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Bucks and Bulls Outfitters Review

This a complaint I filed with the Colorado agency responsible for licensing outfitters  I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who has hunted with this outfitter.

Formal complaint against Bucks & Bulls Guides and Outfitters, Inc

PO Box 12160 Ogden UT 84412

Phone: 801.785.5050

CO License #2973

In early 2016, in celebration of my brother Brian's remission from an aggressive cancer we, along with my third brother Scott, booked a 5 day Colorado elk hunt with Bucks & Bulls Outfitters of Ogden, UT. They hold a lease for private access to Colorado GMU 63 in the Gunnison National Forest. The hunt was scheduled for the first 5 days of the muzzleloader season, Sept. 10 through 14. Brian and Scott were to hunt with bows while I had a muzzleloader tag. Brian's cancer returned in mid-summer and at the beginning of August, he had to cancel his plans for a last elk hunt. He asked Scott and me to continue with the hunt without him rather than forfeit our hunt cost.

Scott and I arrived at base camp on Sept. 8, met Lawrence of Bucks & Bulls. In conversations that afternoon and early evening. we shared our feelings of disappointment regarding Brian's absence from our traditional, 3 brother hunt group. We acknowledged the upcoming hunt wouldn't be the same without Brian, the most successful elk hunter in our group, but said that we looked forward to sharing our positive hunt stories with him after our return.

The hunt itself wasn't successful but more importantly, there were very few positives in the overall hunt experience. After an initial exchange of emails detailing my concerns, I was recently able to have a phone conversation with Bucks and Bulls owner, Travis Adams. He told me that Lawrence interpreted our feelings as a sign “that we didn't want to be there”. That was the justification given by Travis Adams for his brother, Ike's poor performance as my exclusive guide. To paraphrase Travis, “Since I didn't want to be there, Ike didn't feel obligated to perform as a guide.” Neither Scott or I expressed any regrets about making the trip to CO for the hunt and were prepared to enjoy the experience regardless of whether we harvested an elk. Neither of our 2 guides or the base camp manager, Lawrence questioned our commitment to fully participate in the 5 day hunt. The statement by Travis was completely unfounded.

The contract with Bucks & Bulls LLC does not guarantee any level of satisfaction with the performance of the guides. Common practice in the outfitting business and Bucks & Bulls LLC's own website implies however that reasonable effort on the part of the guide is to be provided. A 7 hour period on the second day of the hunt in which my guide, Ike, napped, used his cell phone to run his flooring business, download internet videos and preach his political and social views was my first indication of Ike's interest in his job as my guide. On subsequent days, I followed Ike on horseback and was told to wait near the horses while he used binoculars to glass for hours without any interaction with me. On the last full day of our 5 day hunt, both guides left us in the upper hunt camp while they spent 8 hours to retrieve horses and mules from the base camp which should have taken less than 4 hours. The Bucks & Bulls employee responsible for delivering supplies and livestock for the ride out had quit on Monday.

Although none of the issues mentioned above are violations of the CO DORA rules covering outfitter performance and were not covered by their contract, they indicate a level of performance well below what qualifies for a good faith effort to provide the contracted service.

What did violate the DORA rules was the treatment of horses. In the DORA rules covering outfitter's Responsibilities and Professional Conduct, it states that “A registrant shall not subject any animal used in providing outfitting services to abuse, or cruel and inhumane treatment as provided by Colorado law.” Each time Ike saddled or bridled a horse, he punched it in the nose, kicked its legs or kneed it in the ribs. He justified this behavior by saying that the rented animals were stupid. The second guide never had to resort to similar treatment. The absence of supplies delivered to the hunt camp because of the missing employee also meant that several of the horses went without feed for a day and a half. I assume that the horses used to ride down to base camp on Wednesday were fed there. The 2 that were left at the hunt camp were not.

I can provide additional comment if requested when considering this complaint. I have tried to address my concerns with Travis Adams, owner of Bucks & Bulls, with several emails and a phone conversation. He was dismissive in his email response and abusive in our phone conversation. I was not seeking any refund of the money paid and did not threaten legal action. My intent was to make him aware of his employee's actions so that other clients would have a better experience.

Travis Adams will respond that I don't know anything about elk hunting and and had a poor attitude. This is untrue. My brother pasted away 3 days ago and spoke of his disappointment about his choice of outfitters up until his final days. I have no reason to lie about my report, the outfitter does.

I can be contacted by phone at 608-835-7158, by email at [email protected] or by mail at 846 Timber Ridge Dr, Oregon, WI 53575.   

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