I had a woodland hunt booked for this year. (2024) I booked the trip last year 2023 at Harrisburg What I thought was a reputable outfitter I had to cancel the caribou due to my 2023 grizzly hunt being put off by the outfitter till 2024… I was able to find a cancellation woodland hunt for this past September.
As soon as I knew I was gonna cancel a full year in advance I called to let them know. Normally I would understand about keeping deposits on cancellations but I had someone who was going to take my spot.. I was told they have a list of hunters to take open spots … and the real kicker was when they said they wouldn’t take my guy filling my spot because their hunter would have to pay the higher 2024 price . OK semi understandable but why keep my deposit? It wasn’t much due to booking so far out in advance $1000… but that not really the point…
I will mention the outfit further down after unbiased thoughts are posted.
I’m kidding that he should pay you obviously, but he certainly shouldn’t be double dipping in benefiting from the cancellation and the fee upgrade for the other hunter
I’m assuming this is a very well-known outfitter that well respected in Newfoundland because that’s really the only guys for the most part that are hunting Woodlands these days. Besides that you would not have booked with a second tier player. Just seems a little bit unnecessary in terms of keeping your deposit under those conditions
Is the guy a bum, a cheat, a bad deceptive businessman, immoral, and scum of the Earth dude? No.................... but that’s a cheap maneuver for a grand. He is certainly entitled technically to keep a non-refundable deposit. Honestly, though I would hope for a more equitable course of action than acting within one's technical rights in a case such as this.
He is in no way obligated to take your chosen substitute as he may have preferable know clients he has a relationship with that are on that waiting list.
One thing is guaranteed and that is that by the time this thread dies, it’s going to cost that outfitter a lot more than $1000
You put a deposit on hunt.
Things came up for you, AND you found a better deal elsewhere, so you didn’t want to do the hunt with them anymore.
Loosing the $1000.00 deposit seems like a pretty cheap solution.
I imagine these outfitters spend a decent amount of time dealing with people booking, and then wanting to cancel/change what they committed to do.
I do see how it might feel a little wrong from your perspective.
From his perspective it probably wasn’t that great to hear you want to cancel because now you have a bear hunt, and found a better deal on the hunt you are canceling with him.
if the outfitter chooses to fill the spot with someone else...at higher rates...your deposit should be refunded. he will have a new hunter at a new price.
the outfitter should just be made whole...not enriched.
yes...i would be upset.
he didnt. the only thing he passed on was a full paying replacement hunter. how is that a problem?
i guess that depends on whether you think a deposit is for a specific person or for a hunt.`
But I would find it frustrating and upsetting too if the outfitter was financially whole and chose to still hold onto your deposit.
That’s why the prices keep rising to ridiculous levels and they keep booking up because there doesn’t seem to be any resistance by hunters.
I don’t think he’s screwing you over because you backed out, regardless of the replacement. But an honorable outfitter would likely just send you the deposit back because it’s the right thing to do.
Not many of them left. Outfitting has become a sad state of affairs.
seems fair to me.
- TO SECURE HUNT, ALL DEPOSIT CHECKS ARE TO BE SENT WITH THIS COMPLETED CONTRACT
- A deposit check of 25% of the hunt cost is required to book a hunt
- A second deposit check of 25% post dated for January 15 (fall hunt) or Dec. 01 (spring hunt) of the hunt year
- The final 50%, GST tax and licence fees postdated for July 01 (fall hunt) or Mar. 1 (spring hunt)of the hunt year.
- Deposits are non-refundable and may be transferred to a friend but not a future year.
- If XXXXXXXX cancels the hunt then XXXXX will return your deposit in full.
- Stated hunt dates and pricing within this contract are not negotiable.
I agree with all the costs and deposit policy above;
no you guessed wrong. If the deposit, which i believe should have been returned, was deemed non-refundable that means you are not entitled to get it back. there was no lie here. There was not a broken word or broken trust here. The outfitter did what he said he would, that being take $1000 non-refundable to hold a date for the guy that gave it to him. He did that. That's actually honest. Had he sold the hunt out from Shug that would have been dishonest. If the deal was this 1000 is for you or a reasonable facsimile thereof and he did not return it that would be dishonest. That was not the deal. It was for one person since that one person booking the hunt did not indicate he was applying the money to him or on behalf of someone like him.
my point is don't confuse being honest with not doing the honorable thing. If someone tells you they are going to punch you and they punch you they are not dishonest. They may be a lot of bad things, but they are not dishonest in that interaction. If they said they were going to punch you and didn't they would then be dishonest...................but you wouldn't complain!
The outfitter should 100% have returned the money.............not out of a nonexistent obligation, but out of reasonableness given the total lack of economic harm he experienced.
i been on too many busted, scammy, shitty hunts even by "reputable" ones found here
If the outfitter rejected your replacement and booked his own, then you should get your money back.
I also view deposits slightly different depending on the type of hunt. A lot of remote hunts and bear bait hunts the vast majority of spending happens well before your arrival.
Either way you have a replacement for the spot ready and able to take the spot, seems crazy they won’t allow that. You essentially were a free booking agent on his behalf.
sounds to me like thats what transpired...
"I was told they have a list of hunters to take open spots … and the real kicker was when they said they wouldn’t take my guy filling my spot because their hunter would have to pay the higher 2024 price ."
it would interesting to know who the outfitter is...and what his contract says...if he has one.
you have no right to be upset.
"The outfitter should 100% have returned the money.............not out of a nonexistent obligation, but out of reasonableness given the total lack of economic harm he experienced."
i disagree there was a total lack of economic harm and nearly every for-profit seasonal small business would too.
you apparently think being "dishonest" only applies to lying. I dont happen feel that way.
behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way.
thats ok...were allowed to have different opinions.
Heck you can’t book a lousy antelope or deer hunt for a grand down. Let alone a $18-25K woody hunt.
Some outfitters are ok with substitute hunters, some arent. I would say its their discression as to who they take. You could have someone ready to take your spot, and the outfitter has a previous client that wants to come back, or a new client. Ultimately, when you forefeit your spot, I think its up to the outfitter as to who gets it.
Your deposit IMO should be refunded, but without a contract or something in writing describing the policy, I wouldnt expect it. That being said, if the outfitter receives the deposit from the new hunter, there is no reason not to send yours back.
It’s probably been over 20 years since I hunted with an outfitter until last year. Sounded like a really cool drop camp hunt in Idaho for elk that I seen advertising right on this forum. Asked the outfitter is there a good chance I will at least see Elk. His words…oh yes where we will be putting you you’re going to be right in the middle of em and it’s your job not to booger them out. Took us 14 miles back on horseback early that morning. Didn’t see or hear any on the way in so when we got dropped I asked one of the guys where we might find em.
His words…oh y’all will have to go about 10 miles and drop in elevation. Also learned that where our drop camp was located was not in the zone we could hunt. We had to hike back up the ridge and get on the other side just to get in the right zone. Never seen one or even heard one. Don’t regret it too much cause had a good time with my friend but I doubt I’ll ever go with an outfitter again. They could at least been truthful before they took us 14 miles. All they had to say was that the Elk wasn’t there at that time and took us somewhere in lower elevation and hiked in from the road. We would’ve had a lot better chance that way since it was all public ground anyways.
On the other hand it’s bad business to not refund your deposit when it is that far out. So I’d be upset too. I’m in the custom bow business and have always refunded deposits even though I technically reserve the right not to
I remember a long time ago when one could get a really good discount on cancellation hunts but with demand now far outpacing supply that’s no longer the case, especially for more exotic hunts.
its a shame all outfitters don't operate with the same level of integrity.
if everything is as the op stated...he is getting shafted. i hope he divulges the name of the outfitter so nobody else here gets the same treatment.
With you providing a replacement for the spot you booked, there should be no issue at all in getting a refund. Especially if it sold for more. Now he’s double dipping.
Playing devil's advocate: That said their thought could be you could be booking hunts years ahead then "selling" the hunt to someone else - they could pay you to get a hunt soon instead of waiting years and you have a better price.
even if that was the case...would their be anything wrong with that? the outfitter is selling his product...for his agreed upon price and time...regardless of who shows up to receive it.
the guy putting down deposits for future hunts hoping he could sell them would be taking all the risk.
Anyway… it was Roberts Outfitters