Booking Hunts and Buying Animals

The guiding and outfitting industry has been in existence since man first had an interest in exploring and hunting new lands and for different species of game than one could hunt locally. In North America, the exploration and opening of the West primarily rode on the backs of three things: the fur trade, the gold rush, and big game hunting. The profession of guide and outfitter is therefore an old one made up of men, women, and families who are respected for being tough as nails backcountry woodsmen with a special knowledge of the game and country they inhabit.

If you spend any time speaking with some of the old guard—the multi-generational guiding and outfitting families—about how times have changed, the number one answer you’ll get is, “our clients.” More specifically, the increasing percentage of those who are no longer looking to book hunts and adventure, but whose number one interest is more along the lines of “buying animals.” By any measure, this is not a good trend.

“Where’s my trophy,” says a lot about the evolution of the hunting community, or at least a segment of it. It also raises the question, if this is the sole purpose, will it lead to ethical choices being compromised? Granted, few people have the time today in our fast-paced society for the 10, 14, and 21-day expeditions that were commonplace when guiding and outfitting first got going. But “fly me in, point out my animal, and fly me out” is the type of client that more and more outfitters are getting these days. If you ask the outfitters, they’ll say they’re glad to see them come and happier when they leave. They also work harder and become long-time friends with those who appreciate the entire experience and the effort, whether they take game or not.

This website is dedicated to bringing back those conversations that are still out there, but not as front and center as they used to be. These include such things as the old notion of hunting the experience and not the animal, celebrating the great game animals we hunt, earning it, and the memories that burn the brightest and last the longest being those that are in direct proportion to the effort involved and who we were with.

 

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