A Guide's Life
A Guides Life
Let’s all take a moment to praise a guide’s girlfriend or wife or maybe even boyfriend, because some of my friends are women who also guide. Dating is hard enough, but how about when your significant other is addicted to hunting and guides 11 months out of the year. If you think that your man will just get his fix in during the summer months, you’re wrong. After sheep season it’s elk, bear, sheep again, deer season, cougar season, sheep again in a warmer climate, and it all just overlaps for the rest of the year. If you want to get a wedding in, you’d better make it in a month where there isn’t going to be a sports show or something to shoot! Oh wait… I forgot about all those hunters that love to fish as well, so you have to throw that in the mix. There were so many times growing up in our outfitting camp that I can remember the guides talking about how they just couldn’t find a girl to stick around, and how after being gone for 280 days a year they didn’t understand what the problem was. I guess it’s a lot like sports athletes that are gone on the road most of the year playing games away from home or cowboys who are always on the rodeo trail. The women and men who stick around are the ones to take home to meet mom, and who you’d better recognize a little more often.
On the flip side, let’s take a look at the guide’s life. They usually can cook a meal on a 2 burner Coleman stove with 5 ingredients - two of which are probably moldy or have been in the bottom of a pack box for over 10 days. And I'm not saying it tasted that great, but they got the job done! They live out of a tent for 10 months out of the year, not 11 because in between there if they are lucky it’s a couple nights in a cabin or hotel on the way to the next guiding job. It’s a lonely world if you’re gone hunting all the time, but you wouldn’t give it up for a 9-5 office job. You have to deal with long draining hunts and acting almost like a therapist to some clients. Sometimes it’s a 21 day hunt for 2 in a backpack tent; there aren’t many friends I would even go on a 21 day road trip with. Socked in with weather or not finding an animal on day 9, there are so many situations where you could use some support. If you’re a female guide most of your male hunters are either intimidated by you or thinking that you probably can’t handle a real man... Most of my female guide friends would just like to be impressed for once by a man. No matter what end of the spectrum you are on, if you’re with someone in the hunting world, you are either trying to find a weekend where you can see each other for more than 5 hours, or you’re wondering if they are lost on the mountain and just hoping that they remembered to take a gun not just their bow. I guess we have to just learn to live in the moment and if you don’t hunt, maybe don’t date someone that is addicted to hunting - it could be a deal breaker.
P.s. - Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you want that significant other to stick around through the hunting/show season, you should probably remind them on a regular basis that they are the meat to your potatoes, the whiskey to your ice or the raisin to your cinnamon bun (I’m a huge fan of raisins in cinnamon buns.) Or maybe just buy them a sheep hunt of their choice - I'm sure any of those will work just fine ;)
A big shout out to all our guides and cooks that have left home for the summer and kept their loved ones!!