How To Hire A Guide

Photo Credit: Mark Gosline

Choosing the Right Guide

What to Ask Before You Make A Reservation

  • What exactly does this trip involve? How will we be fishing, hunting, or recreating? Am I (or others in my party) physically capable of this trip? What changes can be made if the trip is too difficult?
  • How likely are we to be successful? A guarantee of success should be viewed with caution.
  • How many others will be in the camp and what are the lodging arrangements?
  • Will someone other than the person you spoke to on the phone be your guide?
  • What can I expect for weather conditions? What will happen if the weather conditions prevent my trip from happening as expected? Is there an alternative trip or refund plan?
  • What gear should I bring for this trip?
  • What is the price, and what is included in that price? Are there any other costs? Are tips or gratuities included or added on?
  • Is a deposit required and if so, what is the guide’s policy on refunds? What are the expected terms of payment?
  • Are meals included? If so, what sort of meals will be served? If you have special dietary requirements make sure that you let your guide know.
  • Is transportation included? 
  • Are licenses required? If so, are they included?

Additional Information You May Want to Request

  • Be wary of cash-only deals with no paperwork.
  • Be sure to verify that your prospective guide has the proper insurance coverage.
  • Discuss with your prospective guide every aspect that will be included in the package price for his services. Make sure that you are both clear on every included detail and are in firm agreement on the price and services offered and expected.
  • Verify that your guide is fully licensed within the state and in the category of activity you plan on doing. Many guides are licensed in one or more specific authorities, such as fishing, hunting, recreation or tidewater. 
  • Are you more interested in a relaxed vacation experience or a rugged adventure? Let your guide know!
  • Be realistic and have obtainable goals.
  • Realize that many factors that can affect trips, such as inclement weather, game numbers or movement and client abilities are beyond the control of the guide. Be sure that you are not asking your guide for something unreasonable, unobtainable, or unsafe.
  • Ask for a list of past client references. References can be an invaluable source for gaining an understanding of the guide’s demeanor and skills, as well as investigating hunting or fishing successes and results. Be sure to contact a number of references in order to get the “big picture”. Be wary of prospective guides who do not offer a list of references.
  • Have a few conversations with a prospective guide. If you clash with your guide, your hunting trip can go from fun to sour in short order. Be sure you will enjoy sharing multiple days with the guide you hire. Keep in mind that a guided trip is a personal experience; take some time getting to know your guide and determine if you are a good match.