Continued Contact with Professional Hunter

BJONES

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I have a question for all of you who have hunted in Africa and had a PH that was not the actual outfitter. Do you stay in touch with your PH? I hunted with an outfitter who apparently has a rule that their PH’s can have no outside contact with the client! Is that standard practice?
 

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Staying in contact and talking is one thing but a few cross the line and try to cut the outfitter out and steal clients. It can be a big problem that needs to be watched so feeling don't get hurt or problems start. I talk with all the Phs I have hunted with and even the other outfitters I have hunted with. No reason not to remain friendly if you want to.
 

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It is true that a lot of PH's are temp-hired to fill busy periods. They make a tiny salary and a tip. Many of them have access to their own properties or other outfitters where the compensation may be better. It is entirely possible that rapport with a client is on occasion leveraged into a booking elsewhere. HOWEVER, any outfitter trying to enforce this looks like an idiot. The owner of Eden in Namibia ruined his business trying to enforce that when Jammy Traut left. I can not imagine anything more likely to aggravate the average American than trying to tell him with whom he can and can't have personal communication. It was my last trip to Eden and would be my last anywhere someone tried that nonsense with me.

I have and will continue to maintain contact with any number of the PHs with whom I have hunted over the years, regardless who may sign their paychecks.
 

K-man

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It is true that a lot of PH's are temp-hired to fill busy periods. They make a tiny salary and a tip. Many of them have access to their own properties or other outfitters where the compensation may be better. It is entirely possible that rapport with a client is on occasion leveraged into a booking elsewhere. HOWEVER, any outfitter trying to enforce this looks like an idiot. The owner of Eden in Namibia ruined his business trying to enforce that when Jammy Traut left. I can not imagine anything more likely to aggravate the average American than trying to tell him with whom he can and can't have personal communication. It was my last trip to Eden and would be my last anywhere someone tried that nonsense with me.

I have and will continue to maintain contact with any number of the PHs with whom I have hunted over the years, regardless who may sign their paychecks.
+1 on that! It is a fine line between staying in contact and attempting to gain business, but almost all current outfitters have/were P.H. for someone before becoming an outfitter. I have contact info available for most of the freelance P.H.'s I have met, just to keep in touch. Most of the outfitters I know have also been the P.H.
 

SafariA

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This is totally up to the Outfitter. He decides how he wants his Business run. In my opinion it should be a compliment to the Outfitter if the client likes his PH . It means he made the right choice !

Outfitters also tend to think a client belongs to him .... they do not ! If I treat him right .... he will return ! If not he will go somewhere else.

The hunting world is much smaller than we think . What comes round goes round . Unfortunately there is PH's that do not respect their position and try and steal clients. If I treat my clients good enough this should not happen .

I have had clients request to get the same PH again on a return trip . No problem with that !
 

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I have only been once with an established outfitter in Namibia. I was assigned a freelance PH who also had his own newer and smaller outfit a couple of hours north. He was definitely promoting his place to me while we were hunting and also after I'd gotten home. I occasionally message him on FB, but he hasn't convinced me to hunt with him yet. My outfitter never to my knowledge tried to restrict any communication.
 

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It is true that a lot of PH's are temp-hired to fill busy periods. They make a tiny salary and a tip. Many of them have access to their own properties or other outfitters where the compensation may be better. It is entirely possible that rapport with a client is on occasion leveraged into a booking elsewhere. HOWEVER, any outfitter trying to enforce this looks like an idiot. The owner of Eden in Namibia ruined his business trying to enforce that when Jammy Traut left. I can not imagine anything more likely to aggravate the average American than trying to tell him with whom he can and can't have personal communication. It was my last trip to Eden and would be my last anywhere someone tried that nonsense with me.

I have and will continue to maintain contact with any number of the PHs with whom I have hunted over the years, regardless who may sign their paychecks.
Completely agree!
 

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I agree with this statement:
“Outfitters also tend to think a client belongs to him .... they do not ! If I treat him right .... he will return ! If not he will go somewhere else.”

I had an excellent hunt this year in Limpopo. But when I asked the outfitter from back home to send me my PH’s email address to email him some photos, he refused asking me to send all my correspondence to him and he’ll forward it to the PH. Censorship doesn’t work very well for me, so I’ll never hunt with that outfitter again.

That is a pity, as my PH was the manager for that property and worked as PH only part time. Also his (and all the other’s PH’s) level of professionalism and the moral compass was operating well above the outfitter’s one.
 

BJONES

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I asked the PH for contact info before leaving SA and he told me about this policy. I came home and found him on FB and have unsuccessfully attempted to contact. I believe he will be at DSC next weekend so I’ll be looking for him there. I am persistent. Lol.

I had what I would classify at best as a questionable experience with my outfitter.

The fact that I left just one animal short of my list is a direct testament to the PH I had. I don’t blame him and he definitely made the best of a bad situation! He hunted his butt off. The outfitter needs to understand the only way I ever consider going back and giving him a second chance is because of the relationship and experience with the PH.

That was my first of what I foresee as numerous trips to Africa in my future. The outfitter should be encouraging that PH to keep talking to me. Just saying...
 
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BJONES

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I agree with this statement:
“Outfitters also tend to think a client belongs to him .... they do not ! If I treat him right .... he will return ! If not he will go somewhere else.”

I had an excellent hunt this year in Limpopo. But when I asked the outfitter from back home to send me my PH’s email address to email him some photos, he refused asking me to send all my correspondence to him and he’ll forward it to the PH. Censorship doesn’t work very well for me, so I’ll never hunt with that outfitter again.

That is a pity, as my PH was the manager for that property and worked as PH only part time. Also his (and all the other’s PH’s) level of professionalism and the moral compass was operating well above the outfitter’s one.

I wonder if we had the same outfitter...
 

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I can not imagine anything more likely to aggravate the average American than trying to tell him with whom he can and can't have personal communication.
I could not agree more with this comment. This a fact with most Americans I have ever met, regardless if they were hunters or not! Maybe true for the Canadians too, don't know.
 

SafariA

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I hope Outfitters read this thread .... In the end we want to keep the clients happy !!!
 

billc

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I hope Outfitters read this thread .... In the end we want to keep the clients happy !!!


I think most outfitters have no problem with clients talking to there Ph after the hunt. I know we never stop anyone from talking or staying in contact if they like.

I would guess in this case there has been some problems in the past and he thinks he is doing right. Bad thing is by the look and sound of it he is only hurting his business now.

I also don't think many outfitters think they own any of the clients. I do think some hope since they spend the money marketing and getting the clients one of there employees does not try to steal a client away by offering a cheaper cost to get clients. Outfitting is a tough and cut throat business sometimes and you hope you have loyal employees and earn clients back because your Ph's are that good.
 

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I guess I have been lucky not to haven have experienced this situation. On both of my trips my PH was the outfitter. He does employ another PH who I have also gotten to know as he picked me up at the airport when I arrived for my first trip, and we have spent quite a bit of time together at camp on both trips. I also hunted with my outfitter on another outfitter's property for part of my second trip and spent every evening around that outfitter. I have been well satisfied with my outfitter in that capacity and as my PH and would have no reason not to book with him again. I also cannot imagine he would care if I communicated with the PH he employs or the other outfitter.

That all being said if I had used an outfitter that has a problem with me communicating with anyone I so choose that would be a huge red flag and probably the end of the relationship. I am quite sure there are cases where outfitters and PH's attempt to influence or steal clients, but as mentioned above if good service is provided and a positive relationship results the outfitter should have nothing to be concerned about.
 

SafariA

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I think most outfitters have no problem with clients talking to there Ph after the hunt. I know we never stop anyone from talking or staying in contact if they like.

I would guess in this case there has been some problems in the past and he thinks he is doing right. Bad thing is by the look and sound of it he is only hurting his business now.

I also don't think many outfitters think they own any of the clients. I do think some hope since they spend the money marketing and getting the clients one of there employees does not try to steal a client away by offering a cheaper cost to get clients. Outfitting is a tough and cut throat business sometimes and you hope you have loyal employees and earn clients back because your Ph's are that good.
Agreed . Those who do think they own clients will find out the hard way they do not ....

There is room for all of us .... Outfitters ... Phs and Clients . a Happy client will always return if it is in his means .....
 

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I wonder if we had the same outfitter...

It's common.... Many outfitters get all grumpy when you go somewhere else, or even want to follow a PH that has left the outfitter. It's certainly not a rare situation.
 
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An Outfitter who thinks I can not find a PH I want to talk to. :ROFLMAO:

It's kind of sad that the Outfitter/PH relationship is so crappy the assumption is an ethical/moral vacuum.
Would you trust a PH that was undermining his employer while employed for your hunt? o_O
 

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