CT..........in general I agree with your post and I think most operators try as best they can. The other aspect to this is that we now live in a society that expects instant gratification and communication. All I have to do is sit in the airport and watch some nerd with a star wars head set on his ear for the cell phone, yapping away while texting on his blackberry and packing a laptop in his shoulder bag.
In the 'olden days' you sent a letter and got a brochure weeks later. That is not good enough now. It does present problems for many outfitters who do live in remote areas all the time because there is NO cell phone coverage at all. Heck where I live ......and this is rural Canada......I can't even call my own house from my cell phone sitting in my driveway.
That means the only option for many is satellite and it is expensive. If you go to the higher speeds you best have a big outfit with a large gross for the year..............and even then clients will bitch about the download/upload speeds. Then when the weather is bad and it is out of service you would swear the whole world is going to come to an end while they pace around and complain.
Personally I wish people would just chill out a bit. When I go to a camp as a hunter the last thing I want to see is a damn wide screen television and a satellite upload for the internet so that I can check e-mails and e-mail pictures taken that day on the hunt. I realize most love this.............but really.............what is next, perhaps a surgical satellite implant so we can all stay in touch and download communications at night lying in the sack.
I get guys that send me an e-mail while I am in the bush and it takes three or four days for me to answer them and they are in a big snot and questioning my business ethic when I do, because I didn't get back to them instantaneously.............and you know what? I quite likely am not going to enjoy my time in the bush guiding a client like that anyways. They are usually the ones who are on high frequency the whole time they are on the hunt and are just starting to come back to earth when it is all over and they are heading back to the land of Blackberries and high speed internet.
It is a good thing that I am slowly retiring and getting out of the guiding. There are way too many these days that seem to find it impossible to lay back and smell the roses. They are not fun to be with and they actually degrade the hunt for the other paying clients who are in camp at the same time and who are trying to relax and enjoy the hunt.
There are lots of GOOD outfitters and PH's out there that are not 'wired' 24/7, and many who are not computer savvy and come from a rural background where communication has historically been poor at the best of times, so give them a break.
If you are going to enquire, take into account when their operating season is and that during that time they may be slow in answering. Many operators cannot afford extra bodies to handle calls/e-mails/letters in a professional and knowledgeable fashion because they may live where the extra bodies with those skills actually get paid a substantial wage and the bottom line just isn't there with their business.
Just my 2 cents. And yes........I know my bad attitude is showing.......the truth is however that I don't care how bad the economy is, there are some whom I would prefer go elsewhere...... I will never need their money that bad, even if it means a lot of Spam and KD during the winter.
Hunting in Namibia
Sorry to hear that you have had such bad luck with outfitters. I am not sure if you would consider hunting in Namibia but if you do feel free to contact me.
We also offer tours either before or after the hunt. You can visit Etosha which is a National Animal Park or you can take a trip with us to Swakopmund where you will be able to do Shark/Fish Fishing from the deep or from the shore, Dolphin cruises, Balloon tours, Quad bikes in the dunes, Camel riding etc.
I think people should try a giant leap forward and just pick up the telephone. It works for me.
There are very few outfitters in Africa that are not legitamate, some are better than others but most do a great job..I wish I could say the same for the USA, but in all honesty I cannot, we have a lot of rogue outfitters that pack folks in two days ride to camp and you can hear the trucks on the higway over the next mountain...We are not as well regulated.
Not saying we don't have a lot of good outfitters, we do, but we also have a bunch bar hanging cowboys in the guide business..I am a cowboy by the way and I know most of the outlaws in the business in the Pacific NW anyway. No, I don't book for them but I see them at rodeos and ropings all the time.
Thank you for all your response , I have now booked my hunt ,10 days gemsbock , kudu, Impala , zebra and blesbock with a option for a couple more if africa sees fit . Maybe a bit much for my first time but I have been saving for a bit :D In my quest for a outfitter I have talked to maybe 15 out of the many I have considered , as for picking up a phone , with the 9 hour difference in time that has proved to be a bit more of a chore than you would think , now I have to wait untill may of 2011 again thanks for all your Knowledge
Now the countdown begins!
Originally Posted by milford
Yes, tell me all about it. Arranging something over distance can be a daunting task, which is why you could use an agent in your home country. Often their prices are the same as the outfitter's.