GROUP – Adventure Planning
Some of the most enjoyable hunts, which I have guided, were group hunts. Most of these groups were comprised of old friends, but several of them were actually business trips. Yes, that is what I said, “Business Trips”. Many large corporations will use the atmosphere of camaraderie that is embodied in a hunting trip to build or strengthen their relationships with clients and customers.
Regardless of whether your group hunt is a bunch of old friends or corporate business partners, the moments you will spend together in the high country will be remembered for a lifetime. In the previous article in this series, I mentioned that group hunting trips often had the most fun. The reason for this is based completely on ATTITUDE, which is actually the subject of a future article, so I will not go into too much detail here. Suffice it to say that people who hunt in a group are focused on each other, and therefore are not usually affected as harshly by unrealistic trophy expectations.
Choosing a destination for a group is more difficult than planning a solo hunt, primarily because of logistics. The logistics involved in getting the same time off work for everybody in your party, working with each member’s different budget needs, getting approval from all the spouses, or even just getting all the hunting licenses can be staggering. Each state handles their non-resident licensing differently. Some states have a “Guaranteed” tag, as well as, a draw tag. The guaranteed tags usually cost more, but by going this route, you can plan your adventure knowing that everyone in your party has a tag.
Conversely, some states issue tags by draw only. These tags are usually less expensive, but by submitting all members of your party to a draw, you are taking the chance that some of you may not get drawn for tags. The important thing here is to do your homework. Make sure you become familiar with the Fish & Wildlife websites in any areas you may be considering. There are also numerous publications which contain helpful articles and tables to help sportsmen make more informed decisions. Don’t forget the value in an old-fashioned phone call to a Fish & Wildlife agency. Most of the staff in these offices are very friendly and helpful.
Once your group has decided on a general area to hunt, and has applied for tags, I strongly suggest that most groups use an outfitter. The value of an outfitter really shines when it comes to group hunts. As a group of hunters, it is so great to just hunt, and not have to worry about transporting gear, providing meals, providing lodging, learning new country, packing out game, packing out gear, etc. … you get the picture. Outfitters do all of that for you, so all you have to do is have a good time. It is very important that you talk to the outfitter and determine whether they will have adequate lodging, horses, and guides for the size of your group.