Jim Shockey on Border Closure Issues
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From: GhostBird
29-Jun-21
Jim Shockey on the Real Trouble With the Border Closure: Here’s Why It’s Not So Easy to “Roll Over” Your Outfitted Canadian Hunt Jim Shockey, a legendary Canadian outfitter, on the grim reality of how the border closure has rocked the guiding industry—and created major losses for American hunters

BY JIM SHOCKEY JUNE 16, 2021

The Canadian border will likely open in the next few weeks, but even with relaxed travel restrictions, the thousands of American hunters who booked trips for last year will have a difficult time making their dream hunts happen this year. Meanwhile, the thousands of Canadian outfitters who fought to keep their businesses alive last year, are still hanging by a thread. We have only begun to see the detrimental impacts of the border closure on our hunting and outfitting industry in Canada. Here’s a look at two perspectives—the client’s and the outfitter’s—plus, what you should know if you have a hunt booked.

The Client Perspective

You read about hunting in Canada, in Outdoor Life magazine, or maybe saw it featured on a TV show. You thought about it for a few weeks (or maybe years), ran the idea past your spouse, who gave you their blessing, discussed it with your best hunting buddy and when they agreed to come along, you picked up the phone and called the Canadian outfitter. The outfitter seemed honest and sincere, had a great reputation and their references checked out, so you booked the hunt.

You sent the 50 percent deposit check and two weeks later received the “hunt contract” in the mail, which you immediately signed, without reading it thoroughly, and mailed it back. Done deal. A few months later, early in 2020, you and your buddy sent the balance of your hunt price to the outfitter, as the contract stipulated and booked your flights.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian government closed the border to “non-essential” travel, meaning you, as a tourist, could not go on your scheduled hunt. At first you were upset about your hunting holiday being affected, but it was obvious there wasn’t anything you could do about it. You and your buddy read the contract more closely now and seeing that the contract clearly stated that “deposits” and “funds paid in full” were “non-refundable,” you contacted the outfitter and told them not to worry about the money, you and your buddy were willing to simply let the outfitter “roll the hunt over” to the following year.

You called the airline and while they wouldn’t return your money, they would give you a credit for the flight costs. They also said that when you rebooked the same flights down the road, you would have to book at the new prices, not the old price you originally paid. Fair enough.

COVID would pass and you wanted to do the hunt anyway, so it was not the end of your dream hunt, just a postponement.

The Canadian Outfitter Perspective

You read about the hunt in Outdoor Life magazine when you were younger, and maybe you saw it on TV. The wonder of the wild lands and the majesty of the animals, stuck with you and for years. You dreamed about making your living working as a guide and outfitter, taking clients on wilderness hunts and making client’s own dreams come true.

Eventually the day came when you could not ignore your calling any longer. You discussed it with your spouse and with their blessing, you mortgaged your home, wrote the biggest check you’ve ever written, handed it over to the previous owner of the outfitting territory and just like that, you shouldered greater responsibility than you ever imagined.

At first, it was a close race between mounting expenses and client deposits arriving for you to use to prepare for their hunts in the coming season—your first. You had boat repairs to pay for, trucks in need of fixing, gear that required mending, government fees to pay, maintenance cost on cabins, marketing and advertising bills to deal with. And that’s on top of the hundreds of unseen costs that you hadn’t realized were part of keeping the doors to your new outfitting operation open as you get ready for the fast-approaching hunting season.

The bookings were slow that first year. Nobody in the hunting world knew who you were or how good your hunts would be. And so, even after that first season’s clients paid for their hunts in full, a month before the season started, all the money they sent was gone. That first year, you only made the final balloon payment, the money you still owed the old outfitter, by using your life’s savings. Even though you did all the guiding yourself, after all the expenses that first year, there was zero profit.

You made ends meet, thanks to your spouse taking a job, and the second year proved better. Your first-year clients vouched for you, told their friends what a great hunt you provided, and the deposits started rolling in. Thank goodness, because without the client money coming in, you had no other funds available to pay all the same “getting ready for the season” expenses that you incurred the first year. The truth be told, it was tight for 10 years, but eventually you managed to pay off the rest of what you owed on the territory. On the good years, your profit margin on the $1 million in revenue you were bringing in was a healthy 10 percent.

More important than the money, you were a respected member of a small group of fulltime Canadian outfitters, who were running profitable outfitting operations. You were living the dream, making $100,000 a year living the lifestyle you loved.

Of course, making $100,000 a year wasn’t going to put you or your family on easy street; you accepted the fact that holidays were always going to be busman’s holidays, standing in a booth with your spouse, trying to sell hunts at the various conventions, which cost money, but at least those trips were before tax expenses. Truth be told, that $100,000 in profit, after you paid Canadian personal taxes, didn’t leave much to feed, clothe, and look after your family, or fix your children’s teeth, and nor was a new car an option. Dinners out with your understanding spouse were few and far between. But all in all, life was good as long as hunt bookings continued on track.

And so it went, one season would end and what was leftover from the fees that season’s clients paid you, would be enough to cover your family’s personal expenses for the coming year. Barely, but enough. New clients for the upcoming seasons continued to book hunts with you and send their non-refundable deposits for you to use to prepare for their upcoming hunts and, if all went well, you made your 10 percent profit. Thankfully once a season was over, the costs for that season came to a complete end and so every penny you were spending from that closing date on, was for the upcoming season’s clients.

Your operation increased in size, more staff, year-round employees, accountants and bookkeepers suddenly started sending you invoices and there were bigger insurance fees to pay every year and government quota fees continued to rise. But all in all, you could still swing a 10 percent profit margin.

Then came COVID.

By March 2020, with the spring season about to start, all the cabin rentals were paid, government fees were paid, all the expenses leading up to the upcoming hunting season were paid, the maintenance and gear costs were taken care of and the guides that worked for the outfit year-round on wages, were paid up. New temporary seasonal guides were organized and hired, the office secretary wages were up to date, and the massive amount of pre-season work was done and paid for. The only expenses remaining were the gas and food for the actual hunts and seasonal guide wages.

Most of your clients (except the few inevitable deadbeats) had already sent the remainder of their “hunt balances” 90 days before their hunt, as was stipulated in the contract they signed, monies which you used to prepare for their hunt.

And then, suddenly, without warning, came the announcement from the government. “THE CANADIAN BORDER TO INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY CLOSED: STANDBY FOR FURTHER NOTICE IN 30 DAYS.” So, you got your team together and made contingency plans. It was a setback for sure, but the season would still work as long as the border opened in 30 days…but it didn’t.

You kept the doors open, continued to pay the costs, ready and willing to take your clients on their hunts.

The Canadian government left you hanging, like a puppet on a string. You had no choice but to keep your company operational, the doors had to remain open, your staff had to be there to answer phones, you had to keep paying and paying, because you had no way of knowing if the border would open.

Thankfully, the expenses for that lost 2020 spring season ended when that 2020 spring season ended and the expenses for the upcoming fall 2020 season and the spring 2021 spring season began.

Clients started calling the day the closure was announced. Most were civil, understanding. Most recognized that it wasn’t your fault, just “roll my hunt over to next year” they said, and you knew they thought they were being benevolent. You agonized and stressed over what to say to them. “I can’t?” Or “I’m sorry, your hunt has come and gone?” Should you tell them that you already paid for most of the hunt costs associated with their hunt? Didn’t they realize that? And unless those clients paid for those expenses again, there was no way you could afford to take them in a following year? And what about the government quota for the game animals? The quota was for that lost season and even if you could figure out the logistics of taking two seasons worth of clients in one, the government wasn’t about to give you a double quota for the following year.

Should you tell them that you already paid for most of the hunt costs associated with their hunt? Didn’t they realize that? And unless those clients paid for those expenses again, there was no way you could afford to take them in a following year?

You considered the option of simply returning what was left of the money your clients paid you to organize the hunt for them. Certainly, you could return the 10 percent profit you would have made on your client’s hunts, if they’d shown up. If you did that, it would mean you and your spouse would have to survive for the coming year by accessing your life’s savings account again, the money you’d both planned to retire on. There would be no retirement fund paying a monthly stipend when you grew too old to guide and outfit. So you had both worked hard to save some money for your golden years.

You could also return the food costs for the food you didn’t have to buy to feed the clients, because they never showed up for their hunts, that would add up to a few hundred dollars per client maybe. And there were the temporary guide fees that hadn’t been paid—you could return those savings to the clients as well. But when you sat down with your accountant and crunched the numbers, you came to the realization that, for the hunt the client paid $10,000 for, you’d already incurred and paid $7,000 of that client’s hunt expenses.

It was the most sickening feeling you’d ever had when you realized the most you could return to your clients, who had paid in full, was 30 percent—that was all that was left. You felt even worse when it became clear that because of the clients, the deadbeats, who hadn’t paid their balance in advance as their signed contract required them to, you couldn’t repay the punctual clients a penny. Insult to injury: you’d actually lost $2,000 on the deadbeat (although now seemingly prescient) client’s hunts.

About that point, the lowest point in your guiding and outfitting career, you started reaching for straws.

Government handouts? You put off telling the clients any bad news, because the Canadian government said they were going to do something to help small businesses and eventually they did, but not yours. Even if you had qualified for your fair share of the billions the government was doling out, it wouldn’t have solved the problem. It would have been like throwing popcorn at a charging bear.

What about trip and travel insurance for your clients? You grasped at that one as soon as you thought about it. Your literature to the clients clearly stated that you recommended they buy insurance for their trip. In fact, you even made them sign a form stating that they understood it was their responsibility to purchase trip and travel insurance. But when you canvassed all of your clients, only four had bothered to do so. Four clients who fortunately purchased the insurance before COVID was a foreseeable event, thereby ensuring they would be refunded the full amount, minus the insurance premium. Four clients you didn’t need to worry about.

From what you understood, the cost to purchase insurance for the trip was up to 25 percent of the hunt price, so the other 96 clients who booked one of your $10,000 hunts, gambled that nothing would keep them from being there for the hunt they booked.

Hindsight is 20/20, but you had warned them. They gambled. They lost.

Eventually you sought legal council. You and your spouse discussed spending the few thousand dollars it would take to get that legal advice because, with the family finances in dire straits, it was a big decision. With your government’s COVID response, your income was non-existent. But you and your spouse deemed the expense necessary—you needed to know how the law interpreted your untenable situation.

The lawyer, for $500 an hour, explained that after seven hours of research, that what you were looking at was something called “Force Majeure,” triggered by an “Act of God” and that it was considered to be a “Frustrated Contract” which Canadian Case Law clearly stated that in the case of a “Frustrated Contract,” caused by “Force Majeure,” any “Qualified Expenses” incurred by the party tasked with providing the service, can be legally be claimed against the contracted price, BUT that there could be no “Unjust Enrichment” by either party.

Your first reaction was to throw up. Lawyers always tend to make outfitters feel this way. In all the years you’d been an outfitter, you’d never seen the inside of the courtroom, so even though you had the legal right to claim the $7,000 you’d spent to prepare for your clients’ hunts, and every right to return only $3,000 of the $10,000 they’d sent you, it didn’t sit well with you. It wasn’t your style. It wasn’t what hunting and hunters were about. Litigation was for other industries, not for the industry you loved. Besides, your clients still wanted to come on their hunts, and you still wanted to provide that hunt.

So, you agonized and lost sleep. You waited, for more than year, for the government to tell you what you could and could not do the following month. You waited for word that the border would open and your clients could once again be able to come to Canada for their dream hunts. Expenses rose and you paid, but the 2020 fall season was lost and then the 2021 spring season was lost, too. Your clients for three complete hunting seasons were unable to cross the border, to get to you and to their hunts and for that entire time, you had to constantly be ready, doors open, phonelines working, electricity on, accountants paid, bookkeepers paid, full time staff paid.

The expenses piled up and the revenues dried up.

You postponed the day of reckoning, the day you would have to share the bitter pill with those clients whose hunts were disrupted by COVID, those clients who believed they were being “understanding” by simply telling you to “roll their hunt dates over” to future seasons.

You reached out to your spouse again for the thousandth time in the previous months, needing their wisdom and advice, yes, but mostly to look into their eyes and know that they didn’t see what you saw in the mirror—a failure. This time you wanted their permission to seek legal advice once again, but not on “Frustrated Contract” law. This time it was for advice on bankruptcy.

The Reality Today for Canadian Outfitters

The Canadian border will be open soon, but most certainly with restrictions. It is likely that permission for non-Canadian citizens to enter Canada will only be granted for those providing proof of two COVID vaccines. Further, it’s possible that quarantine and testing requirements will also be part of the criteria for entry to Canada. When exactly the border will open, with restrictions or not, remains a matter of conjecture. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next month, maybe in the fall—nobody knows for sure.

For an absolute fact, the Canadian border will not stay shut forever. When that border opens, there are some facts that all non-Canadian clients, who had hunts booked with Canadian outfitters for the COVID affected seasons (and possibly even the 2021 fall season), need to be aware of.

Canadian outfitters, have had virtually zero income for over a year, but have incurred most of the expenses associated with operating their businesses for three seasons in a row. International clients (mostly from the USA) represent the vast majority of the demand for Canadian outfitters. Booking Canadian clients, as has been suggested as a viable option by Canadian government, has proven to be problematic unless prices are lowered to a point where most outfitters would have to operate at a net financial loss. In those cases where a client’s Canadian outfitter replaced their contracted international clients with Canadian clients during the COVID border shutdown, either at cut rate pricing or for full price, questions arise. Can the outfitter’s game inventory handle double the harvest number if that outfitter plans to “make up” the lost hunts in the following season, doubling those clients up with the clients they already had on the books for that season? All reputable Canadian outfitters suffered significant financial losses during the Canadian border COVID shutdown. The extent of the loss, however, is greater for fulltime outfitters and larger outfitters with greater overhead expenses than part time outfitters. Clients booked with the various Canadian outfitters presumably did so because they trusted that outfitter would do their best to provide the expected outfitted experience. This means clients expected the outfitter to be prepared in advance for the contracted hunt, which means spending money. Canadian outfitting situations are different in regard to expenses incurred before a scheduled hunt. Some have to book and pay for rooms ahead of time. Some have fulltime staff to pay. Some have more equipment to maintain than others. But ALL have up front expenses. A straw poll consensus of my contacts confirms that Canadian outfitters incur 30 to 70 percent of the total hunt price, before the actual hunt takes place. Over the two spring seasons and one fall season that have been lost to Canadian COVID border closures, straw polls confirm that hunt prices have risen by 15 to 30 percent, due to increased demand and general inflation brought on by COVID. The $10,000 hunt that the outfitter sold that was supposed to take place in the spring of 2020 will cost a client $11,500-13,000 to take that same hunt in 2022. In other words, if outfitters operated like airlines, giving a “credit” for the lost booking, the client would still be required to pay an extra $1,500 to $3,000 for the same service they originally paid for. Canadian outfitters are just now beginning to understand the ramifications of “inflation” on the costs of their contracted hunts. A $30 sheet of plywood, to repair damage to a cabin caused by a grizzly bear back in 2020, will now cost $130. The price of gas, vehicles, maintenance, and flying will all rise. All of which exacerbates the financial burden all Canadian outfitters are shouldering right now. Every Canadian outfitter’s situation is unique. But most want to live up to their contracted promise to take the clients affected by COVID on their hunts. Some Canadian outfitters are on a quota system, which allows them to take only so many animals in a season. Most outfitters in this situation lost their quotas for the seasons in which their hunters could not show up and, as of this moment, there is no indication by any of the Provincial or Territorial governments that those unused tags will be moved to future years. Virtually all the clients who booked with Canadian outfitters and who had their hunts affected by COVID had the opportunity to purchase trip and travel insurance. So expecting the Canadian outfitter to simply roll the hunt over to a future year is tantamount to expecting the Canadian outfitter to be the underwriter for the insurance policy—after the fact. Many Canadian outfitters are avoiding the hard conversation with their COVID closure affected clients. They do not want to be the bearers of bad news: There has to be a COVID surcharge applied to the contracted amount. This is just to allow the outfitter to remain in business and be able to take those clients on their hunts. Many Canadian outfitters are willing to take a serious financial hit if it means they can live up to their responsibilities and take their COVID closure affected clients on their hunts. Many Canadian outfitters would survive financially, albeit with at least four future years of zero profit, if the clients paid a COVID surcharge of 20 to 40 percent of their full hunt cost to “roll over” their hunts to future years. It’s an amount that is approximately equal to the cost of paying for travel insurance or the contemporary price of the same hunt if booked today. The vast majority of Canadian outfitters want their clients to be happy and want to avoid litigation. Legal action results in lawyers being the only winners. The best advice for all parties concerned, is to negotiate, not litigate.

Post-Covid Recovery for Canadian Outfitters

Hopefully the craziness of the last year full of COVID anxiety, fear, and, in some cases, hysteria, will never be repeated. But it happened. And before moving on to a post-COVID world, we need closure. Closure not just from the confusing government COVID messaging and protocols, but closure in our own hunting industry. That closure—for clients who lost their hunts thanks to COVID rules and regulations, which were not in any way the result of actions by the Canadian outfitters—needs to come from a place of empathy. This is possible when those clients have the hard conversation with their outfitter.

I’ll say it again: Your Canadian outfitter and all Canadian outfitters, especially those who are fulltime outfitters, have been hurt financially. It’s an inalienable fact that recovery, if it comes at all, will be slow and painful for those outfitters. These people are some of the finest human beings to walk this earth. They have been there for you on your previous hunts and, given the chance, they will be there for you in the future. We need the hunting industry to be strong if we want our children and their children to enjoy the hunting tradition that we all hold in such high regard.

So before you make that call to your Canadian outfitter, ask yourself: Would the loss of one year’s worth of your discretionary holiday dollars affect your financial future? Will your life be different if your outfitter cannot return the full amount you paid? Or is it worth it to you if they require a 20 to 40 percent COVID surcharge to take you on the hunt you dreamed about—and that they want to deliver for you?

From: wilhille
29-Jun-21
Thief?

From: JL
29-Jun-21
He brought an interesting point about trip insurance. If we flipped it around.....can outfitters buy sometime of type of insurance to protect them should their govt shut everything down again? There's hunter insurance....why not outfitter insurance?

Reading his points about what taxes and fees the Canadian govt imposes on the outfitting businesses....they do not sound business friendly.

29-Jun-21
Jim Shockey, as always, has a way of putting things that benefit Jim Shockey. I got so tired of hearing his preaching about Covid on Facebook, to anyone who didn’t roll up in a ball and cry for their mommy, that I quit following him. This is no different.

The last thing I care to hear is Jim Shockey’s feelings about how a paying client should handle their Canadian hunts with other outfitters. Which is why I read about 8 sentences of his crap before stopping.

But, Jim will tell everyone who’ll listen about it. And, how they should react, feel, handle the situation, etc….

From: Traveler
29-Jun-21
Great insight and realities of the business side of outfitting. Think about who you vote for and remind your friends how the government is destroying small businesses in the US and Canada

From: Snuffer
29-Jun-21
"They gambled, they lost"

From: DanaC
29-Jun-21

DanaC's Link
Link to the original article on OL's website

https://www.outdoorlife.com/deep-dives/canadian-outfitters-border-closure-hunt-refunds/

From: DanaC
29-Jun-21
Sounds to me like a lot of customers are going to be unhappy*, and a lot of outfitters are going to be hard pressed to stay in business.

* Both customers who lost money and those who will face higher prices going forward.

From: thedude
29-Jun-21
I wonder if Shockey will take over the smaller operations without the funds to make it?

From: Tilzbow
29-Jun-21
I’d be shocked if Shockey can’t weather the storm but the points he raised are valid for the vast majority of the outfitters in Canada and anywhere else for that matter where cancellations and non-refundable deposits are concerned.

From: Bob H in NH
29-Jun-21
I get it, I understand, but it's from an outfitters view. His statement about loss of discretionary holiday money shows his disconnect from reality and clients. Many of them saved for years to hunt, they can't just write it off.

Sure some can, some that have lots of money to hunt every year can, but not all.

I look at it like this: He was paid to deliver a hunt, he didn't deliver the hunt. The fact that he uses income before delivery of service to pay for future service, is not the clients issue. The client paid for something and got nothing.

Is it fair to the business? Nope, it's not. But the flip side isn't fair to the individual and I side with them every time

From: sticksender
29-Jun-21
I won't be forgetting how various outfitters treated clients during the pandemic, when considering any options for any future Up-North hunt bookings. I know the NWT guys, at least, are handling it with class so far, by honoring all deposits and moving bookings to future years. And so is Frank Feldmann in Greenland. All regardless of Force Majeure or whatever other legal CYA clause is in a contract.

From: Norseman
29-Jun-21
Can I get a Cliff’s Notes version?

From: APauls
29-Jun-21
JL, the closest thing to that is called Business Interruption Insurance. Nearly every reasonably sized business has it. Our family cabinet and renovation business has it, and the Ecotourism company I now run has it. Problem is, all business interruption insurances have clauses that give them an out for "Acts of God."

So the answer is NO. There is NO way for an outfitter, or anyone in the tourism industry to have been able to do ANYTHING to prepare for something like this. The only options available were taken, but when push comes to shove they didn't pay. Our industry in Canada was left in the dust. Forgotten by government and they just don't seem to care. The losses are gigantic, and what Jim says is true. Of course he is saying what matters to him. It remains to be seen who comes out the other side.

Young businesses without giant financial backing won't make it. Established businesses with large savings will, and the part timers who outfit "on the side" while having another job will also make it. The ones in between are the ones you might see on the news attempting to take out Trudeau after he took their lives from them.

It absolutely blows my mind that a country can completely shut down private enterprise and their ability to operate, and not compensate them in a sufficient manner enough to have them survive.

Ask yourself if you really live in a free country.

From: JL
29-Jun-21
AP....usually you can get insurance for anything if you find the right carrier. It may be wise for the outfitters up there (or anywhere) to explore that option for future protection.

IMO....JT is the enemy of your state. I don't know for sure which provinces are "red" and which ones are "blue", but there needs to be a major reckoning up there to prevent the govt from disregarding the businesses up there again.

From: DanaC
29-Jun-21
"Young businesses without giant financial backing won't make it."

That is true in other businesses besides outfitting. I've seen many 'new' restaurants started without enough capitalization up front to see them through the start-up period. Sooner or later they're stiffing suppliers, or failing to pay taxes, and they're gone.

From what Shockey says, a lot of these outfitters are 'spending it before they earn it' - except that "it" isn't their start-up capital but the customers' down payments - and the same fate is coming down.

And no, I'm not blaming them, sounds like the up-front costs to get into it are very high. It's just going to suck for a lot of people on both sides of the counter.

From: WapitiBob
29-Jun-21
"Can I get a Cliff’s Notes version?"

Clients paid large deposits, shockey spent their money, told clients to pay an addl 40% or pound sand.

From: TreeWalker
29-Jun-21
No one wins in this situation. Most industries would see consolidation as the better-financed operations would buy up market share as weaker players faltered. The outfitting industry is not as straight-forward since there are only so many blue-ribbon territories and blue-ribbon tags that will be in high demand. A sheep hunt is going to be in demand but a marginal moose or caribou hunt is at risk. The marginal territories and tags always seem to see hunter demand collapse with every economic downturn. Lots of outfitters rely on ranching or a day job as part of their annual income. A contraction seems likely where less hunts are outfitted and guided in Canada as outfitters collapse or decide to exit. Add in an economic downturn which always seems to happen every decade or so and the aging of the American big game hunter to see a future that is not very bright up North. My 2 cents.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
IMO, any service business that relies on customer deposits for start up costs and ongoing expenses, BEFORE the service is rendered, is doomed to fail, eventually. Covid or not.

Matt

From: KY EyeBow
29-Jun-21
While most will not agree, Shockey brings up many good points. COVID has been hard on virtually everyone in many different aspects of life. I feel for the hunters and outfitters both--no winners!

From: APauls
29-Jun-21
^^^^Grey Ghost, that's laughable IMO. A deposit is simply a portion of revenue. Expenses incurred prior to the service rendered are simply a portion of the expenses. How can a business not rely on 50% of it's revenue if it is a 50% deposit?

In your world, an outfitter charges $10,000 for a $5,000 hunt so that he doesn't need to rely on his deposits. You still like that picture? Where else is this money supposed to magically appear from? In what world can a company take deposit money that it "doesn't need?" I'm sorry but that just makes no sense whatsoever.

From: Norseman
29-Jun-21
Thanks Bob!

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
I can’t think of another service business that requires a 90% non-refundable deposit before the service is rendered. The company doing an oil change on my truck right now didn’t require it. The gal who cuts my hair doesn’t require it. The electrician coming to my place to provide power to my barn didn’t require it. All of those businesses, and thousands of others, have start up costs and ongoing expenses, too. So what’s different about the outfitting business?

Matt

From: Rut Nut
29-Jun-21
Sounds to me like Shockey is just trying to soften the inevitable blow...................................

From: JohnMC
29-Jun-21
Using the deposit to do a current job is a fairly normal occurrence. Contactors regular get a deposit from a client and use that to buy the supplies to do that job. A good percentage of my business is cashing checks for guys that a bank will hold the check for 2 weeks and they would rather pay me a small fee so they have the money to go buy supplies than wait for the check to clear the bank. Not saying it is ideal but very few guys have a big bank account to start a business. Most go out on their own so that can quit working for someone else and barely get by. The successful ones don't get there over night and usually get lucky that they don't hit any major speed ups in the beginning.

Another example of the China Virus rules is my neighbor beside me. He rented the building to a guy that opened a tire store. The guy has not paid him rent for months. He is selling drugs and the tire store is front. The homeless are living in the building. They have torn the shit out of the building. I have constant problems with homeless drug addicts. I get very little help from the police. He now has the city all over him for the state the building is in the trash all around it. They will just start allowing evections start 7/1 and it will probably take him a couple months to get rid of them. It cost him a bundle. It has been a nightmare for me having that next door. It is just another example of how the government rules hurt those trying to make a honest living.

The outfitters are the not bad guys nor are their clients. It really sucks for both of them and both are going to take a financial hit. It is largely because the government thinks they are gods and can fix anything yet never seem to understand the unattended consequences.

From: APauls
29-Jun-21
Deposits are specifically in place for the types of businesses that need them. Your oil change doesn't need a deposit because he doesn't incur high levels of expenses prior to the oil change. The labour, and oil is used up during the oil change.

Go buy a car without a deposit. Go buy a kitchen without a deposit. Go hire any tradesperson that's going to bring in material without a deposit. When you order something off amazon what % have you paid while you still have received 0 product? Before leaving on any booked vacation how much have you spent? For lights? Accommodations? if you book and all inclusive vacation what % have you paid? Hunting is another form of vacation - why shouldn't it be 100% like the rest of the industry?

It's all industry specific. In the outfitting industry, that's the way it works. Go start up a bear baiting, outfitting industry without taking deposits. How do you expect to buy bait? Barrels? Equipment? Machines? Gas? Tags? Where is the money supposed to appear from?

29-Jun-21
I think it’d be insane to operate any business, where a huge investment of the business’s money has to be spent before payment of any kind is received. That’s a recipe for failing. A guarantee almost. Outfitting being no exception.

Deposits are required in the outfitting business. You have to lease, pay help to get bait sites running, scouting, transportation, feed horses, etc…. All way before the client ever shows up. So, requiring a deposit is a must. Because options to the hunter prevent getting that capital out of hunt costs. Too high? Hunters will go else where.

Any outfitting business, using their own money to operate on ahead of deposits recovering that cost, is doomed to fail. People cancel. It’d suck pretty bad to sink a hundred thousand in over head costs of your own money, in a non binding agreement, at the risk of never recovering it. That’s be the premiere example of a bad business model. And, one most assuredly primed to fail.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
I agree, deposits are often required for many services. But not 90%, and certainly not non-refundable. Would you not expect your deposit back, if a dealership failed to deliver your vehicle, for any reason? How about that Amazon item you ordered? Would you not ask for your deposit back if a construction contractor couldn’t honor his contract with you?

Owning an operating virtually any business is an expensive gamble, and their customers are not required to shoulder those risks. I see no reason why outfitting should be any different.

Matt

From: sdkhunter
29-Jun-21
In a lot of other branches of the business world, taking money from one client to essentially use for another is nothing more than a ponzi or pryamid scheme - IMO that's why so many outfitters struggle to reimburse or partially refund clients when things go bad.

If you put down $500 on a set of tires and then 3 months later the tire company said they couldn't get those tires in the initial timeframe and that your $500 was essentially eaten away in business expenses to keep the lights on and do essential functions of the business - now your $1000 set of tires was going to cost $1400 would that be right?

Will be interesting to see how this changes things moving forward. You can bet people are going to be pickier about wording in their contracts. Unfortunately, even a better contact is just words on paper and if the outfitter doesn't have money - you're going to be up a creek. From a hunters perspective, ideally the $ would be put into some sort of escrow/legal account- to be paid out when terms of the contract are met... We have that in many other aspects of the business world - it just hasn't really crept it's way in outfitting as traditionally it's been more based on trust and word of the outfitter ...

From: LINK
29-Jun-21
He calls guys that wait until very near their hunt to pay the last 50% “deadbeats”. I’ll call them intelligent. At some point the business has to get far enough ahead to operate on last years revenue. Continually running a business model that funds tomorrow and yesterday’s revenue seams idiotic. I know it’s probably necessary starting out but shouldn’t be a long term solution.

From: JohnMC
29-Jun-21
In this case the outfitters technically can honor his contact. If you show up he will take you hunting. The problem is the hunters can get there. If you booked a hunt and could not go for what ever reason that has always been the hunters problem. Could be a family emergency, work, health, missed your fly ect. This time it is the governments fault you can't get there. But if you snuck across the border and showed up the outfitter is there and ready to honor his contract. The government bailed out the airlines, resturants and other business at least to a certain extent. Surprised the outfitters were left out. Hopefully people will remember what was done to small business owners when it comes time to vote.

I agree with Link for the most part. And no doubt Shockeys article is one side but aren't we all that way when it comes to our business. but will say hard to plan ahead for something that basically close your business for two years. especially when a lot of cost are required well before your first client shows up. You got to expect a certain percentage of business deals to go wrong. But I think it would be hard to find any business large or small that is prepared for everyone for two years to go south.

From: LINK
29-Jun-21
No doubt John. Not many businesses can handle being shut down for 2 years. I feel bad for the outfitters. My only point was even without a pandemic, operating that tightly shouldn’t be a long term business model.

29-Jun-21
Hopefully the lawsuits to follow, will sink him!

From: Buffalo1
29-Jun-21
Interesting writing & perspectives.

The reality in the business world is “survival of the fittest.”

Life is not always fair. I remember making the comment once is a corporate meeting that the decision that was being made “was not fair!” The executive VP of the company responded with a comment I will never forget, “Fair? Fair is a circus with pigs!”

From: SDHNTR(home)
29-Jun-21
Dear anyone I ever pay for anything…

My money does not ever become your money until paid for goods and services have been fully delivered. End of story.

Sure am glad my 2020 Canadian bear hunt was booked with a reputable booking agent, BSC. It’s been a non issue pushing twice now to 2022.

29-Jun-21
SDHNTR ^^^^^^ Same for my Moose Outfitter.

From: HDE
29-Jun-21
I've read the article, and still have trouble finding where the author states "this happened to me and here's how I'm going about it"...

From: SteveB
29-Jun-21
Story weighted heavily to one side of course, but outfitters definitely had a bad situation. His emphasis on the travel insurance though is VERY faulty, as travel insurance didn't cover any trip that was caused by a pandemic or "act of God". Best thing an outfitter could have done was to take local hunters at a discount to keep the wheels turning and get a side job....any job....to make ends meet, or meet enough as to survive. Many folks other than outfitters had significant troubles from this pandemic and still do.

From: JohnMC
29-Jun-21
I wonder if the sticking point on insurance paying or not is truly "an act of God" and if so if it turns out to be created in a lab and man made if the insurance company would have to pay out since it no longer a "act of God"?

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
I agree with LINK. Shocky wrote a lot words to basically tell us that most Canadian outfitters aren't very savvy businessmen.

Matt

From: Kydeer1
29-Jun-21
SDHNTR is spot on. I can't think of any business where it would be ok to pay a deposit or full fee and not expect a product or service. Being a good, honest business person you would work it out and make it fair. Keeping their deposit would in no way be fair.

From: elkmtngear
29-Jun-21
"Problem is, all business interruption insurances have clauses that give them an out for "Acts of God." "

How about "Acts of the Chinese Communist Party"?

From: No Mercy
29-Jun-21
I don't buy the cost of inflation section either. Inflation is there every year-always has been. Fuel prices go up and down, but the hunt prices never come down. Plywood will be less expensive by fall too. This rings back to what Tuttulik did to a bunch of US hunters - spent all the deposits then left them high and dry for the hunts they had paid in full.....

From: Kevin Dill
29-Jun-21
If I told you I'd sell and install a $25k pool in 2023...

I need $10k down within 2 weeks...

I need $10k paid in 2022...

I need $5k paid before I stick a shovel in the dirt...

It's non-refundable if something beyond my control prevents the work...

I'll hope for a 5 - 10% gratuity if the pool actually holds water...

Would you sign my contract? I get that outfitters have ongoing expenses today which must be handled to keep things running tomorrow and next year. That's NOT unique to them or any business. I can't put your pool in (2023) if I don't make payments on the excavator in 2022. We'd all laugh at any restaurateur who wanted a deposit for a future meal to help cover expenses incurred currently. It's really not hard for any business to claim a deposit for future work or services is being spent on behalf of that client, even if it's being used on routine 'keep the lights on today' things today. I can't see using next year's money to feed the horses today, even if they'll be needed next year. It's exactly the kind of business model which produces the scenario pictured by Shockey.

I've long said deposits that far ahead make sense, given the size of the expense. An outfitter needs some lockdown security to insure guys don't back out. Instead of burning through tomorrow's earnings today, I'd prefer the funds reside in escrow with agreeable contact terms regarding disbursement.

From: bigswivle
29-Jun-21
Maybe he spent the money on Evas new “lift” and lip job. Good lord plastic surgery ruined her.

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jun-21
It's really not that difficult. When I was involved in an outfitting business, we took a 25% deposit at booking, another 25% 30 days before the hunt, and the final 50% after the hunt. All deposits went into a savings account until after the hunt. Only then did we treat it like our own money. There was never a time when we couldn't have refunded every dime of our client's deposits, if necessary.

Matt

From: HDE
29-Jun-21
^^^ Sounds like you had solvency in your outfitting business and willing to take a financial loss if needed with no disruption in operation...

From: goyt
29-Jun-21
One contributing factor is that the Canadian concessions now cost a lot of money. Maybe a million dollars plus. The cost of the hunts have to cover the cost of that investment. I do not know what percentage of the hunt fee goes to cover the capital to get the concession. I suspect that it is significant. This is above and beyond the on-going fees and expenses. Most of the outfitters probably want to see the cost of concessions keep increasing because the sale of them makes for a good retirement fund. It will be interesting to see if there is a concession crash in Canadian similar to the 2008 housing crash in USA. I think that with the high demand for Canadian hunts compared to the supply with maybe the exception of bear hunts any concessions that come available due to the pandemic will be quickly purchased. A drop in concession prices should result in a drop of hunt costs and I really doubt that that will happen. I also think that someone will own the concessions and provide the services even if some of the present outfitters do not make it.

From: Slate
29-Jun-21
Jim Is a scumbag and that’s what most think of him.

29-Jun-21
The devil is in the details. Was the deposit refundable? If so, fight like you know what to get it back. If it’s not, you knew that beforehand but, decided it was worth the risk. Be an honorable person and suck it up. That’s life. It ain’t fair. And it sure wasn’t what the outfitter wanted. Nor is it their fault.

I think it’s pointless to argue about a deposit not returned, in an agreement that it was known to be non refundable when signing up. If you were negligent enough to give 90% down before the required time, that can’t be anyone’s fault but your own.

I don’t care what you are paying for or, who you are paying for it. Your Money in their hand long before services to be rendered is going to lead to less then desirable when the going gets tough.

FWIW, there isn’t a business alive operating this year on next years revenue. It’s simply not a valid argument. Nor is it sustainable for more then one year. It’s just fireside logical that isn’t real life accurate. It doesn’t happen. So, there is no sense in debating the and or if’s of it.

Anyways, I hope it works out in everyone’s favor. But, it isn’t going too. I suppose that’s life. It really is no ones fault but governments.

From: Kevin Dill
29-Jun-21
The problem with Shockey's description is this: Using advance-income from next year's clients to run operations this year leaves some outfitters without operating capital in the event of an interruption to business. Obviously Covid-19 was and is one hell of a whopper interruption. Businesses which routinely spend client deposits to support current operations are at risk of insolvency unless they are 1) insured or, 2) bonded or, 3) fiscally secure.

I know this is how a clear majority of outfitters operate, and I'm NOT negative on responsible outfitters at all. I just disagree with the basic tenet of using deposits to cover today's expenses, unless some sort of fiscal safety net is in place. It shouldn't be a burden borne by the hunter or client who is blameless. The risks of being in business are almost always assumed and managed by that business.

From: bowhunt
29-Jun-21
Hunters on not investing in the outfitters business, with a hope for a future hunt in return for their investment (deposit).

The hunter is putting a deposit down to reserve their spot for the hunt on the dates agreed upon. They are paying for the "service" provided by the outfitter/guide. The outfitter hasn't provided the service for that hunter until the hunt gets completed as agreed upon by both parties. As stated by many, almost every business has upfront and continuing overhead. How big or small they are aren't really relevant. The cost of doing business, and the profit the outfitter needs/wants to make are built into that hunt cost in a financially sound business.

If an outfitter was taking deposits a year out for the first 5 years in business, but started to book two years out year 6 he did not double his income that year. Year 7 he started taking deposits 3 years out, he did not triple his income from 2 years ago. If he is taking the same amount of hunters each year, he didn't "make" more money. He just got more of the money before he provided the service. To live on or operate the business off deposits from hunts scheduled years out is a risky business model. Any business that operates like that works fine when everything is going good, but probably can't weather much of a storm.

No one could see what happened with covid 19 comming. It sounds like almost every outfitter and hunter that I have read about are working together to roll hunts foreword a year or two. That seems like it has been a good solution. If a bunch of hunters demand refunds of deposits from an outfitter that was forced to have no income by the government, the hunters would probably get nothing in reality and bankrupt the outfitter.

I had to read the Jim Shockey article twice. He seemed to feel he was entitled to the hunters deposit, and the remaining balance of the hunt without providing the service. The hunter spending $10k on the hunt was portrayed like it was no big deal in the story, like deciding if you would stop for a burger. On the other hand he went through paragraphs of mental gymnastics justifying selling a service, wanting the money for the service, and not providing service. If the hunter wanted to move the hunt ahead, they would need to probably send another 40 percent covid surcharge on top of full payment to help cover the loss his business took by the government forcing the shut down. That doesn't seem right.

This has been a terrible situation for many, but his perspective would have me pretty leary of booking with him if I was thinking of doing a hunt like he provides.

29-Jun-21
Jim Shockey is just being …. Jim Shockey. He most definitely feels he’s entitled to most anything. For no other reason then he is Jim Shockey.

From: iceman
29-Jun-21
You may not agree with some of what he is saying, but I don't think should be classified as a "scumbag". He does alot to promote hunting and is a good spokesperson to the non hunters for hunters

From: goyt
29-Jun-21
Jim Shockey is just trying to protect his business and industry. Nothing wrong with that. We can stand up for the hunters and there is nothing wrong with that either.

From: Pat Lefemine
29-Jun-21
There’s no easy answer to this whole mess. IMO a good outfitter will work with his clients to find a compromise that is reasonable and fair to both.

Saying the client gambles when they don’t buy trip insurance and send in a deposit is ridiculous. The business generally carries the insurance, not the clients.

29-Jun-21
bowhunt x2

From: JL
29-Jun-21
""If the hunter wanted to move the hunt ahead, they would need to probably send another 40 percent covid surcharge on top of full payment to help cover the loss his business took by the government forcing the shut down. That doesn't seem right.""

Concur.....that isn't right. If a "Covid Surcharge" was put in place on hunts already paid for or a deposit was sent in......I know that dog won't hunt.

IMO....the war is between the outfitters and their govt. Asking NR's to provide additional compensation for something already paid for and agreed upon is not a wise business move for the industry. Where the Canadian outfitters would have to do a balancing act is if some outfitters tried to do that and some didn't. The black eye would cast a big shadow over folks who don't deserve it.

From: Huntcell
29-Jun-21
Gas prices on the rise.

That ugly “outfitter gas surcharge” looms on the horizon.

29-Jun-21
But the salient point is "trip insurance". Yeah I know it's an added expense, but if I'm going to plunk down $10k for a hunt,(plus all the added expenses) I am going to buy the insurance. My experience is that it doesn't cost 25%, usually quite a bit less. And if I don't buy it and break my leg a week before the hunt it's not the outfitter's fault. It's mine for not taking precautions. TMBB

From: Ollie
29-Jun-21
Bottom line is that I paid in advance for a hunt. Refund my money or move my hunt to a future date.

From: RK
29-Jun-21
I bet there will be no travel insurance that will covid like events. Travel insurance is pretty weak a lot of the time anyway

As Pat said. There is no easy answer

From: APauls
29-Jun-21
There is regular business and life, and then there's facing 2 years with zero income. Whole new ball game. Not saying anything goes, just saying anyone can say they did ______ back in 1995, but 1995 was no COVID. An Outfitter today who never lived on deposits might be forced to now.

From: keepemsharp
29-Jun-21
We booked a trip recently and I refused to buy trip Ins. The lady said they had one case that the folks had bought trip ins and could not go because one of them had a bad hair cut????

From: Bou'bound
29-Jun-21
darn tear in my right eye reading about the plight of Jim Shockey. he's been dealt a dirty blow and is doing the best a man can.

From: Tilzbow
29-Jun-21
Two things are a certainty. 1) Many clients are going to lose their deposits. 2) Several Canadian outfitters are going to fold unless they’re bailed out by their gov’t.

The reduction of outfitters along with a strong U.S. stock market will result in less supply and steady, and more than likely, increased demand. I’ll be very surprised if the outfitters that survive don’t dramatically increase prices.

From: kota-man
29-Jun-21
For those saying “Travel Insurance” is the answer have not read many travel insurance policies. “Most” travel insurance policies are named peril policies. You pay a premium to cover a loss that is specifically listed in the policy. If your issue isn’t listed, it’s not covered. There may be some Special Peril “cancel for any reason” policies out there but they are far and few between and expensive. There are a few carriers now offering a “pandemic endorsement” to cover our latest issues, but I haven’t seen pricing on these endorsements yet. You can bet they will be expensive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I work in the insurance industry, travel and hunt a lot and I do not buy travel insurance. When traveling for a mountain hunt, I’d rather throw money at Evac coverage than travel insurance. My 2 cents…

From: JL
29-Jun-21
Kota.....would you recommend insurance for international hunts?

From: BIGHORN
29-Jun-21
Look at how our USA government runs things. They say that it will cost 1 trillion dollars for a project and it will not raise your taxes. After they get half way through the project they find that the cost is now 2 trillion dollars. What do they do? They raise your taxes to cover the overrun. Or, in the case of the CA train that was way over budget and CA wanted more government money or they would shut the project down. What happened? Biden comes along and gives them the additional funds to try to finish the project. Want to bet that it will cost more than what they said the project was overrun by? No difference here. We tax payers keep giving them additional funds and can't do a damn thing about it because the government is in control.

You are going to give them the additional funds that they need or you are not going on the hunt. Get over it.

29-Jun-21
I am not sure of the Canadian system did they bailout businesses forced to close by the Govt like the US has mol done?

From: Norseman
29-Jun-21
What’s the old saying….

“Don’t piss down our back and tell us it’s raining….”

From: TD
29-Jun-21
When I read it, he seemed to make a point that for the client it was simply "discretionary money" and somehow saw losing it to be no big deal.

Seems Mr Shocky has been dealing with far too many extremely wealthy clients to whom 10, 20... $100,000 was pocket change. Maybe to them it wasn't literally the trip, the adventure of a lifetime. For a good many others it was.

Sucks for everyone. And there should be some way to come to terms, even if you're profit margin takes a hit. Or maybe a tiny increase in charges, both sides give and take. 40%? That's not rainwater running down your back.....

Also pretty clear Canada certainly sees the Outfitting Industry and their clients as "discretionary".....

From: Pat Lefemine
29-Jun-21
I would bet my paycheck that trip insurance doesn’t cover a government ordered border closure due to a global pandemic. IMO Shockey is making that up as an excuse for not reimbursing a canceled hunt.

From: goyt
29-Jun-21
My wife and I had a trip booked for the Holy Lands in June, 2020. The government shutdown the borders just like with Canada. The best trip insurance policy recommended by the organizer was very gracious and refund the money for the trip insurance. They would not cover the cost of the trip due to it being a pandemic and/or a government action. Because the complete tour was cancelled they would refund the insurance money. I doubt if any trip insurance would pay out the cost of these hunts plus airlines etc.. I agree with Pat that it is just a weak excuse to put blame on the hunter. The Outfitter recommended trip insurance and the hunter was negligent in not buying it.

From: goyt
29-Jun-21
For what it is worth on our 2020 trip to the Holy Lands, the trip was rescheduled for June, 2022. The 2020 price was honored. We were refunded all but our original deposit with the balance being due 90 days before revised departure date. Of course they do not have the capital investments that the Canadian Outfitters have.

From: RK
29-Jun-21
Insurance is a strange thing. I learned a long time ago that insurance that works is unique to the individual situation

When I raised labradors I insured each one with Lloyds of London Never had an issue. Expensive for sure

There is nothing that you can insure for a price

From: Grasshopper
30-Jun-21
My attorney like to say insurance companies are in the business of collecting money and keeping it.

From: wifishkiller
30-Jun-21
I fell into the lost my deposit on a bear hunt in SK. Last year I got the word that my deposit wasn’t going to be applied to the hunt (scheduled for June 2020)

Haven’t heard from them since, reputable outfit and was or maybe still is a sponsor on here.

It sucks but I know I couldn’t live for 2 years without income either.

From: Katahdin
30-Jun-21
A couple of things: First regarding trip insurance, most that I am familiar with do not cover during a pandemic, Pat can verify this. Second, I know my fishing guide was able to get government assistance last year, not sure how much, but this being Canada I'm sure it was substantial.

From: Kevin Dill
30-Jun-21
Assuming you were booked for fall 2020 and the hunt got canceled....

Your outfitter agrees to roll your hunt (and maybe a bunch more) forward to 2021. What happens to the 2021 clients who still expect to hunt? Will the outfitter be over-booked and making compromises to pull it off? How does your outfitter manage this situation, and do you inquire about it?

Trip insurance could have value in many cancellations, but likely not in the pandemic scenario.

From: Rut Nut
30-Jun-21
I doubt very much this will "make or break" Jim Shockey! It sounds to me like he is speaking for the outfitters who plan to raise their prices, keep deposits, go out of business etc...............................................

30-Jun-21
My outfitter for last years hunt has been awesome so far. Hope to make it there this year. I don’t consider it a gamble when I book a hunt, wtf?

From: HDE
30-Jun-21
"IMO Shockey is making that up as an excuse for not reimbursing a canceled hunt."

Maybe, or maybe he just doesn't know and is making a statement of conjecture. But, it's no different than speculating he is the hypothetical outfitter.

When people say loss of funds that is detrimental to the hunter isn't necessarily the case in a certain regard. The inherent tragedy that hurts the most is losing out on the experience at a high cost. The money saved wasn't ear marked for another necessary purpose (down payment on a house, disruption in living, kids' college fund) or an investment for a return of break even or increase as in use in a business.

From: DanaC
30-Jun-21
"It sounds to me like he is speaking for the outfitters who plan to raise their prices, keep deposits, go out of business etc...."

Yes, and it sounds like those are the options they're facing. I doubt that many (any??) are financially able to 'make good' out of pocket.

At best some hunters will get partial satisfaction. At best some outfitters will stay in business, but with a tarnished reputation. It will take time to re-establish trust. At worse, some outfitters will drop out bankrupt and their booked hunters will get nothing. Sucks.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-Jun-21
Yup. Just like Tuttulik did to hundreds of hunters and Canada did nothing about it.

From: SteveB
30-Jun-21
And the bankrupt outfitters who close their doors will be sadly, yet quickly replaced by someone waiting to scoop them up.

From: Rut Nut
30-Jun-21
Let's face it.................................the Liberal Governments these days could not care LESS about hunters! In fact, they probably look favorably on what happened to hunters and outfitters during this border closure................................................hoping that this will really hurt the hunting industry as a whole- now, and in the future! : (

From: DanaC
30-Jun-21
"And the bankrupt outfitters who close their doors will be sadly, yet quickly replaced by someone waiting to scoop them up. "

Yeah, you'll probably see some 'consolidation' as bigger outfits pick up some new areas. It will mean less choices for prospective clients going forward (and higher prices.)

From: TD
30-Jun-21

TD's embedded Photo
TD's embedded Photo
^^^^^ This too. In many places CA government has been doing all they can to shut down hunting,specifically "commercial" or "trophy" hunting. Another kick while down..... handful of sand in the face..... all for your own good don'cha know.

From: Norseman
30-Jun-21
Bankruptcy reset then reopen under new female or minority owned business name.

From: spike buck
30-Jun-21
I received a deposit yesterday for a Fall resident deer hunt. He wanted to pay double the deposit. I said no, I would prefer to get final payment the day they arrive. No fun when a hunter arrives and he's all paid up months before.

All my guys will eventually get a hunt for which they put down a non-refundable deposit on. I was booked for 2020, and half booked for 2021 when they first closed the border. I moved most hunters from 2020 to 2022. At the time I was not thinking it would last this long. Now I have spring and fall 2020 and spring 2021 and possibly Fall 2021 to stuff into 2022. Which I could not imagine doing.

The hunters that saw into the future took the rollover to 2022, their dates are guaranteed. Now, I am booked for 2022 Spring and Fall. I rolled the hunter deposits over. Also keep in mind that I had booking's allready for 2022 . If this sounds confusing.... it is!!

If I cannot get hunters in this Fall I have a plan.... unfortunately not all will like but its all I can do, below is my plan.

The hunters I cannot get into 2022 due to not relieving pressure with a fall 2021 hunt, will be moved to 2023. "BUT", I guarantee they will get to use their deposits on a hunt at Pine Acres Camp.

A deposit is a investment that a client made on a hunting Outfitter or Fishing camp. I feel I owe them, no question. So far I have been upfront with my hunters. Answere the question they have via Bowsite message or my FB hunt page " Pine Acres Bear Camp". Covid has actually got me closer to my clients, ones I have never met. But China Virus will not be around for ever.

I will go through and correct my spelling and grammar after I post this LOL

Bowsite Forum has been "VERY" helpful in a way that allows me to say whats happening in real time!!

From: jingalls
30-Jun-21
I’m not a bear hunter spike. But your the kind of outfitter I’d hunt with. Thanks for taking care of your people!

From: Grey Ghost
30-Jun-21
Spike Buck gets it.

Matt

30-Jun-21
You’re a stand up guy Spike Buck. Your word is what will keep you in business, despite the set backs. Your reputation will be built on it.

From: spike buck
30-Jun-21
Thanks Matt, Brian and John. I have had practice with crisis management when it comes to closing down of hunts. I learned nothing is written in stone when it comes to business and income. When we lost the Spring hunt 21 years ago. The end of the pilot spring bear hunt was 2020, I decided to prepare for the Government to close the hunt down. I saved all the deposits. We got the Spring hunt but I "accidentally" prepared for Covid in the mean time. Most Outfitters are going to be stand up outfitters... If not Bowsiter's will teach them a lesson!!!

I learned the hard way back in 1999 that nothing comes easy!!

From: Matt
30-Jun-21
I feel for you guys. There was a time shut things down due to the unknown, but we are well past that with our understanding of COVID and natural/vaccine protection.

From: Thornton
01-Jul-21
I see both sides, but a blue collar guy that saved for a long time to go on a dream hunt not have to lose what he paid because an outfitter doesn't have a back up job. The outfitter I used in Canada is a fulltime lineman and his wife is an occupational therapist that sells essential oils on the side. Pretty sure he could make a living on the deer, moose and bear hunts he guides. My dad always taught me to have backup for the backup.

From: Delmag
01-Jul-21
Always scares me contracting a hunt in Canada. Bottom like for me is that this would never happen here in the USA as the lawyers would chew them up. They should honor their contracts just like everyone else post-Covid.

01-Jul-21
My bear outfitter is in the same situation most Canadian outfitters. Moved his clients forward and took a job just to hang on We will not give up on him.

From: Grey Ghost
01-Jul-21
Funny how Shockey dismisses the idea of filling the void with Canadian hunters, because he would have to lower the price of his hunts. Why is that? Are there not any wealthy hunters in Canada? Does he think American hunters have c-notes falling out of their pockets? It's just another example of his poor business model. Not only does he rob Peter to pay Paul with client deposits, his services are priced out of reach for anyone but wealthy international clients, apparently.

I'm having a hard time mustering up any sympathy for Mr. Shockey.

Matt

From: Rut Nut
01-Jul-21
Spike Buck- If I had a deposit with you and you were willing to honor that deposit and simply move me to a future date, I would be satisfied and understand that you are doing the best you can under the circumstances. In fact, I would much rather be put off a couple years, rather than be squeezed into a camp with double the amount of hunters. I think your plan sounds like a good one!

From: Mule Power
01-Jul-21
I can tell you this….. In Montana that $h1t would never fly. If there was a forest fire (act of God) and I was unable to provide the services I was contracted for the Montana Board of Outfitters would let me reschedule but if my client wasn’t interested in that they’d yank my license if I didn’t issue a refund immediately.

From: SBH
01-Jul-21
When you have governments forcing people to stay home and not work....... This is the kind of trash you are left with. For this border to still be closed after all we know now, and the vaccine, etc.......PATHETIC on both sides. The outfitters and hunters are both being screwed. Remember when you vote.

From: spike buck
01-Jul-21
Mule Power, your Outfitter is, I am sure, in survival mode. He rolled your deposit over to another date. Returning even 1 groups deposit, can under mine all his deposits. This is a once in a century pandemic.... no one has had to run a business during these times, learning as they go. Some Outfitters will make, what you think is the wrong decision. There is actually no guidance on how to run a business through times like this...

From: Bowfreak
01-Jul-21
Canadian outfitters will have no choice but to capitulate to the hunters who booked if they want to maintain a viable business. Word of mouth travels fast in the hunting community and people will shun those that have no intention on refunds.

From: KHNC
01-Jul-21
I had a trip booked to Hawaii last July. Paid a deposit to an outfitter for an Axis hunt while we were there as well. Non-refundable. Hawaii's dumbass governor refused anyone access without 14 day quarantine or risk jail time while there. Outfitter said i could roll over til this year. Hawaii has been one of most restrictive states to allow outside access without penalties. Saw many, MANY , posts from locals who stated they were glad those "awful tourists" were not allowed onto "THEIR" islands. F EM!! I wont ever go to Hawaii again. Sucks I lost my deposit, but hawaii government will reap what it sowed. Hoping canadian government will learn a hard lesson as well. Its too bad that hard working canadian residents have to suffer because of stupidity from liberals.

From: Kevin Dill
01-Jul-21
KHNC: Molokai?

01-Jul-21
Grey Ghost, I am tired of reading your arrogant, anti outfitter posts! I don’t agree with Shockey's article and I’m in no way dealing with my hunters the same way but I also sure as heck don’t agree with your crap about how you would be this incredible Canadian outfitter with all your hunter deposits just sitting in a bank account ready to refund at a moments notice. How none of the deposit money would be spent until after the season is all done. This is after you’ve bought a multi million dollar area with no bank financing, spent another few hundred thousand dollars on getting equipment ready. Possibly built a big lodge in the middle of nowhere with pennies from heaven I guess. How you’ve also made promises to all your guides, cooks and other help about paying them for the whole season whether you get all the hunters booked or not, whether the season gets cancelled or not. All this along with other huge long term investments in your business.

I know you constantly remind us how you were an outfitter in the USA. Running a big remote Canadian outfit is nothing like taking out US hunters who have drawn their own tags and you run them out of a hotel or tent camp, or out of a short term rental house or one you own for another purpose.

Maybe you can soon go buy one of these bankrupt Canadian businesses and show us all how to get it done! Make your millions of dollars off it like you think Shockey has so easily done!!

From: txhunter58
01-Jul-21
So if a farmer uses up front money (like from a bank) to “prepare” with plowing, fertilizing, planting…..

And for whatever reason his crop doesn’t come in, or due to borders closing he is unable to sell his crop, he doesn’t owe the bank anything?

If he does, then any outfitter who takes a deposit either owes the hunter a refund or his hunt with the deposit as part of the deal. If he can’t, he can declare bankruptcy. That should be the only way out of not delivering on the goods.

Yes it was out of their control and they should probably be compensated by their government. But that shouldn’t be the hunters problem.

In my mind, the deposit isn’t for the outfitter to prepare, he can borrow money to do that, it is so he knows he has a commitment from the hunter that he is coming and will pay the remainder of what he owes when he shows up.

From: Bowfreak
01-Jul-21
Good post txhunter58.

01-Jul-21
It would be great if outfitters could hold 1/3 - 1/2 of their normal gross revenue aside to return in case the government closes the country but that's not going to happen.

Especially when that 1/3 or 1/2 ends up being all they take in because no one can make the trip.

01-Jul-21
I agree that the hunters are owed a hunt or a refund, I don’t know a single Canadian outfitter that plans on keeping all the deposit money. We are struggling to survive this and it’s incredibly difficult. Imagine your business with all of your customers taken away, no timeline on when they will be allowed back and virtually no government assistance. We are all doing our best but everyone’s situation is different.

From: petedrummond
01-Jul-21
Grey Ghost likes simple answers and concepts so he can try this one out. Under United States contract law a contract is a promise exchanged for a promise. “Hunter” signs contact to pay money in exchange for promise by “Outfitter” to take him hunting at a date and location certain. “Hunter “ can’t get there. Whose fault is that? In the US “impossibility” relieves one of an obligation to perform anyway. Grey Ghost I think if your house was burning you would argue about whose fault it is rather than working together to put out the fire.

From: spike buck
01-Jul-21
I agree with txhunter58 and also agree with Mike U.

Many camps and businesses in Canada were loaned money by the government at 0% financing. Due at end of 2022. If (Loans) monies are paid back to the Government by end of 2022, then 25% of the loan is forgiven. The money available was into the hundreds of thousands. Loans were for surviving the devastation of the border closure. Such as insurance, taxes etc. Most of these camps have mortgages already.

Ontario also gave businesses up to $40,000.00 in forgivable grants. Camps also who wanted to do infrastructure work to their camps, were given a rebate that was spent not including wages.

Any Canadian business owner, who lost business income was able to get CERB, something like unemployment insurance, which is $2000.00 a month or they can get onto the CEWS program. CEWS is where the government pays 75% of Canadian Businesses wages paid to themselves.

01-Jul-21
Spike, are you saying the total money was hundreds of thousands to ALL of the outfitters? No individual outfitter got a big loan, did they? I certainly didn’t. I was able to get a $60,000 loan and will eventually get to keep $20,000 in dec of 2022. That’s it for assistance. My guides and cook are contract workers and I don’t hire them if I don’t have work. No CERB no CEWS, no $2000 or 75%. All my other bills come in every month like everyone else and it’s up to me to find Canadian customers to survive it. Each province is different too. I actually now don’t want the help from a federal government I no longer trust. I just want an open border.

01-Jul-21
Everyone is frustrated. Let’s not take it out on each other. The guilty parties are the corrupt U.S. and Canadian governments. They should be holding China responsible and they should be paying restitution.

But it appears the US was partly to blame for funding the Lab. So they will never hold China accountable.

01-Jul-21
I agree Altitude Sickness, confusion, chaos and division is what the they want. We need to be united!

From: Grey Ghost
01-Jul-21
Pete,

If my house was burning, I'd make sure my wife and animals were safe, first. Hopefully, I'd have time to grab a few irreplaceable personal items, second. Then I'd let it burn to the ground, and worry about what caused it, and who should pay for it, later.

If the fire was caused by a lighting strike, I'd be happy for the insurance I have to cover it. If the fire was caused by the government, I'd be pissed and expect reasonable reimbursement. If the fire was caused by my own negligence, I'd own it, and move on.

IMO, the Canadian outfitters "fire" was caused by a little of all of those. I think God caused the lighting strike. Sadly, governments fanned the fire. And the Canadian outfitters were negligent for operating in a manner that left them in a compromising position with their customers.

Sad situation all the way around.

Matt

From: spike buck
01-Jul-21
Mike, I also took the $60,000.00 but "MANY" here in Ontario took the big loans. Over and above the Mortgages that they originally have. The problem is that the ones that took the big loans, were expecting to be open in 2021. Mike, CEWS was available for you.... if you chose to take it. Most camp owners here qualified for CEWS and took it. The way CEWS works... you pay yourself and anyone else your employing. Then you get reinbursed 75%. Maximum $750.00 per week.

From: SBH
01-Jul-21
Txhunter- Farmers get bailouts and money from the government to Grow the crops the government wants grown. Now if you don’t do what they say and grow what they want…..you are on your own. A free man at least!

From: spike buck
01-Jul-21

spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo
I have been holding on to this bear bait since 2019.... Lets all hope for the best on July 22. The walk in cooler and freezer is full of popped popcorn... or next years bears will get stale food. Last bear taken at Pine acres by a hunter client was Sept 2019. ***Canada is overflowing with bears!! Or next

01-Jul-21
DIY!

From: bigswivle
01-Jul-21
“Farmers get bailouts and money from the government to Grow the crops the government wants grown. Now if you don’t do what they say and grow what they want…..you are on your own. A free man at least!“

I’m a produce farmer from Florida and I don’t get any bailouts. I grow what I want, not what the government says.

From: RK
01-Jul-21
What do you produce swivle?

From: bigswivle
01-Jul-21
Strawberries and bell pepper are my main two crops.

From: DanaC
01-Jul-21
Chris (Spike) - heck, Massachusetts has bears to spare - I've seen two this year on one property. A friend sent me pix of one today, one town south of here. Yeah, not many monsters, and we can't bait, but I 'justified' the price of a new 45-70 Henry a few years ago - now I gotta find a dumb one ;-)

From: RK
01-Jul-21
Yep BS. Those two are not gvt controlled

I'm wheat and corn but 90% wheat

From: spike buck
02-Jul-21

spike buck's embedded Photo
spike buck's embedded Photo

02-Jul-21
I agree Altitude Sickness, confusion, chaos and division is what the they want. We need to be united!

From: Mule Power
02-Jul-21
As a former outfitter I can certainly sympathize. But deciding to make someone else the victim isn’t right. Believe me I understand using deposits to prepare for hunts. But it seems outfitters are getting better at looking for sympathy while they don’t want to hear any backlash from hunters. Hunters have all had their own covid related financial problems. Why should they have to understand and sympathize with other people’s problems when the bottom line is that since it’s their money ultimately the whole problem has become theirs? Most outfitters I know do other things for income during the off season. If not they should. I always did. Desperate people do desperate things. I do feel bad but passing the buck is unacceptable. Sorry. Like I said Montana would never approve of that. The customer comes first no matter what. The board of outfitters by the way is part of the state department of labor. They go by laws not emotion.

From: Kevin Dill
02-Jul-21
It's tough to talk about business practices without someone taking it personally or getting hurt. That's definitely not what this about. The border closure uncovered a not-so-hidden issue which is biting outfitters and their clients simultaneously. How does an outfitter use today's deposits (for future hunts) while not falling into a dependency pattern? How does an outfitter (or client) protect the client's deposit(s) in the event of a business interruption?

From: SBH
02-Jul-21
Again, this isn't on the outfitters. When a government takes away your ability to make a living.....how is it their fault? Non refundable deposits are an absolute must in that industry. They benefit both sides. This is on the government. I get that some or all of the deposit money is already spent before the hunter arrives. That money goes towards operating costs and also secures the spot so the hunter doesn't travel all the way out there and find out he's not hunting. They are a must. I think we would all agree that they generally have worked well in the past. Until you have the government step in a pull the rug out from under you. It wasn't irresponsible outfitters or hunters that caused the problem.

From: Timbrhuntr
02-Jul-21
I know a few US outfitters that do the same pay for their leases with this years deposits and have usually spent most of their clients money before the hunt begins ! The whole situation sucks and I'm sure will result in less outfitters making it.

From: Katahdin
02-Jul-21
so what is the definition of a Ponzi scheme?

From: JL
02-Jul-21
"Non refundable deposits are an absolute must in that industry."

That's going to be a tough pill to swallow from here on out. I can see a percentage as non-refundable to cover the admin costs by the outfitter and to compensate for the opportunity cost he incurred.

02-Jul-21
Conne River changed ownership a few years ago and I requested my deposit back as I was leary of the new ones. My buddies went with the new one. Was not quite the same quality. Would I consider going moose with Conne again? Yes, as they refunded my deposit...no questions, no contract. Seriously hope that Canada's outfitters will survive this mess as they have provided my hunting buddies and myself with fantastic, and some tough but successful hunts since 1986. Hang tough, Canadians as you have many very loyal American hunters!!!

From: Mule Power
02-Jul-21
Like I said I definitely understand using deposits to prepare in advance. I was feeding horses and mules year round. But when a spring bear outfitter has no livestock and knew for over a year that the hunts might not happen and the only thing he has to do early is bait and there are no actual guides I’m not buying it. Call vid has become an excuse for everything. “Due to the pandemic our wait times are longer than usual” Sorry can’t process or ship your order for a month due to covid. The cost of lumber went through the roof…. Just because why not everyone is accepting this crap. 2020 came as a surprise but 2021 surely did not!

From: HDE
02-Jul-21
The farmer and banker analogy isn't the same thing.

The outfitter didn't get a deposit only to return it once the hunter showed up for their hunt. The farmer put up his farm as collateral, the outfitter did not put up his business for the deposit.

The money you borrow from the bank isn't theirs to begin with...

From: APauls
04-Jul-21
People that know how to run someone else’s business are always the LAST person I’d listen to. Got it aaaaaall figured out from that keyboard there.

Calling guys negligent because they didn’t save up millions to twiddle away on expenses with no revenue. If that was the business model any half brained twit wouldn’t have gotten into it!

From: Rupe
05-Jul-21
I agree with Pat and Grey Ghost. Maybe a solution is everyone takes a hit. Spread the loss equally between Hunter and Outfitter for something beyond everyone’s control.

From: thedude
05-Jul-21
Sounds like a good reason to use an escrow account until a predetermined condition is met by both parties.

From: BC
05-Jul-21
Not to digress but why is the northern boarder closed while the southern boarder is gushing like a fire hose? No covid in Mexico?

I hope you guys who booked get your hunt or your money back.

From: LBshooter
05-Jul-21
Maybe Americans who represent the majority of the Canada outfitters business should rethink what they are paying to kill a bear,or moose etc... Did mr Shockley say that the outfitters could go after residents of Canada to guide, but they would have to lower their prices? Sounds like the outfitters know they can stick it to Americans and they smile while paying. Maybe this is the event that changes the outfitting business. Should the outfiitter buy insurance in the event a catostrophic event happens and he needs to refund a clients money? Maybe Americans will think twice about sending 20k to an outfitters before he even steps foot in camp. Running a business takes capital and I think an outfitter should finance their business with their own capital and not a clients. A non refundable deposit is fine, but paying for the entire trip before you hit camp, no. For all you guys who pay the bucks to hunt now is the time to rearrange how the outfitting business works. If an outfitter wants to fund their year go to a bank with your client list and borrow capital to run your business, quit trying to get interest free capital from your clients. Sounds like Jim shockey was trying to make a case of poor me(outfitter) and that you Americans aren't going to get your hunt or money back because the outfitter needs to sign up new clients who will send cash so the outfitter can continue his business.

From: happygolucky
05-Jul-21
BC, it seems like the Mexican government and people value the income Americans bring into their country. My family and some friends took our annual trip in the sun and it was easy peasy and the Mexicans were very happy we were there. I think the socialist prick in Canada is still holding a grudge against Trump, that and the fact he loves power. I think he'd make a good communist dictator.

My Canadian fishing trip was recently cancelled again. Our resort owners told everyone they could just move their deposit to 2022 or they would gladly return it. Those are classy business owners.

From: JohnMC
05-Jul-21
LB if there were enough demand from Canadians to fill up all these outfitters there either would be more outfitters or bigger outfitters to also take their money as well as the US hunters. Also if a outfitter making so much money that they could do ok financially for less. New outfitters would be starting up doing it for a fraction the cost and force the current ones to lower their prices. But that is not what has happened. If hunters want outfitters not to get a sizable deposit up front I am sure some outfitters would cater to that. However in return you will likely be paying higher fees for that hunt. One if they must borrow that money to cover cost that currently covered with deposit they will pass those interest cost along to the hunters. Two if you don't put down a deposit and bail on hunt last minute that is also lost revenue that will be require to be pass along to all hunters. Some of you fellas I don't think have ever taken a econ class or understand how the free market works.

I'll this as a afterthought -- What broke this systems that has been working for years and years??? A government sticking it's finger into the free market.

From: goyt
05-Jul-21
I think that the Canadian government originally set up the concession areas and now controls how many tags they get. It maybe pretty much a limited commodity regardless what the demand is. An Outfitter can not just start a business like they can in the USA. They have to buy a concession for what maybe a lot of money. I also think that the residents can hunt in any Outfitter's concession for free so if they chose to use the Outfitter they are paying for the services and not the access.

From: Ambush
05-Jul-21
^^^^. That is true for BC.

From: APauls
06-Jul-21
Hypothetically speaking, if you were to have zero income for 2 years….maybe 3 and still pay all your costs for food, mortgage etc. what kind of a financial position does that put you in? The answer is it will be different depending on your stage of life. Young parents might be bankrupt while retirees might have to take a job or just have less spending money. So it is with businesses and how mature they are. New ones that are leveraged to start up are screwed. Older mature businesses will have to absorb and just try and keep going.

Having said that, I think 95% of Canadian Outfitter and lodge owners have rolled deposits forward. If that’s not good enough for you, then I’m not sure what is.

Technically, there are clauses in nearly every contract I’ve ever read that relate to “acts of God” or “force majeure” that alleviate the party that can not fulfill its liability due to something like this pandemic. It’s exactly why insurance isn’t paying a dime. If outfitters were like Insurance agents they’d have kept deposits, claimed this out and left everyone high and dry. But they AREN’T like insurance agents and the lions share have gone beyond and shouldered the burden.

Staring down the barrel of a potentially 3rd lost season though. If this fall doesn’t get rolling you will see waves of bankruptcies and many many deposits will be gone forever. Words can not express the contempt I have for our elected leadership.

From: goyt
06-Jul-21
I believe that the "force majeure" provisions will usually relieve the provider from having to provide the services on the scheduled dates and may not relieve the provider from the need to provide the services all together. The recovery of additional costs is still another matter. If contract language is being dissected that means that everything will only get worst. Hopefully the contracts will be used as a guide along with both party's understandings of expectations to develop a path forward. Hopefully this thread will be a lot to do about nothing. I agree that in all of the cases that I am aware of the hunts are being moved to later dates and hunters should be happy with that. This is a tough time to be a Canadian Outfitter. Hopefully we will be able to look back in 10 years and say that this experience only made them better and stronger but that is hard to imagine right now.

From: JayZ
06-Jul-21
I always thought the main reason for a deposit to an outfitter was to make sure the outfitter had a commitment from the hunter. Imagine if an outfitter didn't require any money until the guy showed up. How many would decide to just not go last minute if they have no skin in the game? We see threads on this site all the time of guys saying their buddies want to do a DIY elk/deer/whatever trip and when it comes time to go they back out. Can you imagine the situation the outfitter would be in if 1/2 of his scheduled hunters didn't show with no time to book replacements? Deposits are a necessity in that sense.

Now we are finding out that many outfitters seem to be using the deposits for operating expenses up front. That's a risky business model at best and unethical at worst. What happens if the outfitter is injured just before the season and he can't take his clients on hunts? If the outfitter is using the deposit money to fund the business pre-hunt there wouldn't be money to refund.

The financially stable outfitters will likely survive and the ones that stuck their neck out to pursue their dreams may not. The same can be said about 1000's of businesses because of this pandemic.

06-Jul-21
How else is an outfitter supposed to use deposits? A bunch of people on this thread seem to be missing a very important part of their brain to suggest that deposits shouldn’t used for operating capital. I’m reading the only alternative is too borrow that capital. That’s simply stupid.

If outfitters have to borrow operating money, then you can bet the hunters are paying that interest plus the balance. That adds up to a higher hunt cost then operating capital created by deposits. Also, how does a younger business acquire the massive funding it takes to operate without requiring a non refundable deposit?

It all sucks. It really does. But, step out of the spot light and look at things. I don’t care who says they operated on their own money until the clients hunts were done. That’s not good business. That’s an extremely fortunate business to be in the exact right situation to allow that. Go lease up hundreds of miles of acerage and tell me again how that works for you.

I really could care less what Jim Shockey thinks. And, as stated above, he doesn’t care about anyone but Jim Shockey. So, his thoughts on it are no surprise. But, it’s as extreme on the other side, to suggest that outfitters are negligent to require to non refundable deposit.

It’s real life. And, few have a silver spoon in their mouth. It takes years of hard work and commitment to gain stability in any business. Outfitting included. And, those that make it in any business learns real quick you don’t spend your money for other people’s benefit. Or, you aren’t going to have any money for very long. That’s life in a nutshell in the small business world. And there is several hundred thousand business owners yearly that never learn that until it’s too late.

No business model spends their money without all but a guarantee it’s going to return. Why would anyone expect that from the outfitting business then?

From: Mule Power
06-Jul-21
I’m n the future I can see outfitters paying hunters a deposit to make sure they show up. Lol. I know one thing…. I will NEVER send a deposit to a foreign country again. Between the lower 48 and Alaska I’m good hunting at home!

From: Ambush
06-Jul-21
Your view will be dictated pretty much by what side of the fence you're looking from.

Jim Shockey has been a positive force for the good of hunting. But his number one priority is definitely Jim Shockey.

From: Katahdin
06-Jul-21
I said this before: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam which generates returns for earlier investors with money taken from later investors. This is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors' funds to pay the earlier backers.

Both Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes eventually bottom out when the flood of new investors dries up and there isn't enough money to go around. At that point, the schemes unravel. Tell me how it is different to use my deposit for things before I show up

From: JohnMC
06-Jul-21
Comparing outfitters to a Ponzi scheme is ridiculous, maybe the dumbest statement on this thread. He is spending the deposit on your hunt before you get there. The cost of the lease he has to write a check for each year, bait, improvement on his place for you stay and hunt, insurance, trucks, gas, stands, atv just to name a few. He has tons of expenses before you every show up.

If you hire a guy to lay hardwood floors in your house. You are probably putting a deposit down before he starts and he going to go buy material with that deposit - no difference. Try having a builder start building you a house with out being paid for some of the work before he starts - it is not going to happen.

No doubt that there are bad business owners out there. But I'll promise you there more customers that will take advantage of a business than the other way around. That is because the business has more to lose.

Last thing with a terrible hand outfitters especially in Canada have been dealt. It sounds like the vast majority are doing the very best they can not to leave their customers holding the bag.

From: Mule Power
07-Jul-21
Ponzi scheme? That’s grasping at straws. No similarities at all really.

From: Amused
07-Jul-21
Clearly there are some harsh criticism of outfitters.but consider this,If the outfitter has made it this far then he or she is committed to fulfilling your hunts.If you bankrupt the outfitter then everyone looses everything. Borders will open and we will fulfill the hunts and at increased debt,increased feul,increased taxes,increased food costs no outfitter will be getting out from under this loss for years to come.

From: Thornton
08-Jul-21
Had a patient come through my ER 2 days ago from the West Coast. Said he used to have a business selling hunts and ole Shockey was a partner. He said Shockey stole his business idea and made a lot of money off it. It's a greed driven business, and I'm glad I'm out of it.

From: LBshooter
12-Jul-21
JohnMC, I don't believe I ever said not putting up deposits. I specially said I. Think it's fine a needed to pay a deposit to hold your spot. I believe I stated that deposits are fine, however, to pay the balance of a hunt before even stepping into camp is ridiculous. As I stated before, the outfitter can Take a list of clients with paid deposits and get a loan. Will it add to the cost of a hunt, yes, but it's not my duty to finance an outfitters business. As just happened with covid and the shut down of the border, the outfitter is in the catbird seat with deposits and some fully paid trips and the hunters got the big screw job. Someone mentioned that the outfitter and client should split the loss, nice idea but I'll believe it when I see it. Is shockey going to credit all the hunts he booked before the shut down? He has the money to do so, but will he, I don't know.

Again., deposits are fine and should be paid to hold your spot, because t paying the full balance of a 20 k hunt before stepping in camp is a mistake. All businesses have crisis that arise, part of being in business. If they can't survive then they go under, there are always others in the wings to jump in.

From: APauls
12-Jul-21
If I had a dollar for every "stole my idea" business stories I've heard...sounds like sour grapes to me. You got one side of that story.

Some people seem to be pretty hung up on this whole deposits thing. In business there is revenue and there are expenses. Deposits are simply a part of your cash flow and a % of the revenue from that sale. Most businesses would not even track those separately as they are part of the revolving door of money going into an account. Some people seen to think your money is going to an account with your name on it, and as if that money is sitting in that account until you show up. Keeping it all separate is just more accounting and work that up until a global catastrophe, really wouldn't have been necessary.

If you were running a profitable business, your accounts are growing. If you booked with an outfitter that has been around a while, guess what, 99% chance he's profitable. He wouldn't last 5 years losing money. So that means he has a solid business plan where his bank account is in the growing not shrinking stage. This outfitter has no need to track your deposits separate from your final payment. He simply pays expenses as they come up with cash in the bank account. When your deposits come in they go into a bank account, same as your final payment. Most of these guys won't have "accounting departments." That might want to keep track of everything and make the necessary journal entries etc to itemize everything differently. They just know that in a regular year they take in $_______ in deposits, and $_______ in other payments. Out of nowhere the government closes you down, and you're left picking up the pieces. You were running a business, providing for your family, working hard and making this country a better place and one day the rug is pulled out from under you. You are given zero direction from the government about what will happen and when it will happen.

So ya, some guys are just picking up the pieces and figuring things out as they go. Because no one has been here before. If you have a hunt booked and the guy is still planning on delivering, then I wouldn't worry about it. One day this government will pull it's smarmy head out of it's A$$ and let it's hardest working people get back to work and we will get some direction. But it sounds like it's all being held over the barrel of an election.

From: HDE
12-Jul-21
"Not to digress but why is the northern boarder closed while the southern boarder is gushing like a fire hose? No covid in Mexico?"

Because Canada isn't third world status the way much of Mexico and Central America is, that's why. If Canada had a lot of destitute people to add to the (D) voting coffers, they'd be coming over in tidal waves as well...

From: DeerNut
15-Jul-21
Instead of closing borders, EU countries should create legal opportunities for migrants to come to Europe. This is what UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants François Crepeau thinks, and I cannot but agree with him.

From: Bou'bound
17-Jul-21
WWJ) -- It may not be too much longer until borders reopen from the U.S. into Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans across the border as of mid-August for non-essential travel.

He also added that our neighbors to the north should be in position to welcome fully-vaccinated travelers from all countries by earlier September.

From: hunt forever
18-Jul-21
You would think so!!! Lol

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