The right outfitter/guide can be the difference between a great hunt or a horrible memory. There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure the best experience possible.
- First of all you need to start at least several months in advance but it would be best to start a year or two before your expected travel.
- Understand your own abilities and know your goals; are you an experienced hunter wanting a trophy class animal, or a respectable animal with a great memory? Are you in the physical conditioning to complete the hunt? Tracking the animal may require days worth of walking in hilly/rocky terrain.
- Will you be hunting with a group or will you be the only hunter? Can the outfitter handle a group? Group pricing is generally discounted from an individual hunter.
- Research for an outfitter that fits your abilities and goals by searching online, attending Safari Club International events, hunting events, and asking for recommendations from other hunters.
- Verify the outfitter’s credentials, licensing and experience.
- Ask the outfitter for references, including phone numbers and email.
- Communicate with several of the final prospective outfitters. Ask them:
- What range of trophy can you expect?
- What is the guide/ client ratio?
- What services are included in the cost; care of the trophies, equipment, food?
- What do you need to bring? Guns, clothing, shoes, special equipment. Most guides provide a list of recommended equipment.
- Will they assist with travel arrangements and sight seeing excursions at the country of destination?
- What paperwork and/or fees need to be paid at country of destination?
- Get a sense of the guide’s personality. Most of the people in the business are good guys, but personalities differ. Talk enough with them to get a sense of how well you fit.
- Stay in touch until the hunt. As an outfitter, one of the things we enjoy most in the off season is talking with perspective clients about their upcoming “trip of a lifetime.”