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Outfitter Review - Wild Hog Hunt

Submit Date: Feb 23, 2005

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Wild Hog Hunt

Outfitter / Contact: Paul Candelaria

Location: TX, USA

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: Hogs / Exotics

Game Quality: Low

Game Quantity: Low

Accomodations: Low

Camp Condition: Low

Food Quality: Fair

Guide Experience: Fair (when they were around)

Other Personal Experience: N/A - no one else to assist

Review Information

Hunter: Robert Bridges

Phone:

Email:

Would Recommend: NO

Overall Impression: Poor

Fairly long post, but wanted to give as much detail as possible in case you are considering this ranch. This is a small ranch located just East of San Antonio off I-10. We purchased a hunt (blackbuck, ram and hog) off Ebay and it was very explicit as to what was included. However, upon our arrival, we found that “ebay hunts” would be treated with much less respect. I use quotes because that is what we were called all weekend long. We were treated as more of a burden than guests, not to mention paying guests. I am including a list of highlights of the reasons I CANNOT recommend this ranch/operation: (Darin was my hunting partner, Dean was the hog hunter in camp) - Eat in cold, dark, alone o Friday night the guide nor the owner sat down to eat with us and/or carry on a conversation as we sat on the porch, with no light in the cold o Saturday night we simply requested the meal be at our trailer so we wouldn’t have to sit outside again, and again we at alone - Darin wasn’t picked up Saturday morning until after 11:00 am for his hunt, then just dropped off by himself on place he’d never been for his “100% guided ram hunt”, then told if he shot one too large he’d have to pay another $700 o On a paid hunt Darin sat in camp for half a day waiting to be taken to the other property o NEVER was there a mention of a limit on the size of ram that could be harvested, until Darin was being dropped off for his ram hunt o On a 100% guided ram hunt, shouldn’t a guide be present? - asked to leave stand o even though we had harvested our hogs, I didn’t think it appropriate to be asked to leave a stand in the area the black bucks had been seen - feeders not working o None of the feeders Darin checked on the other ranch were operational - no rams seen o We would expect to at least see a ram, maybe not harvest, but see one - only 5 BB on place that we could tell o only 5 blackbucks were ever confirmed seen by any of the hunters, including the “guide” - treated as an inconvenience o The hospitality witnessed by us and the other hunter in camp was completely lacking. That’s why Dean (the hog hunter) left Saturday night before supper and not even go on his Sunday morning hunt? o Several comments and actions over the weekend gave the impression we were in the way, rather than paying guests. - “ebay hunt” o On several occasions the mention of “on our ebay hunts…” o NEVER in any correspondence, or advertisement in the ebay adds or on the web site was there a mention that a hunt purchased on ebay would be of less value than a normally purchased hunts o We purchase items on ebay to get bargains, not to get less value. I’m sure this is the same reason anyone purchases items on ebay - Not guided as advertised o While we were provided a guide, he was spread between 3 different hunting parties leaving him only a small amount of time to dedicate to each o A guide was non-existent on the ram hunt, which was supposed to be 100% guided - No soft drinks as promised o The only drink provided was water and orange juice until later Saturday afternoon and milk was delivered o There weren’t any snacks as promised until Saturday afternoon as well - No access to 4 wheelers as advertised o In the very last email correspondence the owner mentioned that 4 wheelers would not be provided, up to that point, for the previous 10 or so correspondences over 5 months it was advertised that they would be available o This is a small issue, but just another misrepresentation - 4 wheelers from hog hunters had terrorized the place o While walking/still hunting one couldn’t help but notice the atv tracks covering the entire ranch. These were very fresh from the previous hunting party o That is the right as the land owner to allow this, but the rules state this is not to be allowed and we had expectations that the game would not be terrorized by atv’s. o It wasn’t until late Saturday that some of the animals started emerging from the thickets - No corn o Again, only in the owner’s final correspondence did it mention we would have to provide our own corn o Again, not a big issue, but in a previous conversation we were given the impression corn would be provided to bait the animals. - Friday noon to Sunday noon???? o To me that mean hunt from Friday noon to Sunday noon, not Sunday 9:00am, and certainly not “you will have to be out of camp by 11:00am - Positive: o One nice axis seen o One nice sika seen o One nice fallow seen o One nice red stag seen o LOTS of buffalo (more like cattle though if someone likes that kind of “hunt”) o Could have killed more hogs, saw several (not what I’d call a lot though) o Accommodations were acceptable, but there was a nicer trailer available we weren’t allowed to stay in (not sure if that was for guests though) o They are finishing a new building that will be nice for dining, showers, a few sleeping areas, etc. o Two tower blinds on high fence pasture are very nice If you like I can go into more detail on any point you wish. I sent this list to Paul Candelaria twice giving him the opportunity to respond, but to date have heard nothing from him. My assumption is that I’m old news now and wouldn’t be a source for future income for him. My hunting partner (Darin) had already purchased another hunt on ebay from wildhoghunt before our arrival. After our hunt, he has tried on several occasions to explain our disappointment and ask that corrections be made or refund for his future hunt. Darin was finally able to speak with Paul and he “guaranteed” his satisfaction on the next hunt. Darin followed up he conversation with and email to confirm as he wanted something in writing. Paul’s response was, “I checked with your guide from your last hunt, and he confirmed no guide fee and a poor tip. To guarantee your success on your next hunt, you will need to plan on a upfront guide fee of $75 upon arrival. The guides don't like working for free and not getting tipped, as you can imagine. You will also need to plan on $100 for meals and lodging, as per the terms of your auction.” So far this is the only explanation we have gotten from him as to our crappie service. Now let me address his response. 1st – guide fee was included in the auction price IN WRITING! 2nd – guide’s tip was to be based on service and success IN WRITING! - there was no guiding taking place - success was marginal - we tipped the “guide” $140 anyway because we found out Paul doesn’t pay him anything 3rd – Meals and lodging were included in our package IN WRITING! In conclusion, I will stop short of calling this operation fraudulent, but suffice it to say don’t expect what you are promised, even if in writing. For example, some of his advertisements boast “expect to see as many as 100 hogs.” We saw maybe 20, tops. You will see the number of hogs Paul hauls in on a cattle trailer and releases the day of your hunt. They are interested in how many hunters they can herd through, take the money and get ready for the next herd.

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