This was not my first nor last bad trip. I have been scammed more than once. It seems to be a recurring trend in the hunting world. Being sold one thing and not being provided what you are sold is not a good feeling."
It should have been a perfect morning! It was day 2 of my archery elk hunt. The first day I had hunted with the owner of the outfit and we had been on elk all day. I knew my guide was different that day, the horse wrangler had told me that morning at four o’clock as I mounted my horse. I didn’t think much of it.
This was a pricey elk hunt and I figured the guides were all pretty good. As it got light enough to see, I realized who I was with that day. I instantly knew I had drawn the shortest of straws, for that day my “guide” was the cook. “Where you want to head?” he asked. Where do I want to head? I think I responded something like, "I figure you should decide." He then asked me, “You were in here yesterday right?” He had never even been in that valley. It was September, prime time, and my guide didn’t even have a bugle. The rest of that week was more of the same, to the point I made them take me out a day early. I was tired of the nature hikes. The owner met me at the trailhead and expected to be paid in full, which I obliged. I was not a happy camper, to say the least!
"My “guide” was the cook!"
This was not my first nor last bad trip. I have been scammed more than once. It seems to be a recurring trend in the hunting world. Being sold one thing and not being provided what you are sold is not a good feeling. I hear these stories all the time. I also hear bad outfitters say that everyone is mad if they don’t kill. I’m sure there are bad customers, but I’m not one of them. I’ve pretty much exclusively bow hunted for almost 25 years. I’ve gotten used to coming home empty-handed as many times as being successful. The kill does not make the hunt for me. I do however expect to get what I pay for. Not getting an experienced guide that I paid for is one of those instances, and there have been others. Five-star food that’s been microwave dinners, five-star accommodations that turned into filthy rooms and beds, 1 on 1 guided trips that turned into 2 on 1 trips - I’ve been there for them all.
Fast forward to September 2017. I had met my friend and partner Fred Sweisthal about a year prior and we had become fast hunting friends. We were in an elk camp in September planning our next moves for Quality Hunts. We had spent hours telling each other stories of good hunts and bad hunts, good outfitters and bad outfitters, and how we could change the game. Quality Hunts was born out of those conversations we had on hunts together in places like Carmen Island and the mountains of New Mexico. We decided it was time for someone to sell hunts they believed in. It was time for someone to sell hunts that had been appropriately vetted. Bad things happen, that’s life, but Fred and I are determined to provide a service our clients can believe in.
Our outfitter partners are the best in the business. They are people that we have or will spend our hard earned money to hunt with. They are people we believe in, not just people that will let us sell their hunts. We are hunters too, and we know how hunters want to be treated.
And that is why we do what we do!