Mathews Inc.
Tezwa Expeditions--BEWARE
Mountain Goat
Contributors to this thread:
Dave 18-Oct-14
SteveB 18-Oct-14
Stekewood 18-Oct-14
Bear Track 18-Oct-14
cityhunter 18-Oct-14
Azdogman 18-Oct-14
Dave 18-Oct-14
Don K 19-Oct-14
Stekewood 19-Oct-14
Bou'bound 19-Oct-14
GhostBird 19-Oct-14
PAstringking 19-Oct-14
Dave 19-Oct-14
Trial153 19-Oct-14
SteveB 20-Oct-14
Sage Buffalo 20-Oct-14
GhostBird 20-Oct-14
Florida Mike 20-Oct-14
brcarcol 20-Oct-14
Dave 20-Oct-14
Dave 20-Oct-14
Sage Buffalo 20-Oct-14
WV Mountaineer 20-Oct-14
Kevin Dill 21-Oct-14
Bou'bound 21-Oct-14
prezboys 21-Oct-14
Dave 21-Oct-14
sureshot 21-Oct-14
Fulldraw1972 21-Oct-14
Surfbow 21-Oct-14
Bou'bound 21-Oct-14
TD 21-Oct-14
Sage Buffalo 21-Oct-14
mjenkins 24-Oct-14
Fulldraw1972 24-Oct-14
BTM 25-Oct-14
Mule Power 25-Oct-14
Stonegoat 25-Oct-14
cityhunter 25-Oct-14
Chuckster 25-Oct-14
TreeWalker 28-Oct-14
Dave 29-Oct-14
Hoot 12-Nov-14
Kurt 13-Nov-14
Docstream 14-Nov-14
Dave 14-Nov-14
Bullshooter 14-Nov-14
Bou'bound 28-Dec-14
wifishkiller 28-Dec-14
Ambush 28-Dec-14
NMBIGHORN 11-Jan-15
Dave 11-Jan-15
NMBIGHORN 11-Jan-15
Dave 12-Jan-15
Thornton 12-Jan-15
mn_archer 12-Jan-15
NMBIGHORN 12-Jan-15
Genesis 12-Jan-15
Dave 13-Jan-15
From: Dave
18-Oct-14
Anyone considering a hunt with this outfitter, please feel free to contact me. There were many problems with this outfitter that would fill a page. Don't fall for the phony sales pitch and censored Facebook posts. I'll give you the truth about my hunt and let you decide for yourself.

From: SteveB
18-Oct-14
Sorry you had a bad hunt. Please do a Bowsite Outfitter Review and it will help many!!

From: Stekewood
18-Oct-14
Can't you just post your experience here?

From: Bear Track
18-Oct-14
I'd sooner hear about this than another broadhead debate.

From: cityhunter
18-Oct-14
Dave sorry spread the bad news !!! How can u tell when a outfitter is lyeing he opens his mouth :> LOL

From: Azdogman
18-Oct-14
With so many good reviews on a handful of goat guys here on bowsite why would you even take a chance with another outfitter.

From: Dave
18-Oct-14
I actually did post a review in the Outfitter reviews but it has somehow been removed. Not sure if it's being evaluated before it is posted or what. Perhaps, Pat can explain.

From: Don K
19-Oct-14
Your review is up now

From: Stekewood
19-Oct-14
And as usual, there are 2 sides to every story! I could see being bummed about the way the hunt went but it sure doesn't sound like the outfitter deserves to be dragged through the mud.

From: Bou'bound
19-Oct-14
one side provides general limited commentary thay may or may not be accurate.

another side provide exhaustive detail and what sounds like a balanced respresentation that may or may not be accurate

given the above, in the absence of substantive detail from the hunter that at least equates to the level of detail offered by the outfitter...................

i'd buy the outfitters story.

From: GhostBird
19-Oct-14
Sorry about the bad trip, however...

... you went on a challeging hunt in a new area with difficult logisitcs and killed a goat, can't be all bad.

From: PAstringking
19-Oct-14
These reviews are always tough to judge but I will say that I feel every outfitter should be required to go on a hunt of equal value to what they charge. This will provide them the experience of knowing what it feels like to be a client.

I work in the business and can tell you that most outfitters base their prices off their competition but rarely understand the differences between a good hunt and a great hunt.

From: Dave
19-Oct-14
Wow! After reading Derrick's response, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. There are so many "liberties" in his account if not outright lies that it borders on laughable. If I could go back and "edit" my original review, I would. But, unfortunately that option is not available. When I have the time to put the truth down, I will post it here. In the meantime, if anyone cares to contact me, feel free to do so and I will gladly provide you the names of the other hunters in camp who will back my story.

From: Trial153
19-Oct-14
Three sides to this story for sure.

From: SteveB
20-Oct-14
My guess is that reality is found somewhere in the middle.

From: Sage Buffalo
20-Oct-14
Let it go.

Best words all could learn from.

Unless you have a large group of unrelated hunters warning guys to avoid an outfit public complaints like this are he said/she said situations.

What usually happens is one person comes off looking good and the other not so much OR both look like jerks.

It sounds like things didn't go as expected but you should have known the risks going to a new area and that part of the world is extremely unforgiving. Regardless of what you were told.

You took a risk and it didn't payoff.

I'm sure both sides have valid points but I doubt every hunter who has gone with him had the same experience and it's not like the caribou hunters who all paid and lost their hunts.

From: GhostBird
20-Oct-14
"You took a risk and it didn't payoff."

Apparently it did, he killed a goat.

From: Florida Mike
20-Oct-14
Just because you kill an animal that doesn't make a hunt successful. Too bad your experience went bad. Mike

From: brcarcol
20-Oct-14
I am surprised by this. I had a great hunt with this outfitter. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and the best hunt of my life. I can't complain about anything. Everything from the food to the guides were awesome. It was the most challenging hunt I have done and it was in the most beautiful/rugged country I have ever seen, or hunted in. I hope I am fortunate enough to go back there some day.

From: Dave
20-Oct-14
And now, allow me to provide the truth:

I have cut/pasted the outfitter's reply for those who haven't seen it and will respond to some of his outlandish fabrications appropriately. I never intended to take it to this level and would have preferred to discuss my dissatisfactions with this hunt personally with potential clients so that they knew full well what they were in for. But, since Mr. Passey has chosen to take this route and post a number of lies, I feel the need to set the record straight so that others can decide for themselves.

Sorry in advance for the length of the post. There are many more things that I haven't even included that I'd be happy to discuss with any potential clients.

"Yes.....I'll respond.

Regardless how experienced Dave says he is, he is quite new to hunting and has only been on a few hunts. All of which he complained about to all of us. After two of the other hunters had met him, (before the hunt started) they asked me that they not share a tent with him due to his cynical attitude and was dubbed "grumpy guy" by them the rest of the trip."

Let's see. I've been on 14 Guided hunts in the last 6 years. I have killed moose, blacktails, mule deer, whitetail, elk, antelope, pig, turkey, and now goat with a bow as well as hunted sheep and caribou along with a number of rifle kills when I was younger. Of the 4 hunters in camp, I believe only one of them(a clothing company pro-staffer) had been on more guided hunts than I. Guess that makes me "new to hunting." I find this comically ironic coming from an outfitter in his first year in business. I shared my complaints about one of my prior experiences with another outfitter after one of the other hunters had a similar bad experience and chose to share it. I prefer to consider my "cynical" attitude one of "realism" from experience. It was obvious that Derrick and my 23 yo guide had no idea what they were in for in this territory. I've been in this kind of terrain and forest before and knew from the get-go that what he intended for us to do would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Turns out, I was right.

“It was our first hunt in a brand new area if 2100 square miles. All the hunters were told the same thing about the area. That 95% of the area was unhunted and the mountain goat population was very good. And, yes....we would be exploring the area together every day.I even sat on the phone with some while both of us on google earth showing the valleys that they would hunt. Everyone was excited until they started hiking and there were no trails. Which everyone knew prior. I chose the places that we would all explore. “

This is true. What we weren’t told was that Derrick was going to try and reinvent the wheel from the previous owners of the concession despite warnings from the float plane pilot and with no prior scouting whatsoever. When I booked this hunt, it was sold as a hunt in an area with a very high goat density which had never been hunted. The description of the hunts and the physical nature of them was apparently new even to Derrick. Had he actually gone out and scouted or allowed his guides to do so prior to the hunt(which they offered to do), he would have known this—rather than having us pay and waste over half of our hunt doing it for him. Sitting on the phone, looking at Google Earth images does not do justice to the actual terrain features. Even when discussing this on the phone with him, I had concerns about the penetrating the heavy old-growth forest for miles to eventually reach goat country.

“Day 1- travel day to base (80 miles by ocean boat) Day 2- dropped off Dave and guide at the bottom of a ridge where they could climb up and walk the ridge to a valley that had goats in it. Got the call 3 hours later saying they were half way up to the saddle it was too tough and come get them. Moved them to an old logging road where they could access the same valley from a different direction. “

Yep. True. We had climbed about 1000’ in 3 hrs until the vegetation got even thicker and more impenetrable. I was leading the way most of the way up this mountain lest you think I wasn’t physically up to the task. I don’t mind climbing. It’s a mountain hunt and I was physically prepared for that. The decision to approach from a different access was a joint decision between my guide and I when it became obvious that it was going to take 3 days in a best case scenario to climb the remaining 2500’ just to break out of timberline. We only had 4 days worth of food. What Derrick conveniently omitted from his version was that every other group of hunters, including his, were not far behind us. They were all picked up and returned to base camp because they were all in areas that were physically impossible to navigate and traverse—not to mention void of goats. We simply relocated to approach from a different direction. The rest of them returned to base camp to utilize a float plane. We were not informed of this until someone came to bring us more food and a working spotting scope so that we could hopefully make a plan of attack. At this point, we were the only ones who had even seen a goat, albeit over a mile away and probably inaccessible.

“They spotted 12 goats in that valley with two billies with many more basins to look at.”

12 goats my azz. He wasn’t there. We spotted maybe half a dozen over a mile away across two river drainages and even more impenetrable old growth timber. I know this because we tried to see if we could traverse it only to be turned back. . Incidentally, I was the one who spotted each and every one of those goats on a mountain that my guide had glassed for 30 min previously. Not bad for and “inexperienced” hunter I guess. Just sayin.

“Day 2- watch goats. Day 3 - watch goats and decide it's too hard. ( I later made it to those goats in less than 2 hours). Day 4- extra camp help hauls more backpack food to them so the can keep hunting that valley. After they get re supplied they come out when they here someone ordered the plane to a high lake.” Yep. And when we heard that option, I gladly gave Derrick and his hunters the option of trading and offered to show him where these goats were and they could go after them. He declined. Getting to them in 2 hours is a complete fantasy and another one of his pipe dreams.

“On our website we have 4 hunt types. Two involve a charter plane ride if that option is selected. It is clearly stated at the hunters cost. We went over what the plane charges well before it was called.....and everyone agreed. We called the plane and he said there'd was a chance he could come that evening but for sure the next day. We all looked at the forecast together and it showed two days of sun, a chance of rain, then more sun.”

We were also all sold a hunt where we could reasonably access goats without the float plane to get to them. Had he done one ounce of scouting prior to selling the hunts, he would have known that this was not the case. We were grossly misled and, had I known the hunt was going to cost me an additional $2500 in float plane expenses, I would have booked with a more reputable outfitter with a proven track record. We were left with no choice but to accept the float plane option as it was that or sit around base camp on an expensive vacation without food. We were there to hunt.

“Day 5 - waited on plane. Day 6- the pilot showed up and took the credit card numbers of the hunters. We all flew up to the lakes and started hunting. Day 7- took two goats and received a message from basecamp that the weather changed and a storm was coming. Rain and cloud for as far as they could see. I sent messages to each guide (using "inreach" devices. Sat phones don't work up there). I purchased one later and it hasn't worked yet. I explained the weather situation and asked if they wanted to try and get out before it hit. My hunters did want the plane. “

When we agreed to the float plane option, it was with the understanding that bad weather was in the forecast (isn’t it always on a mountain hunt?) We all agreed to the plane despite that, with the understanding that we would be in there for 4 days and that some/all of those days might be impacted by weather. As for the Sat phone, I don’t know much about them but I do know this; I have been in way more remote locations than this one with adequate satellite service. I also find it hard to believe that a satellite phone doesn’t work there when they had perfectly good satellite internet at base camp and the float plane pilot had no problems with his satellite phone. I do know that, as an outfitter, I don’t think I would be hunting in country like this without some form of reliable communication. “Dave took a young 8" Billy and told his guide that he only wanted a shoulder mount. It took a long fall and broke a horn. They had lots of Time to do whatever they wanted to with the goat. “

The billy I took was the “biggest billy I have ever seen,” according to my guide. I should have known better as it was the only goat during the hunt that he actually spotted himself. I haven’t had the opportunity to field judge goats so I took his word for it. With weather coming in and the days getting shorter, I was OK with it and decided to kill it anyway rather than go home without an animal. It was the only billy killed amongst the hunters in the group. I stalked and shot him at 25 yds with a bow. Not bad for an “inexperienced” hunter, I guess.

“Dave slipped and cut his finger bad and wanted to get back to camp.”

Laughable. On the way down to retrieve my goat, a rock gave out on the way down a slide. I fell forward and sliced my finger down to the bone severing tendons, nerves and an artery. My guide wanted to return to camp but I refused. It was I who insisted we go get my goat. Despite the fact that the best thing for my injury would be to get access to medical care and get it stitched and repaired quickly, I refused to jeopardize the other hunters’ hunts by requesting to come out early. We agreed we would be in there for 4 days. I also refused to leave an animal on the mountain. I bandaged the wound and tried to get the bleeding stopped and we continued on to my goat. Once we got there and navigated the technically difficult cliff that it fallen off, we received a text from the Derrick that the plane was coming that night due to inclement weather. We still had a goat to cape/dress and pack back to camp which was 3 hrs away. I had no choice but to take only half a cape and what meat we could safely carry and make it back to camp to not miss the plane. We had no say in this decision for the plane or I would have refused.

“Day 8- socked in Day 9- from the lake we were on we had an option to climb 2000ft lower and get to a lower lake. Dave had the same option.”

Quite the contrary. I was not given that option. We were told to stay put in camp to wait for the plane.

“ If the plane still couldn't fly, we could still walk out 15 miles out an old logging road. My hunters didn't want to miss their flights. We hiked down to the lower lake and the plane was able to come to that spot. We waited all day for the weather to clear and tried to make it through but there was too much cloud and fog. The pilot wasn't prepared to spend the night and wanted to get home before dark so he took us back to his base in Burns Lake. “

Derrick made the decision to call in the float plane despite knowing that the remaining groups of hunters were still socked in and likely couldn’t get out. Keep in mind that every time the plane leaves the hangar and flies to the hunt territory, it is an extra $1000. His decision to selfishly be flown out when he knew the rest of us wouldn’t get out meant extra charges for the rest of us. This was NEVER communicated to us either.

“Even though Dave's lake was socked in the whole time, I received a nasty message from him saying that HE was to come off the mountain first. The next day the plane was able to pick up the rest of the people. The guides were sending the pilot weather reports every hour and would send a message if there was 500ft clear over the lake. Day 10- out.”

Throughout the extraction ordeal, my guide and I were told that we would be “first out” so that I could get proper medical attention to my finger. When I received word that Derrick had surreptitiously moved to a lower elevation so that they could get out earlier without our knowledge when we could have done the same, you’re damn right I was pissed. We also had several windows of clearing when a plane could have landed. But after being picked up, it was apparent that the pilot was not happy with Derrick either as he was under the impression that he was dropping everyone off for 4 days. He didn’t expect to have to return in 24 hrs because Derrick couldn’t handle a little rain.

“As for food? I bought $2500 worth of fresh food for that hunt and the entire fall's worth of mountain house was at camp (another $4000 worth),We had a new chef at base camp and this was his first time at this kind of thing. He was short a big breakfast on the last day as far as bacon and eggs, but there was lots of food there. Dave was mad that his coffee wasn't made everytime he went into the cabin.”

That’s funny, if there was so much food, why wasn’t it available for us to eat. We had no butter, drinks, or breakfast. How many times does a cook have to be asked whether he has any coffee on by all of his hunters before he realizes that maybe he should put some water on in the morning. Mad? No. Irritated? After everything else, yes. I guess the cook being in bed at 8:00 on the morning of departure and all of us having to prepare our own breakfast is expected as part of the deal as well.

“No one on our first hunt was happy including me. I didn't like how the first went and offered the two guys that didn't get a goat, another hunt at cost. That offer still stands. I maintain that if a hunter books with me and hunts hard and doesn't get an opportunity......he can come back at cost. Dave tried extortion and if I didn't pay for his charter flights he would post negative reviews all over the internet.

Here we are.”

I see. Now, it’s extortion when a client expects a contract to be honored and an outfitter to step up and admit that he terribly underestimated the severity of the terrain and misled each and every one of us on what could be accomplished on this hunt. The right thing to do, IMO, would have been to step up and acknowledge that things could have gone better and tried to keep customers happy rather than being steadfastly adamant in a state of denial. Derrick even went so far as to claim that the rest of us just didn’t work as hard as he and his hunters had. Never mind that they didn’t kill a billy either, nor did they see one.

“We have learned and adjusted constantly through this season and things have been going much better. We have taken 7 goats for 12 hunters so far, including two guys that tried to climb the mountain once and our last hunt where we lost 8 days because of rain. One hunt ago I had 5 hunters out and took 3 billies and had one guy pass on one billy and counted 13 billies himself. Between us we saw 34 billies on that hunt, but most were out of range for these hunters. One guy had a horrible trip and hated everything saying the mountains are unhuntable, then I get an email from another guy on the same trip thanking me for the best trip of his life. They were one valley apart in the same weather.”

I guess the plane that you chartered for you and your guide to fly the territory to learn and scout it on the day AFTER we departed really paid off for the rest of your hunters. Too bad you didn’t do that in the beginning so that we could have benefited as well. Instead, you’d rather resort to telling lies and misleading everyone rather than just stepping up as a reputable outfitter would.

“Matt Hughes just came up a filmed an episode for his new show "Uncaged" and had a blast. He said things couldn't have went better and wants to come back again. His show will air in the summer of 2015.”

I have no doubt that all your buddies who booked a large number of the remaining hunts with you along with “celebrity” hunters like Mr. Hughes had very different hunts than we did. I guess everyone reading this should ask themselves whether they consider themselves in that group. If so, you might have a good hunt.

“Safety is always a big concern and although sometimes the messages take an hour to get through and sometimes a minute… It's much better than in years past. I've been guiding for 26 years and only the last few years has anyone had any kind of phones etc. to contact the outside world.

Now that I've seen the country and hunted it first hand I can screen my hunters much better and can provide pictures and video to show what it's like. It's a shame he has taken it to this level.”

No. The shame is that you pushed me to take it to this level.

From: Dave
20-Oct-14

From: Sage Buffalo
20-Oct-14
Dave I'm not doubting your beef is real but after all the hunts you have been on you should have known a first year owner in a very formidable area was a high risk and that you were definitely going to be on an "adventure" which is what you received.

Sounds like you gambled and you rolled 7s.

Honestly, you got lucky it wasn't worse AND you shot an animal.

Again, 2 sides to every story but there's very little you can do now except let it go.

The truth is in 5 years this outfitter will either be in business and will have learned from this year or he won't be in business any longer.

This obviously won't make you feel better but whether a hunt or any other situation there's little you can do.

20-Oct-14
I've only done one outfitted hunt. It is simply to risky for me after hearing stories and experiencing the deficiencies a lack luster outfitter provides. It's like a disease that affects everyone, especially the guides.

With that said, what I don't understand is guys here that do guided hunts as a way of life, and have surely seen some misrepresentation by an outfitter, badger the guy that had a bad experience on such a hunt. It isn't rocket science. If your experiences have all been good, it isn't because you were so good at choosing your outfitters. It is because you were/are lucky on the hunts you experienced. Remember, one man's trash is another's treasure.

However, after reading all this, isn't it more likely that Dave is communicating his experience? The guide admitted much of what was Dave's main argument, by saying this was a new area. Which appears to be a lot of the problem here. The outfitter/guides unfamiliarity with this area seems to be the problem. That and bad weather. Weather can't be helped. But, the guide choosing to fly out of this area early, due to weather, says enough about that to me to make a side more believable.

The man killed a goat. Don't you think it is possible that his side is more accurate since the prize was obtained. What is to gain by lying about it? I don't know who is right. I know what sounds correct. So do all you life long client hunters. These aren't simple comfort complaints. And with no reason to make it up, why would anyone think Dave is fabricating things? It appears to me to be the result of a serious lack of communication, from start, through duration, and after the hunt was over. Doesn't that fall on the outfitter? He's not the tourist. Just sayin... God Bless

From: Kevin Dill
21-Oct-14
Anyone who discounts a hunter's negative report simply because he killed an animal has a very different standard of measurement on what constitutes a high quality hunt. Dead animals don't mean a hunt was good, or that the outfitter was in any way honoring most of his obligations. I speak from experience, and won't put anyone through the long and torturous story of what happened to me and another experienced bowhunter in BC many years ago. Suffice to say that our hunt was terribly mismanaged to the point of it being a true fiasco. At the same time, other hunters were happily knocking down game in other camps and having the time of their life. When I got out of camp I attempted to find the concession owner/'outfitter' and go toe-to-toe with him. It turned out he was with his (call her what you want) in Whitehorse and of course too drunk to travel. His guides were busy busting their humps and covering for their boss. When our story was told it was met with bewilderment and doubt by several other hunters. Some probably thought we were just bitch-and-moaners. I couldn't help that, but the truth is the truth. We didn't judge the hunt by a dead animal or lack of one.

I don't know Dave or this outfitter. My gut (and experience) tells me the outfitter has nothing to lose and everything to gain by defending his business...and will sacrifice a former client to maintain his income. On the other hand, most 'beware' threads like this are at least 50% about retribution and causing some discomfort for the outfitter. I get that too, as suffering through a nasty experience that you paid money for will sometimes leave you willing to return that investment. Going public with it on a website will get a reaction for sure, but not necessarily the one you want.

From: Bou'bound
21-Oct-14
Dave's reponse certainly seems credible and is a fine come back to the outfitters details.

From: prezboys
21-Oct-14
I have to say that there are some guys who book hunts and have a bad experience. Sometimes it just because of their lack of hunting experience or there ill prepared. But I can tell you that I have done a lot of guided trips with outfitters, a lot!. I have had only two bad hunts were those outfitters had blatantly lied to me prior to the hunt, by giving false information or just flat out was a person who should never be guiding hunters. I totally agree with outfitter reports and the word should get out about those outfitters who have issues with hunters. I have posted bad reports on the two hunts and I hope that saved others from having the same bad experience. On the other had when I have a great outfitter I also let everyone know who they are and what to expect with the great outfitter. It all goes hand in hand.

PRez

From: Dave
21-Oct-14
I chose to provide the outfitter report as a public service announcement, if you will. While the other hunters in camp with me had the same experience, I have no doubt that their account would probably be given even less credence as they were unsuccessful(through no fault of their own). Their account would be no less credible but I'm sure many (including the outfitter) would claim it was because they didn't harvest an animal or didn't work hard enough. I've taken a fair amount of drubbing myself despite being successful. I can only imagine the claims that would be made against the others, having been unsuccessful. Simply harvesting an animal does not always constitute a great hunt. I believe outfitters, as well as any business, should be held accountable to their contracts and their integrity.

From: sureshot
21-Oct-14
Things happen with both good and bad outfitters, the difference is that the good ones take care of the problems and make it right. Just my opinion.

From: Fulldraw1972
21-Oct-14
I have always thought if a guy wasn't successful and would go back says a lot. But a guy that was successful and won't go back says more.

I doubt I will ever go on a goat hunt in BC but I don't know if I would write off the outfitter for bad planing on a first year in an area. Maybe now he has his game in order and can provide a better experience for the hunt. Time will tell I guess.

From: Surfbow
21-Oct-14
I don't know, I've never been on a guided hunt. But, all I got from Dave's big editorial above is that he thinks he's a great hunter and could do it all better than an outfitter...so why hire a guide?

From: Bou'bound
21-Oct-14
"I doubt I will ever go on a goat hunt in BC but I don't know if I would write off the outfitter for bad planing on a first year in an area."

baloney.........if the guy charged full prices he better have done his homework and provide full services and have full kowledge. if he can't do that he should advise up front this is a combo scounting the area and hunting expedition and therfore the price has been discounted to reflect it.

I have actually been on such a hunt many years ago. it did not turn out well, but at least the outfitter was up front on what he was doing and charged accordingly.

From: TD
21-Oct-14
I don't think a NR alien can hunt BC without a guide? You can't even hunt mt goat in AK without a guide if a NR.

I know an outfitter that gave a guy back all his money when he had a new area, pretty much his first hunt (mule deer) in it and it didn't pan out. Client didn't ask for money back, he just did it. IIRC Client re-booked for the next year in a different area.

Thank you for your report Dave. Glad you got your animal and wish it didn't leave a sour taste in your mouth. I don't know anyone here who would have been very happy about tacking on all the extra expenses after the hunt had started. Or even as it was ending actually.

Think about it, one of the main reasons you even hire a guide is they have prior knowledge of the area being hunted and have (theoretically) scouted it.

Guys with experiences like Dave's are the ones you will never get as references when you request references from an outfitter. Yet they are the ones you need to hear the most.

Are there sour grapes? People impossible to please? Absolutely. But if you are researching.... up to you who you want to believe, a person will book with who they want. Personally as was stated above.... there are a good many outfitters that have excellent reviews right here from people I know and trust.

From: Sage Buffalo
21-Oct-14
TD My issue with Dave's frustration was if you have been on a number of guided hunts you KNOW going in with a first year outfitter into an unknown area is a recipe for him learning the area on your dime.

I think a lot of guys are missing that. I would NEVER go with a first year outfitter in a new area unless he was a buddy of mine.

I'm not excusing the outfitter but as a buyer you need to weigh your risks. That's what Dave did. He obviously came out on short end of the deal.

Bad things also happen with an experienced outfit but they are prepared better because they have many seasons under their belt and know how to deal with these situations.

From: mjenkins
24-Oct-14
I would think if the outfitter was charging full price to hunt an unknown area, he would have scouted first. A quick scouting trip and this issues doesn't exist.

From: Fulldraw1972
24-Oct-14
"baloney.........if the guy charged full prices he better have done his homework and provide full services and have full kowledge. if he can't do that he should advise up front this is a combo scounting the area and hunting expedition and therfore the price has been discounted to reflect it."

In Dave's case I agree with you. When I say "I don't know if I would right him off just yet". Its for future hunters. Heck earlier in this thread there was a guy that commented. I bet he would go back.

From: BTM
25-Oct-14
"Simply harvesting an animal does not always constitute a great hunt."

I agree 100%. Some of my best hunts were where I didn't bag an animal but the guide and outfitter were great. Conversely, I bagged two P&Y animals (moose and caribou) on what I still refer to as "The Hunt From Hell" (guide was a jerk).

From: Mule Power
25-Oct-14
Two quick comments..... first. Not that he was a bad outfitter but I hate when people read outfitter bashing stories and then bunch all of them together saying there are no good outfitters. Some outfitters are the nicest most sincere people you'd ever want to meet and work their tails off to provide the best hunt and services possible.

Second.... if you want a for sure top notch hunt don't book blue light specials. In this case that means saving a few bucks over the outfitters we know on here have track records in areas they know like the back of their hand. What you did was book an all or nothing deal. It could have been a gold mine going where nobody else has hunted. A trail is worth a million bucks. If you've done your share of hunts you should know that. The miles you can cover on one are night and day compared to bushwhacking.

Last... everyone has to start somewhere. The fact that it was his first year should have been something you gave a lot of thought to as well. I think you bear the responsibility to think things like that out when you book. Otherwise you are going to be part of his learning curve.

I'm going to call this one 50/50.

Congratulations on killing your goat.

From: Stonegoat
25-Oct-14
Sounds like a tough hunt. Typical of coastal BC mountains. The outfitter should have scouted the areas first, or given you a substantial price reduction since you were the guinea pig.

I have never gone on a guided hunt, but live in BC, and have made forays into the mountains only to be turned back. There are truly impenetrable mountains in BC.

There is nothing wrong with an outfitter sending a guide and client into never-before-hunted areas. When I guided, I took a young hunter after mountain goat into some remote mountains that had never been hunted. It took 25 hours of backpacking and was physically brutal - but also an incredible adventure. We were successful in getting a goat, and the end of the hunt found the client and myself good friends. It was an adventure of a lifetime. The caveat to this, though, is the expectation was set from the beginning. My hunter wanted an adventure more than a goat....and he got it!

From: cityhunter
25-Oct-14
Dave outfitters website says we have lots and lots of goats did i tell we have lots of goats , also says 29 grizz were seen from a road 15 miles u do the math .. I did the math this outfitter talks with a forked tongue !!! Dave i been on way worse fully outfitted hunts so i can relate it suxs ! You did the corect thing by posting your hunt .

From: Chuckster
25-Oct-14
"I have always thought if a guy wasn't successful and would go back says a lot. But a guy that was successful and won't go back says more"

Pretty much sums it all up right there..

From: TreeWalker
28-Oct-14
I put 95% of the blame on the outfitter. Not having reliable communications between base camp and EVERY group that is out hunting PLUS ability to call in emergency responders is something that will make me see red.

Not scouting the area earlier in the year when is the first year is bewildering and should be disclosed. I might sign up for a hunt in an area that has not been hunted in years hoping for a chance at animals about to die of old age. I would expect (and would ask) about scouting that has been done or will be done prior to the hunts.

Leaving meat on the mountain also makes me see red.

I am okay with a young guide if has experience with the species and the type of hunt (mountains, wilderness, desert, etc). Otherwise, I have a problem with that guide being the lead guide for me. A guide impacts your safety as well as the quality of the hunt.

Congrats on getting a goat. Good luck on your upcoming hunts.

From: Dave
29-Oct-14
You and I are on the same page. We were all told there would be some prior "scouting." This amounted to a short walk with his 8 yr old kid. Don't forget not honoring the contract though which specifically states that all transportation during the course of the hunt will be the responsibility of the outfitter. The fact that we were left with no alternative other than sitting around base camp without food and festering over our $9500 "vacation" is what really did it for me. Had the outfitter just stepped up and acknowledged he underestimated what it would take to access goats from where we were and offered to cover the float plane so we could hunt goats like we intended to do, I think I could forgive the rest of the stuff. But when he basically "extorted" the float plane expenses out of us and then screwed us over by calling them back to pick us up after day 1 when we intended to hunt for 4, that chapped my hide.

From: Hoot
12-Nov-14
I just read that Derrick's son-in-law and guide Jeff fell to his death while hiking off the mountain after taking a large billy...very sad, and after reading this thread it makes you wonder just how prepared they were to be hunting a new area...

Sad day, thoughts and prayers to his family...

From: Kurt
13-Nov-14
Check goatalliance.com for more details. Looks like the guide died Monday in a fall carrying a goat on his back. Goat hunting is tough and dangerous in most areas. Pushing the envelope can get you in trouble especially when coming out with a heavy pack. First a Colorado hunter and now a BC guide that died this year.

From: Docstream
14-Nov-14
As a flatlander who wants to hunt Kodiak for goats, reading these posts are inspiring. But when these mortal reminders pop up, it sure makes convincing my wife that I am sane and will come back alive more difficult. Further introspection makes me want to purchase just a bit more term life before mountain trips.

Because nonres hunters require a guide, this post worries me and I will do as much homework as possible before going, but the fact remains that one never truly knows how the guide service or outfitter will be from year to year. I have been burnt before when an outfitter lost heart in what he was doing and turned to greed - bilking hunters for money to start a new venture.

there is also an unusual phenomenon that occurs when someone post online criticism and warnings about a service. Bow hunters are a special breed of folk and it is rare that I ever come across guys that would throw an outfitter under the bus without good reason. The post above is genuine and was not intended to defame anyone. Yes, I would have gone into his hunt with both eyes open, but there is no excuse that the area was not scouted and the best route to goat country determined before any client arrived. that is part of what is paid for. When you experience something like this, it rocks your confidence in guided hunts and faith in your fellow man for a while, which is partially to blame for me not going on any further guided hunts since my last.

When we turn on those trying too warn us, then we are just asking for further similar crappy experiences as there is no reason to post news to jerks. Rather, let them rot in a bad camp and experience the same brand of disappointment. It is much easier and less frustrating to help others.

For now, I will stick to Iowa and DIY the West for ELK until I gain enough confidence to do otherwise.

From: Dave
14-Nov-14
Well said. The death of the guide is tragic and no one, including myself, wishes that on anyone. Whether it be a guide, hunter, or outfitter himself, it should not happen. Obviously, things happen that are beyond anyone's control and I don't know the details but I'm not sure this is one of those times. I understand it took some time for Search and Rescue to find him after he fell and I am left to wonder if lack of Sat Phone had any part in this.

From: Bullshooter
14-Nov-14
First of all, I wish to send my condolences for the guide. May he rest in peace.

I tend to believe Dave's version of events. Dave, it seems like you could clear this up. You said " Don't forget not honoring the contract though which specifically states that all transportation during the course of the hunt will be the responsibility of the outfitter. The fact that we were left with no alternative other than sitting around base camp without food and festering over our $9500 "vacation" is what really did it for me."

I believe he responded to your report and stated "On our website we have 4 hunt types. Two involve a charter plane ride if that option is selected. It is clearly stated at the hunters cost. We went over what the plane charges well before it was called.....and everyone agreed. "

Post the contract. Case closed.

From: Bou'bound
28-Dec-14

From: wifishkiller
28-Dec-14
I don't see why the outfitter is being bashed? Goat hunts are hard and half the stuff posted above happened to me last year on my hunt in an area I scouted all summer. Goat country is rough and lots of things happen........

From: Ambush
28-Dec-14
One thing is true about this area. There are likely several WR goats that die there very year without ever seeing a human. The country is that rugged and impenetrable. And it will stay that way until BC allows helicopter hunting, which will happen just after hell freezes over. It does sometimes happen that a new logging operation opens up small pieces of a valley, but seldom.

Sometimes we see goats when were are fishing the coast, but we don't for a minute seriously consider thinking we could access them. We dream, yes, but plan, no. My son-in-law, while salvage logging in January, sees goats down near the water. And then they just go right back up the straight up cliffs and disappear into the thickest, most tangled mess of vegetation imaginable.

The next P&Y world record goat is just waiting there for some guys with more guts, muscle and mental toughness than 99.5% of the other mountain hunters alive today.

All that being said, a guide that doesn't know his terrain, conditions and habits of the local species isn't much more help than wishful thinking.

From: NMBIGHORN
11-Jan-15
First off, condolences to the family of the guide.

Goat country can be and is unforgiving. This is the outfitter's responsibility first and foremost to be 110% certain of the safety and welfare of his guides and clients, even if it means he has to front the monies for plane rides in and out of this unforgiving country, this should be in his business plan and emergency expenditures. I am sure most outfitters have a plan in place like this, if not they should.

I am a outfitter in NM and we have 4 wilderness areas where we hunt the most, with some unforgiving country as well. It is up to my discretion where we are going to hunt and the responsibility falls 110% on my back as to where my guides and clients are to hunt and their welfare. I would certainly expect no less from any other outfitter.

I personally have gone on a guided goat hunt in northern BC, and unlike a coastal hunt we were in more hike able terrain, although we did have issues with a mile or so of tangle foot, I'm sure it was nothing like this guy encountered on or near the coast.

Now as far as guided hunts go it is the responsibility of the hunter and his choice to hunt with whom he choses. On this hunt, many RED Flags were in front of him and ultimately he made the choice to hunt with this guy. Some of the RED Flags came as the hunt went on and this is where the issues of this hunt are.

In my research to hunt and fish with guys in BC and Alaska, you need to be thorough with your questions and get your answers in writing (proof), if they also wont do this another RED Flag is raised, so it is best to send your questions to them and have them respond by email. Some guides and outfitters will promise you the moon by talking to them, just to get at your MONEY. Best to get it in writing! Also when I have called and talked to guides and outfitters some are just full of Bullshit and lie.

Just for your information in BC and Alaska 1 out of 3 will be truthful with you about your expectations for your fishing or hunting trip especially if don't ask questions. IF you don't ASK Questions it is your fault.

So like some have pointed out, even though this guy decided to hunt with this outfitter, it was and is the outfitters responsibility to: oversee the welfare of his guides and clients, have emergency plans in place, and know the animals and terrain that his staff and clients are going to hunt, even if it is a new area and it was discussed they were going to hunt it, the outfitter should have scouted the terrain before sending his staff and hunters in there.

I do side 75% with the hunter if he did in fact ask questions and the fact that he did kill a goat and really has no reason for throwing this outfitter under the bus, other than to get some monies back for the flights in and out, and that there was not enough food and the hunters had to cook their own breakfast on the last morning. Sounds to me like quite a few loose ends need to be tidied up.

I side 25% on the outfitters part because we have yet to see the contract, and the fact that 90% of all guided hunts in BC that do require flights are to be paid for by the hunter(s), and are written on their websites and usually are on the contracts. and also the poorly thought out response by the outfitter, of course he is going to backup what his guide tells him.

As all of you can see the guide had little experience in guiding and knowing the terrain, the base camp cook was new, this outfitter is new at outfitting, being it is his fist year, there is never an excuse to run out of food, in the field or especially base camp. The outfitter made close to 50k on this one hunt alone, 1k flight out is not going to break him, after all it is for the wellbeing of his guide and hunter and as what happened with the recent death of one of his guides their wellbeing comes first and foremost. This is going to be one hard lesson for this new outfitter to learn. Unfortunately this lesson will turn into experience for this outfitter, just because this guy has guided for 26 years under his belt doesn't mean his staff has all that experience as well. They may also be under trained.

Bad Outfitters and guided trips like this is what gives the outfitting industry a bad name, and as always there are two sides to every story and of course there are other hunters in camp to backup whatever has been said by both parties. But as for what I read, this outfitter is just hurting his new founded company for a small price to refund this hunter. The outfitter needs to see the bigger scope of what this bad report is doing for his company. Post up the contract, this may renew my thoughts and those reading this post. After all we are potentially future hunters.

From: Dave
11-Jan-15

Dave's embedded Photo
Dave's embedded Photo
So if you see the contract does your opinion sway another 25% toward the hunter? Here is the contract that was posted on the other thread.

From: NMBIGHORN
11-Jan-15
Dave, quick response, I am not the one on the hotseat here I am just posting my opinion as to what we have in font of us here in this post and of reading the outfitters response, I sense a little hostility in your question toward me though. Looking at and reading the top portion of the contact esp. item 1d in particular, it clearly states "ANY TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM & WITHIN THE AREA,(COMMA)" The wording in the contract includes ground and air and by water, by it stating "ALL". The outfitter would need to correct this for future clients to "GROUND" if he doesn't want to go through this BS again, and also clearly state all air transportation is the responsibility of the hunter(s).

You have the bull by the horns, looks to me you are in the right to pursue this, and have every right to be pissed and write this report. Can you post the lower part of the contract?

What are you looking to gain from posting this here? Have you pursued this with the BC Outfitters and Guides council, or have you taken legal action against the outfitter?

From: Dave
12-Jan-15
I wasn't meaning to put you on the hotseat. I did try to take this up with BCGOA. There is another thread about that as well. That organization is a joke. What kind of Outfitter's association charges $500 to file a complaint against one of its outfitters? I can post up the rest of the contract when I get some time. Trust me though, there's nothing in it that will change your mind or that I'm trying to hide. I guess I'm feeling a little defensive because all I was trying to do was provide a public service and prevent others from having a similar bad experience with this outfitter and many have attacked me, claiming that my complaints are unjustified. This ain't my first rodeo. I've hunted with quite a few outfitters over the years and this is one I would NEVER hunt with again.

From: Thornton
12-Jan-15
Judging by the few guided hunts I've been on, that contract is very simple. It really doesn't go into much detail. Thanks for your review. It does sound like the outfitter was not prepared and enrolled you in the idea knowing full well it probably wouldn't pan out.

From: mn_archer
12-Jan-15
Dave,

did I read correctly that you only took as much meat as the two of you could carry? That leads me to believe you guys just left some up there because your plane was coming.

Is that right, you guys just left it on the mountain? Do they not have wanton waste laws there?

sorry you had a bum hunt, that sucks. Congrats on the billy though, they are an awesome animal.

michael

From: NMBIGHORN
12-Jan-15
Dave, I do have to tell you that I wrote the first sentence of my last post to see your reaction to it, and how you would respond if you felt negativity toward you- you passed my grumpy test.

I don't know how much you paid for the flights in total, but those monies need to be reimbursed by your outfitter to all clients that were on that hunt according to what is written on the contract.

Nothing wrong with being a little irritated or defensive about this issue, after all it happened to you. Can you get the other hunters in camp to put together the 500.00 to file the complaint?

If some on this post or other posts that have been made don't want to believe proof that is in front of them, well, they can learn the hard way. I for one have seen enough to never hunt with this outfit. One thing you need to do to have this go away is sue him or just chalk I up as a loss, at least you warned fellow hunters here if they want to believe or not.

Hope you can go on future hunts and enjoy them instead of having to worry what will go wrong, just remember to ask questions pertaining to all facets of the hunting trip. I know you shouldn't have to worry about most things, that's the point in hiring a outfitter to take care of the details, but some "outfitters" are just out for the money.

From: Genesis
12-Jan-15
Hunted that area with Harry McCowan when he had the concession.He would fly hunters into high Alpine Lakes cutting down on the amount of bushwhacking.If we couldn't find goats he would fly into another Alpine Lake at his expense.He had about 25 Lakes that he could fly into and spike out from there but most goats were shot just day hiking up from Lake....neat setup

Harry had his own plane and was an excellent pilot so it help tremendously with the accessibility (and expense) issue of that concession.We didn't see many goats and my guide had a concern about the amount of wolves that were now there back then (12 years ago)I actually had a pack walk by us and there was alot of scat

From: Dave
13-Jan-15
I think I'm pretty diligent about asking questions of outfitters and I think I asked all the right questions on this hunt. Unfortunately, I can't control when an outfitter outright lies which was the case here. I don't know what is involved in suing someone outside the US but I imagine it's not cheap. By the time I pay attorney's fees, travel expenses to testify if needed, etc, I'm throwing dollars after dimes. Instead, I chose to chalk it up as a loss and hopefully prevent other hunters from having to have the same experience I and the other hunters in camp did.

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