There have been several posts and threads recently surrounding the rules for posting hunts in the DEALS & OFFERS forum of the site as well as what posting by other members on those threads should be allowed. I am sorry as I feel that this post is a bit overdue on my part, but I wanted to really think through my response and any changes that should be made. It is not always easy to know exactly how to balance between keeping AH as open and free as possible and when more regulation is required. So I am always glad to have such knowledgeable members who are willing to share their opinions with everyone as well as give me their best advice. The rules for posting in these forums are pretty vague and there is a reason for that. They did not start out that way I used to ask for lots of details, but I found that I was spending quite a bit of time policing these forums as few were adhering to the many posting rules. When I reduced the number of requirements for posting the number of posts increased exponentially. I think we can all agree that these are very valuable forums of the site for all of us, so I think it is important to keep the rules minimal but I will add a couple of requirements that I think are important and relevant. From now on it will be required to state the outfitter name where the hunt will take place if different than your company name as well as the area(s) where the hunt will be conducted. The basic thought behind this is that the hunter should know who they are hunting with and where, I think that is pretty straight forward. I think these are important specifics that hunters should be given to be able to consider an offer. The rest of the rules will remain the same you can see them by clicking on DEALS & OFFERS. The only other thing that will be different is that I will be more vigilant in enforcing the rules than I have been, especially about what is included or not included in the price. Concerning posting questions in these forums, of course members are not just welcome to ask questions but I encourage them to do so. This is a discussion forum and it is important to ask pertinent questions, we can all learn from the questions being asked and from the answers that are being given not only from the poster of the offer but the other members who may chime in as well. For this reason I would like for the posters of offers to answer the questions asked of them on the thread to answer them there as it benefits everyone. I'm not too fond of the "PM sent" line unless the member has requested to be contacted. I can understand if someone has a lot of questions or the answer is complicated or lengthy, but simple questions, as most are, should be answered for all to see. As important as it is to ask questions I think it is just as important how we ask them. If someone has left out basic information, they can be requested to provide it. If a poster chooses not to answer some or all of the questions posed by members I would think that is enough information for anyone to form an opinion. It's okay to post on the thread that you have not received an answer however I don't want members to hound posters or pressure to post a reply as I don't think it is necessary, and it starts to create tension on the site. If you have an issue with a member on the site you can always contact me. Now if you think someone or something sounds questionable or fishy, please ask for clarification, but do so in a way that is civil and nonjudgmental giving them an opportunity to respond without feeling attacked. And by all means if you KNOW that something is illegal you should definitely make others aware by questioning the legality without attacking and contact me as well. Another point that I would like to make about questions, comments or discussion in these forums of the site is that I ask that members limit their comments, discussions and opinions about hunts that are legal but they don't agree with to the discussion forums and not post them on deals that are being offered. I know there are strong opinions out there about certain kinds of hunts that are allowed and perfectly legal but those opinions should be expressed in the appropriate areas of the forum. I want AH to be as open, friendly and inviting to new outfitters as it has been to new hunters and to be welcoming to outfitters who may only come here from time to time to post hunts in the deals and offers forums. Not all PH's or outfitters are going to become super involved members of this community who are willing to take the time to interact and put the forth effort to answer questions as some do but that does not mean that they should be regarded negatively or with suspicion. What I do not want to have happen on AH that I have seen on other forums is that a "your not one of us" mentality starts to creep in. This kind of an attitude is part of human nature which can benefit us in certain circumstances but limit us as well. On community forums I have seen this type of attitude lead to exclusionary undertones or worse, collective bullying. It starts with a slow breakdown in civility here or there a little pushing of that line and before you know it a great forum community can turn into an old boys club where new members are not welcomed, they are tested, hazed and sometimes bad mouthed until they "prove" themselves. I have seen too much of the old boys club attitude in the hunting industry in general and will try my hardest to prevent AH from ever going that route. I would like to end by saying that with freedom comes responsibility. Whether you are considering booking a hunt from a poster on AH, an outfitter or agent at a hunting show, from a magazine ad, a website, an auction from you local hunting club or because of a recommendation from a friend, it is always your responsibility to do your homework. That's why forum websites like AH are great, you have a whole community to help you gather information, learn, do your research and ask all of your questions to as well as a place to brag about your adventure and trophies when you come back.