The decision to hire hunting guides and outfitters comes down to one thing: experience. The guide or outfitter must have experience and expertise that you do not, or else you will find yourself guiding the guide.
In general, there are three kinds of hunters who should consider hiring a guide or outfitter: new hunters, experienced hunters in a new area, or experienced hunters pursuing a different species of game. The guide or outfitter you select should have not only a depth of hunting experience, but the kind of experience relevant to the species and location you’re hunting.
The first category of hunter is the one that most obviously needs a guide. Because every type of hunting — whether longbow, shotgun, or rifle — involves some element of danger, new hunters should always seek the assistance of an experienced hunting guide or outfitter. Guides will be able to introduce you to hunting etiquette, to the particular terrain of the hunting area, show you remote hunting grounds and how to access them, and teach you how to locate your game (whether elk, deer, bear, or other game). For a beginning hunter, the guide or outfitter you hire will be a mentor, introducing you to the world of hunting.
Obviously, new hunters need guides — but experienced hunters may also need a guide. This is particularly true when hunting in a new area. For recreational hunters spending a vacation on a hunting ground far from home, a guide is a must. The guide can introduce you to local hunting conventions, and take you to hunting grounds off the “beaten path,” a must for a successful hunting trip. Locations popular with out-of-town hunters are likely to be overrun with hunters and sparsely populated with prey; a local hunting guide will lead you to more remote hunting grounds known to local hunters.
And finally, even experienced hunters familiar with the territory should seek a guide when pursuing a new game for the first time. An experienced pheasant hunter on his first alligator hunting trip may be in for a nasty surprise if he doesn’t have an experienced guide! But even less dangerous game may prove elusive without the aid of an expert and experienced guide.
For all these reasons, hunters new and old should choose a hunting guide for one reason: experience. When choosing a hunting guide, make sure to ask him about his experience with the desired area and species you’re hunting. Selecting the right guide can be as important as selecting the right gear. To get started finding hunting guides and outfitters and receive free quotes by email, just click the link.