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How to find the Best Hunting Guide for Success for You! Part One

How to find the Best Hunting Guide for Success for You! Part One

We get lots of questions on who is the best guide in Arizona. Well, it all depends upon what you are hunting, Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope, Big Horn Sheep, Bear, Mountain Lion or Coues Whitetail and where. There is always about 3 guides in the top of each category that you couldn’t go wrong with. We want to give you some things to think about before you make a decision to find one.

Set goals before you go looking. Every time I go hunting I make sure I  have a goal of what I want to do and accomplish. Let’s take an archery elk tag in Unit 8 in Arizona. I set a goal to hunt bulls in the 350+ class for the first week then on the last few days of the hunt if I have not tagged out yet, I am still after a big bull but now open to take the first bull that steps into my arrow range. Now let’s look at a rifle hunt in 22 late. I’d put a goal of taking a nice 6X6 and size. Unless I was willing to hike lots of miles, then I know where there is a few 350+.

Your hunt could be a nightmare or one of the best adventures you have ever had. Ask yourself and your guide these top 10 questions first then before you pick a guide, they all differ in options and opinions from guide to guide.

1) Do you want an old fashion camp,  tents or sleep in hotels. How many in a tent? Bring ear plugs, most men snore if you are sharing!

2) Do you a want a chance at a trophy animal or just go take one.

3) What is on the food list if the guide is in charge. Snacks and liquids too.

4) What kind of weather is expected. Then always pack for 20 degrees warmer and cooler.

5) How many hunters is my guide guiding, just me or more. Who is the person I will be hunting with? The guide or one if his hired hands.

6) Trophy Preparation – Who is going to do what if you get a wall hanger. Meat preparation and how am I getting it home.

7) Transportation – How are you getting there and getting around once you are there?

8) Bathing & hygiene – What are the accommodations?

9) What kind of gear do you need to bring? We will do an article on this later to help you bring all you may need.

10) References – always get a few and call them, you will learn a lot.

I know it sounds simple but almost everyone that I have talked to after a hunt they say about the same thing, I wish I’d had asked a few more questions about this or that.

Success- “What is success to you?”  is what we will look at in Part Two

About Santana Outdoors


  1. Great info on the outfitters, now I just need to draw a tag for one of those Arizona monsters!!!!!!!

  2. I’d like to add a couple of questions to the list. As a guide and a hunter myself I have found these 2 questions to be the most important questions you can ask yourself and your guide.
    1: What are your expectations?
    2: What are your limitations?
    There is a lot to those questions. Yes it includes your expectations on what a trophy would be on your particular hunt but like mentioned in the 10 questions above, what will meet your expectations as far as food/ shelter/ hygiene/ transportation etc:
    The second question is one that requires some thought. I typically get an answer like oh don’t worry about me. I’ll go wherever we need to go. I can tell you from my experiences that by day 2 or 3 most ( not all) are begging to go sit water or just take it easy. Just remember the higher your expectations on trophy size means the higher expectations you have to put on yourself and your guide to do what it takes to hunt the best of the best animals. There is also so much more to that 2nd question. Do you take pills for a medical condition? Are you allergic to anything (food)? It is very hard for your guide to cater your hunt to your needs if you don’t tell him what your needs are. Be honest and give as much detail as you can. Likewise find out if your guide has any special needs that you should know about. You 2 are going to live together for several days out in the wild, safety is the #1 priority!!! If your guide is a diabetic you need to know this as he needs to know your medical needs.
    In my opinion the most successful hunt is one where guide and hunter form a bond that they will not soon forget and share experiences together that can only be found in the wild. On my own hunts I hunt as hard as I can from sunup to sundown and if by the end of the hunt I have not harvested an animal I have no regrets. I leave knowing I did everything I could and cherishing the memories made. Your opinions may vary.
    Spend some real time with these questions and I think your hunts will be more enjoyable.
    Happy hunting!!!

  3. Those are all great questions, thanks for the info.

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