Before Your Trip…
The first thing a hunter does at the end of hunting season is start planning next year’s trip! From this website, there are a lot of fine outfitters to choose from, but first you have to decide WHAT you want to hunt. Then decide WHERE you want to hunt.
Once you have that figured out, it’s time to start asking questions, and the best place to start is the outfitter in charge. You don’t want any ‘financial surprises’ or think you will be enjoying fine dining only to have cold cereal for breakfast and a ham sandwich for dinner (nothing against a ham sandwich, but we just need to know).
In order to have a more enjoyable hunting trip with your guide or outfitter, it is important to have a firm understanding the services and accommodations being provided. Be sure to ask the following questions:
- How experienced are the guides?
- How many anglers/hunters per guide?
- Will my group be split up?
- Will I be added to another group?
- What is the entire cost of the trip including all license fees, access fees and additional trophy fees?
- What deposit is required? What is the cancellation policy?
- What methods of payment do you accept? Is there an ATM machine available locally?
- Do you provide any references or referrals from other clients? May I call them?
- Do you furnish transportation from the airport, or must I?
- What type of transportation is provided?
- How far is the nearest airport? What airlines service that airport?
- Will I be able to rent a car?
- Where will I be staying? Lodge, hotel, tent, etc…
- How many guests to a room or tent? Can my family share a room?
- What is supplied? Food, sleeping bag, linens, running water, electricity, cooking utensils etc…
- What meals, if any, are provided? What is the quality of the food? Sandwiches and chips or grilled steak and steamed veggies?
- Is alcohol allowed or provided?
- How much travel is involved from the lodge to the hunting/fishing area?
About hunting trips:
- How has the hunting been lately?
- What game have you been seeing?
- Have they been active? When is the peak of the rut for your area?
- What type of weapons can be used?
- How large of an area will I be hunting?
- Is this a free-range hunt or a hunting preserve, (high fence hunt)?
- Will we be set up in stands or is it a spot-and-stalk hunt?
- If we are using stands, are they provided or should I bring my own? What kind of stands are provided?
- What are your success statistics for the type of hunt I am interested in booking?
- Who cares for the game? Who will be responsible for butchering? Is there a local taxidermist I can call or do I need to make arrangements to bring the game home?
- What are the limits and are there package plans?
- Who obtains the license? Can it be purchased locally? How much?
- Can ammunition be purchased locally? Is there an area to site in my weapon?
- What physical condition must I be in?
- Is this a fully guided hunt?
- What kind of weather must I prepare for? What kind of camo is best for your area?
- Do you have a ‘gear check list’ to help me pack and plan for my trip?
3rd Party Verification:
- Ask to speak to references who have hunting or fished recently.
- Contact the state/province Game & Fish Department to verify the outfitter is in good standing with their state/province.
- “Google” the outfitter and see if the Internet has pertinent information or feedback regarding their operation.