After deciding to book a wild game hunt out west with my hunting buddy, we weren’t quite sure how or where to begin. We began our search for an outfitter/guide service by checking Internet sources, talking to other hunters, and attending hunting expos. We ran into a multitude of options, prices, and places for a possible elk hunt. The more we learned, the more confused we became. Our search was filled with meeting lots of personalities and egos. Often it was difficult to discern fact from fiction when talking to many of the outfitters or guides.
We happened to run into Mark Davies at the Field and Stream Deer and Turkey Expo. Mark was very straight forward. He didn’t seem real flashy like some of the other outfitters and this seemed to sit well with us. Mark was booking hunts that he would guide personally and wanted to tailor it for our needs. He collected our contact information and the type of hunt we were looking to book. We both were very comfortable with Mark’s approach and the way he treated us at the show. He seemed to be the correct fit for what we wanted.
Not long after we had decided to book our hunt with Mark for the following year, we received a call from Mark. The call was to let us know of an opening for a hunt the coming Fall. Our concern was whether or not we could get everything in order with such little time. Mark assured us that he would take care of all the necessary paperwork if we were interested. We agreed to book the guided hunt for that year and it turned out to be a great decision. As promised, Mark took care of getting our permits and all we needed to do was get ready to hunt elk.
The road trip from Akron, Ohio to Colorado and back with my good friend Larry was a great experience in itself. Our anticipation of what might happen, our discussions of how the hunt might go, and certainly our talking about the likelihood of successfully shooting a bull elk all contributed to the tales of our adventure. However, nothing quite compares to the first morning of our hunt. Mark put us on the path of a couple of bulls shortly after first light. We were tracking after a couple of shooters and then it all happened in a matter of seconds. Running to get into position, all I remember hearing was “Take the shot! Take the shot!” It is difficult to describe the feeling of a successful shot and then kneeling next to such a majestic animal. Thinking back to that moment of elation brings a smile to my face every time. What a morning, what a week, what an experience! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reflect on our big-game hunting trip in The Colorado Rockies.
Looking back on the hunting experience, it is very apparent that Mark knew his hunting territory and knew where the elk were located. We were hunting a vast area in the National Forest at approximately 10,000 feet and only once did we see another hunting party during our time in the woods. Mark and his guides were very knowledgeable of the land and terrain, making me feel very comfortable as well as safe while out hunting. Mark proved to be the expert guide and outfitter that we were looking to find for our hunt. He took care of every detail before, during, and after our hunt. I’m looking forward to another Elk hunt in the near future and my next hunt in The Colorado Rockies will be booked with Mark Davies Guide Service.
Robert J. Zupke
Akron, OH 44313