Asking Professional Hunters prices for animals you are going to shoot?

elklver

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Hello all,

I am heading to S. Africa at the end of July with my daughter for the first time. We are very excited! The package we have purchased is for seven animals and we will be there 8 days. I was wondering if there was some kind of protocol for asking the PH prices for cull animals or animals that aren't on my package list? Is this something that should be done before we go hunting or something that can be done in the field when we come across possible target animals? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
 

Andrew Short

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I’m glad you asked this. I thinking about the same thing this week.
 

IvW

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Just ask about potential non trophy or cull animals.....
 

Tundra Tiger

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Hi elklver. I can only answer for me, and I have only been there once. I had a package deal as well. In the course of stalking animals on my list we sometimes came across other species at reasonable ranges. On a few occasions my PH, feeling like it was a mature/good specimen, offered me the option to take the animal. We talked about cost at the time of the opportunity; over the first few days I focused on my list and passed on other species. There was never any pressure at all... just the option to shoot if it was of interest. However, halfway through my trip, I had harvested everything on my list and then we had discussions about other possibilities and the associated costs. Again, there was no pressure at all - just a discussion of possible outcomes. I wound up harvesting another 4 animals. Your mileage may vary. Best of wishes on your hunt. The only thing that could have made mine better would have been to have my daughter there. She was supposed to be in 2020 and it didn't work for 2021. I have every intention of returning when she can go with me.
 

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Elklver,

1st: What a great & memorable opportunity for You/Daughter.

Leaning on experience from my previous 7 Plains Game trips ... always best to be upfront & informative w/ your PH ahead of your arrival. It is not uncommon in S. Africa to travel & hunting different properties where the land owner may be looking for meat/cull Hunter, or, take some odd horns off the property.I’ve seen odd horn Blue Wildebeest go $200 - still a great hunt experience.

The problem w/ asking in the field - in the moment, PH may need to ring the landowners Handy for “Green Light” to squeeze & opportunity lost.

Also your PH should provide a list of Trophies + Fees outside the Pkg Deal.

Happy Trails,
Jaegger
 
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TTundra

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Standard for them to share a list with pricing for you if you ask and often posted on their site. Also common to ask ahead of time if any cull animals are available so they can have that prearranged and tou can be prepared.

Enjoy tour hunt, I think about my first Aftica hunt while looking at the photos from my second hunt...;)
 

everett

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I would certainly ask for a pricelist before I went to study on. Some regular pricelists may not include cull animals. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask him before going if culls might be available and about prices. A lot of opportunities might just come available while hunting. If you’re open to these opportunities, I’d let you’re ph know up front. Let the ph know, if you come across an opportunity to let you know the price. Then take it.
My brother and I were in camp with Tundra Tiger a few weeks back. The first animal I took was an old waterbuck. He got in the way of an impala stalk. My ph asked if I would want to take him at a certain price. I took him. We let them know we were open to deals that came up. All but that first waterbuck, we discussed prices before actually hunting them. My brother and I took 6 animals we hadn’t originally planned to hunt.
 

everett

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I was actually on a hunt on the sticks on a big warthog. We were supposed to be hunting impala on the property. The ph left me there to watch while he slipped back out of hearing to call the landowner to get the ok to shoot the warthog.
 

Hank2211

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Ask for a price list in advance. No one’s nose will be out of joint.

If no cull animals are shown on the price list, you should ask if those opportunities exist. Again, no one will be put out by such a request.

Regardless of price lists, if you see a cull animal - say, something with one horn - and you’d like to shoot it, you can ask at the time as well. I was hunting a property once and we saw a nyala with one horn. The PH had no idea what the cost might be, but I was interested in a flat skin, not the horns in this case, so a quick phone call was made, he mouthed a price, I indicated “lower” and he got me a lower price. Took us some time to find it again, but it was a fun hunt at low cost, and I got a nice rug.

No surprises benefits both the hunter as well as the PH and outfitter.

Enjoy the hunt with your daughter!
 

mark-hunter

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Any suggestions?
Drop them an email, asking for cull animals prices, in case of opportunity.
You can ask, personaly, the same on arrival, but this will make you feel better before arrival.

A word of advice.
With 7 animals package in 8 days, you will be busy. Dont loose your sight of the main animals on the list, just because of eventual opportunities in culling.
 

Edster

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We discussed what we wanted to hunt prior and knew the prices. While hunting there was a Copper Springbuck that was someplace he wasn’t welcome. He had been there for some time and they had been unable to get a shot on him. It was offered at half price. We happened upon him one evening when returning to camp and I had a clear shot. My waterbuck was a birthday special. Another half off, an older male that had been tossed out And had managed to get in with cattle. Towards the end of our hunt we were also offered female Blesbok, and wildebeest at a discounted price. It never hurts to ask!!
 

crs

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On previous hunts, the outfitters had provided a pricelist and we had decided on animals before the hunt. However, it was not uncommon for a hunter to see an animal he just had to have and added that to his take. Have fun!
 

One Day...

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As far as Huntershill Safaris is concerned...

Hello elklver;

Welcome to Africa :)

I do not want to imply anything regarding any other outfitter or their PH(s) but as far as Huntershill is concerned, it is totally OK and welcome to ask for the price of an animal anytime you care to, before you shoot, whether it be ahead of time, at the lodge, or with the PH in the truck, should the new world record Three-Toed Unicorn cross your path.

It is clearly understood - or at least it should be ;) - by all parties involved (client, outfitter, PH) that any animal that is not included in an all-inclusive package is subject to a "trophy fee", whether it be a $200 cull fee or a $X,000 or $XX,000 genuine trophy fee. There is therefore truly no issue asking for a price, and it is not bad form to do so, because it is a very clear commercial transaction: conservation through commerce actually :)

It is also totally OK to ask, anytime, if cull/management opportunities exist. Any well-managed, appropriate-size territory with breeding populations will sooner or later produce excess females. At Huntershill for example, we even have specific female cull packages because we NEED to control the population growth. Any hunter is welcome at any time to add to their trophy package some cull females (typically Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Blesbok, and even Eland). What must be understood though, is that the PH will select which animal to cull, not the client.

Whether you want to engage in a price negotiation is a different issue. My personal perspective is that a lot of variables are at play. If you have a 5 days / 5 animals cull hunt for $2,500, honestly there is nowhere to go as far as giving you a better price, and asking for one is likely a bit awkward considering the incredible value you have already been offered. Conversely, if you have a 20 days / 20 animals package heavy with expensive trophies (e.g. Sable, Roan, Buffalo, etc.) things are different, and it is the rare outfitter who will not gift you a young, tender and juicy Impala or Springbok here or there to shoot for the pot.

What is absolutely unacceptable is to shoot first, THEN attempt to talk the price down, or refuse to pay. Luckily it does not happen often, although every seasoned outfitter has its own client-from-hell stories, but it is definitely bad form, and will not be appreciated, to try to negotiate the price AFTER shooting. And blaming the PH will be scorned at...

As with all other things regarding your safari, help your PH help you making your safari an unforgettable time by being very candid in your dialog with him. Tell him clearly what you want (e.g. trophy size vs. hunting experience) and like (e.g. shoot near the truck vs. spot & stalk), and be honest about what you can do (e.g. physical shape and shooting abilities), as well as what you do not want, do not like, or cannot do. An "Oh my Good, this is a beautiful animal, what is it, how much is it, can I shoot it?" whispered question while you are both glued to the binocs, is not only completely OK, it is a sign of a healthy relationship between hunter and PH. And it is completely OK too, if this ends with "Dang! I wish I could afford it, but I can't. Let's move on". A PH will respect that because this is real life and honest.

I hope this helps :)
 
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Andrew Short

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Prior to booking, Philip and I discussed the possibility of cull animals being taken along with my main package. I’m just wasn’t sure if it were common to ask prices prior to pulling the trigger. I’m sure opportunities will arise in which a non-planned animal presents a shot!
 

Hunter101

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From my experience the outfitter will let you know the cull prices once you arrive. So you can pop a few more
 

meigsbucks

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I wouldn’t book with anyone that wouldn’t provide a price list. If curious about cull animals, inquire before your trip and get specific answers.
 

K-man

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Hello
I have always printed out a price sheet from the outfitter before I even go on the trip, and keep it in my day pack. We once saw a beautiful Sable out on his own bedded down, but I knew the trophy fee was (at that time) another 8K plus an extra day's rate. The P.H. with me didn't think it was that much, made a quick call to confirm, and found out it was right. We let it sleep.....
That doesn't help with a cull or similar animal, but it is a frame of reference to see if you are offered a deal.
I also use the price sheet to confirm the final bill before I leave camp. Avoids any confusion. Enjoy your trip!
 

Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS

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Hello all,

I am heading to S. Africa at the end of July with my daughter for the first time. We are very excited! The package we have purchased is for seven animals and we will be there 8 days. I was wondering if there was some kind of protocol for asking the PH prices for cull animals or animals that aren't on my package list? Is this something that should be done before we go hunting or something that can be done in the field when we come across possible target animals? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

From a ph or outfitter point of view
There is no time to discuss or negotiate a price while you are looking at an animal in the field
What you will get is to see the ass of the antelope as it runs away
Talk before and get all pricing etc to bed
 

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