Top 3 Considerations For DIY vs Guided Elk Hunt

DIY vs Guided Elk Hunt

Welcome, if you are here you have made the decision to go west and hunt western big game in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Great decision and I hope your life changes for the better like mine. What are the Top 3 Considerations For A DIY vs Guided Elk Hunt? Read on for our thoughts.

Now the question is, do I go Guided or DIY?

This is a personal decision, but I will give you some things to think about below. However, based on my experiences do not choose to go on a drop camp hunt with an outfitter. You will end up in the camps that are not their top performing camps. They will always take the guys & gals paying top dollar to their best spots. You may or may not be successful, but one thing is for sure, you will make the guides a handsome profit. Sorry guides, but the drop camps you offer are a racket.

With that being said, lets move on. The first thing to think about with a guide service, and this should probably be cross your mind in most daily decisions, but do I have the cash to pay for this? If you don’t have the funds in the bank right now, move on and plan a DIY hunt. DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR THIS!!

So you have the cash, now the question becomes why would I go on a guided hunt? Ignoring areas where you have to have a guide, I would have to be chasing a monster bull or muley for me to sign up for hunting with a guide. Obviously, there are species where I would only hunt with a guide (think grizzly) but for the vast majority of big game in the Rocky Mountains it would have to be for a trophy animal.

The next question you need to ask yourself is, now that you have been bitten with the western hunting bug, is this a one-time thing or do you plan on making this a yearly tradition? I went into my first western hunt with mindset that this was the first of many so this decision was easy for me. If you are unsure, or the answer is no, I only want to kill one trophy bull then guided will be your best bet.

Now that you have hit this point in the decision tree you have a pretty good idea of if you are going with a guided hunt or DIY. One aspect to keep in mind for the 1stTime hunters is how comfortable you are going into the backcountry on your own or with a partner. If you are nervous about this, let me give you some comfort, in most areas of the west you will see other hunters at the trailheads and along the trails. We will have some blog posts coming up on ways to get away from hunting pressure but for now let’s stay on topic.

From my standpoint, I can’t think of any other reason to go with a guided hunt. Maybe I am missing something and if I am send me an email at

Let’s Recap Questions:

  • Do I have the funds in bank? NO DEBT FOR FUN!
  • Are you looking for a trophy bull or to experience western hunting?
  • Is a Western Hunting trip tradition or a onetime occurrence?

If you want other blog posts drop me a line. I hope this Top 3 List For DIY vs Guided Elk Hunt helps you make sense of the information overload on the internet.



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