Has anyone ever been to Bitterwater outfitters or heard anything about them? I've been invited to do the grand slam with 3 other people. Just curious if anyone has any info on them (good or bad). Thanks
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I was also invited on a hunt with Bitterwater Outfitters (not the grand slam) last year, about this time last year actually. We camped on Clayton's (head guide) fathers ranch, I guess the guesthouse was not finished in time for our hunt. After setting up camp, we were told, not asked, to go to the range and shoot our rifles. I quickly realized we were being tested on our shooting skills, as well as making sure our guns were sighted in. At that point I got a weird feeling about this hunt.
Clayton and his other guides were not very friendly, non of them had any personality. After shooting we walked back over to camp and about an hour later we were told to gear up, we'd be leaving for the evening hunt in 30 minutes! We rushed around, gathered our gear and loaded up in the trucks for a short ride over to the hunting property. We pulled up to a gate, unloaded the polaris and.....waited, waited and waited. I finally walked over to Clayton and asked what/who we were waiting for, he advised we were waiting for the ranch manager.
The ranch manager finally showed up on a tractor, he was a super nice guy, very out-going and had a great sense of humor. We loaded back up in the truck and polaris and headed into the ranch. After a 30 min ride or so we split up, 1/2 of us went around this large mountain in front of us, the other 1/2 stayed put. I was in the group that went around the mountain, along with 2 other hunters. We reached the end of the two-track road and unloaded and began walking towards a large draw in front of us, a steep hill to our right was the area believed to be holding pigs. The other 1/2 of our group was on the other side waiting if anything escaped our sights. I was told to head down to the bottom of the draw with the ranch manager, 2 other hunters stayed up high. On our way down the ranch manager asks me how much ammo I have? I paused and said 4 rds. in the rifle, 5 rds on my belt, he whispered.."that should be enough". I thought to myself, are you kidding me, i'm only shooting 1 pig!
We got into position, and he told me to chamber a round and shoot into the side of the steep hill believed to be holding pigs. I paused and said, "huh"? His reply..." we have to get the pigs started". So, I did what he told me to do. It took 2 more shots to "get them started", the hill accross from us came alive with pigs, they ran up the hill, scattering everywhere. I refused to shoot at a pig, even after being told with some authority to shoot.
A hunter in our party made an incredible shot on a running pig, we ranged in at 265 yards.
The word must have gotten back to Clayton about me not shooting, because he found some bedded pigs about 1000 yards away and insisted I put a stalk on them with another guide. I obliged and off I went. I shot a decent sized sow on that stalk, everyone in our group tagged out the first night.
I had contacted Clayton before the hunt and asked if we could shoot ground squirrels after the pig hunt, I was told yes, in fact his words were "we have ground squirrels everywhere"! I bought some "green" 17HMR in hopes of an epic squirrel shoot, I think we killed 5 squirrels on Saturday morning! We drove all over the ranch looking for squirrels, nothing! I paid Clayton for the hunt and drove home Saturday afternoon.
I'm not saying this type of hunting is wrong or illegal, it's just not my type of pig hunting. I've been on 4 other guided hunts in the last year, not one of them hunted pigs like Bitterwater Outfitters.
Please don't feel like I'm trying to bash this operation, I'm really not! I just wanted to share a first person experience.
Good luck on your hunt if you decide to go....
Thanks Weimyowner. Besides the odd pig hunting tactics, how is the property? Did you see any other wildlife (goats, buffs, etc.)?
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He has a seperate high fenced property which holds the exotic game animals. The pig hunting property is on the south side of the 46 highway, which connects the I-5 and 101 and takes you into Paso Robles. Its great property, some of it very steep, high grass, trees and plenty of bedding areas for the pigs. They do NOT hunt pigs in the high fence area, just the exotics.
Hope this helps...
I'm right there with weimyowner. It is not my type of hunting and not what I was expecting. My buddy and I hunted with them in March. I should've know what to expect when Clayton met us and asked if we're ready to go "hog bustin". It is beautiful land that he hunts on and he has multiple ranches that he hunts on, but I wouldn't hunt with him again. I thought that maybe the incoming weather had something to do with the style of hunt, but after hearing weimyowner's story and thinking back I'm sure that's just what he does. Clayton did not seem interested in having conversations with his clients or getting to know them. When trying to spark up conversations with him, his responses were short and it seemed like I was bothering him when I tried to start conversations or ask questions.
The first two pigs taken by our group were ambushed and ww3 broke out on them. The guides directed us to get out and start shooting at the hogs that were running away from us at about 70yds. Not only did he direct us to shoot them, but Claytons buddy who was the second guide with the group got out of the ranger and started shooting at them as well. Thankfully with two hogs down and about 15rds fired they went to my buddy and the third hunter in the group and we went to a different property to find a pig for me. We spotted a group of about 8 pigs and instead of stalking them we were rushed into the ranger and drove after them which spooked them and they started running. As soon as we get close im directed to jump out and run to the edge of the hill and fire. I got down on a knee, huffing and puffing, with Clayton in my ear yelling to shoot over and over again while smacking me on the back.
Of course I missed a few shots granted we were over 100 yds out with him in my ear yelling, moving me around, and me trying to get my wind. We got back in the ranger and found the hogs again and the same sequence unfolded again. This time I waited a couple seconds, he stopped yelling at me to shoot for a second, I took a breath and got a neck shot on a nice looking boar at 185yds. It was an interesting experience and I still had a good time, but it wasn't the type of hunting or guide/client interaction I hear of with other guides out there. If bustin some hogs is your type of fun then I would recommend them. They have great ranches and nice equipment they use for the hunt, dressing, and cold storage of the game until the hunt is over. It just isn't the type of hunt I was expecting and looking forward too.
I would recommend you look at Alfred Luis of Central Coast Outfitters. He is a great guide, gets to know his clients, has a great chunk of land and is highly entertaining. He wants you to have fun and come back. I have hunted with him 3 times and have killed 4 hogs. 3 of them I got with my Excalibur crossbow. The ranch is Cojo ranch. It is near Jalama beach.
I have also hunted with Alfred at Central Coast, I actually have a hunt booked with him in early June, the Cojo ranch has got to be the most beautiful piece of property I've ever hunted. He's a great guy, good sense of humor and like "mattador96" stated, he wants you to have fun and come back. You will also see a good number of blacktail deer on the ranch.
The Twisselman's also run a great operation, priced good and very hard-workers in the field.
Alfred told me a story about shooting a boar while it was in the act of humping a sow. He has tons of funny stories like that. I have never seen a ranch with so many blacktail deer. The Twisselmans are also great to do business with. For those interested they have some exotics that can be really challenging with archery equipment.
mark morisoli out of priest valley. great ranch 10000 acres i think hes not far from twisselmans
Appreciate the info guys but like I said, I was invited on a meat hunt. To be honest, if I was just going to just hunt pigs I would go to FHL. The only appealing thing about the bitterwater place was that we could get a good +/- 700 lbs of meat for a pretty damn good price. I actually talked to Clayton (owner) yesterday and he seemed very straight forward. I can see how some people may not like his attitude but at least he wasn't wasting my time. He did say that his prices double after June and he did acknowledge that we would be shooting at some hogs that were on the move. Thanks again for the info and I will let you guys know if I do it.
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I certainly enjoyed my hunt and time at the ranch. Clayton and his staff fully understand how to hunt pigs!!!! This is our 2nd year and both times we were on pigs within 15 to 20 minutes Friday evening. That is exactly why we went to Bitterwaters, they know pigs and how to hunt them. Not sure why anyone would expect anything different, we paid him to get a shot at a pig and that is what he did. If you are expecting a long hunt, go out on a self guided pig hunt and see how you do.
We got our pigs Friday evening and scheduled a Watusi shoot, we had our game in less than one hour, how much more can you expect. The quality of the game and the knowledge of our guides were 2nd to none. Whoever complains about getting what they paid for probably just likes to complain. As I said, our group had more fun and excitement than expected, it gets better every year, we have already talked about booking next years hunt with Clayton, you will not find a better guide who enjoys helping people fulfill their goals of the hunt.
Nice first post.
always odd when the 1st one is so nice. but I will say that I have been told nothing but good things from ppl I know that have been on a hunt with Clayton. He is a NFR cowboy and knows his stuff well. I do know that not everyone is a country boy. It could b that the hunters not raised around the country... Think his style is cold but really you just have to know who these kind of guys like to talk. I was told he is so nice that when my buddy was last there. Clayton had to go to a horse show with his wife and said for my friend to just fish all he wants and than make sure to lock the gate on the way out. Not really the hard ass bad guy I read about around here...... Kind of shows how many ppl can do the same thing and come out with a different view.
I have hunted with Clayton and his guides several times and did well every time. As for the ground squirrels , there were tons when we were there. Tom the guide did a great job with my 12 year old daughter. I cant say enough good things about the operation. They are all no BS guys and will get you on the pigs.
I recently went on a 2nd. hunt with Clayton, this year Matt was with us and last year we were with Tom. Both years we asked if we showed up Friday afternoon could we go out early, both years they got us on the pigs quickly and we were all successful within an hour. My son in law couldn't make it till Saturday and in his case it took us half a day to get on them. He too was successful, point being is that if they get you on pigs quick that's a good thing. It's quite possible it could be a long weekend. One in our party needed to site in a new .270, they took the time to help dial it in and we didn't feel rushed at all. A new guy in our party this year thought that since we were hunting on a ranch that he didn't need a pig tag. Matt gave him directions to WalMart in town, it was taking him a long time to get back, so the rest of us wanted to get on the hunt and let him go out the next day. Clayton called WalMart, gave description of our friend and told us that we could wait up till a certain time, our friend made it back and was successful that evening. We appreciated the patience and knowledge of the location of game etc... When you're on the hunt, these guys are all business so they don't chat you up a bunch , but I'm ok with that. We talked enough at the base area and while driving to the hunt area. This year we stayed at the Flying M Ranch that Clayton has a link to on the Bitter Water web site, food was great, the price is right and the owners couldn't have been nicer. All in all had a great time and am looking forward to next year or maybe sooner.
I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this post seeing how I have owned and operated a pig hunting ranch and have been on both sides of the fence so to speak. When you go on a guided hunt your are paying for the knowledge of the guide to be able to put you onto the animals you are hunting for and for the right to hunt private land that you would not other wise be able to hunt.
I had a policy on our ranch that every one had to shoot their gun at least one time to make sure the gun was sited in and if the hunter missed ( it happened all the time) I knew it was the hunter and not the gun. You would not believe how people reacted to this, they all thought they were the best shots out there and could not miss if they shot at it. I had snipers for PDs that came up to hunt and their guns were off. I had rich guys that showed up with new guns new scopes and said their gun smiths had sited in their guns for them , then after shooting at 4 or 5 pigs they came to me and ask what was wrong with their guns. I grabbed the gun and the scope to see if the scope was loose and the front ring popped off the gun. I almost dropped his 2,000 dollar gun into the dirt. I asked if he had the gunsmith loc-tight the screws down and he said he might have to take the scope off some day and did not want to do that. (It was not welded on) just Loc-tight. So a little clear nail polish and 5 shots latter his gun is sighted in he goes out and shoots his pig that night.
You should have your gun sighted in before the hunt but if not then tell the guides and he will have you shoot the gun before you go out, he does not want you wounding animals. If you shoot your animal the first day then your hunt is complete unless you have made plans to do other hunting this should be spelled out in writing with your guide. You should talk with the guides before the hunt and ask them how they hunt. IE: spot stalk, dogs, run and gun, and will guides back you up when you shoot and so on. Know everything about your hunt before you book, most guides if they are good will tell you just how they hunt and what to expect on a hunt.
And be flexible not everything happens the way you want or how the guide wants it to happen after all it is hunting. If you have a certain way that you hunt then talk to the guide and see if you can hunt that way or not every one does not hunt the same. It might not be a sucessful way to hunt their properties. Again you are paying them to get you a animal. So good luck with whom ever you hunt with but get all the detail of the hunt before you go so that there are no surprises.
Shoot straight and have fun.