Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by KMG Hunting Safaris, Dec 1, 2010.
If a hunting outfitter is not a member of PHASA would you consider hunting with his establisment?
Yes. Being a member of PHASA doesn't matter to me in the least. In fact, i really don't think a whole lot of the organization.
Absolutely. While an outfitter belonging to the local association can be an indication of a reputable operator, or at least be one of the things you take into consideration when researching an outfitter...........it is not always relevant. There are jurisdictions where membership in the local professional outfitters association is mandatory, such as the province of Alberta. Outfitters there get their licence and insurance through that organization, so you can be sure that they are properly licenced and insured because they can't operate if they are not a member of that organization.
In many places belonging to the local association is NOT mandatory and there can be many reasons why people do not join. They may have internal politics that the individual operator cannot tolerate (We see a bit of that in print don't we?) or the organization may have a fee structure that assesses members fees for game shot/numbers of clients that an operator does not agree with, or in the case of a small family business may not be able to afford.
After some 45 years in the outfitting business I can tell you that I know some outstanding operators who do not belong to their local association and want nothing to do with it for one reason or another. It is fair to ask why an operator does not belong to the local association and is in fact a smart question to ask.................because there are times when the answer will assist you in your decision making. There is a big difference between someone who has been kicked out of an organization and someone who has never belonged. There is also a huge difference between someone deciding not to renew a membership because of internal politics or policies the organization has developed that they do not agree with and someone who does not renew to avoid scrutiny by their peers.
Bottom line is be sure of the facts before you pass judgement. Things are not always as they seem.
I wouldn't book with anyone that wasn't a PHASA member, just because they have a 100 percent record of insuring that their clients get there animals shipped back to the client after the hunt. Otherwise my sediments are the same as Skyline's. And yes there is irony in my statement.
'Skyline's' post is a very complete summation of my thoughts on the matter. I do not consider membership in any organization to be a mandatory standard or necessity in deciding who I’ll book a hunt with.
Thanks for the comments guys. 70+ Views and only 8 votes? Dont think it will give us a fair reflection of the general opinion.
Hope to get some more votes.
My view is one of those with no vote. Why? I'm a South African Hunting Outfitter and thought I should note vote on this one.
For the record, I am, by my choice, not a member of PHASA. Reason? The very poor record and stance they have against "Put & Take" shooting, as I refuse to call it "hunting".
Skyline, my thanks for a well written and well thought out response. I agree 100%!
In good hunting.
With no way to actually police outfitters in South Africa.....I say "NO". Sorry.....but FAR too many are taken advantage of by unethical African outfitters. The scammers and con-artists run the spectrum. So do the horror stories of the innocent hunters played. I don't care what organization you belong to....you will NEVER find one you are completely happy with. Get real. But at least you are willing to come under the scrutiny and be accountable to one organization that strives to protect the professional hunting industry. I can promise you...that the unethical outfitters are more often than NOT going to be a member of PHASA. And they will have every bullshit reason not to be a member. If a client has serious issues with an outfitter.....they will look to PHASA to complain. Yet I will say....this is only one component that is to be looked at when choosing an outfitter to hunt with. This is a topic that I am currently voicing a concern over and writing about. I am a hunter. I am from the United States. My background is in Marketing Research.
Wouldn't make much of a difference to me. I would be the guy who checked personal references. No different than any other group with an acronym, you pay a price to be a member, but there is a fat cat at the top reaping your contribution. Some (acronyms) are better than others, in this case, and at this time, PHASA seems to have a good reputation for quality outfitters. Again though, makes no difference member or not, you have a good reputation and folks will be drawn to you.
I just checked , the first setup we hunted with was a member , and so is the outfitter we are going with in july .
so l put that down to more good luck , than good management.
but if l clicked with some outfit that wasn't a member , ld ask many questions , proberly even ask bricko how to check with phasa on if they ever were members ,and why they weren't now .
but im not sure if it would stop me from hunting with them or not .......
When I chose to book and hunt with you Marius, it had nothing to do with you being a member of PHASA
I couldn't care less if you had not been a member either.
I chose to book with you because of my impression of you as an outfitter and PH and what other people that have hunted with KMG Safaris had to say about you and KMG Safaris.
I will make a choice to book or not with an outfitter based on similar aspects. Not depending on a membership in an organization or not.
Well said! That is the point i wanted to make, it all about the Outfit and NOT the membership!!
Since PHASA only covers RSA I will have to say yes I would hunt with someone who is not a member.
Let's restrict the question to RSA.
I have now hunted in RSA with an Outfitter who was not a PHASA member. Of course the leading issue when booking a hunt is about a capable, quality outfitter. But, I also found out what they do in the local community. It seals the deal for me.
However, for my first hunt. It was imperative that they were a PHASA member. It provided some feedback for me on the Outfitters position in the community and participation in the hunting community as a whole. It does have some face validity as well. Not just as a business with a good reputation.
PHASA is not perfect, I have certainly grown to know that. As with any organization there is politics involved.
I live in Canada and joined a local South African hunting association (KZN Hunting Association). They work hard on conservation efforts and a host of projects to better hunting opportunities and the communities in their province.
I have purchased a membership every year and continue to support those local efforts.
PH's that participate within the local community get much more respect from me than someone operating in obscurity.
If they have local respect in the community that holds a lot of weight for me.
I see membership as one more point in the scale of evaluation of an Outfitter and PH.
I have never checked PHASA or any other professional hunting organization and probably never will. My hats off to Brickburn and the rest of you that are very detailed. You have my admiration for thoroughness.
In the past most of my hunting with outfitters have been from personal referral from people that I know who have hunted with this outfitter. I also visited with the outfitter and checked references prior to booking.
I have only been a member here for a little over a year and find AH is a valuable tool. This year I have two hunts booked with AH outfitters and a third hunt verbally committed to and it should be finalized in the next month or so.
1. Prior to booking the first hunt (an expensive hunt for me) with an AH member. I checked references, read the hunting reports of this outfitter, read everything the outfitter had posted on AH and had some pm's with other members, called people in the industry that I know and asked them what they knew about the outfitter. Asked outfitters I didn't know at DSC 2013 what their impressions of the outfitter were.(Got some interesting comments here) I also have an acquaintance from prior to joining AH who has hunted with this outfitter twice and had good hunts.
2. The second hunt is booked with an AH member. (low day rates and I'm already in Africa so I don't have airfare costs) I never checked a reference. I have read his posts, and feel comfortable with him and his operation. I am looking forward to a great hunt but can't get burned to bad.
3. This is with an AH member. I know a little about him from AH but met him at DSC this year. He had a US hunt I am interested in at a fair and reasonable price. I never asked for or checked references.
Am I being a little Pollyanna'ish? Possibly
Am I more susceptible to being burned by not checking all the possible facts more closely? Yes
If I get burned and have a bad hunt is it my fault? Yes
Is my definition of a successful hunt a body count total or # of heads in the books? Not at all
I feel the outfitter who is a member of AH has as much or more skin in the game than I do. This is his livelihood. For me it is discretionary money. (Don't get me wrong, I am not rich and money is important.)
So far, I have never been burned or had a bad hunt. Will I always be as fortunate? Possibly not.
Is my way of making a decision the best? Probably not but it has worked for me so far.
In summation, In the past, I have generally based my decision on relationships, visiting with others and a general (gut) feel. You guys on AH are now part of my relationships, friends and decision making. Going forward I see most of my African hunts being booked through members of AH. Is this the best way? I'll let you know the end of the year.
All the best.
well said mr wheeler :thumb:
the way AH is growing a large percentage of over seas hunters, are listening to any and all reports of a lot of outfitters , and their future earning may just become a large part,dependent on this forum .
and the ones still making it are obviously the ones that , stand by their outfit .and industry .
whether they are PHASA members or not
I was at the local Oklahoma City hunting show this past weekend. There were about six African outfitters and a couple of African agents exhibiting. I visited with a couple of the outfitters who I have met at the show before and they acted shocked that I would book from the internet. I told them about AH, that they should join, and save on their marketing costs. They weren't interested. They also don't have my business. I learn a lot more about an outfitter on AH throughout the year than I do from visiting with an outfitter at my local show for 30 minutes. Thanks Jerome.
Membership and participation by outfitters in AH (so I can learn their personalities, values and character) mean a whole lot more to me than membership in PHASA.
All the best.
that's for sure wheels ,
I voted 'depends'. Now that I've been twice, I would feel more confident if I was to hunt with a different outfit than which I've hunted in the past by knowing what to ask, etc., based on past experience. However, for someone who's never booked an 'exotic' out of country hunt before and was preparing to spend what might be a life's savings for a once-in-a-lifetime hunt, it would probably give me some more confidence in my selection knowing that the company was a part of a professional organization and potentially having some recourse and resource on my possible outfitter.
PHASA has no relationship on whether I book with someone or not.
PHASA like all professional organisations exists to help its members. Any flow on assistance for consumers would be arbitrary at least. I'm not saying PHASA doesn't stand up for consumers with a legitimate gripe, but politics would have to play a part and ultimately if PHASA did not support its members, it would die.
Being a member of PHASA to me as a consumer means squat, nada, zip, nothing.
Just for the sake of clarity, can I point out that PHASA is a trade organisation for South Africa and only South Africa and that pretty much every African country that allows hunting has it's own PH licencing system, it's own game laws and it's own PH organisation.
Therefore the vote should apply to booking a hunt in SOUTH AFRICA and not elsewhere on the African continent.
I'm sure most people here will already appreciate that point but some may not.
Separate names with a comma.