"What I Expect from a
Hunt. . .
. . . By Ted
"Wayne and his team are world-class woodmasters and run one of the
finest hunting operations to be found anywhere. They put their heart
and soul into their hunts to provide the very best experience for
their hunters. Ted tested, Ted approved. Wayne is a BloodBrother."
-- Ted Nugent
I hunt because I am a hunter. A primal urge broils throughout my entire being, driving me to flex my ultimate independence through self sufficiency and rugged individualism. Killing the ultimate fresh, pure, natural health food for my family is job one for this American husband and father. Plus the invigorating challenge and discipline that is every hunt provides the most strengthening medicine for the soul. Before an arrow is loosed or a cartridge ignited, the spirit of the hunt feeds the inner being the most incendiary fuel known to man.
Bear hunting bloodbrothers, Wayne and Ted,
making plans for Ted's bear hunt
I crave it all. I am CraveMan.
Since I could walk beyond the pavement, I've stumbled along, following my father and other great outdoorsmen, only to learn by trial and error the demanding and unforgiving ways of the wild. For more years than I wish to admit, I bumbled along like a city kid with two left legs and no radar whatsoever. I've come a long way baby.
And since the American Dream is about being the very best that we can be, I've come to demand nothing short of the best from my own personal performance as a hunter. Since the rewards of each hunt will be determined by conscientious dedication, preparation and advance planning, I have come to demand this same measure of excellence from those I hunt with, particularly those commercial guides and outfitters that we pay our hard earned money and dedicate our ever so rare time available to, in order to maximize the positives of our sacred time afield.
And believe you me, there are good, bad and ugly running wild out there when it comes to hunting operations. Some people simply cannot be trusted. Meanwhile, there are also the best of the best. It's just a matter of finding out who is who. If you think a successful hunt is a result of a higher level of awareness, it's also where we go and who with that makes or breaks that magic season.
Ted the bear skinner, assisting
a bloodbrother and Maine guide Foggy Mountain Frank.
And that is why many years ago I created Sunrize Safaris. So many people have witnessed me rave about the joys of my hunting lifestyle on radio, TV, stage and in print, that somehow I became the clearing house for many people interested in experiencing that dynamo of which I raved. Having been taken advantage of myself to my great consternation, I figured if a goofball guitar player can set up a hunt to run smoothly and successfully, why not demand that quality control from every hunting operation? Why not indeed. Demand away.
You will see Sunrize Safaris promote and advertise many different hunting outfits around the world that I personally have come to respect through hands-on experimentation. And because a man is no better than his reputation and word, I put the screws to these outfits to make sure my fellow hunters get exactly what is expected, promised and simply fair.
No one can "guarantee" a kill, but with hard work, experience, and conscientious forethought, there is no reason that a paying hunter shouldn't expect maximum effort and honesty.
The basics can be guaranteed when it comes to warm, clean, dry accommodations, quality food and game rich hunting grounds. Proper stand setups are not rocket science, and though conditions, wind, and weather can change things in a heartbeat, adaptability is also part of what we must expect from a professional outfitter and guide. Like a good U.S. Marine, hunters and guides must improvise, overcome and adapt. Semper Fi.
Let's take the basics of bowhunting. I would demand from my guide and outfitter the same effort I put into my own hunts and the hunts that I book and guide through Sunrize Safaris.
Diligent, up to date advance scouting, properly chosen and concealed stand placement with prevailing winds in our favor. I want my treestand
in a heavy, thick, natural silhouette breaking position where I can
shoot off my left shoulder at undisturbed game. I want a shot within
20 yards at unalarmed critters. I want an approach route to my stand
that will not alert or disturb wildlife. I don't mind walking, but
not more than a mile from a vehicle, while at the same time, I don't
want to be close to human activities unless of course it is a proven
I want knowledgeable assistants who
know how to handle and process my game without spoilage to meat,
hides and trophies. I expect a guide, vehicle and camp that are
scent conscious, not reeking of smoke, fuel, aftershave or bait. I
expect my guide to know the essentiality of stealth and quiet.
I want to have fun, but I also know
how important it is to get plenty of quality rest in order to be the
most efficient predator I can be. I don't need any all night
partying at camp. There is a time and place for that, and it sure as
hell isn't at deer, bear or elk camp. I want quality food, fresh,
well prepared and served hot in a clean environment. I'm all for
rugged wilderness settings, but clean, well stocked and organized is
beneficial to the overall experience and keeps us in top hunting
Then there are legalities. Our research and references should determine without any doubt the comprehensive legal considerations required of us, our guide, outfitter and camp setup. Our guide must have all his licenses, permits, tags and all other legal requirements covered to a T. A call to regional wildlife agencies is important as well for a detailed scouring of the states' or regions' game laws for the year. Nothing ruins our sacred hunt more painfully than a cross with the law.
Be prepared. Do your homework, make it perfectly clear what you expect, ask as many hard questions as you can come up with, and don't be afraid to grill 'em before you commit. Forewarned is forearmed and let the buyer beware.