Contributors to this thread:
conne river outfitters sold?
A hunting buddy of mine just informed me that the Conne River band has pushed David out and sold out to another. Any news; thoughts would be appreciated as I have friends scheduled there this coming fall.
Was told this was coming. Long time, native pilot for them was the buyer. I am scheduled for a year and a half out. Talked with them at Harrisburg in February.
TJS...When I hunted with them the only pilot was David, the manager...he is native and the one who built the outfit up. According to my friend who hunted there last fall; David was one of two bidders and he did not get the business contract from the Chief/Band council. Conne River website has been taken down. There is some info on the Conne River band's tribal website.
Oh boy. I have contact info for someone working the booth with David. I'll contact to see if I can find info. I was to hear something in April, since they took no deposit due to impending sale.
TJS...Sent an email last night to my guide on our hunt w/Conne. He replied that the outfit has been sold to two other band members and David has moved on to work for another outfitter. I know others who are booked for this fall and am concerned about such an abrupt change in the outfit. David built that outfit up and worked extremely hard for it. From 1998 to 2010 I worked w/three different QC caribou outfitters and attended Harrisburg and numerous shows throughout the NE of the country and got to know many of the outfitters. I have hunted moose in NL seven different times along with my friend who has been there six times. Our last hunt was with David at Conne and EVERYTHING was top shelf. Reliable info from another hunter there from last fall brings to my mine another concern. It is my understanding that the planes did not go with the change over. That would immediately make me question how the new owner(s) would access the two outpost camps. Also, having never operate an outfit, I would carefully consider whether I would book with a new, and maybe inexperienced group.
Newfi1946moose & TJS... A buddy of mine who hunted there last year sent me this post as I am scheduled to hunt with Conne River this fall as well. I agree with the concerns you have posted. I started having major reservations about what was happening when I couldn't get any response about my hunt from my calls, emails and FB messages. I specifically asked about the status of the business and got complete silence. I guess that puts us in wait and see mode but I kind of have it in my head that I have lost the deposit and really don't have a hunt this fall.
From a quick search of the tribes website, they are just now entering negotiations on the sale. I can't imagine that the sale gets finalized quicker than a month or two which really wouldn't leave the new group with much time to get things up and running for the fall.
Gman... My guide who sent me a reply last night says it is a done deal. David has, basically, been force out by the Chief/Band council and has gone to work for another outfitter. I completely trust his information as it is the same info coming from the former hunter from VI who got his info from his guide also. I saw the same post you put up. I would think they would have to contact people asap. Both guides say it is a done deal. The tribe contracted out only the licenses and the lodges, not the two planes. I seriously wonder how the new operators will access the outpost camps w/o plane/pilot? Plane and pilot would appear to not be in the new operator's financial plan to the tribe.
Newfi... I am in full agreement with you. Hopefully we hear something from the new folks very soon.
Went through this same thing with Dunedin River Outfitters in N. B.C. back a while ago. All I can say is IF you can get your deposits back I'd do it. Our ordeal turned into a total nightmare and it took us years to get our deposits back. (LONG Story!) I've lost all respect for any outfit that continues to take deposits without disclosing impending or potential changes in ownership.
It would be my assumption (expectation) that the new owners would have to honor all contracts (deposits) that David entered into. It has been known that such abrupt "changes" in outfitting do not work out well. Many from this site will recall Tittulik.
South Farm...Your experience is exactly what I am afraid of. A number of years ago Tittulik dumped over 160 booked clients two weeks into the hunt. I had worked for them but had serious disagreements w/management and had bailed on them two years prior to their doing what they did. Tribal politics I think...may well be the same situation w/Conne.
I want to make it clear that David did not take a deposit from me specifically waiting on completion of the expected sale of the business into his hands. I feel he was above board in his discussion with me.
TJS...our hunting group had went to NL for six trips with the same outfitter but decided a change was coming so we looked over others and decided to go in 2017 with David. I spent 1.5 years planning w/him over the phone/internet. He was 100% kosher and we enjoyed a fantastic hunt at Camp 8. He personally met our group twice while in camp along with servicing his fly-in camps. When we picked up our meat, he was with his crew. It was top shelf all the way! I have sent an email to the assistant to the band chief concerning this. I was respectful but made it clear that such abrupt change might not be well accepted by prospective clients. I personally watched internal politics destroy the outfit mentioned in my post to South Farm. David did the right thing by not taking a deposit and disclosing that he expected the sale. He was always above board with us and others we know who we recommended and went.
Newfi....Let us know what kind of response you get from the band chief. I really like working with David and all of my dealings were with him. I sent my deposit well before the sale was in the works. Hopefully, we can find a way to recoup it. I am with you that I am not too keen on hitching my wagon to a group that just picked up the outfit. For me, this was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime and I have a 30+ hour trip to get there so I'd rather cut my losses now and find somebody reputable for a future trip.
Gobble...will post anything asap. My two hunting buddies are scheduled there in early Nov. so they are concerned! I have a gut feeling that David did not expect any others to bid.
My father found this thread this morning. We both have/had plans to hunt this fall with Conne River for Moose, that we made over a year ago. We had trouble getting responses about our trip after we booked and gave a deposit in February. Luckily we both gave a deposit by check to David M. which he never cashed. We just put a stop payment on them today. Better to lose $30 instead of $4000. We will have the ability to resend if we hear anything about what is going on. My Father did receive an email from Tracy Howse, Dave's partner, that they no longer work for Conne River and that Dave is now working for Portland Creek outfitters. I have heard too many horror stories about this type of situation and am grateful we were able to stop payment on our deposits. Thanks for all of the updates....please post more if anything else is learned.
That David is at Portland Creek is the info coming from my guide who I trust to let me know as I was considering going back in 2020. I have had no reply from the email I sent to the Ass't. to the Chief...that is the email listed on the Band's website. Will keep posted any info I find out. My next move will be to phone the Band offices directly. The hunt website is down.
This is the email response (see below) I got from Tracy Howse, Dave's partner. Mike Joe is the Chief to contact about the sale and his # is listed in the email.
"As of January 31 a decision was made to sell CRO by the Miawpukek First Nations band who are the owners. Neither Dave or I work there any longer. The business has been sold. Please contact mike joe who is the chief. I am truest sorry for all of this and I hope you can get your answers. Dave and I put in a bid and lost but we were told that all hunters have been included into their schedules and will be passed on to the new owner. The number for the chief is 709-882-2470. Dave is going to work for Portland Creek Outfitters on the northern part of the island."
"Good luck with everything and I hope your hunt will be a successful one."
Just got this through FB Messenger.
The Miawpukek First Nation would like to advise all former, current and future clients of Conne River Outfitting that it is in the process of transitioning Conne River Outfitting to new ownership and management. Over the next two weeks, we will be contacting our current clients and confirming the status of your hunts, deposits, and amounts due. You will be provided with the option of transferring a booking to the new owners/operators, who are also members of the Miawpukek First Nation, discussing this directly with the new owners, or having your deposit and any other funds refunded to pursue a booking with another Outfitter.
We are committed to making the transition of bookings to the new ownership and management as seamless as possible for our clients. The new Conne River Outfitting Limited operation will be utilizing the same lodges, hunting areas and employing a number of the original staff from previous years’ operations.
If you would like to inquire about your booking, please contact 709-538-7532 and speak with Edwina, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Miawpukek First Nation of Conne River, Newfoundland would like to thank all of our former and current clients of the past twenty years for your patronage and friendships! We wish you luck with your hunts in the upcoming seasons!
Thanks, Gobbleman. I just received the same information from me guide with respect to the situation. It seems that they are trying to get underway. I have forwarded the info to my friends who are booked for this fall but I do not know what their decision will be.
It would appear that the tribe is willing to return all deposits if the client wishes.
Has anyone heard anything from the new outfitters or tribal council yet?
Blaster...as of yesterday I have had no response to the message and request for a call back. The phone no. posted went instantly to 'leave a message'.
Given the coming hunting season for 2019 and the sale of the outfit; such a situation causes me to recall what the guides told us when we hunted there in Oct. of 2017 and that was David was seriously booked into his 2019 season at that time so we asked our guides when they hunt there and they replied they liked Nov. We then put in deposits early in 2018 for another hunt in Nov. of 2019. I am going to try the no. noted for contacting them until I get an answer as we are concerned. I may be wrong but I feel David, in a roundabout way, was cut out of the picture.
I received an email response from David's marketing guy who was a the Harrisburg show with him in the Conne River booth. He stated what we know about the sale and that it didn't go to David. He also stated he was going to be in contact with the new owners shortly. No new information. He did suggest communicating the new owners before making any decisions.
Thanks TJS. We are trying to contact them using the ph. no. noted in the post in this thread. I have only the deposit put down with David in March of 2018. Health problems prevent me from going this fall and I need surgery. I would like to get the deposit back if possible.