I walked out of camp on the 6th day of my hunt, heart broken, frustrated and disappointed. My expectations of a 1 on 1 hunt were obviously different than the outfitter. Derek, the Owner of Misty Mountain, had partnered me and my guide with another rifle hunting client, her guide and packer. Something we never discussed ahead of time.
The hunt I won from CA FNAWS was marketed as a $32,000, 14 day, 1 on 1 Stone Sheep hunt. A hunt I have been dreaming about my whole life.
Do to poor logistical planning by the Derek, I had to hunt with Mathy ,a 60 year old lady from Texas, her guide and packer. We had to travel at her pace through some really tough country, which was frustratingly slow. I have a lot of respect for Mathy and her determination. She should not have been put in this situation either. I felt for her as she apologized several times for slowing us down even though she was pushed beyond her limits.
On the 6th day I decided that Misty Mountain had not, nor could not, deliver the 1 on 1 hunt that was booked. The hunt, up to this point (day 6) that was sold was not happening. I left as I did not want to give up a once in a lifetime opportunity to bowhunt Stone Sheep. I knew if I stayed I my chances would be gone. I thought since Derek had put two clients in a bad situation he would be reasonable and work something out for a new hunt.
Disappointingly, Derek Drinnan, the owner of Misty Mountain says he met all of his obligations as an outfitter. According to Derek, my expectations of a 1 on 1 hunt are irrational and my actions on the mountain were irrational by deciding to leave. This is apparently the way Misty Mountain runs 1 on 1 Stone Sheep Hunts.
Since I won the hunt through CA FNAWS I discussed the situation with the president Ken Fish. CA FNAWS bought the hunt and marketed it as a 14 day, 1 on 1 Stone Sheep hunt. CA FNAWS understands my disappointment, however feels I should have stayed and my expectations of a 1 on 1 hunt are not realistic. Partnering up and hunting with other clients on sheep hunts happens and you just have to make the most of it according to CA FNAWS.
This is only the 3rd guided hunt I have been on. My expectations of a 1 on 1 hunt were just that, I would be hunting for the length of my hunt with just a guide. I have talked to a lot of sheep hunters and no one mentioned being paired up with another client for their hunt. Apparently this is just part of sheep hunting according to Misty Mountain and CA FNAWS???????
I need your help with the following questions to help me better understand this situation.
What is a 1 on 1 hunt? Should a client expect to be partnered with another client, guide and packer during a 1 on 1 hunt? If so, how many days are acceptable? Is this typical for Sheep hunts? Derek also asked me to shoot a ram with a rifle as it would solve this problem. Is this a reasonable solution to the problem of two clients competing for sheep?
This is a challenging situation to say the least. I have so much physically, mentally and financially invested in this hunt. It was so far from what I had always imagined. Your help in better understanding the expectations of a guided hunt such as this would be very helpful. Please give you your thoughts, they would be genuinely appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your help.