Hoping for my once in a lifetime hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by bighorn175, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. bighorn175

    bighorn175 New Member

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    I am a longtime bow hunter in the western U.S. For 20+ years I have dreamed of bow hunting in Africa and saving whatever I can do make the dream happen. I recently attended the Western hunting Expo and just about booked a hunt with Motshwere Safaris (Werner Lewies). I decided to wait one day to do some background checking and found this website along with some "not so good" insight to Motshwere (Why? - Need advice on problems with trophies). I am very glad I checked and appreciate the many discussions I have found on this site thus far. However, I am now even more nervous about finding a good Outfitter and spending many years of savings in the hopes that my once in a lifetime hunt doesn't leave me with bad memories of a lifetime. Thanks again for all the insight provided.

    bighorn175
  2. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    :welcome: There are excellent outfitters around, just ask the questions here on AH and you'll get the answers and advice you need.
  3. woodruffhunter

    woodruffhunter New Member

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    I don't normally post on this site, but I would challenge you to go to the "other" well known hunting sites and check on Motshwere.
    I hunted with Werner last year and had nothing less than an amazing hunt.

    Quality of trophies, accomodations, and all mine and wifes needs were taken care of. In fact, we extended for 3 days. It makes me irritated when an Outfitter will get slandered based on ONE opinion on an Internet forum.

    How about calling the 100 clients that were more than pleased with Werner. I called people who hunted with Werner, and they loved there time with him! In fact, one client hunts with Werner EVERY year!

    Now you tell me if this sounds odd the story this person is relating.

    ANY of you are welcome to contact me!

    Please do not form an opinion on one person!
  4. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    bighorn175 Welcome to AH! Do your research on any outfitter that you choose my recommendation is for a first time hunter going to Africa is that they use an hunting agent that has been in the Business for a number of years, they can help take a lot of the headache out of the planning. it is scary spending that much money on one trip, the first trip the wife and I took the wife was worried about being taken 3 days there and she was ready to move to Africa.
  5. bighorn175

    bighorn175 New Member

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    point well taken and good advice. I guess I just got nervous when I saw the other posts about Werner. Talking to actual clients is definitely the best idea.
    Thanks!
  6. mudslinger

    mudslinger AH Veteran

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    Welcome to the site. A fairly new member here and found it to be a great place for people that have hunter or looking to hunt in Africa. I have sent you a couple of PM's for some info.

    I will say one thing about looking for a bowhunting outfitter in Africa. Be careful when you look at one that says they both rifle and bowhunt. Sometimes the bow set ups are not what we would consider good shot, too far in most opinions and then the PH will push you to use a rifle. Had this happen to several friends. Check your referneces, both successful and not successful. Not a large amount of bowhunting only outfitters, but some very good ones. Once again, welcome.
  7. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Maybe look at reputable bow hunting only outfits IE African arrow safaris or moselesele. Bob have to disagree, if I was a client I would book with an outfitter that does al my planing for me, the same outfitter that looks me in the eye when he picks me up at the airport and the same outfitter that will be my ph, you can not get any straighter shooting than that.....

    Both the above companies are very reputable as bowhunting outfits and hunt exclusive bow, they understand the particular needs of bowhunters.
    My best always,
  8. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Big horn, 99% of outfitters are good guys you need to find a outfitter that will be your ph, this brings about a level of comfort I have found.

    Ask him will you be my guide if not find one that will in this economy, outfitters need to wake up and smell the coffee there is simply no substitute for personal hands on service. This way the outfitter/ph will provide only the best, on the other hand some companies will have you in camp with 10 other hunters, do you want this? How special and personal would you feel?
    2-3 is fine but there are some serious "meat factories" out there...

    Shooting a 1000 head of game with clients does not mean you are a good outfitter, having all trophies qualify for sci also does not mean you are a top notch outfit.

    It comes down to service, do you want to feel like a small fish in a big pond killing animals, or do you want personalized sincere service, and a top quality HUNT with great trophies?

    I need to state that I am by no means referring to any company mentioned, but merely trying to guide into which questions should be asked and the approach. It has been proven to work.

    My very best always.
  9. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Welcom to the forum, Any of the outfitters here on AH would be a good choice, just pick your animals and then contact the outfitters. I am sure they will all do you right.
  10. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Bighorn,

    Let me start by saying there is no such thing as a "once in a life time African hunt" period! You go once and you will return, period!

    Secondly, I mimic what Jaco has said. Not knocking any one outfitter but just my opinion as I am going on hunt #5 in April this year. And my first hunt was a "once in a lifetime experience.
    Find an outfitter who will also be your PH on the hunt
    Find a hunt place where you will be the only hunter on the farm OR a very limited number of others there when you are there (this has been a specific tenant of mine and it has worked very well for me. You never know what kind of "company" you will have if it is run like a caribou hunt with 20 other hunters in camp and no one knowing each other). Others in camp can be interesting but you have to be careful.
    Ask about the size of the property where MOST of the hunting takes place and factor that with how much hunting is done there every year. ie, how many hunters go through there every year. Is it a big "meat factory" or is it a place to enjoy the entire experience of Africa.
    You have to decide just what kind of hunt you want. Just go and kill some animals and come back with trophies or go and also enjoy the experience of Africa and its people and history. Both are perfectly viable options. You just have to pick the outfitter that does your hunt the best. Not impossible to do. Personal help from someone who has been there can ease the trepidation factor tremendously. I must admit that on my first hunt all I was thinking was "am I going to bring home what I want". By the end of the the 10 days I was looking at much more than just the hunting and killing. In fact on one hunt I quit hunting early in the day just to watch the sun set from atop a high hill.
    Do make sure you get an extensive list of clients (not just a few hand picked ones) to call and call them all.
    I have made it a point to only go with the outfitters whom I will be hunting with personally on their property. I have all ways picked the outfitter who will be personally meeting me when I come out of the door at Customs at the airport. These are the ones that have a personal stake in each and every client (in my mind, not to cast doubt on others, just that I feel better with this way of doing things and it has worked out for me.)
    Do your hunt planning and enjoy it! Half of the hunt is the planning. Learn the "ways" of hunting in each country or area you will hunt. The country of South Africa is mostly "high fence" FOR A REASON! Learn why and if that is what you want. It can be a great hunt. It has been for me. Namibia is much more open in terrain and "farm" size (ranches are called farms over there). Both countries offer great first time hunts for plains game. Just different from each other.
    If you are bow hunting I would look at a specialist in bow hunting OR one who has an area set aside only for bow hunting and get references from bow hunters whom have hunted there.
    Reread Jaco's comments and follow them.
    Search for a couple of my posts for first timers here on this forum. It might help you decide. You may PM me any time you want I'll be glad to help. I have "taken" 6 first timers to Africa (they paid there own way, I have no financial ties to any PH or outfitter as I have used a different one each of 4 African trips, they ALL are going back again either all ready booked or seriously planning the trip, they all went for a "once in a life time" hunt to Africa the first time) and all these hunts have turned out fantastic. There are some great hunts available even this year if you want to go sooner than later.
    I must add again that the outfitter you choose should take care of you from the time you arrive in Jo'burg to the time he drops you off at Jo'burg to go home. Nothing less is satisfactory.
    Use Lori at Travel Express for your tickets and travel insurance. I've used others and will not do that again. She's by far the best. Taxidermy, just from personal experience on my last hunt this year, Bullseye Taxidermy
    in South Africa is great. Bringing in "finished, fully taxidermied" trophies has been so much better for me than "dip and pack" raw skins and horns. I've done both and I only do fully finished now. The cost might be a little less finished in Africa after all is considered but it is so much easier than dip and pack. Bullseye did a fantastic job on my Nyala and Reedbuck this year.
    Like I said the planning is half the fun and it can be done with the help on this board.
    Welcome and feel free to ask all the questions you want. Lots of good guys here.
  11. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Welcome to AH bighorn175!
  12. bighorn175

    bighorn175 New Member

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    mudslinger,
    Great insight and I appreciate the information very much.
  13. bighorn175

    bighorn175 New Member

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    Jaco and Cliffy,
    Very helpful insight. There is a lot to learn. Although I am a committed bow hunter here in the western U.S., my hunts have all been DIY hunts and I feel a little like a fish out of water. It may also be that this feels a little like knowing you have one chance to make that "once in a lifetime" shot count -- because unless I win the lottery in the future (or find a new and wealthy wife), this is a one time deal.

    Thanks for everyone's wealth of knowledge.
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Motshwere Safaris (Werner Lewies) has made changes. It still pays to look around. There are some really great outfitters that specialize in bowhunting and I would look into them.
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    So, One person expresses concern or dissatisfaction "it is slanderous"... hmmm.
    Perhaps one satisfied customers post should be viewed with the same disdain and disregard!


    I would agree that drawing a conclusion from one data point, positive or negative is erroneous ; Look for a pattern.

    I would pick my head up and investigate further, if any person is dissatisfied at all with an outfitter or PH.

    Woodruffhunter, please do post your story from your hunt with Werner including your pictures, I would enjoy seeing it very much.
  16. woodruffhunter

    woodruffhunter New Member

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    Yes, I think the one negative post WAS
    slanderous. I'll say this, you can call the
    outfitter for many references. I'm also asking anyone who wants to call me, to send a PM.
  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Promulgate your view here. It's an invitation.
  18. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Negative post?
  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Not included in its entirety in this thread Jaco.
    The link above, I assume.
    (Why? - Need advice on problems with trophies)

    Another thread the progenetor noted about the outfitter he was thinking of signing up with and saw a post that raised his concern.

    Not to get to far off topic.


    Welcome bighorn175.
    I hope you research and book the hunt of your dreams.
    I'll await the stories and pictures.
  20. bighorn175

    bighorn175 New Member

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    Thanks Brickburn. I am taking the great advice to do more research here and not rely on any one negative or positive post. I have already received great info about exclusive bow hunts.

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