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DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

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DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

Old 04-06-2009, 09:08 AM
  #91  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

Every story has three sides: your side, his side, and the truth. The latter we will never know. I do find it suspicious that you aren't allowed to follow animals into the timber, AND when an animal presents itself out of the timber a shot isn't allowed. If it were just the fact that the guide didn't allow one particular shot and there was a dispute over the range, that would be one thing. But the fact that the average joe is prohibited from certain parts of the property detracts from your credibility.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:13 AM
  #92  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

Also, if a guide is going to be telling people not to take shots because of the distance, he needs to have a range finder. ESPECIALLY for an archery hunt where 10 yards makes all the difference. I don't think that is too much to ask since people are paying thousands of dollars to hunt.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:17 AM
  #93  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

ORIGINAL: [email protected]

My name is Cal Stucky, owner of Sage Mountain Outfitters. For six months now huntingson and his buddies have been bashing me and my operation on the hunting net. Itis time for me to respond.When I talked to him on the phone after he sent me a nasty letter, I tried to explain to him why the guide, Dan Antila, had told him not to shoot. I said I wouldn't argue with him as to the distance of the shot, Dan says 60 yards, Jim Davis, better known to everyone on the hunting net as huntingson, says 45 yards. with a 30 plus mile per hour wind and the last few minutes of light, a 60 yard shot or even a 45 yard shot should not be considered. Both Dan Antila and I know of the horror stories these kinds of shots produce, especially at a wonderful bull in the 380 class. I told him that I thought this was an unethical shot and he would not find anyone with experience that would disagree with me. He said he would do his best to put me out of business but he has not been truthful and has not had much success as far as putting me out of business.

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In 2009 when many of the Montana Outfitters are only 60-70% booked, I am booked 100% with over 70% of these hunters being return clients. At the ranch where huntingson hunted, I have 10 hunters booked. seven of them have been there before.

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I think that it is important for hunters to do their home work when planning for a hunt. Don't book a hunt just from what you saw on a hunting show or pass on an outfitter solely from one disgruntled hunter on the hunting net. If an outfitter can only give you a couple references, you should have your doubts . Anyone who is interested can e-mail me at [email protected] for a list of the other 29 hunters that hunted with me in 2008.

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Thanks for your time

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Cal Stucky

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Sage Mountain Outfitters

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Cal,
I appreciate that you took the time to respond. Unfortunately you and I both know that you continue to lie, and that is truly a shame at this point in the game. Luckily, I have a copy of my letter that I will post so everyone can see how "nasty" it was. Also, I never told you that I was going to try to put you out of business. Luckily, the copy of my letter should be enough to show everyone that you are fighting on the side of lies and half-truths, and I am fighting only for what is right. I hope your business does very well, but more importantly, I hope you treat your clients better than you treated us. If that is all that results from all of this, then it was well worth the effort and time. A
Also, you should have noted that I had used a laser rangefinder to determine the yardage, and Dan Antilla "eyeballed" it b/c he did not have a rangefinder with him. Just a minor detail that you left out.
If you notice the responses to your post you willnotice they were similar to my responses on the phone, such as "this is amazing","I can't believe this", etc. All you had to do wasbe a decent person, apologize that we did not enjoy ourselves but you cannot do anything about it.Instead, you decided that it would be a best business practice toinsult someone who had legitamite concerns and problems with the very expensive hunt he hadjusttaken with your outfitting company.


A copy of the letter to follow. Everyone can judge for themselves.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:19 AM
  #94  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

James Davis
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Mr. Cal Stucky
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Mr. Stucky,
My father and I recently returned to Ohio from our trip to the Cobb Ranch where we hunted the week of September 21-27. Unfortunately, I am writing to you disheartened, discouraged, and disgusted at what took place on that ranch the week of our trip. I apologize in advance for the length of this letter, but I feel that I must do my best to portray the entire situation so that you can better understand my frustrations, and quite frankly anger, over how my father and I were treated during what was supposed to be our truly life-long dream fulfilling hunting trip together.
My father has been bowhunting elk unguided for around 30 years and I myself have been chasing elk in the same area of western Colorado off and on for 14 years (I was unable to hunt from 1998-2001 due to my enlistment in the United States Marine Corps). This area is known for holding good numbers of elk, but the elk are so pressured during the rifle seasons that the bulls are not able to reach maturity and thus cannot attain their trophy potential. A 6X6 bull of any size is a trophy and a rarity in this area and a 300” bull is the virtual white buffalo. My father and I have often talked and dreamed about a trophy hunt, but the finances were simply not there to support it. However, after my grandfather, a highly decorated WWII veteran, passed away and left my mother some inheritance she told us that she wanted to pay for our dream hunt.
For these reasons we began to look for a hunt where we could have the opportunity to chase and hunt true trophy class bulls. This search lasted more than a year before I saw your outfitting service portrayed on “American Archer”. After a search regarding your services on the internet and a long telephone conversation with your wife I determined that you had everything we were looking for; big country, low pressure, good numbers of elk and mature bulls. I reserved the week at the Cobb Ranch and was filled with anticipation for well over a year. I could hardly sleep the night we arrived in Helena and I eagerly awaited the next morning when we would be picked up and taken to the ranch by our guide Dan Antila.
Dan was very nice when he picked us up and drove us to camp. On the way he detailed that he would not be able to be in camp with us that week due to some other work obligations he had with his construction company. However, he was going to guide one of us that night and a man named Dennis Yager was going to guide us the rest of the week.
When we arrived in camp we did the usual routine and immediately inspected our bows and took some practice shots to ensure that our sights were still on after the long trip. The wind was blowing quite hard from the south, yet we still practiced out to 40 yards and the arrows were impacting centered and consistently. We determined that everything had made the trip securely and we continued to prepare for the evening hunt. Before we left camp Dan asked me what my comfortable range was. I told him that I was confident out to 50 yards, but that I obviously prefer 40 yards and under. He then relayed to me his story of his last two bulls and how he had shot them both at over 60 yards. I personally think that distance is too far to shoot an animal simply due to the length of time the arrow is in the air and the ability of the animal to move prior to the arrow’s impact, but I did not say anything to Dan because it simply was not my place to judge him.
My father decided to go with Dennis and I was to go with Dan. After some glassing and checking a wallow Dan decided that we would go hunt the “roost”. The wind was blowing quite hard out of the south, so he set up closer to the timber than usual (according to him, obviously, as I did not know at this point). We called with no responses or activity. Then Dan decided for us to go into the timber to see if we could get one to respond. After no more than a few minutes in the timber a nice 5X5 bull walked up on us. He never offered a shot and eventually spooked. However, there was another bugling bull in the timber so we pulled out and retreated to where we started to try to call him out. A very small 5X5 passed by at around 80 yards chasing a cow but that was it for the rest of the sit.
Then, with a significant amount of daylight left, Dan decided we would just slowly work our way back towards the 4-wheelers and hope to walk up on something. We exited through the small saddle on the south side of the gulley that runs east and west up through the “roost”. Just on the east side of that patch of timber we spotted a cow and her calf. Dan raised his binoculars and stated that there was probably a monster bull somewhere. As if on cue the largest bull I have ever seen, even on television, walks out into view. Dan immediately started talking about the bull’s score but all I could think about was how to position to try to get a shot.
We started crawling towards the small herd because Dan was sure that calling would not be effective. We crawled up to a large pine and could go no farther because it was the last bit of cover. The elk were feeding at 45 yards in the open, to our south, including the big bull, but I determined that the wind was blowing too strong and I did not want to chance the shot. After a few minutes the wind shifted and one of the cows caught wind of us. The cows began acting very spooky and Dan let out a bugle from his call. The cows exited to the west (back to the “roost”) but the bull hung up and started to circle closer to us. He entered the cove of trees we were in walking from our left to right and I quickly ranged him at 45 yards as he disappeared behind another pine. As he emerged on the other side he stopped, stood perfectly still in the open and broadside so I checked the wind, determined it was not blowing hard enough to be an issue, and drew my bow. As a reached my anchor points and began to settle my pin I heard Dan say something. I asked him what he had said and he told me that it was “too far” and not to shoot. I let my bow down is disbelief and then realized that Dan did not even have a range finder out so I told him it was 45 yards. After a few more anxious seconds the bull slowly turned away and began to follow his cows. Dan then told me that there was a tree in the way anyway. I informed him that he was in the wide open. His response was simply “Oh”. I stood in disbelief for a moment not really knowing what had just happened. However, as I had time to process the night’s events throughout the 4-wheeler ride back to camp, I came to the obvious conclusion that Dan had just cost me that bull, and what is worse, it had to be on purpose. A bull he stated would score between 380” and 390” and was “a bull of a lifetime” was gone, out of my life forever. A bull that I have literally dreamed about nearly my entire life gave me an opportunity and that opportunity was taken from me by a person who was getting paid to help me.
I understand that you may be thinking that perhaps 45 yards is too far for me. I cannot prove to you from Ohio that I would have killed that bull, but I can give you a bit more background on myself. While in the Marine Corps I was an infantryman, and as an infantryman I was awarded two national level combat marksmanship awards, meaning that I was one of the best combat shooters that the Marine Corps had. Obviously, I know how and am able to shoot well under pressure. Since my honorable discharge from the Marine Corps due to injuries incurred in the line of duty I have been recruited repeatedly to return in order to help set up a new sniper platoon due to my reputation as having a high level of professionalism and effective deployment of various weapons systems in combat environments, and I am just as good with a bow as I am with a rifle. I can sympathize that you probably have people come into camp and brag about being able to effective employ a bow at 50 or even 60 yards who are lucky to hit a car door at those distances. I however, am not one of those people. When I say I am comfortable at 50 yards that means that I can and will kill an animal at that distance on every shot that I decide to take. Throughout my hunting “career” I have taken over 40 big game animals with my bow including elk, mule deer, whitetails, and caribou. I have wounded only one animal in my life and that was a whitetail that I hit the shoulder on and the arrow did not penetrate. I know how and when to shoot and I am good at it. The mule deer buck that I shot on this trip was taken in a wind that was stronger than the wind that evening when I drew on that bull. The mule deer expired in less than 50 yards after the arrow penetrated through both lungs and the heart.
When Dan and I explained what happened to Dennis and my father at dinner they both asked why I did not shoot. I simply told them that I did not know and that I should have shot that bull. Dan said nothing except more about how huge the bull was. After dinner I relayed the full encounter to my father and he too was in disbelief and utterly confused regarding why Dan would not allow me to shoot the bull. Sadly, throughout the week things began to become clearer and Dan’s true motivations came to light.
The next morning we were informed by Mr. Yager that we would glass for elk, watch them go into the timber, and try to call them out that evening. Although there was definitely some merit to this strategy, it also wasted our mornings and thus half of our hunt. We discussed this with Dennis and he finally informed us that he was not allowed to go in the timber according to Dan’s orders. Again, we have been hunting elk for decades, and neither of us had ever heard of not hunting elk in the timber. Yes, the wind will swirl in the timber, but it also swirls everywhere else on that ranch. If you want to kill an elk you have to hunt where there are elk, and at least for the week that we were at the Cobb Ranch, all of the elk, though few they were, were in the timber. Throughout the full week of hunting my father did not even get to lay eyes on a bull (any bull) at less than a mile though we could hear them bugling up in the timber where we were “not allowed”.
After much consideration we finally came to the conclusion that Mr. Antila forces clients to hunt this way because he does not want any of “his” elk spooked before he has a chance to hunt them. We also did a bit of investigating and found out that only one client of yours has ever killed a bull much over 300” on that ranch, yet Mr. Antila has been able to successfully guide himself to 350+” bulls three years in a row. I do find it rather hard to believe that in 4 weeks of hunting with clients each year he could not get on one bull as large as or larger than what he is able to locate and kill for himself in one week. The shear odds against that are astounding and, from the standpoint of a client, horrendous.
As I mentioned, this was truly a “trip of a lifetime” for my father and I. We cannot afford to simply try it again and hope for a better outcome, and what makes it so disappointing is not necessarily that we came home without taking an elk but that our only opportunity was literally taken from us. It is quite likely that I will never again lay eyes on a bull near the caliber of the one that I should have been allowed to take on that first night in camp. So now, instead of having constant positive memories flowing through the depths and recesses of my memory banks, I am continuously reminded that my dream hunt was turned into a nightmare by the actions of an indescribably selfish man.
There were many other disappointing practices at camp that were not consistent with what I was told to expect, but they pale in comparison to the severity of the hunting practices that clients are forced to accept when hunting the Cobb Ranch. I am a contributor for two newspapers (circulation 9,265 and 14,240), a magazine (circulation over 15,000), and a member of two online hunting communities (combined registered users 120,041). I write articles related to hunting tips and tactics, gear reviews, and trip reviews. Unfortunately, at this point, I cannot give positive feedbacks on any part of your operation save for Mr. Yager, who truly did his best in a tough situation and did help us get in on some mule deer. We understand that Mr. Antila also employs Dennis on his full time job and he could not risk going against his employer’s wishes and demands. However, I have not and will not mention your outfitting company in any publication until I hear back from you, or it becomes obvious that you are not responding, because I just can’t believe that you would condone these types of actions if you were aware of their occurrences.


Sincerely,


James Davis
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:26 AM
  #95  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

Huntingson.

After reading that letter you wrote to Mr. Stucky, I am infuriated. Reading the details of that hunt, I too believe that Dan Antila was saving that bull for himself or possibly a high profile client.

To think that Mr Stucky has the arrogance to feel that you were not wronged is beyond belief. He actually has to balls to come to this site and try to pretend to be other hunters to defend himself is laughable.

I feel for your father and you. It's a shame there are so many guides and outfitters that run their business like this. The hunting public needs to know.

I noticed that when you Google "Sage Mountain Outfitters" that a link to this thread pops up in big, bold, capital letters. I'm thinking, that if other threads were started in other forums on others sites, that those should all pop up too.

This would give would be elk hunters something to read when they are considering a hunt with Mr. Stucky. Might give them a look at the kind of guy he and his guide is.

I know if I were researching an outfitter, I'd be looking somewhere else after reading what they did to you.

Heck, I'd even consider going to other forums under other names and just make up crap about a hunt. I'd do it just to beat Mr. Stucky at his own game. He likes to come on here under other names and pretend to be some average hunter, maybe he'd like a taste of his own medicine.

That way when his outfit is Googled, potential clients would really scratch their heads about this clown.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:50 AM
  #96  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

I had already decided who was telling the truth in their posts,but after reading the letter,I am truly shocked.The actions taken by the guide on the hunt and the lack of action on the part of the outfitter following the hunt were simply inexcusable.I have heard of some less than credible outfitters and guides,and these people certainly give the worst a run for their money.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:09 AM
  #97  
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Default RE: DO NOT HUNT WITH SAGE MOUNTAIN OUTFITTERS

Windwalker,
I was infuriated about this for a long time, but then I realized that I might as well not let it get to me b/c there is nothing I can do to change it. What I can do, and what I am trying to do, is help ensure that no one else has the experience that my father and I did. If that means people don't hunt with him, then fine. However, I know that many are going to and so what I really hope is that Cal takes it upon himself to run a better organization. Of course, based on his response here,it wouldn't appear as though that is on his short to-do list does it?
Interesting experience. That is for sure. I truly believe that you don't learn anything about a man when things are going well. It is when things turn bad that you truly learn what kind of man you are dealing with. Unfortunately, this incident did not shine a favorable light on Cal Stucky.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:47 AM
  #98  
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It's my firm opinion you should bring a civil suit against cal and dan. Your lousy trip has the merit of a good lawsuit and should be reported to the b b b . And anything you can do to spread the word on these clowns until they either offer you another hunt gratis, or 1/2 your money back. They have shown their true colors in their "responses".
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:25 PM
  #99  
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I have been mute on this subject becauseI also beleave there is alwaysmore than two sides to a story........
BUT inlight of Mr. Stucky's accusations of nasty letters andhuntingston's rebuttel (gentlemanly rebuttal).....
it looks like game, set and matchhuntinston
just my poor two cents!!!!
I for one know that if I was getting attacked on an open forum like this I sure would not have waited this long to weigh in with my response 11/5/2008 to 4/5/2009 is more than enough time to come forward...I also noticed all that came to Mr. Stucky's defense did not hang around very long!!!!

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Old 04-07-2009, 04:06 PM
  #100  
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I completely understand and expect people to take what is said on this forum with a grain of salt. I can't do any more than be completely honest about my experience and hope that people eventually will see that I really am telling the truth. I know and understand that Mr. Stuckey is a busy man and he may truly forget what he told man "A" when he has had to talk to "B through Z" as well. However, trying to tell me what happened on a night when he was not there is just comical, and the total lack of response to all the other concerns is scary at best.

I hold no ill feelings or wishes. I just wish that they would come clean and admit a mistake and ensure us (this large hunting community) that it won't happen again.

Happy hunting to all. A new season is dawning.
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