GilaDNA OutfittersNew Mexico
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I booked with GilaDNA after they were recommended by HuntinFool. David Silva (outfitter) lives and guides in the unit. He is a nice guy that runs a good operation. I booked with him, paying a significantly higher price than most outfitters guiding in the Gila, because he knew the unit and agreed that we would be targeting specific, pre-scouted bulls, not just "hunting and hoping". He figured he would be guiding me or one of his other top guides. I showed up to camp and found out that a TV crew had bought a tag and David was now guiding them and subbed me out to a local guide (Brandon) that occasionally does sub-guiding for David (not one of his main guides). Brandon was awesome and knew the unit well and worked hard to get me a bull on the second to last day. BUT, he had not done any pre-scouting and no information about any target bulls was shared with him from David because he obviously wasn't one of David's main guides, but more of a "fill-in". My buddy who was just along for the hunt actually went out looking for bulls with some of David's other guides and it was very obvious that they were not looking for bulls for me. TV crew was the priority. Again, Brandon was great and the hunt turned out good in the end because of him, but it was awkward in camp all week because of they dynamic between him and the other guides. For the money I paid and the discussion with David before the hunt, I don't feel that he was honest about what he promised and I feel like we got bumped to the B-squad by the TV crew which obviously took priority. I would definitely go back and hunt with Brandon again, but not through GilaDNA Outfitters.
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - NO
Where do I begin. Mr Sean Petit who drew a 16d archery tag in 2018 which as we all know it was a drought year so right off the bat expectations were a little high for Sean. So we discussed the situation at the time of booking that horn growth was not like past years. That being said we did have a tv show in camp and they had a tag for a DIFFERENT unit so when we had guys going out of their way to help Sean’s non hunting friend look for elk which by the way was not an extra charge to Sean. They looked for bulls in 16d and he was the only hunter in camp with a D tag. So to say they looked for bulls for the tv show was A false accusation.
So now on to Sean‘s guide. He has lived in reserve his whole life and a professional guide since the mid 80s and has guided more 400 inch bulls then probably anyone still around here and was scouting for Sean weeks before he got here.
Sean Petit had many great opportunities on bulls which he didn’t capitalize on missing multiple bulls. It took a little cheering up on our part to help Sean get through his downs. People miss all the time and that’s just archery hunting. So that being said most archery hunters get MAYBE one shot not 3 or 4 a day and STILL end up taking a good bull home like Sean!!
So bottom line is some people are never happy and maybe don’t have any business in a hunting camp and should consider hunting on their own. This is my first time dealing with a poor report so I felt I should respond. I go to every single hunters room and ask them how things are going with the hunt, food and guide and like Sean said he didn’t notify me or anyone else that he had a bad experience.
This is my livelihood and My family and I pride ourselves on taking care of everyone that is in our hunting camp. Even our 5 year old daughter is involved by helping make dessert and birthday cakes for those who have birthday’s in camp. We are a small business that is truly quality over quantity.
Drought really effected antler growth.