Moultrie Products
Shot opportunity?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
FORESTBOWS 10-Nov-22
drycreek 10-Nov-22
caribou77 10-Nov-22
cnelk 10-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 10-Nov-22
g5smoke21 10-Nov-22
nmwapiti 10-Nov-22
Grey Ghost 10-Nov-22
Whocares 10-Nov-22
SlipShot 10-Nov-22
APauls 10-Nov-22
cnelk 10-Nov-22
cnelk 10-Nov-22
goelk 10-Nov-22
bowhunt 10-Nov-22
Bob H in NH 10-Nov-22
molsonarcher 10-Nov-22
Catscratch 10-Nov-22
JohnMC 10-Nov-22
caribou77 10-Nov-22
Beendare 10-Nov-22
ki-ke 10-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 10-Nov-22
JohnMC 10-Nov-22
HDE 10-Nov-22
JohnMC 10-Nov-22
Bowboy 10-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 10-Nov-22
Jaquomo 10-Nov-22
Pyrannah 10-Nov-22
bowhunt 10-Nov-22
molsonarcher 10-Nov-22
milnrick 10-Nov-22
cnelk 10-Nov-22
MPN 10-Nov-22
[email protected] 10-Nov-22
Grey Ghost 10-Nov-22
fdp 10-Nov-22
Treeline 10-Nov-22
ND String Puller 10-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 10-Nov-22
Willieboat 10-Nov-22
cnelk 10-Nov-22
Corax_latrans 10-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 11-Nov-22
DonVathome 11-Nov-22
Pyrannah 11-Nov-22
Jethro 11-Nov-22
molsonarcher 11-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 11-Nov-22
Old School 11-Nov-22
Hh76 11-Nov-22
Aspen Ghost 11-Nov-22
Cornpone 11-Nov-22
Grey Ghost 11-Nov-22
Ollie 11-Nov-22
bowyer45 11-Nov-22
Knifeman 11-Nov-22
FORESTBOWS 11-Nov-22
Jaquomo 11-Nov-22
bowhunt 12-Nov-22
Mad Trapper 12-Nov-22
808bowhunter 12-Nov-22
Inshart 14-Nov-22
Mad Trapper 14-Nov-22
APauls 14-Nov-22
10-Nov-22
When guys want to book a hunt this is the #1 question i get. To be accurate in my response i got a few questions for you guys. What does shot opportunity mean to you.....whats the definition. Arrow in the air? A pass on a easy shot? What if one guy shoots more than once is that 200% opportunity? Help me out.

From: drycreek
10-Nov-22
I’d say a decent opportunity on a decent animal at a decent range. Not to include a moving shot on a two year old at 66 yards…….;-)

From: caribou77
10-Nov-22
Completely subjective, this fall I’ve sat in the blind with my girlfriend 5 times. I’ve had 100% shot opportunities every time. And felt I could have killed those deer easily each time. To her skill level, she’s felt comfortable once and missed. So her shot opportunity is 20%.

From: cnelk
10-Nov-22
To me a shot opportunity is when a hunter actually draws his bow, when the elk is within respectable range and for some unforeseen reason, the shot didn’t happen.

10-Nov-22
For clarification these are 5day elk hunts.

From: g5smoke21
10-Nov-22
Legal bull within respectable range reguardless if the hunter draws or an arrow flies (or passed up)

From: nmwapiti
10-Nov-22
I might give it an odds-type answer. 100% opportunity at a legal bull. That would mean a legal animal within their effective range (or maybe choose something reasonable like 50 yards) with time to make the shot. Let them know it's up to them to draw at a good time and execute a good shot. Then you could go down from there like 50% chance we get a shot opportunity at a 300 inch class bull. 20% chance we get close to something bigger. If you had the data from a previous year to back it up, that would help.

From: Grey Ghost
10-Nov-22
I would ask the potential booking hunter what his definition is, then answer accordingly.

Matt

From: Whocares
10-Nov-22
A 40 yard realistic chance. May be 50 yards for some but I encourage less. Some hunters get excited and don't draw or even knock an arrow. But if the elk is in range and in a shoot able position but the hunter fails to reasonably perform I consider it an opportunity ity.

From: SlipShot
10-Nov-22
For me, shot opportunity is having an animal close enough to make a shot on it; not necessary taking the shot. I have passed on a lot of animals and not filled my tags. I consider all those hunts successful. I have never been on a guided elk hunt, but I hope to be shopping for one in the next couple of years. The area I'm hoping to draw, one of my questions will be what is my shot opportunity be for elk on elk 350" or above.

From: APauls
10-Nov-22
I like Grey Ghost's answer best from a business perspective. Because of the very reason that it is subjective.

From: cnelk
10-Nov-22
BS - If a hunter doesn’t doesn’t draw his bow there’s no shot opportunity.

You can ‘see’ lots of elk within range but that doesn’t mean there’s a shot opportunity

From: cnelk
10-Nov-22
Back in the day, when one of my buddies would come out to hunt with me, I’d GUARANTEE them a shot. It was up to them to make it.

From: goelk
10-Nov-22
shot opportunity is when a hunter actually draws his bow

From: bowhunt
10-Nov-22
Hey Forest, I think every persons idea is different. Grey Ghost response is pretty good in my opinion.

Experienced guys kill bulls in some really quick tuff scenarios. Quite a few of the bulls my buddy and I kill invlolve split second decisions, and shooting through really small windows in thick stuff.

I have hunted with guys that can almost never get their crap together in the moment of truth, and hunted with others that seem to always be able to capitalize if they get within a reasonable range of an animal.

I would for sure say a bull broadside or quartering away with a basketball sized area free of brush over the vitals for at least 6 seconds was a slam dunk opportunity. The guide did his job, and no one could argue that. The hunter getting a shot off is on them, not you or the guide.

From: Bob H in NH
10-Nov-22
I used to ask this question all the time. Once I got the answer I asked the outfitter to define shot opportunities

Personally I would say define it for yourself forest, stick to that answer and just be clear on terms

Something like a legal elk inside 50 yards where the hunter either shot or drew the bow or chose not to shoot

From: molsonarcher
10-Nov-22
Any legal animal, within the hunters effective range, whatever that animal is. As hunters we have to be realistic with what each of us can accomplish. If one guy can effectively kill at 100 yards, and the next guy can only shoot to 30, then they both had 100% shot opportunity.

I think as the outfitter you should be the one making the declaration on what you can produce on a fairly regular basis, whatever that may be. This way, potential clients know what they can expect and decide for themselves if it is a fit. I also believe that you cant put inches on a success rate, but you can place an average on it.

I would personally be happy to call a P&Y minimum elk a trophy, where the next guy might expect a 350, and the next guy would be tickled with a raghorn.

Only you as the outfitter knows what you, your guides, and the area can produce, and you should take that as how to define opportunity.

Im not trying to be an arse here, but when i ask an outfitter that question, that is what i expect to hear. IE % shot opportunity, at X distance, at X caliber of animal.

From: Catscratch
10-Nov-22
An animal in range and position of which it could be shot with respective weapon. The hunter decides to draw and shoot, or not. Doesn't change that he had an opportunity if he chooses not to. The guide should ask the hunter what an effective range is for their skills before making a promise. Expectations should also be established ahead of time; shot opportunity at a bull, cow, P&Y bull?

From: JohnMC
10-Nov-22
I mostly agree with Brad/cnelk answer with a couple caveats. One if you offering a chance at any legal animal and hunter pass on a small 4 point or cow because he is hoping for something bigger/different. I call that a shot opportunity. Two sometimes hunters have an opportunity and just don't take it, call it buck fever or whatever they had any opportunity and did not take it.

Any one that has hunted elk enough knows having a elk in range does not always equal a shot opportunity. I hunt in oak brush a lot and had so many elk in range with no chance at a shot because it was so thick I barely knew it was there much less have a chance to kill it.

So having a legal elk in range with a reasonable chance of killing if you do your part right. Passing a high percentage shot at an effective range thinking you will get a closer shot, passing a legal elk because you think you can do better, miss assuming your not throwing up 100 yard prayers, shooting a elk recovered or not, have a bull broadside in your face but hunter freezes up with buck fever because he has a big bull scream 30 yards away.

From: caribou77
10-Nov-22
I agree with Cnelk here as well. Shooting and missing is opportunity, drawing and passing is opportunity.

Now the next question is it opportunity at what you want or any animal, not just a trophy.

From: Beendare
10-Nov-22
This thread sure reinforces that everyone has a different idea on shots.

I see it all the time on these YouTube videos where the guy has an elk in front of the Hunter for a short period of time and then leaves……he claims he did not have a shot.

Some are legit of course…but some are because the hunter dinked around too long at full draw….or got busted.

From: ki-ke
10-Nov-22
Strictky speaking to shot "opportunity".... I would be comfortable calling a legal elk that presented a shot, taken or not, an opportunity. Example; a hunter holds an either sex tag and has a big cow at 20 yards broadside, standing in the open with no clue he is there and the hunter passes because he is hoping for a bull....that to me, was an opportunity.

10-Nov-22
New question. 4 guys in camp 4 arrows in the air only 3 guys shoot because 1 guy shot twice. 100% opportunity or 75% opportunity?

From: JohnMC
10-Nov-22
75% If I was 4th that did not get a shot and saw you advertising 100% I'd call BS.

From: HDE
10-Nov-22
A shot opportunity is anytime an animal presents itself to a novice hunter with a reasonable chance to fill the tag. Whether the hunter pulls it off is up to the hunter.

From: JohnMC
10-Nov-22
Have you considered advertising- hunters averaged seeing "x" number elk per day hunting? I think most guys want to be in elk and understand sometimes you can kill the first elk and only elk you find. Sometimes your in elk constantly and it just doesn't happen.

From: Bowboy
10-Nov-22
CNELK x2. The other question 75%

10-Nov-22
Im not doing this for advertising purposes.

From: Jaquomo
10-Nov-22
I don't come to full draw unless I plan to shoot the animal. But I've let a hell of a lot of unalarmed animals walk that presented what I consider legitimate "shot opportunities" within my effective range.

From: Pyrannah
10-Nov-22
better question would be how many elk can typically be seen...

otherwise it's just a camping trip

From: bowhunt
10-Nov-22
On your second question I would think that was 75 percent shot opportunity

4 guys in a camp, 3 guys got shots at elk.

From: molsonarcher
10-Nov-22
Second question is 75% no doubt.

From: milnrick
10-Nov-22
First, while I've yet to hunt elk, I've hunt a bunch of big game.

Shot Opportunity, regardless of the species being pursued, in my opinion, boils down to these two questions:

Did I see an animal (bear, elk, white tail, hog, turkey, etc) I was intending to hunt?

Was it within my effective range?

If the answer is yes, I had an opportunity.

Whether or not I shot isn't ever a factor.

From: cnelk
10-Nov-22
Question for Forrest - if one of your clients shoot an elk but isn’t recovered - what is your policy on that?

From: MPN
10-Nov-22
Any legal animal within reasonable, predetermined range. Hunter does not need to have pulled back to consider it an opportunity. I have been on many hunts where the opportunity was lost b/c of hunter error in the last moments before the draw. No fault of guide. Each hunter is independent of others, when calculating opportunity.

10-Nov-22
Either a shot is taken or the hunter and guide (if present) agree a shot could have been taken. A guy holding out for a 300" bull and doesn't draw on the 260 bull at 15 yards broadside drinking counts as an opportunity at a legal bull .

A guy that has 4 shots just counts as a hunter having an opportunity. Not 400%

From: Grey Ghost
10-Nov-22
I passed on this buck this morning, because I've killed several like him, and I'd prefer my young hunting buddy to have a crack at him this weekend. I consider it an opportunity, but I didn't draw my bow.

.

Matt

From: fdp
10-Nov-22
Seems kind of problematic. Are talking about a shot opportunity for Chuck Adams, or for a guy who has a hard time hitting the saddle while holding on to The stirrup. They are wildly different things. I would never commit or admit to a particular number of shot opportunities. I never committed to a particular number of strikes or hook ups when I was guiding fly fisherman either.

From: Treeline
10-Nov-22
For elk, a bull under 30, no matter if a shot is taken or not. For whatever reason.

I would tighten that up for me to under 20, but I’m a Stickbow guy. Once got a buddy 21 shots on bulls in a week under 20 yards… never clipped a hair…

10-Nov-22
So what if you end up with a group of out of shape hunters who like to sleep in. Shot opportunity rating would suck ! Especially for Elk run and gun stuff, tree stand/blind hunts would make more sense to rate. Maybe a disclaimer “for the hunters who can keep up with the guide the opportunity is this”.

10-Nov-22
This is my next question ^^^^^^

From: Willieboat
10-Nov-22
There in lies your problem Forest, you don’t know what your getting for a client ? A fat glop of shit that talks a good game about his ability or a stone cold killer that has never been elk hunting.

From: cnelk
10-Nov-22
Geez.... according to some of you, you'd have over 50 opportunities if this herd of elk went by you in 75 seconds [I took this video earlier this fall]

10-Nov-22
I think GG had it. A “shot opportunity” depends entirely on what the shooter is capable of. Some guys can kill a flushing jackrabbit and some can take the head off of a bowling pin at 60 yards…. given enough time…. And a stationary target.

Also depends on what he’s willing to shoot.

I wouldn’t promise more than “X% of my clients say that they had a an opportunity”.

Makes me think of my last trip. I had a cow bust me on the draw as she was coming on a line that would have presented a very makeable broadside had I not screwed the pooch by drawing too soon. That was an opportunity which I blew. Probably would have gotten the shot off with a stickbow.

And I had a whole herd pass 15 yards away while I struggled with an iced-up drop-away rest. That was an opportunity lost due to my failure to monitor the status of my equipment. Probably would not have been an issue with a stickbow. No moving parts to immobilize.

I didn’t have a guide, but if I’d had one, those failures would not be my guide’s fault.

Same trip, spotted a very pretty buck mule deer at 65 yards. Not huge, but I could have mounted that one and died happy. Leopard-crawled to within about 40 before he stood up and left. Great shot opportunity for my .54; wouldn’t have considered it with the compound (I won’t use a rangefinder because I don’t want to) and it would be a long poke with a stickbow, but a Stupid angle. That could have been a “shot opportunity” if I were seriously about the business of Subsistence Hunting (fresh snow for tracking) but not a shot I’d take if my life didn’t depend on it. That’s not a Shot Opportunity for me. Not even if I’d had a tag ;)

11-Nov-22

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
The herd bull in the center of circle. Within easy compound range.40ish yards many times. Double my long bow range. Forest ended up killing this bull guiding a hunter the next week.
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
The herd bull in the center of circle. Within easy compound range.40ish yards many times. Double my long bow range. Forest ended up killing this bull guiding a hunter the next week.
Instead of percentage. Perhaps when asked. Tell them I had this many hunters last year and this many opportunities. Let them decide if four chances is 400% to them. To me 100% is the highest percentage possible. There’s no such thing as 400%. When I did a drop hunt with Forest our group definitely had 100% opportunity

I’ll tell a story about hunting a drop camp with Forest.

I had gotten myself into a large herd with I forget how many satellite bulls. The herd had worked its way through me and by me three different times at this point. I would then reposition myself to the side of the herd as they go through. To keep the wind. The herd is not covering ground quickly but fully engaged in full rut activity. Satellites chasing cows. The herd bull chasing satellites.

So on one of my setups I had a raghorn walk a few yards behind a cow, and both walk less than 20 yards and pass right in front of me. Then a moment later a different bull do the exact same thing with a different cow. On this same trail.

Now early in the week or even the day before. I would have shot one of the cows or the satellites with the longbow I had in my hand. All four gave me chip shots.

But on this hunt I had a very good bull chasing these cows and rag horns all around. I guessed him at 340” And I was confident he would eventually chase in front of me.

I was following and getting in front of or to the side of that herd for hours. It just didn’t pan out. But man what a hunt.

So I had other encounters of elk within 40 yards at good angles that I can honestly say I could have shot with a compound or muzzleloader.

So Forest would have chalked up many opportunities in his tally the week I hunted there. The other guys did also one being a newbie. and we took one good bull home.

11-Nov-22
I personally guided 6 guys last year 4 shot arrows at elk 1 hunted 1 day and had to go down because of altitude sickness. 6th guy was 73 and could not walk a mile a day. We went out 4 out of 10 hunts. Im i 4 out of 6 4 out of 5 or 4 out of 4 ?

From: DonVathome
11-Nov-22
To me it is a decent shot at a calm mature animal up to 50 yards (for elk). 30 yards for deer/, 25 lope.

From: Pyrannah
11-Nov-22
if your other guides go 0 for 4 and you go 4 for 6 that's 40%

From: Jethro
11-Nov-22
Forest, you'd be 4 for 6. You have to count the good and the bad. If those 2 other hunters had gotten a shot in their limited time afield you would certainly count it towards an opportunity. So in this case it has to be counted as a non-opportunity.

From: molsonarcher
11-Nov-22
No matter how many hunters you had you have to count them in my opinion. They paid for an opportunity. Whether they got it or not still counts toward the tally. I also dont think you can base it off of your personal hunters that YOU personally guided, unless YOU are the only guide. You have to factor all your guided clients the same.

In your last question, you are 4 out of 6. The other 2 took themselves out of the game, but also elected to play the game.

In Mexico last month, one of the hunters got sick and couldnt hunt for 2 days, but he still hunted the other 3.5 days. It has to count because he hunted what HE could physically do.

11-Nov-22
Your right Ben! .5% of all Archery and rifle hunters combined that have been with us did not see a elk. Like you. Only one other guy besides you ever.

From: Old School
11-Nov-22
Great question-and you can see shot opportunities mean different things to different people.

While Lou has numerous bulls he passes and calls that an opportunity because with his experience he knows he could have shot them. While a novice may have wanted to shoot but messed it up due to a variety of mistakes (moving at the wrong time, setup behind cover, etc…). So is that an opportunity or not???

I think you define it as you want, just make sure you also clearly communicate your criteria that you used to get your number. For instance “We define shot opportunity as a legal elk under 30 yards for 5 seconds with a clear shot to the vitals.”

Whether or not I ever draw my bow I know when I’ve had a legitimate opportunity to.

Great thread!

From: Hh76
11-Nov-22
It really is subjective, but I would just tell them how you define it, and use those numbers. If I were a customer, I'd be comfortable hearing that your definition was that the animal was in range and you believe a skilled hunter could have made something happen.

I always get a kick out of people saying they passed on an animal, when they really should be saying "I saw an animal that was almost in range". A true shot opportunity would only be if you could have drawn without spooking the animal, and you had an actual shooting lane.

We always joked that it would be nice to have a camera that could be lined up with your sights and have a picture taken while at full draw. Then you could truly say that you could have shot an animal.

From: Aspen Ghost
11-Nov-22
In my opinion you are trying too hard to make a bad metric work. I think you'd be better off throwing the bad metric (% shot opportunity) in the trash and developing a metric that actually means something.

It's a bad metric because if you ask 5 different people what it means you'd get 5 different answers. And it tends to be a metric of the ability/desire of your client more than your skills as an guide.

You'll never be able to take the client ability/desire completely out of any metric but you can design a metric to minimize the client ability/desire factor.

Some ideas:

1) Make the metric for "close encounters" rather than shot opportunities. A close encounter would be one where the game is in range (more about that later). Close encounters are what every hunter wants. We all get it that sometimes the interaction doesn't end up with a shot. That could be because the hunter decided to pass or he spooked the game or the shot angle was bad or brush was in the way, etc.

2) Keep the metric separate for rifle, compound bow, stick bow. Obviously a 100 yard interaction with a stick bow is not close but it is for a rifle. So decide for each weapon what range you consider to be a close encounter.

3) Make the metric a daily rate metric rather than a % of hunters metric. If a hunter hunts 1/2 day and becomes ill or quits, or another can only hunt half the time then that shouldn't affect your metric. So if you have 3 compound bow hunters in camp and one hunts 1/2 day and sees nothing, another hunts 3 days and gets close once and the 3rd hunts 7 days and gets close three times that's a total of 10 1/2 hunter days and four close encounters.

4) You could divide the 4 close encounters by 10 1/2 for the rate (for the group, rate = 0.38) but chances are most guide services will have a daily close encounter rate under 1 and very few clients will understand what you mean by a daily close encounter rate of say 0.38. So invert that number to transform it to number of hunt days per close encounter and the 0.38 rate becomes 2.6 days hunting per close encounter. That becomes a more understandable number to the client and also communicates to the client that the number of encounters depends on him getting out of bed and hunting.

5) Count each close encounter as 1 close encounter whether the close encounter is a single cow, a single bull or a group. It seems misleading to count a single encounter with 8 elk as eight close encounters for your metric.

6) You could also keep track of other sub-metrics including a) the number of elk per close encounter, b) number of bulls per close encounter, c) number of shots taken per close encounter d) number of elk taken per close encounter.

7) Last comment: If you have a special needs client such as someone who can only walk 100 yards or is otherwise significantly impaired in his ability to hunt I don't think you should include their hunt in your metrics. That's really not fair to you. I know there is always a range of abilities so you need to be careful not to abuse this but when a hunter is clearly impaired you shouldn't include their hunt in the metric (or maybe keep a separate metric for impaired hunters)

From: Cornpone
11-Nov-22
Shot opportunity? Well...if you're any kind of bow hunter you KNOW if you had a shot opportunity or not. You either passed for whatever reason...waiting for the "big one" or whatever. Stuff in the way, animal walking too fast through your shooting lane...those aren't necessarily "shot opportunities". I've had multiple times over the years whereas I could have "winged" an arrow but didn't because of various factors. Again...you know.

From: Grey Ghost
11-Nov-22
I think it should go without saying that "shot opportunities" is a completely subjective and meaningless metric.

Is it really that difficult to say we had X number of bow hunters in camp for X number of days, and we filled X number of tags? Let the potential client do whatever math gymnastics he wants to do from there.

Matt

From: Ollie
11-Nov-22
Shot opportunity is just that. It is a legal animal within bow range. Hunter has to decide whether to shoot or pass. You can break it down as much as you want. Any legal animal in range. Any legal bull in range. Any mature bull in range.

From: bowyer45
11-Nov-22
My idea of a shot opportunity is a standing broadside animal at no more than 25 yds, But I am an instinctive longbow hunter. A good hunter or guide should be able to deliver that. Any body can get shots at 35 yds or more.

From: Knifeman
11-Nov-22
I just want to know what the odds are to be kicked by a horse...

11-Nov-22
Pretty decent! Really depends on how much time you spend behind one. Lol!

From: Jaquomo
11-Nov-22
I got kicked in the head by one of mine 35 years ago and friends say I haven't been the same since.....

As far as shot "opportunities"...About an hour ago I called a really good muley buck into my decoys from 150 yards out. Had him at 30 yards, and this year I'm hunting with a compound. I never had what I consider an ethical shot, so for me it wasn't an "opportunity" even though he was well within range. For some other guys it may have been. So subjective.

From: bowhunt
12-Nov-22
That sounds about like the first weekend of elk season for me.

Bull came in 1/4rd too me. I was at full draw from about 25 yards to 8 ft. Couldn’t shoot behind the shoulder or in front. As he walked a couple times he got more chest on, but his head was blocking the vitals he was a little down hill from me. At about 8-10 ft the gig was up. I was at full draw with my pin on him the whole time, no shot.

I’m retrospect I should have cow called to see if he froze and lifted his head up. At the close range, I thought he would spook.

I’m usually pretty good at making things happen. This was a pretty odd scenario where I couldn’t find a good shot into the vitals.

From: Mad Trapper
12-Nov-22
It is a tough question that in my experience can’t be answered with simple number. For many of the reasons mentioned above, shot opportunity will vary greatly with the hunter’s ability. When I am interviewing an outfitter, I ask that question, but I also welcome them to backfill with information about the hunter. I try to be very upfront with the outfitter about what kind of experience that I am looking for and what my ability is. The first question that I normally get is “how far” can you shoot?” I usually respond with the question “Well how good are your guides?” And remind him that bowhunting is a close encounter endeavor. Then I tell them about my practice regimen and give examples of other animals and distances that I shot. Then I tell them what distance that I am comfortable at and usually my maximum distance that I would shoot. I also make it clear that I will not be picking up a firearm just to fill the tag. You will get much better answers from the outfitter when he has a better understanding of your abilities and expectations. My two cents.

From: 808bowhunter
12-Nov-22
I would say you went 4 of 6 but 100% success rate on the ones who hunted. I offer 100% opportunity rate on pig hunts here and I basically set the bar for opportunity. If I could have killed a pig if bow was in my hands, that’s opportunity for a client to try and shoot one. We don’t really see pigs until they are inside 40 yards so not counting long shots. If clients can’t keep it together and are extremely fidgety when pigs are coming in and spook them, it gets more complicated. I only charge the hunt fee if we get an opportunity so I need to explain this a bit. With some clients I see, I could only imagine trying to chase elk in the mountains!

From: Inshart
14-Nov-22
Me calling Forest about a guided hunt.

Pre-hunt phone call: **Hey Forest, this is Bob, I saw Charlie's hunt recap on Bowsite. That looked like an exciting hunt, the kind I would truly love to be a part of.

**(chit-chat about elk hunting and after a few questions) **BOB: What do you think a realistic shot opportunity would be, not looking for a trophy - just an adult elk, preferably a bull, but I love elk meat so not opposed to a nice fat cow?

**Forest: Well Bob, that's kind of vague question, let me ask you, what would you consider a shot opportunity?

**Bob: To me with what and how I shoot, and that I don't sleep in and will hunt wherever the guide takes me - all day - weather permitting. I have had back surgery as well as knee surgery, so that, at times slows me down, but will do whatever it takes. A shot opportunity would be a chance for an elk at 50 yards or less. Obviously, I would much prefer a shot at 20 yards that would give me a clear shot.

**Forest: Well Bob, as you know, hunting is never a given, shit happens, but with what you told me, on a 7-day hunt, realistically I would say your shot opportunity on a legal bull should be ????? And on an adult cow it would be ????

In my humble opinion, that is how "shot opportunity" should be discussed.

From: Mad Trapper
14-Nov-22
It is a tough question that in my experience can’t be answered with simple number. For many of the reasons mentioned above, shot opportunity will vary greatly with the hunter’s ability. When I am interviewing an outfitter, I ask that question, but I also welcome them to backfill with information about the hunter. I try to be very upfront with the outfitter about what kind of experience that I am looking for and what my ability is. The first question that I normally get is “how far” can you shoot?” I usually respond with the question “Well how good are your guides?” And remind him that bowhunting is a close encounter endeavor. Then I tell them about my practice regimen and give examples of other animals and distances that I shot. Then I tell them what distance that I am comfortable at and usually my maximum distance that I would shoot. I also make it clear that I will not be picking up a firearm just to fill the tag. You will get much better answers from the outfitter when he has a better understanding of your abilities and expectations. My two cents.

From: APauls
14-Nov-22
IMO the only real metric is success, as in tags filled. Everything else is subjective. How many tags notched is not.

If I know that my personal success rate spending a week elk hunting DIY is 80%, and the provincial success rate is 10%, then I feel like I know where I stack up to average "competition." If Forest tells me that on an average year, half his clients take animals, then I can personally calculate my chances of success. By looking at his trophy photos and talking to him about animal quality I can then try and take a stab at my personal chances of shooting what I want to shoot.

Any person that tries to get YOU to predict their future is a tough call. I understand that everyone wants this info, but you have to stick to hard facts. Numbers of animals within 40 yards per hunter, etc. Stay away from words like "Success" that are subjective. Speak in absolutes and let the individual draw their own conclusions. You can't win trying to estimate a person's conclusions in their terms. Because when the hunt doesn't meet expectations it turns into "well you told me______"

In outfitting one things is guaranteed. You will have clients who say they are in shape that aren't. You'll have clients that say they could shoot a flea's knees that can't hit a dead elephant, and you're going to have the odd person with a sour attitude. You can't manage them, so don't try and manage their interpretations of subjective events.

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