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.
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 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.
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.