Arrogant Guides vs DIY Hunters

Are all guides jerks?  If you go DIY you are a good person?

Are all guides jerks? Are all DIY hunters more ethical and courteous?

If you have followed me for any length of time you probably know at one time I was a young man who thought all guides were jerks and rich people ruined hunting.  To say I was ignorant would be an understatement and the reality is this mentality is a huge issue within the hunting community.

I know…  I am a professional hunting guide, so how can I be objective on this subject.

Well, because I am not afraid to say what I believe to be truthful.  I am not afraid to come at this from both sides and really poor out my heart.  I have heard 1 too many rumors about myself and I think much of it comes from #jealous and #dogma.

The Dream 2 was a 100% DIY hunting DVD I produced in 2003.

The Dream 2 was a 100% DIY hunting DVD I produced in 2003.

In 2003, I produced and sold a DIY hunting DVD in Sportsman’s Warehouse.   I produced it because I truly felt all of the other DVD’s were mainly guided hunting videos and I knew 90% of the market did not hunt with a guide.   The DVD sold very well, by hunting DVD standards, but it still wasn’t like I was going to quit my day job to produce hunting DVDs.  The market wasn’t big enough and the web was just starting to change everything.

The first hunter I ever guided was Wade.  He had a Unit 9 Rifle Pronghorn Antelope tag and took this buck on the last day.

The first hunter I ever guided was Wade in Arizona’s Unit 9.

The following year I got my guide license and guided 2 hunts for a well known Arizona Outfitter.  Both hunts were successful, but 1 hunt went way better than the other.  The client was an exceptional person and really trusted me to help him.  I was only 23 years old at the time and I was a full time career firefighter/emt, so I was guiding for extra cash and I wasn’t fully sold on guiding for a living.


I stopped guiding for several years because my wife and I had our children during that time and I really didn’t have the time to guide hunts, on top of hunting for myself, publishing a magazine and working a full time job.  In 2011, I guided a guy by the name of Steve Hatch and he completely changed my outlook on guiding.  He experienced a tragic death in his family during that hunt and unfortunately we did not get to hunt the entire time.  Steve is just a great person and to this day we talk, in fact we were texting last night.


So, what are you trying to say?

I am no longer a firefighter or emt.  I am a professional hunting guide, marketer and entrepreneur.  My titles have changed and from the qoute unquote working man’s eyes (diy hunter’s eyes) my titles today are not ones which are as respected as the firefighter or emt.  With that said, I am a better person today than I was when I had the title of firefighter/emt.  I also work x10 times harder, because my titles are my passion.

I want to make 1 thing very clear, I am not saying all guides are great people, in fact there are many who I don’t care for, but the term “DIY hunter” doesn’t mean you are a good person.  It also doesn’t mean you are not going to have to bust your butt to get it done.  If you hunt on your own/DIY be proud of it, but be cautious of judging someone by their title or status, often you will find there is more to a person than what SOCIETY has labeled their so-called title.

-Craig Steele

fyi- I hunt on my own a bunch and I look forward to the challenge and I NEVER make any excuses for my lack of success.   

One thought on “Arrogant Guides vs DIY Hunters

  1. Troy Scott

    Craig, I’d like to express my opinion of the Guided vs DIY in the western US.
    I see a lot on hunting forums where western big game guides are frowned upon and DIY’ers are held in higher esteem. If you look at the big picture of the hunting industry today, it’s the guides who are shaping the industry as we know it . If you take a close look, not all but most of the record book animals are guided .I know that to be especially true in Desert sheep hunting.

    There is a Sheep unit in particular which was guided regularly in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s and B&C rams were harvested on a regular basis. About the mid 80’s a few other sheep units came along that were closer to the Phoenix area 31/32 ,22,24B so most of the guides started poking around those units closer to home and those units happend to have very large rams. The unit mentioned earlier sort of became forgotten and over time it became a DIY type of unit and the size quality of the rams declined to an average of 155 points in 2006. Well around the early 2000’s a group of young start up guides who happen live in the immediate area started poking around and would guide a hunter or two and harvest B&C rams. Well as 2008 came along those young guides led there hunter to a 180 ram, and in 2014 they guided a 183 ram. Since 2008 that unit became a Top tier unit and today I would say the average ram killed is around 170 points. This particular unit didn’t just rise from the ashes, it;s always had those type of rams but as time went on the DIY’ers continued to kill small rams and created a dogma that there are no more big rams in that unit based off the harvest reports. Today all hunter’s whether it be DIY or guided have the comfort in knowing there is another good sheep unit where they may have an opportunity to harvest a B&C ram.

    Another quick example, the sister unit used to be a top tier unit back in the day and in the last 20 years the only 4 B&C rams killed were guided. The other DIY rams average about 155 points. So my point is there are some guides out there who do favors unknowingly for everybody to have a few more choices to persue their dream.

    I could go on with a dozen more examples where guides are positive to the hunting industry whether its deer, elk antelope etc,etc.

    Thanks for your time,
    Troy Scott


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