Did you know that the average hunter spends $1,638 a year on their sport?
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When you?re looking for the right guide or outfitter you have to ask the right questions. But, what should you ask?
1. Can you provide references?
Regardless of what their website looks like, a good hunting guide should have many happy clients that are willing to provide a reference. The true measurement of a guide?s success is how happy the clients were afterward.
2. What percentage of your clients are repeat customers?
If a guide is really good at his craft, then his customers want to come back and hunt with him again. While all this repeat business will make finding availability harder, that?s actually a good thing! If customers continue with the same guide service, and they are tough to book, they are doing something right.
3. How many hunters will you take out at once?
The smaller the ratio the more attention you and the game you are hoping to shoot will get. A large crowd is fun for sharing hunting stories, but a large hunter to guide ratio is rarely a good idea.
4. In what seasons do you operate?
Off-peak trips can be a unique experience, as well as be cheaper than going during the rut.
5. What is your hunting philosophy?
Does the outfitter prefer, accept, or shun baiting? Are conservation goals the highest ideal for the guide, or are they a lower priority for him or her? Does the guide feel comfortable getting really close to the game? These are important considerations. Make sure you know the answers before putting down your deposit.
6. Are you bow-friendly or a bow expert?
If you bow hunt, it?s important to know whether the guide is a bow expert or simply bow friendly. Does he or she know archery tactics and the best stand locations? Bow hunting is a challenge enough without a guide who isn?t an expert, so be sure the guide or outfitter you hire is up to the task.