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Outfitter Review - Young Scouts Outfitters

Submit Date: May 8, 2005

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Young Scouts Outfitters

Outfitter / Contact: Randy Armstrong

Location: SK, Canada

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: Whitetail/Muledeer

Game Quality: Below Average - 80" WT

Game Quantity: Poor - 2 WT and 2 MD

Accomodations: Below Average

Camp Condition: Poor - Broken Trucks

Food Quality: Poor

Guide Experience: Family Members

Other Personal Experience: Average

Review Information

Hunter: Michael Sodolak

Phone: 214-978-4934

Email:

Would Recommend: NO

Overall Impression: Poor

(Long Review) There were quite a few comments/reports on this site that refuted what I previously stated. I think it is appropriate that I give details as to what happens and let you be the judge of this outfitter. For starters, I am a very experienced hunter who has taken numerous outfitted hunts during the last 15 years and have been hunting deer for 30 years. I have hunted Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, and Georgia as well as my recent Saskatchewan Hunt. I have been on successful and unsuccessful outfitted hunts, but I am grading this hunt from what the outfitter could control. The best outfitter I have ever hunted with I was unsuccessful on my first hunt with him and have gone back two times and I am brining my wife this fall for my fourth trip. In my pre-planning and searching for an outfitter. I spoke with Randy on three separate occasions about his hunt offering (please note this is what we were told before we got to Saskatchewan in phone conversations). He informed me that he had ample stands that would not be overhunted and that your primary stand would be new and never hunted until you got there. Further, for my hunting partner (my father) it was important that he have someone sit with him for the first two or three days of the hunt to help judge the animals we were supposed to be seeing. We were told to expect to see a 140 Class or better buck daily and at least two 160 or better bucks on a 6 day hunt. I asked what a realistic shot to him was – he commented that it could be a 300 yard shot from a steady rest at a standing deer – I felt this was fair. All stands would have a chair in them to sit on that you could shoot from. He further said you could take a Mule Deer or Whitetail for the cost of the hunt and then a 2nd Animal could be taken for $1000 less than the cost of the hunt. We thought this was fine and would figure it out as the hunt unfolded if we wanted to take a 2nd animal. We were told we would be staying in a B&B with three meals a day and drinks available in the room throughout the hunt. We knew we wouldn’t see very many deer and we were prepared for long, all-day stints in the stands. The land would be farmland fields intermixed with river bottom and brush/treelines that we would be hunting. We were to be picked up at the Saskatoon Inn by 10:00am Sunday Morning and brought to the camp around Noon to sight in our rifles and then be taken to the areas we would be hunting to familiarize ourselves with the lay of the land before the first hunting morning. We were not picked up at Saskatoon until 2:00pm by a young man who brought his 18 month old son. 6 Calls to the outfitter went unanswered on Sunday inquiring about the whereabouts of our ride. This little boy proceeded to jump on our bags, take out our optics, go through our backpacks and personal belongings after repeated talking too’s to stop. They had to stop at McDonalds for lunch – where he proceeded to throw French Fries at my father. After 30 minutes of this it got really old and we about had it when he started jumping on the gun cases. We got to camp and were introduced to Randy Armstrong and taken to our accommodations. The accommodations were a rough trailer that had numerous holes in the walls and air mattresses for beds (not a problem). The issue with the air mattresses were 1/3 full of air and no equipment could be found to blow them up. My father is recovering from back surgery two years ago and sleeping on what amounts to the floor was not what was expected and our requests for the air pumps went unanswered and ignored. We were taken to shoot and sight in the rifles late and brought back for dinner. Dinner consisted of leftover 3 day old cold pizza. Not quite the impression we expected on our first encounters. The stands on the outside looked solid and well built – the chairs were non-existent and you were dropped off about an hour before first light and picked up at dark with your seat being a two by four. Also, when my father asked about someone sitting with him – he was told that was not going to happen. The first day we were told we would have someone check on us at mid-day and bring lunch. We were checked on at 3:00pm – 2.0 hours before dark and brought lunch after having breakfast at 5:00am. We were also using a borrowed truck as the vehicles were ALL damaged and in the shop according to our guide Rocky. 2x4’s were used to brace the seats and hold them up in place. DAY 1 – no animal sightings by any of us. The hunters from Mossy Oak who I spoke with for about 30 minutes as we waited for a ride, were not happy. They were told the same as I about having stands reserved for you and never hunted before you got there. DAY 2 – Our guide was a no show in the morning and Randy took us to our stands. He said he would pick us up at 11:30 – Noon and we would go to a new spot. Well at 3:00pm when nobody showed up I started walking to the nearest town or house to get help to take me back to the Reserve. The entire morning had locals or reservation members driving my entire hunting area trying to bump deer from their bed. It was a complete waste of time. At 4:15pm – a car came down the road which was my guide. He informed me that Randy had “forgotten about us and they were bringing me lunch.” I told them to take me back to the trailer – they wouldn’t for all kinds of reasons and they put me in a spot they said “wasn’t very good (hadn’t seen a deer in a month), but you never know what might happen” in a 2000 acre bean field. My dad had been gotten from his stand at 1:00pm and told they had found a 170+ Class buck. They raced to where they had the buck cornered in a wood lot in the center of a big field. They had three trucks circling the wood lot to hold the buck in its spot and had run this buck for miles to the point he was exhausted. The buck was a 2 ½ year old 120 Class 9 pt – my dad said he wasn’t interested in taking a deer like this by chasing it down with a truck. Well, the natives (Randy’s Uncle, Brother and Brother-In-Law (Game Warden of the Reserve)) decided to “have some fun” and chased the deer further with the truck. They ended up running over the buck with the truck and then had the audacity to tell my father he would need to shoot it to put it out of its misery and TAG IT!! He said no and passed the rifle to them to shoot it. This is the Deer my father supposedly passed on that was mentioned in an earlier post. That evening they didn’t show up to pick up my father until 7:00pm – dark is 5:30pm. The guide said he got lost trying to find the stand – COME ON! Dad and I were both pissed by the way things were being handled and the guide (Rocky) realized it. I spoke with the Mossy Oak guys that evening and they informed me they were not sure they would return after hearing what we told them plus they were not having a positive experience. Still No deer sightings for me or the Mossy Oak guys. DAY 3 – We hunted the same area we did on the first morning and I was told to watch this huge field behind me to see if any deer would cross. They said they would be running hard from the river bottom to my area and be prepared for a running shot – this area was about ½ mile across and I didn’t buy it. I did see two small bucks a yearling spike and a little 8pt (maybe 12” wide) in the morning. The guide came and moved me after the morning, but told me the stand was being “saved for the Mossy Oak hunters and if they come to the stand you need to leave.” They further said to just walk down the hill and you will find another stand to hunt in…. That afternoon I shot a 181” B&C Gross Muley with a 3” drop tine following a yearling doe. That night we caped him and I brought the antlers back to the camper. The hunting consultant in camp said that evening “You did good by taking this buck, you probably won’t see anything better the way things are going.” He further said “This operation is really rough around the edges and is going to have to improve dramatically for me to send anybody back. People cannot be left in stands or not have meals provided when promised a full service hunt.” We ran out of drinking water that evening in the camper and none was brought back to the house during our stay until the morning we left. DAY 4 – At breakfast, Randy approaches me at the table and says – Mike you owe me the extra dollars for your mule deer. I said you told me that I could take either and then a 2nd one would be a fee. He said well that is not the case anymore and you owe me extra dollars. The hunting consultant even piped in and said “You told me we could take either for the hunt cost as Mike states.” I told him, I will not be hunting anymore since I have no more tags and have ended my hunt with the mule deer. That ended the conversation, but I was not spoken too for the rest of the hunt by the outfitter. Dad asked if they had any jam or jelly to go with the toast – they brought him two jars – both were mold filled and fermented when opened. Rocky told dad that morning on the drive when asked about the deer seen at these spots he had been placed at – he said they had taken good bucks there. When further prompted it had been years earlier or early November/Late October _ 6 weeks to one month earlier – but nothing had been seen since. We were supposed to be brought lunch – Dad hunted all day and nobody saw him or brought him anything and I didn’t see anyone all day at the trailer. Luckily, he brought snacks and water bottles we had brought with us because he felt this was going to be a problem. Dad was again picked up a 1.5 hours after dark and brought to the trailer (30 minutes from hunting area) at 7:30pm – 2 hours after dark. He did see a 8pt that would score 120 – 125 B&C, but elected to pass wanting something older. Dinner that night consisted of 5 day old Turkey (the guide Rocky) said they had this the previous Saturday. Day 5 – Dad hunted the entire day without seeing anything. We had discussed that morning having someone take us to the airport on the 6th Day of our hunt. We felt that since they were hours late and having numerous execuses with every question asked we should probably head back when we could – or have enough time to hire a cab to take us back. Randy was a no show that morning or afternoon. DAY 6 – We were taken back to the airport at 10:00am and were able to catch an earlier flight back home. The food was poor, the accommodations were below average (they were dry and we had heat), the camp equipment was in various points of disarray, these are the things the outfitter could control. The weather was much too warm for Canada, but to say if we had stayed we would have gotten our animal – there is much more to this story than that. You place your trust in the outfitter and his employees when you go on out of state and in this case an out of the country hunt – we felt there was no regard for our well being and after we got there we were just a number. You be the judge - can you kill a big animal - sure, but for me a hunt is so much more than killing an animal. It is the total experience and this outfitter failed miserably in my opinion. Please call me or email with any questions.

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