In 2022 I drew my Mt Emily big bull archery tag that I had been waiting a long time to do. I had never hunted in this unit so it was all new country for me. Initially I had planned to do the hunt on my own DIY, scouting and talking to those who have hunted the unit in the past, etc. I had no plans of hiring a guide or an outfitter. Then I came across Derek with Eastern Oregon Outfitters and talked to him about what he could help me with and it just made sense to take Derek up on his offer. It was one of the best decisions I could make going into a hunt of lifetime. Derek’s knowledge and skill in hunting elk and the area knowledge were invaluable, he took me places I would have not attempted on my own. Derek will work as hard as you want and for whatever your goal is for the hunt. If you are a DIY hunter then Derek will fit right in with your goals with the benefit of his knowledge and skills. I ended up hunting the first 14 days solo and the last 7 days with Derek, capping off my hunt with a bull on day 20. I highly
recommend Eastern Oregon Outfitters for whatever kind of hunt you are looking for. On top of a great hunting experience with Derek you will walk away with a new friendship as well, Derek is a great guy to hunt with.
I can't say enough good things about Derek. If you are looking for an outfitter who is professional, has knowledge of the area and the game, book with Eastern Oregon Outfitters. Derek is top notch. He was very prepared, had a plan and definitely knew the area well. If you're looking for a trophy animal, again, Derek is your guy. He has the patience, determination and skills to make it happen.
Note* The following testimonial was from a unique experience that happened during a Mt.Emily big bull hunt in 2021. My client and I had been sitting on a small herd of bulls waiting to make a better evaluation of one of the bulls. We decided to pass on the bull and just then I noticed a man, woman and teenage girl coming across the face below us. I was surprised because the country was pretty rough. I had a feeling they were spike hunting and decided quickly to run down to them and see if I was right and offer to help them kill two spikes that were in this group. We were able to get set up fast and his wife and daughter both took spikes at the same time. He sent me a letter later with a thank you gift. It was one of the best days I've had on the mountain.
We wanted to thank you for helping us kill those two spikes in Mt. Emily. Trying to get my wife and daughter both spikes was a daunting task. I kept telling them that it would happen. I wasn't sure how or when but I had a lot of hope. We dropped down in that hole an hour before dark on the last evening of our hunt. I wasn't sure if it was crazy or stupid. Our chances were slim. It was truly a miracle when you came running down the mountain to let us know about the spikes. It says a lot about you as a person.
After 20 years I drew the Mt. Emily bull elk rifle tag for the 2022 season and was well prepared for the hunt. My son, brother-in-law and I tackled the unit for the 1st week. Weather and mechanical issues pushed us off the mountain and into town and that’s when I saw Derek’s post on Facebook offering help to Mt. Emily hunters. I’ve never hired a guide and was apprehensive as I have not heard of great experiences from fellow hunters. At this point in the hunt, I rolled the dice and hired Derek. The bottom line is that I wished I had known about Derek because I would have hired him at the beginning of the season no questions asked. Derek is a knowledgeable, trustworthy and hard-working guide that put me on nice bulls. He taught my son and I a lot about being a successful elk hunter for years to come…as well as how to manage the highs and lows of a hunt by taking “one step at a time”. And yes, I was successful in harvesting my first bull. Derek is a class act and goes above and beyond for his clients.
I consider him a friend for life.
“Derek is an exceptional guide and person in general. On our hunt together in 2019 for branch bull elk my daughter Alexsis (19) and I got to meet and work with Derek for the first time. Right off he was friendly and would prove to be extremely knowledgeable during our hunt over the next several days. Derek, completely worked with our wants as clients, while explaining what needed to happen to be successful. Derek worked with my abilities, as a larger guy, to make it our greatest hunting experience to date for my daughter and I. We hunted several days together waiting for the right time and animal to present itself. When it came time to accomplish the difficult, we agreed that I would stay back at a great observation spot and Derek and Lexi would go to a better position and hopefully get a shot. We weren’t successful that evening but because of his extensive knowledge and instincts, he was confident of where to be the next morning. I stayed back so they could move faster and easier. As a father, I trusted Derek completely with the safety and protection of my daughter and had complete confidence he would get her the best shot possible. They worked together and he put her in the perfect spot when the time was right. He even fashioned her a set of shooting sticks with what was available around them. When the bull got up from his bed Lexi had a great 250 yard shot and anchored her bull, thanks to Derek’s knowledge and persistence.
This was our first guided hunt and Lexis first big game harvest. It is one that neither of us will ever forget thanks to Derek helping to make it an awesome experience.”
“I had a great experience with Derek. He’s a GREAT GUIDE! Helped take me to my first big buck in fossil Oregon. He helped me fight it out for two days and finally got me what I wanted. Thanks Derek!”
“Drawing the Mt. Emily archery tag, I had high expectations of seeing lots of animals and a good trip. This was all made possible with Derek as my guide. He gave me a lot of opportunities with elk & elk encounters. As a guide, he learns the land before taking you out, & knows elk to an extreme. Being a young and athletic hunter, he was willing and able to take me wherever I needed to go to find the elk of my dreams. Derek is willing to go the extra mile for his clients & at times I coulda swore this man spoke elk.
Not only is he an amazing guide, he is all around a great person. I highly recommend Derek to anyone.
“I was very apprehensive about using a guide for a once in a lifetime hunt with my oldest son. After spending just 1 day with Derek all my concerns were gone! We spent a unforgettable week and he showed us 20+ Bulls. He has a great skill set and was willing to do anything to ensure a successful hunt, there is no doubt we will be hunting with him again!!!!!!
"Derek is the real deal! Passionate about hunting and treats his clients like family."
I did a 7 day back pack hunt with Derek. He is full of knowledge when it comes to hunting and the outdoors. He made me feel very comfortable like I had known him forever. He put us on elk numerous times and knew exactly what to do and when to do it. We covered 62 miles in 7 days and never had a dull moment when we were out. He taught me many things that seemed simple but that I had never noticed. If anyone is looking for a guided hunt I would highly recommend Eastern Oregon Outfitters!