Is there anything you can do when you have a bad experience with a guide/outfitter?

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D

drra

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In reading the registered guide-outfitter license in statute (AS 08.54.610) there does appear to be two violations - one is certain. Section a7 depends on interpretation (provided this encompasses the ability to judge animals one is hunting which I would think it would) but e1 is undebatable (was not present in the field).

I'm of the opinion that people don't go out of their way to do a bad job, but that doesn't mean that people don't do bad jobs. I've been on six guided hunts, not all successful but this is the first where I felt the guides/outfitter did not do their jobs (I would go so far as to say unethical). If you were a guide for an outfitter would you set your tent up in the middle of an area that another guide with the same outfitter was hunting? You don't even need to be a guide for the same outfitter to know that this is wrong and unethical - its like knowingly putting a bait site next to someone else's site or putting your tree stand 50 feet from another tree stand with a hunter sitting in the tree.

It will be real interesting to see the episode to appear on the Pursuit Channel - I'll be sure to follow up with a reference to day one of my hunt so those that question the experience can see and decide for themselves the ethics of the activity.

John Lewis said it best when he said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” At this time I'm trying to decide what are the options and it doesn't look like there are many to choose from and none of them sound satisfying. However, I keep hearing - you have to do something.
 

MattB

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Seems to me that you should also should be giving your guide some of the negative credit. In my mind, part of his job is to ensure you have an area to hunt that won't be covered up with other guides. I think an experience guide/outfitter would know if someone would likely come into his area or not. I guess it's possible the Pursuit guide was in an entirely new area as well.

I only have experience from talking to friends who guided in AK. They typically hunt where they were far away from anyone else. I don't think any of the more experienced guides wouldn't want anyone near them and would talk to the other guides to make sure it wasn't going to happen.

Just my two cents that might be worth less than that.
The guides were working for the same outfitter. Probably did not have a choice as to where they hunted. That is on the outfitter.
 

Mykolaivka887

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I don't think any of the more experienced guides wouldn't want anyone near them and would talk to the other guides to make sure it wasn't going to happen.



That's generally how it was and to some extent, still is conducted up here in Alaska. But with so many newbies coming into the industry nowadays - such as the Stephen Lake boys - it's now not at all uncommon to be kicked in the balls by some new guy coming on the scene.
 

2ski

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In reading the registered guide-outfitter license in statute (AS 08.54.610) there does appear to be two violations - one is certain. Section a7 depends on interpretation (provided this encompasses the ability to judge animals one is hunting which I would think it would) but e1 is undebatable (was not present in the field).

I'm of the opinion that people don't go out of their way to do a bad job, but that doesn't mean that people don't do bad jobs. I've been on six guided hunts, not all successful but this is the first where I felt the guides/outfitter did not do their jobs (I would go so far as to say unethical). If you were a guide for an outfitter would you set your tent up in the middle of an area that another guide with the same outfitter was hunting? You don't even need to be a guide for the same outfitter to know that this is wrong and unethical - its like knowingly putting a bait site next to someone else's site or putting your tree stand 50 feet from another tree stand with a hunter sitting in the tree.

It will be real interesting to see the episode to appear on the Pursuit Channel - I'll be sure to follow up with a reference to day one of my hunt so those that question the experience can see and decide for themselves the ethics of the activity.

John Lewis said it best when he said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” At this time I'm trying to decide what are the options and it doesn't look like there are many to choose from and none of them sound satisfying. However, I keep hearing - you have to do something.

That's not unethical. I don't think anything I read from you was unethical on their part. You may not agree with what they did but it's not unethical. I've seen a tendency in hunting forums to decree everything we don't like unethical. Unfair possibly in your eyes. If I set up my tent in the middle of where you're hunting it's not unethical. If you're eating dinner and i sit down at your table in a restaurant is it unethical? No. It's a dick move no doubt.

Now is it unethical to come onto a hunting forum, especially one that's built around DIY hunting and complain about a specific outfitter and name said outfitter in your very first post on said forum......
 

TheGrayRider

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9 times out of 10, if your outfitter has a hunting show client or someone of notoriety in camp, you are are going to get the lesser of the two guides and the lesser of the two hunting areas. It’s the nature of the game.

Cut your losses, save your water efforts and move on. A bad review online is about all you can do,
I agree with Theringworm’s post. Chalk the bad hunt and guide up to experience.

I avoid outfitters and guides that invite the tv crowd and their groupies. Too much ego, oneupmanship, and pride floating around those camps. Best of luck in the future!
 

Rich M

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What I see is monday-morning quarterbacking & nitpicking your hunt cause you didn't shoot a bear.

Too bad you didn't shoot the "little bear" you saw. You'd be happy and have gotten what you wanted. Yes, I know he didn't say to shoot it.

You didn't hold back on the outfitter's name. And you signed on this forum just to do this - so it is a vendetta against the outfitter. You are trying to find a way to get even, which seems very petty. Yah, it costs $20K to go shoot a bear and not everyone gets one....

You should go back and modify your post. Outfitter could use this thread/post against you in court if you cause too much trouble.
 

USMC-40

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Im not quite sure how 'unethical' the situation was as you described. 'Not smart' is probably a better description. I havent done many guided hunts, in fact, the only guided hunt I have done is in Alaska and we had some guys land on an adjacent ridge and spook all the sheep, so I told the guide 'we better keep pushing into another drainage' and he agreed - long story short, I had quite a bit of control during that hunt. If you allowed that to happen without protesting the situation, then its on you. Rookie guide or otherwise, I would imagine he would listen if you made a logical argument. Monday morning revenge quarterbacking what sounds like your failure to address the situation appropriately at the time of the incident is on you.
 

Kilboars

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I my experience that guided hunts. I’ve done many and very few I could recommend. I always read how you should listen to your guide, they know the area and are professional hunters Etc. I’ve found especially with Bowhunting the guide Dont seem to put to much thought into the job and a feel are often times winging it or just running down the clock. They get paid either way.
Most of my successful hunts are because of the decisions or ideas I made not the rented hunting buddy.

I still go on guided hunts but I ask a lot more questions and get a better understanding of what they’re thinking and put in my own two cents


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

WCB

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You are leaving a LOT out of the story. You went to a creek and guide didn't want something to roll into the creek due to water level...maybe recent run of or rain jacked the levels up...you don't know till you get there. I took clients places and ended up the snow got too deep or recent storms nocked trees down so we had to come up with another game plan...it happens.

You watched a bear fishing in the creek (why didn't you go after that bear?)

You see a bear for a couple seconds and want to start blasting? Unless it is a no doubt big animal...no a guide should not be able to tell in mere seconds if a common sized animal is a shooter. Most times (even more so in bear hunting) they want to be able to tell sex...also wonder if it had cubs with it etc. So no most guided hunts and hunts in general are not the wild west where you see target species and pull the trigger.

As far as the rest of it...if it wasn't the outfitters direct decision he no way in hell didn't know about where each group would be camped and should have pulled the plug on the 2nd groups plans. Depending on how long ago you got back from the hunt you should give a little time or even make a phone call to the outfitter and talk it out with him.

Also, for anyone else reading this and thinking about going outfitted. #1 be realistic on expectations #2 if you have concerns, be a man and voice your concerns immediately.
 

Theringworm

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I will add……agree with above, bear hunting…the guide will want to look the bear up and down to determine as WCB stated, sex mainly, if a sow does she have cubs and lastly, is this a target animal for this area. Simply because it’s “good enough for you” does not mean it’s big enough for the area. Outfitters don’t blast any and every animal. If they did, their quality will suffer for it.

My past fall bear hunt there was a hunter in camp that blatantly made it known he wanted to shoot the first bear he saw, didn’t care at all how big it was. He was an overweight out of shape hunter and simply wanted to go home with a bear. The guide and outfitter both told him very clearly, you will only shoot what we deem as “trophy sized” and there will be no exceptions. For this area that was >7 ft square for a black bear. He ultimately got his bear, 7’5”” squared. His verbose wants and incessant pleas to shoot whatever clearly pissed off the guides and outfitter as well as the other hunters in camp. Nothing worse than a hunter with his own agenda in camp. I am not suggesting that is how you are/were, but if there isn’t a clear discussion about what to expect from both hunter and outfitter before booking the hunt and then again before going out into the field, you are going to be dissatisfied almost every single time.

As with all things in life, communication goes a long way and prevents a lot of headaches and disappointment.
 

MallardSX2

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If I was on a guided hunt and had paid 20K and I saw a legal bear I wanted to shoot I would be shooting it. If I had a shot and I knew it was high % kill at a reasonable range < 300 yards, I would be shooting. I don't give a rip what the guide says. They would have to either get over it or not. I wouldn't care.

No way would I allow someone else to dictate what animal I shot after paying $20K. That would NEVER happen.

That's probably why I only do DIY. I don't want anyone telling me what their version of a trophy is. I would be happy with ANY bear VS no bear.

To that end, I dont think you have much of a case to do anything about anything.

Did you tip the guy?
 

Where's Bruce?

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So the bottom line is this, other hunters screwed up your plans and pissed your guide off. Been there-done that. Happens frequently. The only odd part is that the "other hunters" were from the same outfitter meaning there was little to no collaboration/communication within that organization. This is a legit complaint.

Your guide made a call to move to a different spot because current conditions did not look fruitful...been there-done that. Maybe the water was higher than usual? Wind coming from the wrong directions for that location?

Guide doesn't give the okay to fire because it may not be a legal bear to kill...that's what you are paying for. A disappointment but not a guide error.

Not for nothing but hunting is subject to all kinds of disappointments, requires constant flexibility and a mentally positive mindset. Your sour grapes do not appear to be worthy of 3rd party review IMHO...you wanna blame somebody for stuff that happens to hunters in the field everyday and your story is full of huge holes. The only actual issue I see here is that the outfitter appears to have placed the welfare of the film crew's footage first (positive marketing for the outfitter) which is likely what any outfitter would do. They should have given your guide a heads-up. That's the only failure I see here. Your guide did his job and was upset for the same reason you were but having a hunt plan go south because other hunters were a factor is just life. My advice? Get over it and move on. I know guys who hunted with the same outfitter for 8 years before they got a bear. A kill is never guaranteed. You need to develop a more philosophical attitude towards the sport and learn to live in the moment. Assigning blame afterwards is not helpful and from what I read...your guide was doing the job right.
 
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WCB

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If I was on a guided hunt and had paid 20K and I saw a legal bear I wanted to shoot I would be shooting it. If I had a shot and I knew it was high % kill at a reasonable range < 300 yards, I would be shooting. I don't give a rip what the guide says. They would have to either get over it or not. I wouldn't care.

No way would I allow someone else to dictate what animal I shot after paying $20K. That would NEVER happen.

That's probably why I only do DIY. I don't want anyone telling me what their version of a trophy is. I would be happy with ANY bear VS no bear.

To that end, I dont think you have much of a case to do anything about anything.

Did you tip the guy?
Good for you.
 

MattB

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If I was on a guided hunt and had paid 20K and I saw a legal bear I wanted to shoot I would be shooting it. If I had a shot and I knew it was high % kill at a reasonable range < 300 yards, I would be shooting. I don't give a rip what the guide says. They would have to either get over it or not. I wouldn't care.

No way would I allow someone else to dictate what animal I shot after paying $20K. That would NEVER happen.
Most quality outfitters would de-select you after an initial phone conversation, so fortunately you should never find yourself in that situation.

In the OP’s case, do you think it is possible to determine if a bear is legal in just a few seconds?

While deer hunting a couple of weeks ago, I had a bear come out in an opening and feed on grass hoppers for ~10 minutes. It went back into the trees for a bit and when it re-emerged it was accompanied by 3 cubs. She was not a legal bear to kill, but it took close to 15 minutes for me to determine that.
 

sndmn11

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What I see is monday-morning quarterbacking & nitpicking your hunt cause you didn't shoot a bear.
#2 if you have concerns, be a man and voice your concerns immediately.
This is exactly why I asked how the concerns were voiced each day, and what the response was. I don't think it is very fair to wait until the hunt is over to then express concerns from day one.
 

william schmaltz

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I feel like the majority of these threads have the same booking source. Something to think about. The best of the best don't need to use 3rd parties to book out their hunts. Most good guides and outfitters find it just as important for them to interview the client to make sure it's the correct fit as it is for the client to interview them.

Also, I have a close friend that has hit 100% success rate for the last several years for moose drop offs. I don't remember if he told me that legally he can't advertise 100% success, but I know that he would never claim that on his website or with future clients because he didn't want to leave it open to legal dispute. That might be your route if anything. Start searching if there are/were other unsuccessful hunters - could get them on false advertising. And what exactly is "success" may be subjective if you go that route.
 

Mykolaivka887

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Under statute and regulation - 12 AAC 75.340 (f) (1) - it is illegal for a guide/outfitter to guarantee success or the number of animals to be killed. This does not apply to advertising past successes, either verbally or through marketing.
 
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