There are a lot of good options. If I were booking, there are only a few that would not be on my list:
1) Eiders Down - I would not go with them unless Bill Pigeon was retired. A big fisasco of double booking and pricing silliness one year. Basically booked at X price, had deposits, letters stating prices to and from and then on cashing out last day he decided prices were now hundreds more per person, and this was after he had double booked on top of that.
2) Penobscot Bay - From the guys I know that have hunted with Todd, I would not use him.
3) Swampers - I would not do business with Brian for a couple reasons I won't disclose.
Note that how a guide acts when your name is associated to dollar signs may be totally different than how they are as a person when they are not being paid to be your best friend or if they feel their payday may be in question.
Call a lot of references, not just one or two. Of course all references a guide gives you will be people they know will speak highly of them, so tell them you want someone from your state that hunted with them in the last year. Make sure to ask if there were any mix ups or was the transaction smooth. Ask if the guide exhibited any unprofessional behavior, examples might be rallying, having you shoot over your limit, booking for 3 days knowing you will go over possession limit, etc...
Last edited by g_maxson
on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.