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For hunters: About the concept of booking your hunt directly with the outfitter

Why do I save money using Rainsford Hunting?

Rainsford Hunting is not interested in taking any kind of commission like traditional agencies, which means you get a lot more hunting trip for your money. We dont think the service a traditional agent provides match up with the huge cost. So, instead of taking a commission which you normally pay an agent, Rainsford Hunting gives you the commission back as a discount on the total price of the hunting trip. That is possible because we utilize the advantages of the direct contact between you and the outfitter, which we don’t charge you anything for, only the outfitter who pays a small fee for getting you as a client.

What is the difference between Rainsford Hunting and a traditional hunting agency?

Rainsford Hunting is a hunting trip portal where we help hunters get in direct contact with outfitters worldwide, where a traditional hunting agency books the hunt for you and taking a commission for that service.

Rainsford Hunting doesn’t take a huge commission for booking a hunt like a traditional hunting agency, on the contrary we give the commission normally paid to the agent back to the hunter as a discount. The local outfitter pays a small fee for every hunter contacting him, which will never be added to the total cost of your hunting trip.

Rainsford Hunting provides a far greater selection of hunts and outfitters than any agency in the world. So, your chances of finding the right hunt and outfitter at Rainsford Hunting is far better than at your local agency. Your local agency may have worked with an outfitter for decades but they don’t have user generated ratings and reviews, which we have on Rainsford Hunting.

How does Rainsford Hunting earn money when they take no commission?

At Rainsford Hunting we don’t take any commission because we don’t think it is fair that you as a hunter have to pay a huge commission to the agency to have them coordinate the hunting trip. Therefore we have created a new business model, where the outfitters pay a small fee for every hunter contacting him without anything ever being added to the total price of the hunt. Furthermore because you don’t pay any commission, the total price of the hunt is the same as the cost price without any costs added. In many cases if you book through an agent the total price of the hunt can be up to 30-40% more than the cost price. We give you the commission normally paid to the traditional hunting agency as a discount. In conclusion, there is a lot of money to be saved by booking directly with the outfitter.

What are the benefits of a hunting trip coordinated directly with the outfitter without intermediary?

There are many advantages for choosing to book your hunt directly with the outfitter:

  • First and foremost, you save the cost of at least one expensive middleman: a middleman who, on the whole, rarely generates value for your hunting trip. Futhermore we disclaim the usual commission from the outfitter and hand it back to you as a discount.
  • You are in direct contact with the person who knows the most about the hunt you are buying. The direct contact allows you to avoid potential misunderstandings, because you are not communicating via a third party, who may never have been hunting in the area in question or with the particular outfitter.
  • The possibilities for matching expectations for the trip are far better directly with the local outfitter instead of a commission paid agent.
  • You are able to build a personal relation with the person who will ultimately welcome you at your destination and who also bears responsibility for what has been agreed.
  • A hunting trip arranged by yourself has much better prerequisites for success than an hunting trip coordinated by others. The only way to guarantee the practicals are 100 % in order, is by being in control yourself, together with the local outfitter.

Is hunting trips booked directly with the outfitter for you? Get more info about the concept of avoiding costly middlemen.

What do I need to know about hunting trips booked directly at the outfitter compared to hunting trips booked through a travel agency?

If you do all the preparatory work thoroughly, there should be no major risks involved in organising your own hunt directly with an outfitter or in a foreign hunting district.

However, you should be aware of the following:

  • Your trip is not covered by any insurances as some agents offer, which means your prepayments cant be refunded if the outfitter goes bankrupt.
  • You will have to coordinate the paperwork by help of the outfitter instead of the agent.
  • There is no middleman to call to account if anything goes wrong.
  • You have to be thorough in the planning stage in terms of reading testimonials, matching expectations and paperwork – but this applies to booking through an agency as well.
  • Needless to say, you should also use your common sense at all times before transferring money to foreign bank accounts.
How do I achieve a successful hunting trip when booking directly at the outfitter?
  • Check testimonials from hunters who have previously travelled with the outfitter in question.
  • Check out other hunters’ assessments of the outfitter’s hunts.
  • Conclude a detailed agreement with the outfitter that cannot be misunderstood.
  • Make an agreement that matches all the expectations you have for a hunting trip.
  • Prepare well in advance.
  • Be open to unexpected challenges (this also applies to trips arranged via expensive third parties).

Want the insider tips from the experienced team of hunters behind Rainsford Hunting? Join Rainsford today and get “The Ultimate Hunting Trip Guide” ebook in which each item is elaborated thoroughly.

How do I complain if the hunting trip does not match my expectations?

If you have reason to complain about a hunting trip you have organised yourself, you must resolve this dispute directly with the outfitter before you travel home.

Make a detailed agreement with the outfitter before buying the trip, and make sure that the parameters that are important to you are completely in accordance with the outfitter’s, so there is no doubt about what has been agreed.

A hunting trip booked directly at the outfitter does not enable you to refer your complaint to a third party or an independent tribunal, because it was you who made the agreement. So the best advice is to prepare well, make an agreement that is not open to misunderstanding, and also draw on tips from the testimonials of hunters who have already travelled with the outfitter in question.

Can I order cancellation insurance on my hunting trip if booked directly with the outfitter?

You can easily put together a trip, for which you are covered, when you book via a foreign company.

Some companies offer an insurance policy that covers that part of the trip’s price, which relates to the policyholder, and which the organiser of the trip, according to general terms and conditions of travel, has a right to, when an event occurs that is covered by the insurance policy.
If a trip has been individually organised, the insurance policy covers prepaid, non-refundable expenses for transport, accommodation and other tourist-related services.

You take out the cancellation insurance for the total amount (flights, hotels, trips etc.), but make sure that your travel and cancellation insurance covers hunting trips.

Why is it important to build a relation to the outfitter before arrival?

Dealing with middlemen when booking a hunting trip disables you to get a feel of the person your are going hunting with and who is responsible for your safety at the destination. Instead, why not speak to the outfitter himself? Learn more in this video:

How do I know the outfitters are legit and professional?

When an outfitter wants to join Rainsford Hunting we spend a lot of time and resources on screening the outfitter. In other words, we “test” our outfitters’ ability to respond to inquiries, their social media presence, the quality of their website and the overall quality of their service. At Rainsford Hunting we are only interested in professional outfitters.

For hunters: Get started using the hunting trip portal

I’m new, please give me a quick intro to the site

In this video we present the structure of the website, so you may instantly get started using the hunting trip portal to find your next dream hunting adventure.
It’s not rocket science at all, but still, here’s a quick 80 second run-through of the site:

I’m new, please show me how to search among the hunts

Using the filters on the hunting trip list let’s you narrow down the list of available hunt offers to consist of only the ones that matches your exact interest and criteria.

Watch the video to get a quick introduction on how to use the filters most efficiently.

I’m new: Please show me how the hunt offers are configured

Please see the video for a run-through of a typical hunt offer on the hunt page:

For hunters: Health

Vaccines: Which ones are relevant for hunting trips?

In plenty of time prior to your hunting trip it is advisable to contact your GP for advice about vaccines for the destination in question.

Also read article Vaccinations prior to a hunting trip, which provides a concise list of the vaccines you may need for a given location.

Malaria: What do I need to know?

Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and is prevented by preventing mosquito bites or by vaccination.

Particularly at risk of getting malaria on a hunting trip are hunters who focus on the tropical and subtropical countries of Central Africa.

Also read the article What you need to know about malaria and hunting trips on the subject.

Rabies: Handling and precautionary measures

Rabies is caused by a virus that may occur in carnivores (for example, foxes). This virus gives the infected person fatal encephalitis.

Read more about rabies and how to avoid infection in article Rabies: What you need to know before your hunting trip.

Diarrhoea: Handling and precautionary measures

Some people are more prone than others to stomach problems on a hunting trip. These can result from unclean water, chance exposure to bacteria or eating improperly prepared food.

You can get diarrhoea at any destination, but the risk is more acute in some places than others.

If you get diarrhoea, it is advisable to drink plenty of clean water (if necessary, with the addition of sugar or salt) and eat only food products, which you are certain are completely “clean”. You can also use a variety of medicines.

Also read article Prevent diarrhoea and stomach infection from ruining your hunting trip on the subject.

Jetlag: Handling and precautionary measures

When you travel across several time zones, you will often experience jet lag. Symptoms of jet lag include insomnia, short sleep and frequently severe fatigue during the day. You may also experience impaired performance level and possibly stomach problems.

On a hunting trip, say, to Australia or New Zealand, many hunters feel a bit groggy for the first few days. The brain’s internal clock cannot entirely make out that night is day and day night. But even on slightly shorter trips, say, to North America or Central Asia, the human brain may have a hard time adjusting. As a general rule, however, the more time zones you cross, the worse the effects of jet lag will be.

Also read the article Tips for avoiding jetlag on a hunting trip.

Heatstrokes and insolation: Handling and precautionary measures

On some hunting trips, heat may be a factor that shortens or, even worse, puts paid to a hunting trip.

To prevent heatstroke you need to drink between three and five litres of liquid (preferably salty) a day. “Sadly” that does not include alcoholic beverages! Crisps or salt tablets can also help to maintain your salt balance.

You should wear clothes that are suitable for the climate: preferably lightweight and airy. You should also seek shade during the hottest hours of the hunt.

If there is a swimming pool at the lodge or a safe river/lake to swim in, a regular dip can also help to prevent heatstroke.

Read the article Hunting trips and heatstroke – prevention and treatment on what it is and how to prevent it when hunting.

Altitude sickness: Handling and precautionary measures

The way to prevent altitude sickness is to ascend slowly. You should acclimatise yourself regularly at altitudes over 2,200 metres. That means you stay at a given altitude for 2 to 3 days, before you ascend to higher altitudes.

Read the article Prevent altitude sickness before it destroys your hunting trip on altitude sickness: what it is and how to prevent it when trophy hunting in mountains.

Trichinella spiralis: What is it? And how do I avoid eating infected meat?

Trichinella is a parasite, which lives in the gut of the host animal where the worm also multiplies.  The larvae then migrate from the intestine and into the muscles, where they become encysted and wait for the animal to die, which it does when killed by a hunter – whether four-legged or two-legged.

Trichinella is also found in most predators, wild boar and seals etc.

Read more about trichinella and how to avoid the parasite on your hunting trip in the article Trichinella and how to avoid eating infected meat.

For hunters: The planning stage

Personal and ethical considerations before booking your hunting trip

The term “hunting” is not easy to define and, accordingly, may vary greatly from hunter to hunter. However, before you book your hunting trip, you can take several ethical issues into account and possibly ask your outfitter/local organiser about them before you book.

Examples of ethical dilemmas:

  • Are you willing to shoot from a car or other motorized vehicle?
  • Are you willing to shoot in fenced areas and, in that case, how large should those areas be?
  • Are you willing to shoot species that are neither locally nor nationally indigenous?
  • Are you willing to hunt varieties of game species, which have been specially bred for trophy hunting?

Also read article Ethical considerations prior to booking your hunting trip on the subject for more ideas about the ethical considerations you should take into account. Or even better: Join Rainsford today to get “The Ultimate Hunting Trip Guide”, a  30+ page ebook in which this topic is elaborated thoroughly in chapter 3.

Should I contact outfitters individually or contact several at a time to get the best result?

We recommend that you contact as many outfitters as possible, as long as they match the wishes and requirements you have in mind for your hunting trip. Filter and sort your preferred hunting trips so that you end up with the hunting trips and outfitters that have your interest. On the “Hunting trip list” page you may contact more than one outfitter at a time with just one click. Check “Ask the outfitter” for each hunt trip offer to contact several outfitters in one go.

Watch the video to see how you contact several outfitters most efficiently:

How do I acquire useful references?

You should ask the outfitter himself for info on reference hunters. However, there are some pitfalls you should avoid.

Get more info in the article Tips on getting the right references before booking your hunt.

Tips on the matching of expectations between yourself and the outfitter

There are many elements that make for a perfect hunting trip. Before you book, it is a good idea to make up your mind what you are actually looking for. It is important to look at the whole trip from start to finish.

Ask the right questions and be aware that the more knowledge you have in terms of your own abilities and physical capability, the more likely you are to purchase what you expect.

Be absolutely clear about what requirements and wishes you have in terms of game species and game density. What trophies are most important to you, and how do you want them to be processed at the destination and transported home? What kinds of hunting are you after, and how do you want the hunting to be conducted (what is acceptable to you)? What are your demands in terms of accommodation, food and drink? What form of transport will there be: both to and from the area and during the hunt etc.? What equipment and clothes are suitable for the hunt and the time of year? Are there any special requirements in demands of physical ability and shooting skills etc.?

Also read the article tips for matching your expectations with your outfitter before your hunting trip on the subject for inspiration about what you need to consider. Or even better: Join Rainsford today to get “The Ultimate Hunting Trip Guide” – a  30+ page ebook in which this topic is elaborated thoroughly in chapter 3.

VISA rules: What do I need to know?

In many instances, citizens of European countries do not need to apply for a visa. But talk to your outfitter or local organiser about the issue, the moment you book your trip. They will know whether you have to apply in advance or whether you get your visa on arrival.

Also read article Visa regulations for hunting trips on the subject.

What is CITES?

CITES is an international convention which aims to monitor and control international transactions across national borders: for example, with wild animals or parts of them and, thus, in some cases, hunting trophies.

By no means all trophy species are covered by CITES. However, prior to your hunting trip, you should investigate whether the species you are going to hunt is covered by CITES and possibly requires prior attention.

Talk to your outfitter, local organiser or trophy shipping agent before you travel.

Also read article Check the CITES lists of animal species prior to your hunting trip on the subject.

Should I buy a personal insurance for my hunting trip?

A hunting trip is no ordinary trip. “Simple problems,” such as a broken trigger finger, a throat infection with severe coughing or similar disorders can be devastating in terms of the purpose of the trip. Accidents or illness, which would not necessarily ruin a beach holiday, can be devastating for a hunting trip. That is why you should take out the right insurance.

Also read article Should you take out hunting trip insurance for your hunting trip? on the subject.

Hunting firearms on airplanes: What should I be aware of?

When you book a flight, you should be aware whether the airline allows its customers to travel with firearms. You should also always make sure that the airline knows that you will be carrying weapons on the trip. Preferably obtain a written authorisation or confirmation from the company that they have been informed about your weapon.

When checking in at the airport, inform them that you want to check your weapon in as luggage. You will then be directed to the airport’s security staff. You will be accompanied to a visitation room, where security staff will check that you are in possession of a valid firearms licence/EU Firearms Pass and/or a firearms declaration.

The weapon must not be loaded during transport and, if possible, it should be separated. Both the weapon and the ammunition must be securely packed: if possible, neutrally packed and packed in two separate cases (the weapon in one, the bolt and ammunition in another). Your maximum ammunition allowance is 5 kg.

Get to the airport in in plenty of time when travelling with firearms.

Also read the article Flying with hunting weapons and ammunition on the subject.

Why hasn’t the outfitter answered my inquiry?

If the outfitter doesn’t answer you there is probably a good reason. The outfitters you find at Rainsford Hunting are active guides/stalkers/PHs which means they are often out hunting with clients. They are very interested in getting in contact with you and having you as a client, but it can be hard for an outfitter to reply to your messages and inquiries if there is no signal on their hunting grounds. So the best advice is to be patient, and if you never get a reply from the outfitter, you are more than welcome to contact us, at this email address: info@rainsfordhunting.com, so we can take action and get in contact with the outfitter on your behalf.

Which airlines are the best for carrying hunting firearms?

There are big differences between airlines when it comes to travelling with weapons. Talk to the company before booking or ask other people about their experience of travelling with weapons on different airlines.

Also read the article about a well-travelled hunter’s experience of different airlines: the best and worst airlines for hunting trips.

How do I book the best flight tickets?

There are a myriad search engines on the Internet that can help you find the best prices for plane tickets.

However, when you are travelling with firearms, it is often a good idea to use these sites as a price guideline, and then to book your ticket directly from the company. They can then make note of the fact that you are travelling with firearms.

You can also use an agency that specialises in booking flights. For a relatively small cost, this makes your work of finding the right price much easier. The agency will also make sure that the airline is informed that you are travelling with firearms.

How much is a typical trophy transport?

Most people want to know in advance what it will cost to ship a trophy back home. But it is hard to give a simple, clear-cut answer to this question because there are several factors involved: for example, weight, volume, number of trophies and destination. This applies whether you book through an agency or directly with an outfitter at the destination.

Once you know what trophies you want to bag, and how you want them prepared at the destination (skull mount on a plaque, shoulder mount, full mount etc.) you can contact your shipping agent for a rough estimate of the price.

How can I check the weather at my destination upfront?

Local weather conditions represent a very interesting aspect of a hunting trip, and it is always exciting to have some idea in advance of what is in store on that front.

Talk to the outfitter or the local organiser about how he keeps up to date with the local weather. You can also use websites that cover most of the globe.

Also read article Check the weather at your hunting trip destination on the subject.