There are places on the internet that review outfitters and give what is reported to them....good & bad. One is www.nexthunt.com , it is a pay site (about 30-35 dollars). I subscribed to it. The only problem is that a lot of the outfitters that I tried to get info on were not on their site. Places like this Forum help a lot.
Whenever I've booked a guided hunt, I ask for references. I also advise I want references from at least three people who didn't fill their tags. If they won't provide that info, hang up and move on...
I sure did not have the same experience as the negative comments mentioned. In fact, I hunted twice with Bill Perry last year one on a bow hunt and then a later season rifle hunt. I am also hunting with him again next month (October 2014) on another rifle hunt and have an archery hunt booked for September 2015.
We had a great bow hunt last September which you can read about in the August 2014 edition of Primitive Archery magazine. The article was written by my hunting partner Mike Yancey.
During the rifle hunt, 6 of us took bulls. Four were 6x6, one 7x7 and one 5x5 meaning all hunters tagged out. I saw at leat 150 elk the first day. I did not see any the next days since I tagged out on the first day.
Guides are great and work their butts off to make you successful. Also, the food will be better than most 5 star restaurants.
As you can tell, I am well pleased with Bills' operation and so are most of his clients since most of his clients are repeat customers.
I would definately recommend Hidden Creek Outfitters for a quality hunt!!!!
Found this thread while doing some research on other guides in the Thorofare and couldn't help but add my own experience with Hidden Creek and Bill Perry. I've been hunting in Wyoming for 30 years with several outfitters and I normally don't take to writing on forums, but last year's experience (2013) left a sour taste. I had the same experience as Colorado Cowboy…exactly. Let me add that I was successful too, so no sour grapes here. So why am I voicing dissatisfaction? The way I measure an outfitter is 1) the country they hunt, 2) the relationship they build with their clients and 3) how they (including the crew) handle adversity or difficult situations. Hidden Creek gets 1 out of 3 - country. Some of the most beautiful, unspoiled land in the USA with a lot of animals, of all sorts. Put Bill on any other plot of land and I doubt he could stay in business. IMHO, he's taking what he has for granted…kind of like he takes his clients for granted. He never bothered to show up at the trailhead to meet/greet us in the beginning. When the hunt was over and we were unpacking horses at the corral, he never bothered to get out of his truck and meet any of his hunters/clients. If I didn't make the effort, I wouldn't know what the man looked like. Not even a "thank you". I even tried to call him a couple of months afterwards to voice constructive feedback and just like Colorado Cowboy…not a peep. I'm not looking for a touchy feely experience, but I do value relationships in business and hunting. On the last point about adversity, the hunting camp lacked leadership, which manifested itself in several unpleasant experiences that clients should not have to witness. And finally, when hunters want to hunt harder than their guide, then something is terribly wrong. I was looking for an experience that would keep me coming back year after year and Bill didn't give a sh!t after he collected my $6K. It's too bad, he could have had much more.
Colorado Cowboy, I'd be interested to learn what other options you found. I'm aware of a few other outfits who guide in the Thorofare, do you have experience with any of them?
The only other experience I have to offer in Thorofare is a friend who has been with Jeff Kruger twice and has good experiences both times. I will be 73 next month and don't really think I'll do another hunt that requires this long of a ride into camp. I was 70 when I went and did well. Country unbelievable, but the hunting sucked. The guide just kept pounding the same area for the whole week despite my griping about not seeing any elk.
I have done between 25 & 30 wilderness hunts similar to this one and have loved every minute of them. I was scheduled for one here in Colorado this fall, but had to reschedule to next year because of unsuccessful ankle surgery this spring. I will be having a total ankle replacement the first week in Nov, so next year will be one here in Colorado for M/L elk near Gunnison.
Cowboy, who will you hunt with in Colorado?