Here Are Some Things to Consider
By Maren McReynolds
If you plan to go hunting, one of the first things you need to do is decide whether you’re going on a DIY hunt or are more comfortable doing a guided hunt.
In a Do-It-Yourself hunt, you do not have to hire an outfitter or a guide. You plan everything on your own: where to hunt, what to bring, what to hunt, and which hunting gear to use. You won’t receive any assistance from a trained hunting guide.
On the other hand, on a guided hunting trip, you will have to hire the services of an outfitter. A hunting guide will assist you throughout your hunt. You won’t have to worry about anything; you only have to prepare yourself for the trip.
While the prospect of hunting alone can be quite exciting, it is not for everyone. Many hunters also prefer to hunt with a guide because it offers them convenience and safety.
If you cannot decide if a guided hunt is for you, here are some reasons you might want to consider.
You are a first-time hunter.
While there are first-timers capable of doing a DIY hunt, it is always safer to have someone to assist and guide you on your hunting adventure.
There may be instances when you won’t be able to decide what to do, such as when you’re navigating through the hunting grounds, and you have to choose which direction to take. Another example would be choosing which meals are best and safe for you. An experienced and professional hunting guide will not only help you find where the animals you’re hunting are, but they will also provide you with useful hunting advice. Essential tips include using hunting gear properly, useful hunting tricks, and how to field dress and quarter hunted animals.
Hunting guides help you plan and organize your trip from the first to the last step.
You are not familiar with the hunting grounds.
It’s easy to get lost when you’re not familiar with the hunting grounds. You can bring a map or GPS with you, but things can still get confusing because it’s the first time you have ever set foot on those grounds. Having a trained and professional hunting guide who knows every nook and cranny of the area is your best bet against losing your way.
Additionally, there are hunting grounds where you may encounter private properties. Without a hunting guide, you might not know what to do – unless you have a good grasp of hunting and property laws in your state.
You have limited experience in using firearms for hunts.
Professional hunting guides know the specific firearms to use for the kind of hunting you want to do. If your firearms knowledge and experience are limited, your guide will be a big help. They can provide you with all the tips and advice you need for a safe and memorable hunting adventure.
You prioritize safety over anything else.
On a hunting trip, there are other risks you should consider aside from animals. You can get shot by another hunter or get injured. Since you’re not familiar with the area, you’re also risking getting into accidents like slipping on rocks or losing your footing while traversing the hunting trail.
A trained hunting guide knows when to move forward or stop and which areas to avoid. They know when and where possible dangers are lurking in a hunting ground.
Additionally, your safety is guaranteed as hunting guides are typically trained to administer first aid when necessary.
You want a successful hunting adventure.
All hunters want to go home with their prizes in tow. While a DIY hunt can make this possible, your chances are higher if you go with a professional outfitter and hunting guide. Their experience, expertise, and familiarity with the area will increase the likelihood of getting the best hunting trophy.
You have physical limitations.
Hunting can be a little demanding if you have physical limitations, such as a handicap. You will be going around a lot, which can be difficult if you are in a wheelchair. You may have to climb up on trees or crouch behind bushes at times. It’s an especially physical activity.
However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot go on a hunting trip. Just because you’re in a wheelchair or cannot run doesn’t mean you can cancel your hunting adventure altogether. The best way to go around such a situation is to arrange a special guided hunting trip. There are hunting guides who are trained to provide you with personalized service designed to cater to your capabilities.
Your hunting trip is also a vacation.
If you go on a hunting trip alone, it certainly wouldn’t be the vacation of a lifetime. But if you go on a guided hunting adventure, you’ll be creating one meaningful vacation memory after another.
Signing up for a guided hunting trip means you are also signing up for:
- Safe and comfortable lodging
- Well-prepared meals
- Features and amenities such as hunting equipment, supplies, and transportation
- Well-planned, detailed itineraries that will point you in the right direction
- Instructions for efficient use of hunting gears
- Scouting for wildlife
You are hunting a species that’s unfamiliar to you.
If you have been hunting mules for years and want to try elk hunting, a guided hunting trip should be your priority. Even if you have been hunting for quite a while, doing so for a different animal will be like starting again. You can Google what you need to know about elks, but it won’t be the same as getting firsthand information, tips, and strategies from professional hunting guides.
Joining a guided hunting trip is the best way to learn the most important tactics and techniques of hunting, especially if you’re dealing with species that are unfamiliar to you.
Going on a DIY hunting trip may be exciting, but opting to go with a trained and professional hunting guide can be fun, too. Even if you’re sharing the adventure with your guide, you can still have a memorable, exciting, and rewarding hunting experience.