As with booking anything, doing your homework will pay out in spades when it comes to selecting an outfitter for your turkey hunt. We have all made great selections; and sadly we have all made some less-than-great selections when it comes to outfitters. When it comes to booking a hunt as a woman, there are more factors to take into consideration when making this selection. Following some of these tips may help you nail down the perfect outfitter for your upcoming turkey adventure!
This may not pertain to every female hunter, but it definitely resonates with many! Many ladies are looking to complete their slam. Ask a prospective outfitter exactly what sub-species of birds you may encounter. Some areas have more than one type, and some have hybrids. If you are indeed looking for a specific bird, ask specifics.
Know your budget in advance, but beware that you often get what you pay for. Inquire early about potential add on costs. Plan in advance for licenses and gratuities.
If you are traveling alone or with other ladies for the hunt, ask prospective outfitters if they have had female clients or women only hunts. If the answer is no, maybe keep looking. If the answer is yes, go ahead and ask for references.
Don’t get caught unaware. Know precisely what your lodging will look like. Ask about bathrooms and shared space. Arriving to a lodge with one bathroom for 8 people can be a deal breaker, so you should know what you are booking. Ask for additional photos. Ask about privacy. This is all important, and will determine your comfort and happiness with the outfit. Women tend to want a bit more privacy for sleeping and bathroom facilities. I recall one hunt where a fellow female and I literally had to bunk in the same bunk room with the male hunters. This made for an awkward and uncomfortable experience.
If you are booking a semi-guided hunt and lodging is not included, investigate hotels in the area. I have more than once booked a hunt only to find my lodging choices were run-down motels. Not that I am not willing to stay in them, I would just prefer not to.
References are extremely important. Use them. Ask questions like;
- Were you comfortable?
- Were the facilities clean?
- Did you feel safe?
- Would you go back?
- How was your hunting experience?
- Was your guide professional and fun?
- Do you feel you got a good experience for the cost?
- Did you feel like your trophies and meat were well cared for?
- How was the food and lodging?
Cellular and Wi-Fi
I always ask about it. I have booked hunts with ladies only, and found there was no cellular or wifi. It’s not that I cannot be unplugged, not at all. But it is extremely important that I’m able to communicate with my family and vice versa. While a satellite phone is helpful in these circumstances, it is not an option available for everyone.
Ask all the questions you want to know. Do you hunt out of blinds? If so, what type of blinds? Is it spot and stalk? If so, what is the terrain? Are you hunting over feeders or locating roosts? It’s not so much about determining success as it is planning for your hunt and what sort of gear you will need. If you have physical limitations, you need to share these with a prospective outfitter to see if he/she can work around that or not.
You learn so much from this. Read all of the reviews…good, bad and ugly. If you start seeing trends that may make you hesitant, follow your gut.
Check out your prospective outfitters social media pages. This can give you a good idea of what the outfitter, guides and overall attitude of the outfit are!
Turkey season is right around the corner. If you are looking to book with an outfitter – these tips can help the ladies avoid some uncomfortable or untoward situations. Take the time, ask the questions and do the research…you won’t be disappointed!