Hunting outfitters come in all shapes and sizes. Large scale or small scale, they might all seem to be the same. After all, every hunting outfitter is in the business to make their customer happy and successful, because a successful hunt means good word of mouth, a good reference, and a potential repeat customer.
But, there is a difference between the large scale hunting outfitter and the smaller scale outfitters, and depending on your wants and needs, you may find benefits from the little guys that trump the big guys.
You first consideration must be price. Virtually any smaller outfitter is going to charge less than their big outfitter cousin. However, a smaller price tag does not equate to lesser service.
Big outfitters may have lodges, fireplaces, walls covered with impressive mounts, pool, spas, and gourmet meals.
But you have to ask yourself this. Why am I here? If it is for all of the amenities, then you've come to the right place, but if you are there to go hunting, save yourself some dough, sleep in smaller cabins or rooms, eat mom and pop meals, and go get your trophy.
Big outfitters are going to give you top-quality service. And they should, seeing as how you are paying for it. But those smaller scale outfitters don't care so much about your money, they care more about you and your hunting experience. And no, we aren't knocking the big guys, either. But the bigger outfitters have got to cater to more of clientele, while the smaller outfitters don't.
What that means is this. You'll get more personalized service from a smaller outfitter than a larger one. Which has nothing to do with friendliness or care about your participation, whatever, it has everything to do with logistics. Less people to deal with means more time to deal with the people that are there. And more time just may be the difference between a successful hunt and a trophy hunt.
Going the Extra Mile
Smaller outfitters are small for two main reasons. They are either starting up or they pride themselves on being small. In both cases, smaller hunting outfitters are going to go the extra mile.
If they are just starting out, they need your referral to grow. They are going to do everything they can to make your trip the best hunting experience you've ever had. When you get back home and let everyone know, either by word of mouth, the Internet, on the smaller outfitters website that you had the best time ever, it is going to mean more to them, both personally and professionally, than any money you may have spent on the trip.
Hunting outfitters that pride themselves on being small, don't want to get any bigger. Generally, these outfitters offer the most for the least, because their overhead is low, and they'll pass that on to you.
These smaller types of outfitters may be able to take you places where others can't or won't go, and that alone brings along an adventure that may be second to none. Packing into or hunting on areas of land, that many may never be able to do, could give you a once in a lifetime experience that only a smaller hunting outfitter can provide.
Check Them Out
So before you schedule your next big hunt, check out the smaller hunting outfitters first. You may not get all of the amenities of the "big boys," but chances are that you'll be involved with a hunt that you'll never forget.