Re: PA Elk Guide Survey
I used Elk County Outfitters. Hunt was a Monday - Saturday deal and I was told we could come to camp on Saturday to scout on Saturday and Sunday, which we did. I was also encouraged to come up and scout through the season - which I did. My son and I stayed from Saturday through Wednesday - the day I shot my cow. The guys with ECO are great. It is a family deal and beginning with the Sunday afternoon steak dinner the food was great. Plenty (probably too much) of home cooked food to eat. Probably the best endorsement of the camp is to see all the prior year hunters that come to camp to visit on the Sunday before the hunt.
For the hunt, I always had at least one guide nearby - many times it was 2 - 4. That being said, they were not hovering over me. Like one afternoon we climbed up the mountain and I watched a food plot while the two guides with me went to look at a couple of other plots. No action, but I spent several hours that evening on a solitary hunt like I might at home for deer.
When the elk was down, the service included field dressing and taking the blood and tissue samples, transporting the elk out to the road, loading it in a truck and hauling to to the check station. When that was done we went back to camp where the guides skinned the animal and cut into manageable pieces that would go in my coolers.
Cost was reasonable and no more than I would expect to pay for just room and board for two people for a week. It's all about the elk - these guys are not in it for the money.
Youth and enthusiasm will always be overcome by age and treachery.