Mossy Oak ProStaff
Big Game Regional Manager (CA, OR, WA, ID and NV)
Q: Should I hunt Western Big Game on my own or with a guide or outfitter?
A: That depends on what you are looking for. There is plenty of information available to have a successful DIY (do it yourself) hunt. If you are short on time or unsure of your resources, by all means hire a guide. I would talk with a local guide regardless.
Q: If I need a guide, how do I find a good one?
A: The Internet is a great start, blogs and forums. Check the state game agency for licensed guides. Be sure to talk to a number of guides and ask for references to confirm the correct choice.
Q: I hear that a lot of Western outfitters are ranchers. Do they make good guides?
A: Certainly. They will know the ground and the animals. As with any guide, research to be confident you have made the correct decision.
Q: How much research should I do before booking a hunt out West or in Canada?
A: As much research as needed to give you the confidence that your hunt experience will be what you plan and expect.
Q: Is fitness as important as I hear when it comes to hunting out West?
A: The terrain out West can be taxing for sure. Get in the best physical condition you can. It would be a shame to have your hunt end with no success because you could not make it up the hill.
Q: Are combination hunts worth it? Example: Deer/Elk, Bear/Caribou or Moose/Goat.
A: If you have the time, certainly take advantage of a combination hunt. If you are looking for a trophy, I would focus on one species.
Q: Can I hunt big game out West with the same set up I use back East for hunting, either bow or gun?
A: Yes. Confidence in your weapon and knowing your effective range is paramount.
Q: I hunt back East with a bow and only shoot 20-30 yards. Do I have to practice and be able to shoot out to 50 yards and beyond?
A: As with any weapon, you need to practice at whatever range you intend to take a shot. Confidence is once again paramount.
Q: What is the industry standard for tipping your guide or outfitter?
A: I do not know of an industry standard. I would think 15% is a good guideline. Base your tip on how your experience was.