Have any of you ever used NorthCountry Guide Service out of North/Central MN?
A friend of mine was telling me that he was checking into them, and I thought I would see if any of you on this site have ever used this guide service or know anything about the group? Seems like he had a lot of good to say about them.
As so many of the NR hunters have stated on this site, that the landowners and local people are so great and accomodating to NRs, why would any of you hire an outfitter.
Forget about hunting the way you have in some of your home states, using G/Os and leasing duck sloughs, and come and enjoy ND as a freelancer. It's really VERY easy to accomplish. An Outfitter is NOT needed unless you are just so lazy as to not be able to scout an hour or two from ANY area you happen to be staying. Isn't that the reason so many are enjoing the waterfowling in ND, that the land access is so easy to come by? I continue to be frustrated after hearing about hunters who pay an outfitter year after year. It's much more fun to do it on your own. You will also put much more money into the local economies, cafes, gas, shells, hotels, etc. than by staying at a lodge.
What a fricken joke! I don't even know why I bothered.
I have about 5 posts to this website and have never had an ounce of luck getting any positive anything from anyone on this site! I asked a serious question, I wanted to know about a guide service (actually they are a fishing guide service in MN) I was thinking about paying a guide to take my father on a trip when he comes up to visit, as I will be working a few of the days. I was looking for information, I will go to a site that will help me.
I am very efficent in my use of the internet and talk forums and I have watched this site, given my input, and continuously am amazed at what a good job people on this site do of chasing people away. I will continue to contribute to other sites and get my questions answered there. As I have said before, Mr. Hustad you have a good intention just a bunch of guys here who ruin it. If you had any idea of some of the people you have turned off, and the potential that has been ruined due to ignorance on the site, you would be amazed. I know some big names have checked out the site as far as sponsorship and helping out, and yet people chase them off. I tried, more then once and feel bad as I had hoped to help the site.
Good luck guys-
What did you expect? You must know that most of the regular members here are not fans of guides or outfitters. The way you asked your question, we could not tell if you were asking about a fishing guide or a hunting guide. Nor could we tell where they guide. It was about like asking, "hey guys, what do you think about Handgun Control Incorporated?"
Dear MNhunter, I'm sorry I can't help you out with your situation, since I am not familiar with that guiding service.
But to Mr. Field Hunter...As a Registered hunting guide in this great state of North Dakota, here is what you need to consider before calling out of state hunters "Lazy" for hiring a guide. Not all NR are millionaires!! How much do you think it would cost to buy 700-1000 snow and blue goose decoys, 5-6 dozen duck and Canada decoys, blinds, trailor to put them all in, then the insurance for them all and the gas it would take to haul them all up from Chicago? Get the picture? It's just not feasable to spend that kind of money when you can only hunt here for 14 days tops. Not to mention the time off needed before you start hunting to scout where the birds are and find the land owners.
And don't tell me you have never dreamt of going on a guided hunt in the Rockies or in Canada or Alaska...every NRA card carrying American has!!
And before you get all upity...the answer to your next question is ZERO, that's right...our Lodge does not lease a single acre!! We ask just like everybody else. But it does help when you are around every year and the landowners get to know you.
So please don't "Label" all Outfitters and Guides...most of us do it so we can hunt a lot and still make the house payment. How many rich hunting guides do you know? Most barely break even!!
Hope everyone has a great hunting season.
First of all welcome to the forum. Now I for one do not like what the commerialzation of hunting is bringing to this state. On another post you pointed out your dislike for the trespass suit, howver when looking into the area and those involved and supporting it they mostly come down on the commerializtion side of the issue. Not putting words inyour mouth but it appears to me that it would force you to either lease land or not be able to hunt open fields as you do now without having recieved permission. If you are getting paid for your services and enter a field without asking and make money off the activity it rubs me the wrong way.
Next do you hunt and shoot while guiding? If so are you not competeing with those that have paid for your service? Having used services from guides for fishing I personally would not be happy if they where fishing while I had paid for there time. I do hope you are not that type.
While FH statement may have been broad it tends to lean towards the type of person that many that use services represent. We have had discussions on this forum as to what is a hunter and what is a shooter. To many times we see shooters as the source of the problems in hunting. Liberal bag limits coupled with the process of paying someone to take them afield in most cases creates and an expectation of having to obtain a limit. These expectatins then drive those providing the service to start doing things detrimental to the sport of hunting, whether it is leasing and locking up land. Setting up to close to other hunters. Shooting and filling customers limits for them etc. Now that is not saying you do any of these things but that has been the trend and the problem is growing.
you state accurately that the cost of owning 1000 decoys and the trailer and other gear is more than many can afford, and for a short trip the investment is not cost effective. This I won;t disagree with nor do I think G/O should be eliminated, but one cannot participate in this profession without having and taking responsiblity for what it is doing to hunting overall as a whole.
This is not a attack on you but more of my view of the overall direction we are headed. Think about in these terms. For every person a guide provides service to how many young hunters are they preventing from getting into the sport, due to limited access and increased costs that many families just cannot afford. These are the future protectors of what we love and recruitment of them is vital. Leasing and locking up of large tract of land does nothing in the effort to retain them to the sport.
Ok, I will admit that I used a broad generalization of the G/Os. I didn't call NRs lazy for hiring a guide. I was trying to get the point across that not everyone needs a guide to hunt ND. Yes, I will admit that if they want to hunt snow geese and they're from Chicago then a guide MIGHT be necessary but I'd guess that the true hunters and not shooters that are traveling to ND to hunt would be able to put together 300-400 rags and or windsocks.
You don't tie up access to land, good for you. For every guide like you there are several that tie up access.
I hunt for approximately 15-20 days in ND every year as a resident and it is very feasable for me to have the decoys needed, the blinds, a trailer, insurance and the gas to haul back and forth across the state. oh yah, and I manage to spend time scouting when I could otherwise be shooting, it's part of the plan. I'm also not rich but I do enjoy the outdoors enough to invest in the activities.
I have dreamed and hunted snow geese, canadas and mallards in Canada, trips of 600-800 miles one way....and have never used a guide....the trips were very successful, I might add. In most cases 300-400 windsocks are all that are necessary.
All I'm saying is that if you are planning on huntng ND this Fall, freelancing is a very viable alternative to hiring a guide if you are interested in the entire experience. The hunting, IMO should include the plannng, arranging a place to stay, finding a good area, meeting the landowners, setting up and sometimes failing on the decoy spreads, practicing on calls before arriving, retrieving your own birds, cleaning your own birds, etc. For those individuals that want to arrive and have everything ready for them when they get get here....hire a guide. I personally think that you will be missing out on much of the total experience.
Welcome to the site. You seem like a reasonable guy who is trying to do the best he can without trying to shut everyone else out. I, and most folks, may respect that.
Please understand that the exclusionary practices of many the exploding number of guides/outfitters is causing everyone a lot of grief. That, and their encouragement of the exponential growth in the number of NR hunters. When folks speak badly of G/O it is really these issues they are talking about and their effects on the quality hunting in the state. Apologies for such criticism is not direct towards you personally.
We know G/O's aren't going away, so the best we can hope for is more reasonable folks like yourself. Please stick around as I like to read different, but reasonable, perspectives. Have a good year.
Thank you all for your responses. Good and Bad. Too answer some questions...I always ask my clients if they want me to shoot or not. Every one of them has said "yes, have fun with the rest of us." If they ever say "no", I would not have a problem with that. I too have heard the stories of clients shooting guiedes limits and vice versa, But I don't allow it and I don't know of any other guides that do!! It's against the law and I for one don't want to loose my license. I always let the clients shoot first and I usually look for cripples to put down. And we offer special deals to parents with children, we too believe they are the future to the sport.
I do have one question for you guys....the G/O that do lease land, have you ever asked them if you could hunt it anyway? I have called Sheldon Schlect before and asked him if I could do some grouse hunting on some land that he had leased and he told me to go ahead! I'm not saying all G/O would do that, but just like landowners, some will, some won't. It never hurts to ask!!
Thanks for the reply on how you appoach your hunting with clients. You are not the type that I think are causing the issues we are facing. In response to Sheldon yes and the anwser was NO and this was the same response that he gave others. You will find few that know him or about his past that really want to have anything to do with him.
With all that said in your travels how are water conditions in the area's you hunt, it has been dropping in many area's and is giving some of us great concern for the coming season.
Chris...We don't call Gage "Little Tyson" for nothing!! :lol:
I haven't been way up north yet, but heard it was kinda dry up there. The Hurdsfield area sure looked good along with the Jamestown area.
We need some good fall rains to fill some of those potholes back up.
I'm kinda suprised we haven't had any botchelism (sp) cases this year with the lack of fresh rain.
If it don't rain soon the Gov. may end up suspending the hunting season till we do!! We don't need to go out and burn Mr. Farmers fields, etc. up if it's this damn dry!! Pray for rain boys!!
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