The State of Guided Hunts - 2018
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 09-Jun-18
Rth1229 09-Jun-18
'Ike' 09-Jun-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Jun-18
Huntcell 10-Jun-18
pav 10-Jun-18
BULELK1 10-Jun-18
altitude sick 10-Jun-18
midwest 10-Jun-18
wildwilderness 10-Jun-18
elk yinzer 10-Jun-18
Slate 10-Jun-18
dgb 11-Jun-18
BIG BEAR 11-Jun-18
Charlie Rehor 11-Jun-18
Brotsky 11-Jun-18
NoWiser 11-Jun-18
midwest 11-Jun-18
midwest 11-Jun-18
Charlie Rehor 11-Jun-18
Buffalo1 11-Jun-18
Royboy 11-Jun-18
Thornton 12-Jun-18
thedude 12-Jun-18
Eric Vaillancourt 12-Jun-18
ratnut 13-Jun-18
bigbuck 13-Jun-18
MichaelArnette 13-Jun-18
Paul@thefort 16-Jun-18
ELKMAN 17-Jun-18
ground hunter 17-Jun-18
JSW 17-Jun-18
From: Pat Lefemine

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

Pat Lefemine's Link
We interview Neil Summers and the crew for BSC with some candid and tough questions on the state of Guided hunts! Discuss here.

From: Rth1229
Awesome link and interview thanks Pat

From: 'Ike'
He pretty much said it, you get what you pay for....And that it comes down to what you want to hunt!

Midnight, Saturday night, the man is posting features. That's dedication.

From: Huntcell
He does have a regular job. Does his side hustles whenever.

From: pav
Glad to see this feature....especially coming from a reputable Bowsite sponsor. I'm pushing 57 and been a DIY guy all my life. Hired my first big game guide a month ago for an August sheep hunt. As my list of desired species and bowhunting destinations (particularly Canada) expands, I foresee more guided hunts in my future.

I have always liked Neil whenever I have watch him on any of the hunting shows, decent and honest guy.

Although, the only Guided hunt I have ever been on was my Colo Mnt. Lion hunt, turned out great.

Thanks for the link and topic Pat

Good luck, Robb

Great interview/article! A lot of valuable info. Like most, I prefer to hunt without a guide, but when I do I have found that quality outfits usually have quality guides. And even using an outfitter for drop hunts, the best are usually booked 2-3 yrs out and a little more money. I had to book last years drop AK moose hunt 3 yrs prior to get the dates I wanted. I like most have tried to save money in the past and shopped price. And ended up with lazy people that did not help but often would hinder the hunting. IE too lazy to go after animals that are “too far away” for example. I have learned the hard way not to always shop price. But reputation,area, potential animal quality. Also using a quality booking agency saves time and money.

From: midwest
BSC has a stellar reputation. I have a couple friends that use BSC (one of which I steered to BSC) and they have been very happy with their services.


Wow, just wow! Love to hunt, but will have to stay with whitetail, turkey and bear.

Another reason I see for the dramatic price inflation in guided hunts is the Baby Boomers hitting retirement. (The youngest boomers are about 55) They comprise a large percentage of hunters and now have the time and money to go. They also see health and fitness limitations ahead, which starts around 65 and causes a large drop off in hunting participation.

I hope in 15-20 years when I hit that retirement age prices will have stabilized with the passing of boomers from the market (but not from this life :-) !)

From: elk yinzer
Would be interesting to hear the effect the internet has made, specifically the ease of research and planning with DIY as an alternative. I've never been on a guided hunt but do a lot of DIY trips out of state, including three out West for elk. I cannot imagine planning that stuff pre-internet. The mapping resources available today are incredible and replaced a lot of the purpose of guides and outfitters in my mind, at least within the lower 48, with the exceptions where lobbying has created welfare like the WY wilderness and reserved tags. I never really researched guided hunts but those prices quoted gave me some serious sticker shock. Holy balls. Went from "maybe someday" to "hell no". I'll never look at a sheep hunter the same again.

From: Slate
Good read


Good points. As we boomers die off, there probably will be a much lower demand for these expensive hunts.

From: dgb
Good interview. The comment about joining organizations to fight for hunting is interesting. I do a lot of work with state legislative bodies and I've been surprised by how naive most hunting organizations are. Many seem to think that writing a few heart-felt letters will result in a pro-hunting outcome. It rarely will. To be effective the legislative arena, it takes professional help - which means money. If your hunting organization doesn't have professional help, they probably aren't very effective. Something to keep in mind when you consider where you want dues money to go.

If I remember correctly my moose hunt in Alberta in 2000 cost $2,750 including the tag. That was with rifle during the rut.... I booked it in 1998. Those were the good old days of prices..... ha !!!

Fred Bear lists his entire 4 week Alaska adventures at $800. That was the 60’s/70’s.

Thinking that prices will level off in the future is not likely. Everything good costs more in as time goes on. Fuel, equipment (planes/ATV), access to concessions. These hunts are the cheapest right now. Take a trip of a lifetime, every year!

From: Brotsky
"Take a trip of a lifetime, every year!"

There's a good number of guys on this site that will never be able to afford a trip anywhere other than the back 40 for whitetails. My advice is to turn every trip you do take into the "trip of a lifetime"! Memories are all we'll have left some day whether they are from the Mackenzie's or from grandpa's deer stand. Make as many as you can!

From: NoWiser
Right on Brotsky!!

From: midwest
"There's a good number of guys on this site that will never be able to afford a trip anywhere other than the back 40 for whitetails."

Until the back 40 gets sold or leased to another hunter!

Spot on Brotsky.

Midwest, make the sacrifices to purchase. That is what a lot of average and less than average guys have done, myself included.

From: midwest
HFW, I'd rather travel for DIY hunting and fishing. Made the decision that's where my hunting money will be spent.

Right on Brotsky! Easily My best memories are from the “back 40” (95%)

Midwest, If we sold the farm and all the related equipment, I could take a lot of hunts. We just think differently. I would rather be in the outdoors every chance I can instead of taking two weeks each year for the hunt of a lifetime.

We both found ways to do what we want, and the vast majority can if they make the sacrifices. I think hunting will survive for a long time, or at least I hope! LOL.

From: Buffalo1
Great article. What Neil stated is spot on. BSC is a top shelf operation with top shelf folks running the operation. They provide great services that can be trusted.

From: Royboy
Good interview. Definitely everyone needs to make diy a reality. I’ve gone to other states to hunt and it’s scary but usually the overall experience is worth it even if you don’t harvest an animal.

From: Thornton
I've always been on a budget with guided hunts and I've shot some really nice animals for cheap. But ,I have found that DIY leaves me with an awesome feeling of accomplishment- something that was rare with guided hunts. I fear we are starting to see the beginning of the end for the hunting of some species. Over hunting is mostly to blame. Predators kill more when they have competition.

From: thedude
I looked up a moose Dall sheep and griz combo in ak and its running 30K prior to tags airfare and meat transportation to ak. I’m glad I live here and only have Dall sheep and mountain goat left on my list. My grizzly from sat morning cost me 270 bucks after bait and gas and will be another 550 after tanning. Once I change careers and leave alaska I’ll never be able to justify the 15-20k price tags on Sheep and grizzly hunts.

Fred bears 800 bucks would be about 7k today which I would consider a fair value. The prices today are out of reach for the average American unfortunately and I hope we don’t have lands transferred and sold off removing future opportunities for the working class

I am sure I am going to get killed but here goes anyways.

It is just regular price increases. Most hunts are just keeping up with cost increases. An Alberta moose hunt for $2750 in 2000 at 3% compounded annually would cost about $4600 today. If you use 7% which would be a normal return in the stock market, your $2750 invested in 2000 is worth over $9000 today.

You can but great Alberta moose hunts today for $5000-6000.

I have been on a lot of guided hunts and I have not met a lot of rich guides.

I appreciate all of the hard work they do. I do believe they earn their money.

From: ratnut
Not worth all that to kill something anymore, I still like target shooting.

From: bigbuck
Interesting I have used BSC for some hunts and do recommend them,very happy with their services ,I am looking at another elk next year as the years are flying by ,it seems when I make up my mind to go it has taken me 9 years to save for this hunt of course if prices stayed the same probably could have done it in 6 years, this will be my 4th hunt of a life time and unless I win the lottery my last. then will stay with whitetails

13-Jun-18 services who are charging more than 5-8k for a hunt can go shove it...speaking as a millennial who makes decent money. To me it’s just not worth it. I see alternative more DIU options expanding in the future especially for Canadian hunts.

I also see the use of public land in the US increasing over the outfitter/private land/lease

From: Paul@thefort
I enjoyed the article/interview, good info and insight into the present/future. I am lucky to live in Colorado with 10 hunt able big game species of which i have killed 8 DIY except for the mt lion hunt with a local hounds-man with success.

I will be representing the CBA at the June 23rd CPW Goat and Sheep Orientation and will be able to address the crowd on the importance of supporting the State Bow Hunting Association, ie, CBA and also the Rock Mt Big Horn Sheep Society at help keep sheep and goats on the mountain. This will be the 24th year the CBA has helped sponsor this Orientation. There will also be state Outfitters looking for business and answering question by already books clients.

I totally agree that hunters need to support their state organizations.

my best, Paul

Brotsky has it right...

I have shot a ram, and a goat, and guided on some nice bears, but in my memory book, nothing beats, my own cabin in the UP, and the deer shack in SW Wisconsin....... I wanted to hunt moose, but life got in the way, I have no regrets,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I understand the costs out of country, and Alaska etc, but no way would I pay, what some here do, to hunt deer for a week,,,,,,,,,,,, we all have different thoughts, and what I enjoy the most, is just the hunt itself, not the size of the rack, but that is me.......

Whatever you do, respect the other guy, the land, the animal, and support state organizations I agree, and if you do pay for a guide, "don't guide the guide", seen that a few times

From: JSW
Another great interview. Thanks Pat. Keep them coming.

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