By Barbara Crown, Editor
As every subscriber knows (or quickly discovers), the heart and soul of The Hunting Report
is the information we get from our readers. Much of that information comes in the form of the hunt reports you file. In essence, you rely on your fellow subscribers to give you good information on the hunts they've taken. You pay them back by filing your own hunting reports with information they potentially need. We act as a curator of sorts, making sure that the reports we collect and publish are genuine and not paid promotion or personal vendetta. Then we distill all the background details so you can put each and every report into a larger context as you evaluate its usefulness to you and how it fits into your hunting needs and expectations.
So, when should you file a report? That's easy - whenever you take a hunt, preferably as soon as possible afterwards. That way all the details of the experience are fresh in your mind. If something goes wrong later (if you don't get your trophies, for example) you can always update your original report and we will point it out to fellow subscribers.
We've heard every reason in the book for not filing a report. Subscribers have told us they didn't bother to file a report on a hunt because it was "nothing special." But a hunt that's nothing special for one hunter may be a dream hunt for someone else. Or, conversely, someone who is looking at that as a possible dream hunt might decide they need to look elsewhere based on the information you've provided.
Some hunters won't file a report if they didn't get the game they were after. But, from our perspective, the very best hunt reports of all are those where the hunter didn't get any game but still recommends the hunt. That means the outfitter or PH was doing everything else right.
And sometimes, hunters won't file a negative report because they are embarrassed for choosing an outfitter who didn't deliver, or they don't want to seem like "complainers." But remember - if an outfitter did something wrong on your hunt, he or she is more likely to do wrong by someone else, too. By telling our stories, we collectively help to throw out the bad apples and make the hunting industry better.
Recently, we've gotten a number of reports where unscrupulous operators took a lot of money from a hunter and failed to deliver. But the hunter waited years before filing a report. How many other hunters got cheated in the meantime? With your input, we could have helped stop that.
So, when should you file a hunt report? How about right now?