Western Hunter Magazine July/August 2019 #70 - Page 85

THE HUNTING HORSEMAN Pine Creek Guest Tents Shower Toilet Tack Storage Kitchen & Guide Tents Corrals Fir Creek Sample Outfitter Base Camp Camp area occupies approximately 2 acres Registered camps in an outfitter guide permit require a camp layout plan. These plans can be useful if the outfitter’s camp monopolizes an area or restricts public access to water sources. Getting to Know Your Neighbor When possible, it’s a good practice to get to know the outfitter in the area you’re hunting or plan to hunt. You’ll often encounter him or his packers, guides, cooks, etc. on the trail or at the trailhead. A little bit of good will goes a long way. A letter or email to an outfitter could be a good gesture for the DIY hunting horseman who wants to initiate a positive relationship. If you make such a gesture and it is received positively, it could pave the way to assist each other in cases of emergency or simply good neighbor acts of kindness that require noth- ing in return. Be a Good Neighbor Following the laws and having good ethics in the backcountry are the basis for any relationship with other DIY hunters, outfitters, or their clients. I often look for ways to be a good neighbor, such as a few years ago when I encountered one of the young guides who had been bringing hunters in on top of our Idaho camp. On this particular morning, I dropped down off the mountain in the dark in order to be in a strategic location where a great bull elk had been feeding the night before. When I reached the loca- info@westernhunter.net tion and it became daylight, it was obvious the bull had moved on. I stayed there for some time and heard someone talking. One of the guides and a client were coming down the ridge behind me. I said, “Hello!” The guide ignored me, but his client seemed like a nice guy. I inquired about the cut over his right eye and he told me he had shot a mule deer buck a few days prior. He went on to tell me this was his first trip out West and he had “scoped” himself with his new rifle. I had other places to check out on the mountainside that morning, so I told him, “This is your first trip, so you should en- joy yourself. I’ll leave this spot to you and go on down the ridge to another area.” Later, the client encountered one of my hunt- ing partners and asked if that “older gentleman” that he had seen “way down in the hole” was one of his party. When my hunting partner told him that indeed I was his hunting partner, the client re- sponded, “That guy is a gentleman and a scholar!” A little bit of good will goes a long way! Hope- fully, the “best practices” I’ve used over the years will be helpful to you in your own adventures afield, whether hunting in an area with an outfitter or not. WESTERN HUNTER 85