Embarking on a guided hunt is extremely rewarding. Having access to the expertise of guides, local knowledge and access is all exciting and presents a number of advantages. Although the resources are excellent, showing up prepared is still absolutely necessary.
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for your next western guided hunt…
Train for the Hunt
Every hunt is different in terms of the physical demands. But it pays to show up ready to hike and be active on any western hunt. Hunts in mountainous areas can be especially difficult. While horses or even road access in some areas can make a huge difference, having the physical capabilities to manage steep and difficult terrain will significantly increase your opportunities.
Whenever you’re booking a guided hunt, discuss the hunt in detail during the booking process and understand the physical demands. Start hiking and hitting the gym to build cardio and core strength and keep a regular fitness routine leading into the hunt. Stretching and staying limber is important as well. Don’t forget to stretch and warm up before starting a big hike on your actual hunt either.
As a segment of your training, incorporate regular shooting practice, so that you are dead-on accurate during the hunt. Showing up ready to hike and shoot is a huge advantage and will increase your ability to get in position and make an excellent shot.
Know What You Want
Start by knowing what is common and what is possible. If you have a specific goal in mind, you want to have a realistic idea about the trophy class that is normal in the hunt area. If your goal is a certain size bull, clearly define your objective but also be realistic about the odds of making it happen.
On LOH Elk Hunts, our hunters often get opportunities at some big bulls. But on any free-range elk hunt, there’s a good chance you’ll need to pass on many other opportunities while holding out for the big one. And you need to be OK with the possibility of going home with an unfilled tag.
That said, if you are dedicated to finding something very specific and are willing to let others walk and risk not getting a shot, go for it. Otherwise, have a backup plan and don’t be afraid to drop a bull or buck that isn’t the biggest on the mountain. You can still have a great hunt and take home a world-class animal.
Think through your hunt in advance and set goals and standards early to be very clear about your objectives.
While you know the goal, your guide does not and communicating what you want on any guided hunt is critical. Do this immediately so the guides can adjust plans and build a strategy. If you’re looking to punch a tag on the first solid bull spotted, make that known. If you want something very specific, make it known as well.
Also, take advantage of your guides’ knowledge and learn from them during the hunt. Guides spend every waking moment thinking about hunting and chasing animals. They have a ton of knowledge and you can go home with some serious improvements to your game.
Hunting With LOH Outfitters
Here at LOH Outfitters, we love finding those trophy animals – if you’ve met our guides, you might even say obsessed. But true to our name, we are in it for the love of the hunt! If you’re going to have a sour attitude because you didn’t kill a 350” bull on a quality New Mexico tag, then perhaps free-range elk hunting isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re ready to make the most of every opportunity and pursue it for the love of the hunt, give us a call to start planning your New Mexico Adventure.
Please take a few minutes to explore the rest of our website. You’ll find information on all of our guided hunts, pricing and more. If you’d like to speak with someone about availability or other specifics, please don’t hesitate to call, text or email us!