Mountain Hunter Magazine Spring 2018

Page 20

Some of the most beautiful things on this planet are craggy peaks, rock slides, dense forests, high alpine meadows, and pristine lakes, all scenery that British Columbia has no shortage of.


hen you first arrive in this type of environment, there is a wide range of emotions you experience. From the sheer beauty of what your eyes are registering for the first time, to the terror and excitement that in a few hours you are going to be climbing into it for ten days. Country like this makes a man feel extremely small and no training in the gym can completely prepare you for what you are about to endure. I’m at an old enough age now where not much surprises me in this life but hunting mountain goats and caribou in British Columbia truly left me blown away. I booked my hunt with Fraser MacDonald of Circle M Outfitters who guides in a large area in the province west of Williston Lake. From our first conversation to the day we broke camp I have had nothing but trust and praise for the way Fraser handles his business. Whether it is his straight-shooting honesty or the hard work and precision that his outfit handles itself with, any hunter will be in great hands at Circle M. For me personally, this journey began two years ago while hunting elk and deer outside of Cranbrook. After laboring through that country, and the fact that I wanted to hunt mountain goats before my hair goes completely grey, I decided to re-dedicate my life to physical fitness. I found a CrossFit gym and started a workout regimen that had me running and lifting an average of five days per week. I even went through surgery to

fix a lingering hernia in late 2016 all in the name of this hunt. At 37 years old, I entered this hunt in the best shape of my life and couldn’t have been more excited. I knew going into this hunt that I had four elements to being successful: physical fitness, shooting ability, animal behavior, and weather. Unfortunately, I could only control two of these and I worked harder than I ever have to make sure those two were covered. After a 1,300-mile drive up from California, I arrived in Prince George and the next morning we set off on another five-hour plus drive to get into the guiding territory northwest of Mackenzie. We arrived in camp late that afternoon, a beautiful setting on a beautiful lake. After a delicious home cooked meal, we met with the guides and our teams were assembled for the next ten days. To my surprise, each hunter had two guides going with him which was something I was excited about. The guides I was setup with were Landon and Matt and I would enjoy and learn so much from being in the company of these two guys. When talking with Fraser on the drive up to camp he had let me know where I would be hunting and that it was your classic craggy goat country where I would have a great shot at getting my goat and then packing up to move over to his best caribou camp. The only downside was there was no fishing in either camp. I quickly decided that I was here for a once-in-a-lifetime hunt and I could make that sacrifice despite being an avid trout fisherman. Continued ON page 20

18 | Mountain Hunter Magazine - SPRING 2018

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