HELP! COVID wrecked booked hunt and desperately trying to re-book in MT.

Rob960

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Jan 30, 2021
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94
Nebraska was good about refunds last year because of covid. My buddy from MN had the almost exact same scenario as you and they refunded his money.
Thanks for the info. I much rather would have gone on the hunt than to have this.
 

OutdoorAg

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Feb 17, 2013
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404
12k for a cancellation hunt?!?? Couldn't imagine spending that much to shoot an elk but to each their own.

A lot of times (not always) these “cancellation” hunts are repeat clients of the outfitter who stay in contact with the guides/head honcho to determine how the year is looking. Is it drought, did an earlier season hammer the big bulls, etc etc. They, the clients, then kick their down payment (to hold the hunt) to the next season and boom! Miraculously, there are openings to hunt. What the outfitter doesn’t advertise, and what folks on the email lists don’t know, is the reason for the openings.

Just my take, but never pick up a last min cancelled hunt unless you know the outfitter and can get a square conversation about why there are open tags.
 

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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A lot of times (not always) these “cancellation” hunts are repeat clients of the outfitter who stay in contact with the guides/head honcho to determine how the year is looking. Is it drought, did an earlier season hammer the big bulls, etc etc. They, the clients, then kick their down payment (to hold the hunt) to the next season and boom! Miraculously, there are openings to hunt. What the outfitter doesn’t advertise, and what folks on the email lists don’t know, is the reason for the openings.

Just my take, but never pick up a last min cancelled hunt unless you know the outfitter and can get a square conversation about why there are open tags.
Guessing a lot of cancellations right now are due to Covid. But your point seems valid.
 

Rob960

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Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
94
I put a letter to the Director of Nebraska Parks and Game today to see if they will refund me the cost of my tags. This was after I sent in an email inquiry. They replied back instructing me to send in a letter via US mail. I'll keep you posted.
Heard back from Nebraska and they instructed me to send in my signed tag as I was approved for refund. They seem to be a case by case basis.
 
OP
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trueat1stlight

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Joined
Sep 29, 2019
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126
Location
MN
Update on my hunt: I booked and hunted hard but didn’t even SEE an elk, let alone get a chance at a shot. Anyone here experience anything like that? Yeah, I get that it’s hunting and nothing is guaranteed, however I left completely frustrated and defeated to have spend north of $6k for a “guided hike.” I’m going to lean heavily on the outfitter for either a comped-hunt in 2022 or a highly-discounted one.

I’ve never had a guided hunt go this way and thus I’m in uncharted territory. Any outfitters here willing to offer up what you do with clients like me in the future?
 

Deadfall

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Oct 18, 2019
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1,107
do you have an outfitter tag (fwp gave a bunch of tags to people hunting with an outfitter that didn't draw last year, not sure legality of hunting DIY with these tags) or can you go DIY. I'd just DIY, if it were me. low success rates but better than staying home.
Huh
 

Deadfall

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Oct 18, 2019
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Update on my hunt: I booked and hunted hard but didn’t even SEE an elk, let alone get a chance at a shot. Anyone here experience anything like that? Yeah, I get that it’s hunting and nothing is guaranteed, however I left completely frustrated and defeated to have spend north of $6k for a “guided hike.” I’m going to lean heavily on the outfitter for either a comped-hunt in 2022 or a highly-discounted one.

I’ve never had a guided hunt go this way and thus I’m in uncharted territory. Any outfitters here willing to offer up what you do with clients like me in the future?
Did outfitter make any promises?
 

GringoBling

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Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
236
Update on my hunt: I booked and hunted hard but didn’t even SEE an elk, let alone get a chance at a shot. Anyone here experience anything like that? Yeah, I get that it’s hunting and nothing is guaranteed, however I left completely frustrated and defeated to have spend north of $6k for a “guided hike.” I’m going to lean heavily on the outfitter for either a comped-hunt in 2022 or a highly-discounted one.

I’ve never had a guided hunt go this way and thus I’m in uncharted territory. Any outfitters here willing to offer up what you do with clients like me in the future?
That absolutely sucks for you, but how can a guide guarantee anyone an elk? These are wild animals that are very hard to predict with all kinds of other external factors (moon, weather, other hunting pressure) that make it even more difficult.

My 4 buddies and I were seeing tons of elk and harvested 2 big bulls (and another missed on a big bull) during 2nd season all DIY. My BIL and his buddies hunted the exact same unit and area 3rd season and didn't see a single elk and they even hired guides. And those guides are good, better hunters than me and my friends.
 

Desperatehills

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Sep 29, 2021
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I guess we now know why he had availability. I have only done one guided elk hunt. The year before we went the outfitter killed 47 bulls. The year I went they killed 3 branch bulls for all seasons including early back country hunts. We hunted the park boundary near Gardener.
 

wind gypsy

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Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,976
Update on my hunt: I booked and hunted hard but didn’t even SEE an elk, let alone get a chance at a shot. Anyone here experience anything like that? Yeah, I get that it’s hunting and nothing is guaranteed, however I left completely frustrated and defeated to have spend north of $6k for a “guided hike.” I’m going to lean heavily on the outfitter for either a comped-hunt in 2022 or a highly-discounted one.

I’ve never had a guided hunt go this way and thus I’m in uncharted territory. Any outfitters here willing to offer up what you do with clients like me in the future?

Ouch. What outfitter and where did you hunt? The only place I've spent more than a day elk hunting in MT and not seen elk is the beartooths..
 

Doc Holliday

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Jun 15, 2016
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1,377
Update on my hunt: I booked and hunted hard but didn’t even SEE an elk, let alone get a chance at a shot. Anyone here experience anything like that? Yeah, I get that it’s hunting and nothing is guaranteed, however I left completely frustrated and defeated to have spend north of $6k for a “guided hike.”

Sucks. There is alot of info we don't know, but I can say all the stories like this that I hear/read about for elk seem to be for hunts in the $4-6K range.
 

Laramie

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Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
1,517
Update on my hunt: I booked and hunted hard but didn’t even SEE an elk, let alone get a chance at a shot. Anyone here experience anything like that? Yeah, I get that it’s hunting and nothing is guaranteed, however I left completely frustrated and defeated to have spend north of $6k for a “guided hike.” I’m going to lean heavily on the outfitter for either a comped-hunt in 2022 or a highly-discounted one.

I’ve never had a guided hunt go this way and thus I’m in uncharted territory. Any outfitters here willing to offer up what you do with clients like me in the future?
I have seen situations like that handled a lot of different ways. I haven't ever personally guided an unsuccessful elk hunt but I have seen plenty through the years. Most of the time outfitters will give a guy a break on a future hunt to avoid the bad publicity in situations that were really bad. I have seen 10% to 50% (rare) depending on the initial hunt cost, public vs private (they have to pay for those leases somehow) and how the actual hunt went.

Outfitters don't make as much profit as some people think. There are a lot of expenses. They really can't afford to offer free hunts for unsuccessful clients unless they pad initial pricing and offer guarantees to cover extremes like you experienced.

Long story short, I doubt you are offered more than a small discount. Elk hunting can be pretty damn hard sometimes, even for the best.
 
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