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What Do Women Want in a Hunting Guide? (Page 2)

We asked some of the country’s top female hunters to reveal what they like and what they don’t like in a guide, based on their past experiences. See what Melissa Bachman, Tiffany Lakosky, Brenda Valentine and more had to say on the subject.

Stephanie Mallory

Realtree’s blogger Stephanie Mallory keeps tabs on the wild and weird news of the outdoors for the popular camo company’s publication online. She also writes for a variety of outdoor magazines and runs a communications company. So, she’s been on many guided hunts.

Here’s what she hopes for in a new guide when she arrives at her hunting destination:


  1. Enthusiasm

  2. Knowledge

  3. Sense of humor

  4. Strong familiarity with the property we're hunting

  5. Considerate, but not patronizing

Here’s the bad and the ugly that has happened to her.

  1. Bad attitude about women hunters

  2. Cellphone's ringtone was sound of a woman's orgasm

  3. Guide wanted to do more riding around than actual hunting

  4. Guide insisted we stay out in a lightning storm when it was clearly not safe

One of her favorite times occurred when a guide took her arrowhead hunting after she’d tagged a turkey. She said, “He knew I loved to do that sort of thing. He went above and beyond the call of duty.”


Stephanie Mallory and guide Ed Hougland with Rivers Bend Outfitters.

Zipper Down

Stephanie detailed an experience that she calls “funny,” but some women might call insulting in a Realtree article. She wrote,Let me qualify this by saying, it takes a lot to offend, embarrass or anger me, but Billy Bob manages to do all of the above in one day. We’re walking down the dirt road to our hunting local when all the sudden Billy Bob stops. Has he heard a gobbler? I stop to listen as well. But it’s not a gobbler I hear. No, instead I hear the zipper on Billy Bob’s pants. He’s actually peeing right in front of me. I turn briskly and walk ahead, assuming he’s simply a little rough around the edges…nothing I can’t handle.”

Melissa Bachman

Out hunting at least 140 days last year, producer and co-host of television shows for North American Hunter, including Winchester Deadly Passion, Melissa Bachman interacts with guides in front of and behind the camera.

She admires these qualities in a guide:

  1. Kindness

  2. Knowledge

  3. Patience

  4. Modesty

  5. A sense of humor

Melissa Bachman and Ken Greslin, of Powder River Outfitters, after she tagged a whitetail in Montana.

Unfortunately, not all her guides have measured up. Here’s what she’s experienced afield that ranks not-so-good:

  1. Lack of Knowledge. I had a guide show up on an elk hunt who said he had just been hired to come over to this camp but had never stepped foot on the property. My first thoughts were, I could have just as well been self-guided as this guy had no knowledge of the property or area and this proved true very quickly.

  2. Condescending or Arrogant. I don’t care for people who are condescending and if a guide associates being a woman with a complete lack of hunting knowledge, it’s probably going to be a long hunt for us both. I’ve had this happen at times, but usually they back off once the hunt gets underway.

  3. Being late, especially when every minute counts on an early morning hunt. The last thing any hunter wants to do is sit around waiting for a guide to show up. Luckily, I’ve only had it happen a few times, but it can be pretty frustrating when you’re tired as well and the guide is consistently late.

  4. Faulty equipment or transportation. When you’re in the backcountry you really rely on the fact that the guide or outfitters equipment has been maintained, but that’s not always the case. I’ve been stranded a few times due to faulty equipment and it makes it tough on the hunt and tough on the morale.

  5. Bad Attitude. I’m not a big fan of people who are constantly negative, but there are guides out there who think this way and it can get contagious. I like to be realistic, but you can usually find something positive in every situation. There is no sense in dwelling on the negative as I’ve found this usually gets you nowhere.

Melissa almost gave up what would become a dream hunt in Illinois, when the airlines busted her bow case, mangled her bow and lost her warm clothing. She said, “I was ready to just call it quits, but my guide convinced me to go to the local bow shop, fix up my bow and gave me some warm clothes to get through the cold first evening sit.”

She recalled the scene: “After a couple hours into the sit, the field starting filling with deer and to my amazement a giant buck stepped out. After watching this deer for over 40 minutes, I saw a pack of coyotes chase him within bow range. The guide was filming the hunt for me and I was lucky enough to take my biggest buck to date—a 202-inch whitetail with my bow.”

Melissa noted that was her 46th day hunting Illinois. She said, “If it weren’t for my guide that day, I would have stayed in. But, a few words of encouragement got me out on stand and the buck of a lifetime!”

What Privacy?

Melissa’s experience proves that we need to be vigilant about our electronics and what we leave behind while we’re out—especially password unprotected. She said, “On a trip a few years back, I came to find out that while I was out hunting, there was someone in camp going through my personal items in my bag and also on my laptop. When I found out, I was very upset and felt violated. This was something that turned a good hunting trip into a bad experience very quickly.”

Kirstie Pike

As the CEO of Próis Hunting & Field Apparel for Women, Kirstie Pike lives to hunt and try out her latest designs of athletic and functional clothing for women who hunt.

Here’s what she likes:

  1. Friendly

  2. Funny

  3. Comfort level with women. Some guides are not and it’s awkward.

  4. I hope they will talk to me as soon as they meet me, and explain what our plan will be for the hunt.

  5. Presentation. I appreciate a guide who looks professional, not like the one who showed up in cut-offs and hiking boots.

And here’s what Kirstie doesn’t like:

  1. Rude comments from other hunters in camp. On one hunt, one of the hunters made a comment like, “Oh, there are girls here? Will you be dancing on the tables?” and a guide saying, “Hey, if you can’t get up that tree stand by yourself, I’ll give you a little goose!”

  2. Unprofessional appearance, such as a guide named Bob who always had a big old plug of chewing tobacco in his mouth.

  3. Unclear about boundaries, such as the time our male guide kept visiting our quarters unannounced.

  4. One time, I had a guide who was completely uncomfortable talking to me. He didn’t know how to talk to me and was hesitant to give me instruction. It was awkward, because I like to learn from my guides.

  5. Unclear explanation about the plan for the hunt. I like to know what gear to take, how to dress, etc. See No. 4 above.

Kirstie Pike with Sabrina Frasier from Itcha Mountain Outfitters in British Columbia.

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2 Responses to What Do Women Want in a Hunting Guide? (Page 2)

Robin wrote:
July 30, 2013

My fear is the male chauvinist pigs! I know so many out there are OLD school and don't think women can or should hunt! It's refreshing when you meet guides who embrace their client, their needs and provide them with a good time no matter the harvest outcome! Keep up the good work ladies and whip those poor guides into shape so hopefully they'll behave in the future! robin

Howard Day wrote:
July 30, 2013

As a guide in the UK I'd like to think I gave all my clients the treatment and respect mentioned above, not just the ladies. A paying client deserves to be treated professionally regardless of sex.