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April 30, 2017



INSIDE 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:



David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News

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


Tel: (604) 541-6332 Fax: (604) 541-6339 E-mail:


Lili and her “magnificent” bull moose

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That Some May Follow


Conservation MattersTM

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PRESIDENT’S CORNER GOABC is essential for the guide outfitting industry in British Columbia. We have a bright and hardworking volunteer board of 16, some 30 volunteer committee members and dedicated staff in our Surrey office. We are the “tip of the spear” when we go to battle for wildlife, the habitat they depend upon, and our industry needs. We are the voice for hundreds of guide outfitting families, some 2000 staff members and countless local businesses, from feed stores and taxidermists to air charters and hotels. GOABC is a membership organization. These members are the foundation and they give the organization direction. When we hear about an issue that needs our attention, the matter is referred to the applicable committee. The committee discusses and recommends a position to the Board, and upon endorsement, becomes part of our mandate.

Michael Schneider,

The knowledge of the board, the committees, and staff is President, GOABC impressive. The issues range from a wrongfully issued ticket to participating in global conservation initiatives (and We are always trying to improve our tenures by lobbying for everything in between). The GOABC has thirty committees, longer terms, faster processes, user friendly administration and red tape reduction. We are a long way from where we want some of the most active today are: to be but by working with this government we are moving in • Grizzly Bear Task Force • Aboriginal Relations the right direction. There are many competing interests on the • Sheep Task Force • Legislative & Policy land and knowing what they are helps us understand decision • Convention • Wildlife and Habitat makers and how to suggest a better way of doing things. • Moose Task Force GOABC’s two overarching priorities are: the well-being of wildlife and its habitat and the certainty in our tenures! The strength of our industry is directly linked to healthy and balanced wildlife populations. When game is abundant usually things are good for all of us whose life depend on them. That’s why we work so very hard on issues and fund projects that are focused on results and not so much on studying problems we know exist.

If you share our values and vision and wish to support us and you are not a member yet you can help by becoming a member. Visit our website, to see our various membership options and find the one that suits you. You can also call our office at (604) 541-6332 and they will be happy to assist.

Wildlife Stewardship

In conservation, Michael Schneider







Scott Ellis, Executive Director, GOABC, with daughters Sydney and Samantha

I truly believe in the Evolution of a Hunter (the Shooter Stage, the Limiting-Out Stage, the Trophy Stage, The Method Stage, the Sportsman Stage) – this is not a hierarchy where one stage is better than another, just that hunter motivation changes and there are different stages. I was recently watching a hunting show when my wife joined me for a few minutes. She is one of the ‘70% in the middle’ (an urbanite who cares about wildlife, but does not hunt). She is always my bellwether in regards to hunting and a very good indicator of public opinion. After the kill shot, she says “Is there no remorse when you kill an animal?” “Why all the cheering and high-fives?” It really got me to thinking.

a sober second thought about what we show to the public… especially the 70% in the middle. I have failed in stalking attempts, missed shots, and had unfilled tags at the end of the season. So when I am successful, there is a feeling of accomplishment. I am fortunate to come from a hunting family and live in a province where there is much hunting opportunity. My father, brothers, and sister are all in different stages in their evolution as hunters. It is important we understand the motivation to hunt changes. My grandfather was the best marksman I have ever seen. I never saw him miss! He lived through the Great Depression and once said “If I missed, we did not eat. I learned how to be a good shot.”

I do not consider myself an overly spiritual person but do feel Last fall I was sitting in a ground blind with my good friend’s blessed and give thanks for many things, including when I kill son, Reed, when he shot his first white-tailed buck. I’m not an animal. I try to honour the animal in death. Often I have sure which of us was more excited as the buck approached. paid to have my trophy mounted – I believe it shows respect to After the shot, we cheered and high-fived before rushing to the animal and is a reminder of the hunt and all the memories the downed buck. We acted like those hunters on TV. It was created. real… it was how we felt at the time. We talked about the shot and the humane way the deer died. We were grateful. My answer to my wife’s question was, “Honey, when a hunter is successful there is a whole host of emotions including I think hunting is very personal and our challenge, as hunters, excitement, satisfaction, triumph, and a rush of adrenalin that is that with TV and social media being ever present we must often causes your hands to tremble uncontrollably. I think most realize that what we do is on public display – the good, bad hunters understand the ‘circle of life’ and that some animals and ugly. Hunters are judged immediately – whether we like die so that others can live.” She gets it …but she doesn’t. it or not. I will not stop hunting and do not think anti-hunters will take up our cause but maybe we should pause and have I thank God that she loves venison!

Straight shooting and safe travels. MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2017 |


NEWS & VIEWS I like to tell our clients that I have the best office in the world. The air is fresh, the water is pure, the game is abundant, and the country is simply spectacular but that is not all that makes my office special. My office is usually a bustle of activity—crews and clients are coming and going, tack and tents need mending, quads and planes need maintenance. There are capes to dry, skulls to clean, horses to doctor and of course paperwork to get done. Amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy camp, we are blessed to have our families with us—this year seven young children were at camp. The sound of children laughing, playing and yes, sometimes even fighting, is Harold Grinde, President, Association an almost constant reminder of their presence. Their “hunting camp” consisting of of Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters a brush lean-to, most of the missing tools from the shop and piles of shed antlers, leg bones and other “treasures” is a reminder to all of us of another time when our imaginations knew no bounds. Their excitement to see every hunter return to camp successful, their enthusiasm to inspect every set of horns and antlers, and their eagerness to show the clients “how to catch fish” leaves no doubt in my mind that one day, given a chance, they will become guides and outfitters themselves. They have caught many fish and come face to face with a grizzly bear and her cubs. They have climbed every single step to the top of a mountain and befriended many wonderful clients. I find that I am a bit envious that I did not have such an opportunity when I was young, but I am thankful that I have the best office in the world and I feel truly blessed that my children have the opportunity to share it with me. If you are planning to attend one of the many shows this winter stop and visit with one of our member outfitters and see if you can arrange to share the adventures on your next hunt with a young person. I am sure it will be a decision that you will never regret and a real life experience they will never forget! Good Hunting! Harold Grinde - President, AMMO

Hunters, crew, and horses have made their way out of the wild places. Equipment is stowed, airplanes hangered, and horses moved to winter pastures. By many accounts another successful fall hunting season has wrapped up. With the bustle of the long and busy days of camp concluded, one can take a moment to look back on the season and be thankful. Thankful for the privilege the outfitting life provides to hunters and guides alike. Especially thankful for the mental and physical challenge the adventure of the hunt provides. At the Yukon Outfitters Association (YOA), our thoughts will soon turn to planning for next year and the years to come. Many challenges and opportunities lay ahead. Within the YOA we continue to work on making our outfitting businesses more secure and with a bright future. We look inward at our businesses to make operations more Chris McKinnon, President, efficient, ensure our clients are continually satisfied, and keep our crews working hard. Yukon Outfitters Association We also look across our backyards and see opportunities to improve our relations within our communities where we strive to be a good neighbor, through programs like the effective handling and distribution of meat. We also continue to see opportunities to partner with like-minded groups to tackle large, complex, and expensive issues related to game management, habitat conservation, and business security of outfitting. Targeted partnerships are often the most effective way to address these shared hunting interests. As hunters, one of our ongoing partnership opportunities is conservation of the hunting privilege. It gives us purpose, both personally as hunters and professionally, as outfitters. We as hunters must continue to stick together to develop partnerships to ensure the long-term future of hunting. On behalf of the Yukon Outfitters Association, we look forward to hosting you! Chris McKinnon, privileged to be a hunter and an outfitter - President, YOA



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remember that natural resources do not only sustain livelihoods of communities, SCI Keeps Watch they are also critical in promoting What happens at the Convention on economic development. Examples of International Trade in Endangered this include the lawful trade in wildlife, Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) including the practice of hunting, which affects us all. This fall, CITES held its is criticized by many.” 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Both Whether the subject is elephant hunting Safari Club International and Safari in Africa or polar bear hunting in Canada, Club International Foundation fielded there are international entanglements delegations to the international meetings that can affect the freedom to hunt in where the future of hunting hung in the future. Organizations like SCI and the balance. Whether hunters travel GOABC must remain on the cutting edge internationally or only hunt in their own of such developments, if for no other back yards, decisions made by CITES reason than – if not us, then who? have both direct and indirect effects. - Philip DeLone, SCI CEO That is because government officials at various levels in countries like the U.S. DALLAS SAFARI CLUB and Canada often base their regulations USFWS Decision on Wild Lion Trophies on CITES actions, or CITES actions affect “A Step in the Right Direction” those who go to such countries to hunt. In October, Dan Ashe, Director of U.S. The divide between pro and antiFish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) hunting interests intensifies. Nowhere announced new regulations for the is this more apparent than at the CITES importation of lion trophies into the CoP. Hunters naturally tie hunting and United States under the Endangered conservation together symbiotically, Species Act. The new regulations allow one with the other. Anti-hunters and for the importation of wild or wildnon-hunters, not so much. South Africa managed lion trophies from South Africa President Jacob Zuma, in his address to – home to many wild lion populations. CoP17, noted that it is “important for all to The regulations do not allow for import SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL



permits for trophies taken from captive lion populations in South Africa. In December 2015, the USFWS listed the African lion under the Endangered Species Act, effectively banning the importation of lion trophies into the U.S. Last week’s decision to allow lion trophy importation from South Africa is a reversal from the hardline decision that was certain to undermine conservation efforts for lions by defunding the model of conservation. “In the past, the USFWS has gone against its own proven conservation polices and succumbed to pressures from anti-hunting groups,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “Hunting is an integral cog in the machine of conservation. While small, DSC feels this decision is a step in the right direction. We hope this is not just rhetorical and that the USFWS follows through and actually issues import permits.” Hunting has proven time and time again to benefit species as a whole. Africa’s conservation efforts are partially funded through revenues generated from hunters. Sustainable use is a proven conservation model that also benefits local economies and societies.

In the announcement, Ashe notes that “Under certain conditions, scientifically sound conservation programs that include sport hunting of wild lions can significantly contribute to the long-term survival of lions. U.S. hunters - the vast majority of whom strongly support ethical, sustainable game management make up a disproportionately large share of foreign hunters who book trophy hunts in Africa. Their participation in well-managed hunting programs can help advance the conservation benefits provided by such programs.” - Ben Carter, Executive Director WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION Wild Sheep Conservation Funding

portions of 6 projects in British Columbia, continuing our long partnership with Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, GOABC, other regional guide/outfitter associations, our Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia affiliate, and other wild sheep stakeholders in the province. BC projects under consideration by WSF as of this writing include: • $2,000 toward Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae surveillance in 30 domestic sheep and goat flocks, in Okanagan, Thompson & Kootenay areas; • $5,000 toward BC’s provincewide long-term Sheep Separation Program;

• $5,000 toward an experimental Conservation is what WSF does - it treatment program for scabies (i.e., defines who we are. Annually, the Psoroptes mites); WSF receives hundreds of thousands • $15,000 to fund the first-ever of dollars in wild sheep conservation Stone’s sheep health assessment; funding requests from around the globe. • $100,000 toward a Stone’s sheep Consistent with our purpose “Put and movements, mortality, and roads Keep Wild Sheep on the Mountain™” WSF study southeast of Dease Lake and carefully evaluates every application before deciding project expenditures to • $100,000 toward ungulate ensure the most conservation return on enhancement in the Peace Region our member’s and donor’s investment. Altogether, $227,000 (USD) are under For 2016-17, WSF is looking to fund all or consideration to be directed to wild sheep

conservation priorities in BC. In addition, WSF has budgeted another $32,500 in industry support grants to GOABC, their regional affiliates and our partners representing more than $259,500 USD WSF proudly plans to contribute toward wild sheep conservation, management and the Guide Outfitting industry in British Columbia! - Gray Thornton, President and CEO GRAND SLAM CLUB/OVIS More and More People Are “Getting It” In the last issue of Mountain Hunter, I wrote a hard-hitting column about mixed messages being sent about trophy hunting. There have been some over the last couple of years who seem to have been indicating we should not use the terminology “trophy hunting.” My column, for all practical purposes, said that we should not be hypocrites and should be proud of the fact that we are trophy hunters. “Hunting IS the #1 Conservation Tool.” Shane Mahoney wrote an article recently for NRA’s (National Rifle Association) American Hunter. It was CONTINUED ON PAGE 8




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 titled “Why Hunting Always Matters.” Here are two quotes: “Much of the bias against hunting stems from a lack of knowledge. It is easy to misrepresent and criticize what is not understood. Trophy hunting is probably the best example of this in the hunting world.”

and even trumpet this message. I am convinced we can win on our own terms. - Dennis Campbell BOONE & CROCKETT Can I “Fair” Play Through?

The second is “Trophy hunters are often thought by non-hunters to represent the lowest rung of the ladder. What is not understood is that the fees paid by trophy hunters are what often enable large hunting tracts or concessions to exist.”

Even if you don’t play golf, you must admit that the image of golf being projected is that the integrity of the game is above reproach because its participants police themselves. Leadership within the game (the PGA) has long been pro-active in portraying In October 2016 at the Johannesburg golfers as sportsmen and women Conference of the Parties (CoP), CITES dedicated to the game’s traditions and recognized hunting as a conservation etiquette. Golfers are expected to, “call tool. They agreed that attaching their own shots.” It is this self-governing economic value to wildlife contributes nature that is central to the game’s to conservation and sustainable use integrity. Year in and year out, golf’s of species. It seems the CITES parties governing bodies and the golf media certainly know that trophy hunters make a regular point of “showcasing” are conservationists. When trophy such good behavior among both hunting takes place, conservation amateur and professional players. happens. Are we in the hunting community We as Conservation Partners need to use every opportunity we can to promote


“showcasing” our participants as principled men and women committed


to the tenets of fair chase and an ethic in support of wildlife conservation? Are we advertising the lessons learned and values instilled through the ethical pursuit of game qualities such as selfreliance, personal responsibility and selfrestraint as well as time honored skills such as woodcraft and marksmanship? After all, we’re hunting today because the vast majority of hunters hold themselves accountable to a high standard we call fair chase. It’s something to think about as we brace ourselves for the next Ceciltype viral uprising against hunting. After all, the most valuable asset in any crisis communication plan is the “good effort” of putting your best foot forward long before the crisis strikes. It is often such an effort that can make the difference in a public perception between, “isolated incident,” and an “all too often occurrence.” - Keith Balfourd, Director of Marketing

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“Shoot It



hunted with Stuart Maitland from Eureka Peak Lodge and Outfitters around ten years ago. It was a trapline adventure and the trip had been a resounding success, with daily snow machine rides, and many critters trapped. I heard that Stu’s area had been producing some excellent interior grizzlies, so I stopped by his booth at the 2016 Safari Club International convention, to discuss his grizzly hunts. During our discussion, Stu mentioned that he had donated a grizzly hunt to the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia’s annual auction and fundraiser. So, I ended up bidding online and won the hunt!

by Richard T. Adams

nonchalantly said “there’s a wolf.” At first I didn’t believe him because it was next to the road, close to where a dog had run out to greet us on our way out. When it finally sank in I jumped out of the almost stopped truck and proceeded to jam cartridges in the rifle, which I promptly jammed. After what seemed like an eternity I got things sorted out and shot, and missed. Stu would later tell me, with a chuckle, that the reason why I missed must have been due to a 60 yard shot at an animal standing broadside often proves to be difficult!

The next day we were off to look for grizzlies again. Just getting to the hunting area was an adventure. This included Traveling to the town of Horsefly was, thankfully, uneventful a truck ride with an ATV in the back, transferring the ATV to with Canadian customs being straightforward and easy to a boat, taking the boat across the lake, and then an ATV ride deal with. An hour or so after landing I was at Stu and Cherie’s and hike into the hunting area. After unloading the ATV we new home enjoying a cocktail. Early the next morning we set noticed the battery was almost dead. I assured Stu all would off looking for grizzly bear, black bear, and a wolf. As the day be fine and we would have no problems. I was wrong. progressed we spotted several nice black bears, but I really After arriving at the hunting area we set out on what looked wanted a monster, as I had harvested many black bears in to be an excellent day. We glassed for a while and eventually the past. The day was quite enjoyable with lively banter and waded across a river to take a look at a grizzly Stu had spotted. Stu’s never ending supply of outstanding jokes. About a mile After a great stalk to about 40 yards, Stu assured me we could from the house we were passing Stu’s bull pasture when he

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do better. We waded back across the river and glassed while drying out our boots and socks and eating lunch. As it was getting later in the day, we hiked back to the ATV. It seems Yamaha ATV’s just won’t run after the battery is completely dead. We found this out in the middle of a stream located about eight miles from the boat. Hiking that far back in wet clothes, and with all our gear, wasn’t the highlight of our day but we finally made it. The next morning, although we were a bit sore after the previous day’s march, we were both eager to find a nice grizzly. The day was gloomy and wet, but we got an early start and began spotting bears. As we came around a corner Stu calmly stated “there’s a nice one.” In the middle of a small slide was a beautiful grizzly with a perfect coat. A short stalk and one shot later, we were admiring the magnificent animal I had just harvested. On the way out with the bear in his pack Stu shouted back at me “Why couldn’t you have done that with the wolf?” The next several days were spent looking for black bear. We passed up bear after bear in search of something huge. I was okay with going home without one if we didn’t find “The Black Bear” and Stu didn’t mind hunting every day. Things never got boring with the constant jokes and storytelling. One afternoon, Stu wanted to take a look at a small clearing, close by his house, where he had seen some large bears in the past. Sneaking up and looking down into the pasture revealed a large grizzly digging at the ground and eating. It was a deep brown with dark colored legs and it looked even larger than the one I’d taken days ago. I watched it for several minutes and eventually dug into my pack to grab my camera. A while later I looked over to see Stu staring at me with a bit of a quizzical expression. “Are you going to shoot it or what?” All at once I realized that I had been looking not at a grizzly, but at the largest black bear I had ever seen, but now it had seen us. As


quickly and quietly as possible I got in position and pulled the trigger. The bear ran and while I thought it was a good shot, memories of the missed wolf were still a bit fresh in my mind. We took off after the bear and with great relief found it a short distance CONTINUED ON PAGE 13




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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 away. There was no ground shrinkage whatsoever. The bear was huge and would eventually square at seven and a half feet. Stu had his satellite phone and was able to call a neighbor who showed up with wife, kids and best of all, a Polaris Ranger to haul this brute out. The kids all wanted to hear the story of the black bear, while the parents wanted to hear the story about the missed wolf which, by now, was Horsefly legend. The next day was getting groceries and getting the grizzly checked in. Stu mentioned that the wildlife biologist would need to take a tooth and would have a few questions for me. She proved to be a lovely young lady whose only questions were about how I could miss a wolf. I explained to her how it was a running shot at several hundred yards… she didn’t believe me. That left about half the trip remaining. Every day was well spent fishing from shore or in a boat. Ol’ Stu proved to be an excellent captain and oarsman. We even went back to retrieve the broken ATV, which ran great with a new battery. I was even invited along to hunt black bear with another guest. He took a beautiful dark black bear which I captured on video. All in all it was a very successful and enjoyable British Columbia hunting trip. As I was leaving, Stu mentioned he had an excellent black wolf hide and skull in the freezer that he had taken the previous winter. I got my wolf after all! And in another few years when my memory fades, as it always does, I may just remember shooting that full mount black wolf standing broadside in my living room.

Stu Maitland, after delivering a punchline

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Eureka Peak Lodge & Outfitters at 250-397-2445 or MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2017 |


We live where we hunt— year round! We offer elk, moose, grizzly bear, black bear, deer, and mountain goat!

Warren and Kim Bryanton 250-553-2355 Bar WK Ranch & Outfitters Dome Creek Outfitters

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GUIDED HUNTING IN NORTHERN BC FOR: Stone Sheep Mountain Caribou Mountain Goat Grizzly Bear Canada Moose Wolf Lynx Wolverine | 250-771-3819 Mike & Carol Danielson | PO Box 66 Dease Lake BC V0C 1L0 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2017 |


from a LEGAL Michael Sabbeth is the author of The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values. See He is currently writing the book Proud to Hunt: Tips for Being an Effective Instructor and Student. Visit his website and his Facebook page www.facebook/thehonorablehunter.

Trophy Hunting - Turning a Curse Word into a Teaching Tool PART 1: CLARIFYING THROUGH QUESTIONS In the book Pre-Suasion, communications expert Robert Cialdini writes that before a message can achieve what he calls “persuasive traction,” the most effective persuaders make their audiences sympathetic to it. Imagine you are selling candy or clothing or a raffle to raise money for a school program. You likely said something like, “Do you want to help the band travel to a competition?” Such a simple request achieves a


powerful purpose: offering an opportunity to achieve a goal by showing that specific values are shared. Cialdini calls this process pre-suasion. Cialdini emphasizes: “In part, the answer involves an essential but poorly appreciated tenet of all communications: what we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next.” Let’s think about how we first present ideas. Here are a few questions that are in the pre-suasion category. “Would you agree that saving the lives of animals is a virtuous goal?” “Would you say that having more animals is a better outcome than having fewer animals?” “Would a hunter that provides meat and income for local populations be doing something virtuous?” “Would that act be less virtuous just because the hunter made a trophy of the animal?” “If so, why?” There is no credible answer to this last question. Note how these questions make an audience sympathetic to hunting. Of course, you must persuade that hunting achieves those positive results. I will show how this technique can be used to defend and advance hunting and refute the negative attitudes about trophy hunting. An article titled How to Talk to the Public About Hunting appeared in the May 2015 issue of the Responsive Management Report. The Report illustrates how the public’s acceptance of hunting is influenced by its perception of a hunter’s motivation. The Report shows, for example, that Americans have a strong or moderate approval of hunting for meat of 85% but approval drops to 53% when the hunting is viewed as for sport. This section raises the question: Is it logical that motive should determine hunting’s acceptance? Making motive primary means that the consequences of hunting are less important. Yet consequences define reality. Is diminishing the importance of consequences logical or ethical? Here are some questions worth asking. Would the 47% who disapprove of hunting for sport become hunting supporters if the meat were donated to the needy? Would the 60% that disapprove of hunting “for the challenge” become supporters if they were persuaded that hunted animals are often spared gruesome deaths from car crashes or disease or starvation? Would those same hunting opponents accept hunting more if they were persuaded

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that hunters’ money yielded increased habitat? I hope my point is clear: motivation has little to do with the morality of the result of the hunting.

PART 2: TROPHY HUNTING The Report shows that placing the word ‘trophy’ before the word ‘hunting,’ causes approval to plummet to 28%. Given this disastrous approval rating, hunters have an interest in neutralizing this toxic phrase. They will not be able to do so unless they can define what it means or demonstrate persuasively that the anti-hunters have no idea what it means. Unfortunately, the hunting community has been inept in crafting arguments to defend whatever trophy hunting is supposed to mean. No anti-hunter has offered a workable definition of trophy hunting. People have strong opinions about something they cannot define. Most likely they mean something like killing just to place a trophy on the wall. This act may or may not be worthy of scorn, but it represents a small fraction of hunting. The reality is that the demeaning phrase is intended to include much more than mounting a trophy on the wall. Ask a few questions and the vagueness of ‘trophy hunting’ becomes apparent. In addition to the questions above, consider these questions. Would trophy hunting include creating a ‘trophy’ but donating the meat? How about if a trophy is created but funds from hunting finance clean water for a village or support anti-poaching actions or kills an animal that is killing smaller animals of its species? No matter the answers, ask this question: Why would any decent person oppose something that yields these benefits?

avoids responsibility. The phrase can be used to oppose all hunting until and unless someone challenges the opponent to define precisely the basis for the opposition to it. Unless skilled, prepared and confident, a person trying to force the anti-hunter to commit to a meaning will be impossible. The anti-hunter simply replies, “That’s not what I mean!” The antihunting attack continues unabated. The use of the phrase ‘trophy hunter’ is a trap from which an unprepared pro-hunter cannot escape if the hunter allows the definition to be dictated by the opponent. Thus, defending hunting requires the proponent to act affirmatively and not be on defense. The ‘trophy hunter’ phrase is a rhetorical tool not used to encourage productive dialogue on hunting’s merits. To the contrary, the phrase is used to intimidate and shut down all debate. Through pre-suasion and asking well-crafted questions, the phrase trophy hunting can be a teaching tool to defang the trophy hunting accusation, to educate about hunting’s virtues and persuade that hunting, no matter how you qualify it, is a valuable, justified and honorable activity. Most importantly, this is how you bring people over to our side.

Vagueness is useful to the anti-hunter. Vagueness MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2017 |




with Shane Mahoney


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 Internatio and nal Conserv ationist of Year by Sa the fari Club In ternationa Born and l. raised in N ewfoundla he brings nd, to his writi n gs and lectures a profound commitmen to rural so t cieties and the sustainabl e use of na tural resources , including fi sh and wildlife.

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Editor’s Note: Private land issues and the privatization of wildlife have become major debates within conservation circles. In a series of articles, Shane Mahoney examines this controversy and comments on what has become a divisive issue not only between hunters and non-hunters, but among hunters themselves. In his first article the author laid out the general issue of wildlife conservation on private land and called for a comprehensive wildlife policy for all lands, public and private. The second article examined one of the most polarizing issues, the confinement and commercial use of wildlife on lands legally owned by private individuals. In this concluding article Shane Mahoney calls for recognition that society and land are organically entwined, and that our solutions to wildlife conservation must recognize the land owner as a custodian of the public good. In the final analysis, conservation is about one thing; and one thing only: preventing the destruction of land. We may struggle with any number of other vexing problems but in the end it is the capacity of the earth to sustain nature that will determine the well being of humanity, the future of nations and the opportunity for civilization and progress. Yet society, in the main, cares little about this issue; the majority of citizens being preoccupied with what seem like more urgent matters. Furthermore, while owning land may be a quest or dream of many, what to do with it once it is owned is seldom a subject of public debate. Each land owner decides, to a large extent, what purpose the land will serve, despite the fact that land use affects all of us as well as the wildlife resource that belongs to us all. The reason for this is that within the womb of European settlement of Canada and the United States was born an ideal that is considered, even today, inviolate. The private property of individuals is theirs to transform, to set aside or to squander. This is not the state’s business.


However, within the conservation movement there is much debate around this issue of private land and its use. While more recently this discussion has centered upon the ownership and commercial use of wildlife on private lands, more generally the conflict arises between the utilitarian and the aesthetic view of landscape, leading to a dichotomy of purpose for all land that wildlife requires, including private holdings. This unholy division often portrayed in the pejorative as a war between the “greenies” and “true conservationists” has crusaders aligned on each side, a conservation civil war that has no vision beyond bloodletting, and no hope beyond victory. Like most civil wars it is fuelled by a shared history, irrational suspicions and a failure to think inclusively. In this instance it is a failure to understand that every portion of land has some capacity to fulfill the diverse dreams of everyone, to satisfy the goals of both combatants who might otherwise be allies in some future and better time. It is also fair to say that there is often a failure by both sides to understand the plight of the landowner who is implored to do the right thing for wildlife and country.....and bear the costs for doing so. Thus we see the clear problem for wildlife and for us who would fight for it: the landscapes of North America are being dismantled and disfigured while a majority of citizens remain disinterested, and those who care, remain divided. Private landowners are a varied community which encompasses all these persuasions, fomenting an imponderable mix of attitudes among this critical component of society who actually own land where wildlife exists. This confusing reality flourishes because we have failed as citizens, and as nations, to understand that the people and the land are one. The ideal that we exist as a great organism of society and nature combined still eludes our evolving ethics, our political and economic leadership and our religious institutions. We fail to conceive that our society rests upon the soil and the materials that either lie below or upon it. We are members of a citizen forest whether we wish to think in those terms or not. Indeed, like our forefathers, we still appear to labour under the illusion that excess land exists and that it is easier and cheaper to exploit new landscapes than conserve what we are already using. Like those stepping ashore in Newfoundland, Massachusetts and Virginia we still somehow, in our minds eye, perceive the continent as expanding rather than fixed. But who can fly across this expanse today without being struck by how little undeveloped land still exists? Everywhere there are roads and fence lines, crops and expanding suburbs. Does this not beg the question “where can wildlife thrive?” The most fundamental answer rests with who owns the land. In this regard both public and private lands policy are in desperate need of reconsideration, but in my view, the greater challenge



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 and opportunity rests with private land and, more particularly, pays for it through taxation or the private citizen earns from with the private land owner. But the private land owner must it in a direct sense and thus pursues it with good intentions be encouraged and supported to do what is right for wildlife. and good sense. Eden is no more. We keep wildlife through our collective sweat, blood and tears. If we cease to labour, More than sixty percent of land in the United States is in private wildlife will perish. ownership stitched like a patchwork quilt across the length and breadth of the nation. It represents some 1.4 billion acres and If someone asked you to do your best to protect wildlife, at encompasses the fulsome natural diversity of the country. It least in the United States, where would you start? I believe contains virtually all the nation’s cropland and a large majority we should start with private land and that means addressing, of grassland pastures and forest lands. By sheer preponderance head on, the question of how to incentivize the private it harbours a huge proportion of the nation’s biodiversity. It landowner. We have only a few general options available is also the land that is worked, capable of creating increased to us. Either the private land owner makes money from the wildlife abundance through applied science and management wildlife on the land and/or the public decides to financially principles while at the same time affording lifestyle and support the landowner for those efforts that conserve the economic opportunities for people and their communities. values of that landscape, aesthetic and utilitarian, that the Furthermore, it is land that can be managed at the personal public wants; expecting the landowner to do so at his or and/or local level, making decisions that are required for her own expense is a utopian dream with dire implications wildlife conservation potentially easier to achieve, and often for wildlife in the medium and long term. It simply will not more practical in conception and application. work. Even the wealthiest of private land owners with strong commitments to conservation recognize that some balance Private land is thus important, for the nations’ wildlife and for between philanthropy and capitalism is required to conserve the nation itself. It was this notion that John Locke articulated wildlife and other ecological values of the landscape for the when he entwined the “rights of life, liberty and property” long term. and then linked those with the notion of governance through consent. In the United States, in particular, the private citizen The private landowner can and must be a custodian of the and the land he or she owns is both the sinew of the nation and public good; but a good and enlightened public is also required. the great hope for wildlife conservation. It lies structurally We need a public that will economically and morally support at the very foundations of the American economy and forms private landowners in their efforts. We need a conservation a constant communication mechanism between the citizen, movement that will set aside petty quarrels and divisions and the private sector and the government. And if we have that will also set aside ideologies. We need to focus on the learned anything from the twentieth century experiment great question of how to keep the wild things with us. Along with conservation we know that without this three legged the way we will have to swallow hard and accept that wildlife stool wildlife conservation ultimately falters. Some economic on private land is a special case in need of special treatment. basis must exist for conservation to work. Either the public Dismissing this reality is a perilous ignorance.

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. The 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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by Spencer Peterson


hat an incredible sense of excitement in the

After dinner, a couple beers, and some exciting stories, we

days before we left home. I had spent about four months getting ready, trying to get in shape for my upcoming British Columbia elk hunt with Whiteswan Lake Outfitters. I worked out, worked on cardio, lost some weight, and prepared my legs via stair master for what was to come. Not knowing what to expect, I tried to do a little of everything. When the trip began, I realized I should have done a lot more!

were ready for some shuteye. I do not think I slept at all due to the excitement and anticipation of the hunt to come. We woke up around 4:45 am, got dressed, and went to the main lodge for some much needed breakfast. Tim and I left camp and headed down to an area where Cody and Darryl spotted a bull the night before.

As the morning sun started to come up, we began our journey on a grassy road, heading up and around the mountain. As we worked our way up the mountain, Tim would stop and call, waiting for a bull to respond. We were getting a response, which was an incredible feeling! As we moved up the road, we would stop and he would call again trying to figure out where the bull was and where he might come out. After about Whiteswan Lake Outfitters is a family owned and operated thirty minutes of walking, we had stopped to call again. All of outfit. What amazing people! Darryl and Joyce share the a sudden, a spike came up out of the creek bottom and stopped partnership and responsibilities with Tim and Carolyn. Darryl twenty yards from us. This was the first time I had seen an elk and Joyce’s kids, Cody and Olivia, were at camp with us and are that close; it was an amazing experience! incredible kids. Cody is a workhorse and Olivia is as sweet as can be. I cannot say enough about this family! Tim was my guide We continued to call as we made our journey up the road, still Two days before our hunt started, my hunting buddy, Jason, and I flew into Calgary and drove to Banff to stay a night and check out the beautiful country; which was not disappointing at all! After doing some sightseeing through the southwest of Canada, we were ready to start hunting.

during the hunt, and Chris was Jason’s guide. Chris had been knowing there was another bull in the area. We called once guiding at Whiteswan since before Tim and Darryl purchased more and got a bull to respond. We knew he was on his way! As the company. we stood and kept working the bull, we knew he was getting closer, so I prepared to make a shot. Tim let out one more call We met up with Darryl on the side of the highway to follow and the bull had gone below us trying to wind us. The bull him up to camp. After about a thirty minute drive through let out one more bugle and the hair on the back of my some amazing mountainsides, we arrived at camp. We pulled neck stood up. He was less than fifty yards away and up to a beautiful main lodge and were shown to our cabin/ he was on a mission! That bull came out of the creek bunk house. After a quick unpack and intro to our guides and bottom and stood thirty yards straight below us. Tim the rest of the family, we were on our way out to do some last did the quick count to make sure he was legal, with minute spotting. The guides had already been spotting for the at least six points on one side. After giving me the go past few weeks, but they wanted to put the elk to bed so we ahead, the real hunt began. I steadied my breathing, lined would know where to start in the morning. As the sun went him up in my crosshairs, and squeezed the trigger. down, the anticipation grew stronger! We made it back to camp after dark and had one of many incredible homemade CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 meals cooked by Joyce, Darryl’s wife.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24 After I was finally able to catch my breath and stop shaking from the excitement of the hunt, we headed down to see if we could find blood and get on a trail to recover the animal. We found blood immediately at the spot where I had shot the elk and continued to track the blood trail for about twenty yards. Then nothing. We looked in all directions from the last site of blood and did not find a drop. Tim called Darryl on the radio to let him know that we had an elk that had been hit, but couldn’t find much of a blood trail. Cody and Darryl came up to help with the search. After a two and a half hour walk down the creek, we decided to cross over and spread out, walking back up, thinking that maybe he had crossed over. After another three hour search, we were at a loss. I could hardly stomach the thought of not finding that animal. I was replaying every part of the hunt in my head, and I could not believe that I had come from such a high to such a low in the matter of hours. We headed back to the main camp with a sick feeling. At that point, we were thinking that the best case scenario would be that we would see ravens a few days later, and might be able to go in and find antlers. That is not exactly the outcome any of us expected. We got back to camp, and began to eat lunch, though I could not eat much since I was sick to my stomach at the thought of an unfound, wounded elk out there on day one.

amount of training that Carolyn had been working with him on. Tim said it was a long shot, but he and Carolyn were both willing to make the hour drive to meet up with us halfway between their house and camp. What unbelievable effort on both Tim and Carolyn’s part to do this! As we hopped in the jeep and started the drive, I began to think that the effort was a waste of time. As we pulled up to meet Carolyn, and I saw Ralphie, I was thinking, “Oh great, this dog was not going to find squat!” We made our way back to the spot where I shot the elk and put Ralphie on the last spot of the blood trail. Little Ralphie got a smell, started sniffing every little branch then headed up the trail. He crossed the creek, walked back, circled around a few trees, and I began thinking, “Great, we are taking the dog for a Sunday walk”. About that time, Ralphie headed directly up a trail, pulling Tim with him. Within five minutes, our Sunday afternoon walk ended with a dead six-by-six elk, fifteen yards off the trail! I could not believe it! What a sense of excitement and relief! The bull was bigger than I ever imagined. I was overcome with such joy that I just couldn’t believe it. Boy, was I glad to have Ralphie! We celebrated and took some pictures. However, we knew we had to get to work on this elk. If Ralphie could smell it, then so could a grizzly!

With Tim and Cody working on the elk, Ralphie, Trapper (the After lunch, Tim called his wife, Carolyn, to check in and other dog that didn’t trap much!), and I stood watch. Cody and provide her with an update. After telling her about my hunt, I started carrying out quarters. As I carried my quarter to the she mentioned Ralphie. Old Ralphie is a little dog who is bred bottom of the hill, Cody carried them all up the hill! If only to for tracking blood. He had only had a small be seventeen again! After two trips, we were done with the pack out and headed back to Tim for the cape and the rest of the gear. What a celebration when we got everything to the Jeep! We loaded the meat on top of Cody’s Jeep, and the antlers on the hood of Tim’s Jeep, and headed for victory lane! When we pulled up to the main window at camp, no one knew that we had


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recovered the elk. When they saw it on the hood from inside the house, they were as happy as we were! Darryl spent all morning out there searching with us and Joyce had been praying for us all, as well. It was an incredible moment, for not only me, but also for everyone else involved. We praised Ralphie and talked about where he found it, how close we were to it, and how we had all walked right past it. After the celebration and storytelling, it was time for another incredible meal, talk of how Jason’s hunt went, and what was in store for the next day. I knew Tim and I were SLEEPING IN. We decided to get up and go spot for Jason and Chris the next morning in hopes of putting Jason on one, as well as spotting for a black bear for me. We had bought all the tags possible because you never know! I had tags, and we had time! After waking up the next morning and having some breakfast, I was still floating on a cloud! We headed out to spot and then went driving around, looking for animals, and taking in the beauty of the mountains. About day four, we spotted a black bear on the mountain side across from us. Tim said it was a little hike up, but not too bad. Not too bad my rear‌ I think he was trying to show me what a fifty-year-old Canadian could do! We got to where the road stopped and the climb began. I was freezing. I grabbed a pack and a jacket, and was then informed I would not need the jacket in about ten minutes and boy, was he right. I was sweating, huffing, and puffing within five minutes, and still had about two hours to go! After all the huffing, puffing, and leg burning, I was wondering what the heck I was trying to prove and how bad I really wanted that bear!

The view from the Victory Window

were trying to close the distance another 100 yards and as we glassed over it one more time, we were instantly deflated. All of a sudden there were three bears! Unfortunately, it was a sow and two cubs. Once again, another moment of highs and lows! As we made our way backed down, I was laughing to myself thinking that nothing has gone right on this hunt, but how at the same time, everything thus far had turned out perfect! What a journey! CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

We finally made it to the top and got within about 400 yards of the bear. We



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 Day five rolled around and as we were out spotting again for Jason and for bears, we got lucky and found one coming out from the brush. Tim immediately put a plan of attack together. We headed down the mountain in the Jeep going as fast as we could to get over to the other mountain base, which was about a forty-five minute drive. After parking and deciding the easiest way up, we headed out for another short hike up in hopes of success. We finally made it to the road below where we had seen the bear and decided to go up to try and get above him, due to the wind. After about thirty minutes of climbing, we were there. And there the boar stood! As I tried to get into a position to shoot, he was only about twenty yards away. He then disappeared down into a ravine. We slow walked as quiet as possible, about fifteen yards, to see if we could still see him. While we were hoping he had not winded us and bailed, he suddenly popped up about thirty yards across from us. With excitement and nervousness, I shouldered my gun and was shaking so bad that Tim said the barrel looked like it was doing figure eights! I got him in the cross hairs and squeezed. The bear hit the ground, popped up and ran about thirty yards before he dropped. No need for Ralphie on this one! We were ecstatic! Two animals in one trip to British Columbia, and the effort put into both were incredible. What a blessing! After the pictures, it was time to get the bear out of there and head back to victory lane! After a little maneuvering and creative thinking, we were able to load him up and head out. I am not so sure about a Jeep for hauling animals out, but we made it work. We also invented a new item for hauling bears inside vehicles, but I cannot disclose what that is until Tim and I discuss the patent rights! When we pulled up to the victory window, it was another incredible celebration! The last day of my hunt was spent around camp waiting to hear from Jason, on how his hunt went. We had not seen each other in a few days because he had gone with Chris to hunt the back country on horseback. As we packed and said our goodbyes, I was filled with such joy. To have had the opportunity to go on such an amazing hunt and make friends with such incredible people was an incredible feeling. I cannot thank all of them enough for their hospitality, talents, efforts, and kindness. I look forward to many more hunts with Whiteswan Lake Outfitters in the future. When I got home and showed my six-year-old daughter, Gracie, the pictures, she told me that is where she wanted to go for her first elk! Get ready, Tim, she will be there in nine years! I will be back a lot sooner than that to go after a cat or a moose. I am hooked! Thank you again to my new friends, for all that you have done. I look forward to seeing you soon at the victory window! PS‌.I will be sending Ralphie some treats for Christmas!

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Whiteswan Lake Outfitters at 250-425-7003 or

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Please join us in conservation, education and protecting hunters’ rights.

Next DSC Convention January 5-8, 2017


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aving been a nature artist for over thirty five years one would think that I would have endless thoughts to put to paper but I find myself scrambling to find the words that would represent where I am with my art today. For me there has always been something spiritual about the interplay of oil on canvas. Working with it has given me an awareness and connection with history and nature. It has always been my goal to create work that is a responsive fulfillment to the connection one finds only in nature and my purpose is to present it with accuracy and integrity.

Alberta Institute of Technology) in a management position. When I retire I look forward to enjoying life on some beautiful acreage Northwest of Calgary within a short horseback ride to a view of the mountains which in spite of all efforts to convince myself, will never be a substitute for BC. I will forever be grateful for the support I have received over my career, but even more precious to me is the character of the people I have met. Names like Tompkins, Collingwood, Vince and Wiens are synonymous with shaping the Outfitting industry in British Columbia over the past and

current decades. Exploring the areas these outfitters managed and in many cases continue to manage was my art school and the major contributing factor to my inspiration and ultimate success as an artist. Their support enabled me to reach my lifelong dream of being a full time artist during much of the 90s and into the early 2000’s. Winning Portfolio Artist of the year four times with Ducks Unlimited, BC Wildlife Federation Artist of the Year and GOABC Artist of the Year Although there are published articles provided me with the publicity I needed stating that I was born in Prince to establish a client base internationally George and plan on dying there; I and see my work being purchased as now find myself residing in Calgary, Alberta working for SAIT (Southern CONTINUED ON PAGE 39 I have been blessed to have been born amongst nature’s beauty and to have been raised within it. I feel fortunate to be born with some ability to represent the results of being within nature on canvas and paper; however always with the knowledge that representing perfection can by its own definition never be more than representation and cannot endeavor to become a substitution for God’s creation.

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Painting: Whiskey Jack



Painting: Foggy Creek Wolf

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 quickly as I could produce it. Some would reminisce about those times as the “good ole days” - days when mountain ranges were crossed on a whim and somehow extreme daily training for six months to chase sheep for a couple of weeks just seemed to make sense. However, when I meet those friends who I played in that arena of nature with, some still chasing their dreams while others limp from memories enhanced by time and the repetition of the same story; the question invariably gets asked, “So…are you still doing your art?” The short answer would be yes, however not as an artist looking for a career through art. While former clients and friends still search me out to create commissioned pieces, I have diversified my art in many new areas since moving to Calgary two years ago. During my Masters in Education (Fine Arts) degree, I was introduced to the value of art as a therapeutic tool, something I had been naively benefiting from my entire career. I had my first opportunity to share my background in art with a local charity group in Calgary called Sparrow House, which offers second stage transitional housing for women exiting sexual exploitation. Going through the creative process of art with these CONTINUED ON PAGE 40 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2017 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 women created a safe atmosphere and environment for sharing. Some of these women who I originally created art with are now valuable contributing members of society and really showed me the power art could have. My employer SAIT also recognized the value of art for their own faculty and students, and hired me to manage weekly sessions at the college over the past year and a half. The healing and benefits from sharing in the creative process has been overwhelming and many students, particularly international students,

community they experience as a

satisfied that more than ever I am doing student. I have also been facilitating a art that has purpose and meaning. bi-weekly art affinity group for Calgary singles through Center Street Church which gives community to a tremendous under- represented demographic within our society. Between these community activities, some commission work and doing art with my four (and soon to be six) grandchildren I am not producing volumes of work for shows but am

To view more of Wilf Schlitt’s stunning artwork, please visit his website:

report the weekly sessions are the only

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So I am still doing my art, but now am more interested in seeing success in the achievements of others rather than my own. None of what I do today however would be possible were it not for the journey facilitated by the beauty of nature and the exceptional people who enjoy the outdoors as their playground. For that I am and will be forever grateful.



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

k e e r C e s r o Packh


The Flathead River is home to elk, mule deer, black bear, Shiras moose, grizzly bear, mountain goats, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, wolves, cougar and lynx. Packhorse Creek Outfitters offers both single special and combination hunts for all indicated species.

Tel/Fax 250.425.0711 5779 Lower Elk Valley Road, Sparwood, British Columbia Canada V0B 2G3 •

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Wild Lands


by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News


he snow continued to fall softly, covering the trees with a white mantle and padding the ground with a thick blanket of powder, giving our horses some traction. The lead horse whinnied loudly in the still air. Our guide’s posture straightened as he cut the tracks of the bull moose about a 100 yards down the trail. We followed. We crossed the river and hurried up a hill for a better view. The horses were tied up and happy we were off their backs. In the first minute, we spotted the bull though the snowflakes, making his way downstream. Beside me, my daughter, Lili, had her rifle ready as our guide broke the silence with a long and loud cow call. The bull moose that seemed right at home in this land of Narnia, turned in our direction. He made a wide circle to us from 450 yards away, crossing the icy river to answer the call. We could hear him return our calls with his low grunts now. Lili, sitting on her butt in 2 feet of fresh snow with her gun braced on guide Trevis Booker’s shoulder, made a perfect 130-yard shot with the 160 grain bullet hitting right in the middle of his chest. The bull hit the soft snow instantly. CONTINUED ON PAGE 47

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The hunt featured in this story was purchased at the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia’s Annual Auction. Email to find out how you can bid on your dream hunt

Trevis Booker - owner of Wicked River Outfitters




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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 44 The old bull was not done, though, and soon got back up and was broadside. She put another one into his upper neck this time and he dropped once again. Booker told Lili that both of those shots were perfect and she had done a great job. The snow continued to fall and I had just watched my daughter take the first moose she had ever laid eyes on. Oddly, my adrenaline did not warm my frozen feet. Booker reached the fallen giant and was amazed at his size, saying it was the largest moose taken this year by any of his hunters. Lili also was amazed at the sheer size and mass of the magnificent bull. CONTINUED ON PAGE 48



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 47 Our adventure began in March with the purchase of lot number 58 at GOABC’s annual auction, a ten-day moose hunt with Wicked River Outfitters. The auction catalog said “this ten-day trip will help you find the animal you have been looking for.” It just did! Trevis Booker (known to all as Booker) and his wife, Amber, bought the hunting operation about three years ago to live the lifestyle they had always dreamed of. The lodge’s remote location on Williston Lake is the centerpiece of the operation. Booker picked us up in Fort St. John, British Columbia and immediately started grumbling about the weather. As he drove us west he talked about how hard the hunt might be with all this unexpected snow and how the moose did not like the cold weather. As Texans, we were loving the snow and cold. We had just landed in winter — something we wouldn’t see for a couple more months. Booker said we were crazy. By the time we arrived at the small airstrip where a Piper Super Cub awaited, we had become friends. We flew to the lodge one by one and were surprised with the sweet smell of 15 loaves of homemade bread cooking on a smoker. The view down the lake places you inside of a movie set. Amber not only cooks what she grows in her garden, she also runs the marketing and communications for the business. The main lodge has four rooms and two baths with a coffee bar and dinning area and several smaller three bedroom cabins surrounding the compound. A large recreation room is currently being built. From there, we flew about 40 miles to another camp to prepare for our backcountry hunt. That night, I was surprised with a delicious chocolate cake that Amber had sent along for my birthday. The next morning, Booker, his wrangler, Cole Briltz, Lili and I headed out on horseback along with an entourage of six pack horses carrying supplies for the next leg of the trip. CONTINUED ON PAGE 51

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 48 Thankfully, Lili and I are experienced riders. But I knew this ride would be a bit more challenging in a foot of fresh snow. The trails were steep and the horses slipped in the messy conditions. At one point the pack string broke and the horses in front of us stopped. I was amazed to watch my daughter calmly move in front of the pack horses and grab the lead without breaking a sweat, all while continuing down a treacherous incline. I looked at her big eyes and smiled as she handed back the lead to Booker. We would later learn how to ride at night and break ice on the river with our horses. We followed the river upstream and crossed some fresh grizzly bear tracks. They made us aware of the dangers and finally Booker saw the grizzly running off several hundred yards away. We made it to the next camp about six hours later as twilight set in. It was a long, cold ride, so we were all thankful for the warmth of the cabin. Booker told us again how the snowy weather could make hunting a bit trickier. Sure enough, the next day the snow continued. We rode horseback for six hours and didn’t see a track. But the landscape was achingly beautiful. The silence was so complete. For us Texans, this land of snow and ice was enchanting and lovely. Lili said it reminded her of the movie “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”. Most days out on the trail, lunch was simple but satisfying. We stopped under a group of fir trees and built a fire and roasted smokies. The hot meat warmed our bodies. We mounted back up and kept riding. The night Lili took her moose, we feasted on fried tenderloin with potatoes and corn. As you might guess, we were pumped up and celebrated late with great meat and Wicked River snow cones (a cup of fresh snow flavored by two shots of Canadian Club). CONTINUED ON PAGE 52




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 51 I was hopeful that it would be my turn to find a moose, and one afternoon Booker spotted a bull running for cover. The bull grunted back to us for two hours but stayed hidden the whole time. We would move 100 yards one way then another 100 yards the other way. The bull seemed to follow us. His taunting continued until it was too dark. Frozen and tired, we gave up and headed home on our first night ride. Finally, we got a break, or so we thought. We woke to a clear sky but the temperatures were down below zero and it was really cold. Hoarfrost covered the land. Booker told us we were riding farther than ever and to put every bit of clothing we had on. We mounted back up. As the sun was making the snow beautiful again, we rounded another curve in the river and Booker spotted a bull charging for cover. This time we ran after him, but in the knee-deep snow the bull kept running ahead of us, once even taking a stop to pee. That was it for me — I knew he had beaten me. Sweating and tired, we returned to the horses and rode back to camp for the last time. That night Lili was disappointed. She told me she was upset that I did not get what I came for. But I got what I came for — an experience with my daughter that I will never forget. And I was right there by her side as she harvested one of the largest animals in North America.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Wicked River Outfitters at 250-321-1364 or

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Ph: 250-412-5209 SSIKANNI IKANNI Outfitters R RIVER IVER

MIKE & DIXIE HAMMETT P.O. Box 11, Pink Mountain, BC Canada V0C 2B0 Email:

Stone’s Sheep Elk • Bison Goat • Moose Grizzly Bear BIG GAME HUNTING




for Mark Your Calendars this ExcEptional auction

We are expecting to auction off 25 amazing trips listings available on in the new year

Saturday, March 18, 2017 Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet BC Guide Outfitters and bid on a hunt!

More inforMation available



Hunt for:


2015 Season

NWT – Experience the Last Frontier

Tel: (250) 845-3156 Cell: (250) 845-8810 Email: Box 1483, Houston, BC Canada V0J 1Z0

Pack Horse or Backpack Hunts, 6000 sq. miles of excellent • Dall Sheep/Fannin Sheep • Mountain Caribou • Alaska/Yukon Moose • Wolf & Wolverine

Comfort H Safety H Success


DAVID DUTCHIK – PO Box 1172, Cochrane, AB T4C 1B2 Phone: (250) 261-9962 or (403) 975-8862 Email:



Lucky Shot

by Jeff Fitts


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y name is Jeff Fitts and I have bow hunted all my life. This hunt was one I had dreamed about, but never thought I would have the opportunity to experience. I am a member and an Official Measurer of the Pope & Young Club. Living in Northeast Oklahoma, we don’t have the opportunity to hunt many large game animals other than whitetail deer. I have hunted whitetail deer in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois. I have travelled to the Northwest Territories hunting for Barren Ground caribou. I have been to the Yukon and hunted moose. I have also made several trips to Ontario and Saskatchewan for black bear. One day my sister called and she said our uncle in California had passed away. He had never married and had no children of his own so his estate was divided between our father’s five children. I now had the funds to pursue my dream hunt. My wife, Nancy, knows my passion for bow hunting and my desire to go on a Dall sheep hunt. I must say I have been blessed with a very understanding wife. If it wasn’t for her and the grace of God I could not have done the things I have done. I researched my past Pope & Young issues for Dall sheep entries. At that time, the Lancasters with Nahanni Butte, had the most entries. Being a bow hunter, it’s

about opportunity and they understood what it takes for a bow hunter to be able to get in range. So I booked my hunt of a lifetime. We decided she would travel with me as far as Fort Nelson and then fly home to Oklahoma. We made plans to visit Banff and the Chateau at Lake Louise; I have learned you have to keep the wife happy. People have asked why we drive instead of fly; you can’t experience the beauty of Canada from a plane. At the time of our trip I was driving a 1994 Dodge which had over 300,000 miles, the majority of those were from my trips to Canada. From Fort Nelson, I drove on to the Northwest Territories and caught a boat to the Lancaster base camp. At base camp I met the Lancasters and my guide Dan Fremlin. Dan was probably half my age and I am glad he was. Dan said for the next ten days we would be eating Mountain House freeze dried meals and candy bars, lots of candy bars for energy. The next morning we loaded a small helicopter and headed to the Mackenzie Mountains where we would spend the next nine days camped on top of a mountain. The ride was truly an experience. I have been in bush planes but they were nothing like this. We would be calling a little two man, four season tent HOME for the rest of the hunt.

On day one we packed some freeze dried food and about a dozen candy bars, I grabbed my bow and off we went. I still could not believe I was actually on this hunt. We began glassing from mountain top to mountain top. Around noon we spotted ten rams bedded down in a basin. Dan said there was one mature ram that would be legal to shoot. I learned you can’t shoot anything under eight years old. Dan said this was probably a ten year old ram. We watched them all day as they left their beds and headed down the mountain. Dan said to crawl down the mountain to get ahead of them. There was a little rise that would hide me and if the ram came into range it should be about a thirty yard shot. We waited for about forty-five minutes; the rams were not in sight. Dan said they probably went down another chute. We hiked back to base camp with my expectations still pretty high. We had seen 10 rams. It had been a good day. Day two was so windy I thought we may be blown off the mountain. It was an uneventful day. Day three was beautiful, no wind and blue skies. Dan said he spotted a single ram on the opposite slope so we headed that way. We had to climb down a steep and rocky chute. I put my bow on my backpack and headed down. I was almost half-way down when I over extended my step, the rocks underneath my feet shifted and I slipped and felt a sharp pain in my left ankle. I thought it was only a sprain. However the pain in my ankle was not nearly as bad as my disappointment when I was not able to walk so I just sat down and practically sobbed. Dan asked “Does it hurt that bad?” I replied “No. Do you know what I have gone through to prepare for this hunt? There is no telling how much broccoli and fish I ate and the months of training to do this.” Dan asked if I wanted him to call the helicopter to take us back. I said “No, let’s give my ankle a

Home away from home...



with my bow.” We skinned him out and loaded him in the pack. The only thing I could carry was Dan’s rifle and my bow. He beat me back to camp. On day five Dan called for the helicopter to pick us up. With my ankle being in the shape it was I didn’t know if I would be able to drive home. I offered to sell Dan my truck and I would fly home. Dan said it would take four days for the paper work to clear. I replied that’s how long it will take me to drive home. Day six and Oklahoma here I come.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57 day to rest, it may get better.” It was a I could make a stalk and the wind was miserable hike back to base camp. wrong. I pondered what to do. This was It was day four and I could barely walk. Dan said he may be able to find that little band of rams we saw on the first day. He set off on his own. He was gone about two hours when he came back and said he found the rams bedded down in the same place. There were only eight but the good ram was still with them. He asked if I could make it to the first hump on the horizon. I said I would try. There was another hump ahead and Dan asked if I could make that one. I had no choice but to try. Once again, we made it. I told Dan I couldn’t go any further, the pain in my ankle was almost unbearable. There was no way

my hunt of a lifetime. I knew I could not afford another hunt even if the Lancasters gave me a deal. I asked Dan how far the rams were. Dan glassed the area ahead; he ranged it and said it was two hundred and seventy five yards. I said, “Hand me your rifle.” I don’t even know what make or caliber it was. Dan said “Aim a little

It was day seven when it hit me. I had made it to Montana. I was nearing the Little Big Horn on a four lane highway when “It” being all the freeze dried food and candy bars I had eaten during my hunt. I had not had a bowel movement during the entire hunt. Now there was no stopping it, no waiting until a rest stop. I spotted one little tree about seventy-five yards off the highway, I thought if I could at least get there it would hide me a little. Well about half way to the tree, I realized I couldn’t make it with the condition my ankle was in. So I just pulled my pants down and went. There were cars passing by on the highway and no telling what they thought. Four days of candy bars and freeze dried food was not a pretty sight. In my haste of leaving the truck in search of the tree, I forgot my toilet paper and wipes. I had no choice but to remove my t-shirt and clean up as best I could. It was a long and miserable trip home. When I finally made it home I went to the emergency room. The doctor told me my ankle was broken. She took x- rays to prove it.

My Dodge brought me home safe again from another hunt to Canada. It had over and shoot the biggest one, he is the legal 430,000 miles and was still going strong one.” My first shot was too high. I aimed when I finally decided to get something lower and shot again. The ram took two new. steps and dropped. Dan said, “You got him! low since we’re above them, but be sure

This was my “once in a lifetime hunt,” I also disappointed that I didn’t get him will truly never forget. Are you happy?” “Yes” I replied “I am, but,

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Nahanni Butte Outfitters at 250-846-5309 or

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BC LoG CaBins inc.



Bacon, Egg, Cheese & Spinach Casserole 6 cups bread, cut into 1 inch cubes, crusts on 3-4 cups grated cheese (cheddar or your favorite)

4-5 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and chopped (can substitute sausage or ham) 10 eggs

1 onion diced

½ cup half & half

1 cup chopped spinach

¾ tsp kosher salt

2 ½ cups milk Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Scatter half the bread in the bottom. Sprinkle with most of the cheese, reserving some for the top. Then sprinkle the onion and spinach. Top with the rest of the bread cubes. Whisk the eggs, milk, half & half and salt. Pour this custard over the bread, cover and let soak for 20-30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bacon. Bake for 40-45 minutes until puffed and set. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving

Julie McMann

More recipes are available in our 50th Anniversary Cookbook. Email or call (604) 541-6332 to purchase your own copy for $25 +shipping & handling. MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2017 |



remember going on my first fly-in drop off hunt with legendary BC Outfitter, Myles Bradford, for moose out of Dease Lake almost 20 years ago. I had planned everything carefully, made my list and checked it twice. I kept thinking “Oh we might need that.” Well soon I had filled a hockey bag and more! As a person who likes hunting gear, and doesn’t It becomes a chore in itself. Heaven forbid we tear that need an excuse to frequent places like Cabela’s and Bass Pro thousand dollar rain jacket later! There is a lot of momentum shops, I found a good reason to have everything. towards a more simplistic lifestyle these days, whether how we live or how we plan our stays in the wilderness. Many When I met Myles and we loaded our gear on that Beaver, of our legendary outfitters, like Andy Hagberg, would sleep Myles, wearing his legendary “gum boots” (yes folks, they under a tree when he was done scouting or working on the wear them for everything), looked at my bag and muttered trail. Larry Erickson, one of our founding members, is the “all you need is a stick and a tarp.” I thought “What is he same. There are many more names I could mention of old talking about?” guides, and even some now, that just relied on common sense Later, with some encouragement from some of GOABC’s and true wilderness survival skills to keep them safe. Not tons founding members, like Sheri Bradford and Barry Tompkins, of new gadgets. My head guide, Randy, whose Dad was a true I bought my first area. I now guide the hunters who bring bags old time outfitter, still sleeps under a tree. There’s something and bags of gear! Don’t get me wrong, I still have too much about that folks, that until you have done it once, you won’t gear, and I still love to see new “stuff.” I get it. Buying gear know what I’m talking about. is part of the experience. Trying it out. Refining it. Sharing So continue to support our great retailers that do so much for experiences with friends. Many companies even sponsor our industries...But try a little trip on your own or with your guides so we can influence hunters with what works. Good kids, and do some stuff from scratch, like light a fire with flint gear helps. In fact, it makes the difference in the comfort of and steel. Refine your skills so you’re not so reliant on “gear.” your hunt. Kenny Jarrett of Jarrett rifles once told me “The I will never get to see or experience some of the great remote wool of today is not the wool your granddaddy wore.” So I am areas in BC that Myles and his family still do, but yes Myles I all about great, light weight clothing...Optics that put my first now understand the “stick and a tarp.” pair of “very fuzzy in one eye” ‘binos to shame. As I find myself teaching guides and my boys, I see that “too much gear and all the new stuff” takes away from reaching into our self and finding those true hunter instincts.

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If you have any historical stories you would like to share, please email

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Profile for Guide Outfitters of BC

Mountain Hunter Magazine Winter 2016  

David Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News pens the tail of his moose hunt in northern BC with is daughter and Wicked River Outfitters. Also feature...

Mountain Hunter Magazine Winter 2016  

David Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News pens the tail of his moose hunt in northern BC with is daughter and Wicked River Outfitters. Also feature...

Profile for goabc