The question many ask themselves, especially if you are going to hunt out-of-state?
All of us are different, from the use of our time, budgets, goals, life obstacles & skill levels. It is so important to be honest about all of these, before you make this decision. For me it’s pretty simple, I apply for my home-state & states near my home-state because I know I am not going to use a guide in these areas. I feel confident in my skill level on these types of hunts & I am honest with myself about my goals. If I wanted someone’s specific information I would just pay for their time & knowledge, but I really enjoy that part of the hunting process (hence that’s why I like guiding).
With that said, when I decide to go on a Moose hunt or Caribou hunt, I already know it’s going to be worth my time & money to hire a guide. My personal goal isn’t to show the world I can kill a giant animal on these hunts while hunting on my own, my goal is to have a great time & have an increased opportunity at taking a nice animal. It’s a matter of realizing I don’t have the time, money or knowledge to consistently get it done far away from my home. Sure I can go LUCK into an animal or great spot, but I know in my home-state how hard I work & how often it doesn’t work out.
Skill level is something not everyone likes to discuss, but everyone is different. Some are more talented than others when it comes to hunting or hunting a specific area or animal; it’s the truth. Time in the field is also a huge factor as the experience you gain is undeniable. I have had this conversation many times with my friend/client Ian. He is very successful at what he does for a living and I am pretty good at predator calling. He simply states, “Yeah, I could fly into Las Vegas, rent a 4×4 & go predator calling on my own, but I don’t have the time in the field aka experience for it to become second nature.”
Going on a guided hunt or diy hunt is a personal decision & no one can give you a correct answer; it’s all in what you value & what you want out of your hunting experience.