Category Archives: Outdoors

Wild Turkey

Organizations: National Wild Turkey Federation – http://www.nwtf.org

Description: Turkeys are the largest of the upland game bird species. Wild turkey is a dark bird with a naked, bluish head.

The male, also called a tom, has an overall coloration that is brownish black with an iridescent sheen. His wings have black and white barring. The tom has folds of red skin, called wattles, under the chin; fleshy, wartlike caruncles on the neck; and a fingerlike snood dangling beside the bill. A 4 to 10 inch projection of feathers, called a beard, extends from the breast. Additionally, the tom has spurs on his legs. Toms measure 36 to 48 inches long and weigh 17 to 28 pounds. Wingspan on a large tom may be over four feet.

The hen is smaller and browner than the tom, and lacks head features and does not have spurs. Hens measure 26 to 34 inches and 8 to 12 pounds.

The juvenile male, called a jake, and the juvenile female, called a jenny, resemble hens by fall, although they have a duller, more mottled color. After the first year, jakes are larger than hens, and have begun to develop a beard.

Turkeys can run over 20 miles per hour and fly up to speeds of 40 miles per hour.

There are five subspecies of wild turkey in North America:

The eastern wild turkey (M. gallopavo silvestris) is the most abundant of the five subspecies. It is found throughout most of the eastern United States. Its population is increasing because of introductions, such as those in the Pacific Northwest and North Dakota. It has a copper-bronze sheen, and its tail has a chocolate-brown tip.

Merriam’s wild turkey (M. gallopavo merriami) is found in much of the western United States, from Montana to Arizona. It is the most adaptable of the five subspecies, and its numbers and range have grown due to stocking efforts. It has a purplish bronze sheen, and a buff-tipped tail.

The Rio Grande wild turkey (M. gallopavo intermedia) is an open-country bird found primarily in the south-central United States from Nebraska through Texas and into Mexico. Its range has expanded westward thanks to stocking efforts. The overall body sheen is a pale copper, and the tail has a yellowish tip.
tom turkey
The Florida wild turkey (M. gallopavo Osceola) is found only in Florida, and has a relatively small, stable population. It is similar in appearance to the eastern wild turkey, but has darker wings and an iridescent, greenish gold body color. It may hybridize with the eastern turkey, where the ranges of the two subspecies overlap.

Gould’s wild turkey (M. gallopavo mexicana) is found in extreme southern Arizona and New Mexico and into northern Mexico. It resembles the Merriam’s subspecies, but has a bluish green sheen and a white-tipped tail. The population is stable.

Habitat – Turkeys are birds of the big woods. An individual bird requires from a few hundred to more than a thousand acres of ground with a combination of trees for roosting, a reliable water source and an open feeding area. In spring and summer, when the birds are nesting and raising broods, they seek openings in or alongside the woods, with dense, grassy cover at least 3 feet high. In winter, they prefer more densely wooded habitat.

Birds in the East generally inhabit dense, mixed-hardwood forests and river bottomlands adjacent to agricultural lands. Birds in the West and South prefer pine and oak forests near streams. Florida birds are found in oak and pine woods, palmetto flats and cypress bottomlands.

Wild turkeys move seasonally between nesting and wintering areas, but seldom travel more than two miles. In mountainous areas, wild turkeys occupy higher elevations in spring and summer, and lower elevations in fall and winter, sometimes moving as much as forty miles between ranges.

Food – Wild turkeys eat mostly plant material, including fruits, acorns and other nuts, small grains, and the seeds, shoots and roots of grasses and various other plants. They also eat many types of insects, small amphibians and even lizards. Turkeys generally fly down from roosting trees to feed in early morning, and return to the trees in the evening.

Breeding – Toms start their breeding displays in early spring while still gathered in flocks in the wintering areas. With tail fanned, feathers fluffed and wing tips dragging, the tom struts boldly while emitting low-pitched hums. He repeats this display, coupled with the characteristic gobble call, until he attracts a hen. The most dominant toms breed with the majority of hens, continuing to display after each mated hen goes off to nest. By late spring, breeding is nearly complete and the male’s display begins to taper off. The hen becomes very secretive at nesting time, distancing herself from other hens. The nest site is usually under or near a log, bush or clump of vegetation. She scrapes a shallow depression, lines it with leaves and twigs, then lays 8 to 14 buff-colored brown-speckled eggs, which hatch in about 27 days. The young poults grow quickly and can make short flights within 8 to 10 days.

Social Interaction – Wild turkeys gather in wintering flocks that range from less than a dozen to several hundred birds. In spring, just before the mating season, this large flock divides into three sexually segregated groups: one consisting of hens, another of jakes and a third of toms. In the latter, a single tom emerges to do most of the breeding.

turkey in winter mode

Because of restoration efforts by wildlife management agencies, North America has more wild turkeys now than it did during pre-settlement days.

Hunting – In states where there’s an early fall season, good turkey-hunting land has grasses and brush to support insect life, for at this time of year, both the adults and the juveniles may still be eating quantities of insects. In the spring, too, good habitat usually has some brush or swampy places. And regardless of season, there must be ponds, creeks, seeps, or swamps to provide water. Whether a hunt is in fall, winter, or spring, most of the best spots have stands of hardwoods that supply mast-acorns, beechnuts, or hazelnuts. Where these favorite foods are lacking, however, conifer seeds are heavily utilized. But bear in mind that at some times of year or in some regions, mast may be scarce or absent, and very different foods will attract turkeys: chufa grass, sumac, wild grapes, dogwood, ragweed, and all sorts of berries. Though wary, the birds will also come to farmlands for corn, sorghum, or oats.

Specific foods and feeding periods are most important during a fall hunt, when sexual attraction won’t keep the gobblers moving about or draw them as eagerly to a call that sounds like a hen’s yelp. Although turkeys feed intermittently throughout the day, and you might find them in the woods at any time, they forage most intensively for a couple of hours after dawn and before dusk, and those are the best hunting times.

A productive area must have appropriate roosts as well as foods. Turkeys prefer to spend the night in tall trees, usually more than 60 feet high and situated on a ridge or at the edge of a clearing so that no obstructions will interfere with emergency flight. In most regions they like oaks, cottonwoods, pines, spruces, and firs. In parts of the South they roost in cypresses over water (a natural moat to impede the approach of any predators). Sometimes they use the same trees for several successive nights. Even though turkeys can frequently change roosts, roosting sign is worth looking for because these birds usually stay within a fairly small area throughout the year.

Roosting sign is composed of molted feathers and quantities of droppings. A hen’s scat is looped, spiraled, or bulbous; a tom’s is longer and straighter, with a knobby twist at one end. Near roosts and in foraging areas, you may also find the big triple-toed tracks, sometimes more than six inches long. If a footprint is more than 4 1/2 inches long, a mature tom probably made it, and if the stride is over 11 1/2 inches long, it was almost certainly made by a mature tom. Also watch for scratching and digging in mast where the birds have been foraging. Another worthwhile kind of sign consists of dusting spots. These are shallow ovals, not easy to spot but sometimes marked by feathers, droppings, or tracks. Favored places for dusting are under sumacs or small trees and beside logs or burned brush. In scouting for such sign or for the birds themselves pay attention to old roadsides and trails, which the birds sometimes use not only for dusting and gritting but also for easy traveling between foraging areas.

A primary hunting method in the fall is to locate and scatter a flock (which is apt to be composed of hens and juveniles) and then call. The birds are listening for one another as they regroup, and calling will often lure one into view of your hiding spot. To locate a flock, hunters generally scout for scratching and the other kinds of sign described in mast high up on slopes, atop ridges, and on high flats.

There are more methods than you ordinarily see described in of the magazine articles that tend to emphasize the drama of calling. For example, as you scout for a flock in woods known to hold turkeys, it pays to stop occasionally, hide, and call, even if you’ve neither seen nor heard any indication of birds. This is because other hunters may already have scattered a nearby flock, in which case you have a good chance of calling in a bird.

The proper calling sounds to rally scattered turkeys in the fall are the big clucking, gobbling, and trilling. There are instructional records and tapes, as well as numerous books, to help you learn the right sounds to use both in fall and spring.

Another autumn method is to still-hunt, pretty much as you would for deer. In its pure form, this technique isn’t very productive. That is, a hunter doesn’t often get a shot at a bird spied while he slowly stalks through the woods. But if the still-hunter gets no shot during his stop-and-go progress, he can occasionally hide and call for a while, or he may find sign or even get a glimpse of a distant bird, and he can then wait on stand, either calling or just watching and waiting. Still-hunting is best in bottomlands where there’s screening brush, and on brushy slopes. When working the slopes, move to the summits every few hundred yards to scan the opposite hillsides. Good ‘Stands are generally near the edges of fields or clearings, or overlooking small, openly wooded valleys, or near old roads, trails, or burns.

It pays to scout a turkey area thoroughly, then go on stand near a roost well before sunrise. The birds may start calling while it’s still dark, and they’ll probably begin moving at first light. If you don’t take a turkey from such a stand in the early morning, you can try again very late in the afternoon-just in case a turkey goes to roost early.

You must be concealed when you go on stand. You’ll probably find plenty of natural blinds-logs, boulders, blowdowns, clumps of brush, etc. but it’s not a bad idea to pack along a roll of camouflage netting to improve such blinds. Sometimes, too, you can enhance a natural blind with fallen branches, brush, and twigs.

Camouflage apparel is also a great help. Most hunters wear a camouflage-pattern jacket, pants, and hat. Some wear a camouflage face-net or mask, or blacken their faces and hands with burnt cork, or apply camouflage grease paint, which is available at many archery-equipment outlets and some general sporting-goods stores. A few hunters go further, wearing camouflage gloves and even camouflage-pattern shoes or boots.

The basic types of store-bought calls are boxes with hinged handles, boxes with separate strikers, tubes, slates, box or wingbone suction calls, aluminum-groove calls and diaphragm yelpers. Some are more popular (or traditional) than others in various regions. The diaphragm type takes some practice to make it sound right, but it has the advantage of leaving both your hands free, and it can be quite realistic. It’s a vibration device, worked between your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

In the spring hunting season, sexually receptive hens call to any available males by uttering rather plaintive yelps, which sound something like keowk, keowk. This is the most basic and frequently effective call. It isn’t the only sound you need. When flying from a roost, turkeys sometimes yelp more softly, and they often cluck and trill while feeding. An imitation of these calls isn’t important (though it might attract a gobbler’s attention) but once in a while such sounds may help you locate birds. More important is the gobbling and yodeling of the males-sounds used to warn other males away and respond to calling females. The basic gobbling sound might be described as a high, throaty gl-obble-obble-obble, sometimes preceded by or combined with a more yodel- grrrrddle sound.

Calling is usually best when there’s little or no breeze. When rustling wind can cover the sound of approaching predators, turkeys remain still and hidden. On calm days they’re active, and their gobbling can sometimes be heard at a distance of more than half a mile.

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse – Bonasa umbellus

Organizations:

Ruffed Grouse Society providing grouse habitat management and information
Magazine about grouse and other upland bird hunting – www.uplandalmanac.com

Ruffed Grouse DescriptionLearn how to identify Ruffed Grouse, its life history, cool fact

-The ruffed grouse is identified by its tail with a black band near the end and the patch of feathers “ruffs” on the neck.

The birds have two distinct color phases, both of which may occur in the same family. The red phase predominates in the southern part of the range; the gray phase, in the northern part and at high altitudes. Red-phase birds have a mottled, brownish body and chestnut-colored tail. Gray-phase birds have a mottled, grayish body and gray tail.

Males are identified by the unbroken black tail band. In females, this band is less distinct on the central two feathers (below). On both sexes, the legs are feathered down to the base of the toes. Juveniles resemble adults by fall, although they are slightly smaller. For further descriptions of Grouse click on Ruffed Grouse Society Ruffed Grouse facts or check out Ruffed Grouse identification tips from the USGS

Ruffed Grouse Size – Adults measure 17 to 20 inches long and weigh 1 to 1 1/2 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females.

Ruffed Grouse Habitat

– Found throughout most of Canada and Alaska through the northern continental United States as far south as Georgia. They are border animals – that is they are mostly found in mixed-age woodlands with a combination of aspen, alder and birch intermixed with evergreens such as hemlock and pine. In the southern part of the range, the birds are found in woodlands with evergreen shrubs, such as holly, mountain laurel and rhododendron. Click on Grouse habitat management to learn how to make your land grouse friendly. Additional habitat information can be found at:

Ruffed Grouse habitat Management at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Ruffed Grouse habitat Management at the Department of Fish and Wildlife publication A Landowner’s Guide to Wildlife Habitat Management for Vermont Woodlands

Ruffed Grouse information and habitat management from Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife

Grouse Movement

– These birds spend their lives in a very small area usually no more than 50 or so acres. In early fall, however, young birds dispersing from their family may move miles away, an activity sometimes called the fall shuffle.

Ruffed Grouse Food

– Ruffed grouse feed on the fruits and buds of a wide variety of trees and shrubs. Populations are highest in areas with plenty of aspens – preferably older male trees, since these offer the most nutritious buds.

Ruffed Grouse Breeding

– Males establish territories in early spring, when the snow begins to melt. To attract a mate, the male finds a perch on logs, rocks, ground humps etc. and drums by making a series of wing beats that begins slowly and gradually accelerates. The sound travels over a distance and sound something like – thump….thump…thump, then the wing beating becomes fast like a lawnmower engine starting.

After breeding, the hen nests in a wooded area where there is a dense canopy to protect against hawks and owls and an open nderstory to let her spot approaching predators. She lays 8 to 14 buff-colored eggs in a shallow depression, usually against the base of a tree or in a clump of brush. The eggs hatch in about 24 days, and the chicks remain with the hen for 3 to 4 months before dispersing m the fall.

Information on the physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, and conservation of ruffed grouse.Ruffed Grouse Social Interaction

– Ruffed grouse do not form coveys like quail. However, small groups may be found around a food source. In the winter, birds often group together to snow roost -diving into fluffy snow to keep warm and evade predators. Ruffed grouse are not particularly vocal, but females may cluck softly and sometimes squeal to warn chicks of danger, and both sexes may hiss to defend their territory.

Ruffed Grouse Population

– Cyclical. In much of their range, ruffed grouse undergo 7 -10 year population cycles. Numbers in good years may be 15 times higher than in poor years.

Ruffed Grouse

Hunting – Grouse hunters often speak of snap-shooting-meaning that a ruffed grouse may flush so fast, so unexpectedly, that there’s no time for the kind of gun-swing that’s effective in most kinds of wingshooting. Instead, you snap the gun up and fire instantly, instinctively, as the muzzle passes the target. For this, you need a light, fast-handling shotgun that fits you well and doesn’t tend to get caught in brush or branches as you bring it up.

When hunting with a dog, particular attention must be paid to pick the right “four-legged” partner. The chief attribute of a good grouse dog is a nose so sharp that the animal freezes into a staunch point at a mere whiff of grouse before getting close enough to flush the bird. The next most important attribute is the habit of working close to the gun, combined with a willingness and learned ability to obey commands. Although some hunters feel that a fast-moving pointer pins birds more effectively than a slow one, you don’t want a wide-ranging quail dog for grouse because that kind of pointer will merely bump birds out of range or beyond screening foliage where you won’t even see them dodge away. The third most important attribute is visible “birdiness.” Some dogs give little or no sign that game is near until almost ready to point. Others become excited enough to alert you in advance, and this is a big help with grouse.

Since a grouse dog must work close to the gun, grouse hunters are inclined to take special care in training their dogs. It isn’t that they use any unique training methods but that they use the conventional ones more thoroughly. Any young dog that works too independently of the gun (or an older one in need of refresher lessons) may be slowed down by attaching a heavy chain or even a sash weight to his collar. This can be an especially needed corrective with a dog to be used for grouse hunting.

In winter, grouse often burrow completely under the snow, or sometimes they burrow partway down in a sheltered spot beneath a low umbrella of vegetation such as rhododendron. The legs of these birds are feathered almost to the toes, and at this time of year, the toes themselves are fringed with rods of cuticle called penctinations, which provide support on snow and are shed in the spring. This enables grouse to walk quite well on snow.

When hunting on a snow, you may occasionally see a little oblong crater where a grouse has landed. From there, try to follow its wide 2 ¼ or 2 ½ inch-long, three-pronged tracks. Each left or right print is placed rather precisely in front of the previous one. The bird may have taken off again, leaving only wing prints in the snow at the trail’s end, or the trail may give out in tangles of brush or clear ground beneath overhangs. But once in a while, you may follow to where a grouse has dug in. If there’s considerable snow on the ground, try to mark down any bird you move as precisely as you can. Working on snow, your dog might otherwise have trouble locating it for a second flush. Or perhaps you’re hunting without a dog. Either way, following the tracks can be worthwhile. For Ruffed grouse seasons and bag limits click to STATE AGENCIES on our site.

Magazine – www.uplandalmanac.com

Click on South Dakota Division of Wildlife to read about Grouse hunting in South Dakota.

Click on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to read about Grouse hunting in the TOP grouse hunting state

Click on Maine Hunting Guides to book a hunting trip for Grouse in Maine

Click on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to read about Sharp-tail Grouse Hunting in Wisconsin – a great state to be in

Click on New York DEC to read about Grouse Hunting in New York

Ten Tips For Finding A Good Guide

The vast majority of fishing and hunting guides are honest, hardworking, dedicated folks who have chosen to earn their living in one of the world’s toughest, most competitive and physically demanding professions. Because the only thing of true value any guide has to sell is their reputation, most will work as hard as they know how to see to it that you get the trip you want. Oddly enough though, with all of that hard working competition out there to choose from it can be difficult for a prospective client to find the right guide. The following ten tips are for picking a guide. Although these tips are couched in terms of finding a fishing guide they will work just as well for picking a hunting guide or outfitter.

Be Honest

Try to keep in mind that picking a guide is a two-way street. It’s important that you provide each prospective guide with all of the necessary personal information they’ll need to see to it that you get the trip you want. What kind of fishing are you looking for? Do you want to take meat home or will you be satisfied with catch and release? What’s your level of experience and/or competency? This is critical. I am constantly surprised at the number of clients who want to fly fish for salmon or steelhead, who tell me they are good fly casters and then turn out to have last held a fly rod ten or fifteen years ago. Most good, competent guides will be happy to either teach a novice or offer tips or even a quick refresher course to someone who is a little rusty on their casting, be it with a fly rod or a level wind reel or even spinning gear. But it helps to know this in advance. If for no other reason than to assure that the guide allows a little extra time at the start of the day to help you iron out those bumps in your technique. Do you have a medical condition or physical limitations the guide should know about? There are few things as frustrating to a guide as getting a client out on the water only to find out there is a limitation they weren’t aware of that will likely affect the day’s plan. I’ll give you an example: I recently booked a trip with a father and his ten year-old son for a day of salmon and steelhead fishing from a driftboat. Because the river had been getting a lot of pressure over the preceding several days and to assure we were in position in my favorite early morning hole I had them show up well before first light. I even went so far as to explain that while it would still be dark, we’d only be rowing a few yards from the boat ramp before setting the anchor. It wasn’t until the boat was in the water that the father informed me that his son had “an active imagination” and flatly refused to ever go on the water before first light. As a result, we stood around in the dark until the young man was comfortable enough with the light level to climb in the boat. I really wish the father had explained his sons’ aversion to being on the water in the dark before we got there. We could have all gotten another hours’ sleep that morning.

Friends and Relatives

This is usually the best way to find a guide. Find someone you know who has fished or hunted the area you intend to visit and ask them for a referral. Be sure, though, that they were looking for a trip and circumstances similar to you.

Referrals

By all means ask any prospective guide for referrals. Any good, professional guide should be prepared to provide you with a list of satisfied customers. But don’t stop with the list they so gladly provide. Ask for the names and phone numbers of at least a few clients they’ve had who didn’t catch fish. It’s all well and good to talk to clients who’ve had successful days but a more telling piece of information is talking with those that didn’t. No guide catches fish absolutely every day. Talk to a few clients who happened to be there on one of those days. Would they, or have they, booked with that guide again? Would they recommend the guide to friends or family? In the long run, these folks will often give you a better idea about the guide than clients who do catch fish. Don’t limit your questions of referrals to just ‘did you catch fish?’. You also need to know a few other things; Was the guide courteous? Not just to the client but to other boaters, anglers and anyone else on the water that day? Was the equipment adequate for the task? Were the equipment and the boat in good repair and well maintained? Was the boat clean? Was the bait fresh?

The Internet

The proliferation of fishing and hunting web sites on the internet is amazing. I honestly don’t believe there is a type of fishing or hunting or a fishing or hunting destination that can’t be located on the internet today. There are, however, a couple of pitfalls to watch for when using a search engine to help your fingers do the walking. Be sure you start your search with specifics. Either start with a particular state, province or foreign country and go from there or, better still, begin with the location and the type of experience you’re looking for.

Licenses and Insurance

Is your prospective guide properly licensed? It is truly amazing the number of purported “guides” that aren’t. In every state I am aware of an integral part of the licensing procedure for guides requires proof of a minimum amount of liability insurance. While this amount varies from state to state, they all require it. As a client you have a right to expect that your guide is doing business within the laws or regulations established by the state they are working in. Part of that is providing insurance coverage. While the chances of an accident occurring while with a guide are statistically negligible, it doesn’t hurt to know they are covered in the rare event something happens. Throughout much of the United States guides must be licensed by the US Coast Guard, in addition to any state requirements, if they use a motorized vessel. This requirement can vary widely and need not be consistent on every waterway in a state. For example, in Kentucky and Tennessee some lakes require a guide to be Coast Guard licensed while others do not. Oregon, on the other hand, requires a Coast Guard license if a motorized vessel is used on any bay or any navigable river. A word of caution; any prospective guide who hesitates or refuses to provide answers to any legitimate question you have about licensing probably has a reason they are not more forthcoming. You might want to take it as a hint and continue your search.

What Is Included?

Be sure you understand exactly what is included in the price you are paying. Whether it’s a one week remote guided fishing trip in Alaska or a day on your local lake, be sure you and your guide both understand exactly what you are getting. On a simple one day fishing trip any good, professional experienced guide should provide all of the necessary tackle, gear and bait as a basic minimum. On the other hand that extended remote trip up the Amazon or on an Alaskan river should include more. Most local guides, regardless of the area you are fishing in, do not as a normal course of events include either lunch or fishing licenses as a part of their daily trips. However, some do. And, understandably, they charge more than another guide in the same area targeting the same species. Most Alaskan lodges, for example, include the price of transportation from a destination city in Alaska to and from their lodge.

Discounts And Package Deals

There is a world of difference between a discount and a package deal. Generally speaking a discount is offered to individuals, or more commonly to groups, willing to book more than one day with a guide. Package deals on the other hand usually have a discount already figured into them. Again, generally speaking, discounts are negotiable while package price deals are not. Many guides offer discounts ranging from as low as five percent to as high as twenty percent to either individuals or groups who are willing to book multiple consecutive days with them. This is a good deal for both parties. The client can realize a considerable savings while the guide doesn’t have to worry about booking each of those days with different groups. It saves you money and the guide time and effort. If the web site or brochure you look at doesn’t mention discounts it’s a good idea to ask the guide directly. Like most business people guides can be reluctant to advertise any discount at all on their basic rate. On the other hand, and particularly in the case of multiple consecutive days, most guides recognize the value inherent in discounts and will negotiate with you.

People Skills

This may seem silly, but more than one day of good fishing has been ruined simply because a guide and client couldn’t get along. A good deal of what any good guide does hasn’t anything to do with fishing. It has to do with being able to read people and adjust their personality to fit the client. This is a vital but often overlooked skill. A phone conversation or two can tell both parties, the client and the guide, whether or not their personalities are likely to mesh. Call your guide get to know a little bit about them before you first set foot in the boat. If nothing else, you will have established a personal relationship to one degree or another before ever actually meeting.

Business History

How long has your prospective guide been in business? Is this their first year of guiding or their twentieth? Do they, or have they, guided anywhere else – say, Alaska, for instance? How broad is their experience? Is their expertise limited to just one style or technique or are they versatile in many? While not an absolute measure of whether you’ll catch fish, it is probably safe to assume that a guide with more experience is likely to produce more for you than one with less. Having said that however, don’t reject a guide simply because they may lack years of experience. Many younger guides come to the business having grown up in families who fished and hunted. They may also have relatives in the business with whom they apprenticed

Sex – That’s Right, Sex

Please don’t fail to hire a guide simply because they are female. While it’s true that guiding has traditionally been a man’s business that simply isn’t true any more. Many of the finest, most experienced and professional fishing and hunting guides are women. Guiding isn’t necessarily about strength or burly toughness. Fishing guides, in particular, are defined more by experience, awareness of ones’ surroundings, being attuned to changes in the fishing environment, a willingness to change tactics as the situation requires and an ability to successfully deal with all sorts of people. Often, these are skills that women possess to at least (and many would say to a greater) degree than men.

Experience Counts

Having a knowledgeable guide to help you find that once-in-a-lifetime fish can turn even a cold, rainy day into a memory you’ll treasure forever.