Best guide: It's a tossup
1). Outfitter in Shamrock, TX (Panhandle). Not really an outfitter, he leases a lot of land (low fence), sells some deer & turkey hunts to keep his costs down. Mostly caters to bowhunters, but let me hunt with a gun, both deer & turkey. Stays in touch all year leading up to the hunt, sends trail cam pics all year long to let you see what's out there. It was a self-guided hunt, but he stays in touch all day long, makes sure everyone hunting gets together for lunch & dinner each day. Tagged out for deer & turkeys each time out there, but he doesn't let you shoot young deer or jakes. Sends a text reminder every year to see if I want to book for the upcoming season, really a decent guy and I think of him as a friend.
2). Tom "Doc" Weddle, I hunted Osceola turkeys with him to finish my Grand Slam. Nice guy, has quite a reputation but not the ego that goes with it. Not really an outfitter, but he does sell a few Osceola hunts each year. After I killed my turkey, he invited me to stay in camp and hunt the public land with him and some friends of his. Class act.
Won't give his name, but he's in Oklahoma, sells deer & turkey hunts. I did my diligence (or so I thought), got all kinds of great references (turkey hunt), he was rather high priced and I was told it was a guided deal (turned out it wasn't), he just dropped you off and gave general directions on where to hunt. I got to camp, saw at least 15 other hunters, first words out of the outfitter's mouth were about how he expected a tip, and his helper bad-mouthed him every chance he could...I knew I was in trouble. First night there a tornado touched down and never got power until I left (food got spoiled, and had no lights at night). Call me crazy, but if you are trying to run a business in tornado country and keep customers happy, wouldn't you own a generator or two?
Each morning he showed up about an hour after sunup (he said he goes jogging each morning, before he heads to camp) to take you to your spot, and stopped hunting around 6 (said he didn't want to hunt birds heading to the roost). Meals were supposed to be included, but since there was no power to cook with, he said eat what's in the fridge or go get something in town (he wasn't paying for it). I did manage to kill 2 birds and a coyote (was allowed 3 gobblers), I cut it short on the morning of the 3rd day, somehow my turkey meat had gone missing from the ice chest that he put together to hold everyone's meat & trophies in. His helper said he didn't blame me for leaving early, I tipped him but stiffed the outfitter, no guilt for doing so either.
And no, I'm not a fussy, prissy guy who needs a lot of luxuries, I've stayed in a tent, slept on the ground, gone days without a shower or electricity before, ate cold meals and freeze-dried camp food before. I was just disappointed in the outfitter's lackluster approach to how he made his living, and how he treated the people that were supporting him.