SOUTH AFRICA: Donated Hunts...

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by FairChase, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Huntin Africa

    Huntin Africa AH Member

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    I love this site. I love your stories.
    FairChase --- your experience and the way you share it with us is great.
    hope your next Africa safari exceed all your expectations.
     
  2. FairChase

    FairChase New Member

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    Well, I do have my list for #2:
    Waterbuck, Black Wildebeest, Springbok, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok and Warthog...
    Afterwards? Certainly Cape Buffalo at some point, Bongo, Eland, Sable, Roan, Nyala, etc., etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  3. wildwildebeest

    wildwildebeest New Member

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    Agree with everyone above. South Africa Safaris should be tailored to the hunter. No matter if it was a donation or purchased, the hunter should always be in control of the hunt. I would say it was a "new" outfitter and was just looking to get into the business. My first trip to South Africa was on a donation hunt and it could not have been more enjoyable. No pressure, great food (and a hearty breakfast), solid vehicles, knowledgable PH's, and lunch in the bush if that's what you wanted!! Also, we took some extended lunches to recharge the batteries a bit and no complaints at all from the PH's. They always ensured us that it was our safari and we can plan it as we want. The most important thing is to do your homework and research as much as you can. These forums really are great and all that I have read on this discussion have been spot on. I am a Rep and would be willing to share as much or as little of my experiences as you would like. I can ensure anyones first, next or last trip to South Africa is 100% tailored to your expectations!!!
     
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    gday wild wb
    welcome to ah , enjoy the site .
     
  5. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    As a question out of interest, is there any reason why South African safaris should be singled out, as far as tailored is concerned...?

    Just a question, ......we need to keep in mind though that more often than not reputable professional hunters have their clients best interest at heart, and that it's no "Wallmart" out there...

    While some ranches might be smaller and almost "Zoo like" other areas might be larger and could potentially require a serious effort to be successful...

    I firmly believe, a hunter should be prepared for the experience he is about to have by the Outfitter and or PH (should he have the luxury to meet him upon booking)

    This is many cases will prevent incidents or small niggles.

    I am by no means a fan of Donations, there are just too many issues with them throughout the industry.

    Many companies donate a multitude and in such cases outfitters place immense pressure on contracted PH's to create or rather generate an income...

    Luckily it is a game that I don't play (just from a personal stand point) :) :)

    Try Marius (kmg) or John x in the Eastern Cape you will not be disappointed.

    Only my best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
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  6. FairChase

    FairChase New Member

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    I'm not sure I mentioned this, but I am in Marketing and focus on helping small companies that lack the resources to have a full-time marketing department. When I deal with companies as a part of my personal everyday routine, such as restaurants, hotels, grocery and hardware store, etc., I usually pay attention to how they handle their customers. Being on a safari was no different so my critique may have been more detailed than some normally hear.

    That said, even with the best intentions, I notice many companies have a "disconnect" with their target market due to the lack of familiarity, and vice verse. It happened in my case. As Jaco and others have stated, in this instance, the hunter needs to be as familiar with their PH/Outfitter as reasonably possible. Therein lies the issue; how do we become familiar with each other before we decide to hunt together? In other words, how do we each manage our expectations better in order to have a reasonable comfort level? There are many miles between us and usually little, if any, opportunity to speak and make a connection. Even after I returned home, there was no follow up on their part.

    From an American consumer standpoint, there are many things an outfitter/PH can do to create a connection and therefore, solidify that all important bond. I admit, it can sometimes be difficult to accurately convey a message with so many details, but with effort, I believe it can be done.

    How? Well, it would be addressing the questions people asked me when discussing my African experience. Most considering a safari are interested in going, but find there are too many unique issues to confront that make even considering a safari a remote idea... a dream. And these are people that won't think twice about going from Texas to the Northwest Territory of Canada to hunt moose with an outfitter recommended to them by their friend!

    To me, the mystique of Africa is the point that kept drawing me in. To others, they may see it as too many unresolved issues to overcome, so they never go. Too sad...
     
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  7. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    100% spot on! I try and don't succeed.... :( but for the most part try to connect with each client prior to arrival, this entails a private visit by myself, or Reinhard as I simply can not get to everyone...

    You are very correct in the sense that many hunters do not know what to expect, IT IS THE OUTFITTERS RESPONSIBILITY TO GET EACH AND EVERY CLIENT (HOPEFULLY FUTURE MATE) online, and to sketch a realistic picture of what it will be like, IMHO any lack of this is pure neglect on the outfitters part.

    There are many companies that have this down to an art....(to connect and make each hunter/non hunter feel that she/he is your only client for the season... )

    Connecting with a client should not be a major task I personally pick professional hunters that I know as far as integrity is concerned and that has people skills...... After all it is 85% of what we do, boils down to this... You spend 12 and in some case 20 hours a day with a hunter, if you don't have a personality it's just not going to work.....

    We all grew up hunting so there is no need for me to second guess a friend as far as hunting ability and experience is concerned.

    Unfortunately (and this might not be the case here) very often clients/hunters feel like very small fishes in great big ponds.... THIS IS AN ALL TO FAMILIAR REALITY WITH HIGH VOLUME HIGH TURN OVER OPERATIONS.... Unfortunate yes but a reality...

    It is up to each outfitter to tame his beast, or you will get caught up in bad reviews and bad experiences... We see this every year, the flash is not all that it is made out to be.......

    IMHO it boils down to who you are, are you doing what you were born to do? Is this your passion?
    Or are you just a flat out turn over guy?

    Answering this question when you book is a tough one to say the least, references, private visits with potential outfitters, hunting reports are the only things I can think of......

    AND OF COURSE AH!!! :)

    Sorry for the rant!

    My very best always
     
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  8. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Jaco with all those capitals watch your blood pressure !! :ROFLMAO:
     
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  9. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Wahaha no I'm okay it's just grates my carrot!

    :) :) :)
     
  10. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    jeez if you use a grater on it no wonder you are shouting!!;):D:ROFLMAO:
     
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  11. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Is that what you call an internet shout I thought it was being hi lighted....... Okay then! :) :) ;)
     
  12. FairChase

    FairChase New Member

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    Coming to the US is apparently costly and time-consuming. So PH's, how do you or others in the industry try to otherwise address this issue of uncertainty on the part of the potential client ?
     
  13. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    I visit the US for 2 and a half months a year, it is a cost you should not blink over, without it there are no hunters, that simple.

    In short outfitters that operate with 6 or 7 ph's should pick their ph's better... an outfitter makes a promise on a show floor and the ph you pick as an outfitter should make that dream/promise a reality.... Simple.

    If a problem arises the outfitter should have picked a better ph and the ph should not be contracted again, if he's on permanent staff, well the as an outfitter you should advise him of a possible mind alteration or ultimately a career change.

    Outfitters such as myself source business and we also hunt, the ph's we contract, should fall in line with with company standards and operational protocol.

    Those who source business whether it be by donation (blasphemy) or legit should address any uncertainties, being in the industry for an extended time places you as an outfitter in the comfortable position, to draw the potential clients attention to concerns you have dealt with and encountered in the past thereby ultimately saving potential clients the headache and or pitfalls...

    That's the way it should work.

    My best always
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
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  14. Limcroma Safaris

    Limcroma Safaris SPONSOR AH Member

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    FairChase,
    I share the popular sentiment here that the experience you had was not the norm, should not be considered as representative of any reputable, well-established outfitter. The fact that your safari was a donated auctioned hunt should have had absolutely no bearing on the quality of the experience or the professionalism of the staff that should have been provided to you.

    I hope you took enough away from your experience to put it in perspective and not let one marginal safari keep you from enjoying future safaris in what I believe to be the best hunting destination in the world.
     
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  15. wildwildebeest

    wildwildebeest New Member

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    Jaco is obviously very knowledgeable being in the business as long as he's been. He has some valid points. A reputable Outfitter will visit the U.S. every year for a couple months and go to shows and meet with past clients. In doing this, they'll get introduced t potential new clients.
    Fair Chase, I would reccomend looking at an Outfitters webpage and ask for references. When you talk to those references within the U.S., ask for another reference. These converations will also help!!

    Thanks to all.
     
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  16. FairChase

    FairChase New Member

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    All good points, Jaco...

    As a general rule, should new clients in the US expect to receive any follow up service once they have booked, but prior to the hunt?
    In regards to the potential client, other than this and the outfitter's website, do they have a resource to learn more about the particular outfitter/PH?

    As for the Donated Hunts in general, let me say this. Yes, there seems to be a number of those that have abused this arrangement on BOTH sides of the contract. Nevertheless, the events where these hunts are auctioned off are, for the most part, worthy causes and attended by many that are looking for ways to contribute to their charity in a way that has a connection to them; hunting, fishing, etc.


    Full disclosure, the safari I went on was the same one that I made the arrangements for it to be an auction item at a charity event. Since my buying the hunt and prior to me going, I have used this same PH to donate hunts for fund raising at similar auctions and it has resulted in 5 more 10 day, 4-person hunts to be purchased in the last 6 months. I now need to change this or drop this as an auction item all together. The event my wife and I attended is a charity near and dear to our hearts and helps support our local pediatric hospital's oncology department. Clearly not a hunting or conservation focused event. I have volunteered with non-profit organizations for over 20 years. My wife and I believe we are blessed and feel it is expected of us.

    Nonetheless, I digress...

    Just my opinion, but the difference I find between the two types of organizations is clear; those that attend the hunting/conservation events are there to find a deal and those that attend the charities that are more dedicated to the humanitarian causes are there because they too believe it is expected of them. Consequently, the humanitarian causes seem to have a formed a stronger, visceral connection than a cause associated with conservation or one's pastime or hobby; i.e., they spend more money. I'm not trying to diminish any of these events or hunting, just pointing out my experience.


    I do hope to find other outfitters and PH's that are willing to donate hunts but I will be more discerning now that I know better how to make these arrangements. I hope to offer my personal and professional advice to charity supporters on how to address the uncertainty issue and believe my having gone on a safari will make my opinion a bit more credible.
     
  17. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have purchased donated deer hunts, quail hunts and dove shoots - to include Argentina. But I personally draw the line on an African or Asian hunt. They are more complex and more expensive than the others, and for just a bit more investment, I can largely assure myself of a really great experience. I have used a reputable and experienced hunting consultant (Jack Atcheson Jr. - there are others), and I have never had an issue with any hunt so orchestrated. I have no doubt that I have actually saved money, and Lord only knows how much frustration.

    And that bleeding blinking eye avatar is freaking me out :) !!
     
  18. FairChase

    FairChase New Member

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    dollshead.gif
    Just for you, Red Leg... :sneaky:

    Seriously, I hope to find a good partner to donate hunts that will appreciate the opportunity and look at this as a good marketing tool for their service. For me, it was enough of an incentive to get me to go and now I am quite sure I will return. But no longer need a donated hunt as an incentive. Nonetheless, I hope a donated hunt I can get for an auction item encourages others to go on a hunt, but with a better experience...
     
  19. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    You are a really weird dude ......

    But yes, I agree. The right trip purchased at one of our auctions can make all the difference in creating a new advocate to fight against dumb decisions such as the Zim ivory ban. Best of luck with your advocacy.
     
  20. FairChase

    FairChase New Member

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    Ouch...
     
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