Planning and preparing for an exciting outfitted hunting adventure can be almost as much fun as the trip itself, but only if you think through the details and everyone is committed to their involvement … and paying their fair share of the expenses! Without organization and level of commitment putting together a group of hunting friends to go on a trip can be like herding house cats.
Here are five important tips to making the planning and the hunting adventure itself smooth and enjoyable for everyone in the group.
- Establish a group leader. Do this from the very beginning. The leader’s vote doesn’t count any more than anyone else’s, but it’s important to have someone who will keep everything organized and on schedule. Down the road, when you eventually get to booking the hunt, the outfitter will require the group to have a leader anyway. This is so he has a single point of contact in communicating information about the hunt. So make sure the leader is someone you can count on to relay all information to the entire group.
- Hold real meetings. Once you’ve identified who among your friends are serious about making the trip, get them together at a place where you can all sit around a table and record everyone’s desires for an enjoyable trip and how much each is willing to spend on the hunt. Write this down! Try to hold the meeting in a place where there are not a ton of distractions, otherwise someone is sure to miss important information and then six months down the road swear that it was never said! So a sports bar is NOT a good location to hold meetings.
- Include everyone. Once you’ve decided on what you want to hunt and a general location of where you want to hunt, then everyone in the group to go out and start looking for potential outfitters. Have them talk to friends and friends of friends, etc. to bring recommendations and referrals back to the table. Then cross-reference all the operations against the listings at www.OutfittersRating.com. Remember, trust but verify.