A question for the Professional Hunters - What makes a person a great client?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Mr. 16 gauge, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    VELO DOG hit many of the main points that i would have offered. i have been a guide for 20 years in alaska, but have only been on one guided hunt. that was S Africa.

    many clients have hunted africa, they have 10 guys supporting them from cooking, washing clothes, packing, skinning, backup shooting etc. in alaska, you are gonna get ME, thats it!! :)

    unrealistic expectations is a real kill joy for a guide. remember, truly large animals are kind of freaks of nature. then, you have to be in the exact spot at the exact time that the freak of nature is out of the bush, or available to spot. then you have to make a successful stalk, then the client needs to shoot well. if any step (and I'm sure I've missed a couple) goes bad, wind changes, etc., the freak of nature gets away.

    how does the client deal with that? tape measures do not make great hunts. the epic adventure that a brown bear hunt from a boat, or a safari anywhere in africa or south america, etc is what makes the hunt.

    some guys shoot their animal and immediately want to leave camp with a full week of adventures to go!

    i have hunted hard, daylight to dark for 10 days and seen 1 shootable bear. (and no opportunity, got dark) how does the client react to disappointment? being in shape is pretty big, because it gives the client more opportunity.

    same with practicing with their gun, more opportunity.

    as said before, a client needs to listen to the guides advice. thats what you are paying for. if a guide makes a recommendation, listen to it. a hunter had brought a large caliber handgun to bear hunt, as a back up weapon. i advised against carrying it. i explained that his rifle shot 3 times harder than his hand cannon and he should use it, instead of trying to use the handgun.

    next day, he had his revolver on. he had a difficult time putting his pack on with the waistband on his pack and his revolver. he ended up putting it in his pack and carried it around in his pack all day, climbing, etc. the revolver stayed on the boat for the rest of the trip. who knew??!!!

    my goal when i went to africa was to be the client that got asked to come back. not sure i was successful, but that was my goal.

    your guide wants you to get an animal, maybe even more than YOU do. i know most guides are willing to work harder to get that animal than the clients are. that said, it is not the guides fault if you don't find the right animal, he can't just crap a giant moose or kudu out for you to shoot!

    be patient, savor the trip. ALL aspects of it. leave the tape at home. then, if you don't shoot a freak of nature, you can be satisfied that your trip was still amazing and time well spent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2017
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  2. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    man,

    i suck at this! put my response in a quote from velo dog. dumb ass!
     
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  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Fixed.... :)
     

  4. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Thanks guys for the advice.
    I may have made it sound like I can't get around well. I can for what I do. I hunt hogs 2-3 nights a week. Walking plowed or planted crop fields here in Texas. In the dark with not lights. Just nv goggles and packing a 18 lb AR 15 with thermal. We may walk 100 yards or 800 yards to get on them. Walk the 1/2or3/4 mile all the time during whitetail season from camp to blind with backpack, rifle and bow. But it's all flat land. Was more interested in what geographic areas of Africa that would be more easier for a big guy with bad knee and lower leg(from injury when in 20s). I have been big my whole life. Hovered around 340 since I was 20.
    The outfitter that said I probably couldn't have a good time with him was in Eastern Cape. From what you all are saying Limpopo might work. What is area around Kimberly like?
    This is a rifle hunt. 8-10 plains game will be budget
    Thanks for yalls time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  5. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hi @Mark Biggerstaff
    The terrain in the Limpopo area varies greatly. From flat thorn scrub and areas of cultivation and river bottoms to steep rocky hills and everything in between. There are a number of outfitters in the Thabazimbi area including Numzaan Safaris who will happily accommodate just about any type of hunting you wish to do. As I said previously, I have hunted with Numzaan and am going back to hunt with them again in about 3 weeks. They are an excellent outfit and I highly recommend them. Their US representative in Texas is a fine gentleman by the name of Daniel Bristow and you can email him at dbristow89@gmail.com. There are also plenty of great sponsors here on AH that can provide top notch experiences as well.
    You might also consider the Northwest Province as it tends to be relatively flat with nice sandy Kalahari soil and generally easy terrain to navigate. A lot of beautiful country and great hunting there too.
    I am sure if you were to post a "Hunt Wanted" in the classifieds section with some specifics of what you would like to hunt, how you would like to hunt and what your limitations might be, you would get plenty of replies from the sponsors here on AH.
    You will have the time of your life and be ready to go back before you even get home! (y)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017

  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You are referencing huge geographic areas; provinces. Texas is apparently flat enough for you to hunt. Apparently, there is "hill country" in the state. (I've never seen it, so you'll have to tell me.)


    Load Google Earth on your PC and go for a tour of Southern Africa.
    Namibia has some flatter and rolling country as does South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.

    Exaggerate the elevation in the settings and look around the countries and provinces that interest you.
    https://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html
     
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  7. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You may want to consider the Kalahari in North west province too. Very flat terrain, you'll be moving from bush to bush for cover. @AAA Africa Serapa Safaris is located out there, many other sponsors here have access to hunting areas there too
     

  8. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I think for a RSA PG hunt you can do with mostly short, not too strenuous stalks. You have plenty of time to plan and get yourself in shape so why not give it a try! As with everything just communicate with the outfitter your needs and I'm sure it will work out.
    I hope you enjoy planning your first safari.
    Regards
    Philip
     

  9. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    I also lost about 30 pounds before my last safari - by eating McDonald's three meals per day if you can believe that! I knew I had a lot of walking and I realized I was basically carrying a large bag of dog food with me wherever I went (all that fat) and decided if I wanted to walk 10-20 miles per day, it would be best to put the bag of dog food down first.

    Good luck with your safari and I would highly recommend dropping some weight - it just makes your body so much more energetic and I am feeling much better now that I am a bit thinner.
     
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  10. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    I find it ridiculous that a PH wouldn't take you as a client or tell you not to come. If you have difficulty or are frustrated trying to find a accommodating outfitter PM me I'd be glad to give you contacts of several legitimate and highly respected outfitters that will go above and beyond to accommodate you and your needs.
     

  11. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Hey @Mark Biggerstaff , Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, out trying to get in shape for my upcoming hunt by walking the hills here in Alberta. I appreciate the question. There are a lot of good responses from the members here. I am sure there are areas in South Africa that would fit the bill for you. My hunt in Limpopo for most of the critters on my list was not that tough mostly on the flat but lots of walking. The Kudu on the other hand was in a mountainous area and a lot of tough climbing for an old guy that that is not that fond of heights. The Eastern Cape on the other hand was much tougher lots of hiking the high country and hours on foot trying to get in close for a shot. I am sure there are lots of outfitters on here that can help you out. The one piece of advise I can give you is from now to your safari start walking and walk a lot! Good luck my friend.
     
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  12. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    regarding getting in shape,

    most of my clients are shocked at the difficult terrain up here in alaska. i am 57 years old and my clients will have some difficulty keeping up if we are in a hurry. part of that is experience, knowing the terrain, part of that is conditioning.

    most clients tell me they walked or ran a bit before coming up and still were under prepared. i think a simple fix is to carry a backpack with some weight in it on your walks. it stresses one a bit more and you get the same walk/miles in.

    some thoughts.
     
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  13. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    I once hunted mule deer with a guy who did guided mountain lion hunts.....I asked him what was the best way to get in shape for a mountain lion hunt. He told me....and I quote....."Walk 8-10 flights of stairs while wearing a back pack filled with 50lbs of bricks.....while breathing through a straw":confused::eek:
    I also hunted antelope with a guy who was over twice my age and had two cardiac stents put in...........I was embarrassed that I could barely keep up with that guy.:notworthy::oops:
     
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  14. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    +1 on wear a pack - huge difference!

    In preparation for my Yukon hunt I am walking 1 to 3 hours a day with 55lbs on. The other day I dropped it down to 25lbs for the second part of my walk and man felt like I could fly. When I travel I go up and down the stairs at the hotel...I have found that stairs are the great equalizer. I think the biggest thing is get sore and then get use to doing stuff while sore. Once you learn to work through that, nothing can stop you.
     
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  15. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    living the dream,

    very well said
     

  16. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    That kind of reminds me of how I overcame my dislike of using a condom. I started wearing two condoms, every day, all day long. When I would have sex, I would take one off and feel like a wild man.
     

  17. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    @mrpoindexter I was trying to come up with a smart ass comeback but I got nothing, seriously LMAO.
     

  18. Gemsbok Gangsta

    Gemsbok Gangsta AH Enthusiast

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    Let's not discuss the Blesbok
     

  19. Gemsbok Gangsta

    Gemsbok Gangsta AH Enthusiast

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    I thought I was ready when I got to the EC to hunt with @KMG Hunting Safaris. On Day 5 I ran out of gas from all the travel,jet lag and so on.When I got home I reflected this in my report. I honestly felt like I let Marius down. Then as a good PH does he drug it out of me.,., this is a good post
     

  20. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Fanatic

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    Tokkie... very well said and put!

    Things get out of kilter when people think that 'communication' has happened and been understood when it actually hasn't. Be sure to understand and be understood clearly. Don't just listen to reply!
    Patience is a virtue.
     

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