Every year, several individuals ask me if I can take them on a guided fishing or hunting trip. I think there are several reasons this happens. The first is that three of my four books on river smallmouth fishing have the word guide in them, and the second is that because I am an outdoor writer, I guess some people assume that I am a guide or that I can guide them to success.
Neither assumption is true. In fact, I have a terrible record as an informal guide on hunting trips with friends and family. Today, opening day of Virginia's firearms season, was a good example of why this is true.
This morning I took friend Doak Harbison on his first deer hunt. The outing was at a Franklin County farm where I typically see more deer and have more success than any other farm that I have permission to be afield on. Before sunrise, I brought Doak to a stand site that I had hunted twice last year and had killed deer there both times. Also, my son-in-law David had hunted there three times this year and last and had tagged does on two of those occasions.
Thus, I had taken Doak to a place where 80 percent of the time it had been hunted, a hunter had gone home successfully and 100 percent of the time deer had been spotted. Furthermore, the landowner had told me that locale was a hot one this year.
The result: Doak and I stayed on stand from before sunrise until around noon - a solid 5 1/2 hours - and never saw a deer...or a squirrel...or a game animal of any kind.
Again, don't hire me as a guide.