Bulls for Billionaires take 2 (Wyoming edition)

BuzzH

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So, was attending the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force meeting today, minding my own business, like I always do...and ran into some outfitter from Montana.

He saw my shirt with the BHA logo, should have changed shirts after the OWAA panel. He walked over started railing away about the "bulls for billionaires" and how he doesn't agree and really jumps on the soap box about how unfair that name is.

He asked what I thought was wrong about the way the tags were given to the billionaires last year. He told me how it was more than fair to the public lands hunter. I disagreed, and man whoever that dude was, he wasn't really happy.

Was sitting next to a buddy and he said, "I don't think he expected you to answer his questions that way".

I guess the truth was troublesome to hear.

But, really, thanks to the Montana hunters that came up with that...it apparently touched a nerve enough to have a Montana guy come clear down to Casper to complain about it to me.

Maybe you guys in Montana can be more sympathetic...he didn't find a welcoming shoulder to cry on down this way.

Funny...

Oh, and WOGA got to carry on for 4-5 hours asking for 100% of the NR Special draw tags for deer, elk, pronghorn (40% of NR tags). There was copious outfitter comments complaining and trashing:

1. Every license/application service mostly huntin'fool but none were spared.
2. DIY NR hunters, they take all the tags and drive point creep.
3. Resident hunters who are also greedy.
4. License application services that have large data bases.
Etc.
Etc.

We had the privilege of listening to the outfitters from Idaho, New Mexico, etc. and how great those programs are for "stabilizing" the industry. Sy told us how lucky we are he didn't go for a 50% of the NR tags, he thought asking for only 40% was appropriate qualification for sainthood.

I guess preference system, tiered license fee structure, and wilderness guide law just isn't working anymore for them.

It was truly something to witness...and I testified against the outfitter proposal.
 

Greenhorn

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MONTANA
So, was attending the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force meeting today, minding my own business, like I always do...and ran into some outfitter from Montana.

He saw my shirt with the BHA logo, should have changed shirts after the OWAA panel. He walked over started railing away about the "bulls for billionaires" and how he doesn't agree and really jumps on the soap box about how unfair that name is.

He asked what I thought was wrong about the way the tags were given to the billionaires last year. He told me how it was more than fair to the public lands hunter. I disagreed, and man whoever that dude was, he wasn't really happy.

Was sitting next to a buddy and he said, "I don't think he expected you to answer his questions that way".

I guess the truth was troublesome to hear.

But, really, thanks to the Montana hunters that came up with that...it apparently touched a nerve enough to have a Montana guy come clear down to Casper to complain about it to me.

Maybe you guys in Montana can be more sympathetic...he didn't find a welcoming shoulder to cry on down this way.

Funny...

Oh, and WOGA got to carry on for 4-5 hours asking for 100% of the NR Special draw tags for deer, elk, pronghorn (40% of NR tags). There was copious outfitter comments complaining and trashing:

1. Every license/application service mostly huntin'fool but none were spared.
2. DIY NR hunters, they take all the tags and drive point creep.
3. Resident hunters who are also greedy.
4. License application services that have large data bases.
Etc.
Etc.

We had the privilege of listening to the outfitters from Idaho, New Mexico, etc. and how great those programs are for "stabilizing" the industry. Sy told us how lucky we are he didn't go for a 50% of the NR tags, he thought asking for only 40% was appropriate qualification for sainthood.

I guess preference system, tiered license fee structure, and wilderness guide law just isn't working anymore for them.

It was truly something to witness...and I testified against the outfitter proposal.
F¥CK those guys.
 

drifter52

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He asked what I thought was wrong about the way the tags were given to the billionaires last year. He told me how it was more than fair to the public lands hunter. I disagreed, and man whoever that dude was, he wasn't really happy.
Ill bet that was an enlightening conversation for him
 

ElkFever2

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#savethedodo

Maybe WY outfitters are in a tough spot. Deep cuts to NR antelope, deer, big 5, and elk on the drawing board. The state is tipping in favor of resident opportunity over NR’s. NR’s who do get tags have a suite of GIS tools, hunting forums, and everything else they need to plan their own hunt.

I just “sat” on 100 glassing knobs in 3D in the WY elk unit I drew and mapped out my whole hunt on my phone. I also responded to the outfitter who contacted me about “packout services for DIY” and told them no thank you.

WY could prop up an industry in falling demand. They could also adjust the supply of outfitters to match the actual demand. Maybe it’s time to double the size of the outfitter zones and have half as many outfitters.
 

wllm

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I also responded to the outfitter who contacted me about “packout services for DIY” and told them no thank you.
I was with you until this comment, it’s total BS. There is no way an outfitter actually took the time to respond to you ;)

Seriously, for all their complaining about tags/declining industry etc I’ve never encountered such a flakey group of individuals.

It’s 2022 you are part of the service industry, if you don’t have a website, cellphone, email and respond to messages within a timely fashion (1-2 days), even if it’s just to say “we don’t offer that particular service” STFU.

I’ve tried to set up llama rentals, drop camps, fly-ins, and even fully guided trips. Of maybe the 50 outfitters in 4 states I’ve contacted maybe 5 ever got back to me…

In AK I literally went with a pilot because 18months out for a bear hunt he was the only one who answered the phone, and that was only because hunting is a side thing and his main business is sightseeing tours and therefore he has a receptionist.

Anyway… I’m sure I’m just being an A-hole but I feel like a lot of outfitter woes are self inflected.
 
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BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
I was with you until this comment, it’s total BS. There is no way an outfitter actually took the time to respond to you ;)

Seriously, for all their complaining about tags/declining industry etc I’ve never encountered such a flakey group of individuals.

It’s 2022 you are part of the service industry, if you don’t have a website, cellphone, email and respond to messages within a timely fashion (1-2 days), even if it’s just to say “we don’t offer that particular service” STFU.

I’ve tried to set up llama rentals, drop camps, fly-ins, and even fully guided trips. Of maybe the 50 outfitters in 4 states I’ve contacted maybe 5 ever got back to me…

In AK I literally went with a pilot because 18months out for a bear hunt he was the only one who answered the phone, and that was only because hunting is a side thing and his main business is sightseeing tours and therefore he has a receptionist.

Anyway… I’m sure I’m just being an A-hole but I feel like a lot of outfitter woes are self inflected.
It became apparent yesterday that outfitters want clients to come to them. They don't want to spend time actually haven't to find clients, waste money on advertising, or put effort into finding new clients.

Even though they have the list of all successful applicants they seem to come up short on clients.

Sy and others said those that drew are not calling them to book hunts. Another outfitter claimed that the 1000 nrs who drew general elk tags, was too big of a list to solicit and get in touch with. Yeah nothing an industry hates more than too many potential clients.

This is a function of them just wanting their same clients year after year, rather than having to actually work to find new ones.

Another thing that I found entertaining was the complaints about the application services applying for hundreds of people. It was alleged that hunting fool applied their clients successfully for 350 general Wyoming elk tags.

Yet, Sy also made it a point to mention that outfitters have their own GF portal they log into that they can use to apply for their clients. With that tool they can see applicants point totals to apply clients in parties etc.

I'm just curious if hunting fool, epic, and the other application services have those same GF portals they can use for applying their clients?

For some reason I doubt they have that kind of access.
 

wllm

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This is a function of them just wanting their same clients year after year, rather than having to actually work to find new ones.

"This is a function of them just wanting their same clients year after year, they don't want to have to deal with working with new folks"

This is 100% the impression that I have of the guiding outfitting industry, it's not even that they don't want to do footwork it's that they don't want to have to pick up the phone an deal with an unfamiliar person.

I think it's 100% reasonable for outfitters to make a living, I don't think that DIY guys should be at odds with outfitters. But seriously, "I just want to hunt with my buddies every single year" is not a valid complaint/request.
 

Wild Bill

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of maybe the 50 outfitters in 4 states I’ve contacted maybe 5 ever got back to me
Couldn't be more true. The last couple years I have been trying to help my dad find an outfitter for an elk hunt in Wyoming and it's the same song and dance every time. Call, no answer, leave voice mail, repeat. Finally after about 15 attempts he found one that actually wanted business.
It’s 2022 you are part of the service industry, if you don’t have a website, cellphone, email and respond to messages within a timely fashion (1-2 days), even if it’s just to say “we don’t offer that particular service” STFU.
Also to mention, with it being 2022 and if you don't have a website or some kind of platform to showcase your service, amenities, and successes, folks are going to be pretty damn hesitant to drop thousands of dollars to go hunt with you without knowing what you're getting into. Pamphlets at trade shows aren't cutting the mustard in 2022.
 

Nameless Range

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"This is a function of them just wanting their same clients year after year, they don't want to have to deal with working with new folks"

This is 100% the impression that I have of the guiding outfitting industry, it's not even that they don't want to do footwork it's that they don't want to have to pick up the phone an deal with an unfamiliar person.

I think it's 100% reasonable for outfitters to make a living, I don't think that DIY guys should be at odds with outfitters. But seriously, "I just want to hunt with my buddies every single year" is not a valid complaint/request.

Some of my childhood heros were outfitters/guides - Howard Copenhaver, Frank Linderman, etc. I don't hate outfitters, but as the resource dwindles relative to the demand, I don't know if the bolded is easy.

They want an expected continuity in their business, to know year to year what to expect, but even a continuity in tag allocation from year to year in the industry won't do that. What if someone wants to start an outfitting business? What of droughts, spring weather, or disease? I, the DIY hunter, want continuity too. I understand though, that that cannot happen in a very dynamic market of demand and critters.

In the last two years, as the outfitting industry has shown its blinding true colors in Montana - from guaranteed tags(unlimited in 2021) to the detriment of Montanans, to their leader bellyaching that he couldn't chase elk that had moved from private to public land in February, and more, I am at a loss as to whether or not that industry is even close to a net-good in Montana. I know there's good folks involved, but the concept seems to be a poison pill, always wanting more, an addict that got a taste. When we look down the road, we know that the demand will increase, and the pool of critters likely will not in a meaningful way. What do we think the industry will do as that squeeze occurs? I think past behavior gives us the best prediction - they will want more.
 

Gerald Martin

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Oh boy...Sy went on a tirade about that too. He told everybody how its not welfare.

I don't think you and Sy could be friends with that kind of talk.
Just you wait until there aren’t any outfitters who can stay in business. They won’t be able to keep those rubes who don’t have any business being in the woods on their own from invading your hunting spots and shooting all your elk. Yure gonna be sorry then.
 

Schaaf

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Also to mention, with it being 2022 and if you don't have a website or some kind of platform to showcase your service, amenities, and successes, folks are going to be pretty damn hesitant to drop thousands of dollars to go hunt with you without knowing what you're getting into. Pamphlets at trade shows aren't cutting the mustard in 2022.
To be fair, Montana outfitters have it even tougher. Who wants to spend money to go shoot a 130” two year old mule deer?
 

wllm

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Couldn't be more true. The last couple years I have been trying to help my dad find an outfitter for an elk hunt in Wyoming and it's the same song and dance every time. Call, no answer, leave voice mail, repeat. Finally after about 15 attempts he found one that actually wanted business.

Also to mention, with it being 2022 and if you don't have a website or some kind of platform to showcase your service, amenities, and successes, folks are going to be pretty damn hesitant to drop thousands of dollars to go hunt with you without knowing what you're getting into. Pamphlets at trade shows aren't cutting the mustard in 2022.

Anyone can build a website using wix/WordPress or a similar site, it's ridiculously easy. Select a template drag and drop some photos add some text about rates, provide your email and phone. Will cost you <$150 a year.

Going price on an elk hunt in WY is $1400 a day fully guided.

... but honestly it's not even the website, it's when I pull your contact info off of the WOGA contact list and then you never answer that's the issue.
 
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