I’m new to this board, as you can tell,
and I wonder if you’d all be willing to answer a question for me? If I've posted this in an inappropriate place, I apologise, and trust one of the Moderators will move it.
Basically, I’d like to know what YOU, as a hunter,
expect from the Owners or Operators of a
What is it that makes the difference between a Dream destination,
and a Nightmare one?
Please mention ANYTHING that you feel is relevant,
whether it’s the service, the food, the game or the personality of the PH.
I’m interested in every aspect of your expectations for a great hunting
Thanks in advance for your input, it’ll be much appreciated.
1. I expect to be treated as a person of worth and as if I have some understanding of hunting and shooting.
2. I expect to be met on time and taken/placed on time and picked up on time.
3. I DO NOT expect to be paraded around on an imaginary leash during non-peak hunting hours as if I were a dog just to make it appear that we're hunting and I'm getting my monies worth.
4. I expect that if the outfitter does not believe something I say, shooting ability, hunting experience, etc. that the issue(s) be discussed and tested if need be. I do NOT expect to be put off and/or dismissed.
5. I expect the outfitter to be truthful with me, if it's slow say so.
6. I expect the "guide" to have some experience and not mearly a warm body.
7. I expect the guide/outfitter to have at least as much experience as I do. I do NOT intend to train my guide as a full time job.
8. I expect things to be planned so that there is no last minute rush to make connections.
9. I expect to be able to read about local game and other pertinant laws.
10. I really don't care what the last fella shot.
11. I don't like to hunt in someone elses trash. If the last fella to use a blind was a slob, pick the junk up before putting the new hunter there.
12. I like to have an understanding of local customs/beliefs/norms so that when I meet folks I don't appear to be an inconsiderate idiot. (A regular idiot is fine but inconsiderate is not good [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img])
13. I do NOT want to be around when there is a disagreement between hunting staff. If you're gonna chew the helps ass, do so away from me.
14. I expect to be treated as a normal local visitng friend/person, food, accomodations etc. I don't care to be treated as royalty or someone far above the regular folks.
15. I guess what I'm saying is I expect to be treated with respect and dignity, not as a cash cow.
It would be hard to beat your list of expectations. So many of them we take for granted that I wouldn't have thought to mention them. It is good that you did.
My list only includes a few additional thoughts:
1. On an outfitted hunt I expect that my outfitter/guide is experienced and has been doing his homework all year long. I am paying him to KNOW when & where game animals are likely to be. I have a reasonable expectation to see game. That doesn't guarantee me anything, but his knowledge of the local game animals is the primary reason that I would use an outfitter rather than just going it alone.
2. The social ammenities are important. Hunting isn't about killing, it is about the whole experience of the hunt. If the food is lousey, accomodations are inadequate, or other things make me uncomfortable during my hunting trip than just making a kill will not provide for an enjoyable experience. A less than enjoyable hunting experience will not result in repeat business or referrals to friends.
I think Dave covered this one. But to be sure you are getting just that as varmint hunter said repeat business or referrals are important. I used a booking agent for a South Africa trip. I trusted this person as a friend and hunter. He would not send someone to a place he has not hunted for himself. And not being the land owner he would send you to the place that best fits your needs. Talk to your guide or PH about your expectations and do your research. I nearly learned the hard way, my trip was booked for Zimbabwe during the land "invasions" The land owners idea of safe didn't meet my definition!!!
I'm not comfortable being a dude hunter, and I understand that they don't (and can't) completely trust the client handling guns.
I'll share what I think is a humorous story of my African experience.
We had a series of negotiations, what game I was interested in, the level of activity, etceteras. He inquired about special dietary needs and preferences. That seemed to be a obvious question, and I admit that I didn't give it the thought I should have given it.
I mentioned that I don't usually take the time for breakfast, but when I do, primarily on weekends, I like a traditional breakfast of bacon and eggs, and I appreciate a morning cup of coffee, regardless of how we might be roughing it. Other than that, I told him that I liked steak, and fruit and juices, and an occasional beer, at sunset, of course.
Well, I had all those things. He watched me fix my coffee the first morning, and thereafter, was standing there holding the cup out to me, fixed as I like it. I had bacon and eggs every single morning, to the point where it was laughable, but I didn't say anything. Steak? Yeah, every night, also amusing, but, my own fault, of course.
So, I don't know what the moral of the story might be? I can't complain about the monotony, since it was all my PH had to go on. Lucky for me that I like those items very much and it wasn't such a hardship.
But, I'm amused, every time I think about it. LB
edit: what I found interesting is the way Americans are perceived, in Africa. They tend to clasify Spanish a certain way, Germans want strange trophys, and Americans are technically knowledgeable, and don't need catering nearly as much as some others.