Written by: Frank LaRosa/Owner, Falling Leaf Outfitters
In this interview, Frank LaRosa shares the importance of focusing on your guest to make your guide service successful.
In addition, Frank provides expert guidance on the hunting guide profession and what he sees as the 3 most important skills when you become a guide.
- When did you start guiding in New Jersey, and why did you start guiding? I own the club that we guide on. I became the owner in 2013. I take an active role with every guided hunt that comes to our club.
- What is most rewarding about being a guide? Having guests come and have an enjoyable hunting experience, enjoy the outdoors, and hopefully take a deer. We also take pride in helping to educate newer hunters that visit.
- With any business there are challenges, what is the biggest challenge in this industry? Having guests take a deer. We try our very best but we can’t really control a wild animal. We also can’t control hunter activity in stands, and when they miss deer.
- Has anything surprised you about being a guide? How frustrating it can be when we try so hard to put guests on deer, bait the stand, and still can’t get them a deer.
- What do you think are the 3 most important skills to being a successful guide and why? 1. Always be courteous to the guests and respect the fact that they are paying us to be at the club. Guests want to know their guide is really working hard for them. 2. Be a smart educated hunter and understand the factors that play into a successful deer hunt. It’s important to have our guests know their guide knows what they’re doing. 3. A good guide is personable. Guests will feel out of place and uncomfortable when they arrive. A good guide makes them feel welcome and feel like our club is their club.
- If you were going on a guided trip, how would you decide who to book with? I would look/ask for referrals. I would ask referrals how their total experience was. Not just about getting something, but did they do everything possible to make their experience enjoyable. Hunting is not just about killing an animal but about enjoy the sport of hunting. Did they deliver on that experience.
- What advice would you offer to someone who wants to start guiding? Get to know the properties they are guiding on. Make sure they understand the day is about the GUEST and not them. Pay attention to the client to make sure they are enjoying the day. Work for a club that has the same service values as you. Make sure the guide service they’re working for is all about providing the client the best possible hunting experience.
Author: Frank LaRosa
Falling Leaf Outfitters