If you plan to hunt or fish in an unfamiliar destination but aren’t sure where to begin, how to choose a reputable outfitter, or just don’t have the time, your first step should be contacting a reputable consultant. Even if you think that your dream trip may be out of reach for you, it’s worth contacting hunting or fishing consultants and discussing your budget, time constraints or any other concerns you may have. You just might be surprised by what is available.
Once you choose your consultant, you have one point of contact for any future hunting or fishing trip you want to go on. Now you can stop worrying about researching outfitters and just concentrate on preparing for your next adventure. Let their knowledge and experience work for you.
How do I choose a good consultant?
This is the hard part where you will have to do your homework. There are a lot of hunting consultants out there, and just as in any industry, there are good ones and there are bad ones. The bad ones get weeded out pretty quickly, but they’re out there so choose wisely.
I recommend calling potential consultants and interviewing them about what you are looking for and ask about their experience not only as a hunting or fishing consultant, but in the outdoor industry as a whole. If you are an archery hunter, make sure that he or she understands your specific needs. Even better, they should be an bowhunter as well. Your agent should be a walking book of hunting information.
Here at Outdoors International, we have a number of consultants with different skills, knowledge, experiences and interests. Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll try to steer you towards someone we think will be a match for you.
What does a consultant do for me that I can’t do myself?
Many hunters and anglers choose an outfitter based on the 3rd hand experiences of a friend or information given directly by the guide/outfitter. While this information is valuable, and should play into the final decision, it may not be enough to guarantee a quality experience. Outfitters are always going to tell you what you want to hear and send you references that will stack the odds in their favor. *We will give you access to those references upon request.
As a consulting firm, we have a number of hunts to choose from and can match your needs to the outfitter, advising with you along the way. A good consultant wants you to continue to book future trips, so they will present you with many options to choose from. They are also able to track an outfitters performance over a period of time with a number of different clients. A guide is also less likely to compromise an firm’s client because a good consultant represents a significant amount of business to them, so there is an added value of safety in booking through an established firm.
How do I know if trips offered by these consultants are quality?
In order for a consulting firm or booking agency to stay in business for long, they need to make sure that the outfitters they work with are top notch. This is accomplished by the consultants personally hunting or fishing with each outfitter or guide.
For Outdoors International, post-hunt client testimonials play a huge part in maintaining quality control. Sometimes outfitters have bad trips. They have a tough job and the only thing they can control is lodging and food. Everything else is pretty much out of their control, so a few bad reviews are understandable and expected. However, if an outfitter gets too many bad reviews, they’re out of our directory.
Does it cost more to use a consultant?
NO! Advice from consultants should always be free, they are paid through commissions from the outfitters they represent. You pay the same amount for a hunt whether you book through your agent or directly through the outfitter.
Why do outfitters use consultants?
Outfitters, guides and Professional Hunters are busy, hard-working people. Due to the nature of their business, it is hard for them to spend much time and energy on marketing. Through relationships with booking agents, they are able to spend less on advertising, sometimes cutting it altogether. It makes more sense to pay a performance-based commission to a booking agent than to spend thousands on a show and hope to sell some hunts or fishing trips. We allow outfitters to do what they do best.