John Andre and Bob Nosler, of Nosler Bullets, share a happy hunting moment.
All hunt consultations are 100% free to S.W.A.T.S. members. We do not consult for non-members. All consultations are with the owner of Shoshone Wilderness Adventures, John Andre. You are not going to be shuffled off to some flunkie, that doesn't know what he is talking about. A normal consulation only takes 15-20 minutes. John is not going to regale you with a bunch of hunting stories. He is direct, and to the point. Please don't be offended by that, it is just his nature.
Before you call for a consultation, think about what it is exactly you are looking for in a hunt. If you are not sure, that's fine, just tell that to John. In order to do the proper job, John will need to know the following about yourself:
1. How old are you, and what kind of shape are you in?
"Pretty good for a 55 year old" doesn't tell him much. How tall are you, and what do you weigh? Are you active in your work, or do you exercise on a regular basis? Remember, if you tell John you are in excellent shape, he will recommend a hunt based on that information. When you get to the hunt and are looking at a mountain going straight up, that is not the time to decide to start your workout program.
I once had a hunter tell me he was in great shape. When I sent the "hunter's questionnaire" to the outfitter (Mickey Fisher of Wyoming), Mickey called and chewed on me about how I booked a guy that would kill his horses. Seems the guy was 5'8", and 350 pounds. When I called the client to ask him about the situation, he told me he had just lost 100 pounds! Anyway, accuracy of information, and a realistic assessment of your own abilities is most helpful.
Pete Brownell, Brownell's Inc. Larry Weishuhn, Outdoor Writer
2. What are your expectations, trophy and otherwise, on this hunt?
If you tell me you won't shoot anything except a record book this or that, that is fine, but it brings on serious limitations. Please count on going home empty handed for many species, and spending more money to begin with. Take a few minutes to look at the Trophy Photo Galleries. These are the kinds of animals our hunters have harvested over the years. Some have been on relatively inexpensive hunts, and some have been on higher priced hunts. Spending more money should theoretically get you a better hunt, but that is not always the case. That is where John's expertise comes into play. John explains his hunts straight up, without a lot of sugarcoating. If it's a good elk hunt, but the mule deer hunting stinks, he will tell you exactly that. If your chances at a 350 bull elk on the hunt are virtually zero, he will tell you that.
Hunting success, over the long haul, has virtually nothing to do with "Lady Luck." It has everything to do with hunting in the best areas, with good people, at the right time of year, and doing your part, to the best of your ability. Yes, from time to time, you will come home empty handed. Not without great memories, but, perhaps, without the trophy you were hoping for. If you can't accept that part of hunting, you should hunt only high-fence or Africa. The reason to join S.W.A.T.S. is to minimize the number of times you come home empty handed, and to minimize the luck factor.
During the consultation, you should have the Shoshone Wilderness Adventures website up and running. That way, John can go through the Trophy Photo Gallery with you, so that both you, the hunter, and John, the consultant, are on the same page.
Dave Reisner, first winner of the Drury Outdoors Dream Hunt
3. Are there specific lodging or transportation requirements?
Some hunters hate horses, while others hate riding around and glassing from a truck. Others won't sleep in anything but a nice, cozy lodge, while others are just fine with a wall tent and a wood stove. John will always do his best to work with these limitations, although it is not always possible.
Cabins Wall Tents
Lodge Dome-style Tent
4. What about the rest of your hunting party?
Is everyone on the same page, more or less, with the hunt you are choosing. They are spending their hard earned money and vacation time too, so everyone in the hunting party should have the same expecations. For instance, if there is an older member of the party, that is not in the same shape as everyone else, it is important to know that ahead of time. Also, is the group compatible for 2x1 guided hunts, or should we upgrade to 1x1 hunting.
5. What is you weapon of choice?
Obviously, not all outfitters are bowhunting experts, and we need to know that ahead of time. John has been a bowhunter for over 45 years, so he is completely familiar with the issues involved. Some outfitters are not. A party may be a mixture of bowhhunters and rifle hunters. This presents its own set of unique problems, which will have to be addressed. Whatever your weapon of choice, we will help you find the right outfitter.
6. Budgetary Issues
Some hunters have beer budgets and champagne tastes. If your expectation is to shoot a 350 bull elk on a $4500 elk hunt, you can expect a reality check when speaking with John. Market conditions apply to the hunting industry, just as any other business, and we will do our best to explain them to the client.
Sometimes, it may be better to wait a year, save up just a few more dollars, and go on a better hunt. Saving a few dollars and coming home empty handed, is not always a happy solution. If budget is critical, keep your eye on the S.W.A.T.S. discounted hunt list. There are some incredible values there, almost every week.
At S.W.A.T.S., we will always do our very best to stretch your hard earned hunting dollar, so that you receive the maximum enjoyment from your hunting opportunities.
Hopefully, by the end of the consultation, John will have recommended at least one, and sometimes several, outfitters for you to contact. Then, it is just a matter of you contacting the outfitter directly, settling into a comfort zone, and booking the hunt. Please keep in mind that John chooses outfitters because they have consistently produced for his clients. John is not earning commissions from these consultations; he is just trying to help you. Just because an outfitter has a fancy brochure or website, doesn't mean he is the best outfitter. With S.W.A.T.S., you get the benefit of feedback from the thousands of hunters that Shoshone Wilderness Adventures has booked through the years.
The following is a true story: A few years ago, a longtime client, from Pennsylvania, called to tell me he had booked a spring black bear hunt in Quebec. Although he had used my services successfully many times, this time he had not, booking the hunt himself at the Harrisburg Sportshow. The hunt was such a "good deal". He convinced four of his best hunting buddies to come along with him. Long story short, when he got to the outfitter's camp, "Charley", the outfitter, was now "Charlene" the outfitter. The guy had had a sex change operation!!!! The hunters, after having been fed grilled ketchup on a hot dog bun (no hot dog) for dinner, packed up and left the next morning. It was a long, silent ride home.
At S.W.A.T.S., you get a money back guarantee. If when you arrive, the outfitter has had a sex change operation, I will return your money, 100%, guaranteed, no questions asked.
Click on the photo below to e-mail John with questions, or to set up a consultation appointment.