I’ve operated a successful public land scouting service since the late 90’s, scouting areas far and wide for thousands of hunters.  I’ve learned two important lessons.

1) Information is king.

2) Quality information is expensive to acquire in both money and time.

Since Rokslide’s inception, I get a boatload of inquiries about where to hunt.  If you’ve ever contacted me, I apologize up front for my often vague answers.  I simply can’t handle the volume of questions concerning best units, areas, draw odds, etc.  I feel bad as I know people look to me for help, but as I wrote in the blog post The Where or the How?, I can best help you with the “how”.

When someone asks me about “unit X”, I know he doesn’t realize I’ve spent years and thousands of dollars accumulating knowledge to be able to answer that question. Also, by some hunters’ questions, I can tell that they are not aware that this information is already out there (and reasonably priced.)  With high demand for quality hunting (created by all of us), an industry has arisen that can provide quality, up-to-date information that most of us simply don’t have time to find.  Gone are the days of contacting a biologist who might only get one or two inquiries a year about his hunting units.  The information age has changed everything and many people have fallen behind.

With that in mind, I recently contacted The Huntin’ Fool (HF).  I realized 10 years ago that no matter how much I researched units, HF was usually a step ahead of me. I joined and have never regretted it.

HF recently went through a big transformation.  I want to share how they might help you in planning your hunts, so I interviewed Travis Roundy, new co-owner of HF.  If you have a pre-conceived notion of who HF is, I ask you to just read through this blog post.  I believe many of you can benefit from the New Huntin’ Fool. As usual, we’ve planned a great giveaway for Rok Blog subscribers.



Travis Roundy of The Huntin’ Fool

Robby: I’ve been a member and Endorsed Outfitter with the Huntin’ Fool since 2005.  I see quite a few changes the last few months in staff, services offered, and membership.  What is driving that change?

Travis: First off, The HF is now under new ownership, with myself being one of the new owners.  We are excited to move the HF to the next level of service.  We have grown from 18 to 27 full-time employees since we acquired HF last fall.  Our goal is to provide more service and value for our members. We want to help more hunters get the information they need to connect with their next hunt.

Robby: I see Garth Carter, founder of HF, still listed in the magazine.  How does he fit in with the new direction?

Travis: Garth Carter founded HF back in the mid 90’s and created the most innovative and effective system to help hunters get accurate information on quality hunts in North America.  Garth put in years of hard work and is now ready to retire.  We contracted him to stay with the business for 9 months after the sale to help us transition into our new roles.   In May, Garth will have completed his obligation and will officially retire.

Robby: What is your position with the HF?

Travis: Besides co-owner, I’m the Hunting Consultant and Business Development Specialist and co-manager of the hunt consultant department.  I work with some great consultants who are dedicated to the research and helping our members find the best hunting opportunities out there.

Robby: Some hunters don’t have the ability or desire to travel out of state for hunts.  Can HF help those hunters?


The Huntin’ Fool gives unit overviews in handy tables

Travis: HF can help the resident hunter as well as the non-resident.  Many resident hunters don’t understand how the often complicated state draw systems function or all the information about each species that particular state offers.  Knowledge is power. If you don’t understand the draw systems, you will never be able to play the tag game as successfully as someone who does.  We provide resident and non-resident unit information and draw odds in all the states we cover. The resident odds are posted on our website, the non-resident in the magazine.

Robby: Seems HF has been a resource for trophy hunters.  Not everyone is interested in big antlers and horns.  How can HF help those people?

Travis: Yes, and we realize that not everyone has identical goals.  It takes just as much research and knowledge to apply and draw an average unit as it does a trophy unit.  We are dedicating more research in our publication to make our members aware of all types of hunts.  We also research youth opportunities.  Many of us are bringing up young hunters and it’s nice to find hunts that can be drawn easily for those youngsters.  There are low-priced youth hunts out there and we find them.  I am raising four teenage hunters and it’s tough on my hunt budget unless I look at the lower priced hunts.  HF can really help out in that department.

Robby: So is that why there is an “Opportunity Hunts” section?

Travis: Exactly!  The opportunity hunts section is geared towards areas that can be drawn with less points, or even OTC type hunts that offer a decent chance at a quality hunt.  Notice that most of the HF consultants don’t get to hunt the top areas very often, but we still manage to pull off some great hunts.  We find areas that are easier to draw and we plan on working harder and smarter so that we can have more hunting opportunities and more chances to kill some good animals.  I would rather hunt a mediocre unit four times over a 10-year period than an awesome unit once over a 10 year period.  There is a saying around here that goes something like this: “I would rather pack deer than pack points”

Robby: Opinions abound that HF has decreased the drawing odds across the West.  What is your take on that?

Travis: That’s a tough one and I’ve heard it before.  I’m sure we do influence the drawings.  Our members are very informed on the draw systems and good areas, so it’s logical to assume that they are applying for the top units.  Many members apply for a variety of units besides the top areas.  They study our tables for units that can be drawn on a regular basis.   As I’ve said, knowledge is power and the hunters that have information will beat the less informed guys to the quality hunts on a regular basis.  So arm yourself with that knowledge and let us help you!

Robby:  To me, the hard-copy magazine is one of the best when it comes to visual quality, and advertising content.  Now that we live in an online world, what is the future for the hard-copy mag?

Travis: The hard copy mag is our pride and joy, with high-quality paper and a lot of serious research inside the covers.  It is a publication that many members collect and hold in high regard for years.  The magazine will always be the main point of distribution for information to our members.


Robby: How does your E-mag differ from your hard copy?

Travis: The E-mag is delivered electronically and is available two weeks in advance of the hard copy.  Also, the E-mag ads contain live links so you can access on our advertisers or their videos.   E-mag also allows you to view three years of E-mags.    That to me makes the E-mag extra valuable.  I still love the hard copy and would opt for it if I only had one choice, but the two-week jump on the data and the ability to see the E-mag on my phone really has some advantages.

Robby: As an Endorsed Outfitter, I know not just anyone can get on that list as we have to prove we provide an honest and valuable service.  Are your sponsors held to that same standard?

Travis: Yes.  We need the right equipment and services to get the most out of our hunts and we know how important it is that we partner with solid companies that offer quality products and services.  We look for products and services that we trust and can recommend so HF members can expect products to perform as advertised.

Robby: You’ve added the tagline “Built to Hunt.”  Explain the significance.

Travis: “Built To Hunt” is our new tagline that was created to express that HF is truly a service that is built to hunt.  It replaces the previous tagline “A Guide to Western Big Game Hunting”.  We felt that did not cover everything that we do.  HF is much more than a “Guide” and with the increased coverage of more states, new ideas, and innovations that we are bringing to the table, we felt that “Built To Hunt” embodies what HF really is.

Robby:  I see you’ve split your membership into a standard and a premium membership.  Explain the difference?

Travis: There are two important differences:  1. Premium members can call the hunt consultants to strategize, identify goals, and develop a plan to access, and maximize their hunts.  2. Premium members get both E-mag AND the hard copy of the magazine where the Standard member must choose either E-mag, OR hard copy magazine.  Everything else is the same like access to the interactive state drawing odds calculator, stats, online hunt portfolio—where you can track your points and personal hunts info—and more than I can list here.  And we are working on other new concepts and technology that will benefit HF members immensely.

Robby: You’ve added a member’s only forum to your standard membership.  I’ve seen it and it is a great resource.  Tell Rokslide what kind of information is shared and how that info can help them.

Travis: We added the forum so that HF members can get real time information from HF and other members. Peer-to-peer information is invaluable to  members planning hunts.  They can ask questions about hunts they are planning from those who’ve been there.  It is a  member’s-only forum so the entire world can’t access the information.  The consultants are active on the forum and will answer questions when they can add value.  HF members can also research through all the species, states, and categories within the forum.  This can all be done without a phone call to the consultants during business hours.  I feel that as the forum matures, there will be a wealth of hunting information that can be researched 24-7, 365.

Robby: My email blows up weekly with questions about units, draw odds, terrain, game and trophy potential in all Western states.  With my limited time, I often can’t give a thorough and helpful answer.  Explain how your hunt consultants can help guys with those types of questions.


Travis: Our magazine will go over many of the common questions, but our consultants help you go deeper. They search extensively through our networks and actual boots-on-the ground to share the data to hunt the animals members desire.  We also match members with the terrain compatible with their abilities.  Some guys want iron man type areas with backcountry and others  want to camp in a motel and hunt easier terrain.  We can help find those areas and everything in between.  Many hunters want the best trophy areas, but others are happy with good game populations.  We can help you find an area that has what you are looking for, and where you can draw a tag without a 20-year wait.

Robby: Member Draw Lists, what are they and how can they help Rokslide members?

Travis: A member draw list has HF members who’ve previously drawn the unit you plan to hunt.  A member can call HF, request the list, and call with questions about the area and their hunt.  This is an awesome way to get real info.  Many of the HF members consider this service the most valuable we offer.  Many hunters know they will never hunt the area again and are free with solid information on animals, campsites, glassing points, maps, and of other info that you can’t get any other way.

Robby: Robert Hanneman is Head of Research at HF.  I recently read that he put in over 140 hours of research time just getting ready for the Wyoming issue of HF.  Is that typical?

Travis: That is true!  Robert is a true research mastermind.  He and the other consultants log hundreds of hours pouring over the odds, data, and statistics.  They also spend the year talking to outfitters, hunters, and biologists about the units we cover.  Consultants hunt many states spending up to 100 days on big game yearly.  We also see thousands of photos of animals from all over North America, and we get a full report on areas they come from.  This gives us a true picture of how the game and the units are doing yearly. If our members study the content in the magazine, they can access all this information.

Robby: HF pretty much had a Western focus but now I see Texas Desert Sheep, Canadian Mooose in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania and Kentucky Elk, and more.  Just how much of North America does HF plan to take on?

Travis: For now HF has plans to cover states that have a draw system for their big game tags.  We are more than just Western big game and we plan to provide our members with research on areas and species that are in demand.  Big game hunting has never been more popular, and the supply of areas to hunt cannot meet demand.  Our goal is to maximize member’s hunting experience.

Robby: In this information age, what sets HF apart from other research-based mags and websites out there?

Travis: HF collects the most current state regulations and data.  We wait until the new regs and data comes out before we publish.  This ensures that our members get correct info.  It’s a brutal job when some states don’t release the new data until a few weeks before the drawings and our consultants work around the clock to crunch the numbers and double check the changes that are often overlooked by other research services.  It’s a high pressure work environment that pushes us to the limit to meet the deadlines to get the magazine into the hands of our members before the draws open.  Aside from the data, HF contacts literally thousands of hunters and outfitters for solid information to pass along to our members.

Robby:  Even in this digital world, I think hard-copy maps are a must.  How can HF help Roksliders in that area?

Travis: HF has partnered with and with the click of a mouse you can access their website and custom build a map that can be layered with boundary info, private land info, and several other options.  We also utilize the GPS chips to keep within unit boundaries and to find our way around the units we hunt.  There is a lot of cool technology out there that can help us hunters find our way around the hunting areas.

Robby: OK, so some Rokslider is interested in your service but isn’t sure if HF is worth it.  How can he or she sample your services?

Travis: A hunter planning a DIY hunt on a tight budget is still going to invest thousands of dollars on that experience. For the price of one tank of fuel he can maximize his time and money. To sample our services, the go to our website. Watch the videos on HF and Youtube.  Check out our FB to see more of what we do. At our website, look under the services tab at our HuntFinder to see the outfitted hunts we offer.   I also included a few pages from our HF issues for this interview.  Take a peek at what makes HF so appealing to every hunter.


Robby: From the video HF released last week on FB it seems you have something special going on with the Summer Membership Drive. Tell us more.

Travis: We give away around 20 fully-guided hunts to members twice a year.  The Summer Membership Drive is packed with awesome hunts ranging from Stone & Dall sheep, Moose/Grizzly combo, several Giant Mule Deer and Elk hunts, and more.  But the hunt that is really causing a buzz is one that we can hardly wait to announce!   This hunt has never been offered before, and might not be offered again.  I can’t reveal it yet, but we are rolling it out very soon, so stay tuned!  The easiest way to get tickets for these hunts is to click the HF banner ad upper right on the Rok Blog, join HF, and then sign up your buddies.  We will give tickets for each buddy you sign up.  The official details will be announced with the membership drive info.

Robby: Thanks Travis.


So Rok Blog subscribers, I so much believe HF can help you, we worked out a giveaway for one of their 12-month memberships (you will love the magazine!) The odds of winning will be great.  Just take the next four steps for a chance to win:

1) If you’re not already a Rok Blog subscriber (be sure), go to top of page under Fitness/Other links, right hand side, and click “Subscribe to blog”

2) “Like” and “Share” the Huntin’ Fool Facebook page AND “Like” this post to see your name on the list

3) “Like” and “Share” the Rokslide Facebook page AND “Like” this post to see your name on the list

4) Finally, post up in the Rok Blog comments section below what species you’d most like to draw this year (use first and last name).

You have to complete all four steps to win.   Trust me, many people rush through the entry process, miss steps, and aren’t eligible to win.  So pay attention!

I’ll conduct the drawing on Friday April, 11th.  Watch your email for winner notification.  You’ll be a member before Nevada/Idaho/Arizona/Oregon draws close.

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Robby Denning
Robby Denning started hunting mule deer in the late 1970’s, only missing one season in 35 years. At 25, he gave up the pursuit of all other big-game to focus on taking the best bucks possible. He began hunting the West on a DIY budget hunting an average of 30 days a year for mule deer. Robby loves the hunt as much as the kill and the entire process from research to scouting to hunting. He’s killed four bucks over 200 inches in the last 15 seasons, mostly on easily-obtained tags. He owns a public-land scouting service and runs a private-land outfitting business helping other hunters in their pursuit of deer and elk. Robby has scouted and hunted literally thousands of square miles of mule deer country and brings a wealth of knowledge about these experiences with him. To him, the weapon of choice is just a means-to-an-end and will hunt with bow, rifle, or muzzleloader – whatever it takes to create an opportunity to take a great mule deer. He is also the author of "Hunting Big Mule Deer" available on Amazon. Robby believes all of creation is from God for man to manage, respect, and through which to know its Creator


  1. I want to draw a mountain goat tag. I don’t care where or which one, I just want to hunt goats!

  2. OK Elk, since everything else I’ve put in for was unsuccessful! Still have OTC plans though.

  3. Looks like I’m the only one so far that is hoping for an antelope! I put in for a unit in Eastern Colorado. I hope I get it!

  4. thank you robby and travis for all the time you put in to help keep us all informed.. hope I draw here in nv

  5. I drew my out of state tag already wyoming elk) so I hope to build points. I put in for sheep already in most states as I always can find the time and money for that:)

  6. Hey everybody, last day to get entered for the Huntin’ Fool Membership. Still time to wind and get Huntin’ Fool’s advice before applying in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona draws close.

  7. Would love to draw a Mule deer tag in wyoming/colorado/nevada…..shoot, I would take a tag in any state for that matter. Just love chasin muleys.

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