From: Ken Gangler
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 9:45 AM To: The Hunting Report Thank you for the chance to respond to Mr. Beckers report. Every hunt has some background to it but in regards to this situation, there is more here than meets the eye. Let me address his comments point by point-
We have two caribou camps we use- Courage Lake and No-Name Lake. The hunter was at No-Name which is our larger camp. I believe this was the first remote hunt this hunter had been on. He had sent me his comments before and I felt on many of them, he simply did not grasp what a remote locale he was traveling to and the logistics we deal with. This camp sits 5 miles south of the 60th parallel, the Nunavut border. It is located over 240 miles North from the last gravel road. The camp is not the Taj Mahal and we do not represent it that way. It is a comfortable hunting camp. It consists of a main lodge building for meals, a central shower room, outhouses, and basic tent cabins. There is satellite wi-fi. Half of the cabins have fixed roofs on them and all have electricity. I utilize wood stoves as I prefer the heat they throw and we FLY-IN several plane loads of dry wood cut 80 miles south along with the limited local wood. Photos and descriptions of the camp are available online. We also discussed the hunt with him at his local SCI chapter. We freely supply references for our hunts. Many men bring their wives along including several this year.
In regards to some of the issues, regarding prep, he is correct. The reason for the lack of prep was bad weather delayed us getting our staff into camp beforehand as scheduled to begin the opening. That can happen in the North and the hunters, including this one, were aware of it. The affected several of the items mentioned which we then brought up to snuff as we played catchup. Couple this with no animals and it left us hustling to get things caught up and meanwhile interpret what was happening with this herd. It was a double whammy and most hunters understand what we are up against operating in this remote area. We are constantly upgrading our camps and did so again this season.
On the missed day of hunting, Manitoba created an issue in 2015 when they moved opening day back a week from the customary date without notifying the outfitters. This particularly affected the fall black bear and caribou seasons. The mistake was so bad the government had to legislate a special opening for the Fall bear season but before I noticed it, the legislation had already been written but caribou excluded. However, this had NO impact on this hunters time in the field despite what he reported. His group encountered a weather delay of several hours leaving Thompson. They did not arrive in their caribou camp until late afternoon the first day, too late to hunt.
In regards to the misinformation on the charter airline, he is completely wrong. I give my hunters a 7 page Travel Planner in which it clearly spells out where and what airline the guests check in at. We have used the same itinerary for several years. The mistake was his. On communication, I received a total of four emails from him from Jan. 15 until his hunt date. I then received a total of 7 emails from him AFTER his hunt looking to rebook another for 2016. All emails were very friendly until the last one, the 7th email, a letter noting the same issues HR received. However, the 7th letter came after I quoted him a price for a new hunt. That price had a discount of almost 30% off the regular price of a hunt. I believe his complaints were precipitated because he was not happy with the discount. You see, his hunt was purchased at a SCI auction where he did not pay full price. Consequently, I believe he was looking for a even bigger discount and he alluded to that in the final email he sent me . When he did not get it, he decided to write letters. Had he gotten his bigger discount, nothing would have been written. I would be glad to supply you with copies of the emails. I saw him at SCI where I waved to him and he nodded back but did not stop to talk. I would have appreciated going over his issues face to face. I work with my hunters to ensure they leave us feeling we gave 110%.
On the Manitoba caribou hunt, we are scratching our heads right now. It has been the most consistent caribou hunt in Canada the last 20 years and the herd is still North Americas largest at 300,000 animals. For the last two years, the animals have delayed their migration into Manitoba, sitting just North of the border. The outfitters in Manitoba are currently working together to deal with this curveball and we hope to have some solutions soon. Its a great hunt, we just have to figure out the timing on it.
Ganglers Canadian Sub-Arctic Hunting
Re-rebuttal e-mail from Thomas Becker to The Hunting Report, October 12, 2016:
This Outfitter has maintained an over-all good reputation. I have received good reports from friends and colleagues of the Outfitters fish camp and bear hunts. As a top outfitter negative comments should be taken very seriously and addressed accordingly in order to continually improve the service that outfitters provide. However, in reading the rebuttal it seems the Outfitter is more determined to discredit me and my statements than he is to accept the facts and take the steps necessary to invest in the hunters he takes to his caribou camps. My biggest concern here is the poor communication and the poor organization.
This Outfitter is based out of Ocala, FL and he was not very accessible for communication. The Admin. in his office was my primary point of contact and communication for this hunt.
The Outfitter claims I was provided a 7-page Travel Planner. This I did not receive. I only received invoices and luggage tags. Therefore, I contacted the Outfitters office to confirm my flight arrangements. I was e-mailed incorrect charter flight information for Wings Over Kississing (forwarded to The Hunting Report for reference). I did seek out the Wing Over Kississing terminal the day prior to departure. After speaking with one of their representatives it was clear this was not my charter. My flight with Calm Air was confirmed later that evening by the Wings Over Kississing representative. I could not get a hold of the Outfitter that afternoon or evening and they never acknowledged the mistake.
The Outfitters claimed weather as an excuse for poor camp preparations. This is a supposedly a top notch outfitter by reputation. Therefore, one would expect the outfitter to not be surprised or caught off guard by inclement weather but rather account for bad weather days in camp preparation schedules so that all is in order and camps are ready when it is time to receive hunters. We were not told about any delays with camp preparation or any difficulties attaining fire wood we were just left to assume this was normal for this camp. This poor perception could have been alleviated had we been kept apprised of the situation.
The Outfitter claims that a change in Canada Law eliminated our first day of hunting. This is the first I have heard of that. We were never given an explanation in camp other than we misunderstood our hunt dates. The Outfitter then brushes off the issue by further stating we could not have hunted anyway due to weather. It is correct we were delayed by weather but that is not the point. Our flight was scheduled for 8am which would have provided a full afternoon of hunting as we all expected. But due to weather we did not fly out of Thompson until 1:00pm. This delay was not the outfitters fault but the misrepresentation is. This is more than poor communication this is an example of the Outfitter not acknowledging a problem and not being concerned that there is a problem.
The Outfitter was not present for this hunt. I only saw him when we returned to Egenolf Lake lodge from the No-Name Camp. He quickly scuttled us around the incoming hunters. He addressed us hunters in a group briefly and sternly that he would not re-negotiate a return hunt and directed us quickly to the charter plane back to Thompson. The Outfitter has never offered an apology or expressed any concern to me or the other hunters for our situation.
The Outfitter did send me several communications in an effort to get me to re-book. I did contemplate the offer but discount aside my time is more valuable and I couldnt justify a return hunt. There are other outfitter options out there. Furthermore, I did approach him at the Dallas show this January but he certainly was not eager to speak with me beyond superficial conversation. He preferred to speak with potential clients in lieu of speaking with me.
Finally, the Outfitter is claiming knowledge of an ongoing problem with the caribou migration but he still booking hunts and taking money for those dates. Thats interesting&.