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Colorado Deer Elk Petersen's Hunting TV South Africa

What Makes a Good Guide for Hunting TV?

by Conrad Evarts   |  October 23rd, 2011 5

Guides. They can make or break a Petersen’s Hunting TV hunt. I have nothing to do with booking the hunts, so guides are the wild card for me. What makes a good guide for hunting TV? This is something I’ve thought about a great deal over the thousands of hours I’ve spent following guides through deserts, forests, grasslands, savannas and jungles, over mountains and under brush and most importantly into plans that work and plans that fail.

There are guides I love and guides I loathe to the core of my being. If you’ve been on guided hunts, you probably wonder what kind of an a-hole hates guides. My perspective is very different than the paying hunter’s for many reasons. The most obvious is the sheer number of guides I’ve worked with both in this and my previous position. I know what works and what fails and my employment is contingent on successfully taping hunts. An uncooperative guide is messing with my rice bowl.

The second reason is I’m generally not treated as well as a paying customer. This one cracks me up because a guide who would never be hostile to a paying customer who may tell a dozen of his buddies about his experience will treat me like shit despite the fact that my tale hits 86 million households across North America. Additionally, the typical client/guide dynamic consists of the client being very deferential toward the guide. Producing a high quality hunting show and endlessly deferring to a guide are mutually exclusive. I say all this to emphasize the points I make below. The guides I endorse are super guides.

In a perfect world a guide is a smoking hot female with a passion for gruff camera monkeys with limited social graces, but this never happens. So for the male guides I’m stuck with, I think it comes down to three main characteristics: Confidence, honesty and motivation.

What does confidence look like in the field? The guide is relaxed. He knows what his area holds and he knows how to access the animals. Day one and day five feel much the same because his strategies worked so many times in the past. Panicked guides don’t listen. They rush and refuse my requests because they mistakenly believe that if there is an animal on the ground, the taping is a success. They rush everything. I wish I could post a list of these morons.

Honesty? Guides are like men in any other vocation, the honesty varies greatly. Mainly, I see dishonesty around what an area holds. This usually happens when the outfit has leftover inventory they are desperate to sell. Honest guides, who include mostly all I’ve worked with, usually fit just right in the same bracket as confident guides.

I look for the motivation in everyone I work with. As a camera monkey, the best scenario is this: The guide is the owner of the outfit and is motivated by the potential promotion the TV show and the magazine offer. He is looking toward the future growth of his operation. He’s usually the old bull, has mad skills and doesn’t like to mess around so we end up in a honey hole.

The follow photo gallery contains my favorite guides, outfitters and/or professional hunters in the world in the order of favoritism. You want a top guide for your show? Google ‘em.

  • Ron Hill

    O' man, I almost forgot about that, we laughed our asses off at that, and he was so calm about. I think there for a moment he did not why we were laughing.

  • Kirk Kelso

    OHHHH Conrad, you sweet thing you!!!!! Just remembering that first hunt brings tears to my eyes!!! ha. Thanks for including me in your group. I appreciate both the kind and not so kind words. See, the old saying that you can get a good sense of a man from your first impression is a bunch of bull$#&@. For the both of us!!!!! Love ya man. Kirk

  • Kevin Dezern

    Im a quail guide in Georgia and i totally agree. My experice the outfitter is less than paitent and forces his guide to rush shots. I feel that some show host in my expericne have not outlined tv. I had a crew that i had taken three days in a row and on the fourth day i had to leave. they hated the other guide because he was clueless as to what was happening and that he rushed. as a guide we tend to be goal oriented we need to have good tv personalities to help us with their goals. As a fishing guide and hunting guide on Georgias coast I have seen the good the bad and the great. Here is an open invite to come with me hit me up ill tell you some more.

  • Donna Boddington

    Conrad you are right but it also helps to have a producer & camera jockey like you. I am happy when I find out you are the guy filming my hunts. You are funny, you make me laugh (even when you get pissed off) and you're professional.
    As you know I just consider myself "collateral damage" when you have to film Craig and I am hunting too! It's a great life.

    Donna Boddington

  • adam worbington

    my fathe Larry Glynn Worbington is dying from a bad liver and only wants to kill a good buck or big game animal not looking for charity just someone that could help us out please it eould mean the world to him and my family please repluy or emal meat thanks and merry Christmas to u all

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