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As the name implies, if you want burnt, give them a try. This is going to be pretty long, but bare with me please. As some of you know, I booked a moose hunt in Alberta recently. We were supposed to meet the outfitter at his house in Morinville Alberta on Sunday. Call him when we get to town. We call, no answer. 2 hours of waiting later, we finally go to grab lunch, and get a return call. Drop by his house so we can follow him up to camp. Get there, and he isn't ready to leave. He gives us a map, and tells us he'll meet us there in an hour or so. Just wait by the roadside for him. NOT a good start. He shows up about an hour after we do, and we follow him on into camp. Our other guide is already there, waiting on us. Introductions are made, and we get everything squared away for the next days hunt. The next morning, the guides get up promptly around 8 am to start the day. We have been sitting and waiting for 2 hours. They decide to make breakfast, so that's another hour before we leave to hunt. The outfitter wants us to "get a good 10 mile or so hike in" that first day, so we drive to a drop off point, and start in. Our guide for the day is a 21 year old kid with little if any guiding experience. About 9 miles INTO the brush, the guide gets lost, so we have to backtrack 9 miles back out. By the end of the hike, the guide can barely walk. We were all tired, but the "guide" was the only one staggering. We make it back to camp, but it's too late to try an evening hunt of any sort. Not once did we see ANY sign on moose activity. Day 2 starts out the same, us waiting on the guides to get up and ready. Maybe moose are a mid-morning type of animal. Day two is more hiking into places with no moose sign. I blow out a knee about 1 pm. We continue on an aimless wander until 3 pm, then head back to camp. I wrap up my knee, we eat lunch, and head back out. My brother and I with one guide, my dad with the other. All they have done is ride on quads all day trying to cut tracks. All we have done is ride in the truck, and walk looking for tracks. About now, we are thinking "Shouldn't the GUIDES have an idea where the animals are or at least have been?" We finally cross some moose tracks that may have been made this year, but we aren't sure. Yeah, that fresh. Back to camp about an hour before dark. We grab a bite to eat, and head to bed. Our guides stay up and start drinking beer. Day 3, you guessed it, we are up and ready, but no guides. An hour later, they pour out of their tent. We spend about 5 hours riding around on the backs of quadrunners trying to cut fresh tracks. We find a few. The guides drive right past them, and go for another couple miles before they try calling. An omen of things to come. No moose. Back to camp for lunch at 2:30. We eat, and get ready to go back out. The guides go take a nap. 2 hours later, they are ready to go. I mention the fact that we paid for a hunt, not to spend time in camp. Yes, I was polite. We ride around more until about dark, never once stopping to call or hunt. We go to bed, they stay up and drink. Day 4, waiting on the guides again, we make it out just an hour after daybreak this time. Great, more quads. Spend all morning riding quads looking for tracks. Nothing new. Finally stop a couple times for 15-20 minutes and call. Nothing. No wonder, no tracks anywhere near us. We always call DOWNWIND for some reason. Not sure if these particular moose have sinus problems or what. Not to mention, we aren't calling where we finally found the fresh tracks the other day. We are miles from there. Back for lunch around 3. Noone has seen a thing. Noone has heard a thing. The guide tries to convince me that we had a bull start to come in, and wind us at one of the calling stops we made. I never heard a thing. Never saw a thing. Back out around 6 pm. for an evening hunt. We get to a "spot" the guide wants to try with about 45 minutes left of shootable light. Nothing. The weather is too warm, too nice, too nasty, moose aren't moving, moose are moving too much, the moon is too bright, moose aren't vocal like they should be, the Yankees won, every excuse under the sun. Day 5, we head about 45 minutes south to a new area. We get there promptly 2 hours after sun-up. More quad time. 5 hours later, nothing. Back to camp for lunch. Leave camp about 5:30 after the guides get a nap. Apparently, we are wearing them out. I must be limping along too fast for them with the orange sized lump hanging off my upper calf. Even dad with 55+ years of smoking under his belt is wearing out his guide, the outfitter. We haed right back ot the same areas we were at that morning. Nothing. Back to camp for the night. Day 6, after waiting on the guides to get up, we head back to the new spot again. I take off on my own to hunt a cut block. My brother and dad each have their own guide now. We agree to meet back at 1 pm. where they dropped me off. I start down the hill into the cut block. They ride off. I work my way down a bit, then find an old dead birch tree. I get some bark off a piece to make a half-assed call. Start calling my way down the hillside. I get an answer, but the animal winds me, and takes off. Spend the morning hunting around the cut block with no more success. Head back to the drop off point around 12:30. Get within 50 yards of the trail, and dad and his guide go flying by on their quad. I get to the trail in time to see them keep right on going. I sit at the drop off point, and wait. Brother and his guide go flying by. It's 1:15 now. Dad makes it back around 1:20. Brother makes it back at 1:30. I'm not happy. We head back to camp. Lunch, and naps for the guides. Around 5, we finally head back out for an evening hunt. Drive right by all the fresh tracks we find, and call in areas with no tracks or sign. Nothing, imagine that. Back to camp. Day 7, dad's arms hurt so bad from being on the back of a quad for 6-7 hours every day so far that he can't hunt. After the guides get up and ready we head out. It's only 8 am this morning. My brother and I each have our own guide for the day. We head back to the same area as the day before. We ride on quads for hours, "looking for sign" in areas we have already covered and not seen sign. We ignore the places we have seen fresh sign the last couple of days. We see and hear nothing. Even though we had planned on staying out all day today, the guides need to go back to camp for a nap. They wake up around 5, and we head back out. This time we actually stop the quads RIGHT on the spot we cut fresh sign, and start calling. Calling sounds like someone is strangling a calf. "My throat is so sore from all the calling I've been doing" is todays excuse. In 7 days, they have called for about 2 hours total. Nothing shows up except a few crows to laugh at the calling attempt. At an hour until dark, we head back to camp. I've been repeatedly told, "Moose are deer". All the deer I have ever hunted like the twilight hours, not mid-day. Back to camp anyways. By now, our attitudes toward our guides has become very sour. We head to bed, they stay up again. Day 8. Waiting on the guides again. We have run out of food in camp, even though we haven't eaten very much at all. 2 small meals a day at most. Breakfast is cold toast and butter. Rather than go back to where we have at least seen some tracks, the guides want to hunt the old area with no sign again. My guess is because it is closer to camp. We spend about 5 hours riding around on quads again seeing nothing. Back to camp for lunch and the guides naps. My brother tells me that his guide fell asleep while they were sitting and calling. I tell my guide I am through riding around on quads. My arms ache from holding onto the platform they have mounted on the back, my brother has been on one so long that he has worn the skin off his tailbone. Been on the damn things for 90% of the time we have been there to hunt. Remember, we walked the entire first day... The guides get mad, and tell me that we just aren't used to being on the machines. I tell them NOONE is used to being on the back of one for 7-8 hours a day for 7 days. I head into our tent. We all talk about what to do. The guide sticks his head in, and says he doesn't know what to do with us since we don't want to get on the quads again. Mentions that his thumb is even sore from being on the quads so much. ROADHUNTING basically. Dad goes off. He and the guide exchange some nasty words. We decide it's time to leave for good. 2 days early. We make an offer to the guide about the financial situation. He says he can't do what we think he should, so we need to pay in full. After he and I have a discussion, he settles for taking 25% off the hunt, "so there's no bad feelings". A little too late for that.
Now, on a more personal note. The younger guide basically gave up on finding a moose after day 4. He was so worn out he couldn't even walk without stumbling. He was able to stay awake enough to have a couple beers for lunch, and several more for dinner each night though. He had never been in that particular area before, and knew nothing about it. That was apparent when he had to keep looking up our hunting area on Google Earth trying to figure out where we were each day. The outfitter himself was one of the most egotistical SOB's I have ever met. All he wanted to do was talk politics, and tell me how my Republican ideas were the downfall of the world and especially America. According to him, he knew far more about everything than I did. I was just a blind follower of the big money men in America. That damn near got him smacked, but I was hoping to make the best of the hunt. I heard that crap every single day I hunted with him. Even after I politely mentioned that I was there to hunt, not make a political statement. Anytime he could start a "well intentioned arguement" about politics, he did.
Thanks for reading my rant.
Martin & Strother bows
Bowstringdepot.com strings and cables
Wow, what a burn, to say the least! Under fed and bilked, Sounds like the "guides" did'nt have a clue what they were doing other milking 3 American tourist hunter's wallets, I noticed that they seemed to have enough beer, and lunch for them selves. And to add insult to all the other injurys, your outfitters had to try and discuss politics, in a Moose camp, of all places!It seems to me that they at least should have had the decentency to give you hunters the quads and stayed in camp with the beer, You did better on your own with a piece of bark than they did with their supposed expertise. Apparently these guys would'nt know moose sign if it was painted yellow and bolted to a post!
I have to ask.. How did you get hooked up with this outfitter? 74
"skin that one, and I'll get ya another"
Its too bad this hunt of a life time , turned out so badly
Sounds to me like you all should have just gotten up and rode off with there quads, hit that fresh track with you in a pinch call and showed them how to get it done. ALso feal they should have not charged you that 75% Perhaps they should have paid you 3
Martin Cougar Elite X riged Nitros B cam<br />Darton Fury Recurve<br />And the ole Jennings doe master<br /> Its All fun and games, till you get that big boy on the ground. Now its time to get to Work
Tough stuff this kinda stuff has always scared me . Pay a lot with crap guides . Truly sorry for ur experience . Did u have an option or reference number to call on them ?
We did have referrals to call on, but they were all for deer and bear hunters. Everyone gave them a pretty good report though. I'm thinking they know how and where to bait game in, but that's about it. No baiting moose, so they were WAY out of their element.
I think I also forgot to mention that on one occasion when my brother and his guide finally got off the quad to do some calling, his guide FELL ASLEEP! Another classic, while sitting and calling one night, the guide starts taking pictures of the sunset with his camera, FLASH and all. Another afternoon, he was taking pictures of the beaver in a beaver pond with the flash going.
So much went wrong with these jokers that it's hard to remember everything.
Martin & Strother bows
Bowstringdepot.com strings and cables
should have walked off and left sleeping giude behind and tossed his camera in to the beaver pond
Martin Cougar Elite X riged Nitros B cam<br />Darton Fury Recurve<br />And the ole Jennings doe master<br /> Its All fun and games, till you get that big boy on the ground. Now its time to get to Work
Both the guide and the outfitter should been tossed into the beaver's pond, Looks like they put a lot of effort into selecting a camp site as well. "oh, here's a wide spot in the road, this'll do" 74
"skin that one, and I'll get ya another"
I would have lost it about day 3, you and your hunt buds are very patience, I could not have done that, we would have been rolling on the ground over the sleeping in and naps on my coin. I'm afraid them boys would have been waking up to a fry pan and spoon alarm. Hate to hear anyone paying that kind of money for that kind of treatment.They would have drove my tail off that mt. early with the tude i would have developed with that crap going on. with that said, I hope ya'll never have to deal with that sort of stuff again and sorry for such a bad experience.
BIG L<br />ZOMAC PRO STAFF<br />Mathews Mission Ballistic<br />100 G grim reapers
Is there somewhere to lodge a complaint against these Burnt Lake operators? I mean some Canadain agency, not online.
"skin that one, and I'll get ya another"
Been thinking about your experience, surely the outfitter has to be registered somehow with the Fish & Game Dept. or someone. You need to do some investigating and make a complaint,my understanding is that they have to apply for areas to hunt on public ground and have to be licensed to apply. These guy's shouldn't be in business.
Bow Hunter and Hunter Ed. Instructor. God, Family, the Great Outdoors
next time you want to hunt moose pay for my trip to where your hunting and ill guide and film for free. I've never hunted moose a day in my life, but I think I could provide a more enjoyable experience. Lol. It's upsetting to know there are people like that out there.
Chest Thumper Outdoors
We had filed a complaint with the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (appropriately named APOS in my experience)of which the outfitter is a member. They are holding a tribunal and hearing in Aug. on the matter. They asked what ramifications I'd like to see ordered. I told them the best they could do was get me and my family a FULL refund, and revoke his membership/ remove him from ever guiding anyone again. I'd settle for them just revoking his guiding license, and preventing him from every screwing over anyone else. They asked if I wanted to speak at the hearing, and I told them I was already a good amount of money, and a trip to Canada was just going to make me spend even more money. I did request that my entire complaint be read aloud to the tribunal. I guess we'll wait and see what happens.
On another note, my brother and dad are going to B.C. this fall chasing after moose again. I decided I was going to stay home and save a little money this year instead. Not to mention, I'm kinda gun shy at the moment.
Martin & Strother bows
Bowstringdepot.com strings and cables
Hope the tribunal hammers them and you get a full refund of your expenses. They should have to pay for transportation costs too, they misrepresented themselves when yo booked your hunt. Good luck and keep us posted as to the outcome.
Bow Hunter and Hunter Ed. Instructor. God, Family, the Great Outdoors
Last update. The tribunal finally responded to our letters end of last week. Their response was basically: It's a case of "he said-she said" so there's nothing more that we can really do about it. We saw that the outfitter had discounted your hunts a little, so that's all the sanctioning or disciplinary actions that we feel are needed. No photographic or documented proof was given by the plaintiffs.
Apparently, you are supposed to spend your hunt filming the guides to keep them honest and forget about hunting. The letter I sent them was 7 pages long describing most of the infractions, and ineptitude perpetrated by our outfitter.
Basically a case of, "We have your money, so tough sh--!" I will say, that was the last time any penny of my hard earned money will be spent in Alberta. I would strongly suggest anyone thinking about hunting in Alberta to do some SERIOUS research on the outfitter they are thinking about. Once they have your money, it's all over. The Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (APOS), aptly named, will not do anything to help you recover any costs or expenses incurred from dealing with a dishonest outfitter. I truly hope anyone choosing to hunt in Alberta has a better experience than we did.
Martin & Strother bows
Bowstringdepot.com strings and cables
Ehunter said...

Last update. The tribunal finally responded to our letters end of last week. Their response was basically: It's a case of "he said-she said" so there's nothing more that we can really do about it. We saw that the outfitter had discounted your hunts a little, so that's all the sanctioning or disciplinary actions that we feel are needed. No photographic or documented proof was given by the plaintiffs.
Apparently, you are supposed to spend your hunt filming the guides to keep them honest and forget about hunting. The letter I sent them was 7 pages long describing most of the infractions, and ineptitude perpetrated by our outfitter.
Basically a case of, "We have your money, so tough sh--!" I will say, that was the last time any penny of my hard earned money will be spent in Alberta. I would strongly suggest anyone thinking about hunting in Alberta to do some SERIOUS research on the outfitter they are thinking about. Once they have your money, it's all over. The Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (APOS), aptly named, will not do anything to help you recover any costs or expenses incurred from dealing with a dishonest outfitter. I truly hope anyone choosing to hunt in Alberta has a better experience than we did.



Sorry about this. I remembered reading your earlier post about the trip and couldn't believe the lack of professionalism. Now you see the failing Canadian bureaucracy of course ours is NO better. Unhappy
Jim Ward



Archery - Mathews Z-7 bow and Martin Rytera Alien X, Carbon Express , Octane Stabilizer, Crimson Talon , Spott Hogg sight & IQ Retina Lock Ultra Lite.

BSD Bow String Depot Pro Staff
Hips Archery Target Pro Staff
wow. so sorry to hear that. its a shame there are crooks like that out there taking honest hunters' money, with zero success.
"Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind." Dr Seuss - Mathews DXT, Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak, NAP Killzone & Executioner broadheads, NAP stabilizer, QAD Ultrarest, True Fire release.
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