The best of the year

Top Hunting Guides & Outfitters 2023

Venku is pleased to release the winners of the 2023 Hunter’s Choice and Angler’s Choice Awards! This award recognizes distinguished guides, outfitters and charter operators across the US who are committed to providing the best experiences possible for their guests. Out of nearly 1000 providers, only 25 awards were named for the categories of hunting & fishing.

About the Hunter’s and Angler’s Choice Awards

These prestigious awards take into account trip reviews, ranking by clients, quality of communication, accuracy of description & customer service. Selected hosts also have a proven track record of:

  • Ethical hunting and fishing practices
  • Care for clients
  • Exceptional guide skills

This is the second year that awards have been granted; hosts who have won 2 years in a row are denoted with a (*).

Venku is the top provider of hunting & fishing trips online, making it easy for people to book high-quality trips through a safe, secure platform. Venku also provides all the tools guides & outfitters need to streamline their business operations like managing their bookings, calendar, tracking transactions, and processing payments. Are you interested in learning more about joining as a guide? Schedule a call with us here.

Hunters & Anglers Nationwide

See Winners By State


Captain Chris

Veteran Owned Operation

I am a retired US Army officer with 27 years service to our Country. We are a Christian family owned, small-business that offers clean, comfortable lodging, truck rentals, as well as hunting & fishing trips on the remote island of Adak, Alaska. We also have a communion Church service every Sunday in our Lodge.



Hunter, Radio Host, and Guide.

Steve was born in Montgomery, graduated from Saint James School and attended AUM. He’s been married to Renee Thornton for 28 years and they have four boys: Steven, Ryan, Nick and Alec.

He has been hunting and fishing his entire life, with his favorite outdoors pursuit being turkey hunting. Steve’s a guide at Great Southern Outdoors in Union Springs who leads hunts for deer, turkey, quail and hogs and has been in the business for more than 30 years.



Hunter grew up in Somerville, TN, and was an outgoing kid.

He and his brother were always outside hunting or fishing or playing some sport. Hunter was a successful athlete in football and basketball but duck hunting was his favorite activity.

He started duck guiding about 15 years ago and really enjoys introducing Arkansas duck and goose hunting to his customers. With good property and a great group of guides, his operation has grown tremendously in the past 2 years.



Mike is 45 years old, married and has 3 beautiful daughters. When he is not guiding he’s working on getting ready for the next hunting season or guiding saltwater fishing trips in southeast Louisiana. Mike has been hunting waterfowl since the age of 9 and guiding for the last 24 years. He’s chased waterfowl from Manitoba, Canada to Venice, LA, up and down the Mississippi Flyway.

Mike is extremely passionate about duck hunting and enjoys sharing his passion with others. With 3 daughters, he is a big advocate for getting kids and women involved in the hunting tradition. “I will do what it takes to make sure you have the best hunting experience of your life.”



Jerry is a retired U.S. Navy Commander who served 30 years in the U.S. Navy, having been assigned to both the USMC and USAF overseas. A graduate of St. Leo University in Florida, he has been married for 23 years and is extremely proud of his son, who is a biologist and fisheries major at Mississippi State University. What it’s like to hunt with Jerry: After a night at the Fairfield Inn Marriott in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and a hearty breakfast, hunters will set up in the pit no later than an hour before sunrise to get the best possible opportunity.

Currently, Jerry calls Ocean Springs, Mississippi home. He owns and operates his hunting business from this base, and is working on establishing inshore fishing charter trips for 2022. Fun Facts: Jerry’s nickname is JL, which stands for Just Lucky — a name he was assigned while stationed in Key West, Florida Jerry is a Master Angler He was initiated old school as a Chief in 2001 by the Chief’s Mess.



Brian and Brent operate one of the top Colorado elk hunting outfitters in the State. Located in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, they operate on private land and the Rio Grande National Forest under the USFS Sauguache Ranger District.

“As avid hunters ourselves, we have had the privilege of hunting this valley and the surrounding mountains for many years. Our knowledge of the land and its game, and our many years of Colorado Elk hunting will help you have a great hunt.”


Travis & Maggie

Travis has worked in the hunting industry for the past 21 years, he has a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Colorado State University and has held guide licenses in Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, and South Africa. Travis has hunted and guided all across the United States, Mexico, Alaska, Africa, South America and New Zealand. His wife Maggie has joined him on many of these travels helping in camps, she enjoys cooking and being outdoors. Together they make a great team and will be sure to make you feel at home, whether you are in beautiful Colorado, or a destination hunt around the world!


Captain Michael

Captain Michael grew up in a fishing family in South Florida, spending lots of time fishing in the Florida Keys and South Florida coast. In 2008 he moved out to Texas. One morning he was invited on a hunting trip for the first time, and he was hooked! Later that night after the hunt, he talked to his wife and explained the change that happened to him. He now knew what his calling was. The Outdoors!

After years of fishing and hunting for himself, he discovered that introducing others to the outdoors brought him even more enjoyment. “I find the biggest joy in coaching someone else that may have never been able to do it without some help. I was once there, and I know how hard it can be to find and learn these things, even from a guide. MY motto is keep it positive, educational and exciting!”


Captain charles

Captain Charles and his team of professional guides have dedicated their entire lives to Fishing & Hunting in the greater South Florida area and beyond. Their passion for wildlife and the outdoors lies at the heart of their organization. Charles and his team are simply the best at what they do. Their Fishing and Hunting expertise is second to none and their charters come highly rated and are in popular demand. Whether Fishing for Trophy Bass, or Hunting Trophy Alligators, Charles and his team get the job done giving clients 120% of their dedicated service as Captains and Professional Guides for many years. Their reputation most definitely precedes them to say the least. If you want the best in the business, Captain Charles and his team are the way to go!



Chris and Alex are partners in their Illinois outfit, and are both married with beautiful young children. When they’re not guiding, they are spending quality time with their families and gearing up for the next hunting season.

Chris and Alex have been hunting deer, turkey, and waterfowl their entire lives and guiding for the last 7 years. They made their dreams become a reality when they started their outfitting operation. This dream started from a group of friends with a great local hunting reputation who thought they could build a life showing others the premier outdoor experience. They’ve operated continuously for years without slowing down and the quality of their hunts is second to none.



Blake is an avid outdoors-man that aspires to provide memorable and enjoyable hunting experiences for deer and turkey hunts. He is also a father of 5 children, and loves to spend time with them outdoors.



Stuart has 22 years of guiding experience in both upland and waterfowl hunting. He has been featured on several TV shows including Wingshooting TV and American Bird Hunter. His only passion is to put every hunter in an opportunity to have an opening day experience. He operates one of Central Kansas’ premier wingshooting destinations.


Roy & Drake

Roy & Drake’s family Hunt Club began in 1986, with family duck hunting records stretching back to World War II. To ensure attracting and holding plentiful Central Flyway mallards, they’ve intensively managed duck habitats since inception.

Having hunted and guided Kansas mallard hunts on these family properties for nearly their entire lives, Roy and Drake form a father-son team that knows how mallards will react to prevailing weather conditions better, maybe, than even the ducks themselves.


Jerryd T

Captain Jerryd was born and raised in Louisiana, and he has been an avid outdoorsman since he was a child. He learned to hunt and fish from his father, and he has spent his entire life exploring the waterways and forests of Louisiana. After serving in the military, Captain Jerryd decided to share his love of the outdoors with others by starting an outfitting business.

Captain Jerryd’s goal is to provide his clients with a unique and authentic Louisiana experience. He is passionate about teaching others how to hunt and fish, and he takes great pride in helping his clients catch their first trophy fish or bag their first duck. He has a deep respect for the wildlife and natural beauty of Louisiana, and he is committed to preserving it for future generations.



My brother and I have been hunting our entire lives, and this is something that we don’t consider just a passion but an obsession. With years of experience, we can bring our obsession and expertise to our clients that will create a memory they won’t soon forget. We strive to create a personalized experience for every customer so that they leave knowing they’ve experienced the outdoors for everything it is and more.



Caleb’s love for hunting and the outdoors started at the age of 6. From the age of 12 years old, he knew he wanted to be a hunting guide. He says that being born and raised in central Nebraska has given him the knowledge needed to provide successful hunts but seeing the excitement a first time hunter gets after harvesting their first deer or turkey is indescribable! “I personally get more excited seeing someone else harvest a deer or turkey than pulling the trigger myself!” Caleb strives to give each one of his hunters the best experience possible.


Trey J

Trey has worked his whole life with only one thing on his mind: When could he make it back to the field to pursue hunting professionally?

So, Trey decided to make his dream a reality by building one of the most successful hunting outfits in Oklahoma. Operating on over 150He shares his deep passion for the hunt with all clients, regardless of whether they’re chasing mallards or stalking giant white-tails.


Brett C

We have spent our lives learning how to hunt and harvest trophy whitetails, and we feel those life lessons have been the building blocks in our strategies and goals for our operation.

Having been guided, ourselves, by a number of different outfitters, we feel we have seen some of the best and worst in the industry. By these experiences, we have taken some of the best personal services and hunting techniques in the industry and given them a home with us right here in Southwest Oklahoma.

Our main goal is to provide each and every hunter with the most memorable and successful trophy hunting experience possible. We keep our camp numbers small and personal which allows us to run our business with quality, honesty, and integrity just as a trophy outfitter should be.

South Dakota

Nick P

Nick is a very passionate waterfowl hunter. He’s been chasing waterfowl for over fifteen years and has guided snow geese for over six years from Canada all the way down to Mississippi. “Snow geese, in my opinion, are one of the most challenging birds to pursue.” Because they migrate in such large numbers, they’re one of the most challenging species to decoy. Other than time he spends guiding waterfowl (9 months of every year), you’ll find Nick fishing salmon runs, hunting other game, or working on a boat in Alaska.

He says, “I live to hunt and fish, but snow geese are my passion. This is why I want to put my eleven years of decoying snows to work for you!”



Ranon and his family operate this world-class operation together. Rhino (his father) has been an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman since he was eight years old with the early guidance and encouragement of his father. He has hunted and fished throughout the United States including Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi and Alaska. He has also hunted and fished abroad in Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Rhino received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1988 from Southwest Texas State University in Environmental Resource Studies. Since then he has passionately sought to improve the environment and habitat with his dedication to agriculture, conservation and game management practices.



Jared has been a professional hunting guide for over 10 years. He holds a world record for the Racka sheep in the airgun category. From his abilities with the airgun, Jared was the first ever guide to successfully down a Pronghorn antelope in the state of Texas. Born and raised in Midland, with a strong ranching and hunting background, Jared is one of a duo of experts serving as hunting guides for his hunting operation.

His family has worked cattle ranching for over 100 years in the area, and their ranch has become a Texas landmark. Hunting all of his life, he has shot several Pope and Young Deer as well as Boone and Crockett.



Dale and his wife Tara and have been professional outfitters and guides since 1977 and are both equally involved in their full-time hunting business. They hunt areas in Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Washington so that they can provide hunters with a higher quality hunt for a larger variety of game than if they stayed confined to only one area. They offer highly successful hunting trips for Antelope, Bear, Buffalo, Bull Elk, Cougar, Cow Elk, Coyote, Fishing, Moose, Mule Deer, Predators, Sheep, Turkey, Upland Birds, Waterfowl, and Whitetail Deer.

Dale says, “Tara and I really enjoy visiting with and getting to know our hunters, most leave as friends and many have been hunting with us for 5 to 20 years or more.”

They lease more than 100,000 acres of top quality private hunting lands and also hunt many of the best public land areas. They’ve had hunters from throughout the United States, Canada, and many countries around the world. TV News and TV Hunting Shows have also featured their operation on numerous occasions.

They say, “Our goals are simple – continue to improve the quality of our hunts and always provide the best hunt possible to every one of our hunters.”

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