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So you wanna be a whitetail hunting guide?

So you Wanna Be A Whitetail Hunt Guide!
By Tony May

As a little boy I had a dream of who and what I wanted to be, We all had these dreams. Doctors ,
lawyers, professional ball players, heck some kids played with Tonka trucks in the dirt pile behind their house. They knew from an early age that they were going to drive a dump truck for a
living. And then the big kicker was having to tell your parents to stop telling everybody that your little boy was going to be the next president of the United States of America Ö Well, that was my case. Mom, please let me be my own per man.

My dream was to some day play Pro Football for the Dallas cowboys and that Tom Laundry would still be the head coach.. Like I said dreams! I remember every year around November 1st in Pennsylvania, all the deer hunters would change, I mean change in a way that they didnít want nothing to do with mamma, the dog {Jake}, chores around the house or anything else. They always used to say to me as I was throwing my football up in the air and catching it when it came down, do you smell that, and I would say, smell what? The air, they would reply. I would say no! I donít smell it. OH, you will smell it one of these years boy! And then I would go into the house and tell mom that dad has some GOOFY friends. I remember every year right after Thanksgiving dinner, having to help my step father pack his hunting gear and load the truck up to go to Potter County Pennsylvania. For some reason I could never understand why they called that county {Gods Country, Till I got the chance to hunt there} Man I hated to help him pack
his things and load them up in the truck to go deer hunting. To me, it was worse than taking the
trash out every Monday night.

Every thing was fine till I turned 13 years old. That's when my step father took me out deer hunting in the famous Potter County PA. I remember, I wasnít to happy getting up at 3:00 AM on my 1st deer hunt in a cold cabin, but sitting there with 6 guyís, running around in there boxer shorts playing jokes on each other was pretty cool! At 5:00AM we were out the door climbing the mountain, sweating and going to the secret honey hole. At daylight my whole life changed, and from there on, there were no more dreams of the Dallas Cowboys and Tom Laundry. Man, every bone in my body was on high alert. My eyes and earís where on over time. One of my first
thoughts was calling home and telling mamma to start spreading the word about her boy and the
outdoors! I just knew what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to be a whitetail hunt guide.

I just turned forty years old in July 2008 and the chill that I had on that mountain on my first deer
hunt is still with me today, every time I step in the woods, It doesn't matter if I am guiding or hunting! I work in the hunting industry fulltime now and Iíll tell you what, the last thing that I think about before I close my eyes and fall asleep into monster buck heaven, is where Iím I going to hang that tree stand in Pike County Illinois or Missouri for that monster buck! Yes, you may think that Iím psycho and Iím not right upstairs, but this is a passion and a dream that whitetail hunt guides live on a daily basis. You might say that I found a key to unlock every door to
my childhood dreams. The day after we got home from that three day deer hunt, after school, I put on my step fathers over sized bright red hunting gear shoved his shotgun into the pants leg and walked up a main road with the shotgun in my pants and went deer hunting. I had a lot of
explaining to do when I got home and I couldnít sit for a week because of the whoopí in I got, but
man I had fun!

Being a whitetail hunt guide
#1. I think that everybody has something that they are meant to do in life. The hard part is finding it! The one thing that you were put on this earth to do. Being a whitetail hunt guide, I feel you have to be born with it in your blood. There are so many things that are a part of it. The first think I feel, is being a people person. Iím telling you that you will run into every personality out there, and you have to have ten personalities yourself.

This addiction is like trying to put down your game boy at 10:00 PM, so you get enough sleep for school in the morning.

#2.Caring: To be a good whitetail hunt guide you have to care about every thing around you, the
people, the outdoors, the wild life, and yourself. The fire has to burn within you to be a successful whitetail hunt guide. When you walk into an ambush site and see the look on your hunters face as he is sitting next to his buck of a life time, and knowing that team work with you and your
hunter made his dream come true, is what it's all about. Knowing that the rest of that hunters life, where ever he or she may be at and someone starts talking about a big buck that they shot, your hunter will tell the story of his hunt and your name is going to come up in the story. That hunter will get to relive that hunt all over again for years to come. He will tell his grand children, friends and hunting partners! It doesn't matter if itís a deer hunt or a turkey hunt, the hunts that you get to share with the hunters is something they will remember forever! For some people its about fame and fortune. To me its living my childhood dream. You can be flat broke, with no money and still be rich, if you love what you do. A poor man to me is person who never saw an eagle soar over the rocky mountains in a snow storm in the middle of Colorado. Thatís a poor man. Iím as happy as I can be at the end of the day when I go to sleep now that Iím living the American dream. And believe me ,Its a long hard road. There is a lot of sweat and tears being a Hunting guide! A lot of nights you won't get back to the bunk house till 12:00 am or 1:00am. Sometimes you may be out till mid-night dragging a deer out. You might be setting up a new tree stand at midnight.Then,you are getting back up at 3:30 AM and doing it all over again. You got to love it and have the
drive to be able to do this!

#3. Communication skills:
Communicating with the hunters, no matter if its in the field,in your vehicle in the lodge or on the phone is important to be a whitetail hunt guide! When they call you two months before the hunt starts, And they are excited about the hunt and want to know how many big bucks you are seeing or if the turkeys are gobbling,you need to be able to share in their excitement! Communication with the other whitetail hunt guides, the lodge, the cooks in camp, the house keepers, is all very
important. Without communication between everybody who is involved, from the hunter to the
house keepers, can make it a long guide season. Trust me, after a couple of weeks of non-stop getting up at 3:30 in the mornings under your belt, you will realize how important good communication skills are!

#4. Honesty and Trust:
Oh yeah, hereís a BIG ONE! You have to be honest with your hunters and the people who
you work with. If a hunter ask you a question, donít tell him something out of the blue. If you
donít know the answer, just say I donít know, donít look stupid, Trust me. If he finds out the
right answer to his question , you are going to feel real embarrassed for the duration of his hunt. Just say, I donít know the answer to that question but I will find out and tell you before you leave to go home.That's all the hunter want is honesty. This is a win, win situation. Honesty and Trust! It works every time! That brings me to the next thing. Trust : Trust in yourself! Believe in yourself! If other people see that you trust and believe in yourself they will feel that way too!. Trust your co- workers in the field and trust your natural instincts in the field. If there is one thing that I can tell you, always go with your gut feeling. It works 99% of the time in becoming a good whitetail hunt guide.

#5. Being prepared:
The first thing a good guide should do is be prepared. If the guide is not prepared, the hunt is going to be worse than a derailed train wreck. You have to be mentally and physically prepared for the hunt. If you ask some of my guide buddies, who have been guiding with me for years, they will tell you that I get sick 2 hours before I have to pick my hunters up and take them to the woods on the first day of the guide season and its like that for 3 or 4 days straight of the guide season till I get my nerves calmed down.. The 2nd part of this being prepared: is actually putting a game plan together. Knowing where you are going, having all your scouting done is step one. Getting your hunters involved in the hunt, showing them aerial photoís or topo maps and telling
your hunter everything there is to know about the tree stand or ambush site that you are taking him to, from how high the tree stand is, to if the tree has screw in steps or ladder sticks. How many rubs and scrapes are in the area, what kind of bucks your are seeing in the area, where the
bedding and feeding areaís are and which way you expect the wind direction to be for the next mornings hunt. All of these are important. Also, answer all his questions. Thatís what being prepared is all about to become a whitetail hunt guide.

#6. Knowledge:
Knowledge is something you have to learn on your own, not from a TV show, dvd, video
or a magazine.. I learned the OLD SCHOOL WAY. Every spare moment I had from that first day on the mountain in Potter County Pa, I spent learning about the outdoors. From playing with grayfish in the creek behind the house to sitting in the woods in July seeing how the deer would use the lay of the land at that time of year to figuring out what the turkeys were up to in
February, I didn't know so I found out, and trust me, it doesnít come easy !

#7. Working well with others and being able to listen to others is a priority.
Here is a Phrase that some people may recognize from the Bible: Quick to listen slow to speak.Glenda Bradley of IMB Outfitters, Inspired me with this one day This will take you a long way!

#8. Confidence :
Having confidence in yourself and every thing you do is so important! Everybody in
camp from the hunters, to the guides can tell if you have confidence. Hold your head up high! Be
proud of who you are and what you sacrificed to put yourself in this dream job! Lets face it ,you
will be leaving your family and love ones for many months thru out the year to be a hunting guide. That's a sacrifice a lot of people aren't willing to make.

#9. Mistakes: Learn from your mistakes.
I am very big on this one. I learned a long time ago, to not only learn from my mistakes, but other peoples mistakes as well.

Ego can be your greatest enemy as a hunting guide or a outfitter. A lot of guides tend
to be hardworking and humble at the beginning of there guiding or outfitting career. However, some where in the midst of there guiding career or outfitting career, ego can take over. As your
guiding career takes off over a few years, you may will be getting praised by your hunters, friends and family. You may even see yourself on the outdoor channel or read your name in a hunting magazine article.. As this process goes on for several weeks or years, some guides or outfitters develop a false sense of pride and begin to attach themselves to a ď Celebrity Status Ē Ego. This is the #1 killer of all guides and outfitters. I beseech you to remember that, while you know much about hunting to be employed as a hunting guide or outfitter, REMAIN HUMBLE, A good guide is someone who mirrors a good waitressÖ Rewards are there for those who
wait.. This is a direct quote from a very intelligent and great friend of mine who I owe a
alot of my success to in the outfitting industry. Darrin Bradley owner of IMB Outfitters, owns and operates the largest Whitetail Deer and Turkey Outfitting business in the Nation. Just like
you and I, he had a dream and worked his tail off 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and to
this day still remains humble.

So you wanna be a whitetail hunt guide? If you use these 10 helpful hints that I have learned over the last decade you can be a successful guide or Outfitter. Weather you were born to be a guide or not, these 10 secrets will help you become the the kind of employee an outfitter will want to hire as a hunting guide.

If youíre a natural the guiding come easy.. Its learning the secrets of the guiding that is the
hard part..

Donít forget earplugs for the guide bunk house. There is a lot of snoring going on at night.

Oh and by the way, I now know what they were talking about I can smell it in the air
now! Can you?

Tony May
IMB Outfitters

Tony May

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