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:
Here’s the bad and the ugly that has happened to her.
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 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.”
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:
Unfortunately, not all her guides have measured up. Here’s what she’s experienced afield that ranks not-so-good:
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!”
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.”
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:
And here’s what Kirstie doesn’t like: