First Impressions

Tips for your first guided hunt.

You finally booked a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip, but you've never used a guide before and you're not sure how to act or what to expect. Well here's a list of recommendations from the pros that will help you and your guide develop the mutual understanding and respect that is the key ingredient to successful hunts. Stick to this and you'll definitely make an impression.

Great hunting, bud. Now put down the Red Bull.
  • Book your hunt for mid-November. Bring inadequate clothing, then complain about the weather.
  • Point your rifle at your guide when you check your scope.
  • Refuse to make physical effort, such as hiking to a lookout or meadow, and then complain about your guide's ability to find you an elk.
  • Don't wear your hearing aid.
  • Unzip your pockets and open velcroed flaps while stalking elk.
  • Wander off without telling your guide.
  • Get drunk at lunch. Better yet, get drunk at breakfast.
  • Ignore your outfitter's regulations by packing a .44 into camp.
  • On your last (very important) hunt together, inform your guide that you have a pacemaker and require oxygen.
  • Don't tell your guide that you need some privacy. Instead, poop in your pants.
  • When your guide sets up three different shots during your one week of hunting, miss all three.
  • Insist that you aren't a trophy hunter. Claim to be hunting for the experience—the thrill of being outdoors. Then, refuse a shot at a 350-class bull and get upset when you don't see a 400-class, 8x8 toad later in the week.
Ignorance is no excuse. That's why you hired the guide.

So by now hopefully you've realized that this is a list of what not to do. While some may seem outlandish, they're all based on the experiences of actual guides with actual clients. Do yourself a favor this hunting season: if you hire a guide, respect their services. Most protocol is common sense, but defer to the pros when in doubt. Most of all, enjoy yourself and happy hunting.