Which guided, which DIY? (WY region G, AZ Kaibab, NV early rifle)

bojangles808

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Sep 10, 2014
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hawai'i
Currently living vicariously through the meat pole thread but I'm getting close but with point creep I should in the next 5 years draw early rifle WY region G, Az 12aw kaibab or possibly NV if I go in the guided draw. Wondering which one you would do guided and which one would be more manageable as DIY? I could responsibly only afford one guided hunt. Even DIY with flight from hawaii, rental etc. adds up pretty quick.

Some context, I bowhunt and rifle hunt year round in Hawaii on public and private land so experienced in animal behavior and stalking and shooting at least with our deer/sheep. Did AZ archery OTC one year but that was my only western hunt experience (some stalks no kill). Already have all the gear, clothing, equipment for a DIY hunt. Although I could draw archery sooner, I would go rifle because of the higher chance of success. I'd probably be ecstatic with any 4 point 160 plus. In my mid 30s, stay in decent hike hunt shape year round. I would not be able to scout in person for any of these hunts other than showing up a couple days before the opener.

Some preconceived notions about each hunt:

WY Region G early rifle
Seems like I could plan on what year I would draw which is a plus (eg. buy points until I was 100% or close to 100%, currently 8or 9 pts) and pick my outfitter well in advance. Thought of a pack in guided hunt on horses in the high country feels like a bucket list hunt. Guided would give me access to wilderness areas and horses would help me get into more remote areas than if I was solo. Also would help me be more 'bear aware' which I'm sure my wife and 2 year old would appreciate. Also help with a pack out would be a plus coming from sea level to the high country although I'd certainly get in shape well in advance. This is where I am leaning to choose at the moment to go guided.

NV guided early rifle
I originally started applying to NV with the goal of going guided with a reputable outfitter as a bucket list hunt. However looking at the guided draw results, it seems pretty random and not as assured with the squaring system as to when I would go. It's kind of confusing too researching because I don't know what units the outfitter would recommend (seems like a lot prefer the top end units, however my goals are not 200+) points needed (I think I have 5 or 6). but again it seems pretty random as to when you draw. Staying in the draw is also pretty expensive every year. Going guided would give me a boost into better units as I'd be in a limited pool, so I assume trophy potential would be better. But again I'd just be happy with a 4 point 160plus. Also would help me get into remote areas of going by horses or utv that I probably wouldn't be able to do on my own. however The plus with NV is the season lines up perfectly with my fall break and I wouldn;t have to take time off from work (I'm a teacher). I have a friend in California too (that I did the OTC Az hunt with; he's gone on multiple western hunts) who might be able to help if I went DIY. Not sure though about the long term health of the NV herd they seem to be more strained than other states.

AZ Kaibab 12aw early rifle
Probably the most trophy potential but the most point creep (think i have 8 or 9 pts). Would get worse if they cut tags. Terrain I think would be a lot easier for me with more roads and lower elevation however I've never been in the unit. Friend from California would probably help me on this one. I feel like this would be the most manageable DIY to have a good hunt and get on lots of deer but then I get these thoughts where "it's the Kaibab you should go with a guide and make the most of it".

That was way more long winded that I initially thought however more context probably is helpful guiding my decision. Thanks in advance.
 

Northpark

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I’d go guided in Region g WY. The others I’d do DIY. Of course of those three you’re most likely 20 years from that Kaibab tag. More likely to draw the other two. I hunted NV in 2020 archery for mule deer and it was awesome. I didn’t tag out but with a rifle i would have been done day one with a 180s size buck. Region G is a lot of wilderness and you need a guide for that anyway so I’d go guided in G.
 

BRTreedogs

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G is general season for residents. Not saying on a horse pack trip that wouldn't get you past alot of the competition. But if your not ok with seeing alot of people this mite not be for you.
Also you have to factor in the possibility of altitude sickness on this one.

Actually I've heard all these hunts are pretty busy, fewer tags but then every tag has 8 helpers.

What I've learned is at least for me.
I have to pick what type of hunt I want.
G is an adventure hunt more and more these days, its not big bucks all over like it used to be.

Adventure is more my style.

Any kind of water tank hunt, not for me. I'm as patient as a bottle rocket. 15 min in a blind feels like 12 hrs.

Id do some more research on the type of hunting each of these would entail and reflect on which one suits your personality.
 

Bull_n_heat

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Wyoming
If it were me, I probably wouldn't go guided in WY. You'll see other hunters out there, and for what your goals are, I think you'd have a good hunt without guides.

This is all assuming the powers that be don't change the draw to something that gives a pool of tags to outfitters...
 

willfrye027

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I’ll go against the grain here and say go guided in NV. With some of those units, guides are spending summers scouting, setting up cams, etc. there is a ton of country in those units, more than the average guy can reasonably scout. From personal experience getting a guide in NV is a great way to have a chance at a top end buck.
 

Calbuck

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Depending where you go in Nevada, a 160 buck as the op is looking for is very reasonable on a diy hunt. Glass and a little savvy will put the average hunter on that buck in most units of Nevada. But yes, top class bucks, you prob have a better chance guided.
 

willfrye027

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Depending where you go in Nevada, a 160 buck as the op is looking for is very reasonable on a diy hunt. Glass and a little savvy will put the average hunter on that buck in most units of Nevada. But yes, top class bucks, you prob have a better chance guided.
I would agree with that, missed the 160” buck part. Sounds doable in all of those places but may have to do all three hunts to actually get it done, the way things have been going the past few years
 

Indian Summer

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There is no wilderness in region G.

I know an excellent outfitter there, other than Non Typical, if you’re interested. It’s a great place for a DIY hunt if you have some grit.
 
OP
bojangles808

bojangles808

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Thank you all for the feedback. I should have done some more hw but yes I was mistaken on G as there's no wilderness, so maybe i would consider H too. I think the main thing is those mountains in WY look big and high. Think with the number of points i have I could still have a decent hunt and stumble into something in both NV and AZ but the physical factor of wyoming has me thinking that my $$ would go a little further going guided in WY. Stil have more time to ponder but leaning WY currently.
 

Schmitty

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Aug 22, 2013
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AZ
I don't know about NV or WY. On the early hunt in 12W if you wanted a solid chance at a truly large buck hiring the right guide would be worth your while. If you just want to have a nice experience in a special place and see plenty of deer you'll be fine on your own but don't expect to see the giants that the Bab is famous for.
Good luck!
 

WRO

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I’d go guided on all of them, at least the first 2 you draw. You’ll have little time to scout and mule deer are probably the hardest of the deer species to learn and hunt.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dsmiley

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Nevada
Currently living vicariously through the meat pole thread but I'm getting close but with point creep I should in the next 5 years draw early rifle WY region G, Az 12aw kaibab or possibly NV if I go in the guided draw. Wondering which one you would do guided and which one would be more manageable as DIY? I could responsibly only afford one guided hunt. Even DIY with flight from hawaii, rental etc. adds up pretty quick.

Some context, I bowhunt and rifle hunt year round in Hawaii on public and private land so experienced in animal behavior and stalking and shooting at least with our deer/sheep. Did AZ archery OTC one year but that was my only western hunt experience (some stalks no kill). Already have all the gear, clothing, equipment for a DIY hunt. Although I could draw archery sooner, I would go rifle because of the higher chance of success. I'd probably be ecstatic with any 4 point 160 plus. In my mid 30s, stay in decent hike hunt shape year round. I would not be able to scout in person for any of these hunts other than showing up a couple days before the opener.

Some preconceived notions about each hunt:

WY Region G early rifle
Seems like I could plan on what year I would draw which is a plus (eg. buy points until I was 100% or close to 100%, currently 8or 9 pts) and pick my outfitter well in advance. Thought of a pack in guided hunt on horses in the high country feels like a bucket list hunt. Guided would give me access to wilderness areas and horses would help me get into more remote areas than if I was solo. Also would help me be more 'bear aware' which I'm sure my wife and 2 year old would appreciate. Also help with a pack out would be a plus coming from sea level to the high country although I'd certainly get in shape well in advance. This is where I am leaning to choose at the moment to go guided.

NV guided early rifle
I originally started applying to NV with the goal of going guided with a reputable outfitter as a bucket list hunt. However looking at the guided draw results, it seems pretty random and not as assured with the squaring system as to when I would go. It's kind of confusing too researching because I don't know what units the outfitter would recommend (seems like a lot prefer the top end units, however my goals are not 200+) points needed (I think I have 5 or 6). but again it seems pretty random as to when you draw. Staying in the draw is also pretty expensive every year. Going guided would give me a boost into better units as I'd be in a limited pool, so I assume trophy potential would be better. But again I'd just be happy with a 4 point 160plus. Also would help me get into remote areas of going by horses or utv that I probably wouldn't be able to do on my own. however The plus with NV is the season lines up perfectly with my fall break and I wouldn;t have to take time off from work (I'm a teacher). I have a friend in California too (that I did the OTC Az hunt with; he's gone on multiple western hunts) who might be able to help if I went DIY. Not sure though about the long term health of the NV herd they seem to be more strained than other states.

AZ Kaibab 12aw early rifle
Probably the most trophy potential but the most point creep (think i have 8 or 9 pts). Would get worse if they cut tags. Terrain I think would be a lot easier for me with more roads and lower elevation however I've never been in the unit. Friend from California would probably help me on this one. I feel like this would be the most manageable DIY to have a good hunt and get on lots of deer but then I get these thoughts where "it's the Kaibab you should go with a guide and make the most of it".

That was way more long winded that I initially thought however more context probably is helpful guiding my decision. Thanks in advance.
If going nevada. I'd look for outfitter out of Ely NV. great area all around Ely. I'm a native and me and wife both bagged 160 class out of eureka area 14 or 143. Draw odds are also decent in those areas.
If you got an elk tag pm me and my brother inlaw guides with mules packing people in setting a spike camp ect.
 
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