Recent comments

Adapting elk strategies to changing conditions - posted 1 year ago

Tyler T. it seems other agree with you. Here is a post I found from another article about guides vs. DIY.

Hunter H. - prev. posted
Your article misses the real issue that most people have against hunting guides. Its not about if 'Guides are good or bad guys' or DIY are either one too. My friends in Arizona frown on guides because they effect us (DIY hunters) in a negative way. The issue is about an extremely limited resource (180"+ class bucks) that are being prostituted heavily for money and ego (ego drives the social media phenom). A test case would be to remove the big money and see if hunting guides would fade away.
Here in Arizona, we see the impact of guides greater than most states. Arizona's famous big mule deer bucks are located in a small percentage of the state north of the grand canyon. In comparison to other states, the area is much flatter and easy to hunt. In Utah/Colorado and others you can find big bucks in all parts of the state. Not so in AZ. Guides have saturated our 'much smaller areas' (in strip and a few elk units) with hundreds of paid helpers and trail cams.
The pressure on the monster muleys has become excessive in recent times. Making it harder and less fun for the DIY guys (majority of hunters) to locate a 190+ buck. Simi-local guides with very local helpers live on-top of the deer year round. They are like the paparazzi taking thousands of pics and giving them names. The bigger bucks can't stand this pressure forever and the hunt "Experience" is worse now than ever. Its TRUE. The catalyst has been the online world that can stoked a flame. There's a hire-a-guide frenzy that we see now with internet/social media. If you draw a coveted elk/deer tag in AZ, people will say that you better hire a guide as if your hunt and life depended on it.
We applaud the tag holders who made a decision to earn their buck no-matter the outcome. Not thinking 100% success on a 200" buck was something to be purchased, but rather earned. Res & non-res hunters who woke up on their own without a guide slapping the tent door. Hunters who made their own breakfast. Who jumped into the driver seat of the truck, not the backseat... and who set out to do something significant each day...and left the outcome to GOD. We in AZ applaud you and respect you for your effort. Its 'YOUR' hunting storied we want to hear.
This message is mostly meant for those who pay someone else to do their hunting for them (not counting anyone with physical needs). For the rest of us there is an assumed 'effort' required of earning the title of "hunter". A rarely spoken truth is how friends and associates will examine your 'hunt effort' and decide to respect you as a hunter, or not. A lot of heads on a wall are meaningless if someone else hunted them for you. Its a respect thing that dad, granddad and great granddad understood. On a guided hunt, you're the guy who 'pulled the trigger' at best and that's how people (and guides) will think of you. Go DIY next time. The inner you will thank you.

Social media, modern technology, and the commercialization of our wildlife - posted 1 year ago

Below is a repost of comments I read from Hunter H. on another thread about guides. The original author (a guide) commented back to Hunter H. saying he is just jealous and complaining of guides successes. Now here the guides are complaining here about someone undermining their livelihood. With the angle that its "not hunting". I agree with Hunter H.... Guides have become the problem. The technology of social media is the tool:

Hunter H. - previous post on Guides vs. DIY
Your article misses the real issue that most people have against hunting guides. Its not about if 'Guides are good or bad guys' or DIY are either too. My friends in Arizona frown on guides because they effect us (DIY hunters) in a negative way. The issue is about an extremely limited resource (180"+ class bucks) that are being prostituted heavily for money and ego (ego drives the social media phenom). A test case would be to remove the big money and see if hunting guides would fade away.
Here in Arizona, we see the impact of guides greater than most states. Arizona's famous big mule deer bucks are located in a small percentage of the state north of the grand canyon. In comparison to other states, the area is much flatter and easy to hunt. In Utah/Colorado and others you can find big bucks in all parts of the state. Not so in AZ. Guides have saturated our 'much smaller areas' (in strip and a few elk units) with hundreds of paid helpers and trail cams.
The pressure on the monster muleys has become excessive in recent times. Making it harder and less fun for the DIY guys (majority of hunters) to locate a 190+ buck. Simi-local guides with very local helpers live on-top of the deer year round. They are like the paparazzi taking thousands of pics and giving them names.
The bigger bucks can't stand this pressure forever and the hunt "Experience" is worse now than ever. I've seen many Guides guard water like its a gold mine. Its TRUE. The catalyst has been the online world that can stoked a flame. There's a hire-a-guide frenzy that we see now with internet/social media. If you draw a coveted elk/deer tag in AZ, people will say that you better hire a guide as if your hunt and life depended on it.
We applaud the tag holders who made a decision to earn their buck no-matter the outcome. Not thinking 100% success on a 200" buck was something to be purchased, but rather earned. Res & non-res hunters who woke up on their own without a guide slapping the tent door. Hunters who made their own breakfast. Who jumped into the driver seat of the truck, not the backseat... and who set out to do something significant each day...and left the outcome to GOD. We in AZ applaud you and respect you for your effort. Its 'YOUR' hunting storied we want to hear.
This message is mostly meant for those who pay someone else to do their hunting for them (not counting anyone with physical needs). For the rest of us there is an assumed 'effort' required of earning the title of "hunter". A rarely spoken truth is how friends and associates will examine your 'hunt effort' and decide to respect you as a hunter, or not. A lot of heads on a wall are meaningless if someone else hunted them for you. Its a respect thing that dad, granddad and great granddad understood. On a guided hunt, you're the guy who 'pulled the trigger' at best and that's how people (and guides) will think of you. Go DIY next time. The inner you will thank you.

The battle between guides vs. DIY hunters - posted 1 year ago

Hunter H. - prev. posted

Your article misses the real issue that most people have against hunting guides. Its not about if 'Guides are good or bad guys' or DIY are either one too. My friends in Arizona frown on guides because they effect us (DIY hunters) in a negative way. The issue is about an extremely limited resource (180"+ class bucks) that are being prostituted heavily for money and ego (ego drives the social media phenom). A test case would be to remove the big money and see if hunting guides would fade away.
Here in Arizona, we see the impact of guides greater than most states. Arizona's famous big mule deer bucks are located in a small percentage of the state north of the grand canyon. In comparison to other states, the area is much flatter and easy to hunt. In Utah/Colorado and others you can find big bucks in all parts of the state. Not so in AZ. Guides have saturated our 'much smaller areas' (in strip and a few elk units) with hundreds of paid helpers and trail cams.
The pressure on the monster muleys has become excessive in recent times. Making it harder and less fun for the DIY guys (majority of hunters) to locate a 190+ buck. Simi-local guides with very local helpers live on-top of the deer year round. They are like the paparazzi taking thousands of pics and giving them names. The bigger bucks can't stand this pressure forever and the hunt "Quality" is worse now than ever. Its TRUE. The catalyst has been the online world that can stoked a flame. There's a hire-a-guide frenzy that we see now with internet/social media. If you draw a coveted elk/deer tag in AZ, people will say that you better hire a guide as if your hunt and life depended on it.

We applaud the tag holders who made a decision to earn their buck no-matter the outcome. Not thinking 100% success on a 200" buck was something to be purchased, but rather earned. Res & non-res hunters who woke up on their own without a guide slapping the tent door. Hunters who made their own breakfast. Who jumped into the driver seat of the truck, not the backseat... and who set out to do something significant each day...and left the outcome to GOD. We in AZ applaud you and respect you for your effort. Its 'YOUR' hunting storied we want to hear.

This message is mostly meant for those who pay someone else to do their hunting for them (not counting anyone with physical needs). For the rest of us there is an assumed 'effort' required of earning the title of "hunter". A rarely spoken truth is how friends and associates will examine your 'hunt effort' and decide to respect you as a hunter, or not. A lot of heads on a wall are meaningless if someone else hunted them for you. Its a respect thing that dad, granddad and great granddad understood. On a guided hunt, you're the guy who 'pulled the trigger' at best and that's how people (and guides) will think of you. Go DIY next time. The inner you will thank you.

The trending social media hunting blitz - posted 1 year ago

Hi Craig in your first reply to Hunter H. you decided to pick one word (ego) and play it as if that was the real message. Avoiding the depth of his point (and throw'n around the F bomb ). This time you're saying he is just complaining and making excuses.
Hunter H. didn't complain that he wasn't finding the trophies. Who knows but maybe he can hunt circles around you? I felt he was speaking for the average DIY hunters by making the observation that the biggest bucks that guides target and name, and film all-year-round cannot take that extreme pressure for long (his first point).
Hunter H. didn't mention OTC tags like you tried to direct the conversation. Its the 'rut hunt in the strip region' that gets the excessive 'guide' pressure, and you know it. I've seen it up there too, along with the best elk units. His second point was: ITS ALL about the quality of the strip hunt experience deteriorating. Guides are on every good tank (archery).
Your website list those units so its not a state wide issue. Us DIY guys rarely get the strip tag but you are there year after year with trigger pullers taking the bucks you didn't even find but paid a helper to find. Your website brags saying "The Goal" is only the biggest buck/bull for your paying clients. 'Pressure' the biggest deer can't withstand forever. The biggest animals are a very finite resource.... In his opinion
He makes very valid points that deserve real attention. We are getting run off tank by a guided client who didn't even scout. The experience is better worse for everyone else.
You're just doing the best at what you do. I would too. So that's prob why he wanted to direct his thoughts toward those who are thinking of hiring you.
Like the article's title "SOCIAL MEDIA"... we have entered an age of quick gratification without the effort. Posting a trophy picture online for the LIKES. Ignoring the virtues of the hunt and the power of the concept of earning something you cherish. He said his message was to people thinking of hiring a guide. Not you.
Don't worry I doubt his different opinion will spell the beginning of the end of guiding. So you're probably safe buying another 58 trail cameras, another drone and put up a ground blind on every trick tank to keep the DIY guys away. We'll see you up there this fall. So Craig guide away!

The rest of you can read Hunter H's message I copied below mine.

The battle between guides vs. DIY hunters - posted 1 year ago

Well said Hunter H.! Its not about guides being good or bad. Its not about us DIYer's being jealous of guides success. He assumes we aren't more successful then he. It IS about the honor of the hunt, the virtues of the hunt, the challenges of the hunt to the individual hunter. To anyone considering hiring Craig to be the hunter of your hunt... read Hunter H. message below and focus on the last two paragraphs. Its ok to hire someone to find your trophy... have fun un-hunting!