Guided Whitetail Deer Hunting

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Bruce

Picking A Guide For A Whitetail Deer Hunt

If you are going to plan a guided whitetail deer hunting trip; here are items and useful information that you will want to consider and research for your benefit. Your main considerations are; when to go on your guided deer hunt, where do you want to hunt for that trophy whitetail deer, what weapon will you use, and how do you go about picking a good trophy deer hunting guide?

A whitetail deer hunt is a great opportunity to spend time in nature and harvest an animal that provides good meat. There are many considerations when choosing the right guide for a whitetail deer hunt. Price, experience, location, and accommodations are all important factors to consider when making this decision. 

Our Hunter Safety Test Answer article includes test questions about deer hunting here. 

Planning your next deer hunt and don’t know where to start?

Picking the right guide can seem daunting, but with the right information, it’s easy to choose the perfect outfitter. When choosing a guide, there are several factors you’ll want to consider. Here are four tips to help you pick the best guide for your next whitetail deer hunt. 

Whether you’re an experienced hunter or just getting started, picking the right guide is important for a successful and safe hunt. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to planning an unforgettable hunting trip. Happy hunting!

What is Whitetail Deer Hunting?

Whitetail deer hunting is also known as a deer hunt or simply the practice of hunting deer. Whitetail hunts are typically undertaken for food and/or recreation. In addition to essential equipment such as a firearm and a bow, hunters may need other items to successfully be able to take down their targets, such as camouflage and other things to make the hunter less visible.

Whitetail deer hunting is a sport where hunters get together to track and often kill a whitetail deer. This animal, which is also known as a North American Deer, can be found throughout the United States. The best time for this activity is in the fall months when the weather is changing. Understanding what each guide has to offer is the key to having a great time on your next whitetail deer hunt.

What to look for when choosing a guide?

When choosing a guide, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration. Even if you know nothing about hunting, being able to determine how important each factor is will help you find the guide that’s right for you.


The first thing you’ll want to consider is how much the hunting trip will cost. Not all hunts are created equal and prices can range from $500 per day for a group of people to more than $10,000 per day.


The experience level of the guide and his past clients is another important factor. Hunting knowledge is very important and it reflects directly on the number of years a guide has been around. If possible, try to talk to other people who have used that guide before or ask how many deer he has harvested in his career.


Some states require hunters to pay for special licenses which can cost upwards of $100 per day, but other states like Alabama do not require this. However, having a hunting license will let you take part in any kind of hunt within the state which will make things much easier for you because guides who operate in different states might ask for proof of your license before taking you on any hunts.


Deer hunts also come with different amenities and it’s important to be clear about what you’re getting into before committing. If you’re not comfortable sharing a room or plan on bringing your family, make sure that the guide provides this type of service. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, ensure that the guide will accommodate your needs.

What does a Deer Hunt include?

Deer hunts can include the use of a rifle or bow. If you decide to go on a deer hunt, make sure that the type of weapon is one that you’re comfortable using. New hunters will likely want to stick to rifles while more experienced hunters may feel inclined towards bows.   As mentioned before, guides are not all-inclusive and it’s important to compare their services.

*Note: All of the information in this article is for educational purposes only. You should never hunt without consulting hunting regulations or seeking out a guide. It is also recommended that you check with your local authorities regarding licensing, permits, weapon types, etc. before beginning your hunt. Always make sure that you comply with your state’s hunting laws.

How to choose the right outfitter?

Choosing the right outfitter means finding a reputable company on whom you can depend for your hunting trip.

Outfitters are companies, or groups of people, that provide different services to hunters including transportation to and from stand locations, access to areas where hunting is allowed, equipment, etc. Before signing up with an outfitter, make sure you know what they plan to provide and if the type of hunt that they offer is right for you.

What to expect on your hunt?

Your hunting experience will depend on the type of outfitter that you use and what you’re trying to accomplish. While most hunts include transportation to and from stand locations, different outfitters spend time meeting with their clients beforehand so they can determine a strategy for the hunt. The services provided by an outfitter may vary based on how many clients they have during your time of travel. For example, if there are a lot of hunters in the area, you’ll likely have less guidance from an outfitter than someone who is going on a solo hunt.  

Deer Hunting tips for a successful Whitetail Hunting Trip

When To Go On A Guided Deer Hunt

First off, everyone wants to hunt for trophy whitetail deer during the peak of the rut. If you’re determined to book a guided deer hunt to co-inside with the peak of the rut; you may need to book a year or more in advance with a good, reputable, deer hunting guide service. Other-wise; stay flexible on your hunting period. Sometimes the pre-rut can be a very promising time to go on a guided deer hunt. Why? Two main reasons.

  • The bucks are traveling and moving about more while establishing dominance in their home range territory. Second,
  • They begin to travel more in the evenings looking for does. This is when you may have a good opportunity at harvesting that big trophy whitetail deer you’ve been wanting to take home with you.

Trophy Bucks are out there marking and scenting up trails, bedding areas, routes to feeding spots, checking out old scrape lines and just plain being more active. The trophy deer also feed more at this time to gain the extra strength they will soon need.

You’re guaranteed to see more deer and maybe even a larger body size of whitetail deer. Just remember; we book hunting dates based on the rut activity, not dates or times. To ensure your best opportunity at taking a trophy whitetail deer, plan to hunt for 7-10 days total (all hunts include  3 days hunting).

Where To Hunt

This is a matter of having good information, preference, availability, and affordability. Hunters, all have that one location we would love to go on a guided whitetail hunt. Hopefully, a guided deer hunt is an option for you in that hunting area. But just in case, it is not, you may want to consider this:

When you start to plan a guided deer hunt, select several hunting areas as possibilities and get as much information as possible.

Think about selecting 2 or 3 different counties, states, or even countries to go on a guided deer hunt. An example would be; you want to archery hunt “Pike County, Illinois”. But all the outfitting guides are booked up for the year, and you can’t draw a tag.

  • Missouri is just across the Mississippi River, and it also has some great whitetail deer hunting.
  • Ohio has also been coming on strong for trophy whitetails.
  • Southeastern Iowa is renowned for large trophy whitetails.
  • Texas whitetails are world-famous for antler development and antler size.
  • Wisconsin and Minnesota grow huge deer with massive antlers.
  • Canada has great whitetail deer hunting opportunities.
  • Mexico now even offers deer hunting.

The point being; is to be flexible as you research possible guided deer hunting areas. You may find that guided whitetail deer hunts are not available to you for one reason or another, in a specific area of preference. Another reason may be the popularity of the outfitter. Many deer hunting guides have repeat business clients.  If you can’t be flexible on your whitetail deer hunt, you may have waited too long to book a guided trip.

The main point here is to be patient and don’t settle for anything less than the trophy of your dreams. Book early for best availability because top guides are typically booked up one to two years in advance.

Firearm Choice

Decide on a firearm now. If you’re going to have a custom rifle built, well that takes time too. The decision being made now is whether or not you want to use your firearm or would rather just hire a professional to do the hunting for you. In most cases, unless you are an expert with extreme accuracy, you’re going to need a professional using your gun. However, some hunters are just as accurate as the professionals, but it is still recommended that they have the outfitter hunt with them for one very important reason:

You can get more opportunities for a shot.

A lot of deer hunters tend to pass up shots when we’re by ourselves. A combination of not wanting to spook deer and fear of wounding a trophy whitetail deer with our shooting ability is very common for most hunters. Having an outfitter hunt with you changes that dynamic completely, as they will ethically pass up shots when needed.

More trophy deer hunting guides are going to guided archery hunting only, as their preferred guided deer hunting service.

Here are a few reasons for this; archery hunting usually offers a longer hunting season, less psychological impact on the non-hunting public, milder weather, and plenty of potential clients (archery hunting’s growth in the past decade). Now; if you are strictly a gun hunter, and your running into this problem, you may still have an option. Ask the deer hunting guide or outfitter if they would consider guiding you while hunting with a muzzleloader. They just might be open to doing that if they aren’t already. It never hurts to ask.

Picking A Deer Hunting Guide

Picking an outfitter is a lot like picking a doctor or dentist. You want someone that has all the required credentials, licenses, experience, good with people, good with deer, and most of all ethical.

For most whitetail hunters, not being able to draw a tag can be very distressing because it means they may have to hire a professional hunter to be their guide. And that means they are not going to have as much control over the situation as if they drew a deer tag themselves.

Most of us hunt for trophy antlers, so we should expect the outfitter’s highest priority is getting you onto a trophy buck. You also want someone concerned about your level of hunting experience, and the amount of action you want.

Slow Down – Relax – Do Your Homework

You need to slow down and do your homework. Research as much as you can about guided deer hunts, the outfitter/guides, and most importantly the area you want to hunt.

Ask for references; talk to successful hunters, returning hunters, and unsuccessful hunters (hopefully you won’t just get a list of hunting buddies or relatives; pay attention to phone area codes).

Call them! I repeat; call them! When you call these past clients; talk to them about everything they had experienced with this deer hunting guide service.

Good questions to ask:

  • How many guides were there?
  • What were the hunting guides ages and their deer hunting experience?
  • Stand sites and hunters use; good sites with little hunting pressure?
  • How many hunters in camp?
  • How big was the hunting area?
  • What were the camp facilities like?
  • Were all things as advertised?
  • Would you go back and why?

Here is another great hunting tip that many hunters don’t think about. Call the local game warden in the hunting area of this guided deer hunting camp/outfitter. A reputable guide service should have the local game warden’s name and phone number, or willing to get it for you.  You know where the outfitter’s camp is at. The state D.N.R. or fish and game department, will be glad to give you the local game warden’s name and phone number. You can get a lot of unbiased information from a game warden. A game warden will be glad to answer any and all questions you may have.

Don’t book a guided whitetail deer hunt sight unseen or without complete confidence in both the outfitter and their ability to also get you onto a trophy buck. You need to take your time and prepare for both decision-making and ethical hunting.

Whitetail season or deer season is a lot closer than you may think. Please be very patient and research as much as possible to find out what is going to be the best option for you.

A guided whitetail deer hunt can make all the difference in the world to hunters wanting a truly successful trophy buck hunting experience.

The benefits of hunting with a guide

It goes way beyond just getting you on a trophy whitetail deer. You can gain an insight into hunting that most would never learn on their own.

  1. You may learn new ways of approaching and hunting deer.
  2. You will also learn how to track a wounded deer and where they usually go to die, which will help you find that big buck the next time.
  3. A guide can spot and show you things that you just can’t see on your own while hunting in an attempt to get your deer in range, and he will have a better chance at doing so.
  4. You can gain lots of confidence in your ability to take that trophy whitetail deer when given the opportunity with a guided hunt.           

How to spot a fake

If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is.

  1. Avoid any outfitter with a post office box as their address, a P.O. box is easy to get and it doesn’t give any real information about who they are or where they hunt.  
  2. If you have a gut feeling that something is fishy, it likely is. Trust your instincts, if their outfit seems sketchy – IT IS!
  3. I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your homework when choosing a guide.

The importance of having the right hunting clothes for your trophy whitetail deer hunt

Having the right clothing for hunting can make all the difference in having a safe and successful hunting trip.

  • Stay away from hunting equipment that seems cheap or flimsy. 
  • Make sure you have a good pair of boots that you can lace uptight, and will keep your feet warm in the cold weather.
  • A good quality product should stand the test of time, not only through your hunt but also through future hunts as well – you may even want to pass it on to a young hunter someday!
  • A good warm sleeping bag is a must for cold weather, and you should use it on nights that aren’t hunt-able.
  • Keep in mind how much weight you will be carrying, and realize the importance of every item you take with you.                                 

Hunting with the right gear is important to both success and safety.  It is very important to be prepared when hunting for a trophy whitetail deer. Please take all precautions to ensure that you are safe while hunting.


Q: What is stand hunting?

A: Stand hunting is the method of sitting in a stand and waiting for deer to approach. It can be very effective, but it can also take a lot of time and effort and will cost more than other methods.

Q: How much does a guided hunt for monster bucks cost?

A: You should expect to pay anywhere from $750 to $5000 per day, depending on the outfitter and the number of hunters.

Q: What are other hunting skills needed for a successful hunting day?

A: Other hunting skills that will help you on a hunt are knowing how to set up a decoy, good camouflage preparation, and knowing how to shoot.


Picking a Guide for a Whitetail Deer Hunt If you’re going on your first guided hunt, it can be a little stressful and you may have to do some research. But the benefits of going on a guided hunt far outweigh any disadvantage and will ensure that you get what you came for: A trophy!  

Regardless of how you choose to go about the hunt, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible. Before traveling to your destination, research the area and ask questions related to your type of hunt. If you’re using an outfitter, it’s important that they know what kind of tactics and hunting style you plan on using so they can provide you with what you need.