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Cody Carr Hunting Adventures (CCHA) This hunt was a gift from my wife for my 50 th Birthday. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime for me (whether or not I harvested an Elk, I was looking forward to an amazing experience). The reality could not have been further from this. My wife arranged for my best friend to join me on this hunt; all in all, it cost us over $10,000 each (including all incidentals, with $6125 going to CCHA). While harvesting an Elk would have been the best experience ever, understanding that there are no guarantees, we were at least expecting to have a positive experience (especially after all of the $$$ we invested in this trip). Putting the Elk aside, we had such a bad experience with this outfitter that we wanted to make sure no one ever experiences what we experienced with CCHA, and never spends a wasted dime with CCHA. To keep it as short as possible, I’ll provide the following: -An employee from CCHA called us multiple times in the months leading up to our trip to hard-sell their gear store (online at first). Even after explaining that we are both experienced lifelong hunters/archers, have hunted Elk before in various environments, and have plenty of camping/survival/first aid gear and training, as well as the gear to go with it, he continued the hard sell. Once we arrived, we were taken to their brick and mortar store to continue the hard-sell in person about how we NEEDED a bunch of gear. -A few days prior to our arrival, at Cody Carr’s recommendation and hard push, I purchased an over the counter bear tag due to his claim that they’d been having a “high volume” of bear sightings (we saw absolutely NO bears, sign or indication that there were any bears to be seen or found). -After we finally arrived at the lodge, Cody advised us that we would be going with his best guide to a new PRIVATE 18,000 acre land lease in Missoula that was ready to hunt. There was nothing “PRIVATE” about this location, nor was it ready to hunt. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Myself, my buddy, our guide and guide assistant took the 2-hour trip after hunting some public land the first morning. That first hunt consisted of driving up a logging road at dawn, making several calls and a short hike in the area of the truck, then spending 3 hours driving logging roads looking for bear and elk. Once at the new “private-property,” the assistant guide and another helper were supposed to set up camp while we took a side-by-side to hunt. We cruised around and glassed all afternoon not seeing a single animal. While doing this and speaking with our guide, it became abundantly clear that this property had NOT been scouted and other than a few rides through with a side-by-side, no one had any idea where the activity was. When we got back to camp, we still had some set up to do, because one of the guide assistants had forgotten some key items for the tent setup. We ended up setting up camp with the guides and eventually had to run to town another day to purchase the missing items, which cost us additional loss of hunting time. So, for the next 4 days we stuck it out with our poor guides, attempting to narrow down this 18,000- acre plot and where the activity was. Add to this, that we had to move CCHA’s wall tent two more times because we determined that there was way more public pressure then described by Cody. Had we left the tent in the original location, it would have resulted in our gear being stolen or damaged. Additionally, we left a trailer parked on the road (for the side-by-side) and the locals called the game wardens on CCHA. When this happened, Cody called his guide,
interrupting our hunt to find out what we did?!?! It was because the locals were pissed that CCHA’s trailer and side-by-side were there. What should have happened was Cody calling the game warden directly and not his guides, interrupting our hunt. Although the property is “private,” the owner allows day-use which includes hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and dog walking. So all-in-all the first four days of our hunt consisted of about 4 actual hours hunting in the woods, with our bows in hand. The rest of our time was spent setting up CCHA’s tent (to be used for the rest of season) and scouting the property. We saw tons of side-by-side traffic, mountain bikers, dog walkers and lots of hunters on this “exclusive” private property. -Once back at the lodge, we discovered that out of 11 hunters there that NOONE had even seen an elk, forget taking a shot on one. This remained true for the entire week. In fact, a few hunters had left their trip early, accepting the financial loss rather than stay to completion, because their experience was so horrible. We also discovered that out of 10 CCHA hunters the week before, all failed to harvest an elk as well. -On day 7, we discovered an awesome tree stand that was placed by a CCHA guide, and hidden from other guides. This was just more evidence of total mismanagement by this outfitter. -We discovered that the local elk population (per Cody Carr’s testimony) has been decimated by wolves. So much so that any reputable outfitter cannot, in good faith, sustain any elk hunting opportunity in this area. In fact, the locals go elsewhere because the elk population in this area has been so negatively affected. We tried speaking to Cody’s father while we were there (since Cody himself was away hunting), to express our frustrations at our experience. The only response we received was, “I guess you have to hunt harder,” and our concerns were completely dismissed. -It was brought to our attention that even the guides were frustrated, because they were sick of having hopeful hunters arrive week after week, knowing that there was no chance of them harvesting a kill. -We did reach out to Cody Carr in an effort to give him a chance to address what we felt was a completely unacceptable experience. We basically worked for CCHA for 4 days, setting up camp that would be used the rest of the season; we scouted his 18,000 acres of unscouted “private” property; we went back to town to gather needed supplies when his guides failed to do it, etc. Cody Carr falsely represented the property and options available for a fair hunting experience. We also discovered that Cody Carr had previously offered prior customers with similar reviews a full refund, in order to have their reviews removed from public forums. Cody Carr is completely aware of what he does NOT offer, and makes a conscious effort to manipulate information available about his outfit, and makes concerted efforts to remove any negative critiques about his outfit in order to continue fooling unknowing customers into investing hard earned money into an experience he cannot provide. -After going back and forth with Cody via email and phone (following our trip), he FINALLY offered what he thought were reasonable options for compensation, none of which would result in any true monetary sacrifice from him or his outfit, but would only result in additional cost to
us. He offered: 1) For us to come back this year during rifle season (we are archery hunters; and the additional noise from rifles would only lessen an already non-existent presence of elk in the area), 2) For us to come back for a bear hunt in the spring (again, we saw NO evidence of bear in the area; and how would that address the fact that we were there for Elk), 3) that we return next season for another elk hunt (there is no evidence that there is a sustainable elk population in that area, that would make another trip worth it; also this, again, would lead to additional costs to us- for ex: airfare, hunting permit, etc)., or 4) $1000 (which was about 1-day’s worth of hunting). On our last night we finally had the opportunity to speak with Cody (after having been rudely “dismissed” by his father). We expressed our frustrations; and quite frankly, he didn’t argue with much of what we said. In fact, he supported our findings. That was the time to “make things right,” but he didn’t even make an effort. Offering options that add more cost to the customer, or simply can’t be supported by available resources (such as the current elk population) are not how a reputable outfitter does right by their customers. While we will count our experience with CCHA as a very expensive loss, we just want to make sure that no one else wastes $$$ on such a negative experience. Take your money and your time elsewhere for a fair shot at a positive experience (regardless of a kill).
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES
None to date. If you are the outfitter please email us.
The weather was not a factor while hunting and it was actually quite warm and clear.