where their deer would rank in the record book.
Be Prepared to Put in the Hours on Your Hunt
Even though hunting is lots of fun, a long deer hunt can be a physically grueling experience. However, you’ve got to be willing to put in the hours necessary to have a good hunt. Regardless of how good the hunting is at a particular place, you probably won’t see many deer while you’re busy playing pool or watching TV at the lodge.
The same goes for sleeping, reading, or playing on your phone in the deer stand. Resist the temptation to stay up late drinking or playing cards on a hunt so you can get a good night’s sleep. This will ensure that you’re refreshed in the morning and ready for a full day of hunting if necessary.
New Clients Don’t Usually Get Prime Hunts
Though this is not the case with every outfitter, it’s still one of the dirty little secrets of going on a guided hunt. A guide can only take a limited number of hunters out each year due to restrictions on the length of deer season and the size of their hunting area. They must set priorities on who gets to hunt where and when.
Because of this, prime hunting spots and hunting dates are normally reserved for return hunters, particularly those who come back to hunt year after year. There is not necessarily anything wrong with this, but it is certainly something that you should keep in mind as a first-time hunter. The good news is that when you become a repeat customer, you can start to enjoy those perks as well.
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