One outfitter who has made a specialty of these animals is Jim Schaafsma of Arrow Five Outfitters. He guides on private ranches in Humboldt and Trinity counties in northern California. Schaafsma's operation has been so thoroughly described in past issues of The Hunting Report (See the October 1999 issue, pages 4-5, for example) it does not merit mentioning again.
The other top-flight blacktail guide is Perry Allen of Oregon Blacktails. We've mentioned him in these pages before as an outfitter who does it the hard way - that is, he hunts public land only, mostly in the vicinity of Medford, Oregon. Our reviews of him have always stressed the need to be in good shape, and prepared mentally for an extremely fair-chase hunt.
The bad news on Allen is that he has thrown in the towel as a guide as of December 31, 1999. When I asked him his reasons for quitting after going at it full time for 11 years, he cited the difficulty of getting enough clients, the questionable practices some Oregon outfitters follow which makes it difficult for law-abiding outfitters like Allen to operate, and the increased demand for his services in conjunction with his other business.
I hunted with Allen several times and consider him one of the hardest working and most honest people in the business. My final question to Allen was "...now that you're not guiding, who in your opinion is the most honest, reliable and law-abiding blacktail outfitter in your area?"........(continued)