Researching a Prospective Outfitter - An Example of Why

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,840
Media
54
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
I could have put a number of titles on this thread such as:

1. What the f&*^?
2. Are you serious?
3. You must be kidding!
4. Phil you sure got lucky!

So a little visit back in history. In 2008 I was at the International Sportsman's Expo here in Phoenix. The ISE show is a relatively small show but it has a number of African outfitters who attend. I met and eventually booked with an American guy who was supposedly a PH in RSA. We booked for 2010 right in the middle of the World Cup that was being held in Johannesburg.

About a month before I left I got a phone call from the mother of my "PH" to let me know he had been in a terrible car accident and would not be able to meet me in Kimberley or hunt with me. But it was all okay, there was another PH that would take his place. So off my wife and I go on our first African adventure. At the start of our trip we spent several days on a photo tour of Kruger Park before returning to the Afton Guest House to overnight before flying out to Kimberley the next day.

While sitting in the garden at the Afton that evening getting excited for my hunt, my wife came out to tell me I needed to come in and take a phone call. It was once again the mother of my "PH" desperately trying to reach me to tell me that my hunt would not take place and to not get on the plane the next day. I have faith that this woman was telling me what she thought was the truth. However this was being fed to her by her son who I now believe is a pathological liar. Well his mother worked very hard during the night and eventually got me booked with another outfitter, Wayne Wagner Safaris. The hunt went well and I consider Wayne and his PH Ian Brown to be friends who I look forward to seeing and talking to every year at SCI.

Now this all started with a visit to a show and being captivated with how much a PG hunt could be had for. I can remember getting a bit carried away with the emphasis I was putting on price and not putting in enough thought to other considerations.

So here's where some irony comes in. ISE continues to do this show every year in Phoenix. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don't. But this year I am at the show as an exhibitor for HartzView Safaris. ISE has a website where anyone can see the list of exhibitors at the show. I was taking a look through the list to see what African outfitters would be there. One of the outfitters is named Gers Safaris who hunt on Klein Papkuil farm. Klein Papkuil farm is the name of the farm that I was supposed to hunt on in 2010.

Now through the years since 2010 I hear little of this and that about Ethan Thomas, the "PH" I booked with. But never much from any one particular source. That changed Thursday. I dropped by Gers Safaris booth which is a mere 30 feet away from ours. A couple of American gents are manning the booth, they've hunted there since 2009. Their first hunt in 2009 was booked with Ethan and all went well, they have since then continued to hunt with Gers but booking directly with him. Ethan in that year was working directly with the owner of Gers. But I think he tried to break off with the intention I guess of trying to make more money. Or maybe he's got serious mental issues? I got a bit more information from these gents on Mr. Thomas.

Here's a recent article on Ethan and his activities since making it back to the USA from his "accident" in South Africa. I think it speaks for itself why you need to research your prospective outfitter thoroughly. Perhaps an extreme example, but then I never thought I'd ever get mixed up with such an individual either. After you've read the article, you can perhaps understand why I could have had many titles for this thread.

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/02/former_cop_who_lied_about_mili.html


Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.21.59 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.22.06 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.22.25 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.21.48 AM.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.22.12 AM.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
10,071
Reaction score
13,009
Location
North Carolina
Media
346
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Thanks for sharing. Certainly never can be too investigative on your outfitters you are considering! I certainly tell everyone who ever calls me as a reference for certain outfitters to do as much research as possible and ask as many questions as possible to all outfitters they are considering.
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
22,970
Reaction score
17,451
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
Sociopaths are attracted to the easy money.

Scary stuff Phil.
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
3,173
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
You always have to wonder when you book a hunt blind and without visiting the area first. All the references in the world may not help if the person that you are booking with has planned it out with fake references, you just never know until you step foot onto the ground at the location.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,840
Media
54
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa

AB2506

AH enthusiast
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
468
Reaction score
358
Location
Calgary, AB Canada
Media
16
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
SCI, Alberta Fish & Game
Hunted
Alberta, Florida, Eastern Cape of South Africa
You danced between the raindrops Phil.
Makes one think though. You can do a lot of research and still have crap happen.
Do the best you can and then pray a lot I guess.
 

Hank2211

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
2,957
Reaction score
6,724
Media
141
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
10
Member of
SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
Hunted
Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province, Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo), Namibia, Cameroon, Benin, Ethiopia, Argentina
And are quite friendly and likable it would seem.
This is the ironic part. If these guys weren't so friendly, affable and approachable, they'd be out of business in no time. For a guy to have accomplished (!) what this guy has, he has to be pretty good.

The only way to figure these people out is to do your homework and check the history. While it all looks good today, there's almost always a history littered with broken promises and unhappy people.
 

Divernhunter

AH elite
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
1,110
Reaction score
1,204
Location
Denair, California USA
Media
51
Member of
Life member NRA and NAHC Escalon Sportsmans club, Manteca sportsman club and Coalinga Rifle Club. Member of SCI
Hunted
USA, RSA
Sites like this are a big help.
However some excellent outfitters are out there that you rarely if ever hear about on sites like this.
I did 3 years of research before booking my 1st African hunt. I made an excellent choice even though it is not one of the excellent outfits often on this site. I am going back in 2017 and staying with them to hunt and sightsee more of South Africa.
One thing to consider. If they are on this site for any length of time with positive comments you can count on them being good.

It is too bad there is scum out there along with all the good ones.
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,468
Reaction score
13,416
Media
109
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
Not only does this show why research and GOOD references (and hopefully obtained from a source other than the referee) are so it important, but also why the saying "when there is smoke, there is probably fire" is so true.

You don't always see the smoke, but when you do take heed or you could get burned. This is a lesson that I wish I had learned more quickly. There are way too many outfitters with impeccable reputations to take a risk on one with a question mark.

And are quite friendly and likable it would seem.
This is the ironic part. If these guys weren't so friendly, affable and approachable, they'd be out of business in no time. For a guy to have accomplished (!) what this guy has, he has to be pretty good.

This is so true, and anyone like this is also VERY good at explaining things away....
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,027
Reaction score
6,863
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
86
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
Phil
I think you said it all when you said you were too focused on price. I think on this site we've had a few discussions on "too good to be true" safaris. Now the economic climate we are in now will bring out some good deals but along with them will be more horror stories.
That said...wow... what a nut job!
Regards,
Philip
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,454
Reaction score
11,770
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
WOW human dung!!
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,532
Reaction score
10,197
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Glad that first hunt worked out as well as it did, considering who you were dealing with. Its good that his mother came through for you.

Sounds like society would have been better off if the "wreck" had been fatal.
 

Christina Nyczepir

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
338
Reaction score
626
Location
Allegheny Mountains
Media
43
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, NRA, DSC
Hunted
South Africa, Argentina, Virginia and North Carolina (USA)
And are quite friendly and likable it would seem.
Sociopaths are incredibly charismatic. And amazing liars. To the point they can win others to fight for them unto death...despite any and all evidence. They'll spend whatever it takes to maintain their image, often at others' expense. Their path only leads to utter destruction. Just wait for it. Tragically, those close to them pay dearly. Their world being one of pure insanity until they are free. Even more tragically, our world is breeding more and more of them. Something I study in my efforts to educate others on the issue of human trafficking......what feeds it and who use it. You were very fortunate, Phil. Count your blessings. The only way to deal with a sociopath, is to get the hell away from them.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,284
Reaction score
7,840
Media
54
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Sociopaths are incredibly charismatic. And amazing liars. To the point they can win others to fight for them unto death...despite any and all evidence. They'll spend whatever it takes to maintain their image, often at others' expense. Their path only leads to utter destruction. Just wait for it. Tragically, those close to them pay dearly. Their world being one of pure insanity until they are free. Even more tragically, our world is breeding more and more of them. Something I study in my efforts to educate others on the issue of human trafficking......what feeds it and who use it. You were very fortunate, Phil. Count your blessings.

Oh trust me I do. It's been nearly 6 years since this happened and I still shake my head at how that worked out.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,302
Messages
710,968
Members
66,421
Latest member
LeonorEhma
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
Serbian Hunter wrote on Tundra Tiger's profile.
Hi TT
I am glad you found some useful info in my posts. Hard cast WFN with GC will do the job fine. I trust Veral Smith (owner of LBT company) - I believe that he can provide you with some finest HC bullets. Many companies are coping his design. I can help you from here in developing max loads (40.000psi) just let me know which powder you are using (I use Quick Load software which turns to be very reliable).
 
Top