This is a discussion on Why? within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the Hunting Forums - Hunting in Africa category; I've been advised by a couple of people not to spill the beans on the forum and in the process ...
09-18-2011, 12:51 PM #21
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I've been advised by a couple of people not to spill the beans on the forum and in the process damage my own image. However, I think it is just because of this that some people is getting away with a lot of wrongful doings, damaging our hunting industry in the whole. I'm going to answer the questions being asked on this specific subject. Firstly, the fuel: (the easy one) my vehicle has two seperate fuel tanks. The basis that I work on, is filling up both tanks when leaving home. The one will be used to get to the hunting destination. Upon arrival and my starting to work for the outfitter, I'll switch to the other full tank. Then it is easy: when having to fill up, only that specific tank will be filled up. Leaving camp after the hunt, it is easy: just fill up the tank again. In this specific instance, leaving camp on two occasions, there wasn't diesel in the camp. The reason given that there was not enough time to get diesel. The first time the outfitter forgot to draw money, and I had to fill up out of my own pocket. The second time, he apparently lost his cheque book.
With reference to my payment as PH, the system works as follows: in the beginning of the season the outfitters that I am hunting with, will book me for certain dates to do hunts for them. Naturally when I'm booked for a specific date and there is a cancellation well in advance, I can look for other employment in that specific time-frame. But if the hunt is cancelled at 5:30pm, before I have to arrive at the hunting camp the following morning, it is impossible to get that other employment. What will your view on my payment for this cancelled hunt be? In this specific case the outfitter immediately asked me for an invoice so that he can arrange payment; according to him the client agreed on paying it. It never happened. Everytime there was an excuse about the client not replying to his e-mails, the client not being reachable, being away on other hunting trips, etc. The moment I started to put on a bit of pressure, his story changed. Now he is saying that he'll consider paying me. Coming back from the States, he gave me hunting dates for the season. I started planning according to it.
The first hunting date should have been 14th June 2011. On the 12th of June I was told that the date is postponed until the 5th of September - two weeks without employment. The next hunt was from the 2nd of July until the 18th of July. However, due to changes, I only started hunting again on the 21st of July. Another two weeks without employment. On the 19th of July, the outfitter contacted me and told me he is looking for certain species to hunt, closer to the airport as he does not have access to some of those animals on his concessions. The whole of the 20th of July I was driving around, burning fuel, trying to find suitable places nearby, for the species he was looking for. Needless to say it was unsuccesful, due to the short notice given by him. When payday came, and my invoice was presented, he told me that I was out of my mind to think I would be paid for the fuel that I used, looking for oher hunting places for his clients - not to even mention my time spent.
My first hunting trip for this outfitter this year, started on the 21st of July. It ended on the 5th of August 2011. On the 3rd of August he informed me that the clients are going to the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve on the 4th, spend one night at a guest house and leave for the airport on the 5th. But he has a problem: his bus is broken down and he wants to hire my Minibus, with me as driver/guide to take the guys to the Park and drop them off at the airport on the Friday afternoon. We agreed on a daily rate for the bus and that he will pay the fuel. My wife drived all the way (5 hours) to his farm, arrived at 9pm and left again at 4am the following morning. Needless to say, he forgot to arrange cash for the fuel. Now I had to fill up the bus out of my own pocket as well my Landcruiser, which my wife drove back home with. They received the invoice on the 6th of August; payment only took place on the 22nd of August. This only happened after a lot of hassles and my wife's "contribution" to this forum.
The next client arrived on the 4th of August and there was supposed to be another two clients arriving on the 8th of August. Again I was informed, on the 6th of August that the two clients will not be arriving on the 8th of August. He then told me that I must still come through, take over his client and he would have time to sort out personal issues. I am in the hunting industry now for many years and this was the most changes/cancellations of hunting dates that I have come across.
With reference to my rate as PH for this specific outfitter: it was confirmed by him last year. When I started to ask for my money, his most favourite line became: "You are the most expensive PH I ever came across." Normally when done with a hunt, I would invoice the outfitter and with all the other outfitters I hunt with, they pay me within 3 days after the hunt.
The gratitudes: the hunt with this specific client was supposed to end on the 20th of August. I was suppose to start hunting again on the 22nd of August. Then the outfitter sent me home on the 18th. Again 2 days pay lost. He was suppose to hunt a leopard at another outfitter from the 22nd while I hunted with one of his own clients from his camp. Who would play PH at another outfitter and leave his own client with another PH? His reason for sending me back home two days earlier was that I must go and do the leopard hunt now. He would then hunt with his own client. We agreed and he was suppose to contact the other outfitter on that same day. Guess what - the other outfitter was not contacted until today. On that last day, the 18th of August, the client told me and my tracker/skinner, in the outfitter's presence, that he was going to leave a tip for us, with the outfitter. Already busy with the leopard hunt, I contacted the outfitter regarding that tips and I was told that the client only left a tip for the tracker. Just for the record, the tracker/skinner is employed by myself, not by the outfitter. The client confirmed via e-mail that he did leave me USD750 with the outfitter. Confronting the outfitter, I was told that he would ask the client whether he can give me the money. Making any sense?
At that point I have not received my payment for the hunt I did for him from the 8th until the 18th of August. Then again the forum helped and some money was received on the 25th. Then the rest on the 27th. But R700 was deducted because he disagreed with the fuel used. He made the following arrangement: my tips, the tracker's tips and the R700 would then be handed over to me when returning his equipment.
He gave me some of his equipment to use during the leopard hunt. I would give his equipment back at the end of the hunt. That would have taken place on the last day of the hunt because it wasn't far from his own property. Trying to get a time from him on the 2nd last day of the hunt, he was not available for the exchange and no alternative arrangements were made by him. Up until today, the equipment is still in my possession. It will remain like that until he comes to my house, bring my outstanding money and take his equipment.
Upsetting me quite a bit, was the fact that all his staff were fired, except one guy, on the 20th of July - no skinners/trackers were available while there were 3 hunters in camp. (His reason for firing them, was that they complained about the tips.) Everything came down on my guy who sat until anything from 12 to 2 o'clock in the mornings, skinning. I think he deserved every tip that the clients left him.
This guy said he'll in future only use PH's younger than 30 years because the older ones are always pointing out mistakes, so that they, the PH's, look good and the outfitter looks bad and therefore try to steal the outfitters' clients.
Guys, this may sound like a lot of nitty-gritty and may appear like useless info. But I only tried to answer questions posted in previous threads. The same game he is playing with me is also played with some clients - the clients involved, can post their own experiences.
The last thing: you all asked about the outfitter and his name. It's Werner Lewies, Motshwere Safaris, Lephalale.
I've also started as a young PH in the industry and I know how difficult employment in this industry is. It will definitely happen that a PH will change employment during his career, but my advise to other PH's will be: get references before starting to work for an outfitter. Outfitters should do the same before employing a PH. Clients MUST also get references regarding the outfitters and PH's. One thing that should be addressed is a written contract between a PH and outfitter and this is to protect the outfitter and the PH in the same way that a remuneration agreement between an outfitter and a client protects both parties.
09-18-2011, 02:24 PM #22
Why cannot be answered, Some are just thiefs.
I want to chime in.........while ddescribing your issues on an intranet forum is not ideal, it is unfortunately the only way to get the word out about unscrupulous entities within the industry.
I was the iniator of a post earlier this year where I lamented the shady dealings with this same outfitter. I will not bore you with the same facts over again (you can look at the post), however the issues surrounded curious issues around camp, not enough PHs to take out the whole party all days, losing trophies, blaming the taxidermist, and then trying to pass off other trophies that were not ours. This involved one of the forum members who was duped into being part of these shenanigans (Pro-Dip).
As late as a couple months ago Werner Lewies was trying to convince me he was sending me my money for issues surrounding the trophies. But alas, more lies.
This outfitter has defrauded my taxidermist (Oberholzer) as well as other farmers, etc. Koos Nels was my son and father's PH during our unfortunate trip with Motshwere Safaries - Werner Lewies last July. It was Koos' first adventure being a PH for Werner. He was a fantastic PH with an ethical nature beyond reproach. I warned him then that Werner was not to be trusted. But Koos being who he is, attempted to live up to his end of the bargain. It is too bad that others have now had to be harmed by this guy.
I have posted on AH, I have called the various province authorities and have submitted my issues to SCI yet this guy continues to give the industry a bad name. I don't have any answers as to how to regulate this industry (since I am in the USA), but it seems that the only thing that will affect unscrupulous characters like Lewies is to hurt them where it might make a difference, in the forum of popular opinion.
All I know is that Koos Nels is one of the upstanding individuals in the African hunting industry. I have met many more than should be applauded. But as they say, one bad apple spoils the bunch.
For those of you that have the ability to inform unsuspecting individuals, I would suggest that you remember the name Werner Lewies - Motshwere Safaris in an unfavorable manner.
09-18-2011, 03:09 PM #231. What was the amount that he miscalculated on his fuel slips?
(Apparantly close to R10 000... not a "silly" mistake at all)
2. If he's an Outfitter, does he have a camp?
Look up his name, and you will find out that he's company is "Nelco Safari'". Please look at the camp pictures on the right, and you will see it's all he's "Terrible Outfitter"'s camp, Motswere Safari's and he didn't have any permission to put it there.
3. The other pictures are from Wilton Valley, the company Motswere intruduced him to, to help him getting a bigger income. He came back just now from a Leopard hunt that he on behalf of Werner took as Werner couldn't make it, had to hunt another client in his own camp. He even borrowed Werner's Leopard gear, and got paid +/- R400 EXTRA per DAY for Werner's gear.. pocket everything...
4. What is his Salary at Motswere? You won't believe it, it's R950 per day, highly overpaid in our area. Motswere was "nice" to him, taking him in at that salary because he was new to the business, he didn't know better. Now PH Koos says he got paid R1350 per day at Wilton Valley, but doesn't say it's because of Werner's gear
5. Cancelled hunts, what is the norm regarding the PH? Who is considering the lack of income towards the Outfitter if a client cancel one day before the hunt. How much preparation was made for the hunt already? Is it really the Outfitter's fault? Perhaps if he knew months before and didn't tell the PH, but surely not if he only found out the day before as well? Does the Outfitter really have to pay the PH the full amount what he would have got for the hunt? They cornered the client as well, so the PH knew it wasn't the Outfitter's fault. What about 50/50 at the most? The Outfitter lost a lot as well.
09-18-2011, 03:17 PM #24
I think people should make their own opinions on the comments above. I will leave it at that...I think for the record there are problems with PH's talking client to not go back to the outfitter they hunted with...and instead hunt with them. And there are a lot of disputes with freelance PH's and outfitters....I'm not going to get into it. I think it shows how important it is too hunt with a great outfitter and PH though.
09-18-2011, 03:21 PM #25
Since this thread seemed to be asking for sources/names, and to not be "coy". Who is your source? I have actually seen you give multiple positions on this outfitter from friends and "sources". It would be appropriate for you to name your sources rather than just throwing out there that folks should make their own assumptions.
No reparations can be made through a forum of this nature. The only message here is that there are at least a couple members who are willing to share their experiences so others will not be harmed. Obviosuly there are two sides to every story but don't just stir the pot.
09-18-2011, 03:31 PM #26
I will ask if they want to comment....they didn't....I gave them my word...I wouldn't.
I wouldn't hunt with Motshwere Safaris. They are not a PHASA member and there are too many problems. I think they have good trophy quality. But they are not organized. And for how much hunting costs...their costs are out of line. The service doesn't match the price tag.
As far as you getting SCI or anybody to do anything about your bad situation...forget about it. SCI is distancing themselves from outfitter hunt problems. And the government in RSA or any country is Africa can't be trusted to help you. There are a lot of great people there...but like here in the USA...you have a lot of government problems. You really have to hunt with a good outfitter or you are going to be wasting a lot of time and money....that is what I can tell you. I've been burned and know better now too.
09-18-2011, 03:50 PM #27
That is my point. If folks want to give their opinion, by all means. But I do not think it is appropriate to give and opinion but stay hidden....namelessly. Intranet is bad enough with folks giving opinions all over the plave without any substantiation.
By the way, based upon my comments, I should probably give my full name.
09-18-2011, 08:45 PM #28
My name is Eric Nysse, I'm a lifetime SCI member....and long time public works employee. I have seen all levels of corruption and liars in my short life time. I have also met my share of geniune nice, smart and great family people....that have wanted to make this world a better place.
There are plenty of people out there that don't give a damn about the next guy or gal. I have heard Werner is a really nice family guy...but doesn't run his business very well. It's a shame people can't do the "right" thing. But since Africa is a long ways away...people feel that they don't have to do the right thing after the hunt is done or more that matter during the hunt.
I'm sorry about your experience in Africa, Dean. But I also know there is next to nothing I or anyone can do to fix your last hunt. It would be nice is money was refunded...but it will never happen. Not in my lifetime.
09-19-2011, 06:41 AM #29
Just to clarify, I am not asking anybody to help me with anything at this point. I just want to ensure others do not incur the same experiences that I came across. I guess I could sit back and not say anything, but that would not help my fellow outdoorsman.
As for Werner, we are not talking about his family, his faith, or how nice he is. We are talking about how he runs his business, how well he lives up to the "deal", and how well he handles the closure of the hunt (trophies, tips, ph's, etc.).
Nice to meet you Eric. Where in Wisconsin?
09-19-2011, 08:17 AM #30
Dean, you are right! How a person runs his business is hugely important to anyone that wants to know about their business. A lot is riding on everyone's hard earned dollars. And believe me, when people don't follow through on what they promised before a hunt starts and end is very important. I will not send anyone to do business with someone who has cold feet and can't do what is promised.
I live in a small town where Tecumseh Products use to provide 2500 jobs....before a ton of corporate mistakes caused it's huge plumet into sale of most of their product lines...then it went bankrupt. My wife and two stepkids live wtih me in New Holstein, WI. And hopefully my wife can finishing school and become a RN, so I can start hunting hard again.
I wish the best of luck to you and your family Dean.
09-19-2011, 09:31 AM #31
Hope your wife gets you back to hunting. I work for Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I have been through some of those circumstances myself. Have a great day.
09-20-2011, 09:41 AM #32
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Quoting somebody without proper facts and not knowing that they are true, is quite a risk. Please may I give you facts regarding the above:
1. the so-called miscalculation on fuel-slips: the amount was R700 which Werner later confirmed he deducted by mistake and would refund; not a miscalculation on fuel-slips, just a matter of filling up a tank that was full upon arival and suppose to be full again when leaving camp.
2. Yes, I do have several camps. Werner offered me usage of his camp for my own clients. I was even given a rate per day per hunter and yes, permission was given to put his photos on my website - thus giving him extra exposure.
3. Take note that I have hunted at Wilton Valley for the last 5 years. It was in fact me introducing Werner to WV this year. Yes, the leopard hunt was done by me at WV. That were arrangements changed by Werner. I was originally scheduled to hunt with his client in his camp. This was mentioned previously. I even asked why would an outfitter act as a PH for another outfitter and let his own client be accompanied by another PH in his own camp. Werner insisted that I use his equipment. Take note: his is not the only equipment available in the market. The so-called R400 extra per day - where did Werner get that from? A figure grabbed out of thin air when pressure was put on him.
4. Salary paid per day was a figure determined by Werner himself after he looked at my invoice book and saw other outfitters' payment. To be "new" in the business - not an excuse. He used other PH's before. What were they paid? I know now exactly who your source is, because the mention of the so-called figure paid at Wilton Valley, was only mentioned between me and Werner, and between me and ONE other lady. The rate paid at WV has got nothing to do with Werner's gear. Like I said, he's not the only one with equipment in the industry. I've got my own.
5. Making it short: there were certain undertakings and promises made by Werner regarding cancellations, which he voiced many times in the company of other people. We're all in business. I understand the cost involved on both sides very well. I am always open for negotiations. But do not make promises and undertakings and break and change them afterwards as you like. Stick to them. It is only good business practise.
I would suggest to the source - I don't mind you coming to this forum, but do so with verified facts. Lady, if it is not you, Werner is spreading the rumours to other people and it is not me.
09-20-2011, 09:57 AM #33
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I want to put the following scenario on the table and I would appreciate comments from yourself and other interested hunters.
Take note that this is just a scenario:
Let's mention Outfitter A, Client A and PH. While Client A is hunting with Outfitter A, accompanied by PH, Client A has a lot of questions for the PH. Questions like: How does the permit system in SA work? Who applies for permits and when? Does the shipping agent themselve apply for hunting and export permits? PH now asks why all these questions? Client A tells PH: "I've had 2 previous trips with Outfitter A. The last one was a year ago. I don't know anything about my trophies and I cannot get any answers anywhere." PH logically advises Client A to take the matter up with Outfitter A, as it is not the responsibility of PH. Client A tells PH that his stuff is apparently already crated and at some other agent in Johannesburg; there are permits lost and re-application must be done before his stuff can be shipped. Client A asks PH if PH would try and help him sort out this mess. Because he gets nowhere with answers from Outfitter A. PH asks Client A who the taxidermy, pack and dip agent is that was suppose to do this stuff. Client A tells PH he has no contact details of the people handling his stuff. Outfitter A won't give him any contact details.
PH is done with the hunt and PH starts to phone around and talk to taxidermies in the area, trying to locate Client A's trophies, as Client A requested his help in this regard. PH comes across this specific taxidermy, mentions Client A's name and taxidermy replies: "Yes, his trophies are with me. His friends' as well. It is in my store." PH asks taxidermy why it's not shipped. Taxidermy replies that he is awaiting the outstanding money from Outfitter A. PH asks why Outfitter A and not Client A, as Client A should pay. PH asks why not contacting Client A. Taxidermy replies that Outfitter refuses to give Client A's contact details, as Client A paid Outfitter A and Outfitter A is not paying taxidermy. Furthermore, some of the trophies with this batch, are not fully paid yet.
At this point and time: what will you suggest PH now do? Client A is really distressed, being in the dark and worrying about his trophies.
Must PH turn a blind eye, turn around and walk away, saying Client A is not his responsibility? Or must PH help Client A and in the process be accused of trying to steal Outfitter's clients?
Everybody on this forum, give me some thoughts.
09-20-2011, 10:25 AM #34
I know exactly how you feel I've been to enough hunting camps to know who I have chemistry with and could hunt with in the future. There are many characters or people in the hunting business. Those that feel it is a business...to make money. Those that have too many things going on and hunting is one of those activities. There are people that are good hunters but terrible at organization and following through on what they promised. And then there are the braggers and liars...for me the worst. There are also the family people that love their family and have a passion for hunting. And some people that don't have that much money but love hunting....want to do the right thing and don't need a lot of other things in life. Anyway...there are lots of combos out there and as I get older and spend time with a person....I usually can figure out where that persons true nature falls into.
And I never said you where a bad person and not to be trusted. I merely said people want to hear your side of the story. And then they can judge for themselves what want wrong. Plenty of people have come on AH with a gripe...which is fine, it makes things interesting to people that follow the forums.
There are a lot of outfitters in RSA...a lot and I'm sure we never here hardly even a fraction of them.
And you are 100 percent correct if a client is having communication problems with the outfitter over a years time span....there are huge problems....and reason why the outfitter isn't talking.
Most of the time keeping permit issues in order, delivering and keeping track of clients trophies should be pretty easy to do. But some outfitters are just not following through...I know and believe me it pisses me off to say the least .
09-20-2011, 10:41 AM #35
09-20-2011, 03:12 PM #36
The Lady and the Tramp...
Yip, it's me! "The Lady and the Tramp.." yet again.. How was the "Potjiekos"?
09-20-2011, 07:26 PM #37
You amaze me. You were drug through the mud with my issues, getting duped into replacing trophies!
Now you are the "source" that supports this type of Yo-YO? Unbelievable.
Let me get this straight, you were mislead into deceiving a hunting client who supports your livelihood and will most likely never use your services ever. Yet, you continue to stick around in the background and support someone who has at the very least affiliated you with their unscrupolous methods?
"lady and the tramp", Hmmm, I guess so.
09-21-2011, 02:53 AM #38
Dean, I'd rather stick to an Outfitter that can admit he's wrong, learn from his mistakes, and make sure the next Hunter will not go through what you had to as it was not intential, but due to lack of knowledge of all aspects he needed to know in the hunting business. He might have been a "Rookie", but not any more.
Thanks to you and Koos, he will become one of the biggest Outfitters in this Industry. I see a lot of potential in this company, as they are good people with no malice. Why not give them another chance, without any stone throwing. Let's fix whatever is needed, and go on with our lives. This Economy does not bring out the best in anyone, but never forget that the sun shines on everyone.
09-21-2011, 06:17 PM #39
You have a twisted, yet interesting perspective. There is something that I learned long ago. And that is, adults do not develop an ethical nature. By the time they are adults the age of Werner, they are either ethical or they are not. Further, you can not blame unethical behavior on being a rookie. An unethical rookie will be an unethical, experienced outfitter.
Loyalty is to be commended. However, generally, unethical persons that hang out together are generally collaborating on unethical processes. That makes you suspect just by association.
Werner will never be the biggest outfitter, because people are smarter than you and Werner give them credit for.
As for fixing the issues and giving Motshwere another chance, Werner and Motshwere safaris have told me over and over that they were going to fix the issue. But alas, nothing but lies and deceit have come from that camp. Of which, you are complicit in that you helped him attempt to defraud my father, son, and myself. That is to say nothing of the other hunters, Oberholzer taxidermy and now Koos.
You can make all the excuses in the world, but I have quoted and submitted written emails from both yourself and Werner that make my case. Let me know if you would like me to post them again.
09-21-2011, 07:57 PM #40
Dean, you seem like a very unhappy person in general. It's a pity and I wish you all the best in your Vendetta against Motswhere. I really don't want to be a part of it. You're dragging the whole of AH into this black hole, and I can see it's not getting anywhere. I am not part of any defrauding, or any unethical activities, and never will be. "Being dragged through your issues, duped into replacing trophies, mislead etc..." is not who and what I am, and not what I want to be. I'd rather be the middle"man" or mediator between the Hunter, PH, Outfitter, Dip & Pack or Taxidermy on AH and am offering my help where needed. Clearly you don't, but why shoot me down every time. If YOU have lost faith in mankind, deal with it and carry on. Life is too short to brood on the "why's" in life, as you will never be content in yourself this way. It's not worth it in the end, not to yourself, or anyone around you. Smile, and the world smiles with you.