There have been lots of ‘inexpensive’ hunts posted over the last little while on AH. By inexpensive, I mean downright cheap. Hunts which charge no day rates; hunts for lion at rates that are way below even the currently depressed market; hunts for buffalo and sable and roan at prices I haven’t seen in 10+ years of watching trophy fees, and which are lower than those shown on most trophy fee lists. The hunts I’m referring to are generally in South Africa. This is an open question, but it may be more appropriately directed to outfitters/agents. What’s with that? This has come up because I’m organizing a hunt with some friends, who will be going to Africa for the first time. I think I’ve organized an interesting hunt, with a top notch outfitter, but his prices are significantly higher that many I’ve seen lately on AH, but no higher (and in fact a bit lower) than I’m used to paying myself. If you check the websites of many of the sponsors on this site, you will see trophy fees that are materially higher than many of the hunts that have been posted recently. I’ve been wondering how to respond if my friends ask me why we’re paying more than some hunts can be had for. How do these outfitters feel about the ‘cheap’ hunts? Do those who post higher trophy fees just discount them when asked? Should I find the lowest fees for the animals that I want and then haggle with my outfitter over every one? Those who outfit in countries other than South Africa (and maybe Namibia), what do you say when someone asks why the day rates in Zambia, or Tanzania, or Zimbabwe, for example, are multiples of what they are in South Africa? Do people understand? Do these inexpensive hunts generate more complaints than higher priced hunts? Or do people who take up those offers go in with lower expectations? Is there any reason that they should have lower expectations? Please don’t misunderstand me. I like a bargain as much as the next guy. And I worked hard for my money, and don’t want to waste it. Having said that, if I’m travelling half-way around the world for a hunt, I want to have the best experience I can, and if that costs a bit more, then so be it. Note that by ‘best experience’, I’m not talking about a luxury camp and spa. Those who’ve read my hunt reports know I can be just as happy in a freezing cold tent on top of a mountain or an Afrikaner farmer's home eating his wife's home cooking (well, maybe not just as happy, but happy enough). So by ‘best experience’, I mean the best hunting, on unfenced or very large properties, chasing the best animals, all of which are as wild as any. When I go out in the morning, I want to know that there’s no assurance I’m going to see any animal worth hunting, let alone get any such animal. I want the ‘old Africa’ experience, rather than shooting buffalo in a pen (the hunting version of fish in a barrel). Am I wrong in thinking that it’s not color variants that will kill hunting in South Africa but rather cheap, cheap hunts that can’t or don’t provide much in the way of a true African hunting experience? Or ‘hunters’ who show up with lists and don’t care how they get the animals or what they look like as long as they get them? Or am I just a ‘hunting snob’?