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Cheap Hunting Trips: An Explanation of Cancellation Hunts

Updated on March 1, 2013

Cheap hunting tripsdon’t have to come from a second-rate outfitter at the cost of quality or at the risk and difficulty of a do-it-yourself hunt. If you’re just as much about hunting bargains as you are about hunting an exciting quarry, cancellation hunts are the way to go.

What Are They?

While shopping around for an outfitter, you’ve undoubtedly seen notices stating that hunters are required to pay nonrefundable deposits on their hunting trips, usually for 50% of the total cost of the hunt. This is a standard practice of the industry. It’s done for a good reason, too: once the outfitter has agreed to work with a hunter, the dates for the hunt are removed from the offerings, and all the gears start turning to make the trip possible. Guides, trackers, and support staff are hired, transportation is arranged, legal and land usage considerations are looked after, equipment is purchased, and everyone involved sets the time aside and counts on having the job.

Yet, unfortunately for all parties, hunters must sometimes cancel after they’ve paid their sizable deposit. Perhaps they take a financial hit and can’t afford to cover the rest; perhaps illness or injury forces them to stay home; perhaps an emergency in the family makes it impossible for them to leave. Whatever the case may be, the hunter loses their sizeable deposit (and because of this risk, it’s always a good idea for hunters to purchase trip cancellation insurance just in case) and the hunt may never take place.

The outfitter now risks losing everything they’ve paid to make the hunt possible. Many of the professionals they’ve hired will have required advance pay or deposits of their own, equipment and supplies are now doing nothing but taking up storage space, and their finances are going to be in rough shape if nobody can be found to take the empty slot. This is when the outfitter offers cancellation hunts—hunts with all the amenities and perks of their standard hunts, often at a jaw-dropping discount—to whoever will agree to fill that missing space on short notice.

How to Take Advantage of Cancellation Hunts

A hunter agreeing to take over a cancelled slot takes a huge financial strain off the outfitter. As a result, most outfitters are anxious to keep those who are interested up to date, and often arrange email notification lists or other methods of staying in contact with prospective fill-ins. You can usually get added to these lists simply by contacting the outfitter and asking if they offer one. If you can keep a flexible schedule and stay ready to jump up and depart on short notice, you may be able to go on your dream hunt for an unbelievably low price. Why not make yourself available for these cheap hunting trips today?

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