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Thread: Getting honest info about a guide

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK

    Question Getting honest info about a guide

    A member contacted me and asked how I would suggest finding honest, unbiased info about a guide. I've only used a guide once (for Farewell Bison), so I don't really feel qualified to answer the question. He has already talked to a number of references the guide provided, but would like a more complete picture. I suggested asking the guide for some references from unsuccessful hunters, as a hunter who didn't harvest an animal yet has good things to say about a guide would tell me a lot about the guide. Maybe I'm wrong, though, or missing some other ways to go about this. So, for those of you who have booked guided hunts, how do you go about making sure it is money well spent?

  2. #2


    One more way is to check with other guides who guide the same area. I have dealt with guides before and generally they are very profesional and will give you honest up front info. Most had the attitude that a happy client (even if from another guide) meant repeat and increased business for everyone, but a client who got ripped off or treated poorly would bad mouth about their experience and hurt the overall guiding community. A couple of my friends are guides and they often recommend other guides for clients when they are booked up.

    Sounds like your initial advice was spot on.

    Here is a link that addresses this very issue:

  3. #3

    Default guide info

    Try it's well worth the price. You might not find any info on the guide in question, but it's worth a try.

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Maupin, OR

    Default has an area for reviews. You can look up guides state by state or by name. I have used it before with some success.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default PRoblems with this stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    Try it's well worth the price. You might not find any info on the guide in question, but it's worth a try.

    One of the problems with the hunter reports is that they're as unreliable as the guide reports sometimes (not always, but sometimes). I know of one pretty aggressive hunter who blamed his guide for everything that went wrong. You just never know when you only get one side of the story.

    All of the sources mentioned can provide parts of the picture. Hunters should check all of them out, along with contacting the Alaska State Troopers for records of game violations and such. Also confirm with Occupational Licensing that they have a current license, and that they have their land use permits in order. All of this info, taken together, should help a hunter make an informed decision.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Smile Good question

    Its so tough. I think that anyone can have a bad experience say from weather or injury, but more and more I keep thinking its most important to be on the same page with the guide. For myself I would want to know from the guide who was actually hunting with me and from the references:

    1. Who will I be hunting with? (name so you can talk to them and research them with previous clients)
    2. How we will be hunting?
    3. How crowded is the hunting area and hunting camp?
    4. Where we will be hunting?
    5. What equipment do they use and what kind of shape is it in?
    6. game populations and success rates?
    7. Know all of this before you exchange any money as you will not see that money again!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  7. #7

    Default Hunting reports

    Yes, Mike I agree with you about Hunting Reports. On the flip side of overly negative reports being filed, I suspect that some guides my have their buddies file overly positive reports.
    I think it's important for the wise hunter to utilize all the resources available, and then read between the lines a little. Phones calls and research are very inexpensive when compared to the costs of a hunt.

  8. #8
    Member FALCON's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Enumclaw, Wa

    Default Guides

    I rely almost a 100% on talking with former clients. Sure, I did call off his reference list, but that always is a chosen list. I got a few names off this forum and talked with guys at length about my outfitter. Out of 10 guys, one guy wasn't too happy. I felt that was a pretty good sample.
    The real test will be how the hunt goes for me. A sheep can have all sorts of disasters happen, so I am preparing for a tough hunt. The outfitter woudn't make any quarantees on who I would be hunting with. I do know he has a good pair of assistant guides that can get the job done. He has been pretty honest about his success rates, and the accommodations. All I have to do now is wait out the next 3 months till sheep season!


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