If you drew a quality big game tag in the west such as sheep, elk, mule deer, moose, mt. goat etc... would you hire an outfitter or go self-guided? What would be your reasons for your choice?
I would (and do) hire an outfitter.
Why? Limited availability of time for scouting on my part, equipment/stock/tack, familiarity with the area, etc. And the fact that these are increasingly becoming once-in-a-lifetime type tags.
Additionally, my back can no longer handle bringing the game off the mountain by myself.
I'm with you on that Ramdreamer. At 51, I can't haul the type of loads I did at 31 or even 41 for that matter. I generally hire outfitters as well. Although, with certain hunts I would go self guided. Having lived and hunted in Alaska for 21 years and with my stepson still there, I can hunt without a guide for everything up there as long as I am hunting with my stepson. Comfortable with that as I am familiar with the areas and type of hunting. Whole different ballgame in the lower 48 for sheep, elk and such...
Depends really. We have hunted a few times in Wyoming and have yet to have an official guide, although I guess a landowner sort of plays that roll as they can point you in the general direction. We've also had the good fortune on past hunts of meeting other hunters that were very helpful. Anytime on BLM land we've been on our own. I do like a DIY hunt including all the organizing etc, however if I drew a quality tag that might only be a once in a lifetime opportunity I'd probably lean towards an outfitter to try and take maximum advantage of it. Like a previous post the inability to prescout etc makes it that much tougher.
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