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AUGUST 31, 2016



You’ve climbed many mountains... Isn’t it time you climbed one for fun?

Safari Club International The L ead e r in Protec t ing the Freed om to Hunt Attend SCI’s Annual International Convention, February, 1-4, 2017 Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada • 888 746 9724 Adventure • Lifestyle • Travel • Hunting • Fishing • Wing Shooting • Lasting Friendships

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



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

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ON THE COVER David Brinker - Marketing Director for Sitka Gear. Photo Credit: Dustin Roe - Backcountry BC and Beyond

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Brett Marciasini

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GOABC President’s Corner


From a Legal Perspective


News & Views


Conservation MattersTM


Preferred Conservation Partners


Guides Gallery


Convention 2016


Artist Feature


Thank You to All Our Supporters


Camp Cook’s Corner


Artist of the Year 2016


That Some May Follow


Story Contest Winners

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PRESIDENT’S CORNER Wow, this is tough. It is an honour to be writing for Mountain HunterTM magazine’s President’s Corner. Humbled, is what one feels right now... I do not want to write about me at all, but there is one thing I would like you to know. I live here because my dad brought me along on a hunting trip to British Columbia when I was twelve. It was at that point that I knew that this province was where I wanted to live my life. To me, this is the best place on Earth and being a guide outfitter in British Columbia is the best job on Earth. The GOABC tirelessly advocates for our industry to ensure that we do not lose this. We do not win every battle we fight, but we fight every battle. The GOABC is an amazing family. Driven by passion, dedication, pride, commitment, and the ultimate motivator, the need to succeed. Someone in government asked me years ago “What is it with you hunters?” “You never give up.” I replied, “We are hunters, and our ancestors that gave up died much sooner than the ones that did not. Now you are dealing with a special subspecies of that genetic strain of survivors, guide outfitters. Our lives depend on the well-being of wildlife and giving up is simply not an option for us.” Nature has many voices, but not all are as connected or feel the way we do. Unity is key! Hunters all over the world are under heavy scrutiny right now. We have all read the stories in newspapers and have seen the reports on television. This cohesive and well organized antihunting effort has forced us all to stop and think. It has triggered a need for us to re-evaluate and to get organized. Steps to address this issue are being taken on a global scale and the GOABC is

Michael Schneider, President, GOABC

playing an intricate role in this strategy and movement. At times we are our worst enemy, and any divisions only aid those that wish us to become extinct. We need to be a united front. Not just as hunters, but also as outfitters and guides. To weather this storm is only possible if we stand in unity. I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support. I am appreciative of the trust you have placed in me as your new president, and am excited for the opportunity to work with such a great board of directors and fantastic staff to represent the guide outfitting industry in beautiful British Columbia! I will give it my all to effectively carry out my duties and I welcome anyone willing to take a stand for our way of life.

Wildlife Stewardship







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

I am pleased to announce that the GOABC’s 50th anniversary

same guiding territory for seventy years. We were extremely

Convention was a tremendous success. We experienced record

honoured to have Gerry Bracewell and Red Sorensen

attendance at the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria in attendance to accept their awards. Gerry and Red’s and the week was met with fantastic reviews from all attendees. contributions to our industry are immense, and we were very We were able to discuss important wildlife issues with industry happy to have them in attendance for our 50th anniversary. colleagues as well as effectively represent the guide outfitting

These awards serve as a representation of the appreciation

industry to government panels represented by Front Counter

we have for our membership. Without our members, the

BC, Fish & Wildlife, and the Conservation Officer Service. Thank

GOABC simply would not exist.

you to everyone involved, staff, executive, and volunteers alike, for working collectively to organize and deliver our most successful Convention in years.

Brian Glaicar will continue to provide his wealth of knowledge to the executive in his new role as past president. With Brian’s term as president coming to a close, we welcomed Michael

This year’s annual auction was the most successful that we Schneider as our new president. Congratulations, Michael, on have experienced. Our silent and live auctions featured more

being elected as the GOABC’s president! Further, I would like

items than ever before and we had over 100 online bidders

to thank Reg Collingwood and Aaron Fredlund for their work

participating in the live auction. The auction is an integral

as director and 2nd vice president, respectively. Finally, I wish

revenue stream for the GOABC. The funds we raise during to welcome Michael Young and Darwin Cary to the board for our auction strengthen our organization and enable us to continue to represent British Columbia’s guide outfitting industry. Thank you to our donors and bidders for your continued support. This year, we were very excited to present fifty-two Legacy

their roles as directors. Though the dynamic of our executive has changed, our direction remains the same. We maintain the same vision for wildlife stewardship and will continue to passionately represent British Columbia’s guide outfitting industry as

Awards to outfitters who have been involved in the guide we advance our mission as the voice of the guide outfitting outfitting industry for ten or more years. It was incredibly industry. interesting to research the guide outfitting history of our members, some of whom have been operating within the

Straight shooting and safe travels. MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |



Harold Grinde, President, Association of Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters

We have just returned home from spending a weekend in Victoria where my wife, Laura, and I attended the annual GOABC Convention. As I am sure many of you are aware, the GOABC celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. It was a blessing to be able to attend the annual event this year and visit with old friends, as well as share stories with some of the old timers in attendance. It was also a blessing to have the chance to meet many of the new generation of outfitters who are so passionate about this industry. When I consider the collective experience of those in attendance and see the passion and dedication of both the “old timers” and the “young guns,” I am hopeful that this new generation of outfitters will be making client’s “dreams come true” for many years to come.

I have not been able to attend the annual GOABC Convention for several years, as the usual April dates for the convention conflict with our spring wolf hunts, which I enjoy doing so much. I am once again enthusiastically waiting for the days to pass until I will be back in the Mackenzie Mountains doing what I love. The spring hunts are extra special for me, as I get the chance to just be one of the guys and actually get out and guide for a while. The country is simply amazing blanketed in a covering of snow, the air is clean and fresh, the game is usually abundant, and there is a whole winter’s worth of “sign” to read and interpret. I think part of the allure of the wilderness for those of us who feel its call is the challenge of the unknown; that risk that we take in simply being there. I am always a bit more conscious of “pitting myself against the wilderness” on these winter trips, as there are many extra challenges to face on a winter hunt as compared to a summer hunt. But as a hunter, is that not much of what we really treasure? Are the memories of those challenges faced and conquered not the real “trophies” that we take home from a wilderness hunt? Will you ever forget the night you spent shivering under a tree trying to keep wet wood burning? Can any of us ever forget the amazing beauty of a mountain sunrise that seems to be etched into our minds? Will friendships formed with fellow hunters and guides last a lifetime? What will you treasure the most from your next wilderness hunt? Good Hunting! Harold Grinde - President, AMMO In the land of the midnight sun, a new season of adventure into wild places is upon us. Supplies have been cached, camps refurbished, and equipment serviced. It’s time to go hunting. The Yukon has an outfitting heritage that extends back over 100 years. As you would expect, much has changed since the epic outfitting adventures over a century ago. Getting to and from the hunting grounds has become much quicker; what took a matter of weeks in the past has now become a matter of hours. Once in camp, the experience remains unchanged. The mountains are high, mornings frosty, and shared campfires remain a very welcomed comfort. In a global context, the Yukon offers some of the best adventure there is! Chris McKinnon, President, Yukon Outfitters Association

From a hunting perspective, great opportunities lie ahead. These opportunities come with their challenges, but also with worthy rewards. Conservation remains a paramount focus of the Yukon Outfitters Association; conservation of habitat, conservation of game populations, conservation of hunting, and conservation of viable outfitting opportunities.

As outfitters, we are committed to a sustainable outfitting heritage. Our eyes are focused on the future and we strive to accomplish this through partnerships with interest groups, engagement with communities, and projects with government. The Yukon Outfitters Association remains united and focused on conservation initiatives. Let the adventure begin. On behalf of the membership, we look forward to hosting you. Chris McKinnon - President, YOA



Association of South Africa for their destructive Pebble Mine operations contribution to this article. in Bristol Bay, Alaska, an area that A Cautionary Note boasts a tremendous salmon fishery. - Safari Club International, Phil DeLone The Internet and social media can The economic importance of hunting SCI CEO be great way of staying in touch and in British Columbia is being studied by sharing memorable moments with DALLAS SAFARI CLUB DSC-supported research. friends and family. Some outfitters and Hunter-Funded Conservation, On the African continent, DSC is guides have also found it an effective Education and Advocacy instrumental in elephant conservation way to advertise their services. But it is also a very easy way for anti-hunters Although we are primarily known in and management in Zimbabwe, lion to find and target outfitters, guides, and the hunting community for our annual genetics research, and the training especially your hunters. A beautiful convention, the Greatest Hunters’ of wildlife officials at South African trophy with its bloody side to the camera, Convention on the Planet, that is not all Wildlife College. Support is provided a young hunter sitting astride his or her we do. A member of IUCN since 2015, to anti-poaching efforts across the first deer, a video posted of a less than DSC is a mission-focused conservation continent. ethical shot, or a struggling wounded organization funded by hunters from DSC annually pays life insurance around the world. In the past five premiums for Texas Game Wardens animal can easily go viral. years, more than $6.7 million has and also provides support for Operation Please don’t give the anti-hunters been channeled to qualified projects, Game Thief, an anti-poaching hotline ammunition to use against us, an easy organizations, and programs in support and public awareness program adopted means to violate your privacy and of that mission. in forty-nine of the fifty states. the privacy of your hunters, or a way to launch attacks against us. Safari Programs funded by DSC include the DSC includes sportsmen and women Club International urges you to take restoration of habitat in the Big Bend around the world, and recently began a moment to review your website and area, a program that benefits many its chapter network, with affiliates in Facebook page and to think before you species in the area including bighorn the Northeastern United States and in post anything on whatever medium sheep, quail, and mule deer. Similar Lubbock, Texas. you use to communicate. Remember, it projects benefit the pronghorn of the For more information about DSC, or to might just come back to bite you…and Trans-Pecos area in Texas, quail across get involved, visit the United States, and black bears in the the rest of us! Lower 48. - Dallas Safari Club, Ben Carter, Note: This is an international problem Executive Director and SCI thanks the Professional Hunters DSC is also active in preventing the SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL



WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION Art & Crystal Thompson of Gundahoo River Outfitters were recognized with the Wild Sheep Foundation 2016 Frank Golata Outstanding Outfitter Award Established in 1996, the WSF Frank Golata Outstanding Outfitter Award recognizes a North American outfitter who outfits primarily for mountain KUIU is a brand recognized worldwide game and whose entire career has by committed mountain hunters and the exemplified the honor and dignity of the guide outfitting industry. proud profession of outfitting. With thirty years in the guide outfitting The following factors will be considered: industry and as a longtime exhibitor • Long time outfitter in good standing and supporter of WSF, Art and Crystal that is actively outfitting clients Thompson were recognized as the 2016 • Financial contribution to WSF • Volunteer efforts to WSF • Personal contribution to WSF and industry  • Long time and consistent WSF exhibitor • Dedication and commitment to WSF and its Mission and Purpose New to the 2016 Saturday Grand Finale Awards presentation, KUIU Ultralight Hunting became the Presenting and Title sponsor of both of WSF’S premier industry awards; the WSF Frank Golata Outstanding Outfitter Award and the G.C.F. Dalziel Outstanding guide award.

Frank Golata Outstanding Outfitter Award. Gundahoo River Outfitters is a family run business in the Muncho Lake area of northern British Columbia. Art guided in this area prior to purchasing Muncho Lake Outfitters in 1987 and Red Sorensen’s area in 2000. Crystal manages the technology end of this business and together, Art and Crystal have raised five children in the outfitting lifestyle. The Thompsons are first generation outfitters and are pleased their oldest son, Quintin, and his two sons will continue this outfitting heritage as a second and third generation outfitting family. Their other four grown children

are busy pursuing their occupations and raising families of their own. Guides and Outfitters Program Director, Brendan Burns, had this to say about Art and Crystal. “Not only have Art and Crystal Thompson earned an incredible reputation as one of the most successful outfitters in the industry, they are some of the nicest people you could ever share a hunting camp with.” WSF salutes Art and Crystal and thanks KUIU Ultralight Hunting for helping to honor this exceptional outfitting family and for providing a skin to shell KUIU kit for Art to keep climbing and hunting the mountains he loves in fine style. Watch for the award presentation and photos of Art and Crystal’s wonderful outfitting family in the spring 2016 issue of Wild Sheep™ magazine. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 an award level, or hunters taking a second or third hunt for a favorite As an avid promoter of wildlife trophy type previously harvested. In conservation through the contributions other words, $71 million/year is just a provided by trophy hunting, Grand Slam fraction of the yearly contributions to Club/Ovis (GSCO) strives to develop close conservation that GSCO helps catalyze relationships among its stakeholders. in partnership with the GOABC. Yes, We touch members through magazine there are other fine organizations publications, electronic media, sponsored operating in associated space, but there TV programming, hunt raffles, trophy is a strong resonance between GSCO’s awards, conservation grants, and annual lists and the GOABC’s products. It is not conventions. In doing so, we help create lost on GOABC members, or other onand sustain market demand for goods the-ground stewards of conservation, and services available from members that contributions provided by trophy of the GOABC. This conservation hunting are largely new money from partnership is a symbiotic relationship. outside the area and often go to small The rich and varied wildlife resources businesses in remote areas. These funds of the Canadian northwest provide an are subsequently used for a variety unusually strong match to GSCO’s award of items including wages, equipment, platforms for the North American Super food, fuel, accommodations, taxes, and Ten, Super 25 and Super Slam, as well as hunting licences. Since these funds do not our Grand Slam, Ovis, and Capra awards. go directly to the government, they have No less than twenty-five animals of the an especially high recirculation rate and twenty-nine required for the Super Slam impact multiplier on local economies. are hunted in Canada, with nineteen The reality is that hunting contributions being found in British Columbia. It is dwarf other funds going to conservation. not uncommon at our convention to Be proud to be a GSCO-GOABC partner, see members seeking hunts that are on and keep hunting/contributing! “the list.” While conventions serve as catalysts for awareness building, web - Bruce Tatarchuk Grand Slam Club/Ovis Board Member hits and bookings occur throughout the GRAND SLAM CLUB/OVIS

in today’s anti-hunter climate, headlines that read “Trophy Hunters are Killing Endangered Species” signal that the game has changed. I use “anti-hunter” intentionally, because it is the actions of people (hunters) that are being called into question, not the activity itself (hunting). Nor do the most recent criticisms and scrutiny seemingly have anything to do with a real concern for nature or wildlife. We also do not need any more surveys to tell us that to the non-hunting public, the term “trophy hunting” carries a negative stereotype.

We know that hunting is one of the most effective conservation mechanisms in existence. We know that the presence of mature male animals in the wild is a sign of successful management and a low harvest. We know that the choice to pass up younger animals is conservation at its core. We know that the pursuit of the oldest and wariest animals offers the highest degree of difficulty and the greatest challenge, which are hallmarks of the fair chase hunter. We also know that all hunters are trophy hunters in some way, seeking to bring home mementos from nature whether it’s meat, antler, horn, hide, or photos. year. “The list” is omnipresent. These are all cherished remembrances BOONE & CROCKETT At the 2016 GSCO convention, we Trophy Hunting? of deeply connected experiences and provided Trophy Award plaques to visible reminders of a life taken in Should trophy hunting be considered members for recording one of the respect and admiration, not waste. We as a separate form of hunting? A better above noted designations during the know these things to be true. Clearly, we question is, can it be? We do not need to 2015 calendar year. A very conservative need others to know them as well. conduct surveys to tell us that if given tabulation for the hunt costs required - Boone and Crockett, Keith Balfourd, the opportunity to take a larger, more to attain these awards totaled over Director of Marketing mature animal over a younger, smaller $71 million USD. This contribution to one, the majority of hunters will choose conservation did not include single the larger animal, a trophy. Certainly, no trophy entries that had not yet reached one need apologize for this choice, but



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Magic by Brett Marciasini


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t was a cool and crisp September morning in the East Kootenays of British Columbia. For the first time in my life, I was searching for a bull elk with a tag in my pocket and a rifle in my hand. As a native of California, it is extremely rare to see an elk in the wild; so seeing a

large bull elk would be a very special experience. My hunt was going to be during the rut, and I was looking forward to hearing a bull elk bugle live for the first time in my life. For my dad and I, the journey began three days prior to the hunt. We packed up the SUV and our trailer leaving Northern California for two full days of driving to our destination in Cranbrook. There, we would meet our outfitter, Alex Smutny, from Bugle Basin Outfitters. Fortunately, the drive up was easy and free of any issues at the border. After meeting Alex and having our obligatory Canadian Tim Horton’s breakfast, we headed up Highway 95 to the base camp that we would call home for the next eight days. As the pavement turned to gravel, the beauty of the scenery increased around each bend. When I first laid eyes on our cabin, I realized Mother Nature had saved her best for last. The cabin sat alongside a creek with the beautiful Kootenay Rockies serving as a 360-degree panorama. After adjusting to the breathtaking environment, I began to understand how physically demanding the hunt would be, and began to hope that I had trained sufficiently for it.

We spent the first day meeting the guides, setting up our cabin, and scouting the area. That night, Alex mentioned to me that he had been back in a basin the week prior, spotting a six-by-five bull. Further, he informed me that he would be joining my guide, Jeff Kopak, and I for the first day of the hunt. In anticipation of the hunt, sleep escaped me the first night. When morning arrived, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast before trailering the horses to the basin in which we were going to hunt. Our ride to the basin began under the cover of darkness, and the trail led through a narrow opening, several creek crossings, and finally, into a larger valley. In retrospect, the ride in was not particularly difficult, but for a city slicker that had spent less than ten hours in the saddle, it was quite nerve wracking at the time!

We identified a five–by-five, a four-byfour, and two spikes. After Alex and Jeff verified that there was not a sixth point, we continued down the trail, getting completely soaked by the morning dew. Suddenly, Alex and Jeff stopped in their tracks and motioned for me to listen. From deep in the basin, I heard my first bugle! It was originating from where Alex had spotted the six-by-five bull the week prior.

We pushed up the trail and over a small ridge at a quick pace to where we could see across the drainage. The creek below us was heavily forested and remained that way until further up the hill, where it opened into a grassy hillside. As soon as we set up our spot, we could hear the bull bugle again and observed at least ten cows at the top of the tree line across from us. Every time I saw movement through the trees, my heart would race, though each time it proved to only be a cow. At that point, After several hours on horseback, we the shaking stemming from being soaking tied up the horses and completed the wet gave way to shaking from anticipation. remaining distance on foot. Almost immediately, we were on top of elk. CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 Then came dead silence, and more silence. In fact, the silence lasted for approximately two hours. Alex told me to hang tight. We knew where the bull was, and we were in good position. My heart was sent racing again when we heard his loudest bugle yet. By the time I was able to set up, the bull was straight across the basin and was ranged at 360 yards. Once he was verified to be a six-pointer, Alex told me to get on him. I had him in my crosshairs right away and by this point, I was shaking with excitement. Just as I was getting ready to shoot, a loud noise came in from above. Here we were, deep in the Canadian wilderness at the moment of truth, and a helicopter came buzzing directly over us. The three of us all looked at each other in disbelief thinking that it would surely spook the herd. The chopper floated over the peak and out of sight. Much to my disbelief, the elk did not make haste. The bull had moved into an opening, so I set up again and squeezed the trigger. The shot hit him hard, but he disappeared into the pine trees. We took off down the trail in an attempt to get ahead of him. Jeff and I raced up the hill to close the distance to about 100 yards, and Alex ran up the other side of the trees to find the blood trail. My biggest fear as a hunter is an unsuccessful shot, and after waiting for what seemed like forever, personal doubts started setting in that my shot was not good enough to stop him. Finally, Alex radioed that he had discovered the bull down by the trees. We climbed the steep hillside and reached the beautiful giant. The bull had huge antlers and “battle scars” down his back and side. We estimated him to fall into the 290-295 class. It was smiles and high fives all around. This was exactly what I had come to Canada for, and had sealed the deal on the opening morning. For me, it was opening day magic! The hard work began as it took us nearly the rest of the day to clean, cape, and pack the bull off of the mountain. Thankfully, once we carried everything down the hillside, we had three horses to help do the majority of the heavy packing. We rode out to the truck and returned to camp at dark, where my dad was waiting for us after his day of hunting. Nonchalantly asking him how his day went, I jumped into the bed of the truck. He responded by telling me that they had glassed a nice buck earlier in the day. Lifting the antlers out of the truck, I replied with, “Mine was pretty good!” I will never forget the look on his face! The trip was already a success and I still had mule deer, black bear, and wolf tags. My dad still had an elk and mule deer tag to himself. After taking the next morning to care for the elk meat and hide, we started scouting for mule deer in the evening. The previous day, in the moments after I fired on the elk, we saw two very nice four-by-four mule deer race up the mountain. Believing the kill site would have them spooked, we decided against pursuing them. That night, we glassed a solid four-by-four towards the top of a slide and decided that we would go after him in the morning. Jeff and Alex came up with a plan of attack and warned me that this was not going to be a walk in the park. They were absolutely right!

12 |



This turned out to be the steepest and most physically demanding hike of my life. Jeff and I climbed for what seemed like days, encountering countless does, forkies, and spikes. We finally caught a glimpse of the mule deer through the spotting scope and pinpointed his location. After an even steeper climb, we came up over a cliff where he had

temperature changes throughout the week, in the next few days we saw plenty of game as Bugle Basin’s area appeared to be loaded with wildlife. We saw quite a few more bulls, including two very large five-by-fives that will probably be wonderful 2016 bulls, but we never found one with that sixth point. They responded to our calls, which was just

been hanging out. Expecting to see him less than fifty yards away, we peaked over and “poof,” he was gone, having vanished into thin air on a wide open slide. Even though we left that mountain empty handed, just knowing that I was physically capable of climbing it was sufficiently rewarding. The views were amazing, and I tried to soak it all in.

as amazing as actually seeing them. Every day, we encountered immature mule deer bucks, whitetails, and plenty of other wildlife.

I am confident that I would have filled my mule deer tag had we pushed up into the high country basins each day, but I had informed Jeff that I would like to make finding my dad an elk the number one priority. Despite some drastic

If you are looking to put your physical skills to the test, this area of British Columbia is a fantastic place and I highly recommend Bugle Basin Outfitters. We had very comfortable lodging, and the food was always delicious and plentiful. I would like to thank Alex, Jeff, and Ray of Bugle Basin for providing my dad and I with a great wilderness adventure

and a trip we will never forget. British Columbia is a magical place and I hope it will not be long before I can step foot there again. I am already looking forward to (and training for) a return For me, hunting is not simply about trip for mountain goat in October 2017. pulling the trigger. Rather, it is the I hope to pull off some of that opening entire experience of being in the remote day magic, once again. wilderness. It is an experience that too few people will ever enjoy, and I cannot wait to revel in it one day with my young son.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Bugle Basin Outfitters at 250-426-8099 or



Gundahoo River Outfitters



Box 2941 Rocky Mountain House, AB Canada T4T 1P2 Phone 403-391-7879 Toll Free 1-866-GRO-HUNT Email


Hunt North Central British Columbia Moose ~ Elk ~ Grizzly ~ Black bear ~ Mule deer ~ Whitetail ~ Cougar ~ lynx ~ Wolf

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250 249 5056 14 |



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Contact: CHRIS & SHARRON McKINNON PO BOX 89 Calling Lake, AB T0G 0K0 (P) 780-331-2440



Fun Night

Brian Glaicar presenting Lance Weaver with the saddle for the 2016 Saddle Draw

Jim Lancaster and his son Justin dressed up for fun night

Chad Lenz, President of Alberta Professional Outfitters Society

Jill Matlock, Raven, Jay Matlock, Tiffany Cary, and Trina Cary

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Crystal and Art Thompson celebrate winning the Frank Golata Award earlier this year at the Wild Sheep Foundation show

Michael Schneider dancing in his lederhosen with Brenda Nelson

Mark Werner acting as Donald Trump during a skit on Fun Night

James Reed (Sports Afield), Ben Carter, Rebecca Evans and Karl Evans (Dallas Safari Club), Kelli and Gray Thornton (Wild Sheep Foundation), and Savannah Greeff (Matthew Greeff Safaris)

Hypnotist, Scott Christie, on stage with his hypnotized guests, Denver Kitzan, Brenda Nelson, and Reg Collingwood

Gloria and Stewart Berg of Double Eagle Outfitters

Woody and Ken (aka Stuart Maitland and Ken Watson) during their ventriloquist skit on Fun Night

Brian Dack, President of the BC Trappers Association



Guests laughing during fun night

Dominic DugrĂŠ, President of the Canadian Federation of Outfitters Association

Shannon Lansdowne, 2016 Extreme Huntress Winner

Susan and Keith Dinwoodie catching up with Colin, Jack, and Alisha Niemeyer

Leif Olsen and Dave Wiens; current and past owners of Stone Mountain Safaris

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The Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

James Reed discussing Book Your Hunt

Auction & Life Member Breakfast Darryl Sword, Melvin Kilback, Jonny Fehr, Steve Fiarchuk, Paul Michel, Stuart Maitland, Kevin Newberry, Chris Franke, Brian Dack, Reg Collingwood, Savannah Greeff, Ray Collingwood, Julie and Doug McMann, and Brian Glaicar Hunt donors who attended the convention

Blockman, Brian Glaicar, showcasing gold ingot donated by Freddy Dodge

Keith Dinwoodie being honored for twenty years of service as our auctioneer - presented by Brian Glaicar, Scott Ellis, and Mark Werner

Guest speaker, Rob Keck, of Bass Pro Shops with Mark Werner

Auctioneer, Keith Dinwoodie, getting the bidding underway

Calvin Kania from Fur Canada browsing through the silent auction items



Harold Grinde, one of our amazing spotters, keeping things alive on the floor

Thanks to Sean Olmstead of Prophet Muskwa Outfitters for being one of our many live auction models

Harry McCowan thrilled that he was the lucky winner of the Liberty Safe

Lynn & Scott Pichette being presented with a support award by Rex Peterson of Youth Outdoors.

Horst Mindermann drawing for the first of seven Youth Life Memberships

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Rob Keck, Colin and Jack Niemeyer, Horst Mindermann, Danica Fehr, Sydney Ellis, Trisha Fiarchuk, Hunter Fehr, Simon Johnson, George Saloom, Alexander Johnson, Justin Lancaster, Scott Ellis, Jim Lancaster, and Mark Werner representing our seven new Youth Life Members. Thanks to Horst Mindermann and George Saloom for their generous donations

Brian Glaicar and Keith Balfourd of Boone and Crockett (second from the right) presenting Mountain Hunter Record Book Achievement Awards to Freddy Dodge, Stuart Maitland, Jim Lancaster

Scott Ellis, Brian Glaicar, auction sponsor speaker, Phil Delone, of Safari Club International, and Mark Werner

Buyers of the bottles and a chance to win the Liberty Safe, Bruce Ambler, Harry McCowan, Marc Hubbard, Darwin Cary, and Denver Kitzan

Paul Burgoyne from Wholesale Sports looking through the silent auction items

A room full of auction items kept our bidders busy

Life member Dave Turchanski and Joanne Sibley arriving for the Gala Dinner cocktail reception



Scott Ellis (L), Mark Werner (R), and John Barklow (C) from Sitka Gear, presenting the Guide of the Year Award to Rod Hardie

Awards Gala

This year, we premiered the Legacy Awards in recognition of guide outfitters active in the industry for ten or more years. Featured below are this year’s winners in attendance at the convention

Scott Ellis and Michael Schneider present Mark Werner with the Guide Outfitter of the Year award

Scott Ellis (L) and Mark Werner (R) with Larry Erickson (CL) winner of the Frank Stewart Award sponsored and presented by Ray Collingwood (Collingwood Brothers Guiding) (CR)

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Legacy Award winners Al Madley, Ron Fleming, and Alan Young

Scott Ellis accepting a contribution of support from Gray Thornton of the Wild Sheep Foundation

Scott Ellis with The Honourable Mike Morris, winner of the 2016 President’s Award with Brain Glaicar and Mark Werner.

Sponsors Barb and Sonny Perkinson (Sonny’s Guiding) presenting Lori Bowden and Wendy Cary with the Lady of the Year Award (a tie).

Sponsor Darren DeLuca (Vancouver Island Guide Outiftters) with Life Member Dick Machin, winner of the 2016 Life Member rifle draw and Scott Ellis.

Joe and Cindy Carpenter from Youth Outdoors Unlimited with Lynn, Scott, and Jenny Pichette of Bowron River Outfitters



Scott Ellis accepting a contribution of support from Ben Carter of the Dallas Safari Club.

Industry pioneers, Ron Fleming and Gerry Bracewell, swapping stories.

Ray Collingwood, Amanda Greene, Chad Garriock, Alysha Greene, Beanie Collingwood, and Michele Greene

Scott Ellis with Brett Taylor of Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures accepting the Fair Chase Award on behalf of Jim Shockey

GOABC staff Jennifer Johnson, René Schneider, and Amanda Sawyer

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THANK YOU To All Our Supporters Amanda Sawyer

Eureka Peak Lodge & Outfitters

Pacific Gateway Hotel

Ann Hilton

Fehr Game Outfitters

Prairie Coast Equipment

Backcountry BC & Beyond

Freddy Dodge


Backcountry Guide Outfitters


Prophet Muskwa Outfitters

Barney’s Sports Chalet


Quails Gate

BC Trappers Association


Redpoint Resolutions

BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters

Gundahoo River Outfitters

Rick Taylor

Bear Vault

Guy Scott


Besa River Outfitters

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Russell Moccasin Company

Big Game Tree Stands

Heming Wyborn & Grewal

Safari Club International

BMG Industries

HUB International

Seattle Sports Company

Bolen Lewis Trophy Guiding



International Sportsmens Exposition

Skinner Creek Hunts

Boone & Crockett Club

Jeana Les

Sonny’s Guiding


Jennifer Johnson

South Nahanni Outfitters

Bradley Smoker

Johnson Outdoors

Sports Afield

Brian Dack

Justin Young

Sun Peaks Resort

Brian’s Saddle Shop

Keith Meise

Tank Safe

Buck Knives

Kenetrek Boots

Terminus Mountain Outfitters

BullHead Mountain Outfitters

Kettle River Outfitters

Thomson Guide Outfitters Association

Burt Coyote Company


To The Max Outfitters

Caitlin Press

Matthew Greeff Safaros

Tsuniah Lake Lodge

Calvin Kania

Monashee Outfitting

Tsylos Park Lodge and Adventures

Camp Chef

Mountain Hunter Magazine

Up the Creek Garment Co.

Camp Suds

Mountain Spirit Outfitters

Vancouver Island & Coast Guide Outfitters Association

Cariboo Chilcotin Guide Outfitters

Mystery Ranch Backpacks

Vancouver Island Guide Outfitters

Cariboo Mountain Outfitters

New Zealand Safaris

Wendy Cary

Central Mountain Air

North Central Guide Outfitters Association

Wendy Moore

Chateau Victoria

North River Stone

Wendy Mould

Chezakut Ranch

North Star Performance

Whatshan Guides & Outfitters

Collingwood Bros Guiding

Northern Guide Outfitters Association

Whiteswan Lake Outfitters

Covert Outfitting

Northern Lights Estate Winery

Wholesale Sports

Custom Pack Rigging

Okanagan Guide Outfitters Association

Wicked River Outfitters

Dallas Safari Club

O'Loughlin Tradeshows

Wild Sheep Foundation

Delta Grand Okanagan Resort

Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters

Wilf Schlitt

Ducks Unlimited

Opatcho Lake Guide Outfitters

World Famous


Elk Valley Bighorn Outfitters




OF THE YEAR BULL ELK AT SUNSET - John de Jong John’s artwork is collected by many corporate and private collectors across Canada and internationally. He has also been the subject of a number of magazine and newspaper articles. He has been featured on Cowboy Country TV, as well as participated in the Masters in Miniature Show at the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, and in a month long two person show at the Medicine Hat Cultural Centre in Alberta entitled “Nature and the West - Two Perspectives”. He was also the featured artist for the Maple Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering & Western Art and Gear Show and a previous Artist of the Year for the GOABC.

QUIET MAJESTY - Wendy Mould Wendy Mould was born in Ontario and now lives in Surrey, on the west coast of BC, where she has been following her creative journey for over thirty years. Creating “things” has always been a big part of her life, and Wendy’s work may be found in collections both locally and internationally. Her inspiration comes from her life on the West Coast: the reflections of boats in the water, birds feeding in the lagoon, or animals in their elements. She brings her art to life using the excitement of colour in her watcolours or the soft touch of graphite in her black and white drawings. Capturing a cherished pet on paper is one of her specialities.

TIGER, TIGER - Ann Hilton I am an artist with a focus on watercolour and live in Vancouver British Columbia. As a child my parents always encouraged me in my art. When my family lived in France in the 50’s, I took lessons from a French woman artist in oils. I have lived in Ottawa, France, Camp Borden, Kingston, Toronto, Austin, Texas and Vancouver. Since my retirement as a professor from the School of Nursing at UBC, I have had more time to pursue my art interests. I am enjoying the challenge immensely. My subject matter focuses on nature and representing that subject in expressive ways. I am a member of Artists in Our Midst, the Federation of Canadian Artists, and the South Delta Artists’ Guild.

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- Capt. R. Claude Corbeille,

- Mike Hawkridge,

- Shannon Caraway,

featuring Love Bros & Lee Ltd.

featuring Big Country Outfitters

featuring Opatcho Lake Guide Outfitters

The morning of September 20, 2014 found me and Mark, my great friend and hunting partner, marking time on the shore of Tyhee Lake near Telkwa, British Columbia. Though a generation apart in years, Mark and I are of like minds and paths and we get on famously together. Our gear was loaded aboard Alpine lakes Air De Havilland Otter float plane, for further transportation to our hunting destination. The sky above us was a 60/40 blend of clouds and blue sky. The sky over our intended destination was overcast with low-slung clouds; so we cooled our heels and waited for a favorable report on the destination weather. We were advised to go to lunch, then return to await further word. In the meantime, we became well acquainted with the third member of our hunting group, John, who hails from south Carolina, embarking on his first ever Canadian hunting experience. Mark and I had hunted two years earlier with Love Brothers & Lee and we hastened to assure John that he made an exceptionally good choice in selecting his outfitter....Read more in our Winter 2016 Issue

During the fall of 2014, well into my scheduled hunts, I received a message from my good buddy Greg Ray. He asked me if I was available for a last minute booking; a late season, post rut, bull moose hunt. This was most likely going to be the type of high pressure quest that most sane outfitters would run from. The real kicker; not only would I have to find two bull moose in less than perfect conditions, but I would have only six days to do it. The clients were Ben O’Brien of Peterson’s Hunting magazine, and none other than Joe Rogan himself. For those of you that need an introduction; some of Joe’s mainstream endeavors include acting, producing, and hosting TV’s Fear Factor, and commentating for the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Greg Ray, who had hunted with me in the past, figured I was the one that could get the job done. I wasn’t so sure, but I would not be writing this if I had said “no” to the hunt.....Read more in our Spring 2015 Issue

I have been hunting since I was a teenager. I moved to Montana when I was 34 and had been trying for a moose tag since the first year I was eligible, but never had the luck of the draw. Finally, my husband and I decided to use an outfitter in Canada for a moose hunt. We chose a 10 day, one on one, guided hunt with Opatcho Lake Guide Outfitters. Other than the pictures we found on their website, we really didn’t have any idea what we were heading into, but we were up for the adventure. I am disabled. Several years ago I broke both of my legs in a work related fall, and most of my left leg is artificial. I can walk very easily, although walking down hill is difficult and slow. We had explained this to the outfitter and he assured us that he would be able to accommodate my needs....Read more in our Fall 2015 Issue



Mountain Hunter Magazine





EXTRA CASH? 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). PRIZES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1st place - $750 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!

DEADLINE: December 31,2016 SUBMIT TO:



mule deer moose cougar • lynx black bear mountain goat

BRUCE & TERRY AMBLER 250.459.2367 Clinton, BC Canada

Marty and Carrie Lightburn PO Box 69, Jaffray, British Columbia, Canada V0B 1T0 Cel: 250.489.9058 | |



Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters Stan Stevens Recent Trophies

Phone # 250-719-8340 Facebook Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters

Hunt for:


k e e r C e s r o Packh


Tel: (250) 845-3156 Cell: (250) 845-8810 Email: Box 1483, Houston, BC Canada V0J 1Z0 30 |


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 •

from a LEGAL Michael G. Sabbeth is a lawyer in Denver, Colorado. He lectures on ethics and rhetoric. He has written the book The Good, The Bad and The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values, available at Amazon at He is currently working on the book No More Apologizing! Arguments to Defend and Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. Visit his website and his Facebook page www.facebook/thehonorablehunter.


The proceeds of the hunt would fund anti-poaching programs, clean water facilities, protect younger vulnerable rhinos and provide food for the villagers. This auction was viciously attacked by anti-hunters with tactics that included death threats to DSC staff and to hunters. 3. The demagoguery following the death of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe created a “Cecil Effect” of losing hunters, revenue, food for orphanages and the need to cull two hundred lions which generated no revenue but which increased poaching. What can we learn? Increased animal deaths, poverty, poaching

If Anti Hunters Had Compassion, They’d Support Hunting! Hunters are accused of lacking compassion, of being heartless uncaring murderers of beautiful animals. These accusations are among the most vicious in our hypersensitive culture, comparable to saying someone is a racist or doesn’t recycle. Hunters’ neck hair sticks up like striking cobras as they try to fend off the assaults. “My money preserves habitat; my money manages game animals! I care!” they soulfully cry out. Hunters are correct yet they lose. I have seen pro-hunter/pro-firearms debaters, who have more brains in their urine samples than their opponents have brains, lose the debates. We have the facts, logic and morality on our side, yet we lose! Why? Because most hunter advocates have not learned this important skill: how to fight back by evaluating the consequences of anti-hunting policies using the language of the attackers. When we use this technique, we undermine the attacks and turn the tables on the attackers. Do hunters lack compassion? An examination of three situations shows conclusively that hunters have compassion and anti-hunters do not. 1. The brutal winter of 2008 in Gunnison, Colorado risked the deaths of a majority of deer and elk. Government agencies, hunters and businesses contributed money to buy and distribute food. Appeals for assistance to so-called ‘animal rights’ groups, PETA, HSUS, among others, were rebuffed. The rationale of the refusing organizations: they would be saving the animals only so hunters could kill them later.

and revenue loss result from the anti-hunting policies. But more profound lessons can be learned. Compassion, born of Latin roots, has two components: a feeling of sympathy for another coupled with a desire to alleviate the suffering. Compassion, then, requires both empathy and a desire to act on that empathy. You see the problem with compassion? Compassion, a noble concept in theory, is easily abused and manipulated because it doesn’t require anyone to do anything! You can be judged as compassionate based on feelings alone. Compassion can be morality on the cheap. As Aristotle wrote, “It is easy to be moral in your sleep.” My key point: hunters are accused of lacking compassion because they kill animals, yet the anti-hunter smugly views himself as compassionate without any regard to the destructive real-life consequences of his actions and beliefs. In the examples above, more animals died and more animals will die (and human suffering increases) as a direct consequence of the so-called compassion of these anti-hunting pressure groups. But the anti-hunter does not care! Reality and truth are irrelevant. Feeling good is more important than doing good. Keeping animals alive is the measure of compassion for animals. Hunters possess true compassion. But we need to make the best arguments to show why we deserve to win the debate.

2. In 2014, under the auspices of The Dallas Safari Club, an auction was held to hunt one mature non-reproducing black rhinoceros in Namibia. MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |






by William Young


fter two years of researching an outfitter for Stone sheep, I was able to decide on a hunt with Mike and Dixie Hammett of Sikanni River Outfitting. The hunt took place in August, so I had time to wonder and dream about the great mountains of British

Columbia. After continued discussion, I chose to add a mountain goat to the hunt.


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On August 14th, I arrived in Fort St. John, British Columbia. I was met by Mike, as well as Ed, a hunter from Washington. The three of us then made a three hour drive to the lodge outside Pink Mountain, British Columbia. Dixie, Mike’s wife, had prepared a great meal for us along with the children and grandchildren who had come to visit. We enjoyed a memorable night telling stories and looking at photos. Mike and I discussed how the weather had been scorching and dry late into the year. On this date, the temperatures were only about five degrees less than in Mississippi! It was apparent that the heat over the next few days was going to impact the hunt. A suggestion was made to see what the weather would bring in the next day before we went anywhere. Early the next morning, the sky was crystal clear and we expected another hot, dry day. Later that day, after it had cooled down outside, we tied up the horses and started our hike to an area where I noticed four large peaks coming together at the base. The natural mineral lick is where a spring comes out of the rocks to create a small pond at the bottom of four different peaks, creating a cup in the timber. The elevation was not quite to the tree line, but still had exposed rock faces towering above. The sun had started to go behind the peaks, and we felt a small temperature change, but still saw no sign of sheep. We had almost given up hope of finding a ram when all of a sudden, two sheep appeared from the dark timber directly across from us. Both rams, one was a young pure white ram with a black stripe down his back, and the other was a nine and a half year old full curl. I was not sure if I wanted to take the full curl ram or wait and see if I would see a bigger one. After all, it was only the first day of the trip. We took our time and glassed both rams while we discussed the age and length of this nice grey Stone. I pushed the safety off as I told Mike, “I am going to take the ram.” The shot was perfect at 189 yards, and the sheep hit the ground. I had now completed my ¾ slam for the North American Grand Slam! The ram was SCI Bronze Medal! The following day, Mike and I prepped the skin and head, and then flew out to one of the base camps. My guides for the mountain goat hunt, Travis and Amanda, greeted me upon my arrival. Travis and Amanda were from New Zealand’s South Island and since I had a fabulous hunt there a few years back with my good mate, Scott Thomson, the three of us had plenty to talk about. It always brings me enjoyment to talk about hunting with people from all around the world. As the day came to an end, Ed, the sheep hunter I rode in with from Fort St. John, came in on horseback. He arrived with his guides, Lennard and Arlene Myers. Lennard had been guiding sheep in this river valley for over forty years. Arlene had grown up on a ranch where her dad was one of the original Stone sheep outfitters in British Columbia. Both were amazed to hear that I had shot a nice ram on the first day of my hunt. Arlene exclaimed, “You have a horseshoe in your pack!” During the excellent CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 waterline that gave us some freeboard in case of heavy rains. We constructed a spike camp and settled in for the evening.

dinner Arlene prepared, we continued to discuss my hunt, along with many more great hunts that Lennard had guided over the years. Getting a chance to hear the stories of the many Boone and Crockett rams harvested during his lifetime was very exciting. The next morning, the horses were saddled and loaded for the ride to what I call “Goat Valley.” After all I had heard, I expected to see a goat on every rock. Travis was in the lead with one packhorse, I was in the middle, and Amanda was in the rear. We had a day’s ride in front of us through several valleys, over ridges, through mountain passes, and even a short ride through the

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The next day brought beautiful clear skies. We worked our way up the valley, glassing the rocks and grass meadows. By one o’clock, the valley produced seventeen goats. After glassing a billy, we had determined that he had approximately nine inch horns. I dropped down and set my pack for a shallows of a clear blue lake. As we rest. He was steadily climbing the face traveled through the day, we experienced and I realized that if I shot, he would a lot of steep and rough trails but overall, surely fall hundreds of feet. The only the ride was not that bad. shot I had was a 300 plus yard rearLate in the afternoon, we reached the ender. For some reason, the goat turned glacier creek that created the “Goat and eased back towards the face he had Valley.” We continued up the valley, just climbed. I knew I had to get my shot gaining altitude slowly while searching off before he got back to the face. The for an elevated spike camp location. As shot passed through the front shoulder, we headed by the first good rock face, and into the vitals. The billy fell headfirst we found a nanny easing across the into the face and tumbled to a rockslide face above the tree line. It was a great below us, damaging one of his horns. sign to see a goat in the first 1000 yards The light was starting to fade, so we of heading up the valley! An elevated quickly skinned, cleaned, and packed plateau with grass appeared not too up the meat. We continued down, trying far up the creek. The flat area to follow the creek, but the long drops was about four feet of the cliff face required us to go back higher than the and scale down the ridge top, weaving normal through the alder thickets. Amanda and high Travis went to collect the horses, and I continued down the hill following the creek. As I progressed down, the thicket became almost impenetrable. I fought the brush away by hand, while stepping the large limbs down by foot. When you encounter alder trees, vines, and high grass thickets mixed together, you can bet that bears will be close. After walking through bedding area after bedding area, I knew that a bear was nearby. Then, I encountered fresh bear droppings. The size was a dead giveaway of a big grizzly! I blazed through the dense bush until I could


finally see tall timbers out to my side. Shortly after, Amanda and Travis came out of the timber with the horses. As darkness fell, we had a short ride back to spike camp. The next day brought a full day on the horses and we made it back to the base camp. After measuring the intact horn and making the assumption that the missing horn would be similar in size, we found the billy had scored around 47 inches. With two horns, he would have qualified for the Boone and Crockett record book. Maybe there was a horseshoe in my pack!

I gathered my gear while Amanda and Travis finished fleshing the goat. Mike arrived later that morning, delivering fresh supplies. After a quick cup of coffee, Mike had me in the bush plane en route to my next base camp. Allen and Denise Tew were my new guides in my second base camp. The new camp was right on the main river, but many miles farther downstream and lower in elevation than the first. Allen had seen a black bear a couple days earlier, along with hearing a howling pack of wolves

close by the river. Early in the morning, I was awoken by the loud howls from a wolf pack. I spent the next several days searching for an elusive black bear in heavy grizzly country. If a black bear was in the area, he would have to be large enough to keep the grizzlies at bay. As we came along a deep bend in the river, I noticed the grayling were breaking the water for insects that were falling from a leaning tree. Allen and I broke out the CONTINUED ON PAGE 36




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 fishing gear and proceeded to catch enough grayling to feed the three of us for the night. Being able to catch grayling for dinner was a real treat. It was night three of being in the river camp when I was once again awoken early in the morning by loud howling from a wolf pack. I got up and walked to Allen’s cabin, where he was also awake. The two of us planned to act like an invading wolf pack and see if we could draw the wolves out for a shot. We rode off in the dark to find a good beach. When the sun began to break, you could start to see that the fog was lightly covering the river valley. Allen and I started our wolf howls and continued to do so for several minutes. Each of us were trying to act as if we were multiple wolves. We had a view of 260 yards downstream and a visual upstream of about 200 yards to spot the wolves if they walked out on the beach. Allen and I waited another twenty minutes, then started to howl again. We were standing close to the only two trees on the north side of the river where we had set up. We called for about three minutes, then decided to quit. In what seemed like seconds, three wolves came running straight at us from across the river. Immediately, I dropped to the ground and shot the large wolf leading the charge. Neither horse would go within thirty yards of the dead wolf. My excitement grew when I walked up to this beast! The wolf had a head equal to a bear. His body scaled seven feet seven inches from nose to tail. Allen and I skinned the wolf and double bagged him, because we knew the horses were going to be a problem. I mounted my horse and Allen slowly gave me the bagged hide to carry by hand between myself and the saddle horn. Luckily, we had an uneventful ride back to camp. After cleaning the skull and fleshing the skin, we measured the skull. The great wolf had a skull of 17 2/16 inches, putting him in the top 25 SCI. Yep, a horseshoe was in my pack! My British Columbian hunt had produced three great animals in less than ten days of hunting. Wow, what an unbelievable hunt! I searched my pack, but the horseshoe was nowhere to be found. I believe the good fortune began when I booked my hunt with Mike and Dixie Hammett of Sikanni River Outfitting. Many, many thanks go to all the great people at Sikanni River Outfitting: Mike, Dixie, Lennard, Arlene, Travis, Amanda, Allen, and Denise. Many thanks to GSO for providing me with the opportunity to meet and hunt with such an excellent outfitter. My expectations were well exceeded! The most appreciation is given to my wife, Kathy, for allowing me to pursue my passion of mountain hunting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Sikanni River Outfitters at 250-412-5209 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:

Moose Elk Black Bear Grizzly Bear Lynx Cougar Wolf Salmon and Steelhead Fishing

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



Ken and Crystal Watson



Prince George, BC Canada Tel: 1-250-964-6543 | Cell: 1-250-960-8970


“Thank you for one of the best hunting experiences of my life. Your outfit is top-notch and

“This was the toughest, most enjoyable hunt of my life.”

your hospitality

D.B. Indianna

is even better.” K.S. Delaware

888 830 6060

Hunts Black bear Colour-phase bear Rocky Mountain elk Mule deer Whitetail deer Shiras moose Cougar Lynx Bobcat Wolf Turkey

full facility lodge with all amenities

Family run for over 30 years

Tel 250.498.4176 • Cell 250.498.9013 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |



with Shane Mahoney

WILDLIFE & PRIVATE LAND: CONSERVATION’S ENDURING CONTROVERSY Shane Ma honey is co nsidered to of the lead be one ing intern ational au on wildlife thorities conservati on. A rare combinati on of histo ri an, scienti and philoso st, 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 a rd 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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PART I 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 will examine this controversy and comment on what has become a divisive issue not only between hunters and non-hunters, but among hunters themselves. While the return of wolves to an expanding range of American states is fuelling an intense debate, tensions over citizens’ rights and responsibilities to land, and the wildlife that can or may occupy it, are also rising with volcano-like power. These tensions are nothing new, of course, but have been with us since governments in both the United States and Canada began giving land to citizens in the name of nation building, and then trying to manage for appropriate use the remaining public acreages. In the debate over land use, and the dichotomy of private versus public, we have often set aside the great truth that both categories are part of a larger whole, an ecological landscape still comprising, for better or worse, the watersheds and ecosystems that are the only resort of North America’s great wildlife resource.


While we can make many decisions about land, there is one thing we simply cannot do. We cannot make any more of it. What we have, we have; and wildlife’s future depends very much on how we use the lands, both public and private, now resting within the powers and authority of private citizens and governments. The land debates, including the private property issues of ownership and management of residing wildlife, cannot realistically be divided into separate public and private sector discussions. All land is intertwined economically and ecologically. Fire, invasive species, flooding, wildlife movement and damage, the range and implications of predators - these considerations all form important parts of public policy. So too do the issues of property values, which themselves are often influenced by the patchwork and adjacencies of public and private lands. Public policy simply cannot ignore these realities, and must address the legitimate needs of the nation and the individual. I suggest it also needs

to address, fundamentally, the needs of wildlife. Ultimately, therefore, and regardless of the many administrations (federal, state/provincial, municipal etc) that poke their probing fingers in the messy land pie issue, we are forced to recognize both citizen rights and responsibilities towards land and its use. These rights and responsibilities apply to all lands, public and private. Within democratic nations this surely implies a collective effort to strike the right balance, between nationally constituted private property privileges and the public trust responsibility government holds towards public resources, and critically in this instance, towards the wildlife resources of Canada and the United States; resources which have been successfully managed for over a century under the policies, laws and institutions of the acclaimed North American Model. However, it requires far more than this. For while we may well find legal and political frameworks that will draw boundaries for and invoke clearly defined privileges around public and private land uses, this will not in itself solve the land use challenges for wildlife. What we desperately need is an integrated land management approach that places the conservation of wildlife at its fore, recognizing that what we do for the land that benefits wildlife is inevitably in the long term best interest of citizens and society. In this regard, we need to take a very objective view of our collective failure to address this issue, and to evaluate the efforts we have made to circumvent dealing with it directly. While visitors may stare in awe at the grandeur of a Yosemite, Jasper or Yellowstone; and while well intentioned organizations and individuals will doggedly pursue the purchase of land for wildlife restoration and CONTINUED ON PAGE 40 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 refuge, we must ask ourselves, who will be the stewards of those great acreages that lie between those protected spaces and the black pavement and glass towers of our cities?

and to manipulate, genetically and physically, the wildlife that exists on their property. They may or may not offer hunting opportunities for such wildlife. They may and often do, however, sell the wildlife they raise or manipulate, much Who indeed will shepherd and restore, who will mange wisely like any domestic stock they might have. These attitudes and for wildlife, the private lands of this continent? And what will practices collide fundamentally with the enshrined notion of it take to encourage them to do so? This is a question of deep wildlife as an exclusively public resource. significance and one central to conservation, hunting, and wildlife in the 21st century. On the private lands of the United In other instances, private property owners look to discourage States and Canada, those very lands that represent the citizen various wildlife species that can damage their gardens, heartlands of these great nations, a dizzying array of practices orchards and lawns, often looking to public officials to solve and personal policies are being enacted. While biodiversity the problems for them. In many cases they want predators protection, wildlife restoration, and ecological considerations eliminated; in some extreme cases, however, they feed are commonplace on many publicly managed land areas, this dangerous wildlife, such as black bears, altering their natural is far from true on most private lands, although, of course, behaviour and signing their death warrants inevitably. there are exceptions. Instead, what we often see are practices Indeed, there seems no end to the number and variety of that not only impact wildlife negatively, but which reduce attitudes private land owners take towards the wildlife on natural diversity and form barriers to the normal movement their properties. What is clear, however, is that no coherent of wildlife, and, of course, people. policy for wildlife exists with respect to private land, as it does, generally, with respect to wildlife in the public domain. What The social divisions surrounding such personal usages are is also clear, is that any such policy would require landowner becoming increasingly complex. Hunters claim they are often consent and some form of public acceptance or support. And excluded from private lands where wildlife is abundant, and this is where the debate gets messy and often bitter. How private land owners often do (legally) exclude trespassers of do we find the balance between landowner rights, wildlife all kinds. Landowners may also lay claim to the wildlife that conservation, and the discharge of public responsibility for resides on their land and erect fences to either keep wildlife natural resource protection, into the future? Where will the inside their property, or exclude it from entering. In other leadership on this issue come from? cases land owners make strong efforts to attract wildlife

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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ountain hunters, when speaking about their quest for the American mountain goat, often exclaim, “Goat hunting starts where sheep hunting ends.� This oft-repeated quote refers to the elevations that goats inhabit versus sheep. My sheep hunt with Stone Mountain Safaris ended with the harvesting of a nice Stone ram half-way through my fourteen-day hunt. While sheep hunting in the northwestern region of British Columbia, my guide, Derrick Stevens, and I had observed several nice goats. But with our focus on sheep, and the fact that all of the goats that we had observed were up in the stratosphere, we passed them by.

third billy we located was accessible, but after observing him with the spotting scope, we decided that he needed to grow for another year or two.

As I ate breakfast on the tenth day of my hunt, I noticed a white dot on the mountain beside our camp. After observing him in the spotting scope, we decided he was a nice billy and needed a closer look. We rode our horses to the base of the mountain, and then began a steep climb that lasted four grueling hours to get closer to the goat. He was still 800 yards away, but we were able to determine that he was a very large billy. Unfortunately, he was located on a steep rock face. If we took him there, he On the ninth day of our hunt, my outfitter, Leif Olsen, along would fall and severely damage his cape, horns, and meat. We with guide, Shale Deschipper, joined Derrick and I for the day. watched him for several hours to see if he would move toward We spent the day traversing an old mine road and observed us. Eventually, darkness approached and the goat decided to three good goats. Two were plastered on the side of cliffs that move in the opposite direction. We decided we would search did not lend themselves to being approached or taken. The for him in the morning and attempt to stalk him once more.

CLIFF DWELLERS oreamnos americanus by Lonnie Cook

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The next morning, we were unable to locate the goat. Our wrangler, Mitch Sims, joined Derrick and I as we rode north to one of Stone Mountain Safaris’ other camps. We stayed the night, used their portable shower, and replenished our food supplies. The following day, we rode further north to a new area that was known to have a good goat population.


After breakfast, we left and made our way to the basin where we spent the last two and a half days of the hunt. After finding a suitable place to set up our camp, we did some glassing and located a good billy across the river. It was too late to take after him, so we decided to see if we could locate him the next morning. While eating breakfast, we located the same billy and decided to make a stalk on him. After a two hour climb, we got within 900 yards of the billy. He walked away from us, moving further into the cliffs and out of sight. We moved to a new observation point and waited through rain, sleet, and snow. As darkness approached, we walked back down to the area we first saw him. We finally located him, but the area was too steep for a safe shot. We headed back to camp as darkness settled in.

When I awoke on the morning of the last day of my hunt, I began to put the hunt into the proper perspective. It had been a great adventure, and I was thankful that I harvested a great Stone ram. Hunting is about the joy of the hunt, the adventures experienced, and the physical outpouring that your body gives. I was fortunate to have experienced all three of these. After our Mountain House breakfast, Derrick and I discussed our plan for the last day of our hunt. Our decision was to head into a new basin behind our camp. While we did this, Mitch searched for two horses that had gone missing earlier. I noticed a white dot above our camp in the direction of the basin we were planning to hunt. Derrick was not able to get the spotting scope on the goat before we lost sight of him. Because of this, there was some uncertainty as to whether the goat was a billy or nanny, and whether it was a decent sized specimen. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45 Since we were planning to head up into the basin anyway, we decided to make a wide berth around the mountain face to keep from scaring the goat. If we did not locate another suitable target, we planned to make our way around the mountain and eventually come back over the top of the mountain behind it.

of the way down the mountain. He slid only about thirty yards and came up against a boulder that broke his fall. We hand signaled for Mitch to make his way up the mountain so he could help with the caping, field dressing, and carrying our bounty back to camp. He made it up to our position about the time we finished with our photo and video session. The wind continued to drain the warmth from our bodies as we worked on the goat. I set up the Jetboil stove and heated some water for coffee and hot chocolate for the three of us. While the field dressing progressed, I took one hind quarter and the backstraps and began heading down the mountain before it became completely dark.

Derrick and I covered a lot of ground, but were unable to locate any goats in this new basin so we climbed up the back side of the mountain that I had spotted the goat on in the morning. We made our way over the highest point of this mountain and began a slow descent toward camp, thinking that the goat had left the area. When we got about a quarter of the way down the face of the mountain, we noticed a nanny about a half mile off to our left. We began to think that she was perhaps the goat The last day of this great adventure was coming to a close we had spotted earlier in the morning. as I reflected back on the excitement, the emotions, and the From our observation point high above the river valley, we physical exertion of this hunt. There is something about could see Mitch coming back to camp with the two lost horses. hunting mountain goats that tests hunters to their extreme After he had them tied up, he got his binoculars and began limits. They are such a tough animal to hunt, and accessing glassing up toward us. We moved a little further down the them is very difficult, they are indeed the kings of the mountain and did some more glassing. We could see Mitch mountains. I was so blessed to have had this opportunity, the down below swinging his arms back and forth and pointing. harvest of such a majestic animal was just icing on the cake. We finally figured out that he had spotted a goat in front of us that we could not see. After about fifteen minutes of a slow I made it back to camp just as darkness settled in the valley. stalk, out from under a small cliff area rushed a goat. He had Before I left the mountain, we all agreed that we would pull obviously heard us or scented us. He ran about twenty yards up camp and head back to the base camp. I tore down our tent and loaded up our panniers. I also built a campfire to warm us before stopping and looking back at us. up and to provide a visual indicator for Mitch and Derrick as Derrick had a very short window of time to look at the goat they returned in the darkness. We were able to get the horses through his binoculars. He whispered that it was a billy, a loaded up with the rest of the meat, cape, and horns and were decent sized one that I could take if I wanted to. It was 6:15 on our way by 11:00 PM. PM on the last day of my hunt with only two hours of daylight left. It took me about one second to make my decision. I took Riding in the dark through willows and thick underbrush the fifty yard shot standing up. The first shot was a good one; and crossing a river several times made for a harrowing ride. just behind the left shoulder. We were on a very steep face For those of you that have not done this, it requires that you and we were utterly astounded that the goat did not fall most put complete faith in the horses. They know the way and can


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see in the dark much better than humans. The best part of our ride back was the northern lights. They put on quite a show for us with various colors of pink, red, blue, and green dancing across the sky. We arrived at camp around 2:30 AM and tried to be quiet as we fixed a late dinner for ourselves. I slept in until 8:00 AM then got up to have breakfast with the other hunters and guides at the camp. I was able to get out on the second flight that morning at 10:00 AM and return to the lodge. After a good night’s rest, it would take me two full days to get back to Iowa. This was a great hunt and I had a tremendous guide. Thank you, Derrick, for keeping me focused and encouraging me along the way so I could achieve my goal of harvesting a Stone ram and a mountain goat. Thanks as well to Stone Mountain Safaris’ owners, Leif and Kellie, for providing such a great experience. Sheep and goat hunting have been on my bucket list for fifty years. Thank the good Lord that I still had the physical capabilities to execute my dream hunt. A special thank you to my wife, Patti, for her support as I pursue my hunting adventures.

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gallery G.T. Nunn and Andrew Pedroncelli with their sheep taken with guide Dustin Roe from Backcountry BC and Beyond

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

Guide Brandon Isaac and hunter Greg Gibson from Maryland with his bull moose taken with Love Bros and Lee

Josef Bernatini from Germany showing off his moose he took with Blackwater River Outfitting

Ray Brittain from Georgia with his mountain goat taken with Beaverfoot Outfitting

Jay Scholes from Ohio showing off his cougar taken with Kettle River Guide Outfitters

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Outfitter Alex Smutny, Ryler Hunter, and hunter, Mark Goudas from Massachussetts with his mountain goat taken with Bugle Basin Outfitters

Jon Ball from Oregon holding up his lynx taken with Bugle Basin Outfitters

Jesse Nussbaume from Pennsylvania with his Alaska-Yukon moose taken with Nahanni Butte Outfitters

Dale Gaugler from Pennsylvania with his grizzly bear taken with Love Bros and Lee

Rudolph and Cordelia Kraeling, who traveled from Germany, show off Rudolph’s bobcat taken with Kettle River Guide Outfitters

Kevin Scott from Oregon with his Dall sheep taken with Nahanni Butte Outfitters

Carly Peter from Washington with her bull moose taken with Mountain Spirit Outfitters



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portrait of an

ARTIST Rick Taylor


ur world is filled with beauty, and people choose to see and understand it in their own ways. From this vast spectrum, many find awe in the natural world, with its incredible variety in scenery, flora, and fauna. When a young ten-year-old Rick Taylor was out hunting with his father who had just shot a pheasant, he got to hold the beautiful bird in his hands and was amazed at the color, feathers, feet, tail, eyes, and cheeks. It must not be plucked! It had to be saved! But how to do it? Rick’s father knew a fellow who was an amateur taxidermist back home in Edmonton, but it turned out he was too busy to do the job and the bird was cleaned that day and subsequently enjoyed as delicious table fare. A later trip to the Clifford Wolfe Taxidermy

Shop gave Rick his first views of a collection of wildlife trophies, predominately from western Canada. This trip had a profound effect on him. In the 1950s, many hunters read the Outdoor Life magazine, or thumbed through it on the magazine racks in the store. An advertisement by the J.W. Elwood Northwest School of Taxidermy caught Rick’s eye. “Men and Boys - learn the art of taxidermy. With this correspondence course of ten easy lessons you will be creating beautiful mounted birds and animals and making money from customers.” For ten dollars, you would receive a monthly lesson in the mail for which minimal tools would be required. You would be on your way. So, paper-boy Rick had five dollars, his dad would come up with another five, and they would learn together. Subsequent trips to the public library provided books by Carl Akeley and James Clark, both pioneers in this field of work. To read about a job that included hunting and collecting all over the

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world, and subsequent taxidermy projects in museum studios; well this all seemed like a dream career. He was hooked! Spare time was now dedicated to hours in his little work area in the basement of the family house that his supportive parents provided. Space in the family freezer was sometimes filled with birds, skulls, small animals, and skins. Chemical smells arose from vats behind the furnace in the laundry room. The creative juices flowed. A family move to Calgary when he was fourteen years old introduced Rick to a new group of friends and different geography for hunting. Calgary is perfectly situated between the Rocky Mountains, foothills, farm land, and the prairies. A full range of game birds and big-game species, all on public land and with generous open seasons, make the area a hunter’s haven. His new best buddy, Bruce Freeman, was in a family of very successful hunters and Rick enjoyed more success in collecting game than ever before. Rick introduced Bruce to taxidermy and together, they amassed an impressive collection. Together, they entered a display about the “art of taxidermy” in the Calgary School District Science Fair, and they won first place.

After many people became interested in their work at the public show, a business was born for Rick and Bruce. This public show was an eye opener for the young entrepreneurs because many people engaged their services to do taxidermy work for them. The boys also kept records for the Fish and Wildlife Department and the tax department. They were sixteen years old, held driver’s licences, and were now able to go farther afield to pursue their dreams of larger game. In 1967, Rick entered the University of Calgary to study biology. Immediately, he contacted the director of the campus’ Museum of Zoology to see if any related opportunities were available. With his taxidermy skills, he was offered parttime work preparing study skins and skeletons. Eventually, he obtained contract work from the Riveredge Foundation/ Glenbow Museum to prepare full mounts of specimens that had died of natural causes at the Calgary Zoo. It was very exciting to work with non-game species from around the world and display them in dioramas. Graduation with a BSc in Zoology came in 1971, and it became time to make a career choice; a job with the Alberta government as a field biologist, or stay on the taxidermy and museum track. Rick’s free spirit did not see him in the civil service. Instead, he spent his summers guiding big-game hunters in the McKenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories, and the rest of the year doing contract taxidermy work. While working in the museum installing displays, he CONTINUED ON PAGE 56 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 55 saw the collection of bronze sculptures. Some were western themed and others were of a more contemporary figurative style. As a taxidermist, he had learned to sculpt animal models, cast them in pieces, and make plaster and papier-mâché forms. Casting in metal intrigued him. He vowed to learn about lost wax casting, the ancient process of making bronze sculpture. And he did.

hunters had started a sheep hunter’s conservation club and that all should attend the upcoming convention to be held in Phoenix, Arizona in February of 1978. Rick used the occasion to deliver some completed trophies to clients and experience his first international show of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep (FNAWS). At this trade

Rick’s outfitting boss was legendary guide, Bill Moynihan. After the 1977 season, Bill announced that a group of American

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show, he saw his first display of wildlife bronzes shown by the artists themselves. He had made his first efforts in bronze sculpture already, working with a small art foundry in Calgary. His taxidermy clients had eagerly supported his work and donations to the Ducks Unlimited auction had raised large sums. Sculpting and casting images in bronze freed Rick from the constraints of taxidermy and allowed the expression of the whole range of experiences that he wanted to depict. Any scale was possible, from miniature to monumental. It was this freedom and permanence that consumed his efforts and he became determined to

create a body of work worth showing to the public at a real show. The work improved, sales got better, and it was time to spend more time on bronze sculptures and less on taxidermy.

Rick has been lucky to have hunted the hours spent in this endeavor. A guide mountains of the world and has collected leading a pack train of loaded horses can a Grand Slam of North American Sheep, tell the story and emotion of the best of an OVIS World Slam of International all possible trips. Even a native poling Rams, and a Capra World Slam of goats a dugout canoe (Mokorro) in Botswana and ibex. These international trips to with a Cape buffalo head, quarters of A move to the log house he had built hunt and study provide the scientific meat and a sitatunga, are all stories Rick on Kootenay Lake in British Columbia basis for his artwork. When asked about has lived and shared. provided the studio, isolation, and his favorite subject material besides the concentration to do just that. By 1982, he These pieces of art can enhance any sheep of the world, he admits to enjoy became an exhibitor at the FNAWS and the room and round out a personal story portraying the story of the hunt in bronze. Safari Club International conventions. that often represents the adventure of a A new world of international clients A personalized sculpture of a hunter lifetime. Art lasts longer than a lifetime, eagerly commissioned Rick to make with his loaded backpack can recreate so it will be passed on to family members custom bronzes. The sculptures were many memories. A hunter glassing the with compliments from the original a realistic style, anatomically correct, distant slopes reminds many of the collector and the artist. and were designed through the eyes of To learn more about Rick Taylor, and view more of his work, visit: a hunter who had spent thousands of hours observing the natural world. As in taxidermy, nature is the artist and Rick is the delivery man. He cannot take credit for any of the fabulous horn and antler designs, body shapes, colors, or behavioral nuances of his subjects. It is his job to do justice to the beauty that nature creates, and deliver that image for the client’s enjoyment. So it continues to this day, with hundreds of originals and thousands of limited edition sculptures having been completed. His marriage in 1991 to the gifted artist and teacher, Carole Danyluk, greatly enriches his life, both personally and artistically. Carole had already made her first efforts in bronze sculpture at the University of Calgary while completing a degree in Art Education. She joins him in the studio and has created a considerable body of work. Her keen eyes, combined with formal training and exquisite taste, certainly refine some elements of Rick’s work. For twenty-five years, they have shown bronzes together at conventions and hundreds of sculptures have been donated to fundraise for worthy organizations like the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia. During this time, there has also been a dozen monument projects installed worldwide.



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New Zealand

by Andrew Hawke


y fascination with moose started many years ago. After an unsuccessful release of moose in New Zealand in 1900, a further mixed group of ten moose were gifted to New Zealand by the Canadian government and released in Fiordland, one of the most remote areas of my home country. Early records show that two bulls were shot legally in 1929 and 1934, and the last known bull was taken in 1952 by legendary hunter, Percy Lyes. Hunting trips around the former moose release areas in Fiordland, and personally visiting and spending time with Percy Lyes, were instrumental in establishing my intrigue for moose and firmly imprinted the species on my socalled “bucket list.� However, mounting a moose hunt in North America from down-under was not going to happen any time soon. Or so I thought. While working for a German company in Australia, the company offered me a contract in Canada! Apart from the fact that Canada is an interesting country in its own right, the moose call accelerated the decision. Within a few months, we were residents of Toronto and were coming to terms with what minus twenty degrees Celsius felt like. To organize a moose hunt and turn a dream into reality, I emailed a number of hunting mates in New Zealand about my plans. A good mate of mine, Henryk, who I had previously shared hunting experiences with, affirmed that he would join me. We were very excited to begin our search for an outfitter with the hunting style and

proven record we were looking for. After several phone calls and reference checks, I settled on a small outfitter, Gunson Guiding and Outfitting, located close to the Yukon border in northern British Columbia. What drew me to Gunson Guiding and Outfitting was that the outfitter actively guided himself. There was a range of dates to choose from between early September and mid-October, and we chose the last hunt of the season. The bulls would be in the latter part of the rut and starting to move to their wintering areas. The mode of transportation we chose was a float plane into a remote lake, and then use horses to spike camp in likely valleys. The fact that all meat has to be removed from animals shot dictates that horses are the only feasible option for this type of hunt. If you ask me, I would have to say the most challenging part of the hunt was horseback riding! This is not a walk in the park, and although I would not discourage someone from choosing a horse back hunt, one needs to be physically and mentally prepared for a challenging ten days. October eventuated and we descended into northern British Columbia. We stayed at the Northern Rockies Lodge, from which we would take the float plane to meet the outfitter within the hunting area. The morning dawned a perfect day. We loaded the Otter turbo prop and took to the air, eventually landing on an idyllic glass-like lake. CONTINUED ON PAGE 62



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 61 We unloaded our gear and reloaded the plane with the outgoing party’s gear. Of note was a wonderful set of moose antlers from a bull shot a couple of days before, manhandled expertly into the side door of the Otter. After asking one of the outgoing hunters how their trip went, he replied with, “This hunt is not for the faint hearted!” We were met by three bearded individuals: Jake the owner, with Jimmy and Lockie, two eager guides in their 20s. The first morning was a “shakedown” ride - a day trip to see if I could stay on the horse and spot what I had come to hunt. We rode up a river system for about an hour, then Jake turned to me while pointing to a

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steep track straight up from the river floor and said, “We are going up here.” He then exclaimed, while pointing at my horse, “See that mane? That will become your best friend!” Then, off he went with me in hot pursuit, hanging onto my horse’s mane for dear life!

some five kilometers long. Along with the horses we rode, we had a pack horse with camping supplies. After several hours of riding, we spotted multiple moose on the opposite face. We dismounted As the day progressed, my confidence grew and horse and and glassed for thirty minutes, spying on a young bull with a rider became one (well that is a little overstated, but at least couple of cows. The cow was calling, so I had a good chance I had the belief that I could stand ten days of it)! Along with to hear the call in person. The sound was best described as a the “test ride,” we also spotted a cow moose. This was great high pitched groan or wail, as if one had a stomach ache! because I now knew that I could spot a moose among vast Sure enough, with some glassing, we could see the sun acres of short willow scrub and aspen trees. reflecting off of a bull’s paddle. To be legal, the bull needed to Day two saw Henryk and I heading in two different directions. be three points on one front, or ten on one side. This is a strict Henryk went with Jimmy to a location where Jimmy had CONTINUED ON PAGE 64 success the past year, and Jake and I went up a large valley MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - SPRING 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 63 rule and one needs to assess carefully wandered around the trees to get a good before pulling the trigger. view of the valley ahead. As I came into the open, clearly in view and staring at me I grabbed my rifle and prepared to take was a sizable bull. The moose and I looked a shot, should the bull be legal and to my at each other for a minute or two, then I liking. However, as the bull came clearer slowly moved back towards Jake and my into view, it was apparent that he was rifle. The bull slowly moved into the trees resting up from a recent skirmish with and I never had the opportunity to take a another bull. This was evidenced from shot. He was legal, and a nice bull as well. a large portion of his left paddle being broken off. We remounted the horses Nodding off to sleep that night, I and continued for another hour up the was disappointed about missing an valley to a group of aspen trees on the opportunity. Knowing that Henryk valley floor, where we intended to erect had shot a very good bull earlier in the two small tents. Once we had done this, I evening (the guides communicated with

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GPS units), I began to feel added pressure. We returned the next morning to the area where we had seen the bull the previous day and tried some cow calling. An hour later, we spotted another bull at the head of the valley, some two kilometers away. It was likely to be the same bull, and I was surprised at how easy he was to spot. The large paddles glinted in the sun, giving away his location. We headed up the valley to see if we could locate the bull. After several hours of riding and a steep climb into a good area to glass, there was no sign of the bull. A half hour passed, then Jake said in a low

voice, “you won’t believe this, but there is a good bull just past camp!” In other words, where we had just ridden from. Closing in on camp, Jake thought it was best to climb to a good vantage point and see if he could call the bull in. An hour of calling and waiting saw no action, so after a brief discussion, plan B was put in place. We would ride down the centre of the valley and see if we could spot him. Interestingly, you are less likely to spook moose on horseback than by approaching on foot. Soon, Jake spotted the bull behind some trees. I grabbed my rifle, and found a thin sapling aspen to use as a rest. Through the scope, I could not see the antlers, but could see a small section of its body. It was a game of patience. Jake tried a call, “Aroooooooa!” Just at that point, the horses which Jake had quickly

tied up to a couple of bushes, decided that they would try and get loose. As Jake tried to solve the horse issue, I looked around and discovered that the bull had wandered out into full view, but head on.

until Jake returned emptyhanded. The horses had headed for home! We quietly sidled uphill to where I had last seen the bull. Suddenly, Jake yelled, “Here he is!” I had my bull!

At that point, he was around the 200 meter mark, and somewhat elevated. I managed to get Jake’s attention and uttered the words, “Is he legal?” A resounding, “Yep, he’s legal,” was his reply. He was not a record book moose, but all I ever wanted was a representative example.

I have often read about the emotions people have when standing over their trophy, but I have to say I was awestruck at the sheer size of the beast. Estimated at 1300 lbs, this bull was of a scale that I just could not have imagined. Now the hard work began. I shot the bull late afternoon, and by dusk, we had it quartered out to I thought my first shot had missed, and cool. Moose have such depth of meat that the bull started taking off. As I was it is vital to get them quartered quickly to reloading, I saw Jake running after the ensure that the heat is removed from the horses, which had managed to pull the meat as soon as possible. bushes out of the ground and were heading for the main camp. Before Jake After a quick text to Jimmy, a plan was disappeared, he informed me that he hatched for him to bring three horses saw the bull go head over heels. up the following morning to get us and the meat back to the main camp. It was Jake’s horse, although very agitated, had a great feeling lying in the tent that night not got loose so I held it for a half hour knowing that a long-desired quest had become a reality.




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 65 The next morning, we very gingerly headed back to my bull and were accompanied by Banjo, the golden retriever who joined us as a “mobile grizzly alarm.” After several hours, Jimmy arrived with the horses to pack us out.

Now for the question many have asked, Jake and his team certainly have the “would I recommend this outfitter?” experience and hunting area to get you Although I am always reticent about onto the game of your choice. Then, it making recommendations, it is a clear is up to you! Just go into the hunt as fit yes to this question. What I can tell you as you can, carry a positive attitude, and is that these types of hunts are what you you have a dream hunt ahead of you!

The next day, we flew the meat out to the make of them. It is hunting, and that For this Kiwi, the trip was a lifelong dream come true! Alaska Highway for Jake’s dad to put into means nothing is guaranteed. the freezer. We spent the following days doing some fishing, chasing mountain goats, and experiencing a grizzly at close EDITOR’S NOTE: quarters. All in all, it was a most wonderful You can reach Gunson Guiding & Outfitting at 250-500-2717 or adventure shared with a good mate in the most stunning remote location.

BIG Canadian Moose ~2000 square miles of remote wilderness Boat and horseback hunts available Mountain Goat Mountain Caribou Stone Sheep Grizzly Bear Black Bear Jake & Cecilia Gunson Call: 250.500.2717

66 |





- 6X magnification - Ranging to 1,200 yards - Scan Mode - OLED display

Rolled Moose Steaks 2 lbs. moose steak cut 1/4” thick

1 1/2 cups sage dressing

3/4 cups flour

Dash of sweet marjoram, rosemary, thyme

1/4 tsp. pepper

See how accurate the RX-1200i is at LEUPOLD.COM

1 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt Cut the moose into 2”x4” slices and pound flour, salt and pepper well into each piece. Next, place a mound of sage dressing in the center of each slice and fold the moose meat over the stuffing and fasten with a toothpick. Place in the roaster and add water and herbs and bake for 1 hr. letting it brown well before serving.

Ruth Pickering

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



by Mark Werner

Red was known for his horsemanship skills and while he was an outfitter he had a herd of seventy five horses. Horses became a part of his livelihood for 60 years. Red retired from “I always had hope that this association would be something guide outfitting in 1997, but remained very close with many great, and look at it now” Red Sorensen said as he accepted people in the industry. his thirty year Legacy Award during the GOABC’s 50th anniversary celebration. He looked out into a room full of While Red stood amongst the other Legacy Award winners on guide outfitting families. Some were new to the industry and stage, he captured the room’s emotions when he spoke, “All of some were industry pioneers. A legacy himself, Red looked those no longer with us, watching from above, are proud of humbled to be celebrating with fellow outfitters; celebrating the accomplishments of the association. I thank you on behalf something he had a part in creating. of them.” Red was a founder of the Western Guides and Outfitters Association (WGOA) in September of 1966. He was in attendance for the very first meeting held by the association in Williams Lake with an attendance of only ten people. During Red’s time with the WGAO, the association established a code of ethics, introduced a liability insurance program, hosted fundraisers, and created and strengthened their relationship with government. In 1982, the association was renamed the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC), inheriting the same goals and objectives; a British Columbia with a thriving guide outfitting industry, innovative wildlife conservation projects led by hunters, and abundant big game populations for all to enjoy, in the present and future. Today, the GOABC is the voice of the guide outfitting industry and continues to strive towards the goals and objectives established half a century ago.

68 |


The GOABC has one of the richest histories of any guide outfitting association in the world, and proudly continues to represent the guide outfitting industry. Without the people, their dedication to the industry, and volunteerism, the association would not be what it is today. The success of the association is owed to the tireless efforts of people like Red Sorensen who have dreamed of a unified and strong association and donated hundreds of volunteer hours to achieve that goal. Happy birthday, GOABC. I hope that one day any of our current volunteers get to stand on GOABC’s stage overlooking the families of the industry, like Red did. Some people they will recognize, others will be new faces. Standing before a room filled with fellow outfitters, I hope they reflect, “I always had hope that this association would be something great, and look at it now!” If you have any historical stories you would like to share, please email





Coastal Black Bear Special



2nd bear available! “I took two species in my North American 29 quest with Kiff last year and we are going for more!! Thanks Kiff !” - Steve Torrence / Torrence Racing

“Kiff and I have been successful every year together since 2008 and we will be again in 2015!!” - Jim Burnworth/ Western Extreme


Canadian Moose ● Mule Deer ● Mountain Grizzly Coastal Black Bear ● Interior Black Bear ● Cougar ● Wolf ● Mountain Goat 250 469 3648 K I F F COV E R T Licensed / Insured Guide Outfitter


Mountain Hunter Magazine Spring 2016 - Convention Issue  

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