By Jerry Long, January 10, 2011
This week we have an interview with Matt Burrows, owner/operator of  Stick & String Outfitters, a bowhunting only booking agency, to help us understand what this specialized service can offer a bowhunter.

Matt with a beautiful kudu.   

I’ve used a booking agent/agency for four of my eight non-DIY bowhunting adventures with varying levels of success. Two of those adventures turned out unsuccessful and were not great experiences including one where the booking agent’s representative accompanied us on the hunt. I received very little support or communications from the booking agent on one adventure and in another case the booking agent was the guide. These two latter experiences turned out very well. For me thus far a booking agent is a tool just like a rangefinder. By following Matt’s advice for choosing a booking agency, below, I think we’ll all be better off if we decide to use this service.   

dvMA: Matt, please tell us about yourself.   

MB: I have owned and operated Stick & String Outfitters, a bowhunting only booking agency, for close to 10 years. I got into booking hunts because of my passion for bowhunting and wanting to share it with other archery hunters. I have bowhunted for over 25 years and was born and raised in Colorado and have hunted most of the western states for numerous species. Although I love to hunt the west my other passion is to hunt Africa. I have been there 4 times to date and am planning a trip in the near future.   

If you are a bowhunter, I think it is important to use a bowhunting only booking agent who knows what it takes to harvest big game animals with archery equipment.   

dvMA: What is a booking agent; what does a booking agent do?   

MB: A booking agent arranges guided hunts for its clients and acts as the middle man between interested hunters and outfitters.   

dvMA: Why should a hunter use a booking agent; what does a booking agent bring to the table?   

MB: The advantage of using a booking agent is it saves time. A booking agent represents several quality outfitters and can steer hunters to the right hunt and outfitter. This saves time rather than contacting outfitters individually. A booking agent also screens outfitters and only represents those outfitters who have proven track records. The service is also free and most booking agents do not charge any more than what an outfitter would charge. So it’s actually a win-win situation for hunters.   

dvMA: What value added things does a booking agent do?   

MB: A booking agent saves valuable time and also screens outfitters for you.   

dvMA: How does a hunter pick a good booking agent?   

MB: This is the trust factor. You need to find a booking agent you can trust and who doesn’t “over sell” the hunts. Find a booking agent with a good reputation and who has gone on the hunts he represents.   

dvMA: How does a hunter avoid picking a bad booking agent?   

MB: Ask around. Most bad booking agents have a negative reputation. Use a booking agent who is referred by other hunters.   

dvMA: If I use a booking agent and start to encounter problems what do I do?   

MB: Contact the booking agent directly. Most quality booking agents will be more than happy to help with the problem.   

dvMA: If I used a booking agent and I encounter problems on my hunt what do I do?   

MB: Contact the booking agent. Most problems that occur on a hunt are due to the outfitter. But the booking agent can often help smooth things out.   

dvMA: What is the best piece of advice you have for hunters booking hunts either with or without a booking agent?   

MB: Be careful of booking agents who “over sell” a hunt. This means that a booking agent makes the hunt sound better than it is. Find a booking agent who is straight and to the point. I also recommend using a booking agent who is experienced at bowhunting.   

dvMA: Finally, besides archery equipment what is your favorite piece of bowhunting gear?   

MB: Being from the west, we do a lot of glassing and my favorite piece of bowhunting gear are my Swarovski binoculars.   

dvMA: Thanks Matt.   

happy hunting, dv     

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