Gila DNA Outfitters - David Silva Guide Review. 5 Stars

Darren D

FNG
Joined
Nov 7, 2023
Messages
11
Overall I had a great experience with David Silva at Gila DNA Outfitters. I highly recommend Gila DNA Outfitters. 5 stars.

I was hunting deer, unit 16, October 28 - November 1*, muzzleloader. Not exactly a trophy deer hunt by any means (Although the area is world renowned for world class elk hunting).

Regarding David, he came highly recommended by a couple of other guides who were booked. I am very happy they pointed me to Gila DNA. I really enjoyed hunting with David. I told David that even with my deficiencies as a hunter (my lack of preparation and my schedule), I desired a “big” mule deer or cues buck. Who doesn’t right? But if on the last day, if a modest buck presented itself, I would be grateful for a little meat. Lastly, I asked to learn as much as possible. So I asked David to explain what we were doing and why.

David delivered on all accounts. The accommodations were good. The food was excellent. He was good company and so we’re all of his family, guides/spotters, etc. He was very patient despite my shortcomings. But more importantly, he got us into all sorts of game everyday, including lots of elk and deer. He explained a lot about game behavior (I had no previous knowledge of Cues Deer). He schooled me up big time on glassing techniques / equipment, and so much more. While we saw all sorts of game, including lots of deer, not many bucks. To be honest, this was also mostly my fault…. Let me explain.

First, I was ill prepared. I did not have my muzzleloader sighted in, and I arrived late the evening before opening day. So I lost my opening morning as I asked David to take me to the local range so I could sight in my irons. There is a very good chance some other hunters got the drop on some bucks David scouted prior to my arrival. Missing opening morning might have cost myself a “big” buck. No way to really know. Not David’s fault, mine.

Second, because of my lack of research, I did not understand this muzzleloader was “iron sights only” until late. I did not practice with irons and it cost me a small buck in the last minutes on my last day. I missed…. I was not prepared. Not David’s fault. Mine.

Third, and as a personal decision, I prioritized trick-or-treating with son. So I decided before the hunt that I would not hunt day 4 or 5. My choice and happy to do so. David likely would have drummed up some more bucks if I was there the full 5 days.

Bottom line is, I highly recommend David to anyone serious about hunting. Especially elk, deer, and bear. David is extremely knowledgeable of the area, he has a great team, and he has a track record of getting his clients in front of “bulls of a lifetime”. You will leave very happy if YOU come prepared to do your part, as he will do more than his part as a guide and outfitter. I really hope to draw the elk tags someday. When I do, I know I will be hiring David again.

P.S. Honestly, I am fairly surprised at the very negative review of David on another post. My experience was essentially the opposite of his. I am not sure what to make of it? I’m very sorry to hear his experience was different than mine…. Also surprised and disappointed of David making fun of his “horrible” client on social media. Not good. I hope both David and his client learned something…. All I know is that I will be hunting with David in the future.

Best of luck to all in your remaining hunts and future application results 👍
 

fmyth

WKR
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,597
Location
Arizona
You hunted for deer yet you recommend this outfitter for "anyone serious about hunting. Especially elk, deer, and bear. David is extremely knowledgeable of the area, he has a great team, and he has a track record of getting his clients in front of “bulls of a lifetime”."

Weird......
 

TX_Diver

WKR
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
2,249
Overall I had a great experience with David Silva at Gila DNA Outfitters. I highly recommend Gila DNA Outfitters. 5 stars.

I was hunting deer, unit 16, October 28 - November 1*, muzzleloader. Not exactly a trophy deer hunt by any means (Although the area is world renowned for world class elk hunting).

Regarding David, he came highly recommended by a couple of other guides who were booked. I am very happy they pointed me to Gila DNA. I really enjoyed hunting with David. I told David that even with my deficiencies as a hunter (my lack of preparation and my schedule), I desired a “big” mule deer or cues buck. Who doesn’t right? But if on the last day, if a modest buck presented itself, I would be grateful for a little meat. Lastly, I asked to learn as much as possible. So I asked David to explain what we were doing and why.

David delivered on all accounts. The accommodations were good. The food was excellent. He was good company and so we’re all of his family, guides/spotters, etc. He was very patient despite my shortcomings. But more importantly, he got us into all sorts of game everyday, including lots of elk and deer. He explained a lot about game behavior (I had no previous knowledge of Cues Deer). He schooled me up big time on glassing techniques / equipment, and so much more. While we saw all sorts of game, including lots of deer, not many bucks. To be honest, this was also mostly my fault…. Let me explain.

First, I was ill prepared. I did not have my muzzleloader sighted in, and I arrived late the evening before opening day. So I lost my opening morning as I asked David to take me to the local range so I could sight in my irons. There is a very good chance some other hunters got the drop on some bucks David scouted prior to my arrival. Missing opening morning might have cost myself a “big” buck. No way to really know. Not David’s fault, mine.

Second, because of my lack of research, I did not understand this muzzleloader was “iron sights only” until late. I did not practice with irons and it cost me a small buck in the last minutes on my last day. I missed…. I was not prepared. Not David’s fault. Mine.

Third, and as a personal decision, I prioritized trick-or-treating with son. So I decided before the hunt that I would not hunt day 4 or 5. My choice and happy to do so. David likely would have drummed up some more bucks if I was there the full 5 days.

Bottom line is, I highly recommend David to anyone serious about hunting. Especially elk, deer, and bear. David is extremely knowledgeable of the area, he has a great team, and he has a track record of getting his clients in front of “bulls of a lifetime”. You will leave very happy if YOU come prepared to do your part, as he will do more than his part as a guide and outfitter. I really hope to draw the elk tags someday. When I do, I know I will be hiring David again.

P.S. Honestly, I am fairly surprised at the very negative review of David on another post. My experience was essentially the opposite of his. I am not sure what to make of it? I’m very sorry to hear his experience was different than mine…. Also surprised and disappointed of David making fun of his “horrible” client on social media. Not good. I hope both David and his client learned something…. All I know is that I will be hunting with David in the future.

Best of luck to all in your remaining hunts and future application results 👍

Curious how this plays out…
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
970
By my math you hunted a total of 2.5 days with this guide and had one opportunity at a small buck. The rest of the hunt you were screwing with your muzzleloader or trick-or-treating.

Did you see other deer? Blown stocks, ect…?
Was the small buck you missed a mule deer, or cues?
How far was the shot?
What style hunting were you doing, and what type of deer were you concentrating on?

Your post seems rather void of details of the actual hunting part.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2022
Messages
49
I killed a bull in the Gila last year and when I went to grab my tent I ran into him. Not knowing who he was, I struck a conversation that lead him to sh*t talking his client to me telling me how "fat and unconditioned" he was. He also had him take something like a 900 yard shot on a elk (copy, some people can do that 8 days a week, but most cannot). You can hunt with whoever you want, but I personally value character over putting a critter on the ground.
 
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