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Outfitter Review - Desert Safaris

Submit Date: Apr 15, 2010

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Desert Safaris

Outfitter / Contact: Hunter Ross

Location: Texas, USA

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: aoudad

Game Quality: poor

Game Quantity: poor

Accomodations: good, hotel

Camp Condition: good

Food Quality: good

Guide Experience: fair

Other Personal Experience: n/a

Review Information

Hunter: R. Saunders



Would Recommend: n

Overall Impression: poor

Two other friends and I booked this hunt through a booking agent more then a year prior to the hunt date. We reviewed Desert Safaris web site where it outlines free range aoudad hunts on 201,000 acres of private land with some rugged terrain. We were looking for a sheep type hunt and that seemed to be what this outfitter was offering. The website outlined a backpack type hunt in 4000-7800 feet elevations. Two of our wives accompanied us and they toured the local area themselves while we hunted. This was all prearranged and discussed with the booking agent and the outfitter. Prior to arriving at our hotel we were informed that the outfitter,Hunter Ross, was in Mexico. We were met at the hotel by a guide who arranged to meet us the next morning to begin our hunt. He also said that the outfitter, who he called "Wayne" was away for a couple of days but that would not be a problem. We did not think anything of it at the time but the next day we determined that this was another outfitter and not the one we had booked our hunt with. Our guide indicated that these two outfitters work together.We then thought that there was a partnership, but since we had no way to reach either of the outfitters we had to carry on. One of my hunting buddies and I hunted with this guide (in truck) the next day and late in the day we located a group of about 30 aoudad which had two acceptable rams in the group. They were on a hillside and about 500-600 yards away. The guide said they were too far for a shot and we could not get up there. After some discussion my friend and I decided we should try to close the distance by walking another adjacent hill which we did very easily and my friend took one of the rams. Our guide was not prepared to walk up the hill and had no desire to walk at all and made that point clear to us. His idea of hunting aoudad was drive around these small hills and catch them in the bottoms or shoot long distances. The next day we returned to the same property and drove the property all day, but saw only a small group of ewes.(This property was ranch land with small hills on either end of the property. We hunted the hills on one end which was about 1 square mile) On the third day, we returned to the same property and again drove around. We voiced our concern about not walking and not seeing any game. It appeared as if we could see almost all of the hillsides by driving the bottoms but the guide would tell us we did not know what was on the top,so my friend and I said we would climb to the top and we did, in less than 30 minutes. The guide would not climb and stayed in the truck. We did not see any aoudad on our hike but the guide did spot some aoudad later that afternoon,from the truck. It seemed clear that this was the same group we had seen two days earlier and that this was the only group of aoudad on this property. It was on the third day of our hunt that we determined that we were definately hunting with ANOTHER OUTFITTER,not Desert Safaris, and they were not partners. We were to meet this new outfitter that night for dinner as Hunter Ross was still hunting in Mexico. We met Wayne Wiemers that night and asked to go to another location to hunt our last day because there was a lack of game on the property we had been hunting. He said he could not do that because he had paid the land owner to hunt that property and if he went elsewhere to hunt then he would have to pay a second land owner and he would loose money. He took us hunting the next day and we drove the same property. He did say that if we saw any aoudad up higher on the hills we would climb to them. When we asked why we were hunting with him and not Hunter Ross , he said that sometimes Hunter turns clients over to him and he does the same. They are friends and help each other. We did see that same group of aoudad late in the day and this time there was no shooter rams in the group. At dinner that night, we were joined by Hunter Ross, who had just returned from Mexico. We were very clear about our disappointment of the hunt and that we did not get what were had booked. We had been farmed out to another outfitter without any discussion and without our concent.We did not want a drive around hunt especially on such a small property.He blamed the booking agent for the confusion but agreed that he had not told the booking agent that we were to hunt with another outfitter He said he would make it right if we wanted to return. Once home, we contacted the booking agent and voiced our displeasure. He contacted Hunter Ross of Desert Safaris and reported back to me that Hunter had put us in this area because it was the best location for our wives to sight see. Why had he not discussed this with either of us or the booking agent? Why did he just move us to another outfitter without any discussion? The booking agent told me that Hunter had agreed to have us return. He would guide us himself and all he wanted was to have us cover his "hard expenses." A good gesture for someone who had handled the matter wrongly and unprofessionally. When I contacted Hunter for the actual cost of the return trip his DEAL was only $250 off what we had just spent for the entire hunt, with the exception that $1250 of it, was in the form of a trophy fee the second time around. If someone wants to cover their "hard expenses" a trophy fee should not enter into the equation Hunter Ross mislead our hunting group. He blamed the booking agent. He blamed the fact that we brought our wives, which was the original arrangement. He offered to have us come back to "make it right" if we covered his "hard expenses" and he reneged on that. He needs to only look in the mirror to find what went wrong here. We hunted free range aoudad where the aoudad were free range but we were fenced in!

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