Website Address posted for sponsors only
My brother and I took my dad to WY(from Oregon) for a guided hunt for his 80th birthday. Dad and I hunted and my brother went as a spectator. We went with Forbes after contacting Keith Hartman-Owner of Antelope Outfitting and Adventures West Recreation. Not only were the goats skittish, but the ranch land we hunted was 10,000 acres less than usual (according to our guide) because apparently bag the limit had already been filled with the neighboring ranches. Not only were the herds were few & far between, but whenever we would get close to stalking, the herd would jump the fence to another ranch which we couldn't hunt.My 80 year old dad only got one shot @ a small buck, which he hit, after literally spending all day in a blind. Were it not for that he wouldn't have ever had a chance. One he laboriously stalked the first day, he wasn't permitted to shoot because it was on a skyline & the guide wasn't sure of what may have been behind it. I did get off 1 400 yd shot but no other viable opportunities came up (even after hours & miles of stalking). We were very disappointed by the limited hunting area & it's lack of available game, & the constant frustration of fruitlessly traveling the same limited area over & over again. We ran into the wife of the outfit the morning we left town for home. I had emailed my disappointment the night the hunt ended and she was very apologetic. She told us that we should have told her the first day that the hunt wasn't going well. We told her that our guide knew and that we asked him several times every day to contact her to find out if they could make arrangements to hunt the other ranch lands. She assured us that had she known they could have made arrangements with the other land owners. Learning this the day we left only heightened our frustration because of our guide refused to communicate our requests to her. She said that he made vague comments to her about the difficulty of the hunt but told her it was going well. Our young guide cost us many opportunities those three days. The first day, after nearly 12 hours of driving around and not even coming close to a viable opportunity; we stalked up a hill (no small feat for my 80 yo dad with bad knees). He was in position to shoot a very nice buck but the guide stopped him (mentioned above to Penny & Sandy). I'm sorry, but though I appreciate our guide wanting to be cautious; that was a ridiculous and frustrating call. Shooting uphill toward a skyline which drops downhill to the other side could not possibly hit anything behind it; unless livestock somehow learned to fly, or use a trampoline. Dad's hunted for over 68 years, myself off and on for over 40. This is one of several examples of missing the rare possible opportunities our guide cost us. We really liked the kid but I think he's very inexperienced and a little unprofessional for the responsibility of leading others to success. We went traipsing around twice looking for horses the outfitter's dad thought had gotten out (he never asked us to, but our guide felt compelled to take a couple of detours to search). Our guide took & responded to numerous text messages throughout the hunt to family and friends, made personal calls, and had us watch some of his favorite YouTube videos. Though he also genuinely tried hard, he and I hiked our butts off the last day, I was a surprised how resistant he was to hunting suggestions; and of course shocked to find out that he wasn't communicating with his employers about the problems. The time wasting wasn't so much of an irritant, as much as a symptom of his immaturity. After the fact, the booking agent communicated with the outfitter. I'd requested 1 free hunt, since dad got a buck and offered to pay full price for 2 more. The best they would offer is a 1/3 discount on 2 hunts. We refused.
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES
As we already we have, we would like to apologize once again that you were not satisfied with your hunt. We do not ever like to hear that! However, this ALL could have been avoided had you come directly to us during the hunt and told us of your issues. We have plenty of other land you could have went to and we could have switched out your guide. The guide we sincerely understand your concerns and he has been talked to about this. But like I said had you come directly to us instead of waiting until after your hunt was done, its not really fair to us when it was to late to do anything about. We have 100s of references we can give you that had a great time with us and FILLED their tags. We were told from our guide that your 80 year old Dad fell the first day and the guide was very worried about his physical stamina which is why he put him in a blind. Normally we never use blind for rifle season. We were also told you were after 1 big buck that was out there and just never got close enough to get the job done, which is part of trophy hunting. Once again we are very sorry you did not enjoy your hunt or didn't get your moneys worth, but once again had you told us during the hunt, all of this could have been solved. I sincerely hope you enjoy your future hunts. Take Care
60's, mostly sunny, windy