Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine's Link
Outfitter Reports - Wow!
Our outfitter reports have been outstanding this year. And by that I mean, honest, positive and negative reviews with several responses from the outfitters. Keep them coming. This is a valuable service to the hunting community, it helps us maintain a leadership position as a credible review site, and it has even helped many hunters get some recourse. The only downside is I get a lot of lawsuit threats but that doesn't bother me.
Just one request. When you fill out a positive outfitter review it's a big help to include a photo of your kill - assuming you got one. I noticed a lot of guys talk about great hunts and taking an animal they are proud of - but they leave off a photo. Please consider adding that.
Thanks again - Pat
Pat, how do you add a pic after the fact? I did my hunt back in May. Thanks....John
Rarely do outfitted hunts but the few I have done all have come from bowsite outfitter reports, outfitters that sponsor bowsite or bowsiters themselves.
The outfitter reports is what brought me to this site the first time.
Great way to pass time in the tree
Pat, I'd like to add one after the fact...is that possible?
WOW is right. It's amazing the amount of "hunters" that book hunts with these unheard of "outfitters" and some of the most negatively publicized outfitters and then provide a report of the terrible hunt they had. Damn some people are just plain dumb! Sometimes it's too good to be true and that great deal they got was for a reason.
How many guys will post a bad review for Whitetail Heaven next year? 76 hunters in camp? Just the name of the Outfitter alone would steer me away. Come on guys do your research before opening your check book.
Book a hunt with bowsite outfitters or ones recommended by regulars on this site.
I don't know of a better way to start looking at outfitters.
Ha! My buddy just returned from whitetail heaven! Left after day 2, should have checked bowsite!
I love the one star reports! 91.3% are cheap,rifle hunts. Seems the wronged Hunter discovers the Internet AFTER his hunt and some how finds Bowsite.
I'm not an outfitter but I do run a 14 ft CATARAFT smallmouth guide service on the mid Potomac,,I just can't imagine any guide hunting or fishing treating clients the way I've read on a few of the negitave reviews,,,its almost criminal,thousands of dollars lost,,dreams smashed,,vacation time lost...a nightmare to say the least,,,,Pat your having an outfitter reports are a great service...
Ernie Jablonsky, Montana Poacher
I always worry about unknowingly getting tied up with outfitters such as Ernie Jablonsky. Drugs, poaching, trespassing,....... and the hunters may not know they are now part of it. This is a good thread and Bowsite is an excellent source to review hunter/outfitter experiences.
The outfitter reviews are excellent on here. Keep up the good work on the site guys.
Thanks for passing along that article. I elk hunted with Ernie and Mitch two years ago and had a very good experience. Was planning on going back this fall if I got drawn.
I have a couple friends that outfit. To hear them talk, there should be a rating service that outfitters can look at before booking certain hunters ??
Jrb, i think xbowfromNY has some sort of rating system that people can refer to.
jrb, they do, but they are only effective on the second+ trips! One elk outfitter I used said he has turned returning hunters down. Some people just aren't worth the money to deal with!
What I find interesting is the negative reviews that say "outfitter sucked" and outfitter was not notified there was a problem. You have to give specifics, and you can't bash the outfitter on here if you don't first let him know there were problems. For outfitters rating hunters, a simple "I would" or "I would not" accept this client again would be sufficient. The problem with xblowfromnewyork's rating system is that it is too subjective.
As for Whitetail Heaven. Can someone explain why Peterson's Bowhunting did a great article a few years ago on such a bad outfitter?
Whitetail heaven at one time was a great u and coming Outfitter. As soon as they started bringing in TV hunters it all went down hill. They had a welcome Post one time on Facebook for the first time they were hosting Jackie Bushman or one of them clowns, I made the comment that it was the beginning of the end right there. Nasty grams ensued and was tossed from the page. Guess I was clairvoyant
Pat, Thanks for offering this service and thanks for reminding us that it's available. Jim
The Outfitter report has been a great resource for us to reference perspective clients to. We love It! Thanks Pat! Matt & Cheryl Shiloh Ranch Hunting Camp
I have a friend who has hunted with whitetail heaven 7/8 times and killed one 120" buck my friend tries to get me to go along every time I wouldn't hunt with them if it was free
Just took a look at the outfitter reports. It's painfully obvious that Whitetail Heaven has been monitoring this thread and they reached out to all of their successful hunters to write them a good review. Wonder how much of a discount on a return hunt they offered for doing a 5 star review? ALL of the most recent reports are for Whitetail Heaven and almost all are 5 star. LOL. Do your homework folks.
I would never hunt with them but then again I can hunt DIY in CO and KS for bigger WT deer.
Hey Quinn: I feel that your observation is valid. With that many reviews all at once it does seem to taint the process somewhat. Buyer beware !
Outfitter Lives Matter Too! :)
Some folks have different ideas of what they want out of a "hunt". Many it seems are more into the social/party atmosphere. They are on vacation. They want lots of people, wined, dined, a "resort" vacation. Hunting is something that passes the day, not the main purpose. They would give five stars on just the accommodations and social aspect. (especially if they do so publicly for a discount on the next vacation....)
Others would sleep in a leaky tent just themselves and their guide, eat cold food, walk till their lungs and legs burned...... for a good HUNT, Good opportunities on good animals. An adventure, not a vacation..... and give em 5 stars all week long and twice on Sunday even if they came back dead tired, cold, hungry..... and memories of a rare experience that but a relative handful of people on earth will ever have.
TD, You are probably correct. But I also think most expect their experience to closely match what was marketed to them.
My next door neighbor just hunted with Whitetail Heaven. Three of them hunted the same 240 acre farm the entire hunt. One day the wind was to be blowing into the bedding area and the hunters told the guide/driver about the wrong wind direction for those stands. His reply was the wind swirls here and just hunt the stands. Needless to say the hunt was a disaster.
brettpsu- have all 3 write a real review.
LOL! The last 13 reviews are for Whitetail Heaven...........................................guess they forgot to tell the guys to stagger their reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)
I told them to read the reviews on here and also leave a review.
When your running 250 plus hunters a year through your leases you bound to have a some good hunts. I wouldn’t drive within five miles of the place myself.
Yes Pat, this is an excellent service. Used it with great success myself. For fun I especially like to read the bad reviews with responses by the outfitter. Some of them are classic. My favorite is the one where a Canadian outfitter shows up at the airport drunk and a long story about how bad the trip went from there. Then the outfitter starts his response with, to paraphrase, "my 8 year old granddaughter has more sand in her ass than he does". Can't make this stuff up! But seriously, thanks for the great service.
I noticed the Whitetail Heaven barrage as well. Funny thing is he solicited his hunters for reviews but several of them were really bad, one and two star reviews. Several were good, as well, however. We let them slide but if we detect them trying to stuff the system then we put a lid on them. In this case, there was enough of a mix that we approved them all without prejudice.
Keep these reviews coming. This year has been tremendous for outfitter reviews and it provides a valuable service.
The best of the bunch was the one with the opening sentence that said “ My husband and I went down on our honeymoon”.
I will have to admit that one got my attention. Kind of gave new meaning to hunting during the rut.
LOL Bou. Why would you spend your honeymoon at a camp with 60 other overweight tree stand hunters.
Pat, it's probably better that you let it slide. All the positive reviews actually paint a pretty negative picture to the discerning eye. Your outfitter review section is a great resource and I think it's done very fairly.
I hope the lucky couple actually got a room at the lodge and they weren’t stuck on a cot in Travis mother’s basement...
LOL Trial......Can you imagine paying all that money for a hunt, seeing those magnificent lodges on the website and then being shown to your cot in Tevis's grandma's basement after you stood in line with 60 other dudes to get your buffet spaghetti meal?
You would know right then if you picked the right person.
Maybe Travis's G-ma has a nice basement and is a great cook!
Yea gourmet cooking for 56 hunters a week for 8 weeks I am sure the food is amazing........but you’d need a triage system just so everyone can take a dump in peace.
And the reports of awesome hunts at whitetail heaven are still pouring in. The one guy from Alabama did not even post comments, he just recommends the outfitter and gives them high marks. Come on Pat, make it stop!
I was there around Thanksgiving last month on a gun hunt. Did not talk to the outfitter about my experience so I didn't file a report. Like Trail153 I would not get within 5 miles of the place again.
Perhaps credibility and authenticity could be added by having the reviews specify wheth the Outfitter requested or encouraged the review be posted.It does ask if the Outfitter was notified of problems but does not specify if the review was posted as a courtesy to the Outfitter.most people when requested are selected clients and often post reviews often and usually are positive. Unsolicited reviews certainly would carry more credibility.
These guys (WHO) are not respectful at all of their neighbors property. They hang stands right on the fence line and throw out massive piles of corn in order to draw deer off the neighbors property. When they are confronted about this, they say what they are doing is legal and refuse to move the stand. You would think that with 50,000 acres leased, they could find stand locations other than on their neighbors fence line. How many hunters are not going to shoot a nice buck across the fence on the neighbors property, and if the deer is on their side of the fence on a field edge, where do you think the deer is going to run to after he is shot? I can tell you that most of the joining land owners will not grant permission for these guys to trail a deer on their property, simply because of their attitude and lack of respect. So, you have paid these guys to hunt and now you cannot trail a deer you just shot. Not cool. They advertise that their land has been under strict management for years. The only management they do is throw out massive piles of corn trying to draw deer off the joining properties for their clients to shoot. They do not plant food plots. They do not shoot does. When the properties they lease quit producing, they drop it and move on the the next lease, simply raping these properties of our resource and leaving the local landowners to spend the next years trying to get the ratio back to where it should be. I purposely hung a stand on my property 15 yards behind their stand on my fence line and hunted the stand every day during the first week of bow season. They put a different guy in their stand three out of the first four days of the season. On two of those days, the wind was blowing straight from the hunter to the corn pile, On the other day, it was blowing straight out into the bean field. What kind of guide is going to put you on a stand with the wind wrong like that. I never saw a single deer come to their corn pile. All three hunters watched me climb into my stand, and climb down when it was too dark to shoot in the woods, but with plenty of light still out in the field. I am sure those hunters were not happy. Yet they kept bringing different hunters to that stand. By the way, the size limit they put on the bucks is to give the impression that they are all about management. The truth is, according to some of their past guides, it is all about collecting more money from the fines. Bottom line, these guys are all about making a profit from the local people's resource, leaving us to clean up the mess when the properties quit producing for them.
Pat, if you compiled a “greatest hits” collection of funny outfitter stories similar to what Trax mentioned, I would pay a premium to read that.
I had an instance where some buddies and I were predator hunting in Oregon and a young, impetious kid (probably early twenties) would “guide” us when the main guide was tied up for the afternoon. He was a very excitable type and always saying off the wall stuff (accidentally admitted to shooting at things he wasn’t supposed to shoot at, problems with his ex-wife, trying to take the shot when the hunters were standing right next to him, etc), but it climaxed one morning when we walked out of our cabin ready to hunt only to see the kid being put into the back of a cop car. The main guide walked up and said “So...Mike won’t be joining us today, but the good news is I’ll be taking you out!”. Apparently he wasn’t keeping up on his payments to the ex-wife. Everything turned out fine for the kid and he joined us later on but when we got back to the cabin my buddies and I had a pretty good laugh.
Just did a review on stickflingers Manitoba bowhunts! Couldn’t recommend them more
I'm sorry, stupid question - where do I find the outfitter reviews or do one myself? Thanks.
Go to the "Outfitters" tab at the top right of this page.
I couldn’t stop reading the bad ones very addictive and entertaining with the Outfitters response. Hard to tell which is the real story but both hunters and outfitters sounded like idiots in some of the reviews.