I’m writing this article with duty in mind to fellow hunters in telling them about which Outfitters to avoid when booking a hunt. Our story begins with a good relationship with Larry Bryant of Kamchatka Russia Fly Fishing.
Larry Bryant was our “eyes on the ground” in Kyrgyzstan for our Ibex and Marco Polo hunts. We chose to work with Larry Bryant because he dealt with great Outfitters, spending many months a year in the area (he was originally an Outfitter and bush pilot from Alaska). The quality of the Outfitters he booked for is still unquestioned. It was Larry Bryant we had our issues with, not the Outfitters.
In July of 2010 two hunters from Montana placed a hunt through our agency with Larry Bryant for an Ibex hunt in Kyrgyzstan. They had friends who also placed hunts with Larry, independent of us. The first sign of trouble was when I got a call from our client telling me that when their friends arrived, the Outfitter hadn’t been paid by Larry the money to get their trophies back with them (they may still be impounded in Kyrgyzstan). He called me asking if he was going to have the same issue. I talked with Larry several times and he assured me that everything was fine and that it was just a transferring issue and my clients would encounter no problems.
My clients arrived in Bishkek, and were greeted by the Outfitter who told them he had not been paid by Larry and that they were not going to be able to go hunting. My client called me by sat phone and we scrambled and wired money to the Outfitter via Western Union to cover their hunt. They went on to successfully harvest two good ibexes and were able to bring them home because we stepped up and paid the bill at a huge loss. I was in contact with Larry via skype the whole time hearing excuse after BS excuse as to why the money wasn’t getting there. In the end, despite the promises to return our money, he still has paid us nothing and has fallen off the face of the earth.
As a final note, Larry Bryant wanted to pay us with other hunters deposits! I refused to allow him to do that because we would just become part of another problem for some other unfortunate hunter who would show up in Bishkek with their money stolen as well. The sad thing about all of this is I think Larry is an example of someone “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” I don’t think he had bad intentions or wanted to steal someone’s money. He was just behind and couldn’t catch up. Regardless of the intent, he is someone to avoid at all costs. I chose to protect my clients identity by not naming them but I have plenty of documentation of everything that was stated here and anyone requiring more info or verification of what was said here is welcome to call me directly.