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I posted this on MonsterMuley.com, but any help I can get on this would be greatly appreciated.
My dad and I just returned from a guided Mule Deer hunt in Utah this past weekend and I wanted to get some opinions on whether we got a fair deal. My dad arranged the hunt in February of 2007. The hunt was quite expensive, but the outfitter promised we would be hunting 170 to 190 inch mule deer. We paid half the fee ($5,500) for a 2x1 guided trophy mule deer hunt in Utah in March. In July we had not heard from the outfitter so we called and he said we had to pay the other half before the landowner would give him the permits so he sent him another $5,500 cashier's check. We got to the DNR on Monday and were told that there was a 26 inch buck in the area. We reminded him we needed 2 tags filled to which he replied "We will find you another one." We met up with the guide and after two days of unsuccessfully locating any deer bigger than a three pointer we became a little frustrated. The guide, sensing our frustration asked us if we were ok. I replied that it did not appear that he had the knowledge of the area and I asked how long he had been scouting and working the area. He replied that the outfitter had contacted him four days before our hunt started and he had only spent a few hours in our area prior to our hunt. We hunted hard for four and half days and never found any trophy deer. Did the outfitter live up to his end of the deal? Did we get robbed? What can we do? In my opinion the outfitter set us up to fail and did not properly prepare for our hunt. What can we do about it? how can we make sure others are not victims?
 

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I am interested to see what other have to say about this subject. While I agree that the outfitter sounds like he did not prepare, and I hope there is someway you can remedy your situation. I cannot help but say "Thats hunting" whether you paid 40 dollars for DYI or 10,000 for a guide. Better luck next year.

Unless he had some sort of guarantee to "shoot" a trophy animal and outlined the minimum size I think your probably out of luck. I know you mentioned he said you would be hunting 170-190 calss bucks. But its the "shoot" guarantee that would matter if you were going to try and take any further action.
 

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Have you tried to follow up with the outfitter about this? Asked about and extended hunt or something? like wise hunting is just that not a guarantee to kill. unless it is a fenced hunt. Which should not happen here in Utah.

I have never hunted a guided hunt. Do you sign anything stating an animal is a guarantee?
 

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I have been debating whether to get in this since you posted on the 'other' forum. But what the hay.

I believe that an outfitter should never 'over-sell' his services, and it sounds like this one did since you said, " The hunt was quite expensive, but the outfitter promised we would be hunting 170 to 190 inch mule deer". I would NEVER promise a certain class of animal.

I also believe a hunter should not believe all the hype. If I recall you mentioned your dad had hunted with this outfitter before, so that makes it tricky. I am curious, did he "promise" a certain class of animal the first go around, and if so, did he deliever on his promise?

If you feel wronged, and it was a CWMU, I would report him to the DWR. I would also advise the outfitter that you will 'bad-mouth' him at every opportunity. Word of mouth is what makes/breaks outfitters more than any other factor(s).

I also believe from following the topic elsewhere, you had a quality guide. I have been puty in his position when I was younger, it was an awful experience, but one I haven't forgotten.

FYI, for that kind of cash, there are some great options with reputable outfits in Utah.

PRO
 

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Dude, it sounds like you got ripped off. There are plenty of guys on this forum who have had better hunts than that with waaaay better results with general season tags and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a little more than what you got for $11,000. What you need to do is post WHO the outfitter was and then no one else will want to use him. That's probably your only recourse though.

+1 to what PRO said about much better outfitters for that kind of money too. Next time, research, research, research.
 

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For ten grand... you went home emptyhanded and never saw the class of bucks you were supposed to be hunting?? Yeah, you got hosed bigtime. Spread that name everywhere you can.... thats complete BS. Hopefully that ten grand wasn't a once in a lifetime expenditure for you guys.... like Pro said, there's other outfits out there and if you go with Pro's group... you might wind up on video!!! :lol: Not everyone agrees with his boss' methods.... but they do get some nice ones, regardless of how they do it.
 

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Not everyone agrees with his boss' methods.... but they do get some nice ones, regardless of how they do it.
You just had to go there, didn't you? :? I say "not everyone knows his boss' methods........and we DO indeed get some nice ones, and everyone of them 100% LEGAL and FAIR-CHASE"! 8)

PRO
 

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Sounds like a scam to me! I would guess that you booked this from out of state? To have only contacted a guide 4 days previous sounds like you may as well have just shown up a day early and asked a few guys at the local store where to hunt.

proutdoors said:
Not everyone agrees with his boss' methods.... but they do get some nice ones, regardless of how they do it.
You just had to go there, didn't you? :? I say "not everyone knows his boss' methods........and we DO indeed get some nice ones, and everyone of them 100% LEGAL and FAIR-CHASE"! 8)

PRO
In all fairness to the supporters and haters of Mossback; how can either one imply that they are unethical or Pro say that they are 100% LEGAL and FAIR-CHASE"! 8)??? Both statements are a bit speculative aren't they? Yes, this horse is still dead; please no CPR. No rebuttal necessary.
 

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I agree with Huge29.

And I'm wondering if trashing an outfitter by name on a public forum is a tort liability case waiting to be filed. I don't know, but if it was me, I wouldn't want to find out.
 

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Coulda, woulda, shoulda, you learned a valuable lesson. IMO there's no animal out there worth that kinda money. If it's a trophy I'm after it'll be on my terms and the venture will be twice as sweet, heck I'd just as soon watch one of my kids do the deed. I'd approach the outfitter again without threats, If he/she has any integrity at all they'll make it right with you. Most outfitters I've talked to have been straight up but then again I've never cut a deal with one either. Just be honest and up front, good luck...
 

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Sorry to hear about your situation, the outfitter had all summer long to have a guild search for you and you prepaid. That just isn't being screwed that being gang raped. I would report him to the DWR and the state of Utah. If the outfitter is willing to rob you than I'll bet he/she doesn't pay all his taxes either, at least he will be on their radar if someone else complains. The outfitter said he would put you on some Trophy class deer and failed to do so, just my opinion.
 

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Finnegan said:
I agree with Huge29.

And I'm wondering if trashing an outfitter by name on a public forum is a tort liability case waiting to be filed. I don't know, but if it was me, I wouldn't want to find out.
Truth is a defense to defamation, slander, or libel. If you mention the name, and the outfitter sued, it could get messy. But technically, if you were able to prove truth you MIGHT be safe from liability.
 

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Spoon said:
Finnegan said:
I agree with Huge29.

And I'm wondering if trashing an outfitter by name on a public forum is a tort liability case waiting to be filed. I don't know, but if it was me, I wouldn't want to find out.
Truth is a defense to defamation, slander, or libel. If you mention the name, and the outfitter sued, it could get messy. But technically, if you were able to prove truth you MIGHT be safe from liability.
As of RIGHT NOW, I have yet to see any 'proof', therefore Finnegan makes a VERY valid point!

PRO
 

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As another note - if you decide to publically tell your story, tell the story of your hunt, and your hunt only. Leave out statements of "rip-offs" and other inflamatory issues. State the facts of the arrangement. State the facts of the hunt that you know - and do not state anything that approaches speculation. Just tell your story. Do that and you should be fine.

One other thing - don't make statements like "Don't waste your money booking with this jerk." instead, you can state things like "I will not book another hunt with this outfitter." Keep your statements about you. This is no different than product reviews you see on many on-line shopping sites.
 

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proutdoors said:
Not everyone agrees with his boss' methods.... but they do get some nice ones, regardless of how they do it.
You just had to go there, didn't you? :? I say "not everyone knows his boss' methods........and we DO indeed get some nice ones, and everyone of them 100% LEGAL and FAIR-CHASE"! 8)

PRO
Of course.... the man and his company are one of the most controversial companies in Utah I'd bet.... but there's no denying that A) nobody has been able to prove all the accusations that come up against him or the "posse" and B) you guys have video of trophy class animals taken under your guidance. Nothing more than that to it.... Unlike this guy who was supposed to guide this person to a "slam dunk" apparently on trophy class animals of which they saw NONE. I don't see any reason he can't say publicly that he's torqued about it.... I'd agree that a true story should keep him from having to worry too much about this supposed outfitters recourse against him. Its a sham, pure and simple. No...I also would never pay that much for just an animal.... but it wasn't me that got hosed.... I think he has every right to be PO'ed about it.
 

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Of course.... the man and his company are one of the most controversial companies in Utah I'd bet.... but there's no denying that A) nobody has been able to prove all the accusations that come up against him or the "posse" and B) you guys have video of trophy class animals taken under your guidance. Nothing more than that to it
First you said, "nobody has been able to prove all the accusations". The correct wording is, "nobody has been able to prove any the accusations". He is 'controversial' because people make accusations with an absolute lack of PROOF! :roll:

Second, neither myself nor anyone else has suggested this hunter got a good deal, nor have I said he shouldn't persue legal options. My advice would be to talk with the outfitter, and if not satisfied there, persue other options, BUT if he choses to go public with the 'offending' ooutfitter, he needs to have PROOF of the allegations.

PRO
 

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It is interesting that at the bottom of the UWN page an outfitter advertises an elk hunt for $3,995 for a guaranteed no shot/no pay policy. That seems fairly reasonable, to pay nearly three times that amount for an (un)guided deer hunt would certainly have me very upset.
 
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