Contributors to this thread:
For those that have the financial means to hunt guided, why do you choose DIY instead? Driven by the challenge? Independent? Hunting Friends? What is it that causes you to choose DIY?
I enjoy all the build-up leading to the hunt, researching spots a,b,c,d, and e. The challenge of learning how to do it yourself; I enjoy the thought of that way more than following someone around on a mountain for a week. I think you learn so much more through trial and error.
I could financially afford a guided elk hunt, but I'd much rather kill a raghorn that I did myself than a 300 inch bull called in by someone I paid.
I think honestly the biggest one is it's all on me. If I don't kill a bull I can't blame it on someone else, it's my fault.
Most hunters I associate with prefer DIY. Guided has it's place as some game in Alaska by law require a guide for non residents. Same with Africa. Guided can also help gain access to private lands. I hunt both ways, depending on the circumstances and laws but prefer DIY.
Why not?? You get to do your own "thing". I very satisfying to find your own game, put on a stalk and seal the deal. My buddy goes guided every year, yet he hasn't punched his tag in over 4 years. But he is lazy
There are some of us who just want our boot tracks to be the ones leading into the adventure. I don't go hunting to walk or ride behind a guide, and I put self-reliance above the desire to kill.
What is this 'Guide' thing people keep referring to?
I love doing diy hunts, and would do all of them that way if it was legal. The reasons are pretty obvious, as some have already mentioned above. Unfortunately, since I don't live in one of the Rocky Mountain states, Canada, or Alaska, the number of species that I can legally hunt by DIY is relatively few. No way I could never be satisfied with hunting only deer, elk, moose, black bear, and pronghorn for rest of my hunting career. For the multitude of other NA species I'm interested in, other than occasionally "winning the lottery" to draw a rare western tag, guided hunts are virtually the only option.
I'd rather have a root canal than have my hand held on a hunt. I'm a hunter, not just a shooter.
If someone is leading you to the animal, and calling it in for you...like Matt said...you're just a "shooter"
I do both types of hunts. I prefer DYI for the reasons of hunting my own set ups. Hunting my own way.
I do the guided thing for a couple of different reasons. The first major one for me is time. I simply don’t have a lot of it. I run 3 different businesses. I employ 100 people throughout those. I also happen to have a very large family. With kids that all shoot and hunt. So on my personal hunts, I generally go guided because it saves me time And money actually. Plus, I still am very much in the kill mode. The kill is very important to me right now. And I like hunting quality places. I work hard, I work a lot, I have a lot of responsibilities and stresses In life. Bowhunting in any form relieves that for me and allows me to go full steam ahead every day.
I’ll never really understand people who knock others for going guided. Everyone has their own reasons for what they do and how they do it.
I like the hunt. If I liked being the “shooter” I’d let someone lead me around. I get why guys that only have time to fly in, hunt 5 days and fly home, do it. I’ve purposely chosen to live where I do and work the job I do so I’m not that guy.
What if it’s your friend who’s scouted the area, knows the area, leads you to a bull And bugles it in to you, is that still a shooter or is it only the exchange of money that makes you the shooter??
Asking for a friend
Like Kevin, I want to be self reliant and hunt the way I want to hunt. I like to think I am pretty good in the woods but in reality I am probably not nearly as good as I like to think I am. Going it in totally unfamiliar terrain and weather conditions has always been alluring to me. I am in no way against going on a guided hunt and have been on a few but the DIY hunts are more satisfying to me and bringing home the bacon is just a cherry on top.
I hunt for the challenge in all aspects that go with the trip. I feel I wouldn’t learn as much.
Failure is just as important to me as success. I also get along with myself pretty good and know what to expect.
For me, the point of hunting is the challenge. I love being outdoors enjoying the solitude and scenery, riding out the weather. I love locating and stalking game. Why would I pay someone else to do that for me unless I had to? Likewise, why would I pay a bunch of money to shoot fish in a barrel on a ranch hunt. Not why I do it.
I try hard never to look down on anyone that does guided or private hunts, however. They're hunters, so they're one of us. We have plenty of enemies. If they don't have the knowledge or time to do it all themselves, that's fine. Maybe if I had millions of dollars I would do some of the same.
As for friends, I think that's a little different. I've helped a lot of people on hunts. Plenty of people helped me growing up. I really enjoy being eyes and muscle on my dad's hunts so he can still chase elk into his 70s. I owe him that and much more. Hopefully I'm teaching younger folks what I have learned so they can do it themselves if they want. If a friend draws an OIL tag and would appreciate my help, I would love to do that. I guess most of that boils down to your intentions rather than just buying help.
A DIY, public land spike would mean more to me than a 350" guided ranch bull. There's also different levels of satisfaction between DIY, otc versus DIY, limited entry.
Different strokes...I would never think less of a guy who only hunts guided. I have several friends who do. I did a guided bear hunt with friends once and it was a lot of fun, too.
Because you can.
Just reflect what will generate the most satisfaction , you tramping around figuring out how and finally getting close enough for the kill. Or someone bringing you along and getting you in position.
DIY: after nine days, on public, of hard hunting you release your first arrow and bring home a 300” 6x6. versus Guided: second day guide private ranch he and assistant calls in the 340” 6x6.
Both nice, but go figure which one you retell the story of the hunt first.
Wow. After all these years, this morning was the last time I'll ever wake up believing I'm a bowhunter. Tomorrow when I wake up, I'll just be a bow shooter. And all that fun I had, all the excitement I felt, all the beauty I witnessed, it was all just a fraud. I'm just a follower after all. God, I wish I was still a leader...
For the record (mine).....
I don't think of anyone who goes on a typical guided hunt as 'just a shooter'. To me that's a very cynical and derogatory view. I've been on plenty of guided hunts and hunted both my guts out, and my ass off to see it through. I've hunted with guides who did put me out front and let me make decisions. It was teamwork and we both celebrated when it was finished. You'd have to be a pretty un-involved person to just follow along and shoot when told to do so.
Having done it both guided and not...in some very wild and far-flung places...I simply prefer to make the hunt my own. My decision on which way to go... where to sit... what moves to make... and when/if to shoot. I'm independent that way. Yes...I'll possibly go on future guided hunts, and I'll hunt damned hard. I won't feel like 'just a shooter' ....and I won't really worry about what anyone thinks of it.
What if, and I mean hypothetically of course, a person gets off on working and earning the money, to live the way they want to, to pay for what they want to, as much as you enjoy the chase of the animal? Why is another persons joy, the pursuit of financial success any less of an achievement than your pursuit of a 300” bull on a regular 9 day hunt?
Folks, it’s pretty simple for me. I love work as much as I love bowhunting. Sometimes in my life, guided or private, or sometimes both allows me the best of both worlds.
Killing an animal DYI is easier than achieving the financial means to be highly successful financially.
Yes greyghost, we all know your financial well being. No need to interject that and the fact that you DYI all the time and that you’d rather cut your own dick off than go guided.
I just plain enjoy the challenge of hunting by myself or with a close friend or two. I have hired a guide a few times (mostly in NM to draw a tag) and mostly haven't enjoyed it.
My friends and I are getting heavily into offshore fishing. I've been on charter boats, which are just about like going on a guided hunt. As a client you're not much more than a reel turner on a charter boat. But taking a little boat out with only some advice from friends is much more satisfying, even though we rarely catch as much as the charter boats.
BTW: if guys are interested in picking up a partner on a Western hunting trip I could take a friend or two on an offshore fishing trip. Just send me a PM. I hope I didn't just derail the thread.
Apparently non residents of Alaska who go after the big bears are not hunters, just shooters. Some hunters make the dumbest comments.
I dont need to kill stuff. It's my goal but what I am really after is satisfying the urge to hunt and the enjoyment of doing something hard.
I have guided and been guided but prefer DIY. I have guided folks who are incredible hunters.
I do both and dont feel i have to apologize for either of them. My main reason for guided hunts is to get me into places that dont have access to on my own, tags as well. As for being a "shooter " well thats just mostly self pontification from posters. I hunt pretty freaking hard, and while i am sure there are better skill sets out there there arent many that will out work me. I bowhunt for myself, and i am all for everyone defining their own bowhunts ....fair chase always of course.
I'm pretty cheap, so I've only done two guided hunts, (RSA and Muskox) because I had to by law and I really wanted to hunt those places.
But I am completely open to (even hoping to) be lead by the hand on hunts anywhere in the country by very successful and knowledgeable Bowsiter's. To show that I'm serious and hard working I will take the time to type out and send a very exhaustive list of all my favourite camp foods and dislikes, plus liquor list and subjects that you are allowed to talk about in camp. I want to give you the opportunity to be "That Guy" and feel great about yourself!
So far Jtreeman has committed to getting me an antelope when I win the Wyoming Bowhunters draw. And T-roy will take me on a shed hunting expedition! But I have to bring tire plugs for that one ???
I've got a high pressure sales job with lots of customers that need me on a regular basis. can make a great living but I'm short on time.
I'm smart enough to realize that if I've got a week for vacation I'm not gonna be able to fly out west, get off a plane with my duffel bag & a bow case and go kill an elk.
Busta I don’t care how you hunt and if my shooter comment offended you i apologize. I wasn’t directing my comment at anyone. I know you’ve killed some sheep and if I hunted sheep I’d likely go guided. I’ve been on one guided hunt and I’ve guided over 50 whitetail hunts . I know how doing both makes me feel and guided hunts are not for me as I feel most of the hunting and prep work is done by someone’s else. I’m not paying someone to do what most of the time is the funnest part. I don’t care if you do and I think you’re still just as much a male as I am. ;) Like Midwest said, “different strokes” .
Jeff, it's DIY not DYI.
DYI would refer to my sex life. :-)
I do both. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The reason I do some on my own is because it’s on my schedule. I’m not in an arbitrary time frame. The self fulfillment of doing it on your own. On the other hand the reason I go guided on some basically for me comes down to 3 things. 1. It’s required by law where I want to hunt and/or what I want to hunt . 2. Access to prime lightly hunted private land. 3. On tags that take 10+ years to draw. If it takes 10-20 years to draw a tag it just makes sense to me to go with someone that knows the area and the game patterns in the area, because I can’t get a do over the next year or next 10-20 years
As a fellow Bowsiter eloquently stated recently, "the quest is the best". That's exactly how I feel about hunting. I couldn't take any pride in killing an animal that someone else scouted, patterned, determined how and when to hunt, then put me in the right spot at the right time. That "trophy" would always have an asterisk associated to it, in my mind.
But that's just me. I fully recognize others have different views and values.
For all the very noble and philosophical reasons one may choose one route over the other three realities seldom are honestly cited:
(1) Time (2) Money (3) Ready access to multiple species
Depending on how much of the above you do, or do not, have it will influence your decision quite a bit.
I like knowing I can do it on my own and prefer DIY. I always say Id rather go 4 times unguided than once guided, more opportunities and more time in the field are what I am chasing.
DIY=Burger King...you can "have it your way". Beginning to end you call the shots, that's my main motivation on DIY hunts. Logistically sometimes it just works out better. That's not to disparage outfitters, because I've been on some damn good guided hunts, too!
Yup, don't like being told what to do.
DYI stands for 'Do Yourself In' That's when you plan a solo hunting or fishing trip so adventurous that you stand a really good chance of losing yourself. That could mean something really good or really bad. LOL. As far as the original post, I always thought that anything guided was a cheapshot at nature. Someone else does all the work and a lazy outdoorsman shoots the game or catches the fish. Boy was I wrong. I learned SO much from the guides that I shared time with. Things that would have taken decades to learn on my own. They were thoughtful and surprisingly generous with their knowledge. Enhance your skillset and hire a mentor, totally worth it.
Depends on what suits my purpose.
The guide works for me, I don't work for them...
Rugged Individualism Hunting vs Socialized Hunting
Well, now that everyone has posted a response. The REAL reason for DIY is for the gram. Social media recognition is MUCH higher for the DIY archery hunter. The ones killed by a guided hunter simply do not count for much. Everyone knows that the guide does all the work and all you have to do is show up and shoot. No packing out for miles. No prior research. No long days hiking. Just pay the money and go. No self respecting flatbiller will lower themselves to that level of "hunting". Truth!
DIY - that way I only have my self to blame!
I went a a guided hunt ... wasn't for me. But I wouldn't say I'd never do it again. It's just tougher to find a guide you enjoy being around than finding a friend.
But here's the deal ... it's often a TIME issue. Find a guy who's putting in 80 hour weeks and you found a guy who probably has to outsource a lot of the scouting and prep work. It's "his loss", for sure ... but better than not going at all.
I'm not in the 80-hour work-week club, but time is crunched. I'll consider guided hunting -- I'm just a little too cheap.
I started out elk hunting with a guide, as i did with western hunting in general. No way i was going to just head west and "figure it out" back in 2001. SHortens the learning curve drastically as i like to shoot stuff instead of "bow hike". :)
I 100 percent agree that if you get very limited time and can only hunt for a week at a time than guided in a lot of cases is the way to go. I myself like the challenge of DIY but I will say this, if you have waited 4 or 5 years to draw a tag and only have a week to hunt and can afford a guided hunt I think you are nuts not to opt for a guided hunt. Shawn
I used to be a "DIY" or nothing guy. These days when I think of one more cold morning in a backpacking tent, and another Mountain House Sodium bomb, I can really see the appeal of a cabin, cook, and somebody else's sore back. That said, I still only go on DIY hunts unless I win one.
Bottom line: hunt for your self, hunt for your soul.
Danny Moore (RIP) said he didn't do guided hunts and the words he used were, "not my style."
That's the way I look at it.
I'm one of those guys that can afford to do some guided hunts, but I don't. I've never done a guided hunt and I never will. I've hunted on private land a combined lifetime total of less than 10 days. It's just not my style. I also eat a lot of cheeseburgers and never eat casserole - it's just what I prefer.
I kill a lot of non-trophy animals and very few trophy animals. I have a very strong desire to kill trophy animals, but a huge part of the satisfaction in hunting for me is the feeling of accomplishment from doing everything myself and living off of my game meat 365 days a year is as important to me as antlers on the wall.
Lots of guys in this thread have listed "challenge," as the reason for hunting DIY and I'd agree with that, although I feel that there are lots of guided hunts that are more challenging than other hunts that are DIY. And I certainly don't agree that a guided hunter is just the shooter - maybe there's hunts like that, but as a generality, I assume that's inaccurate because I've hunted enough species DIY to know what goes into hunting certain species.
Nonetheless, I'm very passionate about DIY hunting on public land because in general, I feel it elevates the trophy in my mind. I also bristle at comments that people do it just for the social media reasons... perhaps there are people that do, but me and all my colleagues do it for ourselves individually, not for others to gawk at.
I've been blessed with 63 years of bowhunting (I started in 1956). I've also experienced TONS of DIY, several guided (usually required by law) & semi-guided too. Is DIY more rewarding? Maybe. Guided sure as hell doesn't mean a filled tag, even with a great guide ect.. Mother nature & wild animals can change that for sure & has for me a few times on guided & DIY . In my young days a guided bowhunt was out of the question because of finances. I had a good job but family comes first. So, it was DIY, Public land & in a tent. In the course of these adventures I learned a "ton" about the areas I hunted. I even (out west) saw outfitters hunting these same areas in those early years. We see it out West Antelope hunting today. I know of a public area (Midwest-Whitetail) that is hunted by outfitters also. So, I guess this is why I do like 95% of my hunting DIY, Public & in a tent. Guided, if you have the funds it can be an awesome hunting experience & not a hand holding event either. Yes, we have so called fair chase Whitetail & Elk hunts on private farms, ranches (not High Fence) that make "some" of the hunting part fairly easy. Semi or drop camps just make certain things like "your camp" financially common sense. Your still DIY on your own. Thinking back & if memory serves me right, some stats. Guided-Bears, 6, (required), Elk 1 (not required) , Caribou, 2 (required). 50% success on Bears, 0% Elk, 100% Caribou. Semi guided Elk, 2, 50% success. Wild Hogs 75%. I've never done anything but DIY for Whitetail in many states (just plain awesome in action), oops, did one guided WT in the south & filled tag. Mule Deer (always shots & at least 50% kill) & Antelope (shooting 5 of 6 trips). I now do DIY mainly because I've learned so much in those 63 years of public hunting I see little reason to hire a guide. Just the financial savings makes it easy for me. I took my son on his FIRST Antelope bowhunt last year DIY. Due to the fact I had bowhunted this area a few years back made a huge difference. Water every where so waterhole hunting was a bust. Knowing the area allowed him to have a great hunt even though spot & stalk. Yes, several busted stalks but in the course of 3 days he had tons of excitement, a clean miss & arrowed a decent Buck his 3rd day. On the drive home I told him he owed me a couple thousand in guide fees.. They all have their place & if you have that cash, do what "you want". Its all hunting & rewarding.
I've been on 5 guided hunts (wife on 4 of those with me). Why? Time, logistics, etc. It's nice to show up and hunt, someone else worries about food, lodging etc. Guided also may get you access to better land, private land vs fighting with lots of other hunters, depending on the area. I can speak from experience now that WY antelope act VERY different on public land with hunts vs 50K acres of private land. I've learned A LOT on each of my guided hunts, but now that I live in WY and went elk hunting on my own, I have no idea how to find them. I learned how to call and have even called in a bull, but looking at the mountains and wondering "where are they" is a challenge. FUn, but takes time.
Now that I live here I wouldn't get a guide for antelope, mulie or elk, but I also have all fall, not just a 5-7 day hunt where weather can play a factor. There's also equipment/logistics, if you don't have the equipment to get back into mountains, spike out in a tent and get an elk out again, a guide comes in handy!
My guided hunts have been VERY enjoyable weeks, but they were weeks where I dind't want to wonder "where are they"
"The REAL reason for DIY is for the gram. Social media recognition is MUCH higher for the DIY archery hunter."
Oh contraire mon frere! :-)
I always laugh when people start throwing out the term "shooter" in the context of guided hunts. It calls to mind an animal i glassed up and killed after stalking it alone 3/4 of a mile from my guide. Shooter. Yeah... I was that too.
I like the freedom DIY affords. I'm not even very crazy about hunting with someone else. Camping together, sure. But if I want to turn right, I don't have to negotiate anything. I know solo is a handicap for elk calling, but I enjoy the solitude, flexibility, and the satisfaction of doing it myself if possible.
Have been on two "guided" hunts, both for QL caribou. Had the same guide both trips, great guy, and after the first morning when he figured out we knew what we were doing, he was happy to let my partner and I direct the hunt, while he drove the boat and helped glass. Don't need a "guide" for caribou anyway, only a boat driver and help packing the meat.
There are a hundred reasons why we like diy hunting. So it would actually be much easier to ask the reasons one might have to go on a guided hunt.
The couple that I can think of are a serious lack of time, a first hut for a new species so the desire to learn from someone with experience, and of course required by law.
I don’t think just because you have money to burn justifies going guided. If that’s the case pay a packer to get you into some killer country or lease some prime private land. But still hunt on your own.
Another valid reason would be hunting a large animal like elk when a hunter has physical limitations making it impossible to pack the animal out in an adequate amount of time.
Those new to a game like elk hunting could get a great head start by using a guide especially if the guide is willing to teach them how to hunt elk. Seems like the two of us that guide on a great private 12,000 acre ranch must not be very good guides as there are lots of comments about how easy it is to kill elk although we are almost 100% shot opportunities.
Because if I miss I blew 5-10k and a shot if I’m diy I blew a shot and I’d have that thought in my head and definitely miss.
"I don’t think just because you have money to burn justifies going guided. If that’s the case pay a packer to get you into some killer country or lease some prime private land. But still hunt on your own".
If I had more money...I'd buy more time :^) But I don't, so I save up all my vacation time, so I can spend a full 2 weeks in the Rockies if necessary. Even with crappy weather, silent elk, etc...seems I still always dread the day I have to leave the High Country!
I've guided elk hunters that told me right up front that they wanted me to teach them as much as possible so they can go DIY the next time. Others wanted me to lead them by the hand to the biggest bull on the mountain, didn't care to learn anything. I enjoyed being with the former much more than the latter.
I go DIY because all the animals I want to hunt currently don't require a guide. If I was suddenly struck with the desire to hunt something that required a guide - I would part with the money. In this respect, I consider myself lucky that I haven't been bitten by the sheep bug and that some pretty "normal" hunts seem to scratch my hunting itch. Probably shouldn't ask this - do the sheep species taste good?
Total confidence in my own abilities. Never even considered a guide.
Sheep meat is better than deer/elk/moose/caribou/bear.
And almost everyone who does a sheep hunt gets bitten by the sheep bug. The only one I think I've ever heard of who hasn't is Charlie.
I'm basically a solo hunter but guide archery elk hunters. I really enjoy the guiding too. I try to keep in mind the things commented on above such as not doing everything for the clients, having them follow in my footsteps etc. It certainly varies by the savvy or ability of the hunter but I try to facilitate them rather than hold their hand so that they actually experience the adventure a little more. Try to be more of a partner for them and makes it fun. Even let them experience packing a quarter if they want! And most want to get involved.
Because I can guide a brown bear hunter, 2 sheep hunters, a moose hunter, a grizzly hunter, and 2 goat hunter in a season but when it comes time for me to fill my tag I have to have a guide..... stupid. Same with Wy.
I hunt some DYI and some guided. Like both equally. Access to property and time causes me to do the guided hunts.
I like Kevin Dills response. I could have written that word for word myself.
I try to mix both. I don't necessarily always go one way or the other. I do one DIY, one guided as there are perks to both. With the DIY, there's the independence and the added sense of adventure. But with guided, you are definitely more successful in hunting game.
I’m with you Lou. As a guide I loved teaching. When I was outfitting and guys booked fully guided hunts I’d tell them if you want to learn I’ll tell you everything I know and if you come back you can save a couple grand by booking a drop camp or hunting on your own. Some loved the idea and really liked my area so they’d book as drop camp hunters already knowing me and my area. Others couldn’t care less about learning and we’re guided type guys for life. I always enjoyed the ones who were cut out to be like me and hit it on their own.
I know "Midwest" got it, but my reply was complete sarcasm. Just for the record. :)
I'm a DIY guy ... mainly because, like Lou, I don't like negotiating everything, and I like to come and go to the mountains as I please ... but I kinda feel like booking a guided hunt just to piss people off at this point.
In NM I know a lot of capable hunters who are NR that apply outfitter just to increase their odds a bit. Or to do wilderness hunts and they themselves don't have the means to do a true back country hunt. I myself have been hunting since I could walk as most of us here have, I will say if I draw a Utah elk tag or mule deer on the strip one day I will hire a guide for the simple fact that I can't get to those states to scout as much as I'd need to, I would want someone not to " hold my hand" but to put me in an area that they know the biggest animals are. I'm using NM as an example because I live here. Most guys (NR)may only draw the greater Gila once in a lifetime ,and if they have the $$$ I would agree with their decision to hire an outfitter. Now if I was going to another state to just be content in taking any animal and having a good time DIY all day.
If I go guided I lose a lot of 'prep time'. Love poring over OnX. I lose hours figuring everything out, only to realize I didn't figure anything out. It's all good.
Of course, KHNC. Just happened to see the Cam Hanes spoof and thought it was a good fit. lol
I’ve done both. Don’t think anymore or less of anyone who chooses one or the other. My biggest harvests have been DIY. Some of the best memories are guided. When I choose guided it through s based on access to a better piece of property.
When I go on guided hunts I try to be as easy a client for my guide as I can be. I always enjoyed when a guide says not only can you shoot but you know how to hunt.
Some of the guides I would consider friends now. I can always use more friends.
I have only done one outfitted hunt (bear). I prefer DIY. But it is my money. I will do what I want. I don't give a cr@p what everyone thinks. I will not start now.
"Then there are those vegetarians that pedal bikes"
Would that analogy be toward the guys who ONLY hunt out the back door in Uncle Buford's apple orchard but consider themselves experts and like to tell everybody else how to hunt? ;-)
Why guided?? Cuz, you might get me for a guide!! Oh, do you tip well?? :)
Burger King is more High Fence......
I've never been on a guided hunt for anything, except moose in Newfoundland because DIY was not legally an option. I totally enjoy the research involved and self effort as much as the actual hunt. I've always felt that when I get whatever game I'm after it's totally mine...I don't have to "share" the effort and accountability with a guide, if that makes sense.
When you do DIY, you are a hunter.
When you choose guided, the guide is the actual hunter and you are nothing more than a shooter.
So what is the guy who gets told about a group of bucks or bulls down in a draw? What is the kid being shown by his father?
What is the guy who is being shown the area by his friend? (This has still been unanswered)
What is the guy who asks what unit to put in for?
Where is this tremendously noble line drawn? So do I get to bask in only have the glory of my hunting career? Since about half my hunts are guided?
WW’s explanation was just so dumb, we are all dumber having read it.
WW, really? I did not know that. Thanks for in-depth mansplaination.
I applied through the outfitter draw in NM last year because I wanted to up my odds of drawing.
Only guided hunt I’ve been on. It was weird for me because I’m not used to getting or asking for help from people. Plus I was more experienced than my guide.
I still researched the area and picked out a couple spots I figured would hold elk. The two biggest bulls I saw were in those spots. One in each.
Just because it was guided it didn’t really change the hunt much from normal. I will do it again to up my odds of drawing, to hunt Alberta mule deer, etc.
For people thinking if you are just a ‘shooter’ if you go guided. What are you if you shoot a cat out of a tree or a bear over bait?
Mainly DIY because still dont know how much to tip :)
Thank God we can choose what makes us a happy hunter & if someone doesn't agree, to bad.
What is the guy who is being shown the area by his friend? (This has still been unanswered)
I’ll play. Big difference when hunting with friends. Typically both are hunting the same species at the same time.
Not so when there is guide involved.
so you’re gonna tell me that the guy who goes and sets it all up, does all the scouting all summer long, makes ponds, checks cams, and then the friend shows up and hunts said places is any different?
How? Because of the exchange of money involved?
I’ve become friends with many of the outfitters and guides I’ve been with. So when do I get to graduate from shooter time hunter with those guys?
When they stop taking money for their services?
To claim that I am just a shooter and not the hunter wreaks of something I just am not sure what.
Everyone’s situation is drastically different and people Do their HUNTS the way they choose to do them and for their very own reasons.
My situation doesn’t allow me to go DIY (Midwest) as much as I’d like to.
Could I say F-it and just do it? Yep I sure could but I’d pay dearly for that.
Doing another guided bear shoot this spring. Hope the ATV ride in to the pre-hung stand/bait station is less rough than last year. I don't really consider it hunting, but it still is a neat experience, at least for this KS boy with limited variety of game and time.
Both are great to do DIY or GUIDED. For those who dismiss guided it is really great to go with someone who really knows what they are doing for their specific area and for that species. You’ll learn much more doing both
Has anyone here ever done true DIY? No looking at a map before hand just driving to the state and hunting solo where your instincts tell you? :)
Tdvorak, TBM would be proud of you
Apparently, depending on what the meaning of "is" is..... you didn't build that.....
Regarding the original ?, (I have not read any of this thread), I DIY, because to me a Hunt is the hunt, not the shot. I want to do the complete package, not just take a shot, kill something, then have someone process it, get it out, etc. I want to do it all, while I still can. when I can't, then I Might pay someone. The one guided elk hunt I went on (out of obligation), no one in camp got anything anyway, except drunk and overfed. A lot of $ for a great horseback ride and camping trip.
"Has anyone here ever done true DIY? No looking at a map before hand just driving to the state and hunting solo where your instincts tell you? :)"
Yep, I do it all the time. First time was in WY in 2000, and I killed a giant old muley. No map besides a generic NF map. Since then I've done it often, finding new elk spots by driving, glassing, looking for elky-looking places, figuring out where others are hunting, then plunging in. This season in WY I will do it again in a new area where I've never been before.
Good stuff Jaquomo! Best of luck in WY this year.
"If you go guided the guide is the hunter and you are the shooter" That's such an ignorant and elitist response like somehow DIY makes you such a better hunter. Their is enjoyment in both methods and I will use both methods as time, location, and species allow. For those with comments like that get off your high horse and ivory tower
I have avoided joining this thread so far, but some of these comments are so off base that I will finally add my two cents. Most of us agree that DIY is a rewarding way to hunt, but attempting to pigeon hole the guided experience into a single slot is ridiculous. I have guided approx. 300 weeks of elk and mule deer hunting and feel like I've seen about every type of hunter. Some can't see, hear, walk, or shoot, and some are better hunters than I am. Some are great whitetail hunters, but are new to elk and the west. I always try to make the hunt match the hunter. Some want to learn everything they can while others are just excited to observe and maybe shoot an elk. I often ask guys what they think we should do. Some want nothing to do with that, some jump at the chance. That is always the most fun for me, and I've often been surprised with ideas that come from a fresh perspective. I think when you hunt the same area all the time you obviously gain some great knowledge, but you can also get in a rut and expect the animals to do the exact some thing, which is often not what happens. In any case, as others have said there is no reason to look down your nose at someone who thinks/hunts a little differently than you do. I have made some life long friends while guiding and while I haven't yet, I wouldn't hesitate to be the hunter on a guided hunt if the situation was right.
I don't believe the stereotype by many that the DIY hunter is such most often because they don't have the income to go guided, live in areas where they are surrounded by diversity of species, or have no confidence they could pursue anything but the local game species, and they are under, or unemployed, and have extra time on their hands that the hard working guys who go guided can't free up. I believe that is a broad and unfair generalization for DIY'ers.
If you call a drop hunt guided, I did that in AK for 'bou. I got two bulls the first huntable day, and it was by myself, four miles in for one of them, the other right in camp. That kind of guided hunt was fulfilling because I did all the work. All I paid for was a 3 hour flight in, then I was on my own for 8 days. I did one in RSA too, and while fun, it was not as fulfilling. Killed two animals but the work, was all done by the outfitter. I felt useless after the kills. I'll never slam any kind of hunt, even high fence for those that wish to do that (bite your tongue boy!), but for me, I'd rather do it all on my own while I can. Of course, where its required, I'd do it given the time. I have the money, just not the time yet. Got other obligations using up my spare right now. I'll pay a moose guide in AK, or a sheep guide, or whatever when the time comes, and I'll learn from it. But for now, I'm sticking to DIY. The old man I hopefully become will probably do guided, and will enjoy the heck out of the experiences.
I'm a DIY for sure, I don't have to much interest in a guided hunt, maybe semi guided, where your dropped off and left alone. Guided or unguided? what puzzles me most is why such things are even an issue? Despite being a DYI type hunter...I'd be glad to hear about your guided hunt, and i'll celebrate your success with you. I think I'm grown up enough to realize not everybody hunts like I do.
If you are on the wrong side of the country and will be doing this every couple/few years as vacation, then guided makes perfect sense. As a guided hunter you don't worry about equipment, access, logistics, you show up and hunt. As for the "hunt or shoot" argument, as guides have said, it runs the range of it. On each of my 3 guided elk hunts, I've called, helped glass, and put on stalks. Do I know how to elk hunt? Nope. I have yet to find them on my own, but feel once I find one, I am not 100% helpless (maybe 90%), but the guides I hunted with taught me a lot.
smtn10pt-yes, in the late 50s & early 60s I drove to states (Colorado for Elk, Mule Deer) & Wisconsin (Whitetail) & scouted & learned from each trip. No maps ahead of time & sure as hell no google earth, GPS, trail cams . Did the same when I baited for my 1st Bear too. Now adays you can pick the ridge you want to put up a blind or stand b/4 you leave your living room & with kill data how many animals you might encounter. My first trip to N.M. was from reading an article on a guy gun hunting Mule Deer & no maps b/4 I went there (24 hours of driving) Oh, b/4 compounds too. 53# Groves Spitfire recurve & Gamegetter tipped with MA3 blade used on this trip.. DIY is definitely easier today.