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Guide skills #6146304 01/21/16 02:43 PM
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There's a couple of threads going on about some poor hunts, or complete lack thereof, with guides. It got me to thinking about the skills of the guides that I've thoroughly enjoyed hunting with. And the ability to find game, i.e. "hunt", doesn't immediately pop up as the first trait.

Things like personality, sense of humor, and communication skills are what I think makes a guide great. Sadly, I think a lot of what steers a young man towards guiding in this country is the desire to "not take orders from nobody else," or not work for "the man." I just finished a duck hunt recently and the young man guiding us made us feel great every time we connected; lots of hooping and hollering. 'Not saying I need a cheerleader, just that you can see potential in this guy's future.

Most good professional hunters in Africa can do 21 days, pre-dawn to as late around the fire as the client requires, with some of the biggest sphincters on the planet, and they can smile and laugh the whole time.

What do you consider the best trait for a hunting guide to have?


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146331 01/21/16 02:55 PM
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Personality and knowledge of where & what they're hunting.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146332 01/21/16 02:55 PM
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I guided hunters for many years. Had a lot of repeat customers.

What made me successful at it was my personality. I had guys from all walks of life from farmers to bankers to equipment operations to sales guys and even a lobbyist for the Democratic Party

They want to be entertained; tell them stories, educate them on local customs, lore and flora/fauna. B.S with them, drink with them, etc.

The older I got the less I enjoyed the time away from home and it reflected I'm my personality but for several years I really enjoyed it and it carried over to the field.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146369 01/21/16 03:12 PM
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I agree with personality. I've had guides that were quite dull, and I just didn't feel all that welcome on the hunt. Like I was a burden instead of a customer. The ones that act more like a hunting buddy than a kid doing chores were much more enjoyable to hunt with.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146375 01/21/16 03:16 PM
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I agree with personality, but I also have to add good manners into the mix; a man who knows how to be a gentleman around the ladies and kids.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146481 01/21/16 04:09 PM
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Good stuff right here !! I hope this thread keeps growing !! up

Re: Guide skills [Re: OffCoor1] #6146799 01/21/16 06:44 PM
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Good communicative skills, honesty, and professionalism.

Re: Guide skills [Re: rifleman] #6146819 01/21/16 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: rifleman
Personality and knowledge of where & what they're hunting.


This. I think both are paramount. Plus please remember I can get there but maybe not as quickly as your 22 year old mountain-bred self - so a little patience is nice. smile


Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146863 01/21/16 07:10 PM
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Respect and courtesy.

A desire to succeed.

Experience that shows. up


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Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146931 01/21/16 07:42 PM
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The best guides I've hunted with treated me like an old friend set on educating me on the quarry at hand. So that's what I try to take to the field when I guide.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

www.NewHopeEquine.com - Health and Healing through Horses.
Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146952 01/21/16 07:49 PM
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I've hunted with about 50 guides and have had great experiences with most. I had my worst experience yet with one of the most expensive and reputable outfitters here in Texas last fall. I still think the outfitter is good and the owner successfully guided me on a different hunt, but this guide was the worst ever. Not Mulie Mike! Mike is one of the best outfitters I've ever worked with and all his guides have been great.

On a Texas Elk hunt:

1) guide had leg and balance problems couldn't walk to car, much less through brush well.

2) guide had poor eyesight - I have decent game eyes, but use to good guides seeing about 3x of what I see. The first 5 Elk I spotted first and then had a terrible time pointing them out to guide. I would have to set his binoculars on tripod focused directly on the bull before he could see.

3) guide had terrible hearing - I finally gave up trying to even have a conversation in the truck because he would act like he knew what I was saying, but answers were always completely off what I asked or said. several times I heard bugling that he couldn't hear.

4) guide had terrible decision making - he wanted to be set and call in a bull, the bull took a look at us 400 yards, but locked up, no way that bull was coming any closer. he kept trying over and over to call him for 30 minutes and finally I said, we have to make a move or we'll lose that bull. we were within a minute of getting a 200 yard shot on this 300+ bull, but then it went a ravine never to be seen again.

5) finally the first bull he saw was the big 350+ 100 yards off the road, after I drew blood I followed the bull on foot where the bull held up. I was just about ready to put the kill shot when I look back and guide is driving across the brush right to us! I did everything I could to tell him to stop, but he kept going and bull went back into brush no shot.

6) I knew at this point guides abilities, so after giving bull about 30 minutes and we knew he was in this brush I told him to watch the right side while I tried to find him. we never saw bull again, but hours later when we picked blood trail up, sure enough it had gone out the exact place I had told him to watch.

we spent 2 days trying to find that bull, but never did. Cost me $8k for drawing blood.

I believe at one time this guide was OK, but the outfitter hasn't kept up with guides health and I also think guide is a good BS'er with not only the hunters, but the owner.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6146984 01/21/16 08:02 PM
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Wow Rob. I would have locked that guide in the truck half way through that trip and
DIY'd the rest of the hunt. And the owner would have gotten an ear full.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

www.NewHopeEquine.com - Health and Healing through Horses.
Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6147153 01/21/16 09:20 PM
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The worst quide I have ever had was a young PH with a very well known reputable safari company. He was rude, condescending and sarcastic though out the whole safari. It got so bad I called the safari short and requested we be taken back to the hotel in town. The only redeming factor was he was a very very good hunter and was able to get me in shooting range of some remarkable trophies.

I complained to the safari companies owner and he was profusely apologetic and offered to comp my next safari. I did not take him up on the offer. I mean if you know one of your guides is a problem why are you keeping him as an employee.

Re: Guide skills [Re: dkershen] #6147213 01/21/16 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: dkershen
Wow Rob. I would have locked that guide in the truck half way through that trip and
DIY'd the rest of the hunt. And the owner would have gotten an ear full.


I weighed that hard, I wanted to, but in my wise older years decided it was best to play nice as was still a chance for recovery as offered finders fee to ranch manager and owner of outfit was doing helicopter survey a couple weeks later. They never found the Elk. Considering the guide had worked for him 20+ years and that was only my 2nd trip, figured I had no collateral to complain while his old guide had all the collateral in the world. Just a terrible situation and unfortunately there will be many more of their clients burned the coming years on $8k Elk and $6k Mule Deer hunts.

experience is good, but I've had better luck with younger guides if they have the love of hunting. only young guides I didn't like just didn't have the thirst for hunting, they were just going through motions for check. your guide needs to get "mad at them". older guides seem to be more talk and less walk, likely to be gruff, not as mad at them anymore, and take shortcuts where they can.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6147394 01/21/16 11:30 PM
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I've done two horseback elk hunts with the same outfitter out of Bozeman. The second time the owner himself was my guide. The day before the season started his wife (who organized all the details of all the hunts - cooks, supplies, etc.) ran off with his lead guide. He was already a cantankerous man before that. This just made him a regular "peach". He liked me, so we got along, but he ripped a couple of fast talking clients a new one. He too couldn't see too well and was hard of hearing. I got respectable 6X6s both times, but I spotted the bull each time. (The first time the 21 year old guide was so hung over he didn't see the three bulls we were riding by on an open hillside at 60 yards.) grin


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6147558 01/22/16 12:44 AM
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Personality and skill/knowing his trade.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6153794 01/25/16 06:18 PM
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cheers never payed for a guide... 2cents only played high-school sports... A good cheerleader was when they kept the spirit of the fans up when we were behind or lost... confused2 were i grew up, hunting was not a sport ... As pappy says: were all guides, when we hunt with others... scratch Spell check tis my guide for typing... flag

Last edited by colt.45; 01/25/16 06:26 PM.


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Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6153945 01/25/16 07:46 PM
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First and foremost I expect a guide to know where the game we are hunting is. I don't want to drive or walk around for the entire trip looking for animals. I don't need a guide for that, I can walk around and not find game by myself.
He should be be friendly and well mannered and know how to read his client. I have been in camps with preachers and yound kids where the guides and wranglers cussed like a sailor. When something was said to them the comments " tough this is elk camp" was said.
A guide needs to be a pro at field dressing and packing out game. Not saying I won't do my part, I always do but it is ultimately his job.
He is also responsible for his clients safety to a reasonable extent.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6154358 01/25/16 11:19 PM
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Guide Skills? A lot of how a person perceives the quality of the guide has to do with the quality of the hunter. I could tell you horror stories of hunts I guided and what a guide has to put up with trying to get so called experienced hunters on game. It is a two way street. A guide can also only put up with so much from a hunter that thinks he knows more than the guide. If the hunter was so good why did he need the guide?

Re: Guide skills [Re: don k] #6154385 01/25/16 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
If the hunter was so good why did he need the guide?


many hunts you don't have the choice. nonresidents can't even legally hunt Dall in Alaska without a guide.

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6155287 01/26/16 02:51 PM
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went on a pheasant hunt in Dumas with an "outfitter" he belittled everyone for missing shots, then when he shot he also missed, like every one has said, personality, ect is a must.


hold on Newt, we got a runaway
Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6155398 01/26/16 03:39 PM
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No guides are perfect there are good ones and bad ones. I want my guide to know the area the game etc. Personality goes a long way. I want to have fun and enjoy the entire experience. I have been on both sides as a hunter and I guide. My goal as a guide is to take people and treat them as if I was the hunter.


Good is the enemy of Great
Re: Guide skills [Re: don k] #6155525 01/26/16 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: don k
Guide Skills? A lot of how a person perceives the quality of the guide has to do with the quality of the hunter. I could tell you horror stories of hunts I guided and what a guide has to put up with trying to get so called experienced hunters on game. It is a two way street. A guide can also only put up with so much from a hunter that thinks he knows more than the guide. If the hunter was so good why did he need the guide?

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Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6156185 01/26/16 09:45 PM
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I think part of the issue with expectation in guided hunts is the typical backgrounds of both parties. What makes great guides is the same thing that makes great personal trainers, salespeople, service workers, office managers.. you kind of have to have the whole package. You need to ability to meet your client where they are at, both in personality, experience, and temperament. You need knowledge of the task at hand, and the ability to think quickly and improvise while keeping cool and delivering an experience. You don't see the highest concentration of these people as hunting guides, maybe more so in the owners, but not many guides. So if you come from a successful career in which you expect the above, and the guide is like some of you have described a kid, or a guy who doesn't seem to want to be there, then it is what it is. You can't walk in to the dollar store and expect the clerk to be able to run a Neiman Marcus.

I have been on 3 guided duck hunts. No disasters, but 2 were very average, could of done it myself, and 1 was exceptional. The hunting was good but the outfit was fantastic, and those guides/owners could have done it in any profession they chose, they just picked hunting. up

Re: Guide skills [Re: Creekrunner] #6156204 01/26/16 09:55 PM
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Personality and knowledge is what I look for when I want to go on a package hunt. Also, if you are the client and you did your homework on selecting a great guide.....dont try to guide the guide. It doesnt usually work out in your favor.


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