What was the deciding factor in choosing your outfitter

Mike70560

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My first hunt was a double buffalo hunt in Tanzania. As silly as it sounds now I thought it would be my only hunt in Africa. The deciding factor for me was the operator was born and raised in Tanzania but lived part of the year in San Antonio where he also operated his business. I felt if things went wrong it would easier to deal with somebody that had residency in the States. I also met him and the PH at SCI where we booked the hunt.

After the first hunt things became easier, I met many people at the shows and in hunting camps and also understood the business much better.

Now it depends on which country I hunt as to what will be the deciding factor. If I would hunt South Africa my questions would be different than if I would hunt in Zimbabwe. For instance in South Africa I would want to know the size of the actual individual hunting area, if the herd was self sustaining, or if we would be stalking or sitting over waterholes.

In Zimbabwe I would make certain I was hunting with a Zim outfitter, using fully licensed Zim PH, I would want to know if the land was communal, private, or a safari area.

The forums certainly had made it easier to weed out the good and bad operators.

One other note, while it is important, price is way down my list. I just cannot afford a cheap safari.
 

buffybr

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In the winter of 2015 I read an internet listing on this Forum for a Mozambique Leopard hunt with also the possibility for a Roosevelt Sable.

Until then I had only booked hunts with outfitters that I had met and talked with at sport shows.

The deciding factor that made me book that Leopard hunt with Simon at TMS Safaris was when Simon told me that our own Super Moderator, Brickburn, would be in camp hunting Sable at the same that I would be there.

Thanks, Wayne, and after this year's Sable hunt, TMS is the only outfitter that I have hunted with more than once.
 

Scott Slough

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I researched my hunt for close to 20 years before going. I went to the Houston SCI club show for many years collecting as many flyers as I could and talking to as many PH/outfitters as I could before I went to my first Dallas SCI meeting in 2011. In late 2012, my wife and I decided that I would go in June of 2013 ... needless to say, Dallas SCI took on a whole new meaning that year.

Through my years of previous research, I had decided that I wanted to hunt free range kudu as my primary animal (and silly me, I must have told 100 outfitters over the years that I would be happy just to shoot one kudu!!!!). So, I decided Namibia and met EVERY single Namibian outfitter at Dallas SCI on Saturday with the plan to come back Sunday to really negotiate with the top 4 or 5 on Sunday. As I was walking out the Convention Center, I saw a booth that said "Best kudu hunting in the World - Blaauwkrantz Safaris established in 1978" with a banner that had pictures of what looked like 100s of happy hunters with REALLY NICE Eastern Cape Kudu. One of the PHs asked me if I was interested in hunting kudu ... and I casually said yes ... and he invited me in the booth. My feet were tired, so I thought, it can't hurt to visit with this guy. I "knew" that I didn't want to hunt Eastern Cape because of the high fences and the smaller kudu, but I humored the guy and asked him how many years it took them to shoot all of the kudu in the banner and he told me that was ALL of the kudu that they shot LAST year. I counted them ... (if memory serves me it was 96)! 96 kudu in one year. He showed me two more years of the same and gave me a link to their website which showed the hunting reports of EVERY hunter they had for the past several years. I spent the entire night going through every report and counted again ... and I got the same silly ass number and saw every animal that their clients had shot. So I went back the next morning and talked about the fences and the fact that they were hunting 92000 acres and looking at the banners with ALL OF THE KUDU and all of the reports showing so many happy hunters with such an abundance of game, it ended up being an easy choice ... I do hope to make it to Namibia some time!!!

So LOTS of research ... and one REALLY good marketing tool!

PS If you want to visit their booth, you will see my two kudu near the bottom of 1/3 the 2013 banner! One is the one in my avatar and the other is just to the left!


20160204_125331.jpeg
 

Spooksar

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My first one was booked through a gun dealer in Manitoba who was acting as a agent, I did 3 hunts with this out fitter. My next 4 where by going to shows in Calgary and talking to people. My next to are repeat hunts with these outfitters, 2 of them that are on this forum. Winterhoek in RSA and Leopard Legions in Namibia.
 

salesman

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I made my first trip to Africa for a short notice 7 day Cape buffalo cancellation hunt in May of '16. It went off without a hitch and I am currently working on another hunt for this year with the same outfitter.

Now that being said I probably broke most of the rules that some on this forum think are necessary for setting up a hunt.

1. Trip was such short notice that no proper research could be done on the outfitter/PH. Never met him in person until arriving at the hunting camp. However we did communicate by email and I feel certain that I nearly drove him crazy with the number of questions I asked. He answered every one of them quickly, concisely and proved to be absolutely honestly. I also called him and talked for a little while before making the final decision to book the hunt. I have been in sales for 25 years and he sounded as sincere as anyone I have dealt with. He proved to be genuine.

2. Since time was of the essence I chose not to take my own rifle even though it was a DG Hunt. The outfitter told me what he had, his description was 100% on the money. I asked if he had a quality and dependable bolt action and that is what he provided.

3. I booked all my own insurance and travel arrangement.

Taking all of the above into account I think I got extraordinary lucky that things went so well. But in summary I think the most important thing in choosing an outfitter is find one that is honest, genuine and that you can trust. If you don't trust the outfitter then I don't believe you can have a great time.

Just my 2 cents.
 

BSO Dave

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But in summary I think the most important thing in choosing an outfitter is find one that is honest, genuine and that you can trust. If you don't trust the outfitter then I don't believe you can have a great time.

x2!
 

Shootist43

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Initially it was the outfitters' web-site which led to discussions with references and finally price. After we booked our hunt my neighbor introduced me to several local hunters that had been to Africa more than once. As it turned out they hunted with the outfitter I'd already booked. Meeting and talking them face to face gave me a really warm fuzzy feeling. All of this happened prior to finding AH. However, thanks to AH I know of some outfitters NOT to book with.
 

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