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BEWARE of Triangle T Outfitters!!!

 I hope that anyone considering a hunt with Triangle T Outfitters and Ed Tibljas will take the time to read this and please contact me before spending any money. Please feel free to contact me at: sholtsmaster75@gmail.com. This is part of the complaints that are filed with the Texas Attorney General, BBB and a couple other consumer protection agencies.  I have all documents to support our complaint.
Thanks
Spoke with Ed Tibjlas, owner of Triangle T Outfitters regarding an Elk hunt in New Mexico in early Jan of 2011. He told me that he had 4 tags left for his guaranteed trophy elk hunt and that he was sure they wouldnt be available after the Eastern Sports show in Harrisburg, Pa. The Harrisburg show was to start on the 4th of Feb. After speaking with the my father and the other 2 hunters we decided to move forward with the trip. I called Ed back on the 22nd of Jan and told him we werent going to be able to make it to the show but we did want to reserve these 4 last guaranteed tags. Guaranteed meaning we were guaranteed an opportunity to shoot at a bull elk that scored at least 300 boone & crockett points. He asked for a $1000 deposit which i gave him at that time. The total agreed price of the hunt was $7000 per man. Within a few wks or so we gave him the other part of the deposit that he had asked for. We never received copies of the contracts until the 2nd wk of Sept. 2011. We took care of all final payments and returned signed contracts at that time. Our trophy hunt was all set and scheduled to start on Oct 15th. As advertised on the Triangle T Outfitters website at that time(since changed) we were all understanding that we were to be hunting 120 sq miles of privately owned ranch land in Unit 12 in Northwest NM. When arriving to the hunting camp/ranch, we received our tags which were not Unit 12 tags, they were Unit 10, unit wide tags. Unit 10 is primarily publicly hunted, state owned land and blm land. At this time we began to grow suspicious. We were shown racks and pictures of the weeks priors hunt on Unit 12 which is all privately owned ranch land that was advertised and which we thought we were hunting on. After the first day of hunting we knew that we were not getting the hunt that we had paid for. The Unit 10 area was heavily hunted by trucks, atvs and was also full of grazing beef cattle. We hunted for 5 full days covered over 150 combined miles in the woods and not one of the four of us even as much as saw an Elk. Not even a cow Elk. We gave this outfitter $28,000 for a Guaranteed hunt and not any of us saw a single Elk. At the time we booked the hunt and up until about a month ago the Triangle T website read "Guaranteed Trophy Bull Elk hunt on 120 sq miles of privately owned ranch land on Unit 12 of Northwest NM". Since we made a complaint to Mr Tibjlas the website has changed drastically. It no longer states anything about the 120 sq miles of privately owned ranch land nor does it even say anything about Unit 12. We have respectfully asked for a refund of our money which request has been denied. Mr. Tibljas has sent us a letter not even acknowledging the initial $1000 deposit I had given him on Jan 22nd to reserve the Guaranteed Unit 12 tags. I have an bank statement to prove that the deposit was made to Triangle T on Jan 22. It is quite clear that Mr Tibljas realizes that his website was very misleading because it has been totally changed since the time of our complaint. He has tried to offer us a whitetail hunt in Texas that sells for $3250. The advertised price of the Texas Whitetail hunt includes lodging and food. He is not even offering lodging and food with his offer. Take away those major factors and it may be equal to $1000. We declined the offer. Most of all, why would we even consider booking another hunt with Triangle T when the first hunt went so badly and we were lied to and taken advantage of? We have contacted an Attorney and are prepared to do what we have to do to recoup our money and make sure that this doesn't happen again to other hunters.

2nd letter to BBB on Jan 6th 2012
Hi Steven. I am faxing a copy of the contract that was sent to me. Notice the dates on the contract and the manila envelope they were mailed in. The postmark was the 6th of September. As you can see it is totally different. I have never seen the contract that Mr Tibljas sent in to you. Obviously he is trying to cover up his dishonesty. We never received the so called brochure that he states we received either. Also, look at the date of the original deposit. January 22nd. I gave Mr Tibljas a $1000 deposit to reserve the unit 12 hunts. The reason for the $1000 was because that is all he told me he needed at that time to reserve the 4 tags.  Like I told you on the phone, my father had been on a hunt with Triangle T in Texas a few years back with another friend. Mr Tibljas had told my father about this elk hunt and had my father really pumped up about it. My father and my friends father that were going on this elk hunt have both had bouts with cancer and are not in any physical condition to be climbing up and down the mountains in Unit 10. Mr Tibljas spoke with my father several times and told all of us that we would be hunting on easy walking areas with many miles of roads to get us where we needed to go. That is the terrain of Unit 12. You may wonder how I know this, well I was hunting with Mr Tibljas one afternoon and we spotted a helicopter flying over Unit 12.  Mr Tibljas raced to the locked gate of Unit 12 and we raced down one of the bumpy dirt roads chasing after the helicopter. Mr Tibljas was so mad that a helicopter was flying over his part of Unit 12 that he told me if we see the helicopter to hand him my gun and he was going to shoot it.  Hand him my gun! I was very happy when we didnt see the helicopter again, to say the least. He believed that the helicopter was trying to drive elk off of his Unit 12 section. That seemed very crazy to me. Mr Tibljas in no way told us that we were going to get less of a hunt for the price that we paid. We were caught in a classic "bait and switch" set up, I believe.  Fortunatly, I make pretty decent money and will move on. What about the guy who saved his whole life for this dream hunt that Mr Tibljas made us believe we were going on and he gets there and he gets nothing of what he anticipated or was guaranteed.  That is very sad. I will be sending the pages from the website the way it was when we booked the hunt. Our lawyer has them at this time. The information on the website at that time states nothing about Unit 10. It states 120 sq miles of privately owned ranch land on Unit 12. When I first spoke to Mr Tibljas he directed me to his website and told me that was the hunt we were going on and that is what we were expecting. Like I stated before, days after we confronted Mr Tibljas to tell him how disappointed we were and to try to receive a refund the whole website changed. Now I think that is a major coincidence.  I think what happened here was that Mr Tibljas sold the tags that we were supposed to get for a premium and therefore we ended up with a 2nd rate hunt to say the least. He or the young guide that he had working for him had never even done any scouting or knew anything about Unit 10.  I am in business myself and take pride in my work and believe a man is only as good as his word. Its obvious that Mr Tibljas is trying to cover up his dishonesty by fabricating these contracts that I have never seen until his rebuttal. I feel that the only way for this situation to be made right is for us to have a refund of the cost of the hunt. Why would we even consider booking another hunt with Mr Tibljas when this one went so wrong?  Hopefully you will review this information and so will Mr Tibljas and hopefully his conscience will help him to make the right decision.

 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
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The sad thing is it looks

The sad thing is it looks like you didn't do you homework before you booked a hunt and sent in your deposit for the hunt.  The first give away that something was fishy was the "Guarantee a shot at a 300+pt bull"  In the world of hunting nothing is a guarantee unless you are hunting on a high fence ranch. 

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Hi Critter. Thanks for the

Hi Critter. Thanks for the input and yes you are right. I have been hunting my whole life and realize nothing is "guaranteed" hunting.  The thing is my father had been on a whitetail hunt in TX a few yrs back with another friend from the area and killed a respectable 160 class buck. He really stuck it to us on this Elk hunt though. His young guide slipped up and told my buddy that he "overbooked" the hunts for Unit 12 and we got stuck with the Unit 10 tags that he scraped up. Just don't want it to happen to someone else.

Thanks

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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 336
Sorry

Sorry to hear that, 7 K each to hunt public ground is a little nuts.

if it would have been on the 120 sq mile private Ranch, like stated, a 300" bull should be reasonable but not on public ground.

That is why I only do DIY hunts now, i have had a couple of bad experiences with guides. I can do a 2 week DIY for $1,500 to $2,000 depending on what State i go to, and what licenses i buy.

Kevin

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Hi Kevin, It was a very bad

Hi Kevin,

It was a very bad experience all around. Just don't want to see it happen to someone else. Definetly will be guiding myself from here on out.  We wanted to get our fathers a good opportunity is the main reason we went this way. They are getting up in age and cant hike like my friend and myself.

Thanks,
Steve

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That's too bad

Sorry you had such a sucky experience, especially when expecting a once in a lifetime kind of experience.

Although I don't know how common these kinds of selling/marketing practices are in the guiding and outfitting community, I would recommend treating a purchase of a trophy hunt a bit like buying a used car.  Make sure you check out the references, do some online research, and then read the contracts VERY carefully and ask lots of questions before signing and committing to the purchase.  And, if you are feeling pressured to make a quick decision, probably time to put on the brakes and re-evaluate the hunt.  There are many choices for trophy caliber elk hunts in many western states.  

Not saying you didn't do these things, it just seems like a good opportunity to highlight the "buyer beware" mentality when spending significant sums for outfitted hunting trips.

Good luck and hope your future hunts turn out much better.

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I've never considered paying

I've never considered paying for a hunt, and stories like these tells me I made the right choice. I've read too many like these. Which is a shame.

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Hiring a Outfitter

Still Hunter wrote:

I've never considered paying for a hunt, and stories like these tells me I made the right choice. I've read too many like these. Which is a shame.

If you do your homework on a outfitter there is no reason to have any problems.  I did have a friend that booked a hunt with a outfitter in Arizona in a premium elk hunting unit.  When he arrived he found out that the outfitter had over booked and had hired some new guides.  The guide that he assigned to my friend had no idea of where to go on the unit.  When he found the elk he told my friend to shoot one that he could see in the rear end.  My friend didn't want to since he couldn't see the head but the guide told him that he saw the elk just before it stepped into the thick stuff and that it was a real nice one.  Well my friend ended up shooting a spike bull in the back side.  But it was as I asked him, who's fault was it?  He didn't need to pull the trigger and he could of waited until the whole elk stepped out of the brush but he didn't.  He also did not check the outfitter out.  He just pulled his name out of a hat and decided to go with him. 

In a case that I had, a outfitter at the Colorado Sportsman's show had a contest going on for a hunt.  So I put my name in the fish bowl along with everyone else.  A couple of months later I got a letter in the mail that informed me that since they had such a great response to their contest and that I had won a trip with them.  The only clinker was that I had to purchase one hunt to get one free.  The next morning I forwarded the letter from the outfitter to the Colorado State Outfitters Association and the states attorney generals office.  Come to find out that outfitter had quite a few complaints filed against him and soon lost his license.

Now as far as hiring a outfitter I have done it for a bear hunt in British Colombia this coming May.  When I first contacted the outfitter there was no hurry to get a contract signed and we talked on the phone for a half hour or so.  The next time that I talked to him I found out that it really was his son that was taking over the business and I talked to his son for about the same length of time.  When I asked for some hunters that had hunted with him he had no problem sending me a email with their names and email addresses.  I then sent out 10 emails telling them who I was and what I had planned on doing and asked them if I could call them.  All but a couple were more than happy for me to contact them.  All this was before I even received a email from the outfitter with a contract in it. 

The main thing here is that if you are going to put down some hard earned money you need to check out who it is going to.  Don't do it on the spur of the moment but take your time and find out some information.  The hunt that you want to go on this year will quite often be offered next year and if you wait that year and do some checking you just may be a lot happier hunter. 

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Posts: 13
Hi Critter. Very well put.

Hi Critter. Very well put. Its just very very sad that a man's word doesnt amount to a pile of beans in the world of hunting.  Something that is supposed to be a family/friend oriented affair with lots of great experiences and lifelong memories has become as corrupt and dishonest as any other money hungry business out there.  Thanks for everyones input. 

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BEWARE of Triangle T Outfitters of Granbury, Tx!!!

Here is another very shady fact about the hunt. I was personally guided by Ed Tibljas and numerous times during our "hunt" he said and I quote "IF WE ARE APPROACHED BY ANYONE, TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE ON A SELF GUIDED HUNT"! After doing some research, I have found that it is illegal to guide on public land without the proper permits. Is that professional?

Taken from page 16 of Rules & Regs

Anyone outfitting or taking clients on public lands, including
landowners or their agents, must obtain a special recreation
permit from the appropriate land management agency (BLM,
U.S. Forest Service and/or State Land Office). Public land
management agencies may place a limit on the number of
outfitters operating on public lands. When negotiating with a
prospective outfitter for a public land hunt, make certain that
they have the necessary permits. Your written contract should
include these details.

Here is the question that I would like to see everyone answer in all honesty. If you were charged $28,000 to hunt on public land not the 120 square miles of "privately owned ranch land" that you were told you would be hunting and that was advertised. What would you do?
Thanks

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Posts: 13
Triangle T info sheet

http://www.triangletoutfitters.com/infosheet.htm

Take a look. Only 1 New Mexico rifle Elk Hunt offered.

Thanks

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