© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Colorado Outfitter Stories
Note: This page is incomplete and temporary Disorganized for a Hunting Disaster: I received another 2014 report from an outfitter about easterners obviously not prepared to experience high country hunting success. Eight fellows booked a cabin and a remote drop camp for the second season good. However, by the time they left Pennsylvania eight others were tagging along. The outfitter was unprepared for the unannounced double number of hunters, but tried to accommodate them as best as possible. The group had not planned and communicated. Each person brought his own gear and bickered with the wranglers who tried to point out that duplicate axes, saws, tables and chairs, etc. were not needed. Couldn’t they share bottles of whiskey to cut down on the panier loads? Nor were their cases of Duraflame fireplace logs in a wilderness of trees a necessary overload for pack horses. This unorganized lazy elk camp obviously was not headed for hunting glory. A large part of the group was packed up above 10,000 feet to a select secluded hunt area. Loitering, boozing and gabbing began as soon as they reached their tent. Only one experienced member gathered firewood, made the camp ship-shape and scouted for elk. I suspect as he worked he was thinking how carefully he’d choose future hunting companions. I know from previous reports that such camps fail at hunting, and friendships often fracture. Snow fell. All of ten God-sent inches that would make an ordinary elk hunter’s heart leap for joy! On the third day of hunting the group had enough of the weather (and each other?) and radioed the outfitter to come and get them. Interrupting planned hunting guiding and work routines, the wranglers took all the horses up for the evacuation. Arriving, they found that actually only half the guys wanted to leave. The rest reconsidered and wanted to stay a couple more days. That meant two 7 ½ hour roundtrips instead of one trip they had paid for. After all their work in rough terrain and weather, the wranglers were tipped a mere total $40. That is about the cost of one of the many jugs of booze (and beer cases) flaunted in front of the wranglers who had to cart it up and down from the wilderness. There is nothing like insulting and demeaning a person who you asked for help. The evil good thing is: wranglers have pretty good memories. Those hunters will never get the best site again if they return! PS – They saw nor got elk! Give at least reasonably good tips. Follow the 15% tips for usual service. Increase the gratuity if the wranglers provide extra service like guiding, field dressing your elk or extracting it from timber, or help erect or take down your drop camp. Work With Your Outfitter: The above story illustrates why outfitters don’t wish for some clients to return. The large group did not see any close elk, and their laziness precluded bagging game. Their poor attitudes will probably result in blaming the outfitter and his wranglers for not getting elk. Sixteen disgruntled men complaining to twenty friends in Pennsylvania results in a loss of 320 potential future hunters. The best, hardest working, most knowledgeable, client- dedicated outfitter cannot stay in business long with that kind of publicity. That is why some outfitters simply will not book you (or your friends) again. Outfitting is hard work and the profit margin is not that great. The gear, Forest Service licenses, yea-round horse care and equipment maintenance is more than a few shekels. Obtaining and paying experienced seasonal workers for grueling work routines is not easy. So listen to outfitter preparatory advice and come prepared, and bring an understanding attitude. Help as much as possible. Communicate clearly. Take good necessary equipment in prime condition. Get in shape so you will not be a burden or emergency waiting to happen. Behave yourself. The last thing an outfitter wants is a tipsy client falling off his horse. Smart Students: I chatted with a very happy, tickled pink outfitter. He had three University of Colorado students as clients. They came with their own food. If you know Boulder, Colorado students or have been to one of their tailgate parties, you can imagine it was not peanut butter and jelly. They had planned for gastronomic excellence, bringing spices, predinner hordevors ’devours, fancy cheeses and pate and baked cakes. Moreover, they had called ahead so they had brought enough food for the outfitter crew. They joyously prepared the meals in challenges for cooking excellence. They almost immediately got a bull without trying (they were in good shape and attitude). The best reward was that their conviviality got them a ten year elk hunting experience education from the crew during the next two days of conversations, interactions, and helping around base camp. You do not have to pay for all education, but you have to earn it. I know those students will go far in life. And any friends they refer to the outfitter will receive special treatment. It is called networking.
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Colorado Outfitter Stories
Note:      This      page      is      incomplete      and temporary Disorganized for a Hunting Disaster: I received another 2014 report from an outfitter about easterners obviously not prepared to experience high country hunting success. Eight fellows booked a cabin and a remote drop camp for the second season good. However, by the time they left Pennsylvania eight others were tagging along. The outfitter was unprepared for the unannounced double number of hunters, but tried to accommodate them as best as possible. The group had not planned and communicated. Each person brought his own gear and bickered with the wranglers who tried to point out that duplicate axes, saws, tables and chairs, etc. were not needed. Couldn’t they share bottles of whiskey to cut down on the panier loads? Nor were their cases of Duraflame fireplace logs in a wilderness of trees a necessary overload for pack horses. This unorganized lazy elk camp obviously was not headed for hunting glory. A large part of the group was packed up above 10,000 feet to a select secluded hunt area. Loitering, boozing and gabbing began as soon as they reached their tent. Only one experienced member gathered firewood, made the camp ship-shape and scouted for elk. I suspect as he worked he was thinking how carefully he’d choose future hunting companions. I know from previous reports that such camps fail at hunting, and friendships often fracture. Snow fell. All of ten God-sent inches that would make an ordinary elk hunter’s heart leap for joy! On the third day of hunting the group had enough of the weather (and each other?) and radioed the outfitter to come and get them. Interrupting planned hunting guiding and work routines, the wranglers took all the horses up for the evacuation. Arriving, they found that actually only half the guys wanted to leave. The rest reconsidered and wanted to stay a couple more days. That meant two 7 ½ hour roundtrips instead of one trip they had paid for. After all their work in rough terrain and weather, the wranglers were tipped a mere total $40. That is about the cost of one of the many jugs of booze (and beer cases) flaunted in front of the wranglers who had to cart it up and down from the wilderness. There is nothing like insulting and demeaning a person who you asked for help. The evil good thing is: wranglers have pretty good memories. Those hunters will never get the best site again if they return! PS They saw nor got elk! Give at least reasonably good tips. Follow the 15% tips for usual service. Increase the gratuity if the wranglers provide extra service like guiding, field dressing your elk or extracting it from timber, or help erect or take down your drop camp. Work With Your Outfitter: The above story illustrates why outfitters don’t wish for some clients to return. The large group did not see any close elk, and their laziness precluded bagging game. Their poor attitudes will probably result in blaming the outfitter and his wranglers for not getting elk. Sixteen disgruntled men complaining to twenty friends in Pennsylvania results in a loss of 320 potential future hunters. The best, hardest working, most knowledgeable, client-dedicated outfitter cannot stay in business long with that kind of publicity. That is why some outfitters simply will not book