2021 moose trip complete

Southern Heritage

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
139
Went 15 days and it got super cold. Moose where at super high elevation and we didn’t hunt hard in my opinion but what a adventure. Super disappointed I didn’t get a moose or grizzly. Super disappointed on the amount I paid. Super super disappointed in my outfitter and lack of trying.
This Alabama boy got cold sleeping in a tent at night but the day time wasn’t terrible. Glad I invested in good clothes and sleeping bag.
I saw a few moose, 1 grizzly, 2 wolves. 1 Wolverine

It was 1 on 1 in each camp. 3 hunters and no kill but a sow grizzly that measured 6’8”. ( that hunter didn’t bring a harvest report and couldn’t hunt moose) talk about being sick.

Weather got negative and river froze hard enough in places it held the horses up.
We couldn’t get a plane in due to ice so we rode 2 days total from base camp to the haul road then 1 hr in a truck to cold foot.
We got horses stuck in the mud. We had horses wipe out on the ice and power slide down hills. I got rocked so bad during the hunt when my horse jumped at a wolverine and stick poked it in the but I’m 95% I got a kidney stone. However after pissing glass for 3 days it went away in the middle of the night.
Our fresh food box didn’t come in on our fly in plane so we ate sheep meat from a Previous hunter over a fire most nights.

In the end still super disappointed. It took me 12 years to save for this hunt and my kids will need to skip college or be out of college before I go back but I made stories I can tell for a life time of what I’m calling the very expensive camping trip.

As for picking the right outfitter I’m not into bashing. I think my guide will be fired if he didn’t quit. I don’t know what I did wrong in picking a outfitter. I read reviews. I talked to references. However when my guide found out they probably couldn’t fly me out and that would add a week or so of just riding for him to close out camp. All I heard each day was how much he hates guiding. How cold it is. How the food sucks, how there is no toilet paper, and if He wasn’t under contract he just ride out by himself and quit.
We would hunt from about 12:00 to 6:00 and we would rather walk 800 yds to 1 ridge or ride 1 mile and sit on another ridge.
We never pursued any game we saw at a distance.
 

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Steve from GA

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Dec 25, 2020
Messages
133
Man - really sorry to read this. I know it's a long shot, but I would have a serious but polite conversation with this outfitter about your experience and see if perhaps that may offer you a discount or incentive to come back and hunt with a guide who better represents their outfit. Not connecting with an animal is one thing, but not getting what you paid for is something else entirely and this outfitter should at least consider how to save face.
 
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Southern Heritage

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
139
Man - really sorry to read this. I know it's a long shot, but I would have a serious but polite conversation with this outfitter about your experience and see if perhaps that may offer you a discount or incentive to come back and hunt with a guide who better represents their outfit. Not connecting with an animal is one thing, but not getting what you paid for is something else entirely and this outfitter should at least consider how to save face.
Working on that. Outfitter is still hauling horses out. He hauls them back to McCarthy I think and it’s multiple loads. Other issue my guide is his brother.
So hopefully we can talk next week.
 

Steve from GA

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
133
Working on that. Outfitter is still hauling horses out. He hauls them back to McCarthy I think and it’s multiple loads. Other issue my guide is his brother.
So hopefully we can talk next week.
Oh wow - now the brother part is quite a twist. Any way you cut it, your experience was most definitely not within the acceptable margin of error for an expensive guided hunt. With the right approach and pushing the right buttons, hopefully this outfitter will come to realize that he has a brand to maintain and he needs to take care of you like a valued client. Hoping that talk goes well. Good luck!
 

280rem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2017
Messages
44
You have received some good advice, about visiting with the outfitter. You should definitely have a conversation with him and sooner than later. I have been in this position myself. I was offered a very fair proposal to make things right, and a lot of good outfitters will. But please do yourself a favor, if there is a good offer to you, take him up on it!! I ended up letting it go, and have kicked myself ever since. You have to much time and financial investment to not at the very least get it off your chest with him.
 

Steve from GA

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Dec 25, 2020
Messages
133
I have no dog in the fight, but I disagree with exposing the name of the outfitter at this point. I would wait to have a conversation with him first. It may end up that he's a decent guy who is equally disgusted with your experience, willing to offer you a deal on a future hunt, and also willing to fix the problem for future hunters so that his brand is not tarnished. Try diplomacy before the nuke option.
 
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adventure907

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
737
Location
AK
This is unfortunate and I am very sorry to hear about your trip. I hope the outfitter makes it right.
 

z987k

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
283
Location
Anchorage, AK
That sucks, but great photos. You gotta love clear days like that. Especially after a system blows through.

I've always thought a hunt on horseback would be super cool.

To be fair on the stalking of a moose... I mostly lounge around the airplane and call them in. I've shot a moose miles away. Never again. I'd think long and hard about 1000 yards away. I guess if you had a horse to carry it for you that'd be a different thing though!
 

Agross

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Jan 25, 2017
Messages
882
Location
Michigan
Man that sucks. Definitely give him a detailed description of all the bs. I would be sick about a hunt unfolding that way with a guide. Hopefully they make it right. Keep us posted.
 

decrooj

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2019
Messages
72
Location
OR
That is really unfortunate this is how it turned out. Like others have already said, hopefully the outfitter makes it right. Although, it would be difficult to invest even more time and money with the same outfit after an experience like this.

These hunts are not cheap, and it takes many of us, years to save up the funds for them. Last thing we want is a guide with a negative attitude. Can’t control the animals or the weather, but a better attitude and the willingness to put out the effort and hunt hard, would have made your experience much more enjoyable.

Keep us updated on how this turns out after you talk with the outfitter. This is the exact scenario so many of us fear!

On a positive note, looks like you were in some beautiful country!!!
 
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Southern Heritage

Senior Member
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Jun 14, 2020
Messages
139
Quick update on the situation. I called and emailed. I stated all the positives and didn’t bash anyone just how the hunt went down in a email.
The other hunter who had same experience has reached out to the outfitter also.
However he flew out yesterday for Africa so I won’t know what he finds out for a few weeks.
 

r1elkins

Junior Member
Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
15
Location
Colorado
I knew a guy who went on a guided elk hunt, his guide was a POS and was drunk the whole time. He got his elk with no help from the guide, but he still had a conversation with the outfitter about making it right. Outfitter apologized but refused to refund any money seeing as he got his elk. Guess the experience his clientele has is of no value to him. He said he would have sued the outfitter had he not gotten an elk, because the outfitter left him with a guide that did not provide the contracted services. If you signed a contract, read through it and see what services they were contracted to provide. Then use that as the basis of your argument. A good outfitter will make this right.
 

Doc Holliday

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Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
1,227
Brutal man. If the outfitter does not make it right and in a way that really changes how you feel about all of this, I hope you will let us all know who he is.

If he doesn't make it right, and you stick to the facts, I don't see a downside for you in letting people know. It's not like you are ever going to want to go with him again. If someone else had this same experience with this outfitter, would you have wanted to know prior to giving him your money?

I hope you will at least consider sending those of us a PM who are asking.....I have been doing research for a 2024 moose hunt in Alaska and I damn sure want to scratch this guy off the list if possible
 

AlaskaEd

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
304
Location
North Pole
***Soapbox alert…

IMHO, the mentality to not publicly discuss a bad guide experience is doing a disservice to the good ones. It also gives these bad guides a sense of security, as they believe there is an attitude that folks will not discuss how much they suck on forums, and if they do, others will come to “defend” them. There has been absolutely terrible guides that operated way too long because of the supposed code of silence on forums. If you simply didn’t get a moose, that’s one thing. If the guide didn’t even try or failed in his mission to GUIDE you, that’s entirely different. While there is always two sides to a story, I at least want to know OF the story, even if sometimes the customer is the problem.

Put your story out there. Give the guides a reason to strive to keep customers year after year, just like every other service industry. Let the bad ones fail. Let the best ones thrive. It’s a real shame I can look at good and bad reviews for just about everything, but not for something I might save for years to pay for. Imagine a code on silence about cheeseburger restaurants that says you shouldn’t publicly say their burgers suck, especially if they refunded some of your money. That sounds ridiculous does it it? This thinking kind of turns a once in a lifetime experience into a crapshoot. I’d like to hear the good and bad from everyone, names and all. Even the best burgers in town have some terrible reviews, but they are overlooked by the mountains of great ones. The cream will rise to the top.

**off my soapbox now…

I’m glad you still had a good time. Most, if not all, my favorite memories in the backcountry did not involve getting an animal. When I look back I remember all the before and after stories most vividly. The hiking, learning, camping, views, surviving, traveling, chasing and near-death experiences are the memories I keep and tell. The animal? That’s just a bonus. I guarantee you have stories that you’ll tell your grandkids from this trip, and the negative experience will be well overshadowed, and mostly forgotten, by the positive in time.
 

Kevin Dill

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
2,756
Well....

I'm not one who would ask the outfitter for another go-around or some type of future discount. Any really good outfitter (worth the many thousands you paid) is 100% responsible for knowing everything about his guides, his gear, his food, his logistics, and most importantly the game in a given hunting area. This outfitter obviously (according to your descriptions) was and apparently is NOT even making a grade of C- for his attention to details. Would you really be willing to roll more thousands of dollars at him and hope he'll do better next time? This might be different if the outfitter has a long list of recent happy clients who were successful, and his reputation is stellar. I'm guessing not (again; according to your written account). If so, then he might be worth considering.

I've been through this myself. Thought the hunt would be great, but it was a slow-moving fiasco. The outfitter was a mess but it was kept from me until too late. I do NOT advise second chances with bad or screwy outfitters unless you like gambling with your money, time and hopes for success. Learn from it and walk away. You likely will not ever feel confident or trusting of this guy...and do you want to plan a future hunt with that in your mind?

Finally, I have no problem naming a bad outfitter here as long as the story is accurate. Accusations don't work, but facts do. I wouldn't want others to step in the same mess I was in.
 

JBrown1

Newbie
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
6
I think that you should name the outfitter. Even the best outfit has bad hunts, or guides that go off the rails. Who knows why your guide was such a miserable excuse for a guide. Maybe he had received horrible news before your hunt, and was then stuck in the bush while he felt that he should be somewhere else, attending to his personal business? Who knows...

But the bottom line is that he is an employee of the outfitter(family or not), and it is the outfitter's responsibility to make things right.
 
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