Unfortunately, our experience with CWGS and Mike was far from great. Just the opposite! It was a total disaster and a huge disappointment. Weather and lack of birds aside, Mike did absolutely nothing to help poor conditions. Most any outfitter will get you birds when conditions are ideal and waterfowl are plenty. This is the easy part. It is when conditions are adverse that the truly top outfitters shine. CWGS and Mike unfortunately do not fit into this category. A letter was sent to Mike shortly after our hunt in December (posted below) and to date he has made absolutely no attempt to contact or respond to us. Another sign our a less than top outfitter. Not willing to accept his failure and mistakes and man up. Not responding indicates to us that he knows he was wrong and has no answer for it. At least tell us that. We can accept it and move on! Just BEWARE of what CWGS promises and what they will deliver. Unfortunately, we will never use CWGS again nor will we recommend their services to our very large connection of hunting buddies.
December 27, 2016
I am writing this letter on behalf of our group that hunted with Cupped Wings on 12/19-12/21. Let me start off by saying our guide Browning was a very pleasant, congenial, and respectful young man. We enjoyed his company and commitment during our time with him. We also enjoyed our accommodations which were comfortable and allowed for good fellowship, although the cable never really functioned properly to allow for viewing. However, that is where the positive aspects of our trip stop. As I mentioned to you previously the majority of us have been hunting waterfowl for over 50 years and have been utilizing outfitters for more than 30 years. In addition, two of us own hunting clubs. We all agree that this is by far the most disappointing trip we have ever taken part of. We certainly understand not being able to control the weather or ducks. However, there was absolutely no attempt on your part to give your customers a chance during trying conditions.
First, it was clear some time in advance that very cold temperatures would occur from Sunday through Tuesday and that there would be a significant freeze. No attempt was made to keep water open or open water up prior to any hunts. This certainly could have been done with your ice eaters, or other means. Whether there were ducks or not it would have at least given us a chance having open water in front of us. Without, we were doomed from the start and may have just as well stayed at home (other outfitters probably would have suggested we postpone or hunt due to expected conditions and rebook for a later date).
Second, we have never paid significant money to an outfitter for a hunt and not met him face to face. When I pay for services in full I expect to be able to meet the outfitter, shake his hand, and look eye to eye. Not only did we never see you, but did not receive a call from you Tuesday evening to discuss the day and the plans for Wednesday. Needless to say, we were not only surprised but terribly disappointed!
Let me now summarize the days of our hunt and I ask you to place yourself in our shoes and tell me what your reaction would have been. The first day we went to a shallow, flooded, rice field and set up 15 decoys (no motion decoys at all) after Browning broke ice with the ATV. We hunted from shooting time to about 7:30 am when Browning had to go out again and break up the ice with the ATV. It was at this time that the ATV broke down in the middle of the spread (see attached photo) and could not be moved. Browning decided to return to the lodge to pick up his ATV to pull it out only to find you had his ATV. He did return with the big 4 seater around 9:50 or 10:00 a.m. and was able to pull the ATV out. So, we “hunted” with a paid guide for about 1 hour and were left on our own for the remainder of the morning. Although we could take care of ourselves we certainly could not expect to entice any ducks in the spread with an ATV stuck in the decoys. It was decided that we would pack it up then and go back out in the afternoon. Of course, you called and notified me that your guides were not available during the afternoons to allow for scouting and offered a slough that was mostly frozen.
The second day was no better. You sent Browning and my group to a pit blind near Big Lake in the afternoon. When we arrived we found the flooded field was covered by 3-4 inches of ice (see attached photo) with no hope of opening for the afternoon hunt. Again, if you wanted folks to hunt this with ANY hope holes should have been cut the day before and ice eaters placed to run all night and morning. Or, field irrigation pumps started and pumped over the area with “warmer” water to melt areas of ice. With no place to really hunt we drove all the way back to Denwood to hunt the “honey hole” which did have a little open water. By this time it was around 2:30-3:00 pm. So, the second day resulted in about 2 to 2.5 hours of hunting.
We will not complain about the third and last day as we returned to the honey hole and had some open water. What was disappointing was hearing that the 4 seat ATV was broken down and unavailable as a result of you attempting to open water for your daughters the previous night. I cherish my family also, but attempting to open water for them while never attempting the same for your clients was also disappointing and unheard of in our numerous ventures.
I hope that you can see our extreme disappointment with your services last week. I would hope that at a minimum I will receive a reply and explanation from you. Your website certainly appeared enticing and exciting. However, our trip was anything but this. Thank you in advance for your consideration and response to this matter.