Guys, this is not nearly as off-the-wall as it sounds.
Put yourself in the place of an eastern hunter or anyone who just lives too far away to scout an area before the season (say he lives on the east coast) and has two vacation weeks a year, of which his wife selfishly wants a week with him. :) How can he hunt out west without shelling out several thousands for a guided and outfitted hunt?
Also, consider that if he is putting in for areas that take 3-4 preference points to draw he wants to have a chance of success in an area he has never been to before. How is he going to know the area? It's not like he can go every year.
Sure, you can use Eastman's MRS to pick the unit and then look it over with Google Earth but that only goes so far and gives you no information on game trails, small waterholes and wallows, bedding areas, etc. You can make educated guesses, but...
Isn't a semi-guided hunt sort of what he is asking about? Private ranches do that, but for sometimes a stiff cost.
I don't think you guys who have the tremendous luxury of living near your hunting area and drawing it fairly often over the years as residents realize how difficult it is to get started out west as a DIY hunter or semi-DIY hunter that lives a plane flight away. It is 1,500 miles from my house to Denver, for instance.
This is a real issue for many thousands of people stuck in the wrong time zone. There really is a very large need for something like this.
Yeah guys do have services set up to do just that. A guy on the Rokslide forum does that for mule deer and he knows mule deer. It may be cheaper than driving to another state numerous times to scout an area.
O.H., I agree with the vast majority of the time. But, it is a 10-hour drive from L.A. to Grand Junction. For someone willing to do some long drives on either end of a weekend or long weekend that is definitely doable.
But, for me in NC, it is 52 hours driving round trip to Grand Junction and 62 hours to Bozeman, MT. Unless I want to spend $500 every so often for a 4-day trip, of which two days are flying and two are scouting, it is a no-go for scouting beforehand. Even a 5-day hunt with one day flying on either end uses up a whole vacation week.
I tried doing DIY bear hunting in MT and just basically spent all my time trying to find closed logging roads that were suitable. I spent far more time in the truck than on foot and it was not much fun after I spent $$ on a nonresident license, an expensive flight, a rental car, etc. I gave in and hired a guide who knew the area already.
It's funny how guys that live out here think a guy can just come out and scout a unit in the west whenever he wants. That is EXPENSIVE! I drive to Iowa once a year to hunt deer and one trip a year cost a lot. Cut the guy a break.
I guess you didn't read my post. It can be done. We lived a 1000 miles away. You scout hunt as you go. You don't go where someone tells you to go. How is that hunting?
Guys do it every day with an outfitter. Not my style either but it is a way to increase success as a non resident.
O.H., as I said, there is a huge difference between a 10-hour drive to scout and a 26-hour drive. I also suspect you got your start before it took several years of preference points to draw an area and hunted the same area several years in a row.
But, I see your point. Two years ago I hunted for mulies in CO in an area I had never hunted before and had several shooting opportunities. I passed on three bucks because they weren't the size I was looking for. I had to pass on two more beautiful bucks that were on adjacent private land.
Still, because you can now only hunt an area every few years as a nonresident it just would be nice to have a head start rather than hitting the area cold. I don't mean a guy saying he's set up a great stand, go sit on it and shoot your buck. But, something like a marked local map would be a huge help over just hitting the area with nothing but Google Earth views. Is that so different from taking someone hunting with you?
Don't mind me. Like I said. I'm old school. Really old school. I never heard of someone scouting for someone else, and I couldn't keep my mouth shut.
That's what old guys do. :D
btw..1000 miles in 10 hours in the 50's??
Google maps has it 750 miles. That was probably back in the days when you had something like an 8-cylinder, gas-guzzling 454 under the hood. Who knows how fast you drove those flat, lonely back roads?
I know how fast I drove back in the 70's when gas was 29 cents and I had way more energy and enthusiasm than sense, back when I was invincible and bad things only happened to other people. Driving around the clock was nothing!
LA to Denver is 1018 miles. Actually, my dad had a 53 Chevy pickup with a 6cyl. 10 hours got us halfway. I was too young to even drive the first few trips.