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Mountain Hunter is the official publication of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC), Association of Mackenzie Mountains Outfitters, & Yukon Outfitters Association.


Articles, photos, editorial submissions, comments and letters to the editor should be sent to:


MOUNTAIN HUNTER: c/o GOABC, #103 – 19140 28th Avenue Surrey, British Columbia Canada V3Z 6M3

Kelli Maxwell

Tel: (604) 541-6332 Fax: (604) 541-6339 E-mail: programs@goabc.org www.MountainHunterMagazine.com




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President Past-President First Vice-President Second Vice-President Director Director Director Director


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ON THE COVER Kelli Maxwell and her “Pooh-Bear”





GOABC President’s Corner


Conservation MattersTM


News & Views


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Preferred Conservation Partners


Camp Cook’s Corner


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A Different Perspective


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GOABC PRESIDENT’S CORNER It is a busy time in the outfitting world as everyone is making their final preparations. Whether you’re packing your horses, riding your quad, or flying your plane to get into the mountains, let this fall be one of the best. I wish all my fellow outfitters a safe and successful season. I hope your bounty is full and you create memories to look back upon into your golden years. Outfitting is so much more than a job. The opportunity to be in the backcountry and help our clients’ dreams come true is really special. While we as guides and outfitters are off enjoying the majestic backcountry of BC, we can all rest assured that the great staff at the GOABC office are working tirelessly to get the grizzly bear hunt back, protect our investments, and assist government agencies to strengthen the guide outfitting industry. It truly is a busy time in our industry as government involvement increases and the general public has an opinion on everything we do. One thing we know for certain is the industry is changing. The provincial government has transitioned to setting up websites to foster transparent dialogue as they gather ideas for how to manage wildlife. GOABC has responded on matters such as a review of the professional reliance model, caribou recovery, species at risk, and wildlife and management. We’ve encouraged our members to participate as well, as the more voices we have

Sean Olmstead, President, GOABC

speaking the truth of what we’re seeing on the landscape, the better. I wish you all the best in your endeavors this fall; shall you have green pastures so your ponies don’t roam too far in the night, full tanks of fuel in your machines to take you home, and endless nights around the campfire to enjoy!! See you all when we get back to the “civilized world.”

Wildlife FIRST


Photo by Robin L. Green from story in Spring 2017 issue





Scott Ellis, Executive Director, GOABC

“You’re such a nimrod!” A derogatory term from my misspent youth that my father would use when I did something stupid. Or so I thought. I recently discovered that Nimrod is the Biblical name of the founder of Babylon and “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Genesis 10:8-12). Who knew? The hunting community in North America is all too aware that we have become a small minority in a society increasingly disconnected from where their food comes from. Misinformed social pressures are dominating the political landscape, unabashedly trumping science to limit the wild harvest rights and freedoms we have assumed since the beginning of time. But what can we do about it? At a recent SCI workshop for guides and outfitters, Diana Rupp (Editor in Chief of Sports Afield magazine) made a presentation about the Nimrod Society. This is a group of avid sportsmen working to create a self-funded state and national program to educate the public about the important contributions hunters and anglers make to society and conservation. The program is called “Hug a Hunter” and “Hug an Angler” and it has drastically impacted public opinion in Colorado. When the state of Colorado was hit with a series of antihunting ballot initiatives being passed in the 1990s, they struck back. A fun, friendly series of TV and web ads were their weapons of choice and “Hug a Hunter” was born. And it worked! Since the PR campaign began, seven out of ten people in the state now say they would vote against any new hunting restrictions or anti-hunting ballot initiatives – a huge, positive change from the 1990s.

The effort was made possible by legislation establishing a Wildlife Council – complete with a long-term funding mechanism via a license surcharge – solely dedicated to funding and producing an ongoing pro-hunting and profishing mass media campaign. Shortly thereafter, the Nimrod Society was formed in 2003 with the goal of expanding this successful public education program to every state in the US. The society is the only national organization with a mission solely dedicated to influencing public opinion on hunting and fishing. Building on the success of the Colorado campaign, the Nimrod Society succeeded in passing similar legislation in the state of Michigan in 2014 and aims to do the same in the other 48 states (and Canada). These PR programs have been proven effective in educating the non-hunting and angling public about the positive role sportsmen and women play. They are telling the true story to the people who need to hear it most – the general public. “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently, he who molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statues and pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1858 This is certainly what we are seeing today. Please join us and the Nimrod Society as we bring these powerful PR campaigns to BC and the other 48 states in the US. Together we can influence public opinion and keep our hunting and fishing heritage alive.

Straight shooting and safe travels. MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |


NEWS & VIEWS I hope all of you have had a good spring and summer. It came late here in Alberta, but finally did arrive with a rush. This is the time of year when we are finalizing our plans for the coming hunting season. Our shop is piled high with supplies, the horses are fattened up on green grass and the crew are working on their preparations. Of course, for those of us with kids it is also a busy time with all of the stuff kids do— hopefully including a bit of gopher hunting and maybe a few crows and magpies as well! I am happy to report that our history book, “Voices from the Mackenzies” is finally Harold Grinde, President, Association finished and available. Paul Deuling did a fantastic job assembling this wonderful of Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters collection of stories into a beautiful and interesting book. Those who have seen it already are very impressed with the layout, the pictures and the quality of the book. We received our bulk order of the books just before the show season and were able to sell a few at the shows this winter, and I have mailed out quite a few to those who have heard they are available. These books are very good quality and printed on top quality paper. Most of our YOA member outfitters have copies of these books for sale, so if you are interested in one of these great books please contact us. The books are also available in paperback, hardcover or “eBook” versions online at Friesen Press Bookstore. I am sure you will enjoy this wonderful history of the outfitting industry in the Mackenzie Mountains. Have a great 2018 hunting season! NOTE: We sell the hard copy books for $65 Canadian plus shipping. The prices can vary for online purchases.

“I’m sooo busy!” “Time waits for no one.” “Get going, hurry up, let’s go!” All sage words offered by my dad when I was growing up, usually while chasing me out the door to get to school or get my chores completed! We all have a multitude of commitments that require a heavy investment of our time and attention. Careers, families, friends, businesses, weddings, and the endless to-do lists all require hours from each day. Personal adventure, such as getting out on an extended hunt, is incredibly hard to fit into the schedule and protect as the days approach. Yet, in my experience, it’s the outdoor adventures that we actually complete, especially the ones with family and friends, that become campfire tales for years to come. As an outfitter, I find myself so busy it is very hard to find personal hunt time. However, my time spent hunting in wild places in pursuit of wild things helps to give Mac Watson, President, me a chance to review my priorities and truly appreciate what is important. Yukon Outfitters Association Here in the Yukon the wilderness and hunting experience are uniquely Yukon and truly world class! Within the Yukon Outfitters Association conservation initiatives remain a priority for us and is something we make time for. Along with our like-minded partners, we continue to work hard to conserve our wild places and our right to hunt. The future of hunting, and ultimately the future of outfitting, depend a great deal on our behavior today. Making a solid investment in habitat conservation, hunting conservation, and outfitting conservation will help to ensure the Yukon hunting adventure remains a privilege for us to invest our time in! The hunting adventure in the Yukon is truly remarkable, and at the YOA we continue to work to ensure it stays that way. On behalf of the YOA membership we hope you can make the time and make it up for an adventure. Shoot straight and happy trails.



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allow it to flourish. Safari Club International, through

as a conservation tool and supporting hunters across the globe.

In April, DSC had a strong presence its Guides and Outfitters Program, Since the beginning of time man has recognizes, promotes and honors in a non-traditional venue – the Earth been a hunter. As man’s world about the ethical professionals who keep Day festival called EARTHx in Fair Park, him evolved, so did the drive and skills hunting alive. No other organization Dallas, Texas. EARTHx is the largest to harvest game evolve, but only in provides more support worldwide to the environmental gathering in the world, some, not in everyone.

professional hunting community.

with 150,000 attending.

With a large

In primitive societies, one, perhaps

Without hunters’ efforts and funding, booth and representation on several two, in the village were skilled hunters, wildlife in this modern world will go informative panel discussions on and they took pride in providing for their away. Without those who guide and African conservation and sustainable community.

They were “hard wired” show them the way, hunters may no use in North America, DSC held its own in their makeup, their DNA perhaps, longer be able to answer the timeless in the same space as groups such as to pursue game. That gene, if you will, call they feel. Greenpeace and the Humane Society of exists today. Guides and outfitters are the “keepers the United States. Not all modern men and women, as not of the flame.” They, and all who hunt, In May, DSC attended the annual all of their ancestors, have inherited the are the future of hunting. Working meetings of the CIC (International primeval drive to realize “hunter pride.” together with guides, outfitters and Council for Game and Wildlife However, there are still those who professional hunters, along with Safari Conservation) in Madrid, Spain, to keep inhabit the urban “concrete canyons” who feel the ancient call of the chase, the

Club International, will preserve the abreast of conservation and hunting timeless natural connection between issues in Europe, Africa and the rest of

challenge of the pursuit and the hunter’s humans and wildlife. Together we will the world. pride in a successful hunt well done. Also in May, DSC welcomed the NRA ensure that “hunter pride” continues But they often lack the skill, the forever. Annual Meetings and Expo to the Dallas opportunity and the tools to answer John Boretsky, SCI area, putting its best foot forward to that call.

Throughout history there

have been men and women like the professional guide and outfitter, who, by practicing their ages-old way of life,

promote hunting and to support the DALLAS SAFARI CLUB Working Hard, Staying Strong for

provide the hunter the where-with-all Hunters Worldwide to meet that drive. In part, they help to keep the passion of the hunt alive and



The first half of the year has been a

Second Amendment. Year round, DSC plans and organizes its Convention and Expo, to be held January 17-20, 2019 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. The theme

busy one for DSC, promoting hunting for this next show is Mogambo: Dagga

Boy Danger. Expected to exhibit are over

in northern BC where domestic sheep, submit an article for GOAC’s Preferred

900 vendors in 1,800 booths, with more

goats, or camelids would not be allowed.


Partners Column in than 40,000 visitors coming through the WSF and our Chapters and Affiliates Mountain HunterTM magazine, I was doors during the four days of the show. went one step further, strongly drawn to the term “partner.” Certainly, Visit www.biggame.org for details. encouraging a 100-km exclusion zone GSCO is pleased and honored to partner Corey Mason, DSC be enacted around thinhorn sheep

with GOABC in the spirit and practice

range in northern BC, instead of the

of conservation but my reflections of

proposed 50-km exclusion zone. This

“partner” was more philosophical. In

recommendation was based on recent

fact, it reminded me of a letter I saw

WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION Protecting Thinhorn Sheep

Stone’s sheep disease surveillance, their sometime ago concerning “doing the job In early June 2018, the Wild Sheep comparatively naïve disease-resistance, alone.” Foundation (WSF) led the effort to known The letter began, “Dear Sir: and suspected seasonal develop and submit a comment letter movements (i.e., forays) of thinhorn I am writing in response to your request supporting British Columbia’s proposed sheep, and the global significance of for more information concerning Block Government Action Regulation (GAR) Stone’s sheep that BC is obligated to 11 on the insurance form which asks for and Land Act Section 17 Orders, protect. As correctly noted, BC supports “cause of injuries,” wherein I put “trying Specified Area #SA-6-292, and Land Act the majority of Stone’s sheep on the to do the job alone.” You said you needed Section 17 Map reserve. This letter to protect thinhorn sheep (Stone’s, Dall’s) from introduced diseases on Crown

planet, heightening BC’s responsibility

more information, so I trust the following

to protect this subspecies.

will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date Furthermore, WSF and our Chapters lands in northern British Columbia (BC) and Affiliates recommended that of injuries, I was working alone laying was signed on to by 26 WSF Chapters once this strategy was implemented brick around the top of a four-story and Affiliates, from across the U.S. and in thinhorn sheep range in northern building. I realized that I had about 500 Canada.

BC, a similar strategy be implemented pounds of brick left over. Rather than Collectively, WSF and our Chapters around mapped bighorn sheep range in carry the bricks down by hand, I decided and Affiliates supported the concept southern portions of the province. to put them into a barrel and lower them and approach put forth by BC’s Ministry Gray Thornton, President & CEO by a pulley which was fastened to the top of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource

Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) to establish at least a 50km




of the building. I secured the end of the GRAND SLAM CLUB/OVIS

“buffer”) Doing the Job Alone...

around mapped thinhorn sheep range

When I received the invitation to

rope at ground level, went up to the top of the building, loaded the bricks into the barrel and swung the barrel out with the bricks in it. I then went down and untied MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |



the rope holding it securely to insure a slow descent of the barrel. As you will note on Block 6 of the insurance form, I weigh 145 pounds. Due to the shock of being jerked off the ground so swiftly, I lost presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Between the second and third floors, I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. Regaining my state of mind, I held tightly to the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley. This accounts for the broken thumb. Despite the pain, I retained my composure and held tightly to the rope. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed about 40 pounds. I again refer you to Block 6 and my weight of 145 pounds. As you would guess, I began a rapid descent. Somewhere around the second floor, I met the barrel coming up. This explains the injuries to my legs and lower body. Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent landing on the pile of bricks. Fortunately, my back was only sprained and the internal injuries were only minimal. I am sorry to report, however, that at this point, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope and, as you



can imagine, the empty barrel crashed down on top of me. I trust this answers your concerns and please know that I am finished “trying to do the job alone.” Perhaps this story is a bit over the top but I do believe it should help all of us appreciate the need to partner in the pursuit of conservation. GSCO welcomes the opportunity to partner with our comrades in conservation. United we stand, divided we fall. Mark Hampton, Executive Director BOONE & CROCKETT Can the Antis Learn Anything From Fair Chase? Good question. If fair chase is the moral compass that has guided responsible hunting under a model of conservation and sustainable use for the past century, can it teach others who care about wildlife – or claim to – a thing or two? If actions are based on decisions, and decisions are based on past experiences, a sense of right and wrong, and a belief of how things ought to be, then the answer is yes. If you’re putting your money where your mouth is and you genuinely care about wildlife, not just casually or part time when the mood moves you, then the answer is definitely yes. Our fair chase principles are a shining example of what putting the needs of something else ahead of ourselves looks like. They rest upon a deeply-rooted

sense of fairness that places a concern for the hunted above the objective, success. This is the antithesis of where the end justifies the means, which is rare. In hunting, how we hunt matters, but so too the game matters and the environment matters – 24/7/365. There are all forms of advocates for wildlife. Some are the real deal, and some are out of convenience; some out to make a buck, and some thinking they are doing right but at the end of the day are doing more harm than good. What guides them? If it truly is a concern for wildlife, they will find like-minded people operating under the principles of fair chase. Now, back to reality. People will have emotional qualms over the killing of wildlife under any rules for any purpose or any reason, no matter if it’s for the betterment of a species or people. Nevertheless, we are justified in making the case that sportsmen and women should be admired and emulated, not vilified for their commitments under the rules of fair chase. If this is reality, so too is that hunters and non-hunters actually do have the same concerns: environmental quality, loss of habitat, loss of species and public indifference. The go-to position of it being an “us versus them” issue is drawn like a sword. Fair chase just may be the answer to putting this blade back into its scabbard. Keith Balfourd, Director of Marketing

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A Caribou Mountain

DREAM COME TRUE by Kelli Maxwell


y “Pooh-Bear” adventure started at Safari Club International (SCI) in February of 2017, when my husband, John, asked me if I could ever hunt an animal. My knee-jerk response had been, “Yes, if something is attacking me, I have no problem pulling the trigger.” I didn’t think too much of his question thereafter as I took our four-year-old daughter, Mikayla, back to our hotel room for an afternoon nap. A few hours later, Mikayla and I met back up with John at the convention and he was thrilled to announce, “Hey, I got you something!” I started looking for a package, but his hands were empty, and my curiosity was rising. He guided me over to a vendor booth and introduced me to two very nice outfitters from an Alaskan bear hunting company. “Honey, I bought you a bear hunt!”

10 |


In that very second my heart dropped, and I felt a pit in my stomach. In an effort to not seem ungrateful, I forced a smile and thanked both John and the outfitter. I attempted to distract myself by turning to corral Mikayla – she usually runs off at SCI – but alas, she was standing right beside us, happily raiding the candy bowl at the booth. I maintained a half smile for the next few minutes while John concluded the conversation with the outfitters by saying, “See you in two months!” John asked me if I was excited and I forced another smile and said, “Let’s go find Pooh-Bear.” John, Mikayla and I enjoyed the rest of SCI and did not talk about the bear hunt until we arrived home. Finally, I asked John why he would ever want to buy a bear hunt for me. His response was “Well, you told me you could hunt something that could hunt you.” Clearly something had gotten lost in translation. “No,” I clarified, “I said I could kill something that was actively attacking me.” John was humored by this and said, “We can probably get the bear to actively attack you.” Clearly, he missed my point, failed to remember my

fear of shooting guns, and somehow forgot that I am an ER nurse who prefers to save lives versus taking them. John, on the other hand, is an avid hunter who regularly jokes how he doesn’t want to take me hunting with him because he’s afraid I will run out into the field and try to resuscitate whatever he shoots. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest of the United States and the last animal I could remember shooting was a pigeon with a pellet gun when I was about ten years old. The pigeons always made a large mess in the hay mow so I had gone pigeon hunting quite often. My family didn’t hunt when I was growing up, so it wasn’t an activity I had any familiarity with. After my pigeon-hunting days ended, I hadn’t shot again until my mid-twenties. It had been in 2007 when I was dating a guy who wanted to take me shooting. I had zero shooting experience outside of my pellet gun as a kid but was open to going as I thought it might be fun. He ended up taking me clay shooting, assuring me how easy it was. He said, “All you have to do is aim at the object flying in the air and pull the trigger.”




12 |


Being totally naïve about this I thought, “How hard can it be?!” The first clay pigeon went up and I blew it to bits right off the bat. The gun only kicked a little which didn’t bother me and I was elated by my first shot. It was likely beginner’s luck but I was happy! My boyfriend took the gun from me before the second shot, did something I didn’t see, and then gave it back to me, telling me to shoot again. The second clay pigeon went up and I shot, except this time, the gun punched me so hard I ended up on my butt, about four feet behind where I had been standing. My boyfriend thought it was hysterical, as I sat stunned on the ground, feeling like I’d been hit by an NFL linebacker. I got up, handed the gun back to him, got in my car and drove away, leaving him to figure out how to get home on his own. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last! Fast forward back to March of 2017 when I received the best news ever: The Alaska outfitter had to push the bear hunt to spring 2018 because the bays where they hunt had not yet melted off due to an unusually brutal, snowy winter. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders, for another year, at least. John was so disappointed by the news he immediately got online to try and find another spring bear hunt. After some diligent research, John found an online auction at the Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC) annual convention being held in Victoria. Up for bid was a spring black bear hunt in BC. John ended up buying the hunt that had been donated by Cariboo Mountain Outfitters for a spot-and-stalk hunt, no fences, no bait. John was so excited to tell me the great news and when he did, once again, my heart hit the floor and the familiar pit in my stomach returned.

He was extremely determined to take me on a bear hunt so he put the wheels in motion right away. John drove me to his gunsmith, Rich Riley with High Tech Custom Rifles, and had my arm length measured so I could have a rifle built just for me. John had relayed my fear of shooting to Rich and he recommended I spend some time shooting with one of his business partners, John Hermanson, who is retired military and an expert marksman. I followed this recommendation and finally worked up the nerve to shoot a 22. Once I figured out that the gun wasn’t going to hurt me, Hermanson coached me on shooting a variety of guns, at varying distances, all the way up to my 270. I was as prepared as I was ever going to be in the short timeline before our trip to BC. Our trip to Cariboo Mountain Outfitters began on May 14th, 2017, which happened to be Mother’s Day. We flew from Colorado to Vancouver, and then drove seven-plus hours to Quesnel, BC. We arrived into town around 8 pm, meeting Brad and Lori Bowden as arranged. After a quick meet-andgreet, we headed to their ranch to settle in for the night. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a hunting camp as John had told me many hunting stories where he’d slept next to a snow drift in a sleeping bag. However, when we arrived at Cariboo Mountain, I was delighted to find the most beautiful ranch situated on a hilltop overlooking a valley. All the guest cabins were right behind the main house and when we walked into our cabin, it was absolutely the nicest and cleanest cabin I had ever been in. John was awestruck and remarked that not once in all his hunting trips had he ever stayed in such outstanding accommodations. We quickly unpacked what we needed for

the morning hunt and got Mikayla into bed. The first day of our five-day hunt was on May 15th. We met Brad and Lori down at the main house at 7 am and Lori made the biggest and most decadent breakfast ever. We talked about our game plan for the day with Mikayla by our side. She was so excited to go see the bears! After two cups of coffee and a food coma later, we hopped in Brad’s truck to do three quick practice shots before heading out on the hunt. Brad set me up at 100 yards to shoot from both his lead sled and his shooting sticks so I could get comfortable. We had all been so excited to start our day that we had forgotten to bring along a target, so we ended up using a page from Mikayla’s coloring book which happened to be Barbie and Ken. Brad chuckled and said that this was the first time he’d ever used Barbie paper as a target. After I blasted through Barbie’s Corvette, we headed down the road. As we were driving, Brad walked me through a few scenarios on how to stalk, getting set up on the sticks, and when to load and unload my gun. Within the first two hours, we saw a nice bear about 200 yards away from us grazing on grass beside the road. Brad quietly got out of the truck and I followed. Unfortunately, muscle memory got the best of me and I shut my door as I would on any day – that is, a lot harder than Brad had shut his door – and the closure sounded like a slam in the woods. The bear looked up and quickly trotted off into the timber. My first lesson of the hunt was how not to slam a truck door! As this was my first hunt I knew the week would be filled with learning. We saw eight bears in total that day and were able to successfully stalk one of them that afternoon. I followed Brad



as he got me all set up on the shooting sticks. Mikayla was right behind me with her ear protection on, and then John was behind her with the video camera. Mikayla stayed surprisingly quiet during the stalk, but she definitely added a little spice to the situation! We ended up not shooting the bear because he was young, but it was great practice for me. May 16th John and I woke up early and headed down to the main house for breakfast again. Brad was outside using Windex on his truck windows and sweeping out his vehicle. If the outside of the vehicle hadn’t been painted in camo colors, I would have never guessed it was a hunting vehicle; it was so clean and pristine. After enjoying another of Lori’s tremendous breakfasts, we loaded Mikayla in the back of the truck and were off for the day. We saw another eight bears, plus grouse, moose, mule deer, ravens, and plenty of bunnies who still had their snow-white feet from the winter. There were a few bears that we were able to stalk, and I was thankful for the practice getting set up on the sticks. Every stalk we went on Brad was cool, calm and collected, and he had such vast knowledge about everything in the woods. He truly took the meaning of expert to a whole new level when it came to hunting animals and tracking. Brad was also a phenomenal teacher with the utmost patience for me, which I was very grateful for. May 17th was almost a mirror image of the previous day. Brad guided us to another eight bears and one bear in particular could have been my bear. The wind was perfect; the bear didn’t know we were there and we were set up just 50 yards away. I was set to shoot when Brad said he was a nice bear and he was mine if I wanted him. For some reason, I still wasn’t ready to shoot this animal that was not attacking me. We walked back to the car quietly and carried on into our day. I started asking Brad about bear behavior, activity, what they eat, when they sleep, etcetera, and as we talked, he told me one very important thing. He explained that male bears will try to eat the cubs in an effort to bring the females back into heat for mating season. As soon as he said this, any internal conflict I had over shooting a bear suddenly vanished. As I processed this I thought, “I can save many animal lives, including bear cubs, by hunting a big male bear.” That sealed the deal for me. May 18th, I started the day with a whole new perspective and excitement to go find a big bear! It was the first day I was truly ready to shoot one. As we traversed the countryside, I kept hoping and praying there would be a big, black, furry blob sitting alongside the road. We saw a handful of bears throughout the morning and into the

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up for the shot at about 80 yards and “Pooh Bear” was quartering towards THE EVENING WAS VERY us. Brad told me where to place my shot TOUGH FOR ME. I KEPT and I pulled the trigger. The bear did a 180-degree spin on the road and took REPLAYING THE SHOT IN off into the brush. Brad asked me how MY HEAD LIKE A MOVIE I felt, and I remember feeling stunned, CLIP ON REPEAT, AND telling him that it all felt so surreal. Brad CRITIQUING EVERYTHING started coaching me again, explaining ABOUT IT. that we needed to give the bear some time before we began tracking him. By the time it was safe to go look for the afternoon, returning to the main house bear, the night sky was setting in and we for another one of Lori’s magnificent had to go back to the main house. Brad meals, before hitting the road again. said we would get up in the morning Finally, around 7:30 pm, Brad spotted and start tracking the bear. The evening the biggest “Pooh Bear” we had seen was very tough for me. I kept replaying all week, grazing on some greenery the shot in my head like a movie clip alongside the road. I was so excited I on repeat, and critiquing everything could barely contain myself! Brad and about it. I truly never knew what an I hopped out of the truck (closing the emotional roller coaster hunting could doors quietly, of course!) and started be! I had been so set on killing the bear down the ditch of the road to stay out of in an ethical manner that I couldn’t sight. The wind was perfect, and the bear handle the possibility of the bear being could not smell us. John told Mikayla to wounded. I wanted to either make a stay in the truck, so she watched intently clean shot through the vitals or miss the through the window this time. Brad, bear all together. I didn’t sleep at all that John and I were all secretly hoping our night. May 19th was the big morning! I was rambunctious child would listen to us and not jump out of the vehicle dancing on no sleep and very anxious to go find and singing a Disney tune. Brad set me “Pooh Bear.” Brad, John, Mikayla and

I headed out to track him. The drive was only about fifteen minutes back to where I had shot the bear, but it seemed like the longest fifteen minutes of my life. Mikayla and I stayed in the truck as John and Brad took off into the brush with a gun to start tracking. John and Brad were only gone for about twenty minutes when they came back up to the truck. John came up and said he and Brad couldn’t find the bear. Just as I was about to place my head in my hands, John snickered, “Just kidding, we found a dead bear and you shot him exactly where you were supposed to!” I told John I was going to punch him then I gave him a decent thump in the stomach. I had gone from agony to ecstasy within seconds. We got Mikayla out of the truck and all headed back into the brush to go see “Pooh Bear.” Brad and John showed me and Mikayla the scant blood trail so we could follow it to the bear. Mikayla and I were both so happy when we found him. She petted his fur and asked why there was blood in his nose. I was still in awe of the bear and for the second time since this had all started at SCI, I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders, just in a much different way.



This hunt wasn’t an easy journey for me; conquering my fear of guns, practicing shooting, and never in a million years would I have thought I could ever pull a trigger on an animal. I’m so thankful and so blessed for those who helped me along the way. I am forever grateful to Brad and Lori for giving me and my family the trip and memories of a lifetime. “Pooh-Bear” was a big, fluffy animal with a skull of 19 4/16” and his hide measured 6’6” tall. This was a bucket-list type of experience and thanks to Cariboo Mountain Outfitters, the trip I once dreaded ended up being a dream come true. EDITOR’S NOTE: Reach Caribou Mountain Outfitters at 778-786-0847, or on their website at www.moosehuntinginbc.ca

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DSC’s mission is to ensure the conservation of wildlife through public engagement, education and advocacy for well-regulated hunting and sustainable use.


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BIGHORN SHEEP • MOUNTAIN GOAT • ELK • SHIRAS MOOSE MULE DEER • WHITETAIL DEER • BLACK BEAR COUGAR • BOBCAT • LYNX • WOLF ALEX AND LORI SMUTNY 250.426.8099 1960 Wilson Road, Cranbrook, BC V1C 7H4 CANADA www.buglebasin.ca • Email: info@buglebasin.ca MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |




CONSIDER DONATING YOUR HARVESTED MEAT FOR THE FAIR CHASE FOOD PROGRAM. Since this program began in 1993, we have been delivering thousands of pounds of wild game meat, donated by generous hunters, to communities and local charities. There are many families in need all over British Columbia; you can help support them by giving your meat to the Fair Chase Food Program.

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Submit your photos to info@goabc.org with the outfitter’s name, species, and harvested date of your animal.

Bobby Theis of TX with his Billy goat. Guided by Nathan Taylor of Elk Valley Bighorn Outfitters.

Walt Sisler got his black bear with guide Don Burt of Copper River Outfitters.

Mike Wittet of South Africa scored this large record-book tomcat with Skinner Creek Hunts.

Brady Cupp of MI on right celebrates his successful wolf hunt with guide Dustin Fehr of Fehr Game Outfitters.

Mike Shinstine of AZ got his black bear with Nahanni Butte Outfitters.

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Terry Gerber of WI harvested his moose with the guidance of Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters.

Dominic Brenkermyn took down his caribou in this lovely setting with NWT Outfitters.

Darrell Forrester of KY took his mighty Alaska Yukon Moose with Bonnet Plume Outfitters.

Beaverfoot Outfitting guided Dan Rich of TX to his goat.

Drew Zimmerman of WA hunted with Bugle Basin Oufitters to take this elk.




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MERRIAM’S of the

Christian Valley By Tony Hudak

When the plane touched down on the runway in Seattle, the impact brought me to attention. It had been a long overnight flight from Kona, Hawaii. The trip had provided an opportunity for me to reflect on our time in Hawaii and what I had accomplished while there.


ust days earlier, on March 19th, 2016, I had tagged a nice Rio Grande gobbler to complete my quest for the 49-state US Super Slam. It had been a long and sometimes frustrating period, but in the end was very fruitful. One day while relaxing in the warm Hawaiian sun, I had spoken with Pennsylvania outdoor writer Tom Venesky by telephone for a few minutes, filling him in on the Hawaii hunt and the completion of the US Super Slam. Venesky had been following my quest for years and wanted info for another story to mark the end of the slam quest. During our conversation, Venesky noted that he had done his homework and found that only one person, Clyde Neely of Texas, had ever taken all six slams recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Those six slams being the Grand, Royal, World, US Super, the Canadian and the Mexican. Until that time I had completed the Grand and Royal, before finishing the US Super in Hawaii. “You could get all of the slams,” Venesky said to me. “You only need four more birds, two in Canada and two in Mexico to complete it all. You should go for it.” Those words had continued to ring in my head and before we landed in Seattle I had already made up my mind. I was going to pursue the remaining birds, which meant a couple of hunts in both Canada and Mexico were about to be planned. I had always wanted to hunt gobblers somewhere in Canada, but never really entertained the thought of completing the Canadian Slam. The slam requirements are that a hunter must

harvest a Merriam’s sub-species and one Eastern sub-species then register both birds officially with the NWTF. I have been a turkey hunter and guide for nearly all of my life. I began hunting wild turkeys in my home state of Pennsylvania in the late 70’s and after tagging a dozen or so, ventured into New York to gain extra time in the field as well as more experience hunting these grand birds. In 1999 I finished the Grand Slam, taking all four sub-species found in the United States, then followed up in 2000 by taking a Gould’s gobbler in Chihuahua, Mexico to complete the Royal Slam. It was after that milestone that the US Super Slam became the next goal, so in between guiding hunters in PA and New York and hunting for myself when possible, I traveled to as many other states as often as I could in hopes of tagging a bird. That’s what led me to Hawaii in 2016 for the final round. Not long after returning home from Hawaii, I started looking into places to hunt in both British Columbia and Ontario. I contacted Melvin and Tami Kilback of Kettle River Guides in Oliver, BC. I explained to them what I was setting out to accomplish and Melvin felt that if the weather was cooperative my chances of tagging a British Columbia Merriam’s were very good. Tami was very efficient in working with me to set a hunt date. Questions never went unanswered, and after looking closely at the following year’s calendar, I decided on a hunt date of April 22-23, 2017. Although the hunt was nearly a year away, my wife and I looked forward to it with each passing day.



Months passed and before I knew it the spring turkey season of 2017 was upon us. I made a trip to Nuevo Leon, Mexico in late March to hunt the Rio Grande sub-species there, which would represent the second leg of the Mexican Slam. Luck was with me on that trip and I tagged two nice Rios and headed home confident and ready for the hunt in BC later in April. The afternoon of April 20th, Janine and I flew to Spokane, Washington, arriving just before midnight. We spent the night at a hotel near the airport and were up early the next morning, eager to get started towards BC. After a nice breakfast we headed north towards the border. Our trip took us through some magnificent country in Washington State, and we stopped at several places to see the sights, including the Grand Coulee Dam. Truly an amazing and incredible task that was, to construct such an awesome structure. We finally made it to the Canadian border near Osoyoos and were greeted by the friendly Canada Customs staff. After registering my

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shotgun and obtaining all the necessary paperwork for my firearm, we were free to go. Tami met us just a few kilometers north and gave us final directions to the camp where Melvin was waiting for us. We headed east towards the town of Rock Creek, then finally turning north into the Christian Valley where Kilback’s camp is located. The drive up Route 33 was beautiful, with the Kettle River in sight most of the time as it wound its way through the valley amongst scattered homes and ranches. This was my second trip to BC, the first being in 1994 for a mountain goat hunt. I assumed the scenery in this part of the province would be as equally nice, and we were not disappointed. The charred remains of a few buildings here and there showed the true devastation of a fire just a couple of years prior. Some homes were lost, and an enormous amount of land burned, but now the area seemed to be rebounding and the lush growth on the hillsides signaled new life. Whitetail deer were prevalent in the last few kilometers of the drive and

we saw a few hen turkeys bugging in the green fields alongside the road that led to camp. As promised, Melvin was waiting for us and soon we were settled into our cabin. The setup at Kettle River was very comfortable and consisted of several individual cabins, some with private bathrooms for couples and all very clean, cozy and private. The cook’s cabin, just a short distance away, was where meals were taken, stories swapped, and the coffee pot was always on. We couldn’t have asked for a better deal in such a beautiful mountainous setting. After Janine and I stowed our gear, Melvin asked if I would like to try and get out before dark and roost a bird for the morning hunt. Of course I jumped at the chance to go. We quickly made our way along the mountain roads, cruising kilometer after kilometer of Crown land and some private ground, stopping every so often to call and try to strike a gobbler. It was evident that Melvin knew his area well; however, even with that knowledge and my calling

abilities we weren’t able to locate a bird until the final stop of the evening, near a clearing. I ran the box call hard and was immediately greeted with a hearty gobble on the ridge across the clearing. We closed the distance as I wanted to be sure exactly where that bird was, so I could be as close as possible to him in the morning. We pinpointed him and headed back to the truck. “We’ll be on him in the morning,” I said. Melvin smiled and nodded and we headed for the cabins. The alarm rang at 3:30 am the next morning and I was quickly up and raring to go. I stepped outside to check the air and could see stars shining everywhere. Winds were calm, and it was easy to tell it was going to be a good gobbling morning. I slipped into some camo, laced up my Kenetrek boots, grabbed my shotgun and hustled over to the cook’s cabin for a light breakfast and coffee. Melvin was already there, sipping on a cup of coffee and eager to go. We made the 30 minute ride to the clearing where we’d heard the bird the evening before.

As I was getting my gear ready I heard the bird gobble in the distance. “He’s at it already,” I told Melvin, “we need to go!” I thumbed three Nitro Company’s HeviShot tri-plex loads into my Winchester Super X2 12 gauge, checked the safety, and slipped a Hendershot Game Calls diaphragm mouth call into my cheek. We hustled along the mountain road that led up into the draw the bird was roosted in. As we got closer we turned left into the timber and skirted the road, figuring I needed to be able to shoot to that road as it would make an easy access route for the bird to get to me. Kilback and I set amongst a clump of pines and I let out a few soft yelps. The bird hammered back and continued to gobble at least a couple times per minute. A few more soft calls and I knew he was on the ground and headed my way. He continued to close the distance and I charted his path according to his gobbling. At one point, he gobbled very close and I could hear him spitting and drumming. I picked the woods apart trying to see him but couldn’t. He didn’t come down the

road but instead circled above and was coming in on my left side. I could only move my eyes but never did see him. He drummed for about five minutes, and I’m sure he picked apart every nook and cranny of the timber where he heard the supposed hen. After a time, he got tired of the game and stopped drumming. I watched and listened closely and then finally he gobbled, off to my left and probably more than 100 yards away. I called, and he answered, but the game was over, and he wasn’t coming back for another look. I made a wide loop and tried to get in front of that gobbling turkey, but he wasn’t having any of it. We stayed with him until 9:00 am; he gobbled constantly both at my calling and on his own. I did see him once, at about 75-80 yards through the timber. It was way too far for a shot but at least I got a good look at his beard and fan while he strutted. I finally backed off at that time and decided to either return that evening or try him again the next day. With only two days to hunt, I didn’t have a lot of time to waste on one bird. I




had already told myself that I would not be too selective; the first legal gobbler that presented me an opportunity would do just fine. With all that in mind, we headed back in the direction of the truck. We ran the mountain roads for the next hour, stopping every so often to call at likely-looking spots or where Melvin had heard birds in the past. The mountains were quiet except for the sounds of a logging operation way out in the distance. With nothing gobbling, we headed for camp. After a delicious breakfast prepared by Donna the camp cook, I was eager to get back at it. Melvin had made arrangements for Janine to do some horseback riding with one of the neighbors and her stock, so I went with her to get acquainted and see her off. Janine was excited to go and looked forward to the next few hours on the trail. Once she was set up, Melvin and I headed east along the river and stopped at a high point in the road to call. My first sequence of yelps on the box call was greeted quickly by a gobbler that seemed to be close to the river bed. I closed the distance and set up in a nice spot just above the river. The bird gobbled at every note I threw at him but wouldn’t budge. The cat and mouse game lasted for nearly three hours before I backed off on this bird too, knowing he wouldn’t be far from that area in the morning if I decided to return. By this time, it was nearing 4:00 pm so Melvin and I decided to head for higher ground and try to locate a single bird. We spent some time running and gunning the mountain roads, calling at different locations but not a gobble did I raise. Finally, we eased back down to lower ground, almost near where I had the gobbler located in the afternoon. I raised my box call once again and let out another series of yelps and cuts. This time a bird answered back, back towards the river and to our south. With daylight burning and only 90 minutes left before dark, we hustled in that direction. After cutting the distance in half, I called again. The bird hammered back and now I had him pinpointed. I closed the distance even more and set up just below the mountain road on a steep and very thick sidehill. One more series on my mouth call and the bird was there, strutting his way up the bank, spitting and drumming as he came, finally stopping at 15 yards. The shot was anti-climactic, and the bird was down. I grabbed him by the leg and stopped to acknowledge that I had a British Columbia Merriam’s in my hand, and that the first step of the Canadian Slam was complete. I said a quick prayer of thanks and headed up the bank to meet Melvin. The ride back to camp was full of stories about how it all happened, Melvin and I both grateful that we got it done. After taking some photos and swapping stories with Janine about her afternoon on horseback, Melvin and I decided that we would hunt again the next morning, only this time, he would be doing the shooting. I offered the use of my shotgun to him and also volunteered to do the calling should we get into a good setup. He decided that he wanted to hunt the same bird that I had been on at daylight that morning. That bird was

30 |


a gobbling fool, and I felt that I could whip him the second time around after getting to know his habits of that area. The next morning, we parked at the clearing again and headed for the draw that the bird was roosted in the day before. He started gobbling as we closed the distance and this time I chose a slightly different setup for Melvin. I moved him up the slope a bit more while I stayed back behind him, roughly 40 yards. This tactic would help me “steer” the turkey better and also possibly prevent the bird hanging up as he got closer. I called to the bird and he gobbled hard, and before long I knew he was on the ground and closing the distance quickly. He started to loop high above Melvin, so I slowly moved my location, so the bird would have to walk past him if he came directly

to the call. The ploy worked and before long my Winchester boomed once again and we had another bird down it the timber. Melvin was excited and so was I; the plan worked, and we had now had two beautiful Merriam’s to show for our efforts. We took some photos on the way back to the truck and savored the crisp, cool mountain air. It was a beautiful morning, one that I won’t soon forget. I was glad to be a part of it and glad to have shared it with Melvin in such a beautiful setting. British Columbia outdid herself that day, and I didn’t want it to end. Janine and I spent the rest of the day doing some sight-seeing near Kelowna and enjoying the trip along the river to and from. We stopped several times to observe different things, grateful for the chance to be in British Columbia and

for the memories it provided. We knew the next day we would be leaving and heading back to Spokane for our trip home, so we tried to take it all in. It had been a beautiful trip, good weather, and great hunting with even greater people. Whether your interest is turkey hunting, big-game hunting or fishing, British Columbia offers it all, and Melvin and Tami Kilback of Kettle River Guides have the experience and abilities to help you reach your goal. Everybody needs to visit there at least once, so when you go, go with Kettle River Guides. Note: Tony Hudak was successful in completing his Canadian Slam in 2017. After hunting in British Columbia with Kettle River Guides, he made two trips to southern Ontario and finally harvested a nice Eastern gobbler on May 24th to complete the slam.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Kettle River Guides at 250-498-4176, or visit their website at www.kettleriverguides.com













The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) is accepting stories of memorable hunting experiences with GOABC members. At the end of the year, all stories submitted will be reviewed and the top three stories will receive a cash prize (CAD).

SUBMIT TO: www.mountainhuntermagazine.com/share-your-story TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE YOUR HUNTING STORY


Recognize your guide, hunting destination and sought species in the first few paragraphs of your story.


A great hunting story not only describes the animals and itinerary, but expresses the significance of the hunt to you. How long had you been dreaming of this hunt? How did you first connect with your outfitter? What was the scenery like? What challenges did you encounter? These details will add to the richness and familiarity of your story for your readers.


Proofread your story for clarity, but do not worry too much about the proper grammar or sentence structure—we will take care of that for you.


Try to keep the story in past tense and title it creatively. Titles and photos provide the first impression for your readers, and you want to draw them in immediately. Be sure to include several high-quality photos (1 MB or larger at 300dpi) with your submission.


Stories should be 2500-3000 words in length and written in Microsoft Word. We prefer to receive them by email (www.mountainhuntermagazine. com/share-your-story), but they can also be sent hard-copy or on CD.







2ND PLACE - $500


3RD PLACE - $250

Each outfitter featured in the winning stories will also receive a one issue free ad displayed in the magazine. The size of the ad will depend on the placing of the story. Good luck to all entrants!

1.877.818.2688 www.mountainhuntermagazine.com



with Shane Mahoney HONOURING THE HUNTED Showing respect for the fallen animal is a good first step toward helping nonhunters understand that hunters truly value wildlife.

Shane Ma honey is co nsidered to of the lead be one ing intern a tional auth on wildlife o rities conservati on. A rare combinati on of histo rian, scien and philoso tist, pher, he br ings a uniq perspective ue to wildlife issues tha motivated t has and inspir ed audience around th s e world. N amed one the 10 Mo of st Influenti al Canadia Conservati n onists by O utdoor Ca Magazine nada and nomin ated for P of the Year er son by Outdoo r Life Maga he has rece zine, ived numer ous award including s the Public Service Aw of Excellen ard ce from th e governm of Newfou ent ndland an d Labrador and Intern ational Co nservation of the Year ist from Safa ri Club Internatio nal. Born and raised Newfound in land, he br ings to his writings a nd lecture s a profou commitmen nd t to rural so cieties and the su stainable u se of natural re sources, in cl uding fish and wildli fe.

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n various regions of the world, hunting is coming under increasing scrutiny and is subject to growing criticism; and there appears little likelihood that this reality will fade anytime soon. At one level this is hard to explain, as our traditional, cultural activity is supported by many of the world’s leading conservation organizations and has a proven track record of contributing to wildlife science, management, and protection. In addition, the economics associated with hunting prove that it not only benefits large numbers of people but also provides incentives for wildlife to be valued, and thus protected, from frivolous or illegal killing, or displacement by competing land development activities. So, why is it that hunters are struggling so hard to convince society that hunting remains relevant and worthwhile? Beyond any doubt this is the most important question facing the hunting world. No amount of bellicose argument and fist thumping over what hunting’s opponents stand for will do us any good at all. But just maybe, if we carefully probe and answer this question, we will gain insight that can move us forward. So, let’s state the problem in clear terms. Why doesn’t society recognize the good we do? The answer to this question is complicated, but clearly one reason is that nonhunters find it difficult to believe that we care about wildlife in any emotional sense. Seemingly, they cannot get past their impression that we take pleasure from an experience that often results in the death of wild creatures and, therefore, we cannot possibly care for animals in any real way. Far worse, a growing percentage of people may have the impression that all we care about is securing the animal’s death. With respect to our conservation efforts they say we only intervene in debates on wildlife’s future when the opportunity to hunt is threatened and not for the good of wildlife, as such. In some, perhaps many, cases, they are right! It appears, given this, that these people are not prepared to accept hunting, regardless of its social and economic benefits. They reject it on an emotional basis, which floats like a hairy

lump in our logic-informed gruel that demands and expects a science-based acceptance of hunting. This is frustrating for certain, but should the hunting community take these concerns seriously? Will this sentiment grow to a point where hunting is really threatened, or could even disappear? I suspect the latter is a long way off for hunting in general; but I don’t think we should be complacent about the possibility. As the experience in some African and European countries has shown, hunting can be displaced by political sentiment and public opinion, so I think the prudent course is to try and determine how we can affect that opinion and turn it in our favour. I disagree with those who argue that we can ignore this issue and who suggest there is really no way to effectively change societal views on hunting, and/or with those who feel that opposition to hunting has always existed and is simply something we have to deal with. But how do we do this? How do we demonstrate to the wider public that hunters do care about wildlife, and that our interests in wild creatures and the lands and waters they occupy extend far beyond the practical question of whether there will be animals to hunt and fish to catch? I suggest we begin by honoring the hunted, and by letting the hunter play a distant second fiddle to the magnificent creatures we pursue and sometimes kill. Doing so will require a major change in our culture - one that is intoxicated with awards that promote the hunter, and magazine stories and television shows that do the same. Everywhere in our communications the hunter is alive and smiling while the animal is lifeless and conquered, often bloodied and contorted in death. Is there really any wonder the public is conflicted about us or feel that it is the animal and not the hunter who needs support? There is another way to communicate what we do. We can tell exciting stories and develop powerful films about the hunt that really do emphasize the animal, and that lead readers and viewers to marvel at the extraordinary capacities of endurance, strength, and wariness wild creatures possess. We can displace our discussions of weaponry, our own prowess, and the animal’s final moments with narratives that speak of wild beauty, of inspiration in nature, and of the deep sense of peace and fulfillment we find in our days afield. We can explain to the non-hunter that what we pursue is the experience of a brief, unfettered existence; one that is always too short, yes, but timeless, as well. We can explore the realities of that existence; the fellowship, the hard pushes across wild terrain, the raw experience of weather and sky in places where life slows down and problems become diminished. We can explain the slow conversations by open fires, the deep MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |


sleep that beckons, and the early rises in morning darkness that allow us to witness the breaking day. There is nothing wrong with explaining that an animal died in this pursuit, nor in describing the sense of achievement we may feel at the end of any hunt, whether an animal was taken or not. We cannot and should not disguise the fact that animal death is a reality in the hunting world. But surely, if we wish to convince the general public that we care for something more, and pursue something greater than the animal’s death, we must emphasize the experience and the living animal most - not us and certainly not the carcass that remains when life’s fire has been extinguished. We all recognize that hunting is a complicated experience that is difficult to convey to the non-hunting public. Yet, we must also surely realize that unless we improve our ability to do so, hunting will be pushed ever further to the margins of society. It is clearly insufficient for us to be concerned with

this only when dramatic events such as the killing of Cecil the lion explode in the media. We need to remain focused on a long-term campaign to keep the public on our side, and one of the best ways I know to do this is to convince them that we care for animals in a fundamental way. Yes, we may take the life and thereby take possession of one wild creature during our hunt, but that does not mean we do not admire them in life and wish to see their future secured, even if that future does not include hunting. It is not enough that we say this to one another; what is essential is that we say this to the wider audience that has its ear to the ground and its fingers on the political pulse. If we wish to convince them, then let us provide the emotional evidence of our conservation ethic. Let us diminish the focus on our achievements, and on us. Let’s start honoring what truly matters – the hunted!

The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) wishes to create a fundamental shift among hunters from caring about hunting to caring about all wildlife. Ranchers care about cattle and anglers care about fish, but hunters are concerned for all animals and their well-being. Hunters must be committed to the responsible use of wildlife resources and passionate about preserving a diversity of wildlife species. GOABC is a strong supporter of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, which stipulates that law and science should manage wildlife. This model is the result of hunters and anglers who were dedicated to conservation. As anti-hunting pressure becomes louder, it becomes increasingly important to continue and enhance the legacy of the hunter-conservationist.

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38 |


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www.moosehunting.bc.ca MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |



in Anahim Lake by Rex Parsons


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heard the stomping of boots against the icy ground outside the door and my guide, Paul, brushed the snow off his coat as he stepped inside. “I moved the horses into some thicker alpine fir,” he said grimly, “maybe that’ll slow their shivering down a bit. Hope this storm slows down soon, we’re almost outta hay.” Paul Lowrie of Corkscrew Creek Adventures, my guide in Anahim Lake, and I had come up to the alpine two days before. After hunting together for almost twenty years, I had never known him to take more than a couple of days to locate a hot spot. This time had been a bit different. We’d hunted the lower country for several days, but the warm November weather had brushed the moose up and we were still looking to spot any, much less a bull. We’d decided to go higher. It was raining when we left the low country with the horses. Paul had wrapped up some heavy alfalfa/timothy-mixed square bales along with our gear and food. We had trailed up the mountain, hitting snow mixed with rain about halfway up. Leading my horse, I had taken off my jacket and it wasn’t long before I was soaked to the skin. I trudged along, following the trail left by the packhorses. The snow had piled up to a little over a foot by the time we reached camp late in the day. Soaked and cold, as a medical doctor I knew I was in the preliminary stages of hypothermia. Paul quickly built a fire in the stove and began unpacking the



horses while I rolled out my bed, stretching out on the cot. I must have drifted off. Sometime later I awoke, shivering, to the sounds of Paul fussing around the tent. “You’d better take that outer layer of wool off,” he recommended. “You’ll warm up quicker in just your long-johns.” I complied, pulled the covers back over me and fell into deep sleep. When I awoke again it was dark. The sounds of stew gurgling in the pot (Paul’s wife, Tamara, makes the best stews) and water boiling for coffee were a cheery welcome to my new consciousness. I was clear-headed, rested, and very hungry. There was another sound outside that I was becoming aware of. “I’ve got the horses under a big white pine and they’re having a good feed of hay,” Paul remarked, “and they’re gonna need it! The wind’s come up and the snow has turned fine and gritty. Don’t know how long this’ll last. Hope you brought a good book.” Actually, I’d brought two, and it was good that I had. For the next two days and three nights the wind beat down and we didn’t leave the tent except for chores and nature calls. We read, discussed politics, re-lived Vegas poker games (my other big-game pursuit), dragged in firewood, ate, and drank copious amounts of coffee. It was the third evening when Paul announced that we were running out of hay. “Tomorrow morning, if it’s still like this,

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we’ll have to pull out.” And when we turned out the lantern and I turned on my headlamp to read, it was still like that. Sometime in the night I got up to go outside. The first thing I noticed were the shadows of the trees on newly-fallen snow. The nearly-full moon seemed to brighten the whole world, including the crags of the peaks behind the tent. All was still and, but for the chewing of the horses, silent. I crept back inside to settle into my sleeping bag once again, but it was a long time before I fell back asleep. Eventually morning came. After breakfast, Paul went out to saddle the horses and, for the first time in days, I readied the contents of my backpack. The snow was up to two feet now and, being a heavy man, I didn’t want to overwork my allotted horse. I kept the contents to a minimum. Mounting up, we rode silently among the snow-laden alpine fir at timberline. After about an hour we’d crossed the tracks of three different moose, all going from our left to our right side. We rode for a while longer and then swung the horses to the right. We rode further and then came upon one of the sets of tracks. Paul sat his horse and studied the tracks for a bit. He pointed toward some larger alpine fir and we rode to them. Dismounting, we tied up and slogged through the snow toward a gap in the terrain, keeping the moose tracks below us. We came to a ravine and looked over. We saw the moose tracks leading over the ravine and angling down

toward the bottom. I never cease to wonder at the agility of these enormous creatures! Paul looked at me and shrugged and then, smiling, waded back to the horses. “I have an Idea where it might be headed,” he said and mounted. I followed suit. The horses slogged through the deep powder and as I rode, I worried. This was our do-or-die day up here. We’d lost two whole days due to the storm and we had to get it done today if we weren’t to return empty handed. As we rode I looked down into the distant valley, where I could see the roofs of the small village and the beautiful mountains behind it. Suddenly, I saw Paul slip off his horse and motion for me to get down! As I did I looked past Paul and, in the distance, saw a dark object at the far end of an opening. Paul grabbed my horse and tied it to a tree alongside his. We glassed the object. It was, in fact, two bulls that had been lying beside each other. Despite the powdery, quiet conditions they’d heard us and were looking our way. Paul looked through his range-finder. He turned to me and mouthed “four-hundred and ten yards.” He looked at the moose again. They had gotten up. Quickly, calmly, Paul drew the outline of a moose’s back in the snow. My eyes scanned for a rifle rest. A small alpine fir, bent over from hard living, seemed my best chance. I glanced at the “x” Paul had made above his outline suggesting where to place my crosshairs. We’d hunted together for years and he knew my gun. I nodded and walked over to the fir. The two very nice bulls were standing a little apart from each other. The slightly smaller rack presented a perfect broadside. After many moose over the years, I’m all about a clean, meat-saving shot. I settled the crosshairs on the agreed spot and squeezed the trigger. The bull whirled around and headed for the fir trees. The other bull disappeared in the opposite direction. “I heard it hit,” Paul reassured me. Indeed, it had looked hit to me through the scope. Still, 400-plus yards is long for me without a good rest. We slowly made our way down the hillside to the opening, trudging along the side while keeping an eye on the place where the bull had disappeared. It wasn’t long before a dark object took shape in the snow. The moose had run about 20 yards, shot right through the heart. And we were less than a mile from the tent and pack-horses! Paul dressed out the moose while I sat back in the snow, holding the bull’s front leg and pondering the beauty of the now-friendly mountain. I thought about the book I’d been reading, “Into Thin Air.” EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Corkscrew Creek Adventures at 250-742-3203, or visit their website at www.resortsbc. com/Corkscrew-Creek-Adventures



Ph: 250-412-5209 SSIKANNI IKANNI Outfitters R RIVER IVER facebook.com/sikanni

MIKE & DIXIE HAMMETT P.O. Box 11, Pink Mountain, BC Canada V0C 2B0 Email: sro@sikanniriver.com www.sikanniriver.com

Stone’s Sheep Elk • Bison Goat • Moose

Family run For over 40 years near Golden, BC We have been on many great trips since 1973. However our trip to Beaverfoot Outfitting may have topped them all!”

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46 |


Timothy Foster was born into the Lax Seel (Frog) Clan in the house of Niisto, within the Gitxsan Nation which is located on the Skeena River in the North West region of British Columbia. This being a matrilineal nation, he follows under his mother’s clan.


fter his parents separated when he was just a year old, it was his mother and three older sisters who helped raise him in the small village of Hazelton. Here, very close to the Gitanmaax Reserve, he was brought up alongside family and friends. He spent most of his time outdoors and knew his surroundings well, not only in and around the Gitanmaax area, but also the other reserves his mother and father were from, Gitsegukla and Kispiox. As a young boy, he was introduced to “The Hiding Place” carving shop while staying with his father in his village of Kispiox. Timothy instantly fell in love with the smell of cedar. This magical place was where his uncle, the late Walter E. Harris, OC (Order of Canada) worked – and where Timothy’s young creative mind first began to grow and take in the beautiful art and carvings of the Gitxsan. After living immersed in the Gitxsan Nation culture with family and friends for the first 11 years of his life, things took a dramatic turn after the loss of his father due to a fatal car accident. His mother made the tough choice to move Timothy and his sisters 275

Artist’s Works: Caribou Pass (facing page), Total Solar Eclipse (top right), Peace of Salmon (middle right), Grandfather Sturgeon (bottom)



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WORKING IN LUMBER MILLS, FORESTRY AND MINING HE GAINED MUCH EXPERIENCE BUT HIS SPIRIT AND MIND STILL FELT LIKE SOMETHING WAS MISSING. miles south east, away from the culture of their small village to the much-larger city of Prince George. Like many Nations, Gitxsan was battling with multiple types of abuse at the time and Timothy’s mother wanted to distance her children from the severe problems with alcohol abuse to give them a better opportunity to excel in their education. After a very strong grass-roots upbringing as Gitxsan, living in a new, larger city such as Prince George was a very exciting time for Timothy. It was here that he made lifelong friends and learned how not to judge others because of race or wealth as he himself dealt with racism. Living in a city he also learned that while the lay of the land had a lot more paved roads and activities to take part in, it did not have the cultural aspects of his Gitxsan home that his mind and spirit craved. Timothy lived in Prince George until the age of 19 when he moved another 340 miles south to the town of Merritt to attend the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. He received his college preparation certificate and completed his first year of Business Administration – and found that he was not meant to sit behind a desk for a living. He then began to explore other means of employment throughout BC. Working in lumber mills, forestry and mining he gained much experience but his spirit and mind still felt like something was missing. Timothy knew it had to do with finding his calling in life which he was confident had to do with art as he had always loved drawing since a very young age. As he thought more seriously about this option he remembered a school back in his home territory called the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Art – the same one that his uncle Walter had attended. He returned home and began his life’s calling of becoming an artist like his uncle, whom he had always looked up to as an artist and mentor. Tim sold his first mask to UNBC First Nations Centre in 2006.

Artist’s Works - left page: Hunter’s Moon (top left), Balanced Spirit - Eagle Yin-Yang (top right), Beaver Grain (bottom), From the Ashes (right page).



HE IS ON A HEALING JOURNEY, VERY GRATEFUL FOR HIS GIFT OF CREATIVITY WHICH HE FEELS IS VERY IMPORTANT... In 2010 he completed a four-year program at the K’san School of Northwest Coast Native Art where he learned the basics of design, carving and tool making under the teachings of the late Vernon Stevens. In July 2017 he completed studies at the Native Education College under the teachings of Robert Tait, a Nisga’a artist of more than 30 years in the Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts. It was while attending this course that a second tragic loss altered the course of his life. His dear wife Shannon and mother of their two young daughters was suddenly gone. Timothy is now focusing on raising his daughters while creating his art at home in Kispiox. He is on a healing journey, very grateful for his gift of creativity which he feels is very important, not only for his cultural and spiritual wellbeing, but for all First Nations people who are having trouble identifying who they truly are as First Peoples of this nation. Timothy has designed logos for BC First Nations Forestry Council, UNBC Story Telling Festival, Gitxsan Salmon Run, Mount Royal Iniskim Centre, and various businesses. Although Tim has enjoyed working in graphic design, his passion is in the traditional forms of the art such as carving and painting. “I believe it is very important to pass my cultural knowledge on to next generations to grasp while continuing to respect the history of our art. For that I will be forever thankful that family, teachers and mentors introduced me to this work which has helped to guide me in the direction of finding my own style of this amazing art form.”

Artist’s Works: Blue Jay (top right), A Frog’s Dream (bottom right)

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more about Tim, connect with him on Facebook or email him at timothyfosterdesigns@gmail.com

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Get your migratory game Obtenez votre permis bird hunting permit online! de chasse aux oiseaux migrateurs considérés It’s fast and practical. Buy your permit in a few comme gibier en ligne ! minutes, anywhere, any time!

Visit www.permis-permits.ec.gc.ca to get yours now! Migratory game bird hunting permits for 2018 are available from August 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. For more information, you can reach the Canadian Wildlife Service at 351 St-Joseph Boul., 16th floor Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3 ec.permisscf-cwspermit.ec @canada.ca 1-855-869-8670


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Hunt British Columbia Canada 800-554-7244 or 406-468-2642 pellylk@aol.com • www.comehunt.com



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SHEEP DREAMS are Made of These by Dale Greenough


have been very fortunate to have hunted in a many various places. This past fall I got to spend some time with a young man I wish everyone who is thinking about hunting in northern British Columbia would be able to meet to see what a real hunting guide should be! He not only has the best set of eyes I’ve ever seen, but he cares. Not only cares about the client, but his team, his horses and – most of all – the big game he pursues! This all started in January 2017. I attended the Safari Club International convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. I stopped by Dennis Leveque’s booth, as a friend and I had hunted with Dennis a couple of years previously and had taken two very nice grizzlies. As I was thumbing through his brochures, I mentioned to Dennis that I was still dreaming about a Stone sheep, but with a bum knee and bad ankle along with my age, I was afraid it was forever to be just a dream. He looked at me and confidently stated, “If anyone can get you a ram, my son Denny can.” I went back to the motel and dreamed about chasing Stone sheep on the mountain! The next morning, I dropped back by Dennis’ booth and said, “Ok, let’s do this!” while thinking to myself, “I have all summer to get in ‘sheep shape.’” Right. Well, the summer months were very busy and passed all too quickly. Suddently I found myself at the start of August, not prepared and not in sheep shape! As I got on the airplane in Casper, Wyoming headed for Prince George, I had doubts and reservations. Getting through customs in Vancouver and landing in Prince George I still wasn’t feeling real confident. The pilot retrieved me and another hunter at the motel the next morning. After going through our gear and loading everything up, we were on our way to Pelly Lake. It was a wonderful flight and I couldn’t help but look in awe at the magnificent mountains. MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |


As we landed we were greeted by Dennis and crew along with two hunters going out. One of them had a beautiful ram so we all congratulated him and admired the beautiful animal. I couldn’t help thinking, “I hope there is one more up there on the mountain for me!” We had an excellent dinner that night and I fell asleep dreaming of sheep once again! The next morning, Denny, our guide, had the horses saddled and packed, so after a huge breakfast we headed up the mountain. It took us around four or five hours to get to the cabin. It was a gorgeous day and I relaxed into it, enjoying the scenery from atop my horse. When we arrived in camp, we unloaded the horses and stored our gear in the cabin. Gail, the camp cook, was busy making a hot dinner. (This is the only hunting camp I’ve ever been to where you gain weight, instead of losing it! They make sure you never go to bed hungry.) The next morning, we saddled up and rode up the valley. The first few days I’m sure we saw between 150 and 200 head of ewes, lambs, and small rams. On about day three or four Denny came bounding down off the rocks exclaiming, “I’ve got good news and bad news! Good news is I’ve found the rams; bad news is we have to go get a chain saw and build a trail to the next mountain!” There had been an avalanche that winter that had covered up the old trail. So back to camp we went, got the chainsaw and started cutting a trail. I was a little worried about spooking the rams, but Denny assured me they wouldn’t be able to hear us. We spent all day building the trail and thank goodness we did! Back at camp that night everyone was excited. The next morning Denny brought in the pack horse and told Gail to pack enough food for two days, as we would probably spend the night on the mountain. He proceeded to pack a two-man tent along with sleeping bags – and enough food for at least a week! As we rode up the valley that morning there was frost on the ground. We arrived where a spike camp had been set up in the past and unloaded the pack horse. As we were setting up the tent, Denny kept checking the mountain with his spotting scope. Suddenly he ran to the spotting scope crying, “There they are!”


54 |




At two miles away, they looked awesome through the scope. We saddled back up immediately and started down the trail we had cut the day before. After climbing a very steep mountain we had closed the distance to 1100 yards. We set the spotting scope up again and were looking to see how we could get closer, when the rams all jumped up and trotted back over the mountain. I couldn’t help feeling disappointed, but Denny assured me he knew where they were headed. After some more climbing, we started scanning the other side of the mountain. Denny motioned for me to get down as

they were right where he thought they would be. We butt and belly crawled to a small grassy knob. As I peeked over the rise there were two rams laying within a couple hundred yards. I will never forget how beautiful they looked laying there chewing their cuds! I heard Denny behind me whisper his advice to take the one on the right. As the ram stood, I centered the crosshairs just behind the front shoulder and squeezed the trigger. It was all over. I cannot express what an awesome feeling that was! The other rams milled around and some actually came towards us, curious. I stood up,

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Pelly Lake Outfitters at 1-800-554-7244, or visit their website at www.comehunt.com

56 |


taking in the beautiful mountains that are home to these amazing animals, thanking God for allowing me to be a part of this. With lots of celebrating and pictures, we loaded the ram on the packhorse and headed down off the mountain. As I got back on the plane to go home, I couldn’t help feeling a little sad to be leaving such a beautiful province, but happy in the knowledge I had made a friend for life. Thank you, Denny, for helping to make my sheep dream come true!

Garth Olafson GOABC Guide of the Year

Darwin & Wendy Cary 5615 Deadpine Drive Kelowna, BC V1P 1A3

Tel: (250) 491-1885 Cell: (250) 859 4327 Email: info@scooplake.com www.scooplake.com WE HUNT:

Stone Sheep, Moose, Goat, Caribou, Elk, Black Bear & Wolf WE FISH:

Lake Trout, Bull Trout, Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout & White Fish


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These one-of-a-kind records books live up to their long-standing reputation with more than 32,000 trophy listings—including nearly 2,500 from British Columbia—and hundreds of color photos. In its fourteenth edition since the original book was published by B&C in 1932, this latest edition has grown to over 900 pages split between two volumes. Each book is coffee-table quality with full-color printing throughout. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to own this incredible book, order your set today! PAPER BACK SET $80 USD, plus S&H Just Released in January 2018. Volumes not sold separately.

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A P E X S YS T E M The Apex System features three new products built to keep you quiet in the moment of truth. The Apex Hoody is a feature-rich layer combining premium merino wool with a durable nylon face. The Apex Pant helps the hunter adapt to changing conditions and varying levels of activity with a thermoregulating micro-grid interior and a weather-resistant polyester face. The Apex Pack completes the series with a quiet low-profile design and easily deployable components for capitalizing on hard-earned close encounters.



Hotshot Biscuits

Cook Time: 15 minutes / Preheat oven to 425°F • • • • • • • • •

3 cups flour ¼ cup sugar 6 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 cups grated sharp cheddar ¼ cup finely chopped green onion tops ½ cup finely chopped red pepper (or green/yellow) ½ cup vegetable oil 1 cup + 2 tbsp cold milk

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add cheese, onion and peppers. Stir in lightly. Mix oil and milk and add. Stir to mix into a soft ball. Turn onto ungreased cookie pan dusted with flour. Knead 8 - 10 times and press out to ¾” thickness. Cut gently into 2” squares or diamonds. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Serve hot with butter. This serves about four Northern BC guides and two hunters from Las Vegas but can easily be doubled. Prepare ingredients ahead and it can be quickly assembled and in the oven 15 minutes before the meal.

42 years of professional guiding experience in our exclusive area of 1386 km2

Brenda Nelson

More recipes are available in our 50th Anniversary Cookbook. Email info@goabc.org or call (604) 541-6332 to purchase your own copy for $25 +shipping & handling.



A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer, author & consultant in Denver, Colorado. See his book The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values. Available at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/c5flmmu Now available as a Kindle EBook.

Skills to Win Over Anti and Non-Hunters and Why Hunters Should Master Them Concrete skills exist that can change hearts and minds of anti- and non-hunters towards accepting hunting. I share an example from Darla Barr, Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden. I met Darla at the 2017 Texas Hunter Education Annual Conference in Abilene. She shared this anecdote on persuasion that occurred when two female anti-hunters aggressively challenged hunting and essentially accused hunters of being murderers. Darla’s response is a model for winning over anti- and nonhunters to accept hunting. First, Darla, asked questions to establish the values of the attacking anti-hunters. Did they favor more animals than fewer? Did they favor healthier animals than diseased ones? Have they ever seen an animal die from starvation or disease? These questions influenced the ladies’ receptivity to Darla’s argument and also established that the ladies were ignorant about wildlife. Darla asked questions that demanded a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. She forced them to commit to a preference: “Do you want more poaching or less? Yes or no?” Then Darla gave a vivid example of what can happen to injured, diseased or starving animals: they may be attacked by fire ants. Darla was graphic. Weakened by wounds or disease or starvation, the ants go into the animal’s throat, its eyes, its nostrils and devour the animal with excruciating pain. Nature is a rough neighborhood, Darla emphasized. Then Darla asked the most critical question: “Is it more moral to have an animal die in a minute from a hunter or have it die an agonizing death over a period of weeks? Yes or no? Choose one answer. There is no third choice.” Finally, —and this is the key point—Darla showed that hunting was consistent with and advanced the anti-hunters values, which, they had admitted when answering Darla’s

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initial questions. The ladies could not rationally oppose hunting when they were forced to admit that hunting advanced their values. The two ladies told Darla that she had changed their minds and that they could accept hunting. Lessons Learned I believe most people are decent and want to do the right thing. They want to protect animals; they want to reduce suffering. Therefore, they will accept hunting when they are persuaded that hunting advances their values. Darla did not try to convert the ladies into hunters. She wanted them to accept hunting in at least one situation. She succeeded. Preparing questions and anticipating negative responses are difficult challenges. However, hunters must do the work if we are to effectively defend and advance hunting. We can succeed if we approach persuasion methodically and strategically.

Northwest Big Game Outfitters

Black Bear • Moose • Sheep • Mountain Goat FREDDY DODGE

World Record

Muzzleloader Bull Moose

Jack Goodwin Box 344, Mile 5 Atlin Highway, Atlin, BC Canada V0W 1A0 Tel: (250) 651-7766 Email: nbgohunt@gmail.com • www.bcbiggamehunting.com MOUNTAIN HUNTER - FALL 2018 |



Profile for Guide Outfitters of BC

Mountain Hunter Magazine Fall 2018  

Feature story is a black bear hunt with Kelli Maxwell and Caribou Mountain Outfitters. We also have a feature on Tim Foster, a First Nation...

Mountain Hunter Magazine Fall 2018  

Feature story is a black bear hunt with Kelli Maxwell and Caribou Mountain Outfitters. We also have a feature on Tim Foster, a First Nation...

Profile for goabc