Jim Shockey on Border Closure

OMB

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
66

On one hand, I appreciate the perspective of a Canadian outfitter and what they're going through right now. It has to be tough.

On the other hand, I can't think of a more self serving and tone deaf article that I've read recently, from somebody that hasn't had to rely on his guide concession for income for 20 years. Referring to some clients as "deadbeats" was just icing on the cake. I'm sorry, but the price of hunts in Canada has vastly outpaced inflation for 10 years now, and if guys like Jim are crying broke selling $30k moose and $65k stone sheep hunts, I have questions about their ability to run a business.

(Full disclosure: I'm one of the unlucky ones that had a sheep hunt booked for 2020 in NWT, and my outfitter has been nothing but a joy to work with in getting my hunt rolled over. )
 

SummitsCalling

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
177
The claim that Canadian outfitters are only make a 10% profit margin is most likely grossly under. If it is 10% and can ONLY live on $100k profit per year to feed their family, something is wrong. Small businesses would absolutely struggle to operate at a 10% profit margin in good years. As the article states Canadians largely can't afford the hunts because they are too costly. For those outfitters who screwed over their clients and can't operate a business properly, word travels fast.
 

Team4LongGun

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
534
I can see both sides of the discussion as he poses it, but I'm raising the BS flag over successful guides being broke and not able to go out to dinner, fix kids teeth etc. as their is only a 10% profit. If this were the case, not many would go into that line of work, nor would it be sustainable. I am NOT guide, but have a few good family friends that are in the business. Needless to say, they make a good living.

On a different but similar scenario-I used to own an inshore fishing boat. 20' center console and all the gear for striped bass fishing the ocean. There are many costs to owning a boat, insurance slip rental/dry dock etc. When I did the math of what it would cost to break even on a day of fishing-and I did this to do a direct comparison of the fishing charters I used to go on, the profit was always at least 50-60%. This is a darn good living for a charter captain and a one mate. Mate makes $200 plus another $150 to $200 in tips for a days work. Captain/owner brings in $700 for the boat/company and himself. Minus the fuel costs of $40-$80 a day and gear upkeep, It is very profitable. Yes the costs to own and operate a business are there, but by no means are the charter captains I'm referring to starving. It's such a good gig, that most only fish a few months a year, it pays for the boat and operating expenses. My point is, a few years ago it was nice for 4 guys to jump on a charter for $600 and split the costs and fish. Now same trips are starting at $900, and fuel is back to where it was then-so that's a wash. My long winded point....these guys may very well price themselves out of a good gig. When only wealthy people can afford to do it, the fleet is going to shrink. It's already happening on the east coast, as I am still friends with some of the charter captains.

This may be what happens to outfitting businesses-where the average joe saving up for a dream hunt reaches a point of being unreachable. I think there was a similar thread regarding cost of sheep hunts continuing to go up with no known justification for the increases past inflation.
 

MattB

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,120
There are 3 sides to every story and as usual the truth is likely in the middle.

I think there was a similar thread regarding cost of sheep hunts continuing to go up with no known justification for the increases past inflation.
The price increase is simple supply and demand around a finite resource during a time where many have built substantial wealth.
 

TSAMP

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
398
It may be the wrong way to look at it. But this border closure soured my taste for going across and hunting in Canada. I'll be chasing game in the USA for the foreseeable future so don't worry about me being competition for any of your rolled over hunts. If your hunts are priced to high for your own citizens that should be a red flag. Adding a surtax so Americans can boost your economy back doesn't sit well for me. Survival of the fittest.
 

Team4LongGun

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
534
There are 3 sides to every story and as usual the truth is likely in the middle.


The price increase is simple supply and demand around a finite resource during a time where many have built substantial wealth.
Huh?? That's very profound.....

"Simple" supply and demand is not what is being discussed. The notion that I, and others commented on were regarding outfitters mere 10% profit margin. And if it were actually supply and demand-the profit margins in this case would be much greater do to said finite resource. But I don't care enough to keyboard spar with you over semantics or cool sounding phrases. Rock on bro.
 

TSAMP

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
398
There are 3 sides to every story and as usual the truth is likely in the middle.


The price increase is simple supply and demand around a finite resource during a time where many have built substantial wealth.
Any chance you can help a brother out with this substantial wealth thing you speak of?
 

MattB

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,120
Any chance you can help a brother out with this substantial wealth thing you speak of?
Unfortunately, I think the opportunity has largely passed - but if you have $100K and a time machine I can be of assistance.
 

ozyclint

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
1,160
Location
Queensland, Downunder
If your hunts are priced to high for your own citizens that should be a red flag. Adding a surtax so Americans can boost your economy back doesn't sit well for me. Survival of the fittest.
Heck, some provinces aren't even open to Canadian citizens from other provinces. Want to hunt BC? Open your wallet and pay a guide.
 

Broomd

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
2,925
Location
North Idaho
Unbelievable piece, almost as ridiculous as the 'you' perspective it's penned in.
Shockey's gotten high on his own supply.

Big fan of Canada and our northern neighbors, especially Alberta and westward, but as a hunter I'd tell them to kiss my ass and hunt Alaska.

We've fished northwest Ontario most years since '95, we camp as far north as Yanks legally can on Crown land.
Paid our campsite five months ago (as we always do) and still have yet to hear from our host about border updates.. 26 years of loyalty. Good grief.
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
11,918
Location
Colorado Springs
If someone is having trouble "making it" on $100k/year then they are horrible with finances. And there is no way that any paid hunts shouldn't be "carried over" to future years. If not the next year, then soon thereafter. Clients paid in full and have gotten absolutely nothing in return for that........contracts don't work as a one-way street. There has to be reciprocation. I would expect most outfitters to carry insurance every year on catastrophic losses such as was given to them last year by no fault of their own, or their clients. And on the other hand, I'd sure be looking into travel insurance for these hunts before booking in the future.
 

TheTone

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
537
I think he left out the part of the outfitter perspective where you and your family sign millions of dollars in endorsement deals to put your name on products you barely use and live high on the hog
 

elkbowhuntr

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Messages
58
Location
Idaho
If someone is having trouble "making it" on $100k/year then they are horrible with finances. And there is no way that any paid hunts shouldn't be "carried over" to future years. If not the next year, then soon thereafter. Clients paid in full and have gotten absolutely nothing in return for that........contracts don't work as a one-way street. There has to be reciprocation. I would expect most outfitters to carry insurance every year on catastrophic losses such as was given to them last year by no fault of their own, or their clients. And on the other hand, I'd sure be looking into travel insurance for these hunts before booking in the future.
I couldn't agree with you more ! The contract he speaks of in the article is to cover them from the "deadbeats" as he calls them (which I am sure are out there) not a global pandemic. What really bugs the crap out of me is when he mentions if the "deadbeats" would have paid all their money he would have more to refund the other folks. LOL - Maybe this one time it paid to be a "deadbeat"!

They need to live up to what is right - like you said they should have insurance for circumstances beyond everyone's control. The fact he even sought counsel in regards to what he is legally obligated to do (never mind morally) would make me think twice about sending him my hard earned money. Most folks save up a lifetime to book one quality hunt - sounds like OL' Jim is used to catering to the millionaires.

A lot of businesses shuttered due to the pandemic but keeping clients money is not ethical even if it is within the legal contract statement.
 

tater

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
340
Location
BC
If someone is having trouble "making it" on $100k/year then they are horrible with finances. And there is no way that any paid hunts shouldn't be "carried over" to future years. If not the next year, then soon thereafter. Clients paid in full and have gotten absolutely nothing in return for that........contracts don't work as a one-way street. There has to be reciprocation. I would expect most outfitters to carry insurance every year on catastrophic losses such as was given to them last year by no fault of their own, or their clients. And on the other hand, I'd sure be looking into travel insurance for these hunts before booking in the future.
Full disclosure that i didn't read the article (i haven't paid attention to Shockey in a long time). I'm not going to comment on business practices of GO's as i have some strong opinions but for our Southern neighbours it should be noted that the cost of living in the North is ridiculous e.g. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/northern-food-costs-remain-sky-high-1.2101753

Granted, a lot of GO's don't live in the North year-round, but for those that do they pay more for every single thing that those in the South take for granted from school clothes to building materials. As noted in the article, $100k/year is not a lot up there.
 

Iceman82

Newbie
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
6
Location
MN
I also have officially given up on Canada. I have hunted there on several big game hunts and usually come home with a bit of a bad taste. I feel the costs are way higher than than elsewhere and personally I have felt unappreciated and ay times bad mouthed for being American. What idiot would talk smack to a client with whom they are counting on for a substantial tip? A Canadian.
I've hunted sheep, bears, goats, and moose in Canada and I have had some great hunts, but they were generally from US owned outfitters. I was seriously going to book another sheep hunt for 2023 but changed my mind and booked for Alaska instead. I've hunted in Alaska 7 times and hands down like it multiple times better. I hope in time more Americans will just say no to Canada and hunt right here in the great USA.
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
11,918
Location
Colorado Springs
Granted, a lot of GO's don't live in the North year-round, but for those that do they pay more for every single thing that those in the South take for granted from school clothes to building materials. As noted in the article, $100k/year is not a lot up there.
Timing also has a lot to do with livability, like someone trying to move to the Bay Area in CA right now......versus someone that has lived there for many years. Housing is THE factor that makes or breaks livability.
 

wapitibob

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
3,557
Location
Bend Oregon
Take your money, give you nothing, then tell you to pony up another 40% or pound sand......

And their customers let them get away with it.
 

AK Troutbum

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
6,347
Location
Chugiak, Alaska
Big fan of Canada and our northern neighbors, especially Alberta and westward, but as a hunter I'd tell them to kiss my ass and hunt Alaska.
For god's sake don't tell them that! Everyone knows the hunting is 100 times better in Canada than it is in AK. Please go to Canada for all your big game hunting. Except brown bear hunting, AK has much better brown bear hunting and anyone considering hunting brown bears should come up here and kill one....or two.
 

Reburn

Site Contributor
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,258
Location
Central Texas
I was going to book a stone sheep hunt in late 2019 for the next avaliable which would have been 2022 or so. Glad I missed the boat.
I feel for everyone all the way around but there is plenty of US business that have closed or are close to bankrupcy due to covid. Is it moral right to keep a clients money and not supply a hunt when that maybe the last guided hunt they can afford to go on. The Outfitters in Canada don't have an exclusive claim to covid screwing up their business. Maybe they should look long and hard at their elected officials on how covid was handled and respond how they feel appropiate with their votes.
 
Top