Need some advice from hunting pros/addicts :)

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Hello Members!
A little bit about myself. I am not a hunter. WAIT don't stop reading. :)
But I love the bush and I love living in South Africa. I think we have so much to offer the world and great hunting is certainly one of them!

What I do do: I co-own a digital agency and we were recently asked by a South African (Free State) Private Game Reserve to re-design their outdated website. It is very important for us to fully understand what a hunter would like to see when visiting a Game Reserve's website before we start the re-design. We want to create a pleasurable experience for users of their website. They breed game and are fully committed to conservation of wild animals. They have beautiful well taken care of animals on their 30 000 acre farm.

Would you be so kind to give us a few pointers? What is important items for a Game Reserve's website? What is a hunter looking for in the website? Photo's of the animals? Rates? And do most hunters book directly for a hunt with the farm? And anything else you think is important. No detail is to small!

This would help us a great deal - and your advice might just help improve the experience of a fellow hunter.

Thanks!
 

TOM

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I would be more than happy to help. It really helps to see the place, so i'll come over for a week to hang out and check the place out.....:bighello:

No, in all seriousness, i would keep the website simple, clean yet classy. Make the accomodations (if nice) very easy to find (show the wife). Prices and trophy fees should be easy to access as well. A frequently asked questions segment and a "general information" about the farm would be nice as well. Good luck.
 

Hunting Novice

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Hi Tom,

Thanks so much for your input! If it was my farm I would certainly invite you over!!!!
I see you have a not-to-shabby looking website yourself - will be sure to pass it along.

Thanks again - much appreciated.
 

Thunder head

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General history of the place and experience level of owner/guides.
Bowhunting / rifle hunting opportunities.
Meet and greet fees if any.
List of near by attractions and activities for non-hunting guest / family
 

Hunting Novice

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Hi Thunder Head!

Thanks for you reply. You added a few ideas I would never have been able to figure out myself!

What is "Meet and greet fees"?
 

TOM

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Meet and greet is the service of picking the hunter up at the airport. Some outfitters charge for pickup and delivering the hunter to camp. Others don't. Kind of depends how far your area is from the airport.
 

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It is important that the site is easy to navigate. If things are hard to find then people lose interest.

Do not use an enter page.........I assume you will know why not with that one.

Try to keep things simple, as Tom said. Lots of website are way too busy and hard to read.

Good pictures that grab you attention right away as the front page appears on the screen and better to have fewer pictures of good quality than a bunch of little ones that are hard to make out.

Keep the colors warm and attractive and avoid annoying background noise. Some sites have pleasant background music......but a few have gun shots going off when you change pages and things like that. At a recent SCI meeting I attended, a new website was displayed by one of the people in attendance and he had this sort of thing happening on his website. Every single person I talked to found it extremely annoying.

Just a few thoughts.:)
 

AfricaHunting.com

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Kelly, I could not agree with you more regarding the background noise on websites... Even though I can easily turn off the sound of my computer, a website with any sort of music, chant, roar, gun shots going off is so annoying to me that I will leave the site right away. I believe that most people feel that way, this sort of distractions are unnecessary and do not add any value to a site.

Welcome to AH Hunting Novice!
 

VonJager

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If they concentrate on game breeding, I would showcase some of the animals in the wild in some high quality photo's. Nothing gets a hunters heart racing more than seeing a pic of a LIVE animal. The dead ones are nice too, but seeing the animal in the habitat is a big plus. Use photo's from the ranch itself.
And as already mentioned prices. If prices are listed as "on request" I do not bother because I do not know if they change by the day, hour, month. Prices listed up front means we can trust them.

my 2 centavos.
 

TOM

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And as already mentioned prices. If prices are listed as "on request" I do not bother because I do not know if they change by the day, hour, month. Prices listed up front means we can trust them.

my 2 centavos.


Couldn't agree more! If the prices aren't listed, i go elsewhere.
 

TOM

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And as already mentioned prices. If prices are listed as "on request" I do not bother because I do not know if they change by the day, hour, month. Prices listed up front means we can trust them.

my 2 centavos.


Couldn't agree more! If the prices aren't listed, i go elsewhere.
 

mikeh416Rigby

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When I visit those type of websites, in addition to the things that have already been mentioned, I like to see the location highlighted on a map, and I also look for other touring/sightseeing opportunities in the vicinity.
 

Hunting Novice

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Hallo all. Value all your input! I am truly greatful for your wonder responses! Thanks for the welcome Jerome.

To highlight what you said so far:
1 - Background noise is off-putting to most users.
2 - Good quality photo's of live animals on the ranch itself is important.
3 - Prices are an absolute must. - Trophy and accommodation prices included.
4 - A map with the location higligthed should be included.
5 - To-do's (touring, sightseeing etc) for non-hunters (family members etc) in the party.
6 - Accommodation should be clear with good quality photos.
7 - A FAQ section is something to think about.
8 - Meet and greet fees if any.
9 - General information of the farm.
10 - Experience level of the owner/guides.
11 - The website design should be simple and very easy to navigate.

Anything else someone would like to add?
 

Hunting Novice

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Hello all.
We completed the website I posted about. I think all went well, and your advice was really taken to heart by the owners of the private game reserve we spoke about. As with all websites it is a work in progress, but I just wanted to make a last post to show you how it turned out - would love to hear what you think!!!

www.otterskloof.com

 

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AfricaHunting.com

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The website looks nice!

An easy fix and something that website owners do all the time, you assume that people know where you are, it is obvious of course by the images that you are in Africa, however nowhere on your home page it mentions the country where you operate in. I would recommend putting South Africa prominently in your header as well as the Province as hunters search more and more for certain areas of South Africa to hunt.

Your contact page also does not make mention of South Africa. Also a contact name would be nice on the contact page, as well as a picture of the owner, operator, manager or PH would be nice, it be more personal...

"Otterskloof Private Game Reserve’s primary focus is on the breeding of scarce game for live sale, trophy, biltong and corporate hunting"
For me as a hunter non of this sounds good. To have the website offering Hunting as well as other businesses related to the industry is not appealing. In my opinion if the primary focus of this website is to offer hunting safaris, none of the other aspect should be mentioned.

You incorporate a widget with a feed from Flickr for your photos, it's a great way to showcase your photo galleries however when people click to view a photo, they leave your site to go onto Flickr... This is not good, not only that but after viewing a 100 pictures from one of your photo gallery, to get back to your site they will have to hit the back button a 100 times to get there... Surely there are other way to do this more efficiently or to get back to your site, however do not expect people to know any better. Right there you may have lost a potential client.

You have a nice rotating banner on your home page with beautiful pictures however not one of a trophy photo. I would suggest putting in there some, it is a hunting website after all and hunters love to see trophy photos. If I were to look only at the Home page right now, not reading any of the text I would think that it was a website offering photo safaris...
 

Hunting Novice

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Thanks for you comments Jerome.
As I said the website is a work in progress and many of the stuff you mentioned will be incorporated into the website in the near future, but there is a few aspects that you touched on, that I think the owners should strongly consider. Will pass your comments on to them.
Thanks again!
 

dwerner

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Like others said, keep it simple. The golden rule says you should find everything on the website within 3 clicks (at the most) away. Prices and how to book should be easy to find, that is what clients are looking for. Other pages like a description of the farm, accommodation, pictures etc are also important.
 

TOM

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Still a big no-no. Trophy prices are not listed. Bummer.
 

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