After hunting here, I understand why Benton says few of his clients come back on management hunts. What they come back for - he has a 90 percent re-booking rate overall - is a trophy buck. I saw a lot of trophy bucks myself. On our first day of hunting, my partner and I estimate that we saw a total of 33 mulie bucks. Of this total, perhaps 50 percent were trophy quality, 30 percent had not yet demonstrated their trophy potential and 20 percent were management class. By the second day, the trophy deer were more secretive. I have been hunting Wyoming since the early 60s, and can report that the numbers of animals I saw on this trip compared favorably with what I saw 40 years ago on public land.
Benton operates his trophy mule deer hunts in both Wyoming and Montana, concurrent with the management hunts. He charges $3,600, which includes 2 x 1 guide service, 4½ days hunting, five nights lodging, all meals, skinning and caping (including cleaning of the skull plate), transportation of meat to processing plant, and, if necessary, airport pickup and return for either Sheridan or Gillette airports. (Those hunters who fly into Billings must rent a car.) Over the years, success has been 100 percent on bucks averaging 165 Boone and Crocket points gross.
According to Benton, his clients often harvest........(continued)