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If you’re like most hunters, the off-season is the best time to prepare for your next trophy elk hunting adventure. A myriad of steps need to be taken during the preparation process, from purchasing equipment to the location of the hunt. One of the biggest decisions a hunter has to make every year is whether or not to choose an outfitter for their experience. Some hunters choose to hunt on public lands without a guide and later regret it. In order to avoid the disappointment of coming home empty-handed, it’s important to make an informed decision. With that, here are the top 5 reasons that people choose guided elk hunts over DIY hunts.

1. A guided hunt is an experience unlike any other.

Guided hunts are much more than just the trophy bull. When you book an all-inclusive guided hunt on a private ranch, you’re paying for the entire adventure, which includes lodging, meals, licenses, a shot opportunity, field dressing, and—in some cases—complete privacy. Select hunting ranches provide their guests with thousands of acres to themselves for an even more exclusive experience. After all, how many hunters can say that they hunted an entire week on public land without seeing another human being?

Perhaps the most important part of any guided hunt is the guide. A seasoned guide can transform any trophy elk hunt into something unforgettable. As someone who has spent countless hours acquainting themselves with the land, the animals, local regulations, outdoor survival techniques, and the ins and outs of elk hunting, a guide isn’t just important—they are invaluable. With a professional guide behind the scenes through every step leading up to the kill shot, the guided hunt is truly an experience unlike any other.

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2. Out-of-state hunting made simple.

On your own, hunting beyond state borders can be difficult, even overwhelming. Rules and regulations on big game hunting vary from state to state, unfamiliar terrain can be difficult to traverse, and there’s no guarantee you’ll find a mature bull when you’re hunting out-of-state. Not only that, hunting out of state is time-consuming. Between researching harvest reports, finding travel routes, scouting new land, and actually hunting, the entire process can take weeks, with no promise of results. Guided hunting is the perfect way to expand your hunting horizons without the uncertainty and wasted time.

3. Guided hunts yield high quality animals.

The trophy elk on a guided hunt are generally of a higher caliber than those on public land, bred for record-breaking size and score. Hunters don’t have to settle for a poor bull; guided hunts allow them to see and shoot massive, mature trophy bulls that can be proudly displayed above the fireplace.

4. Guaranteed shot opportunity.

You know better than most —there’s nothing worse than spending weeks or months planning and scouting your DIY hunt only to come home empty-handed. Guided hunts eliminate that problem completely with shot opportunity guarantees. Hunters have a once-in-a-lifetime experience and can rest easy knowing that a bull will make its way into the scope at least once throughout the hunt. Note: not all hunting outfitters offer a guaranteed shot opportunity, so make sure to do your research before booking.

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5. Guided elk hunts are suitable for hunters of any skill level.

With public lands oversaturated with locals and lifelong hunters during elk season, novices often find themselves outmatched, particularly their first time around. A guided hunt allows beginners to experience the exhilaration of an elk hunt without the intimidation and frustration of hunting on public land. However, while it may be beginner-friendly, don’t get us wrong: taking down a trophy bull is no trivial task, even on a private ranch. Experienced hunters find guided hunts to be both challenging and rewarding, giving them the chance to perfect their marksmanship and scouting skills in a comfortable environment.

Not only are guided hunts an unforgettable experience for hunters of any skill level, they also cater to hunters of different weapon selections. From rifle to bowhunting, most guided hunts can be built to fit every hunter’s preference.

West Canyon Ranch

As you can see, guided elk hunts offer a variety of advantages over traditional hunts on public land. From the animal quality to the experience itself, hunters everywhere are seeking out guided hunts more and more. At West Canyon Ranch, we pride ourselves on providing a guided hunt that is second to none. With gourmet meals prepared by a private chef, impeccable lodging, expert guides, and more, we can guarantee an adventure that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Visit our website or contact us today to schedule your next guided elk hunt.