To: The Hunting Report From: Ruby Range Outfitters Date: 11-17-98 Re: Letter sent to Ruby Range Outfitters by Jimmy John Liautaud concerning his hunt with them.
I would like to make it clear to you what my perceived experience was while hunting with Keith, your husband.
1. Keith appeared to have no sense of urgency in helping me reach my objective.
2. Our first day hunting I spotted a ram at 1:30 PM that I wanted to go after and harvest and Keith said NO and I said YES and Keith said NO, "I'm the boss and we don't do things that way around here." "We'll go after him tomorrow," he stated.
3. I've been sheep hunting long enough to know the risk in not finding the sheep (tomorrow).
4. Needless to say, we went after that sheep (tomorrow) and were not successful, nor did we even see the sheep.
5. We continued to climb two additional mountains on day three and four and never at one time was Keith able to put me within shooting distance of any ram. (Hunting is Hunting)
6. During the evenings it was quite cold and Keith had firewood at our advertised "heated sheep camps"; however, Keith told me that I could not burn anymore wood. We had burned my ration of wood and he was saving it for the next hunter, Stan Boots. I asked Keith to call on the radio and have the rangler bring up more wood and Keith said, "No, we don't do things like that around here."
7. Keith was to be my cook, and I was excited about being in a "heated sheep camp" with a cook; however, the first meal he made me, Hamburger Helper, was inedible. After speaking to Keith, he told me he could not read and therefore, was not able to follow the instructions on the box so I, obviously, jumped in and helped him out. (Not a problem)
8. We returned to base camp to get some fresh meat and possibly move to a different area. We were greeted by you with wonderful open arms, a first class meal, and the greatness that Debbie brings to the package.
9. After the wonderful meal we agreed to depart the next morning and 7:30 AM in pursuit of my sheep.
10. By 11:30 the next morning I was getting anxious as my guide, and the owner of the outfit, was still in bed sleeping. So I proceeded to wake him up. We finally departed at approximately 3:30 PM and wasted a day of hunting, I was not happy.
11. We began our hunt, climbing our fourth mountain, which we attempted to do without spotting actually where the sheep were, thus when we got on top -- NO SHEEP. It's my belief that you spot the sheep first and then go after them. But as the owner stated, "We don't do things that way around here!"
Deb, I'm a very easygoing guy. I make my living by managing. I was treated with little respect from your husband. All he seemed to be concerned about was Stan Boots and his wife coming as the next hunters and all he talked about was how you and he were going to take care of Stan and his wife to make it a First Class experience for them. And then I asked myself if Stan Boots didn't get a sheep, would Stan Boots be waking Keith up at 11:30 in the morning to go hunting -- I think not.
I came to Ruby Range not via reference but via advertisement. I can handle having an unsuccessful hunt but I can't handle misrepresentation, disrespect, and a feeling that you husband didn't care. That simply is hurtful and not right.
Thank you for you letter to me. I appreciate it, but on your part you were very non-committal on bringing me back for a discounted hunt or better yet a FREE hunt. You simply did not know my story so I thought that you should hear my side. I hope you will respect and understand where I am coming from as I guess I can understand the angst and nervousness Keith seemed to be having with his next "SUPER CLIENT", Stan Boots!
I am sending a copy this letter to the Hunting Report in order to clear up any confusion expressed or discussed my hunt with the Ruby Range Outfitters.
I look forward to your response.
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To: The Hunting Report From: Ruby Range Outfitters Date: November 22, 1998 Re: Letter sent to Jimmy Liautaud by the Outfitter
Received your e-mail with your "perceived" experience of your hunt with us this past 1998 season, your perception is not altogether accurate, always remembering there is always two sides to every story.
1. You misrepresented yourself right from the start, with your disclosure on our questionnaire that you weighed "210 pounds", as we all know you are considerably heavier than that. We estimate you "underscaled" yourself by at least 100 pounds. Keith himself weighs 260 pounds.
2. We had a hunter from the previous year, that indeed told us he weighed considerably less than he actually did, and Keith was guide, and that gentleman had a minor heart attack on the mountain while hunting.
3. You statement that Keith "had no sense of urgency in helping you reach your objective" was not a fair statement. Keith was careful, knowing that you were very overweight, and there is always that possibility of medical problems, especially when exerting one's self as they must during a climb after sheep; did you ever stop to think about that??
4. You cannot possibly compare your "experience" hunting sheep with your guide Keith, he had guided hunters to their trophy rams for the past 15 years, so you should have relied on his judgment, rather than doubted his judgment.
5. There has been many occasions when the opportunity to take a ram was not "right" one day, and guide and hunter gone back the next and the group of rams were there to make sure the situation was "right" and they were successful.
6. Your statement in point #5 is totally untrue.
7. In your point #6, about the supply of wood and your not being able to burn your share, this is quite a petty point, quite ridiculous to accuse Keith of "saving" the wood for another hunter!! As far as getting the wrangle to bring up more wood to the camp, the wrangler was as you well know, working at basecamp looking after the horses there, and we had hunters in camp as well, would not have been possible for him to got to your cam with wood.
8. Your timing in your point number ten is a little off, remember that when you arrived in camp from the outlying camp you were hunting in, you said, and we quote, "that is it, I have had enough, no more hunting, first plane out of here", so indeed we did not know at that point if you were just tired, discouraged, not well, or if you wanted to continue your hunt, did you remember saying those things???
9. In your point #11, again, you have quite forgotten conveniently some of story, there was sheep seen by one of our guides a few days prior to your going after those sheep, and having not been hunted yet. The reason was that for going after them, sometimes you have to get "up there" to find those sheep, a man with all our "years of sheep hunting experience" should know that!
Jimmy John, we try to treat each of our hunters on an equal basis, it does not matter what or who they are. We never take preference one over the other, you are just looking for reason to complain. Mr. Boots and his girlfriend had to hunt just as hard, or harder than yourself to find Mr. Boot's ram, climbing more than their share of mountains to accomplish that feat.
Your hunt was only unsuccessful in you eyes. One thing that we as outfitters always remember there are some people in the world that you can never possibly please, so you do your best, and hopefully you please and give a good hunt to as many as you can, that is all we can do.
As far as bringing you back on a discount hunt, or free hunt, we are very sorry Mr. Liataud but if you were not happy the first time, you certainly are not going to be happy the second time. You can also contact the Yukon Outfitters' grievance committee if you want with your concerns.
Good luck, hopefully you will find better outfitters next time!!
Oh, by the way, we are sending a copy of your e-mail, along with our response to the hunting report as well. We have a lot of sheep hunters hunt with us, and not too many with your opinion.