Package hunt vs. Day rate + trophy fees, which do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by bigred, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. bigred

    bigred New Member

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    I am actually going on a hybrid fee structured hunt where the trophy fees cover all of our typical safari cost. As such, this outfitters trophy fees are about 20% higher than his competitors, but there are no daily rates. To ensure some profitability he does require a non-refundable deposit of $1500.

    I'm not sure how good of a deal this is, or wether or not package hunts or the traditional day rate + trophy fees is the most economical. Anybody have any opinion? Also, has anybody ever negotiated trophy fees or negotiated a package price on 3 to 5 animals? Thanks much.
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    My 2c. So you paid your day rates anyway, you just called it a non-refundable deposit. Whether you show or don't.

    It sounds like everything would just work out in the math at the end one way or the other to me.


    Every package I ran into during my research was something that the outfit wanted to use to help control numbers of particular species.
    like those pesky Nyala. Or was some promotional package to attract hunters (Spiral Horns, Springbok rainbows, etc.)
    My group was offered the opportunity to list the species desired and out them in a package. This would be accompanied by refund of a portion of the fee of nothing was taken.

    Five years ago a friend compiled a huge data base of day rates, trophy fees, etc. and amazingly they all came out within a very small margin of each other., (This was just posted day rates and trophy fees.)

    Although, obviously there are some incredible deals that show up for last minute offers, cancellations, and concession limit filling, etc.
     
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well it all depends if your outfitter or PH is going to be a big sales person to make sure he covers his or her costs? I sure hope you know what a good or excellent animal looks like in the field. You can definitely pass on animals...to be sure the animal is mature. To me it's just another way of selling a hunt.

    I am a big fan of package hunts....especially if more days are thrown in so you can add animals to hunt is you want to or look longer for a really nice animal...that you really wanted.

    And outfitters are always open to negotiating price structures or packages :).
     
  4. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I don t like packages, I always paid my daily fees and then decided whatever I wanted to shoot.
     
  5. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    One thing I don't like is feelling pressured, like "I have to shoot an Impala because it is in my package" even if I am not seeing above average Impala to shoot.

    The only way I would do a package is if the number of days is more than sufficient to allow for some HUNTING for the animals included. You can always shoot addiitional animals (budget allowed) or just relax in a beautiful setting if you get done with the animals before your days are up. I prefer that over, assembly line shooting of the animals in your package because you are racing against time to shoot all the animals in your package if the number of days is tight compared to the number animals to be taken.

    The advantage of just doing Daily Fees + Trophy fees is tha the PH has to find you what you want before you shoot (and before he makes additional $ over the daily fees). If you have a package that includes a Kudu and you don't see anything good, your still gonna feel like you need to shoot a Kudu because you have already paid for it in your package price.

    Personally, as you might have gathered I tend to lean toward DF + TF

    And yes, many things in this world are negoiatable. I will negoiate some with a PH/Guide/Outfitter. Just don't negoiate so hard that your PH/Guide/Outfitter resents you or your hunt may not be as fun as you would like. They need to make a living too and if you negoiate most of their margin away...why would they take you hunting?

    If you want to save money, I would look for a cancellation hunt where some unfortunate dude lost his deposit and you are taking advanage of his misfortune rather than try and beat alll the margin out of the guy who will be taking you into the bush...
     
  6. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    big red

    you will have to let us know how you well you did on your safari...

    There are many ways to package and sell hunts and your is not out of line...

    You will have to let us know what trophy animals you were able to obtain.

    Bottom line you have to add up the deposit...animals you want to go after and then come up with a figure..

    Now do comparison shopping on the web to let us know if you think you are money ahead...

    Make sure you bring pictures back...

    As far of looking at prices...if you have a group of animals you want to go after...look at the different operators or PH on this forum...you are able to see 5 - 7 - 10 day safari packages that should cover your basic core of animals...then see what the out lying animals you want to go after will cost then all this up.

    Or if you have a group of animals you want to go after however you do not find any packages offered go on the daily rate and provide your trophy list to the outfitter or PH...

    Example:
    PH: 320 a day X 7 days = $2,240
    Impala @ 500 ............ = 500 ..........2,740
    Warthog @ 400 .......... = 400 ..........3,140
    Zebra @ 950 .............. = 950 ..........4,090
    Kudu @ 1,500 ............. = 1,500 ....... 5,590
    Wildebeest @ 950 ........ = 950 ..........6,540

    For this example the above 5 animals and PH would cost you $6,540....
    Then you have your tip's, dip-pack and shipping and other expenses...i would guess around 3,000 or more...
     
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    BigRed

    I just noticed that you are a very new member on the Forum and i wanted to welcome you...

    When are you going on your safari...

    You will have a great time...take ton's of pictures...

    Enjoy your self...take lots of extra money along to pay for the trophies you will be able to go after...
     
  8. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Yes...Welcome to AH!
     
  9. Rocco

    Rocco New Member

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    My 3 Cents

    My 3 cents is you should work only on trophy fee.
    By that I mean, you tell your PH that you expect to harvest only trophy animals. Both you and the PH should determine what is the size of each trophy that you are looking for. Come to a agreement on size and price.
    You might have to pay a little more for each trophy game that you get but you will be totally satisfy with your dream hunt.
    The reason for this route is that some PH/ outfitters across the world will tell you anything in order to sell you a hunt . I believe that if the PH/ outfitter is telling you the truth about what sizes of trophies that he has in his concession, then he should not disagree with this price structure. If he does, then I would back off from going to his place.
    PH/ outfitters don't seem to understand that the hunters that decide to come to Africa for a dream hunt has to take into consideration that the cost of the flight, the time off from work, purchase of gun, ammo and other hunting items for the hunters trip sometimes cost more than the daily fee and trophy fee combined.
    I speak as a hunter that experienced both the good outfitters and the other kind of outfitters.
     
  10. RickP

    RickP AH Veteran

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    On our (myself and friend) first trip to RSA in '09, we purchased a package deal. After adding up the individual trophy fees plus daily rate, we saved some money. Admittedly, it was our first time and we were very excited. I turned out that nearly all of our animals were mature (verified by our very experienced taxidermist which does dozens of African mounts a year), though not necessarily monsters. With the unknown of whether this would be our only trip, or if we'd be returning and again being our first trip, we enjoyed everything that we got to experience and take, plus I got to take all but one of my animals with a handgun which was my plan. Maybe we were fortunate, be we had good luck with the package the PH offered and are planning another plains game trip next year. (And another about 5 yrs. in the future to take a cape buffalo.)
     
  11. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I wish you could do business like that, but it doesn't always work out that way.
     
  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good luck on your hunt. Hope it works out well for you, no matter what payment arrangement you set up.
     
  13. Baydog

    Baydog AH Veteran

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    Same here.
     
  14. Blaserman

    Blaserman AH Member

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    Both times so far I have not chosen to use a package deal. I had certain animals in mind when I went over. I like little stuff , the smaller antelope.
    also most of the other plains game are never included in a package . If I have already shot the animal , I won't shoot it again unless it is an exceptional animal. So I see what my budget allows and the I go after the animals i can get within my budget.
     
  15. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

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    I think for your first and even second safari, guys can get by on doing a package hunt. I've done packages on both trips over. However, I will say that I swapped a few animals included in the second package for different animals. I had taken these animals on the first trip. For examples, I swapped a blue wildebeest for a black wildebeest, and an impala for mountain reedbuck. Some outfitters won't allow you to do this, but it never hurts to ask, and in my case, it paid off, without any additional fees. It was written into the contract I signed.

    However, on the next trip, I'll likely do a DF + TF hunt, if I go back to RSA. On the menu will be blue duiker, vaal rhebok, etc. some of the odd species you'll never see on a package hunt. However, if I go to Namibia, I might look into another package containing the Kalahari species I haven't taken yet i.e. oryx, red hartebeest, etc.

    Additionally, if during your hunt, there is a specific animal on the package list you're having a hard time connecting on, ask your outfitter about swapping that animal for another you see almost every day and just pay the different between the TF listed. I did this on my first hunt which included a kudu. We were seeing them every day, but a mature bull was hard to find. Therefore, about halfway thru the hunt, the outfitter and I discussed taking a nyala in place of the kudu and I paid the difference in TF prices. The last day of the trip I took a beautiful mature nyala and happy I made the switch. (Ended up taking two kudus on the second trip, had to make up for the first one!)

    So, just because something is on the package list, doesn't mean there isn't room for negotiation. It doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe this should be one of your questions when deciding which outfitter to book with?
     
  16. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    Rocco,

    I strongly disagree with you. Your proposed payment system sounds far too much like your buying the animals. The people I work with in Africa are selling a hunting experience in an area that holds good numbers of the animals a client is interested in and they will provide whatever is necessary to make the hunt as successful as possible. The daily rate covers all that. If you are lucky and shoot big stuff that's great but if you don't that's hunting.

    I can't imagine a safari operator offering a hunt like you proposed. Even in the very best of areas you could hit a very unlucky streak meaning that the safari operator didn't get paid at all and that's not going to happen. For the safari operator to stay in business has to be assured of a reasonable profit regardless of what the client actually shoots.
     
  17. Baydog

    Baydog AH Veteran

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    Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer day rate and then trophy fee on top as I find it provides more flexibility. One question I have with the packages is if the trophy fee is refunded on animals not harvested? For example, say one was to take a package hunt that included a kudu bull and passed up several mediocre kudu in the hopes of a nice bull but didn't get it. What usually happens in this instance? Are the trophy fees refunded?
     
  18. Blaserman

    Blaserman AH Member

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    Good Question I never thought of it that way. But I think a package is a flat fee no matter what you shoot or not within the package.
     
  19. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    As to the original question I have to say that I recommend as a general rule that a client pay the day rates and trophy fees for the animals that they want. This gives you flexibility and your not locked into any particualr bag.

    A package can be a very good deal or a rip off. I represent a good outfit in Botswana that offers a Cape eland, kudu, gemsbok and wildebeest on a 7 day 2x1 hunt at a very fair price. The ranch holds lots of these animals and the trophy quality is excellent with the kudu and eland being just super. On the other hand a package may offer several animals at a great price and when you get on the ground you find the package animals are scarce and/or of poor trophy quality or completely non existent. If you book a package be careful and ask lots of questions.
     
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    A lot of great points have been brought up. If the outfitter is flexible on his package hunt and you are not seeing a animal on your package hunt...and the outfitter is willing to let you switch to a different animal for a price difference....then a package deal for me is very good. But it best to talk to a outfitter before you book a hunt about this option. The same thing goes for....if you are not seeing a kudu up to your satisfaction. My opinion is if you are going to be picky do a daily fee + trophy fee hunt.
     

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