Horseshoe Hill Outfitters(Bob McConnell)Ontario
Website Address posted for sponsors only
Please do not consider Horseshoe Hill Outfitters (HHO), Cast and Blast Lodges, or Bob McConnell until you have had a chance to thoroughly investigate him. You should contact the SCI Northeast Wisconsin Chapter requesting the info they have from me and others. You can start with Mark Snyder (webmaster), Cal Ort - Past President and Mike Christianson - Past National Vice President. He has just fleeced 83+ bear hunters this year in Ontario alone, and had still another 20 hunters cancel on him and accept the loss of their deposits, lied extensively, and endangered every hunter in his Ontario camp so much that the Ministry of Health is seeking to shut him down. He has just tried to sell the camp and BMA (and succeeded?) in an attempt to get out from under his problems without fairly addressing his fleeced hunters. He tells me he has unfulfilled contracts yet for 2016, yet he also tells me he has nowhere to take those hunters or any bear hunters in Canada....he has no Canadian property on which to take his hunters who bought those hunts from him. He is a scam artist....even some of his own employees have informed on him. Please make these contacts. It was worse than a joke, and he admitted he was embarrassed over it, but refuses to do anything legit about fulfilling giving his hunters the hunt experience he promised. He even thought SELLING us an elk TAG for next year out West would make up for his failure to provide the Canadian bear hunt he promised and we contracted/paid for. Ludicrous! It is hard to believe all I am reporting, so you should investigate, and contact Bob, who seems to be avoiding all contact these days as he has promised he is done communicating on this. This fleecing of the hunting community, and his use of "donated hunts" to fine conservation clubs to accomplish it, has to be stopped. At least the Lehigh Valley, PA, (Bob is from PA) local chapter of SCI, and the SEA (Saltwater Fisheries Enhancement Association) out of Texas have already given him the boot and won't sell or sponsor any of his activities/hunts/fishing trips throughout the US or Canada. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has him currently under investigation and is using my info to help convince them to drop him. The next stop is the Ethics Committee of the National SCI.
He made grandiose promises about the camp facilities, the guides, and the hunt, of which nearly none of it was true. Every single hunter in camp was completely ticked off even before the actual hunt began, as we were completely sold a bill of goods. We thought we might actually have the cabin roofs collapse on us, and his 2nd camp in Quebec ACTUALLY DID have the roof collapse, and he hadn't even bother to carry insurance on it, resulting in a potential buyer backing out, which forced him to shut down and switch us to his Ontario camp (even though he tried to hide and disguise it as being our choice by overselling the glamour of his Ontario hunt without telling us the real reason for the FORCED switch).
He described the cabins as spectacular, but we had sagging and rotting ceilings and floors, non-working toilets with sewer gas bubbling up through them day and night, giant fungi growing all over the bathrooms, and no promised hot water/showers/drinking water. We shared our "all-inclusive" meals (mostly cold sandwiches were the theme) with an infestation of the mess hall and our food supply by squirrels and chipmunks that was never addressed, along with their feces (also throughout the cabins), which gave 90%+ of us diarrhea. We had no heat despite temps declining to at last 32 degrees F. Told us not to bring sleeping bags, but they were necessary if you did not want to freeze at night.
He tacked on undisclosed extra fees, such as skinning of your bear if you could get one, although his brochure and reps claimed this was included in the all-inclusive purchase of the hunt. There were to be promised fishing poles, tackle, and live bait in camp. There were actually 2 broken down and unusable poles for everyone's use, no tackle to be found, and the only "live" bait was ALL dead and decomposing. The boats were promised to have fish-finders, but only one had it, and the one fisherman in camp said it did not work well. We were promised fresh active baits to hunt, or our money back, which was later switched to "or you will be moved to an active bait." Neither of these came to pass. He even promised me personally that he divides his BMA/Concession into sections and only 1 week's group of hunters would be allowed to hunt from any one of them, meaning no one else will hunt your stand even before or after you hunt it. None of this proved true... we even found fresh empty rifle shells and cigarette butts at the bait sites. We were to hunt in a "remote" area, but our bait sites and areas were overrun with ATV's (even driving right up to the hunter's bait bucket!), wood cutters, campers with campfires within a stone's throw, general people, and even working seismologists. A rifle hunter with a scope was placed about 15-20 yards off the public-use gravel road in a small cramped blind that was hastily put up that day at just 7 yards off of the bait. I was promised 60 hunters for the season, which actually turned into the 83 hunters plus 20 cancellations. There were promised 70 bait sites, which was claimed to be changed to 75....which was still nowhere near enough for Bob to keep his promises regarding not sharing bait sites between hunters and that everyone would have a guaranteed active bait. We were all supposed to have rides from the guides to and from our bait sites every day, but that never happened. In fact, several of us wound up giving rides to the other hunters to their sites so that they could hunt too. There was baiting with bare hands as the norm, trekking multiple persons in and out, and sometimes around, the hunter's bait sites, placing hunters on sites that "have never been hit", or some only hit once by admission. Some were even admitted to having been baited "just started yesterday" or even "who knows" when the last time this site was baited....some were admitted to be AT LEAST a week since they had been baited. Several times the stands were erected and CLEARED OUT the same day or the day before we hunted the site. We were transferred to these types of sites when we complained, even though they were in other hunting week's areas....so we "tainted with our presence" up to 30 of the sites. 2 hunters wound up hunting on a competing outfitter's sites because, "we don't have anywhere else to put you." One was even instructed to sit along a roadway in the grass, in hopes that a bear and not another person would come along because the "guide" thought there was "supposed to be a local Canadian's bait in the vicinity."
In short, everything we were sold on, told, and promised, essentially turned out to be untrue, a deception, and a lie. And if this has not been enough, and nearly completely unbelievable, there is more to the story, but this has been far too long already for this venue.
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES
None to date. If you are the outfitter please email us.
Great! Couldn't have asked for better!