The Life and Times of Outfitters & Guides

robby denning

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As mentioned, Jodi and I run a private land outfitting business, WeScout4u Inc. Follow along for the next few weeks and see how us deer hunters make a side living.

Myself and my licensed guides, muleyman (Tyler Williams) and Rumrz (Matt Capson) will be guiding 13 hunters between Oct 10 and Oct 21st right here in good ol' Southeast Idaho.

I start the October 10th hunt guiding Daryl of Henderson, Nevada for a good mule deer. Daryl has hunted with us for five years and killed one of our best bulls:
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but what he really wants is one of the good bucks he sees each year on the ranches we manage. He's got the patience of a mule and this could be his year. I've found two good bucks and it will only be us hunting them. Our buck hunting is tough due to the October dates, but because of our conservative management, we grow some good ones:

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Then on October 15th, we'll start our rifle bull elk hunt. We have a dozen hunters on our 25,000 acres and we've never fallen below 70% success and we've killed at least one 320-340 bull every year, so it's usually action-packed.

With what we've seen scouting after the mild winter, I expect this year to be just as good. If you followed the Nate Mabie hunt, you saw one of the good bulls we've seen this year.

So come along and see what it's really like to go on a guided hunt. I advertise these hunts as semi-guided for guys who don't need their hand held but want a good place to hunt. We typically get pretty good hunters and about half of them kill their elk without the guide. We split three guides among 12 hunters, so some guys are hunting alone each day and love that option. These hunters bring and cook their own food, so we just focus on the guiding and gutting.

It's gonna get crazy around here...
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Day 1; Daryl shows up with new ultra-silent "vibrating" radio.
[video=vimeo;51170380]http://vimeo.com/51170380[/video]
 
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Slim Jim

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Hey Robby, just want to pick your brain. I want to go OTC archery bull elk hunting next year if I don't draw in NV or AZ. Would you go Idaho, Utah, or Colorado?
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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1) Idaho
2) Colorado
3) Utah

based on your location and probability of a decent hunt. Colorado good, too, but better bulls in OTC in Idaho, on average.
 

Slim Jim

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Thanks Robby, I appreciate it. Never hunted Idaho so next summer I will probably be asking more questions
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Whoa, was just getting in bed and remembered I didn't post today. Sorry.

Up at 5:30 and met Daryl. We headed to the south end of the ranch and set up where we could glass about a mile long, brushy ridge where a good buck with a cheater was in August. We glassed for 3 hours or so and did spot the best buck so far, but Daryl passed on the stalk. Buck was a mature deer, with decent height and basket shaped frame, but only about 165/170.

Only saw does out tonight.

That is how this hunt usually is, if you don't see them in the morning, it's pretty tough the rest of the day. Coming in from the top tomorrow to do the same thing: glass a bunch of country.

The best buck I saw up there this summer was in this country. I didn't get a super good look at him but he's got great backs, should be around 28". Landowner saw him, too, and describes him as "tremendous". Hope we can spot and bed him.
 

muleyman

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Just got home from a short but action packed deer hunt. Now I will get deer cut up, clothes washed and re-packed, stock up on groceries, spend some time with the family, and catch up on some much needed sleep before I head out to meet the elk hunters and take them to camp tomorrow. By the way on the deer hunt we saw 25-30 bucks over 2 days but nothing of any size, we did elect to fill our tags and went 4 for 4 in one of Idahos most heavily hunted general season units....not too bad!!
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Awesome Tyler. Been seeing some good bulls the last few mornings (watch for the video) so you and Matt should be getting our hunters in the bulls.

For those just checking in for first time, Muleyman and Rumrz guide for me on one of our ranches. Between them and myself, we have hunters converging on us from all corners of the US tomorrow. Elk season starts Monday. Stay tuned.
 
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robby denning

robby denning

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Day 3 and no shooters. Started glassing in the dark this morning and while we saw about 30 deer including 6 bucks, no shooters. This is typical for brushy country like much of SE Idaho. F&G times the seasons to coincide with the toughest time to kill deer so that many can escape. That is why Idaho deer hunting is considered poor, but we still kick out some toads due to this type of management.

I can tell my hunter is getting discouraged. He's the only hunter on thousands of managed acres and hasn't seen a shooter, but I keep reassuring him that they are there (they are! I've seen them year after year after year) and if one screws up and lets us bed him, we have a great opportunity to kill one. I've seen at least three bucks just this summer that would tickle Daryl pink, but seeing them in the summer and killing them in August are as different as Venus and Mars.

I've got two more days I can guide him before elk season starts, then he can stay and hunt on his own. I hope I can get him one, but if not, that is hunting and he knows it. Remember, this is the 5th year he's hunted with us and hasn't killed a good buck. He keeps coming back though because he's seeing them every year, except so far this year. Even coming from Nevada, he hasn't seen good bucks every year any where else so he knows he's got a chance here. We'll see.

Next issue is private land politics that I have to deal with. Several of my ranches are actually co-ops where I lease several ranches and take my hunters on all of them. This works pretty good but you get all the politics of landowners mixed in like who's mad at who for not fixing fence, or who out bid who for the public grazing permits, on and on and on. This is all happening right now including one landowner who's making it difficult for us to get to where we need to be on his place. He'll let us in alright, but at his convenience. See, all this isn't just guns, guts, and glory, but how we have to make a living. Wish me luck.
 

muleyman

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Well here we are on the other ranch Robby leases with 3 of our hunters Mike, Shane, & Jim they all have deer tags as well as elk tags and this evening Matt & I took them up and glassed up a buck we had seen the year before that I believe is about a 170 type buck. Wish us luck!!!
 

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robby denning

robby denning

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Tyler, good to hear you've already seen a good buck! Your smartphone won't upload verticle shots to tapatalk, so go with standard.

Tyler guides our hunters on our Sheep Mountain operation. Last year, he and the hunters started of a little slow with only one elk by the 5th day, this bull:
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That all changed on the 6th and 7th day when they put down 4 more bulls, one a good 6x6. That is why we hunt until the end, you never know.

The five hunters I'm guiding arrived tonight to hunt our Willow Creek ranch. I saw (and videoed, sorry, no time to upload yet) a solid 340 or so bull yesterday morning, so hope to get on him on the opener.

For the deer hunter, Daryl, today was a whole new day. We found not 1, not 2, but 3 shooter bucks! The best one was only about 25" but heavy heavy. He got in the cover before I could get Daryl a look at him. I hardly ever tell my hunters to shoot an animal unless they really like it, but I told Daryl he'd b crazy to pass this buck. Big body, chalkboard gray, and a white face, all indicative of a great buck. We crossed the canyon and put Daryl just below (couldn't get above due to wind) where I'd seen the buck go in the quakies. I hate driving big deer as it rarely works, but it was our only option. I pussyfooted around in the cover for 2 hours working my way toward Daryl. I never heard the buck get up, nor did Daryl see him. Big buck droppings everywhere in that patch, so I'm sure we've found part of his core area. Although I scout the ranches a lot, I've never seen this buck. Daryl watched that country tonight but didn't see him, but we're heading back tomorrow. That is the last day I can guide Daryl as I'll have to start with the elk hunters on Monday. Stay tuned, I'm sure some lead's going to fly between my camp and Tyler's!
 
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coloradoultramag

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May 5, 2012
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Good luck Robby.Guiding and outfitting is WAY more work than most realize. Sounds like your hunters will have a good hunt.

Gabe
 
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