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Thursday, September 14, 2017
Over 400 Outfitters Have Joined BookYourHunt
On September 8, 2017, BookYourHunt reached an important milestone - 400 outfitters on the platform. The 400th outfitter to join "the most trusted online marketplace for hunting trips" was Joe Klutsch of Katmai Guide Service, the renowned veteran of Alaska guiding and former President of Alaska Professional Hunters Association.

For BookYourHunt, the significance of the event goes far beyond the number. If BookYourHunt was just another online hunting trips catalogue, it wouldn't be too hard to push the number of the outfitters in the system into thousands. But BookYourHunt does not only exist to help hunters and outfitters connect easily. Its mission is to improve the industry's standards of transparency and honesty, and to promote sustainable use and conservation through hunting. Unfortunately, not every outfitter can live up to the standard, and consequently BookYourHunt has to be very selective.

"The outfitters who violate hunting rules, who think themselves above the ethics, who are scheming in their dealings with customers, whose operations aren't sustainable - they have no place on BookYourHunt, period. That's my adamant policy" - says Aleksei Agafonov, BookYourHunt's founder - "That's why I'm so happy to see so many people deliver a good, honest, well-priced service."

"Fair" - both as in "fair chase" during the hunt, and as in getting a square deal booking a trip -  is a word that has a very str ong meaning for BookYourHunt. The online marketplace insists on transparency, believing that a good, honest business has very little to hide (except, perhaps, a few tricks of the trade). This is why, when a client is looking for a hunt, BookYourHunt helps them to be looking through the outfitters - starting from history and customer reviews, and ending with ensuring a meaningful conversation in the built-in chat system. And the transparency helps guarantee the hunters get the best deal - including Best Price Guarantee, which makes sure the price you'll see on BookYourHunt is as low or lower than you can find the same hunt anywhere else.

BookYourHunt feels very strongly that hunting must be conducted ethically and for conservation, and recognizes the principle role that outfitters play in that. Outfitters are more interested in preservation of wilderness than any other group – for an average so-called "nature lover", a tract of hunting grounds can be less real than the map of Tolkien's Middlearth; for an outfitter it's their blood and life, something they've taken a custody on. The well-being of many species in many areas (such as Markhor in Tajikistan) depends only on trophy-funded conservation programs, without any alternative. So, each hunter that travels to responsible outfitters running a fair-chase, sustainable operation, is an investment into our wildlife's survival.

Not everyone recognizes, sadly, how much the hunting industry does for conservation, and it is increasingly under attack from various sides. Outfitters know more about their land than a whole biology department, but they can't spend any time fighting keyboard warriors who accuse them of every mortal sin in Treehugging 101. They're too busy fixing the plumbing at the lodge, setting trail cams, and removing poachers' snares. This is why BookYourHunt stands for them every time they're under attack, like with the British Columbia's "grizzly hunting ban" issue, and support the cause BookYourHunt feels is just and fair.

BookYourHunt sponsors and are partners with many conservation and guide outfitters associations including Boone and Crockett Club, Wild Sheep Foundation, Guide Outfitter Association of British Columbia, Alaska Professional Hunter Association, Professional Hunter Association of South Africa, Namibian Professional Hunting Association and many more associations worldwide.

Outfitters seldom get rich by outfitting, it is usually a labor of love for the lifestyle and nature. The hunting season, when money comes in, is short, but the hard work training dogs, laying bait, blazing trails, fixing cabins, learning the lore of nature, and doing the other 995 little jobs that make your dream hunt come true continues year round. This said, outfitters seldom can afford to spend as much time and money on promoting their hunts as needed. And here is where comes to their assistance, delivering their message to exactly the right audience with personalized subscriptions, social media posts and other tools such as personal preference setting right at their fingertips.

The benefits that attract outfitters to BookYourHunt go beyond simply increasing the sales. It is about sharing the same values, believing in the same things, and working together to create a better, win-win situation for the whole hunting industry. The clients get a better deal: the price they pay is as low as can be, because the platform gets rid of the middlemen, and yet their booking comes with a better guarantee than with any intermediary. Therefore, they can hunt more often, outfitters get more clients, and the wilderness gets more funds for its protection.

Only a few months ago BookYourHunt could boast of just over 200 outfitters in its catalogue. Now the number has exceeded 400 and keeps growing. That's the sign that outfitters feel the benefit of the service, the sign that BookYourHunt is on the right track.

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