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Outfitter Review - Yellowstone Mountain Guides

Submit Date: Nov 27, 2006

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Yellowstone Mountain Guides

Outfitter / Contact: Terry Search

Location: Montana, USA

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: Elk

Game Quality: None

Game Quantity: None

Accomodations: Great if set properly

Camp Condition: Good

Food Quality: Excellent

Guide Experience: Good

Other Personal Experience: OK

Review Information

Hunter: John Shafer



Would Recommend: Never

Overall Impression: HORRIBLE

Before the hunt even started my son and I was supposed to go together for his graduation present from me to him. Opening day on a Montana back country Elk hunt. Great gift I thought. I sent a deposit for the both of us but then my son broke his leg and could not attend so the main guide moved up someone from the previous week to take his spot. My hunt started by the main guide was two hours late in picking us up to go to camp. We ride horses for four hours only to show up to camp and the camp is completely in shambles. We had to help in re-doing camp in a snow storm. Did not even get any dinner that night because of the condition of camp. That night it dropped to about 0 degrees F and none of the wood in camp would light. I thought I had frost bite. I placed all my big clothes on and started running in camp to warm up. My toes were actually stuck together. After two days of only seeing a squirrel alive then main guide should have known that the Elk had moved out, even our guide thought we should not be there. On the 4th day we got up to a snow storm and got on our horses to travel for about two hours, the main guide then made a fire to warm up and dry off and also to wait for the storm to slow down. When we decided to finally hunt the decision was made to drive Elk. I opted to take the high road, one to sit, one to take the middle and the last to take middle. Anyway I walked in knee deep snow for about 4 hours and no one saw anything. I physically could not walk much more and I am in shape. I mean at home I run three days a week, play sports three days a week, lift weights two days a week, etc. We got on our horses to go back to camp and when I arrived back at camp, I got off my horse and all of a sudden I completely cramped up from my waist down. I had to do so serious stretching to be able to walk. When I did I got into my tent and when I went to hang up something I got so dizzy that I fell down, I could not even close my eyes because everything was still spinning. I started to vomit and also had tunnel vision. My tent mate kept the fire going all night and then kept checking on me. The main guide did check on me a couple of times. I vomited only once more. No one knew what it was. I mean this has never happened to me and I was actually going to go to the emergency room when I got down if it kept happening. During this time, the main guide used his cell phone to call a ranch that he was leasing to make arrangements to take the next week’s hunters to this ranch because there were no animals up here. When he got off the phone my tent mate and I asked about this ranch and the guide stated that he leases this ranch so the hunt is a little more money but just about guaranteed to get at least a cow. We asked how much it would cost us to go to this ranch and get a cow. The guide stated $100 extra so we both stated that if I could go then we would pay it. We stated that we would leave a day early and go to this ranch that is if I could make it there. I still felt a little weird because he did not charge the next group of hunters any more money then what we paid for a camp hunt. I got up the next day and felt good enough to get down and by that time everyone in camp was ready to leave a day early. My tent mate decided that he did not want to go to the ranch but I really wanted to. We got down to the trucks and before I left I asked the guide what should I do to go to the ranch, he stated to give him a little bit of time and then to call him. I told him that I did have a ranch to go to but that I would rent a truck and get a hotel instead of going to the ranch this way I can get to the ranch quicker. The rental was expensive and the hotel was not cheap either. Anyway I gave him an extra hour and then started to call. I left him three messages on his cell and two messages at his home. The last one would have been at 9:30 pm. I never heard from him at all until about two days later, when I was at the next ranch hunting Mule Deer and Antelope, and then when I did talk to him he was going to charge me another full priced hunt instead of the $100 that he agreed to. UNBELIEVEABLE!!!! So not only did I not see any Elk, I also got frost bite, had to set up my own camp, rented a truck and a hotel for nothing, got lied to about being able to shoot a cow on a private ranch for a $100 dollars but instead going to be charged a full hunt, and the worst thing is that I had must of had altitude sickness, based on my research when I got home, which I guess I could of died form. The next symptom for altitude sickness after the tunnel vision and vomiting is brain swelling and death. Someone should definitely know how to diagnose this and be ready for treatment ASAP. Everyone knows that you can not expect top see an Elk let alone shoot one but having a guide set up arrangements for the next group of hunters at a private ranch just sucked. Why did he not take us there after the second day?? Why lie to me about the hundred dollars?? I hope that my son's broken leg had nothing to do with it, like maybe a revenge thing. I am actually a fishing guide back home and I would not stay in an area if the fish were not biting let alone call and make plans for the next group at another really good stocked spot for the next day. Give me a break. Looking back now I am glad my son could not attend because if he had he would probably never go again.

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