Problem clients

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by michaelhh375, May 26, 2011.

  1. michaelhh375

    michaelhh375 AH Veteran

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    Dear fellow hunters.

    You read a lot of positive and negative about PHs and outfitter's etc. How ever, what about clients ? Must be a lot to learn from this forum, so dear outfitters, farm owners, concession owners and PHs, tell us some good and, of cause, bad stories about your world wide clients.

    Stay safe and God bless.

    Michael
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Michael, this is certainly a good idea. I'll bet they are all pretty busy right now hunting so there may be a delay.
    I hoped to avoid being one of those problems by learning from this forum.
    Look forward to some more insights.
     
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think there are problem clients, but I won't expect outfitters to talk about them.

    I know hunters always trying to reshape or rebargain the hunt prices when they get to camp...would really piss me off. And they are out there.
     
  4. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    A young inexperienced PH told me that he was not prepared to guide a man and his son on their second day.He said that they were deliberately wounding and then filming the distressed animals.I approached them and was told to f... off,physically threatened and that they could buy out my business with their small change.So I did then 'mind' my own business.They left two days later and had their stitches removed,I believe,in Bosnia.
     
  5. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have seen many problem hunters in some of the camps I have been in here in the states.People who are not really there to hunt and think there money gurantees them a animal.From people who think they are better then there guide and telling them what to do.FRom one guy telling the outfitter he was favoring me over the others in camp.What he did not see that made it look that way.First I was 22 at the time and could keep up with the guide.I had also paid for 1x1 not a 2x1.WE started out when they were still sleeping and got back after they had already eaten dinner.I pay to hunt not to eat food or sleep.I must say he did learn the hard way though.One day my guide took him out 1x1 and hunted like we did.Well he came back with a different idea of what hunting is.He did not even go out the next day he was so tired and sore.From the few africa outfitters I have talked with I can only imange what they think of us here from the states.They go above and beyong in service and to many guys I see from the state are ungreatful and rude at best.Not sure anyone could pay me enough to guide some people I have seen in camps here.I guess it goes back to so many from the states think they are owed something above what they pay for.
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I don't know where people get this from the politicians or being in power at home or in their business....but yes it's a huge problem.

    That pretty much sums up how I feel.
     
  7. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    Mike,

    In my business and in the outfitter or safari operators business we just try to do whatever we can to make the clients hunt a successful experience for them. Sometimes it can be a difficult job when clients have unrealistic and/or rigid expectations. What I find is if a client can relax a little and go with the flow they will have a good experience even if the focus of their hunt eludes them. A hunter that comes home and tells me his hunt or safari was a bummer because they did not kill a B&C buck or get their big lion I just feel sorry for them because they missed the whole point. Particularly on a safari there is so much to see and absrob in addition to the actual hunting that a hunter is cheating him or herself by getting all wrapped up in the body count or record book score. I'm not suggesting that a hunter should be happy with a crap operator or an inadequate hunting area but sometimes it just doesn't come together even though all the components are there for success. As they say "Shit Happens". If you can't roll with the punches your going to ruin your hunt.

    I think the hunter that often is most likely to not have a good hunt at least in his/her mind is the one that is expecting from the gitgo that he's going to get screwed and knows that he's dealing with crooks. That hunter WILL find numerous things wrong with his hunt even if he shoots monster trophies.

    I had a conversation just the other day with Terry Anders/Forever Africa Safaris about client attitudes and we both agreed that often the guy that is just there for the experience not only has a great time but he often takes the biggest trophies.

    I think one of the best pieces of advise I could give a prospective client is to be clear that when they buy a hunt or safari that what they have bought is an opportunity to hunt in a good area with a good outfit. Period! Regardless of how much money they have thrown at the hunt it does not guarantee big trophies or any trophies at all. It really is that simple. If you understand that and can go with the flow you'll have a great adventure.
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    The worst I had I actually already mentioned in another thread (its funny how much the best and worst stand out in our memories). I had a know it all who had never seen a moose or shot past 100yds but he felt that he should be the one calling the shots. He also felt he needed to sight in rediculously high "for long shots" and insisted that moose needed to be shot in the hump " you have to breat them down" he said (many times). Despite being a pain in the butt I managed to get him a shot at a B&C moose which he promptly forgot he was sighted stupidly high and aimed for the hump hitting the bull harmlessly way high in the hump. After busting our butts trying to find that bull or another monster he tipped me a mini maglite flashlight (retail $25) Did I mention he was filthy rich?

    My best client was also quite rich but the most down to earth fellow you could hope to meet. We hunted hard in tough conditions, had a great time, and learned a great deal from each other.

    I would say the client attitude I liked best was one who enjoyed participating in the hunt fully while letting the final say on plans go to me. Someone who enjoyed learning about hunting the animals we were after as much (or more) than killing them (although success is still a priority to them).
     
  9. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I think what made me as happy as my son shooting his elk last year was after the hunt.After the season was done we talked to the guide.He told me he did not have another good hunt all season.This was not because his hunters did not take any animals they just did not enjoy the hunt like we did.He could see myself and son both had a blast from the start to finish.But we treated him like a friend from my son carrying his bags in to the room to enjoying just being out in the outdoors and my son learning all he could.We even had a game of basketball as we waited for them to butcher the elk up with the guide.U want to see funny watch three guys in camo play a few rounds of jackass when the best shot is a 11 year old.plus they both enjoyed telling the story of the hunt when in town eating out for dinner.It was like I was not the only proud dad the guide was as proud of him as I was.
     
  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    You definitely hit on something here. It should feel like you are hunting with freinds, that is what hunting is all about. That is what makes a great hunt.
     
  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I had the fortunate experience of paying my way through college on an Army ROTC scholarship and by being a waterfowl guide every day of what was then in Louisiana a pretty long season. I experienced every sort of client ("sport" as we called them then) during those four years, burning home some well earned lessons with regard to client responsibility in that process. At the other end of a career, I am blessed with the resources to hunt abroad, but I have never forgotten what a miserable experience a bad client can represent. Now days, I particularly resent a jerk in camp. Three years ago in Africa it was the loud Pitsburgite who was terrified of his own shadow, and found ways to blame his PH for his poor shooting. A year ago, in Canada, it was an arrogant, loud trust fund baby who never cut a feather all week. The good news is, in my experience at least, these sorts are fairly rare. The majority of us who pursue this sport pationately do so for the right reasons and with the right attitude.
     
  12. Blaserman

    Blaserman AH Member

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    I know an outfitter in BC who will not book people from NY. His take after many years is most of them pay to Kill not to hunt . Just because the payed Money theybthink they must kill something or it was a bad Hunt.
    He also said he has had many say I want the best Guide , best area, best food , His answer was fine it will be this much extra . They expected the normal price.
     
  13. MarvelAfrica

    MarvelAfrica AH Senior Member

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    As i have mentioned in my introduction, i am not an PH or an Outfitter, i am a South African Businessman.

    What i find frustrating in dealing with some international guests is that they have the pre-perception of a pour and struggling continent, though it is true for large parts of Africa, there is civilization in Africa where good business people thrive like outfitters, but when some of these guests get here they leave this impression that African people are inferior...

    Now this for me comes to a very general problem in my opinion and that is mutual respect, this is something that sometimes lack in business where a service provider and a client does business, it is a business transaction not an employment contract.

    And i think that is mostly where allot of these client guide type frustrations come from, is the lack of respect in business where a client sees a PH/Guide as his employee rather than a service provider.

    This is just how i see things, and if you look at allot of the problems that arise, at the heart of them all there would be one of these two factors, in the Africa scenario, the poor Africans and then there is a real business man on the other side pushing for profit to survive
    and in business i pay you for a service so now you are my employee.....LOL

    I agree to the posts above, if there is a friendship and camaraderie on a safari, it is one hell of an experience...

    One of the Outfits i deal with uses the following as a slogan and i think that should be the way to look at this, it says "Come as a client and leave as a friend"....
     
  14. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I would like to add the guest/client is not familiar with there rifle...example not bringing ammunition on the hunt. Or better yet bringing the wrong ammunition on the hunt.:confused:

    We were in the Alaska peninsula, hunting Caribou and Moose when one guest/client walked over and asked if he could borrow 10 shells as he did not bring any...he knew i had the same caliber rifle as he did...As a PH said to me when you run out of ammunition the hunt is over...there is no place to get some out here...:eek:

    A client/guest showing up and not having any means to pay any bills...no cash, credit card you get the picture...and not paying when they get home...after all tags were filled with above average animals...:)

    Refusing to tag the animal that they have shot...i drove them right to the game warden...they thought i would use my tag and that they would keep looking for a better animal...:)

    Mark is right on...

    Blaserman has a very good point...some area in the States ring out as being area you do not want to deal with...as they say a bad apple will ruin the lot...

    Marvel Africa...some additional good points...

     
  15. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    All good points made above.

    Communicaton, mutual respect and trust between client and guide are esential.

    There are any number of reasons clients are 'bad'. I think a lot of clients try to cover up their 'weaknesses' eg some clients just don't have time or money to hunt much or practise with their firearms. Rather than say, 'hey, I don't get out much to hunt, what can you teach me ?' they pretend to be Big Game experts. I would hope the guides job becomes easier if they know what they are dealing with.

    I have spent one night at Afton House with 5 other hunters. Four of them were full of storys of lion charges and elephant brain shots and I was just there for a good old PG hunt so I kept quiet. It wasn't untill well into the night I realised that these four were first time African hunters. First time nerves or BS artists ? probably a bit of both.

    I think too, it is up to the client to be honest and detailed as to what they expect, right down to the smallest details. I am a red meat and lager man when hunting and away from home. Freshly squeezed guava juice for breakfast and Hors d'oeuvres before dinner are lost on me.

    MarvelAfrica makes a good point. I think what he is getting at is that we as clients are always guilty of importing our cultural predjudices with us. We just have to be aware that we have them.
     
  16. Uncompahgre

    Uncompahgre AH Member

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    I have had the opportunity of being on both sides. I professionally guided elk hunters for seven years and was the client in RSA and Namibia. I guided clients that were "bad" from being arrogant (millionaires and politicians) to being ignorant (millionaires and politicians). I truly enjoyed the hunters that had saved for years to do the hunt of their lifetime. That came for the whole experience. The millionaires and politicians expected to be doted on and I hated that. Yes, everyone wished to take a B&C trophy but the ones who were realistic and just wanted the opportunity to see and take a legal bull were the fun ones. They also knew their weapon and its capabilities better than the millionaires and politicians.
     
  17. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Uncompahgre

    1+ for your post...
     
  18. Nhenda Safaris

    Nhenda Safaris AH Member

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    What a great idea. Let start with Nhenda Safaris biggest problem client:
    Name: Michael Wallerstetd
    Country: Sweden
    Problem: He became a family member like most of our clients, how can you charge family.....!

    Mike we will miss you untill next time....5 months is a LONGGGG time !
     
  19. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the heads-up John! I'll remind Sabina to skip the Hors d'oevres next time...
     
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Hide your daughters, they might like one of those young hunters that come along, and then you'll have to let the hunting go for free. :)
     

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