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Outfitter Review - Boulder Creek

Submit Date: Oct 29, 2008

Outfitter Information

Outfitter Name: Boulder Creek

Outfitter / Contact: Tim Craig

Location: Idaho, USA

Hunt Information

Animals Hunted: Elk

Game Quality: Good

Game Quantity: Poor

Accomodations: Poor

Camp Condition: Fair

Food Quality: Good

Guide Experience: Excellent

Other Personal Experience: Fair

Review Information

Hunter: Tom Huff

Phone: 508-723-4439

Email:

Would Recommend: See Comment

Overall Impression: Fair

I originally booked the September 2007 elk hunt with Lost Lakes Outfitters as a 1 on 1 hunt. I also talked two of my hunting partners into booing the same hunt dates as a one on one. All of us sent in our deposits early in 2007. Boulder Creek purchased Lost Lakes during the late winter/spring of 2007. I wrote the former owner to make sure nothing would be amiss in our reservations, deposits, hunts dates, etc. I was assurded by Phil that everything would be the same as if I had booked through Lost Lakes. (I had previously booked 2 hunts with Lost Lakes and knew the quality of the hunt I should be receiving). I felt better that my expectations would be met by the new owner. The first indication something was not right was when I received a letter from Tim Craig's organization showing I was now on a 2 on 1 hunt. One of my other partners received the same letter. The other buddy's statment showed he was still on a 1 on 1 and paying the extra fee 1 on 1 guide fee. We were all expectng 1 on 1. I called Tim Craig and spoke with him about the difference in what we had originally booked and what we were now receiving. I told him I had no issue paying the extra 1,000.00 for the 1 on 1 service. He said he couldn't do 1 on 1, couldn't afford to pay the guides for a 1 on 1 and didn't have enough guides for the 1 on 1. He did offer me my deposit back but also assured me that 2 on 1 would still be okay. I decided to go ahead with the hunt since I was the one who talked the other two into going. I was also expecting no more than four hunters in camp, which had been the norm on past hunts. Tim even mentioned the camp would have a total of four hunters. The morning we were to depart, one of my hunting buddies overheard that everyone on the hunt was on a 2 on 1 hunt. He had paid an extra $1,000 for the 1 on 1. He approached Tim Craig and about 1 on 1 and pointed out he had paid extra. Tim's response was to berrate and yell at my friend. Tim said no one paid extra for 1 on 1. Instead of checking with his office to verify the extra fee was paid he proceeded to tell my friend he had a good mind not to let him go on the hunt because he (Tim Craig) was afraid this hunter would spoil the hunt for the others. What a great way to treat a paying customer, who by the way, was in the right and Tim was in the wrong. We also found out there would be a total of 7 hunters in camp. How things change over a few months and in what you were told over the phone. A new twist was also thrown at us when were were told that instead of riding into camp we would now fly part way and have a short 3 hour ride from the landing strip to camp. The flight added 375.00 to the hunt and did not really present any of the added advantages Tim had told us. This was not originally part of the deal when we signed up for the hunt with Lost lakes. It took most of the day for the pilot to fly all the hunters to the base camp. There were more than the 7 going to our hunt. (By the way, keep in mind that if weather prevets take off and your hunt is delayed by a day or more, Tim Craig doesn't care since your hunt can't be extended or any portion refunded due to weather). We arrived by 7am the morning of departure and finally arrived at the landing strip by 2:30 that afternoon The flight was only about 45 minutes. When we arrived the horses were not ready for us to pack up and ride to camp. We waited another hour or more for the camp's previous hunters to pack out so we had horses and mules for the ride pack in. We got to the North Moose camp by 10;30-11:00pm that night. You should try riding/walking down that last moutain in the dark. And the trip was about 7 and a half hours, not the three we had been told. Camp had a cook tent, hunter's tent and guide tent. The issue here was the hunter's tent had space for 6 and there were 7 hunters. The guide tent had space for 4 and there were 4 guides. The cook tent already had the cook (female) with her cot in it. I was the odd man out when it came to tent space. I found a small 2 man tent used to store horse feed out behind the cook tent. The good news I was able to find a cot and set up my bedroll outback in that tent. Not the most comfortable since it was a small tent without a ground cloth or floor. It sufficed as a covered and protected me from the elements but again was not what I expected since the advertisement was for a "heated hunters tent" that I thought I had paid for. My buddy did get his 1 on 1 hunt and was fortunate enough to take a nice 6X6 but I can assure you Tim Craig gave him very bad feelings before we had ever left the ground to fly over and my friend was "down" about the hunt after being yelled at. I know that if Tim had offered him a refund before we left the airport my buddy would have taken it and left. he was feeling bad about the entire encounter. I would be cautious when listening to Tim Craig explain the services you will recieve and can expect on one of his hunts. The good news for my buddy and me was that we both took elk inspite of the poor conditions at camp. We were the only ones out of 7 to take elk, that should tell you something. When I left mid-week, my remaining hunting buddy was expecting his hunt to now be 1 on 1 and for his chances to improve greatly. It actually got worse for him, the hunt went to 3 on 1 and with the increased ratio, little chance of success. In fact they did not see elk the rest of the week hunting in a 4 man group. I would not book another hunt with Boulder Creek based on this one hunt's expereince. I had booked three hunts with Lost lakes because the service (in the past) had been excellent and true to thier advertising. Tim Craig seems to be more intersted in the quantity of hunters on the hunt instead of the quality of the hunt for his customers.

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