Last minute PH change...should I be concerned?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by BeeMaa, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    Our first safari is less than 50 days away.
    We booked this trip a year and a half in advance.
    My wife and I will be hunting PG animals only, no DG.

    We found out by accident that our original PH (I'll call him CH) is being replaced by another PH (TJ).
    One of the staff mentioned that we will be hunting with TJ in an email to my wife...
    Turns out CH's wife is having a baby which has necessitated the change.
    CH is their most senior and respected PH, TJ the most junior.
    My wife and I were quite comfortable with CH, but have never even met TJ.

    My concerns are these.
    Is this normal?
    Should I be concerned?
    I'm pissed beyond belief at the moment and I know that I'll calm down, but should I even be pissed?
    Haven't decided what I want to do or how to handle the situation at the moment.
    Would appreciate some advice from the membership.
     
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  2. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Do you know the age of TJ? How long has he been a PH? I've hunted with PHs that have done it for thirty years and ones that are still working on their license. I prefer the old guys but younger ones, if they are dedicated, can be good too. At fifty days out, I wouldn't get my shorts all twisted. There's not much you can do but go with the flow.
     

  3. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    BeeMaa, I wouldn't get too concerned over this. A year and a half ago this birth "wasn't even a gleam in CH's eye yet." These days most wives want their husbands around when the time comes let alone in the birthing room "coaching" them. The Outfitter has a choice to make. Either provide you with a PH that he knows very well vs one that he may just have an acquaintance with. The Outfitter's reputation is on the line here, I'm betting he is doing the best thing possible under the circumstances.
     

  4. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    TJ is young, guessing 25 but definitely under 30.
    CH is in his mid-30's and has guided on DG hunts for several years, so you can see there is a drastic difference.
    I completely understand the situation that CH is in and he should absolutely be there for his wife.
    I would never even think of asking CH to miss a minute of that.

    That being said, it's not like they didn't know what the situation was and she would eventually have to give birth.
    ...and we found out by accident?

    You guys are probably right and that I should just cool off a bit.
    Might need a week to just chill.
     
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  5. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    BeeMaa, you might consider asking the Outfitter for references from other hunters that have been out with TJ. Then if you don't like what you see ask him for other options.
     
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  6. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

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    @Shootist43 said it well. Ask for more information on TJ. How long hes been with the outfitter, where is was before, where he did is apprenticeship, etc.

    My first trip I had a young PH for a couple days whom was great. Did a stint in Zim and quite a bit of DG added to PG. He was only in his mid 20's but you'd think he was a lifelong guide by his knowledge. Now were friends whom stay in touch.

    Good outfitters try to only hire good PHs...just ask a few more questions to settle the nerves.
     

  7. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Enthusiast

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    BeeMaa... on my first safari, I booked with a PH that I had researched, called references and went to the SCI Convention to meet. (He was about 35) In fact I booked with him there. About eight months before my hunt, the PH quit the outfitter to go out on his own. They substituted with a “freelance PH” who was in his 50’s, but I had never met and could find little info about.
    I shared the same apprehension you’re experiencing. I had an AWSOME safari. I took the buffalo in my avatar and ten head of PG.
     
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  8. SafariA

    SafariA AH Veteran

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    You contracted with the outfitter not the ph . The ph might be stipulated in an agreement but we all know that can change for many different reasons.

    The employees of a Safari Company should all compliment that Entity. That is I guess why the Outfitter chooses who he employs as this reflects directly on his business.

    I would say should you trust your money with the Outfitter accept his judgement or call in this case .....
     
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  9. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    I wouldn't be too concerned. Good grief, why would you be pissed? Under the circumstances, seems perfectly normal. Many times the younger PHs are still trying to prove themselves amongst their peers... so many times they will try harder and work harder.

    If you show up with a chip, the staff will notice and things will not get off to a good start.
     

  10. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    "worry".....if your firearms don't make it through

    "Worry" .....if you leave your loin cloth at home

    "Worry"......if the engines on the plane stop over the Atlantic

    "Worry"....if your one eyed meat weasel quits working and sprouts something that looks like an ear......with teeth

    But don' t worry about who they send you out in the bush to shoot pg with.

    Ok...ok....Sure! He may be a youngster who may want to run everywhere you go, and yea.....he may not be able to hit anything since he lost his glasses a week ago, but really...so what that you're the first people that he will be taking out after his 50 day training period with other seasoned ph's?

    Just keep saying to yourself........what possibly could go wrong?

    Right? :A Stars: .:A Stretcher: :A Vomit: :E Horrified: :P Devil: :V Head Shot::A Bang Head::A Fart: :A Stars::A Samurai::E Nail Biter: :E Shocked: :A Try::A Skull: . :A Sting:
     

  11. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    You will be fine...the outfitter will not risk his name here.
    RELAX...enjoy your final preps before take off and then ENJOY YOUR HUNT!!
     
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  12. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    BeeMaa,
    On my first safari the outfitter was going to be my PH. A few weeks before I got there he informed me that due to business reasons he couldn't do it and assigned me to another PH. I was a little upset but when I got there and met Lammie we hit it off and I had a fabulous hunt to the tune of 10 head of pg. It went so well I requested Lammie specifically for my second hunt. Another great hunt. I requested him again for this year but he is committed to hunting with a long time buddy so I am hunting with the outfitter as my PH. So, don't get all worked up over nothing. Go with an open mind and give the guy a chance. After all, he is a licensed PH and probably knows quite well what he's doing. You say you're hunting pg so there is no danger factor involved. If it were DG, then I would want a more experienced PH or a second one as backup for the youngster.

    Don't dwell on a simple change of PH. Be more concerned about getting you, your wife and your gear there, your flights are on time and the gorillas don't destroy your stuff. Think WE WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME and make a new friend.
     

  13. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I wouldn’t worry too much. What is going to matter is that you be able to shoot straight and know where to aim on each animal. It would serve you well to look at photos of the type plains game you are after to understand what is good and what is average and what is below average.
    I have hunted with both young and old PHs. Yes I liked the older guys with a lot of experience.....but I also appreciated the earnestness the young PH applied to his job. It’s important for the young guy to make your trip a good one......he is trying to get himself to that established level......so he knows he has to do well.
     
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  14. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    This is almost exactly what I was planning and thank you for reinforcing this thought.
    I was going to add how long has he been a licensed PH, how long with the outfit, has he hunted these areas for the game...etc.
    As for options, there may be no other PH options at this point.

    I'm just disappointed, on several levels.
    We will see what the outfitter has to say.

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement.
    It really helps to have a collective knowledge base to draw experience from.
    I appreciate it.
     
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  15. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So I don't think in total that we have enough information to answer your question.
    1. How much focus did you put on the PH in your search?
    2. Was the experience level of the PH discussed or were you just assigned a PH?
    3. Did you build a relationship with the PH?
    4. Have you now addressed the change with your outfitter?

    There ya go. Agree with this.

    While I agree with @SafariA that you contracted with the outfit I also believe that you're owed the experience that you signed up for, assuming that's important to you and it was discussed.
     
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  16. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    We can run through every conceivable option or alternative but it's AFRICA and it's hunting. Doesn't matter who or where, with any other outfitter, venue or PH, things can change in a day.
     

  17. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    We put significant time into the search of the PH and we were assigned CH as our specific PH.
    We did build a relationship with him and my wife and I were very comfortable.
    I found out officially this morning via email that TJ will be our PH, no phone call, no options...this is who you are hunting with.

    I will probably be calling them in the morning.
     

  18. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    Very true.
    But it's not like they were under any illusions that his wife would not be giving birth.

    I'm wondering if we hadn't of found out, if they were just going to spring this on us when we arrived.
    Anyone had this happen to them?
     
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  19. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Definitely make that phone call. Then decide if you're annoyed or not.
     
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  20. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I've heard of that happening yes. Sometimes for legitimate reasons and some that have appeared to be a bait and switch.

    If I were you I would not decide which it is until after you talk to the outfitter. Bring up every single question you've asked in this thread .
     
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