3Rivers Archery Supply
Auction Hunts..deal or marketing ploy
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Contributors to this thread:
expeditiontraders 25-Dec-17
Pat Lefemine 25-Dec-17
Charlie Rehor 25-Dec-17
Forest bows 25-Dec-17
expeditiontraders 25-Dec-17
swatmedic 25-Dec-17
spike buck 25-Dec-17
TSI 25-Dec-17
TSI 25-Dec-17
Trial153 25-Dec-17
Jaquomo 26-Dec-17
StickFlicker 26-Dec-17
Glunt@work 26-Dec-17
Zebrakiller 26-Dec-17
Bowbender 26-Dec-17
TSI 26-Dec-17
Buffalo1 26-Dec-17
TSI 26-Dec-17
JL 26-Dec-17
njbuck 26-Dec-17
TSI 26-Dec-17
Jaquomo 26-Dec-17
swatmedic 26-Dec-17
Beendare 26-Dec-17
expeditiontraders 26-Dec-17
Paul@thefort 26-Dec-17
TSI 26-Dec-17
skinner creek 26-Dec-17
Buffalo1 26-Dec-17
Zebrakiller 26-Dec-17
mtnview 26-Dec-17
spike buck 26-Dec-17
fastflight 26-Dec-17
TSI 26-Dec-17
Ollie 27-Dec-17
Brotsky 27-Dec-17
sticksender 27-Dec-17
Spiral Horn 28-Dec-17
Coyote 65 29-Dec-17
Forest bows 29-Dec-17
JAW 29-Dec-17
TSI 29-Dec-17
TSI 29-Dec-17
Buffalo1 29-Dec-17
Forest bows 29-Dec-17
TSI 29-Dec-17
fastflight 29-Dec-17
Trial153 31-Dec-17
Keef 03-Jan-18
Nick Muche 03-Jan-18
TXHunter 03-Jan-18
Turkeyhunter 03-Jan-18
Outdoorsdude 04-Jan-18
Spiral Horn 09-Jan-18
Keith in colorado 10-Jan-18
Rock 10-Jan-18
ohiohunter 10-Jan-18
25-Dec-17
I have purchased several auction hunts at various SCI, P&Y, and other fundraisers. I believe there are two types of donations. One such as Bear Track is wonderful which is a donation that is intended to benefit a charitable organization or a fundraiser.

The other is a marketing effort on the donor. It often has different dates, trophy fees, extra transfer charges etc.. Often, all of the rules are not avaiable until after purchase.

I appreciate all of the guides, outfitters, Ph's that donate their services. I also understand that they get taken advantage of from time to time.

I recently bought an auction hunt from a reputable PH that was what I would call a marketing ploy. I compared the cost of purchasing the hunt directly from the PH against the auction list and it would have been much cheaper to buy it direct. The trophy fees were greatly inflated, along with higher daily rates for other hunters. I decided to skip the hunt and donate it back to the local SCI chapter I purchased it from. (I did pay for it even though I felt somewhat scammed)

I find this practice somewhat disceptive and disappointing. Do you agree? It doesn’t seem like a donation if you are actually raising your normal rates. To be fair the donor likely did not know I was bringing two other hunters and we would have likely taken more than 20 animals amongst the three of us. I am not going to flame anyone or reveal the donor as that is not the point of the post.

Merry Christmas

From: Pat Lefemine
25-Dec-17
Interesting topic. I’ve never bought an auction hunt but I’ve bid on several. But I’ve read on our outfitter reviews and met several guys that felt the outfitter was not giving it his all, especially if the hunt went far lower than market value.

I once saw a 4-person Africa safari package with 5 animals for each hunter go for 1800 total. Outfitter had flown to Texas to be there in person. Everyone felt terrible for him. He was not happy what that hunt took in on that auction. But it was the wrong audience for that and the organization should have known that. I imagine that PH was less than enthusiastic delivering on that hunt.

25-Dec-17
Colorado Bowhunters has some fantastic auction opportunities from time to time. The regional auctions can be verY good. I know a guy named Forest Bows that bought a brown Bear hunt at that auction for 52% of the real cost. Mostly due to a bad economy at the time. You need to do extensive home work before such auctions. The P&Y Club auctions sometimes bring more than retail cost but that’s part of the fun as the fee paid is largely going to support the Clubs conservation programs. Bottom line is you need to do your homework in advance.

From: Forest bows
25-Dec-17

Forest bows's embedded Photo
Forest bows's embedded Photo
My 6500$ brown bear

25-Dec-17
I have personally bought over 20 auction hunts over the years. I have also paid more than the going price on several occasions because I believed in the cause. I have also got some great deals and created some life long friends. The Guides and Outfitters Association of British Columbia is a fundraiser that I like to support. I am also a past president of a local SCI chapter in Atlanta so I got to know a lot of the donors.

I have had mostly good experiences however there were several that were not as good as the others. The Pope and Young club also does a good job of picking their donors.

I have noticed a trend lately of donors doing some silly things that I believe discredit them. An example would be donation good for open dates. Call and find out the open dates and then after you purchase the hunt, the only open dates for the “auction” are non-desirable dates.

I believe it is always best to talk to th donor in person at the show if possible.

From: swatmedic
25-Dec-17
I imagine it depends on each particular situation. We have had countless outfitters donate hunts to our local SCI Chapter over the years. The point of the donation, if it is done for the right reasons, is to raise as much money as possible for the organization or cause offering the hunt. Hopefully the outfitter gets some brand recognition and possibly adds hunters and animals along the way to make it a win-win for everyone. Getting a good deal should be secondary to the point of the donation itself.

There was about a 6 year period from 2008-14 where some of these hunts, especially African safaris were going for .10 cents on the dollar. Some even less, and some not bid on at all. This did very little for the organization, and even less for the outfitter. The economy obviously dictates some of this, but it was becoming well know to hunters inside and outside of these organizations that hunts could be stolen at these fundraising auctions. Maybe a great deal for the buyer, but if the overall goal and purpose was to raise money for a conservation organization, it was a sad situation all around, and in my opinion, an embarrassment to those looking to steal hunts intended to raise money for good causes. It is especially disappointing when the outfitter's give 100% donations with no reserve which means that all of the money raised goes directly to the cause. The donor makes nothing in these situations unless animals and hunters are added.

From my experience with donations at my local chapter, the pricing was offered at the standard rates of the outfitter. The rates were not advertised or intended to be discounted for the special purpose of the event. Why would you discount a hunt that is going to be auctioned at a fraction of it's retail value in the first place? I don't think it is any secret that outfitters donating hunts at these events may offer them at full retail meaning that anyone at any time can contact the outfitter personally and possibly negotiate a better rate on their own, but that is not withing the spirit and intention of the donation in the first place.

We always published an auction list of donations many weeks prior to our events allowing prospective bidders to do their homework and research the outfitter. We also required all donors to post all cost not included in the donations up front. Winning an African safari auction hunt for .10-25 cents on the dollar and then being upset to find out you could have possibly negotiated a better deal on trophy fees at an outdoor show directly with the outfitter is not being deceived in my opinion.

I have personally bought a few auction hunts over the years and had great hunts every time. I have also returned to hunt with a couple of those outfits on my own later down the road. I was not upset or shocked to find that the price they gave me was different than the listed value of the donated hunt.

From: spike buck
25-Dec-17
Many times, the person asking an Outfitter to donate a hunt for an organization, is usually the one who gets the hunt. At a VERY low bid. Many outfitters will not donate because he feels embarrassed for how low his exclusive guided hunt went for! I know of an outfitter who donated a exclusive, flyin fishing trip. A price of over $3000.00 goes for just $200.00.

Congrats to Bear Track for his donation of his bear Hunt. Also to the many Bowsiters who bid for his hunt. BOTH are very Gracious. Merry Christmas!!!

From: TSI
25-Dec-17
I’ve donated a lot over the years big and small simply because it feels good to do so. I never thought that anyone would evaluate my intentions of motives!A gift is a gift and regardless of the business reasons it’s a gift usually for a good noble cause. Measuring one persons gift vs another only discourages others from giving ,We are asked often to donate and can’t remember ever saying no.Saddening thinking we do so under scrutiny.just an opinion from a puzzled donator.

From: TSI
25-Dec-17
Curious as to what exactly are the RIGHT reasons for an Outfitter to give away his or her funds and services at their expense?

25-Dec-17
There is not a right reason ever to give to charity Dave. When people that need help receive assistance, the motivation by the donor doesn't matter, IMHO.

But, if a donor is giving more to market their company than truly help, even though it is a win-win situation, people may not feel comfortable. In some cases a donated hunt that has minimum out of pocket expenses for the outfitter can prove more efficient at marketing and be less expensive than setting up a booth at one or multiple outdoor shows or other approaches to getting visibility.

The most generous donors with altruistic motivations in my experience are the ones you never hear about their selfless acts. The ones who want to broadcast what they have done are the ones that raise skepticism, again IMHO.

Thanks for your generosity Dave!

From: Trial153
25-Dec-17
Some prudent minimum bids need to be established to avoid some of the issues brought up in this thread. A sound minimum is about 1/3 the correct and openly stated value of the hunt. This will ensure the hunt if it is bid on goes for a reasonable amount, saving face for the Outfitters and marking some money for the cause. Furthermore it still low enough to encourage any interested parties to bid.

From: Jaquomo
26-Dec-17
We bought an auction hunt at the Colorado Bowhunter Assn banquet a few years ago. It was with a highly respected and well known outfit. From the moment we arrived we were the "auction hunters". We were treated like second-class citizens and didn't receive what was promised in the hunt description. That's my only experience so hopefully that attitude about "auction hunters" is an anomaly. But I also understand that they got nothing from this hunt besides publicity, and they could have booked full price hunters during our hunt.

From: StickFlicker
26-Dec-17
"But I also understand that they got nothing from this hunt besides publicity, and they could have booked full price hunters during our hunt."

If they donate it for publicity, treating the hunters poorly and getting bad publicity is likely worse for them than if they had not donated it in the first place!

I also know of others that have purchased them, and have reported being treated like second-class citizens.

The fact that some of them charge more for trophy fees and daily rates for the auction winners also baffles me. I've never seen that disclosed prior to bidding on a hunt, but it definitely happens. I realize it's an attempt to recoup part of their donated amount, but it doesn't leave one with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

From: Glunt@work
26-Dec-17
When I outfitted I had an auction hunter who showed up expecting to be second rate since he got it at a discount. He received the same service as everyone else and became a regular.

Donations are usually part charity, part marketing. If the charity part under-performs, pretty silly to screw up the marketing part as well by being deceptive or providing a poor experience.

From: Zebrakiller
26-Dec-17
very interesting topic, I feel there are many answers to this and I would hope it would be to benefit both the organization and to gain future clients for the outfitter, but we all know the there are both crocks on both ends of this, I also like the banquets that advertise before auction so you can study up on what you are interested on and have all questions asked ahead of bid time,

From: Bowbender
26-Dec-17
"It is especially disappointing when the outfitter's give 100% donations with no reserve which means that all of the money raised goes directly to the cause. The donor makes nothing in these situations unless animals and hunters are added."

Uh.....that's the definition of donation. A donation or a contribution is a "gift" so to speak. Gifts typically are not given with strings attached, (or intent of making money).

From: TSI
26-Dec-17
Hunt donations have lost much of their benifits for outfitters and in my opinion any scrutiny of gifted services only erode further the value of donations to hunting organizations. I’ve never seen any great marketing value to donations but did so simply as a good cause gift with no expectation of a benifit. Any Outfitter that thinks donating a hunt will bring a windfall of business is sadly mistaken.

From: Buffalo1
26-Dec-17
People do different things for different reasons.

My learnings on auction hunts:

Sometimes the reasons for offering are not fully known.

Always read the small print

Investigate before you invest

The best surprize is no Surprize

Invest wisely

I've bought some great auction hunts and I've bought some not so great, but still tried to "make chicken salad" out of what I had purchased.

26-Dec-17
Dave,

I respectfully disagree. Some are experts at pulling the wool over people's eyes by tugging at their emotions.

As an example, a relative recently went through a nasty divorce after 37 years of marriage. She picked her attorney going through the phone book. She picked the guy that had a Christian cross in his ad. The family could never convince her to get a different attorney. She got taken to the cleaner.

I am inclined to think that any business that markets themselves with a "look how generous we are, more than anyone else" will always have some of the folks WC Fields talked about.

Heck, some might even use their "generosity" to stifle legitimate criticism against them.

I will pick a business by their most recent reputation for doing business and my wife and I will decide on our own which causes to support. Just my way of thinking which I know others look at things differently.

Thanks!

From: TSI
26-Dec-17
True there is lots of opinions on this topic and my experience is limited to simply my experience.Lol that’s I guess why it’s only my opinion.But I do stand by what I’ve experienced.I just don’t see donations as an effective marketing tool.

From: JL
26-Dec-17
This is an interesting topic that I never gave much thought to. I bid on auction hunts but never won.

I wonder if it is worthy to consider an appropriate way in the Outfitters Forum to create a mechanism to specifically identify auction hunt reviews?? I could see some benefit to that. Reputable donors shouldn't have a problem with. Could even be good PR for them.

From: njbuck
26-Dec-17
Very interesting discussion. I have never personally bid on an auction hunt but have thought about it but in the back of my mind I always wondered if the outfitters would go all out if the hunt was sold at a discount.

From: TSI
26-Dec-17
Not so sure more criticism and scrutiny of outfitters is the answer.The majority of outfitters are very small family businesses with sales under $100,000 and net incomes often a loss.On average outfitters donate already a very high percentage of their gross sales per year. If we apply the same oversight to other industries as we do to outfitters we would significantly improve consumer satisfactions. Rock and a hard place for outfitters sometimes. What happened to just being nice?Reviewing gifts just seems a bit too much.

From: Jaquomo
26-Dec-17
Dave, appreciate your perspective. It may be a gift to you, but to the dad buying an auction hunt for his son's graduation gift it is both a donation to the cause and an investment in what should be a good experience for the two of them. If outfitters are treating auction hunters poorly, that should be reviewable so others will know they might receive a "discounted experience" for the discounted price they may pay.

In our case, I've made sure everyone I know who is considering a hunt with this outfit knows exactly what might happen when they show up. It wasn't right. I used to guide for an outfitter and we treated everyone the same.

From: swatmedic
26-Dec-17
Bowbender, Thanks for quoting me there. After re-reading it, my point was not clear which is that in my experience dealing with scores of donors at our chapter, I have not encountered any that were donating hoping to make money on the hunt. Obviously, they appreciate the recognition or any marketing publicity that comes from the donation, but most have no realistic expectations of making money off the donation itself. You are correct in stating that charity done for truly the right reason is a gift with no strings that asks for no recognition. However, comparing a hunt donation offered at a club fundraiser is not quite the same as a charity donation offered at a church. Both raising money for a cause, but it is naive to compare the two. To imply that if an outfitter wanted to offer a "true donation" they would offer it anonymously expecting nothing in return is unfair and unrealistic given the context.

Donating outfitters have the choice of offering 100% donations or requesting a reserve bid (partial donation). Donations with a minimum reserve rarely get bid on even though some have been really quality hunts. It's a shame in my opinion because that demonstrates to me that most folks are there to steal a bargain rather than to support the cause.

The outfitters that I have dealt with are there to market there business. That is no secret nor is it a crime. Whether or not it is an effective marketing tool for them is debatable. Hopefully it is effective, so we can continue to receive these donations. Yet, I have never had an outfitter donate for the reason of "Hey look at me and how generous I am." That is simply not the sentiment being conveyed. At least not at any of the events I have been a part of.

From: Beendare
26-Dec-17
Like most of you, I've been to a pile of these banquets. The vast majority of these donated hunts are for the good of the charity- Kudos to the outfitters doing this. Sure they get some advertising out of it...but its advertising them as a outfitter concerned in giving back.

Sure, you have to read the fine print....and you really should check them out beforehand.

There is a small % of these hunts that are a loss leader where you have to pay huge additional $$ for species harvested. Most of the African hunts are like that. Its up to you to determine what the actual hunt is worth.

26-Dec-17
I believe I understand many sides of the issue. I understand that Outfitters are donating hunts to support organizations they believe in as many hunters do.

The issue I have is very loose language such as the hunter may book any open dates with the outfitter in 2018 and trophy fees are per price list. I called to find out open dates before I purchased the hunt. I bought he hunt later that evening. I called the outfitter the next day to book the dates and was told since it was an auction hunt the only dates were May and October. In addition, there was a separate trophy fee list for the auction. The trophy fee for a sable was $2000 more than the non-auction price list. In addition, airport pick up was included on the regular price but $500 for the auction.

I believe in the above example, it is really a marketing effort and nothing more. I feel the practice of two different price lists is somewhat deceptive.

I also understand that in many cases these auction hunts are sold at a fraction of their value. It is especially a problem with South African hunts because there are a lot of donations. The North American hunts usually bring a more appropriate value.

Someone made the suggestion above to set an appropriate reserve. I like that solution as an option.

I apologize if my post offended anyone.

Full disclosure, the reason for the post is to bring attention to these practices. As I mentioned in my original post, I donated the hunt I purchased back to the organization. It has troubled me that someone likely bought this hunt and may not have been treated as they expected. I feel like I may have contributed to it.

From: Paul@thefort
26-Dec-17

Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
Paul@thefort's embedded Photo
This is a especially interesting topic since I am the CBA Banquet chairman for the March 2018 banquet here in Ft Collins Co and I appreciate all of the feed back. So far I have a Newfoundland 50/50 moose hunt, a 100% African hunt, a 50/50 Texas hog/varmint hunt, and a few others.

From: TSI
26-Dec-17
Personally speaking I will no longer donate hunts to hunting organizations starting in 2018.not including any previous obligations. I will when I’m inspired,donate cash instead anonymously.

26-Dec-17
The Guide Outfitters of BC annual auction in March, has a pile of great hunts each year. Most of the the time hunts go for around 50% of value. This is really to bad as the money goes to to a great conservation and hunting association. I donate some type of trip each year and am not really happy if the trip goes for less then 50%. I guide each and every hunter, I am not dropping people of at a stand for the day. Sometimes I think I would be better off cutting a check to the association as a donation then to spend a week of my time guiding. There is great value to our auction items and am sure there are plenty of regional auctions that are ran the same. The GOABC auction donors are all members and everyone knows each outfitter personally keeping the hunt quality high, as reputation is everything.

I would recommend supporting your local auctions and signing up for the GOABC auction in March as an online bidder. With the challenges BC hunters are facing with our newest government we can use all the support we can get.

From: Buffalo1
26-Dec-17
Expeditiontraders,

I think that when outfitter donors do the nonsense of playing 2 sets of numbers, etc. they should be exposed to the community. When hunters stop using their services, perhaps they will understand the cost of lying to the public.

From: Zebrakiller
26-Dec-17
+1Buffalo

From: mtnview
26-Dec-17
I’ve bought several hunts at banquet auctions and have had positive experiences. They performed as advertised and I also go into it as I am supporting the organization and the good work they do. I don’t just focus on what’s in it for me. Yes it’s a little gratuitous approach I know. I’ve also been treated very well when I brought five full price buddies along. Research and before and after auction commication is key. SCI has a report that can be submitted after a donated hunt is complete and it should give them what they need in evaluating donors. Like everything, amongst the good exists some bad.

I’ve had Outfitter / owners tell me I was on a discounted hunt when I used a booking agent ..... just saying!

From: spike buck
26-Dec-17
One way that an Outfitter can contribute, is to donate to Wounded Warriors. When a fellow Bowsite Outfitter donates a fully guided hunt on Bowsite, why not donate to this hunt, through Bowsite. Charlie makes it easy to donate on his threads. Helps pay for the extra costs such as plane tickets or gas for vehicle, licenses and export permits, meals and hotel while in transit to hunt. An outfitter can stay incognito if he prefers.

Skinner Creek, Bear Track and Rocking R Ranch have more than supported hunting, through this organization. Sorry if I forgot a couple of names.

I know I will be donating to Wounded Warriors, in this method, through bowsite in the future!!

From: fastflight
26-Dec-17
Wow, this is certainly enlightening. I figured outfitters donated as a way to support an organization they believe in and possibly to get a good reputation. The only way to do that is to treat the auction hunter 100 percent the same as a normal full price hunt. Donating a hunt and then expecting to make money off auction hunter by upcharging other items is crazy. Treating them like second rate hunters should be called out on forums like this so nobody buys those hunts. On the other hand, I like the idea of a reserve as an organization should be able to make some money off the donated hunt. The only time I could see an outfitter being upset is if his donated hunt goes for next to nothing as the organization he supports didn't benefit.

From: TSI
26-Dec-17
Most donated hunts sell for much much less than regular prices not all but most.

From: Ollie
27-Dec-17
If you look at auction hunts only as a way to buy a good hunt cheaply then you are bidding for the wrong reason. The idea is to raise money for a worthwhile cause, not see how cheaply you can get a hunt. I have purchased quite a few hunts at auctions. I always make it a point to find out in advance the hunts that are donated. I then go online to learn more of the hunt, including retail value. If the donor is attending the event, I make it a point to talk with them one on one to learn more of the specifics for the hunt. You need to do some homework otherwise you are bidding blindly on a hunt you know nothing about.

From: Brotsky
27-Dec-17
I personally attend quite a few banquets each year locally for various causes. I have never bid on an auction hunt for the exact reasons Lou outlined in his experience. I have always feared that getting a good deal on an auction hunt would turn into a bad experience at the outfitter. Whether founded or not it has certainly stopped me from bidding on them.

From: sticksender
27-Dec-17
When you choose to place an item up for auction, whether as a charitable donation or simply to move it, just know that it's an auction with no guarantee of results. The final selling price, high or low, depends on the level of demand from the bidding audience. To me its wrong to place the blame for low prices on the bidders and say they are "there to steal" the hunts. The hope that people will bid high merely out of charitable goodness in their hearts is a myth. If that were the case, these same folks could simply write a donation check. No, I think by and large, they bid on a hunt because they want the hunt. The biggest appeal for using an auction format is the possibility of a bargain. Otherwise people can just go buy the item through normal channels. The seller chooses the auction format intentionally to take advantage of "auction fever" as well as buyer's desire to find a bargain. A seller can't have it both ways, he's either going to auction the item or he's going to sell it outright. And in a real auction, an item sells to the highest bidder. There might be a bidding war and the item goes for a crazy price. There might be a near-total lack interest and the item sells dirt cheap. That's the risk you take as a donating consignor and you know that in advance. Some of the stuff that gets placed in those banquet auctions is just not well-suited to the bidding crowd in attendance.

I'm not sure if people realize also, that many of these supposedly donated hunts are not really a full donation. The donor will often receive a percentage of the selling price, like maybe half. See the examples in Paul@fort's post above. When he says 50/50 he means the donor keeps half the money. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's a way for a donor to mitigate his risk and encourages them to donate.

From: Spiral Horn
28-Dec-17
Interesting topic. I’ve been very fortunate to have been both one of the guys who set up and ran multiple SCI fundraiser auctions, and a guy who’s bid on and won hunts from other auctions - SCI, GOABC, DSC, FNAWS, etc. So, I’ve seen auction hunts from many different angles and learned a lot over the years.

Bottom Line: Auction buyers should fully understand the hunt they’re buying and donors should fully disclose the terms of the hunt / avoid anything that hints bait/switch. Communication and realistic expectations are key.

Buyers Perspective: Think that Ollie nailed and Sticksender nailed it.

When I bought my first auction hunt I was less than an ideal client - was looking to “steal a hunt” and buy a trip that was far beyond what I could normally afford. It was a disaster for everyone — I did no research, was already stretched to buy the hunt, tried to negotiate further discounts on additional animals, and challenged all additional fees not covered in the donation that were normally covered in the base hunt fee of a direct purchase. The result was = nobody was happy and I unwittingly damaged the relationship between the organization and the outfitter.

Over the years I’ve come to understand that I bear similar responsibility in researching an auction hunt as I do in directly buying one. Doing research about what/where I want to hunt, reading and fully understanding the terms of what is being offered, and actually speaking (or electronic comms) with the donor is critical. After winning the hunt I usually make contact very quickly, thank the donor for his support to the organization, and actively begin planning the hunt. This approach serves me well — and several of my most spectacular trophies were taken on donated hunts.

Organization’s Perspective: SCI, NRA and a select few others are the primary guardians of our hunting rights, and auction proceeds fund these efforts. What many forget is the countless hours of hard work by unpaid volunteers, and the generosity of many donors and supportive buyers that makes these auctions possible.

My personal experience as a buyer is most hunts went off just as advertised, some resulted in lasting friendships and/or fantastic trophies, and a few were dismal and disappointing duds. Pretty close to the same experience I’ve had with direct purchased hunts.

Of the complaints seen over the years, most were folks not understanding the the hunt they were buying, or disappointment in side-deals beyond the terms of the donation. But most of this can be dealt with by doing some homework prior to bidding. Another handicap is the organization doesn’t control who ends up as the high-bidder — it could be the guy who expands the trip and brings a buddy, or “that guy.”

Lastly, we always ask our members to support our donors and give them a shot at earning your business if interested in hunting a species they offer. You might be surprised at the warm welcome from those who’ve already put some “skin in the game”.

Sorry for the long-winded message but it’s a complex topic.

From: Coyote 65
29-Dec-17
My wife bought me a hunt at the annual Az Elk annual fundraiser. Bear hunt in Idaho. This was the next to the last hunt that the outfitter was going to host. Had all ready sold his business. However, went out of his way to see that I had a good hunt. Didn't get a bear, but it was not for lack of trying on his part or his guide. As a matter of fact his guide suggested that I come back this year and share a turkey hunt with him. No fees, just two guys that really got along well and are now friends.

Terry

From: Forest bows
29-Dec-17
I kind of found the opposite the guys that donate hunts want the guy who buys them to be successful because if he's not then none of the members of the organization he donated to will want to go hunting with him there for his marketing ploy is a loss

From: JAW
29-Dec-17
I have purchased several North American auction hunts over the years through Wild Sheep Foundation Midwest, hunting in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I've had terrific experiences on the hunts I've purchased. In some cases, I was even guided by the outfitter/owner himself. As has been mentioned, research prior to bidding is critical.

From: TSI
29-Dec-17
No more donated hunts no auctions just money donations and problems solved!

From: TSI
29-Dec-17
I bet there’s alot of outfitters starting to reconsider donating in the future!

From: Buffalo1
29-Dec-17
Reconsideration by outfitters could serve as a purging of bad outfitters, questionable "small-print" outfitters and honest, sincere, legit donor outfitters. Let the chips fall where they may and the sun expose the darkness. The truth will always prove to shine.

From: Forest bows
29-Dec-17
Amen!

From: TSI
29-Dec-17

From: fastflight
29-Dec-17
If TSI treats auction hunters the same as any other hunter you have nothing to worry about when giving an auction hunt out. The person that buys the hunt will have nothing but positive things to say and TSI gets more customers from that positive experience. Seems pretty simple. If you treat auction hunters like second rate citizens then you better stick to monetary donations. Only YOU know how you treat auction hunters.

31-Dec-17
Dave, You are highly visible here and have earned an excellent reputation as an outfitter. So, I have a question I would like your opinion on please.

You auction off a hunt for a great cause. The hunt will receive a lot of multiple media publicity. In all honesty, will this hunter be more likely to be put in your best locations? Will they have a better chance of harvesting game or better odds at a trophy specimen?

I ask because hunters that are non-bidders might end up being affected even by this and not even be aware until their arrival for the hunt. Certainly the pressure to perform by the outfitter in a situation like this would be intense. It could have a lasting effect on business.

If your opinion is that some outfitters would give the bidder a better opportunity, maybe this is a reason regular hunters would want to think about before picking an outfitter who "donated" a hunt?

From: Trial153
31-Dec-17
I for-one appreciate seeing outfitter donations of hunts for conservation efforts. Several reasons why I think they are more valuable then just a donation. While so much of everything today revolves around money when your involved in nonprofits you soon realize that people’s time is the absolute most valuable commodity that an organization can possibly possess. Outfitters who donate their time to these endeavors are the salt of the Outfittering community. A hunt is so much more valuable the just a check in the mail because it involves donations of not only time and money but incorporates hunting. It solidifies what we who we are. Any and all things that promote that endvor along with the increased awareness, participation in conservation and advocacy wildlife is invaluable. Thank you to all the Outfitters who donated in the past and continue to in the future.

From: Keef
03-Jan-18
I bought an Alaskan deer hunt at the national SCI auction. I paid about the retail price for it. I contacted the outfitter to ask if I could arrive the night before the hunt. So all that was involved was a night's rest, no meals, nothing else. They had a big lodge so space wasn't a problem. I received an email telling me how they were forced by SCI to donate the hunt and they had a lot of money invested in their operation so she wanted $595 for the night's stay. Other nasty things were said in the email. I contacted SCI and supplied them with the email and asked if they would go on the hunt after seeing the outfitters comments. They said they were sorry but there was nothing they could do. Bottom line, I didn't go on the hunt and lost the money I had paid for it. I'm no longer a member of SCI. I don't consider bidding on any hunts at other banquets I attend.

From: Nick Muche
03-Jan-18
Roy that is a terrible outcome of what should have been a great hunt!

From: TXHunter
03-Jan-18
sticksender nailed it.

Most auction hunts are legitimate. Some are simply straight up “loss-leader” marketing ploys. These are almost always African hunts where the auction price buys only one animal and the hunter pays for other animals. In essence, they are fronting the daily rates and one animal on the almost guaranteed premise that the hunter will elect to pay to hunt more animals.

They are not hard to spot if you read the fine print.

From: Turkeyhunter
03-Jan-18
We treat auction hunters the same if not better.....this hunter won this hunt and is very happy to have spent the money to support that conservation organziation. So we ensure that that person or group has the hunt of a lifetime, based on what we provide. We have auction hunters coming in June....2 actually.....now they sold 2 other hunts since they want the camp to themselves....even better.....Another great Florida group to add to our list of future clients.

From: Outdoorsdude
04-Jan-18
This topic cuts me to the core- Recently, I 'won' a hunt at a charity event. I have supported this charity for some time; am glad to have donated the sum paid, made an additional monetary donation and donated an item myself for the silent auction. When you donate something-(even for auction)- that's it, it's no longer yours, it has been gifted to whom you gave it. PERIOD. When I donated the item for the charity's silent auction, it is up to them to make income off of it--NOT ME!

The outfitter I 'won' the hunt with -- fraudulent as hell (my opinion) Yes, I should have researched it more/better. When your trophy fees are in most cases 1.5 -2 X anyone else (read market value), I will never trust my family to your unscrupulous hands. When I do go to Africa in 2019 -any guesses whom I damn well, will not be going with?

06-Jan-18
You asked deal or marketing ploy. We have an auction going on right now.

We had a high bid by the publicly stated closing time. Rules must have changed. Now the auction is re-opened for several more days. No closing time at this point.

Yes, my opinion this is a marketing ploy. Posted here so maybe my post will remain. Asked for an opinion. I gave mine. It should not matter whether or not this is a sponsor.

From: Spiral Horn
09-Jan-18
Have taken Dall Sheep, Brown Bear, Ibex, Tahr, and more from auction hunts - if those were marketing ploys guess I’ll have to take a few more for the team. As has been mentioned by several research and communication with the outfitter prior to the auction are key.

10-Jan-18
I will be going on my first of 2 hunts that I won in may 2018. Hope they pan out!

From: Rock
10-Jan-18
I bought the same hunt that Forest and Charlie mentioned above only a year or two after Forest did. It was a great hunt and I killed my Brown Bear no issues and the outfitter was great and is now a good friend.

From: ohiohunter
10-Jan-18
Both, just depends. I've seen a free 7 nights and 1 blesbock/impala for 4 people. I requested the price list for other animals and quickly realized why it was free. ON the other hand I won an auction and went to Namibia for 5/6 days, 2 people 6 animals, for less than $1k... that was a steal.

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