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Feature Story Brandon Reystead recounts two amazing hunts he experienced with Little Dease Adventures.

Also featuring...



April 30, 2016





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


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


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

Brandon Reystead

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


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


Northern (Peace) Cariboo/Chilcotin Northwest (Skeena) Vancouver Island/South Coast North Central (Omineca) Thompson Okanagan Southern (Kootenay)


Executive Director Executive Assistant Marketing and Programs Coordinator Consumer Marketing Director






R. Claude Corbeille

Chris Rothermel

Jim Weatherly


GOABC President’s Corner


Artist Feature


News & Views


From a Legal Perspective


Preferred Conservation Partners


Camp Cook’s Corner


Conservation Matters


That Some May Follow


Guides Gallery

ADVERTISERS Ambler’s Bighorn Country Guiding................................43

Gana River Outfitters............29

Pioneer Log Homes..............58

BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters..........................11

GOABC Convention...............39

Ram Creek Outfitters............35

Grand Slam Club/Ovis...........28

Ram Head Outfitters.............44

Grand Slam Outfitters...........20

Redstone Trophy Hunts........10


Rocky Mountain High Outfitters.............................43

Big Country Outfitters..........38 Bonnet Plume Outfitters......43 Boone & Crockett Club..........25 Bugle Basin Outfitters...........10 Cariboo Mountain Outfitters..59 Claw Mountain Outfitters.....20 DEAN SANDULAK DAN REYNOLDS

President Past-President

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Besa River Outfitters............29

President Past-President Secretary


Brandon and his Caribou


Beaverfoot Outfitting............29



Collingwood Bros. Guides & Outfitters..........................11 Covert Outfitting................OBC Dallas Safari Club...................5 Double Eagle Guides & Outfitters...........................25 Elk Valley Bighorn Outfitters..59 Eureka Peak Lodge & Outfitters............................59 Findlay Creek Outfitters.......11

Gundahoo River Outfitters...59 HUB Phoenix Insurance.......44 Kettle River Guides & Outfitters..10 Lehigh Valley Chapter SCI....44 Leupold & Stevens...............38

Safari Club International...IFC Scoop Lake Outfitters.............9 Shadow Mountain Outfitters.20 Sikanni River Outfitters.........35

Little Dease Ventures............51

Silent Mountain Outfitters......10

Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters..........................51

Sitka Gear..................................21 Skinner Creek Hunts...............53

McCowans Sporting Properties.............................29

Sonny’s Guiding Service..........11

McGregor River Outfitters....35

Sports Afield.............................45

Mervyn’s Yukon Outfitting...44 North River Outfitting..........38 Packhorse Creek Outfitters...9 Pelly Lake Wilderness Outfitters...............................9

South Nahanni Outfitters.......53 Tatlow Mountain Outfitters....35 Tuchodi River Outfitters..........25 Wholesale Sports...................IBC Wild Sheep Foundation.........19 Yukon Big Game Outfitters....53




PRESIDENT’S CORNER ‘Wildlife Stewardship is our Priority’ is our slogan and our commitment. Since 2009, the GOABC has spent over $220,000 on wildlife stewardship initiatives. Some of our recent focus has been on wildlife symposiums, while valuable (and we will host more in the future), we wanted to ensure ‘on the ground’ projects receive additional funding. The Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program is designed to enhance partnerships between hunters, First Nations and others who care about wildlife. Hunters are united in their commitment to sustainable, science-based wildlife management and enjoy giving back. These initiatives can be in the areas of education, habitat enhancement, wildlife inventory or other projects that benefit wildlife. A condition of the funding is that outfitters must partner with non-outfitting businesses or people. We expect the outfitter to reach out into the local community for possible projects and take the lead on the GOABC application.

Brian Glaicar, President, GOABC

The GOABC made a 5-year, $250,000 commitment to a new provincial Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program because we have heard that hunters want to ‘roll up their sleeves’ on wildlife enhancement projects in their back yard. The Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program will provide annual funding of

Hunting is an important tool in wildlife management. Where there is a surplus there should be a hunt; if no surplus, there should not be a hunt. Hunting is a cost effective way to manage wildlife and help dampen the population fluctuations. Hunting $50,000 per year for community-based wildlife stewardship is also an important part of the social fabric and economy of initiatives. rural communities. Hunters often travel to hunt and spend The goal is to highlight the role of the hunter conservationist considerable funds in the pursuit of their quarry. Hunters and to continue wildlife or habitat enhancement work so that do not only hunt for the benefit of organic, healthy meat, hunters can invest in the activity they love. Each year hunters they hunt for the social, recreational and spiritual aspects of volunteer hundreds of hours in local projects for the benefit hunting. Hunters are not mere observers of nature - they are participants. of wildlife. This is what conservation is.

Wildlife Stewardship







Scott Ellis, Executive Director, GOABC

I am truly pleased to see the number of resident hunting licences sold continue to rise in British Columbia (BC). Last year (2014/2015) licence sales were up again - now at 106,842. More women and children are learning to hunt; this now includes my two daughters. Upon completion of the Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education course, I bought them both a surprise present – matching .243 rifles. In a recent social studies class the high school teacher was talking about hunting and gun control. He asked his students if anyone owned a gun. To his surprise (and all her classmates) my daughter was the only person who raised her hand. That night at dinner my daughter had many questions about gun control and hunting.

time in the outdoors. Both of my daughters are accomplished anglers and are happy to ‘bonk’ the fish they catch. I think with continued exposure to hunting and having a role model like my sister, who is now a licenced hunter, they will likely hunt one day. If not, that is OK because they will understand hunting and where their food comes from. My family believes ‘you are what you eat.’ Organic is always a healthier food source and we buy organic whenever possible. We believe the antibiotics, steroids, and other preservatives are causing chronic diseases in people. I know the fish and meat in our freezer is organic – because we caught or killed it ourselves. I suggest all hunters have this conversation with other hunters and non-hunters about where their food comes from.

Ironically, as my daughter was asking questions about gun My daughters do not understand the difference between control, the top story in the news was about another shooting a meat hunter and a trophy hunter. This is partly because in Surrey (not far from where we live). So I asked her if she thought that the gun used in the murder was registered. She thought about it and then she asked, “Do gangs actually register their guns?” I said, “As you know, all hand guns are classified as restricted and must be registered in Canada. In Canada we had a long-gun registry and that was a bureaucratic disaster and it was abolished.” She asked “why dad?” My answer was a question. “Are you a threat to society now that you own a gun?” She said “of course not!”

I consider myself a trophy hunter and we have always had game meat in our freezer. To them we are all hunters. I think this is a good message for the hunting community. There are 4.5 million people in BC and only 2% are hunters. Outfitters, guides, and hunters need to be more united towards a common goal and message ... we are all hunters. I suggest all hunters watch Boone & Crockett Country episode on trophy hunting

I encourage all hunters to have these conversations with their Then we talked about hunting and the value of wild organic children, friends, and non-hunters to spread the real story meat in our diet (while we were eating a moose steak). Neither about hunters and hunting. of my girls are ready to kill an animal, but they enjoy spending

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



Harold Grinde, President, Association of Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters

As I sit to write to you today most hunting seasons have wrapped up for the year. There are still some late season draws that are open here in Alberta, where I live, and if you are anything like me you will be looking forward to doing some winter predator hunting. This year I am also looking forward to trying my hand at calling crows and ravens—there seems to be more of them each year and I am sure they are really putting the hurt on our game birds and songbirds. It seems to me that as hunters we can sometimes do as much to manage our wildlife resource through targeted hunting as our professional managers do through endless studies and regulations. We are truly blessed here in North America with many opportunities to pursue our hunting passion and we can all do our part to ensure that those opportunities will be available to the next generation of passionate hunters.

From all reports that I have heard, the 2015 season was a great one in the Mackenzie Mountains. We had some very miserable weather to deal with but the hunting was great. There were a lot of old rams, good numbers of caribou, and the antler growth on moose was exceptional with reports of a lot of big bulls being harvested. We had a great crop of big healthy lambs and there seemed to be a lot of caribou and moose calves. We are already looking forward to next year. The show season will be upon us before we know it. I look forward to having a visit with each one of you at one of the shows this winter. Good Hunting! Harold Grinde - President, AMMO

Greetings from the Yukon. I hope everyone had a safe and successful hunting season. It appears because of the early spring we had this year our members are seeing exceptional antler growth in our moose and caribou. With another mild winter, and low snow levels, our sheep quality was once again very respectable with good overall numbers for lamb recruitment reported throughout the Yukon.  Our membership will be looking forward to our upcoming AGM being held December 3-5th in Whitehorse, with our annual Roundup Banquet to wrap up our AGM. Our Roundup banquet has been consistently sold out, and is one of the larger community events held in Whitehorse. With a continued effort by our membership to engage in discussions with the Yukon Department of Environment to look to the future and protect critical habitat for all species of Yukon big game for the years to come. We encourage them to use the collective knowledge of our members which are in key positions to recognize the need for conservation, of not only the animals, but for habitat as well. With a new structure within YOA we have excellent participation from members which has made our Association stronger and a leading voice in conservation in the Yukon. Please look for our members at the upcoming hunt shows to book your Yukon hunt.    Good Hunting, Jarrett Deuling - Vice President YOA




It’s who we are. It’s what we do.


Greatest Hunters Convention on the Planet™ January 7-10, 2016 For more information, go to ©2015 Dallas Safari Club



SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL SCI & GOABC Together Safari Club International is proud to be a part of the GOABC. Together we accomplish much for both hunters and hunting. SCI salutes the professionalism and the passion of GOABC overall, as well as among its many members. Truly, many of the same guides are members of both organizations. British Columbia is one of the world’s prime hunting regions, and for the international hunter, a “must go” destination. As this fall hunting season winds down, it is time to look forward to next year, and very soon it will be time for the SCI Hunters’ Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 3-6, 2016 at the spectacular Mandalay Bay. SCI invites all GOABC members, their families and friends to attend the upcoming Convention where thousands of the world’s most dedicated hunters convene to talk about hunting and to book hunts.



Roundtable project, pledging $200,000 over the

where representatives of over 25 state,

next two years. DSC officials hope other

provincial, national and international sponsors will come aboard to help associations meet to discuss issues

advance the study.

important to the industry. This is the “This research isn’t just fascinating. only roundtable of its kind in the world. It’s critical to help modern society Also at the Convention, SCI hosts and understand the full scale of hunting facilitates meetings of the Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations. All of us at SCI look forward to welcoming

on this continent, and of the natural, organic, sustainable food that today’s hunters provide for their families,” said

GOABC members to the SCI Convention. Ben Carter, DSC executive director. Thank you again for your support of

Every year, some 40 million citizens in SCI in its efforts to protect hunting and the U.S. and Canada harvest protein conserve wildlife. Together we all win. sustainably from forests and fields, - Safari Club International, Phil DeLone, SCI CEO DALLAS SAFARI CLUB How Much Venison Do Hunters Harvest?

streams and lakes. The study will show just how much wild protein the two nations provide annually, and its real value to our society. The





Initiative,” will be conducted under A study launched in 2015 will measure the direction of research biologist the actual amounts of venison and Shane Mahoney, founder and CEO of

other wild protein harvested annually Conservation Visions, Inc. in North America. Researchers will Mahoney said, “The harvest and assess the nutritional, cultural and consumption of wildlife has been economic values of this harvest, as well Certainly, a large number of GOABC an integral part of the human story as the ecological costs of replacing this members exhibit at the SCI Convention, throughout the entirety of our existence. food through standard agriculture and and for that, I say THANK YOU. Agricultural and technological progress domestic livestock production. have certainly altered our direct At the SCI Convention, we host the DSC is the founding sponsor of the dependence and engagement in this International Guides, Outfitters and



process, but in many regions of the world, including the U.S. and Canada, human populations continue to rely on wild harvest for a significant part of their diet.” Harvest research will enable better understanding of the economic effects of resource management approaches, validate policy and governance structures, and empower best practices for providing sustainable use of wild protein to as many people as possible. To assist or learn more, visit - Dallas Safari Club, Ben Carter, Executive Director WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION “No Contact In the North” Legislation is part of the solution… Marketing is the other part! As the Wild Sheep Foundation’s staff continue to support northern jurisdictions in the development of new regulatory frameworks to exclude domestic sheep from thinhorn sheep range, we have turned some focus to developing a complimentary “bottomup” approach. The focus of our work during the past 2 months has been on

developing criteria and branding for a potential Wild Sheep SafeTM certification program for the domestic sheep industry. We are collaborating in the development of parallel initiatives in Montana and British Columbia, as pilot programs. In BC, the timing is good, as the BC Wild/ Domestic Sheep Separation Program (BCSSP) has the opportunity to partner with a new BC Premium Lamb branding initiative that has already formed market connections between restaurants/ distributors and lamb producers and abattoirs (i.e., slaughterhouses). BC Premium Lamb has also developed an auditing system to provide market confidence that certified farms are indeed meeting brand criteria. Premium Lamb branding includes consideration of environmental sustainability, which is where we hope to apply Wild Sheep SafeTM criteria. This is an exciting development for our “No Contact in the North” effort as it serves to build positive relationships between wild sheep conservation groups and the domestic sheep industry, as well as to raise the profile of the wild sheep-domestic sheep disease issue. From our recent experiences in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, we know education and

outreach is a critical component of our work in the North. Development of this certification program is aligning well with the development of a “top-down” regulatory approach to wild/domestic sheep contact. Criteria used to certify farms as Wild Sheep SafeTM could also potentially match criteria applied to regulate farms within wild sheep range using overarching state/ province/territorial regulations. The key Wild Sheep SafeTM criterion that will apply to the majority of domestic sheep producers will simply be that the farm is outside a defined highrisk zone around wild sheep range. In order to support both of these initiatives (i.e., bottom-up marketing and topdown regulations), we are working to accurately update BC’s wild sheep range maps. During a trip to northern BC to address the Tahltan Outfitter & Guide Council, WSF President & CEO Gray Thornton met and spent an evening with Yukon Chapter WSF President Clint Walker and YK-WSF members, along with thenMember of Parliament Ryan Leef and other Yukon leaders to discuss a variety CONTINUED ON PAGE 8




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 of topics, including our “No Contact in do the same. the North” initiative. Initially, the Grand Slam Club (beginning WSF, Wild Sheep Society of British in 1956) and then GSCO, promoted the Columbia, BC Wildlife Federation, and Grand Slam. GSCO then went on to other organizations continue their work other awards … Ovis and Capra World with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Slams, Triple Slams, Super Tens, Super Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) 25s and Super Slams. All of these award to promote development of a thinhorn platforms encourage hunting. Hunting sheep management plan for the province. has happened, and conservation followed. The Grand Slam got it all going. - Jeremy Ayotte, WSF Staff Biologist and Kevin Hurley, WSF Conservation SCI, with its awards platforms and Director record book, has done the same. Hunting has been encouraged and conservation GRAND SLAM CLUB / OVIS has happened. Would SCI be nearly as Quite often, I have to put up with ignorant successful without its record book and statements about GSCO “not really” awards programs? Surely you will agree being a conservation organization. These the answer is NO! statements usually come from sheer ignorance, but have an emotional axe to grind. Since I have mentioned it in this column before, I will not hammer away again about our mantra, “Hunting Is the #1 Conservation Tool.” However, I do want to reinforce that with some facts and observations. I consider the following

The Boone & Crockett Club (B&C) and the Pope & Young Club (P&Y), with their record books and programs, have promoted hunting, and conservation has happened.

GSCO has to be the champion of raffles with the addition of the Super Slam Raffle at the beginning of 2010. Hunt raffles statements to be absolutely true. promote hunting. Practically all hunting The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) is the organizations do it too. So, hunting is leader in selling state, provincial and promoted and conservation happens. other special big game tags and hunting So, with these statements, I ask the opportunities. The vast majority of that question: WHAT is a conservation money goes to conservation. However, organization? One that promotes hunting is an integral part of the process. hunting! GSCO is proud to be a part of the Hunting happens and conservation community of organizations that do this. happens. - Grand Slam Club/Ovis, Dennis We at GSCO do the same as WSF Campbell, Executive Director concerning special tags and special conservation hunt opportunities, but BOONE & CROCKETT in a much smaller way. Again, hunting “Fair Sport” happens and conservation happens. Words and meanings are important, that Safari Club International (SCI), Dallas is, when they are clearly understood. Safari Club (DSC) and other organizations Take “fair chase” and “sport hunting”



for example. Both are two adjectives to describe forms of hunting that are often misunderstood or misrepresented. When the word “fair” is paired with “chase,” it implies hunting is fair or equal. It is not. Hunting is not a sport like baseball or football where the participants agree to the rules of engagement beforehand. In hunting, the hunted has not agreed to anything, nor does it have an equal chance in most cases to kill the human hunter. For most species, escape is the only option. The fair in fair chase is actually based on the alternative definition of “fair” that relates to legitimate, pleasing, honorable, reasonable, genuine, or appropriate in the circumstances. Similarly, the word “sport” in the term “sport hunting” only means a sporting approach and not that hunting is a sport, which circles back to fair chase. Terms like fair chase and sport hunting both emerged at a time when “sportsmen” were looking to distinguish and distance themselves from the actions of commercial market hunters who had no code of conduct, and only killed in the most efficient means possible for economic reasons without any regard for the wellbeing or future of the hunted. Today, too many people are negatively associating hunting as a sport, as in “how could killing a wild animal for sport be an acceptable practice?” Maybe if they knew the history and the ethical, guiding principles behind hunting that extend beyond the law they might come to understand. Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for sure; people will not learn this on their own. We must teach them. Words and meaning are important. - Boone and Crockett, Keith Balfourd, Director of Marketing


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he 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

lunch, then return to await further

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

exceptionally good choice in selecting his

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looking happy and said “Let’s get word. In the meantime, we became aboard.” In a matter of minutes we were well acquainted with the third member strapped in and taxiing across Tyhee of our hunting group, John, who hails Lake, readying for takeoff. The flight from South Carolina, embarking on his was bumpy, as one might expect given first ever Canadian hunting experience. the weather conditions, but otherwise Mark and I had hunted two years uneventful. Our first stop was at a earlier with Love Brothers & Lee and we lake camp to pick up Ron and Brenda, hastened to assure John that he made an the owner/operators, and our guide, outfitter. We also advised him to stand by for a lot of humor, camaraderie, and the opportunity to be the butt of a joke or two. At 15:45 when I, along with everyone else, had become quite anxious over the situation, the pilot sauntered forth


Brandon. It was a homecoming of sorts for Mark and me because that was the camp we had successfully hunted out of in 2012. A huge set of antlers from a well weathered moose was on display with the widest grin serving to identify the man who had shot the moose. The flight from that camp over to our river camp was a short one. With the late arrival,


by Capt. R. Claude (Frenchy) Corbeille USN (Ret.)

our first day in camp was a short one that involved no hunting. While we unpacked and readied our gear, dinner was being prepared by Brenda. It was the first of many epicurean delights that would have graced the dining hall of a king. If one came intending to shed a few pounds, he would be disappointed.

entice a bull moose into becoming a bridegroom. Breakfast was served after the morning hunt and then we took to fishing. John is the consummate fly fisherman and, wielding a rod supplied by Brenda, he hauled in many nice fish; most of which were released. Mark and I fished with more conventional gear –

spinning rods with hardware lures, and The quantity, and especially the quality, of the food rivaled any meals to be we caught and released a lot of wild rainbow. We also supplied fish for lunch, served anywhere. augmented by a huge Dolly Varden trout Mark had a caribou tag and I had a hauled in by John that proved to be moose and a caribou tag. John had a excellent table fare as well. moose, caribou and wolf tag. For our first morning hunt Mark and I went For an afternoon hunt, Brandon took downstream with Brandon where the us upstream by boat, to a quiet spot latter attempted, without success, to

on the southwest bank overlooking a

large marshy meadow on the opposite side. We stayed until the onset of darkness dictated our departure and then returned to camp for dinner. John and Ron had seen a small moose, but John wanted to take home a respectable trophy to mount as well as meat for his family. For our second morning, Brandon took Mark and me further downstream, about two miles, to a promontory overlooking a large meadow interspersed with clumps of balsam fir and aspen trees. Brandon’s calling enticed one young bull to make an appearance, albeit a brief one, but he was out of range and too small for serious CONTINUED ON PAGE 14



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 consideration. He did serve to heighten our anticipation and our watching became more vigilant following his brief appearance. We returned to breakfast followed by more fishing as we wiled away the afternoon waiting for the hour to begin the afternoon hunt. We once again motored upstream and stationed ourselves in what seemed like a strategic location. Calls were answered a time or two, but no moose materialized. My pulse quickened for a brief moment when a flash of white moved through on the opposite shore. I thought I might be seeing the white mane of a mountain caribou, but it turned out to be the white patch on a pinto horse. The other Brandon, accompanied by two hunters, was coming from another camp with the five steeds we would be taking to the mountains for our hunt on day four. We ate an early breakfast that morning, stowed sandwiches and fruit in the saddle bags, loaded panniers on the pack horse, loaded ourselves, and struck out for the top of the mountain. Mark and I were guided by ‘the other Brandon’ who was Ron & Brenda’s son-in-law and owner of the horses. Access to the top required the gain of some 2,500 feet in altitude. We arrived about three hours after departure, with most of the climbing being done by the horses. The trail was a steep one, necessitating my hanging on a horse mane with one hand, with the reins in the other, leaning forward to keep from going off the fantail. Some places, such as crossing a rock slide, we had to dismount and lead the horses. Sometimes we led them just to give our butts a break and our legs a stretch. Eventually the trail mellowed out and we found ourselves ambling alongside the kick-start four-wheel drive units, searching with our eyeballs for the caribou that we believed must surely be there somewhere. We ate our lunches, then just rested and gazed; mostly through binoculars. Mark

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and Brandon wanted to have a look from an outcropping a short distance away and they asked if I would hold the horses, which I did. It seemed stupid to just stand there, and the tundra really looked inviting, so I sat down. That felt so good, that I laid down, reins clutched in my hand, and promptly fell asleep. Sometime later I was awakened by the jerking of a rein, and then I heard voices, one of which said “looks like Frenchy took a nap.” I learned later that each of them entertained the passing thought that they sure hoped I was just sleeping! Brandon then went on to say that I was the first 80-year-old they had ever brought up there. Anyway, we were up there, on a high plateau with miles and miles of grassy open land lying before us, interspersed with lakes, streams, and small clumps of brush. At one point Brandon picked up a small band of caribou in his spotting scope, too far off to tell if there was a bull among them and too far away to reach in the amount of daylight we had left. We ambled along on horseback and the thought was tossed out that we would give this area a two-day rest and then come up for another look. I was not looking forward to a re-match with that trail, but knew that I would do it if that was what it took to get a mountain caribou. Not long after we had angled back toward the trailhead that would enable our descent off this pinnacle, Brandon spotted a lone bull caribou, about a mile away and unconcerned with our presence. He announced that we would ride directly toward

it, hoping that it would see us and amble Brandon said “Okay.” I interpreted over for a better look. Caribou are that to mean the range was right. My curious creatures and frequently move interpretation was wrong and the in for a closer look at something new caribou was too far off; not too far for in the landscape. That is about what my rifle, but too far for where I held the happened. The caribou did see us and crosshairs. The caribou continued on headed in our general direction, but his circuitous route, gradually closed on a more circuitous route rather than the range, and I tried again for a shot – straight at us. Brandon dismounted and with the low lying sun angling into the directed me and Mark to do likewise. objective lens of my rifle scope. Another Then he had me follow him to a grassy miss, and then the caribou got too knoll while Mark held the horses. The much in line with Mark and the horses, caribou continued his approach, so additional shooting was out of the covering ground with deceptive speed question. We ran over to Mark while the as it trotted along. My position made a caribou stood at the crest of a distant right hand shot awkward so I opted to hill. Brandon asked Mark if he could run. Mark said “You bet I can,” and he shoot left handed, not a handicap by shed his day pack. any means. Brandon watched through

of Mark’s .338 Winchester Magnum, fired from his ported Browning A-bolt. That report was followed by a second boom, and then silence. I know Mark is a competent marksman and I believed there was a dead caribou lying on the turf. When the pair of sprinters reappeared, both wearing broad smiles, my belief was confirmed. Mark had taken a rest on a large boulder and made a killing shot from just over 300 yards. The hit was not instantly fatal and the caribou kept going, though mortally wounded, and Mark shot again. Small matter that his second shot did no further damage. The magnificent beast expired there on the tundra. The two hunters came back for me and the horses before even going his range finder, instructing me to be The two of them took off like a pair of up to see the downed animal. Brandon ready. I told him to let me know when gazelles disappearing in the distance promptly announced that we would have the range closed to three hundred yards. over the crest of the ridge. Shortly after The caribou paused, looking at us, and they disappeared I heard the loud boom CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 to work fast to finish the field dressing, caping, and packing everything on the horses in time to make it back before dark. We did not make it but we came close. Going down the mountain was

not yet eager for a re-match with the mountain. Brenda took me downstream to the beaver lodge where she attempted for most of two hours to call in a moose. Her efforts were convincing, but it

went downstream, beyond the beaver lodge, where we commanded a good view of some nice meadows interspersed with balsam fir and aspen trees. Brandon called but no response was forthcoming

at least as difficult as coming up it and I do not mind saying that my 80- yearold frame was handed about all it could take. The up side is that we made it back, partly in darkness, without mishap, due solely to the professionalism of Brandon in negotiating a treacherous trail, and to the surefootedness of his mountainbred horses. We were greeted upon our return by all the other members of our group. Never at a loss for the right words for any occasion, Ron said to me, “Sure glad to see you sitting upright in the saddle; thought you might come back draped over it.”

seemed that no moose was within earshot, so once again we returned to good coffee and a great breakfast. After breakfast we fished the wide part of the river, with Ron piloting us around in the barge-like water craft. The rainbow trout were uncommonly feisty and one that I had a hook into jumped right into the boat, where it came free of the hook. It would not have come as a surprise had it jumped out of the boat, back into the water, but Ron pounced on it before it could do so. He was counting on trout for lunch.

and no moose materialized in the meadows. The two hunters who had come over from the other camp with Brandon, the horse man, were archers, eschewing opportunities to kill with a firearm. They had gone on horseback in the early morning with Brandon guiding, headed for a high valley. They returned as darkness fell without having come within bowyer’s range of a moose. They planned to leave the next day with the horses to hunt farther to the west.

Day five found me a little stiff and sore,

16 |

On day six, as we were having our morning coffee, Ron told me to get my During the afternoon we were back with rifle and board the boat; we were going our original Brandon and once more upstream to an area where he had seen


a smaller `steak and burger` moose that I would probably like just fine. Mark came along for moral support and to observe the day’s events. We soon came upon a cow moose standing knee deep in the lake with a calf on the shore. I lost track of the calf and while I was scanning the shoreline willow growth I detected a pair of antler tips projecting above the bushes. Mark and Ron spotted the animal simultaneously and Ron shut off the engine. As we coasted silently over the still water, Ron emitted a plaintive call that sounded much like a love sick cow. The bull, walking directly away from us at the time, did a complete aboutface and commenced marching directly toward us. With his head held high, he kept coming at a steady pace until he ran out of real estate, whereupon he stopped on the bank above the water’s edge. He stood proudly with his antlers up, looking directly at us. I was once admonished by a guide for taking an end-on shot, with the guide telling me I should have waited until he turned broadside. I surveyed the situation before me, said to hell with waiting, steadied the crosshair on the chest, and fired. The moose dropped in his tracks – literally. I mean, he never took a step. I was using my favorite moose cartridge, a .300H&H with a 220 grain Nosler partition bullet over 70 grains of IMR7828, fired from a 1951 vintage Model 70 Winchester. That is a lethal combination by any standard. The moose had barely hit the ground when Ron announced “You’ll be wanting to get that one mounted.” I said “No, I don’t think so. He isn’t that good.” Ron persisted, saying that is one really nice bull. I was so concentrated on making the bullet go to the right place that I had paid scant attention to the antlers, other than to note that it was a mature animal. In the excitement of the moment none of us three folks bothered to take a landmark on where the moose stood in relation to other surroundings. When Ron beached the boat no one knew whether we were west or east of the fallen beast. Ron instructed me to sit

tight; he would go upstream and Mark would look downstream. They milled around the brush for an interminably long time and I grew restless, thinking how hard can it be to find something as big as a moose. I took a short jaunt upstream, then concluded that it had to be downstream from where we beached the boat. As I neared the boat, Ron joined up and asked how confident I was that I had made a good hit? He asked if there was any chance that I might have got off

attributed their mothers’ family ties to the canine corps. Ron and Mark brushed off my comments and just laughed uncontrollably. According to Ron, I looked like someone whose dog had just been run over by a pickup truck when he told me my moose had apparently run off. It was my turn to be the butt of a joke as I recalled the words I had used with John to prepare him for what might come his way. I would have done well to heed my own advice.

to the side a little, grazed the shoulder

We returned to camp for breakfast and slightly, causing the bull to lose his to enlist the aid of the other members balance? I did a mental re-cap of the of our group. It turned out to be an moment of truth, remaining convinced all-hands evolution with all six of us, that the bullet had indeed plowed into riding in two boats, returning for some the chest of the moose. Ron persisted photo work followed by field dressing in his wounded moose story, telling me and skinning. Ron’s initial estimate of that he would get me a pair of waders the antler quality was spot on. The big so I could walk the back of the marshy guy sported a set of large well-shaped area while he and Mark beat the bushes symmetric paddles and a like pair of on the near side. Mark then chimed in symmetrical eye guards, each sporting saying he had found some splotches of three tines. To say I was jubilant would blood but the trail vanished at the edge be a gross understatement. It was late of the marsh. I was still weighing the idea afternoon before I could keep both feet of trudging around the marsh in waders on the ground at the same time. when I looked into a depression near We had several days left on our hunt Mark’s feet, and there lay my moose, and I still carried a caribou tag, but with deader than a stone. I used some rather the horses gone, there seemed little salty language about then, selecting likelihood that I would be harvesting a words that brought into question caribou. I was more than content with whether or not the whereabouts of their fathers is a known fact, and even CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

Guide Brandon Isaac, Ron Poffenberger, author Frenchy, Charlie Semler, Mark Williams, Dr. John Steichen



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 what I had and the caribou suddenly seemed unimportant. John, on the other hand, had three un-filled tags, and his hunting continued in earnest. The rut, for the time being, seemed to have been put on hold, and no amount of calling induced any moose bulls to appear. Mark and I fished some, told stories, and readied our gear and ourselves for the fly-out.

and packed away. John set some kind together. However I still treasured the of a record in extracting his rifle from sighting of this handsome little creature. the pack, assembling it, and finding It was a fitting end to a great outing and the cartridges and boots in the duffle. soon afterward I was airborne, headed He and Ron embarked in the boat and for the camp on the big lake. That, too, motored upstream toward the trio of was a nice stopover because I was able moose. I selected a vantage point in some to make the acquaintance of Rena, the willow bushes from which I could watch other Brandon’s wife, and daughter of without being watched. Unfortunately, Brenda and Ron. The two hunters who when the boat had covered little more had spent a few days with us on the river than half the necessary distance to Because of the low water level, it was were also there and one, on his first ever enable a shot, the male of the trio took decided to use a Cessna 185 float plane moose bow hunt, had tagged a really nice leave of the scene and, after splashing to to carry people and equipment out one. It was almost an arrow unleashed the shore, disappeared into the riparian in relays, staging over at a lake camp in self defense because the moose had so trees. It was then that I discovered I was for later pickup by the Otter. On the enthusiastically responded to the calling being watched after all. A weasel dashed morning of our departure the weather of Austin, the guide, that he closed to to and fro in the bushes near me, first was reasonably good and we staged within eight yards. running toward me, then darting away, things for loading aboard the float as though it wanted to get a good look As with all good things, our hunting plane, to be done by first loading it into but not at the price of its life. For my adventure wound down as we stepped the boat, and then into the plane. While part, I considered the prospect of having aboard the Otter for the return flight. It making preparations, someone noticed a weasel make a dash up my trouser leg, is reasonable to conclude that we had a cow and calf up river, walking in on the inside, and put my heels tightly had a truly great hunting adventure. shallow water near shore, about ½ mile away. While watching the cow/calf pair, a huge bull came on the scene, striking boldly out into the lake, headed toward EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Love Bros & Lee Ltd. at 250-842-6350 or the cow. Ron told John to get his rifle, which, of course, was broken down

18 |


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WHITE BEAR Shane Ma honey is co nsidered o the leadin ne of g internati o nal authori on wildlife ties conservati on. A rare combinati on of histo rian, scien and philoso tist pher he br ings a uniq perspective ue to wildlife issues tha motivated t has and inspir ed audience around th s e world. N a med one o the 10 Mo f st Influenti al Canadia Conservati n onists by O utdoor Ca Magazine nada and nomin ated for P of the Year erson by Outdoo r Life Maga he has rece zine, ived numer ous award including s the Public Service Aw of Excellen ard ce from th e governm of Newfou ent ndland an d Labrador Internatio and nal Conserv ationist of Year by Sa the fari Club In ternationa Born and l. raised in N ewfoundla he brings nd to his writi ngs and lectures a profound commitmen to rural so t cieties and the sustainabl e use of na tural resources , including w ildlife and fish.

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The listing in May 2008 of the polar bear as “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been a highly controversial decision. In the first of a series of articles, Shane Mahoney discusses the special place this inspiring animal has held in human cultures and the complicated scenario that an interface between the climate change debate, wildlife science, and the ESA presents for hunters and the sustainable use of wildlife.


early every late winter season, the island of Newfoundland, my home, is visited by wandering giants. They appear on our ice-brushed coastal margins and snow-squalled headlands, lumbering across the land, indifferent to weather, sea, and man. Throwing their great forepaws inward, they slowly crowd both our imaginations and our lives, reminding us of a time not so long ago when the sight of the great “water bear,” as Newfoundlanders know it, would have sent every man for his rifle and the chance for fresh meat at last. Winters were long and lonely in our communities, and nothing but seals and bears made their way to our frozen shores. The sight of the white beast emerging like some animated ice form from the drifting snows was a fearful and wondrous sight, often encountered at close quarters and at night. When it stood erect at such times, looming skyward in the drifting snow, the experience was overwhelming. Most times, this was all we had—a fleeting moment of shock and awe. But sometimes the bear came within our grasp, and we took it as best we could. We raced upon it, knowing that if it made the sea our chance was lost. So many times, it succeeded and was transformed from land creature to whale in one smooth immersion in the ice-churned sea. It would emerge on some too-distant ice floe and look back upon us as a god would witness mortals. But there were times when our breathing was not too ragged, when our old guns were faithful, and when the wind and distance did not conspire against us. At these times, it fell as all great beasts do, slowly and


Of perhaps even greater importance has been the polar bear’s role in the spiritual lives of these cultures. No other animal has figured so prominently in this regard and, to this day, the polar bear remains irreplaceable to these peoples and their descendants. It is hardly surprising that an animal capable of killing adult walruses and swimming a hundred miles and more in frigid arctic seas should become the greatest of spiritual guardians to the hunting cultures that shared its frozen domain.

dreamlike. Once ours, we marveled at its beauty, size, and power and examined its every feature. Admiring the bear as we did, we were wise enough to know we could love it and eat it at the same time. Newfoundlanders are certainly not alone in their admiration for the world’s largest land carnivore. Since it was first described as a distinct species in 1774, the polar bear has been a source of fascination for people everywhere and has come to symbolize the arctic more than any other animal species. Not even the great migratory herds of caribou are equal to the great bear as a symbol of this icy world. Moving alone across the ice pack in search of seals or emerging from a snow den with newborn cubs, the polar bear is an embodiment of the arctic, a creature so finely tuned to its harsh environment that its very solitariness seems to stand as a symbol of hope for the natural world. In its unsurpassed capacity to magically transition from land to sea, Ursus maritimus, to use its scientific name, forces us to marvel at the relentless capacity of the natural world to invent and to succeed against improbable odds. Such capacities, we hope, bode well for our future and that of the polar bear itself.

There was also the strange humanness of the white bear. Like the people who shared its world, the polar bear pursued the seals, walruses, and small white whales of the Arctic Ocean; at times the females, at least, sought refuge in snow shelters, just as we did. The bear could stand erect, and when skinned, its carcass was too human in appearance to ignore. Lying there on the bloodied snow, it was truly as if a man had emerged as the hide had fallen away. Thus it is not hard to appreciate the Inuit legends that portrayed the bears as humans who donned their hides only when outdoors and visible to people. It was for these same reasons that the hunting and death of a polar bear became of such great significance to the arctic peoples and why so many elaborate rituals developed to appease and thank the great bear when it was finally taken. This spiritual human/bear relationship was to stand in great contrast to the attitudes of most early European explorers who found their way to the lands of arctic cultures. Seeking fame and the fabled Northwest Passage, these bold adventurers entered a foreign and dangerous world where the polar bear was to be feared and shot at every opportunity. There was CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

For indigenous peoples, the great white bear has long been an important provider. For the Inuits, the Chukchis, the Russian Pomors, and various other cultures, the polar bear has been a source of meat and fat, of fur and sinew. Humans have hunted the polar bear since our paths first crossed, perhaps 4,000 to 5,000 years ago in Canada, and for much longer periods in other arctic regions of the world. MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 to be no mythology now, no respectful ritual at death. Only fear, machismo, and greed were to play a part in the animals’ demise. Distant from any higher purpose, such killings persisted and gradually increased in scale from the sixteenth century onward, until by the early decades of the twentieth, a commercial harvest of polar bears was well established in parts of northern Eurasia and was emerging in North America as well. Even nanuuk, as the Inuit call the great bear, could become a commodity, it would seem. While never especially large, these harvests did lead to local population declines and to concerns for the species across its range. Interestingly, these concerns were to culminate in the 1970s in a rare cooperative effort by arctic nations on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Proof that the polar bear could still inspire the human imagination, such efforts led to the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, signed by Canada, Denmark, Norway, the USA, and the Soviet Union in 1973. In addition to endorsing strict controls on polar bear harvests, this agreement also led to an extensive program of international research on polar bears and moved the scientific management of this species to the forefront of

concern. It also banned hunting of polar bears from aircraft and icebreaker watercraft, activities that had slowly been increasing before these multinational discussions were underway. The International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears was an unbelievable achievement for its time and laid the foundation for an incredibly successful management system for regional polar bear populations world-wide. As the policy matured, it would see ever-greater involvement by indigenous arctic communities and incorporation of their traditional knowledge in the management plans for this great animal, and sustainable harvests that brought great benefits to the bears and the native cultures themselves. Little did the scientists and policy makers at the time dream that thirty-five years later, their approaches would be radically transformed, confronted by a different world view and the imminent emergence of two conceptual and legislative giants: climate change and the Endangered Species Act. My next article will discuss the profound implications this new reality poses for the polar bear and for hunting itself.

The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) wants to start 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 seem to only care about their sport. 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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Carl Chappell from AB, guided by his son Tanner, took this moose while with Love Bros. & Lee

Gary Milligan of BC took this Dall sheep with guide Brady Lough of Nahanni Butte Outfitters

Peter Scholz from ON took this black bear while with Copper River Outfitters

Jeff Skinner from MI took this cougar with BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters

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Tyler Lisonbee from UT took this goat while with Love Bros. & Lee

Mark Sheldon of OR took this mountain goat while with Whiteswan Lake Outfitters

Lance Kovar from TX with his mountain goat he took with Nass Valley Guiding and Outfitting

David Pierce from WI took this archery moose with guide Don Burt of Nahanni Butte Outfitters

Guides Trina, Brodie, and Tyler of Scoop Lake Outfitters with hunter Bob McGee after taking this Stone sheep

Bob Capece of NJ with his moose taken with guide outfitter Scott Fontaine of Moon Lake Outfitters

Matt Bradshaw from CA with his mountain goat taken with Silent Mountain Outfitters

Dick Butler from CA took this archery moose with Collingwood Brothers Guides and Outfitters



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believe that it is in a man’s genes to want to be faster, stronger, smarter, better and just plain more successful than the next man. We are confronted with this urge day and night and never stop trying to reach this goal. It all started way back in the Stone Ages with the Homo Erectus. The urge to hunt, the need to be better than our neighbors is displayed especially by the things we aspire to, the things we surround ourselves with. In our early days a fight with an inferior weapon usually proved fatal – as was going after a dangerous animal with the wrong weapon.

If you can identify yourself with the above lines, sooner or later you will find yourself at Kirchgasse 24 in Ferlach, Austria with the master craftsman gunsmith Peter Hofer. Right now, he is the most outstanding gunsmith.

His work is absolutely perfect. Anyone who has ever had the rare opportunity to look into the inside of one of Peter Hofer’s weapons, will be reminded of a clockmaker’s precision, even if the gun were still in the middle of the production process. No matter that many parts are Peter Hofer’s reputation didn’t come hidden forever in the inside mechanics easily through luck or family tradition. of the gun or rifle, it is filed and polished It is the result of permanent research to the highest standards before being and development. Every single weapon built into the weapon. and every single part is worked with greatest precision. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

Peter Hofer Tiger Rifle Calibre 375/375 H&H



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 Nobody asks how much time goes into the making of such perfection. After all, no one wonders how long the creation of an art masterpiece may have taken. How long did it take Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa? That’s totally beside the point, the important thing is that da Vinci’s name will forever be remembered in connection with the beauty of his masterpiece. An artist like Peter Hofer isn’t in direct competition with his gunsmith colleagues, he lives and works in a world of his own. On the other hand he has respect for the quality and ingenuity of his fellow gunsmiths when he sees it. But he will never copy anything, his creations are all absolutely unique.

imperfections away and putting it back together again over and over again until the fit is absolutely perfect. Now one might think the fit doesn’t need to be so perfect anyway, as long as the weapon functions, but without a perfect fit, the question remains how long will it function?

small rifle barrel in caliber .17 Hornady hidden under the rib between the two shotgun barrels, allowing the hunter to shoot for example a fox at 100 meters during a driven hunt.

At around the same time as building the above mentioned shotgun, Peter No matter how many different models also developed a special double barrel Peter Hofer offers, they all have one drilling in caliber 8x75RS, 6.5x65R, thing in common: they are all tested .410Mag with sidelocks and with a over a period of several years in extreme special four-position selecting system conditions, especially in respect to their integrated in the sliding safety. It shows reliability. The weapons’ special features how much of an all-round talent Peter is, were developed keeping their practical use that he took a part of a bicycle gearshift in mind and with input from experienced made by Shimano (one of the best makers of bicycle gearshifts in the world) and hunters and gunsmith experts. modified their technique and adapted it Besides the perfect technical execution, to be used for the safety and selection Anyone can imagine that fitting pieces Peter Hofer’s ingenuity is remarkable. His system of his double barrel drilling. perfectly that will constantly be in motion work shows so much creativity and is the in a sliding mechanism will take a lot of Hofer developed the lightest over & result of so many innovative ideas, it would time. It would be a lot easier to allow a under shotgun rifle, only slightly wider be difficult to find his equal worldwide. tolerance and not have to go through than half of a pack of cigarettes and taking the mechanism apart, filing some He once built a shotgun which had a weighing only 1.9 kg.


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32 |


Wherever in the world Peter Hofer exhibited his collection in the last year, his “Hummingbird rifle” the world’s smallest double barrel rifle in caliber .17 Hornady was the center of attention. It weighs only 0,9 kg, it is a miniaturized construction but technically identical to a conventional big game double barrel rifle, it sports a regular stock length, but otherwise is sensationally small.

quintuples the real challenge for Peter Hofer does not lie in ‘big and bigger’, because only ‘small and smaller’ has a limit. Peter Hofer himself says “The more I work with the smallest dimensions, the less significant normal and bigger dimensions become and so the ‘small’ shows its true size.” That such a weapon, like all of the others that Peter makes, shoots precisely and that it functions perfectly under any conditions is a matter of course.

In recent years, Peter Hofer has concentrated on building miniaturized weapons like the “Hummingbird rifle” on special Obviously, the engraving has no influence on the shooting order from his customers in the USA, the United Emirates of precision. However, rounding off such a Arabia and Russia. technically perfect concept with an Even though there is nothing that Peter Hofer wouldn’t build CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 – triple barrels, repeating rifles, break-down rifles, double barrels, including the world’s biggest double barrel caliber 4 bore, a gun with a weight of 12 kg and a barrel with an inner diameter of 25.4 mm and able to shoot 130 gram projectiles, where the whole bundle of barrels, of the world’s smallest double barrel would fit inside the 4 bore single barrel and beside all other Peter Hofer special triples, special quads and special

Peter Hofer Single shot rifle Calibre 300 WIN Mag. with exchangeable barrel in calibre 243 WIN Mag.



The absolute miniaturization while upholding full functionality has been achieved. The double barrel rifle presented here, with all the mechanics contained within it, represents the maximum of minimalism. Every single part was crafted from the full material especially for this round body double barrel rifle. Every part in this double barrel rifle is newly developed and cannot be compared to the parts in a traditionally built model.




CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 artistic engraving is simply a must.

handcrafted hunting weapon. But one thing can be taken for And so Peter Hofer designed a very granted, you would have to invest special potpourri of fantastic butterfly a tidy sum to get the best – but portraits for his ‘Butterfly’. Multicompared with the quality and colored precious metals were used for value appreciation you receive seven layers of butterflies, which were in turn the sum becomes paltry. put on top of each other and next to each With a Peter Hofer weapon you other and then laid into steel and finest will show that it is part of your life Bouttini engravings were worked into philosophy that only the best is good the inlays. enough for you. A new enameling technique was Of course, those who belong to the elite developed especially for the unique group who can afford such a weapon Butterfly double-barrel. This new are also usually very knowledgeable in technique gave the artistic engraving the laws of economics and realize concept blazing colors which had never that you can’t get great value for little existed before on a hunting rifle. money. Wherever you ‘turn up’ with a As far as prices of a “Peter Hofer” are Peter Hofer Jagdwaffen, everyone will concerned, we were always requested recognize that you have also recognized not to mention the price of a Peter Hofer this principle.

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from a LEGAL Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer and writer living in Denver, Colorado. He lectures on ethics and persuasion at law conferences and to the general public. His book, The Good, The Bad and the Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values, is available on ( He is currently writing the book The Honorable Hunter: Defending and Advancing Our Hunting Heritage. He can be contacted at

PART 3: Arguing to Win The trophy hunting classification is an ideological attack against hunting and against animals masquerading as superior and sophisticated moral judgment, compassion and sensibilities. The rhetoric is clever, indeed, Darwinian, in that the anti-trophy hunting arguments continue because they are successful, and their vagueness allows them to adapt and mutate when a rational refutation of one of their arguments is made. These arguments and their effectiveness continue primarily because hunters have not created a unified persuasive refutation of them.


may rightly be judged and deemed deficient. The informed hunter should, thus, be able to refute not only the content of the attacks but the ethics of the persons making the attacks. Hunters must fight the impulse to be on the defensive. They must stop trying to prove what they are not. Hunters can argue their attackers don’t ‘understand’ the value of hunters until Kim Kardashian gets a doctorate in nuclear physics. Hunters will never win that argument. Rather, hunters must aggressively, persuasively and unceasingly establish what they are: the one force that sustains the survival of the majestic animals. The arguments must be focused; the message united. Hunters must excise from their minds, as if a tumor from their bodies, the desire to win the support and approval of those that seek to destroy hunting. At the core of the anti-trophy hunting arguments, and the persons making the arguments, are the assumptions that the animals will always be there; that the infrastructure of government and legitimate conservation groups will always be there, and some force, unidentified, will save the animals from the policies the anti-trophy hunters want to implement. They want all the dynamics of hunting to change, yet they do not want the success of past policies to disappear.

They wax unendingly and eloquently about the beauty and nobility of animals, especially the ones they find attractive, Always on the defensive, hunters tend to miss the big picture but their actions and the consequences of their actions do not of the anti-trophy hunting narrative: a contempt for truth, a support their words. To be blunt, they advance a lie. contempt for animal survival and the enthusiastic willingness to abuse words to silence, threaten and bully those that “The hunters have the better arguments,” Geist says, “but we dare disagree. The anti-trophy hunting agenda is carefully don’t have a uniform delivery system.” The hunters’ task is to constructed to be, in Keith Balfourd’s (Boone and Crockett Club) analyze the underlying logic and morality of the anti-trophy words, a perfect weapon to be used in a reptilian predatory hunting attacks and fight back with confidence, logic effort to control people and to control animals, even to the and moral certainty. The cost of failure is high, not so point of extinction. It’s not about animals; it’s about power. The much for the hunters but for the animals. Once they animals might all die, but their supporters had the best posters. are gone, after a generation they won’t be missed at all, and all of humanity will be diminished One of the great frailties of the human mind is the belief, from that loss. sometimes unshakeable, that other people would think like you if only they had the information you had; if they had your wisdom, judgment and moral refinement. The belief is wrong. People can believe in evil and can ignore consequences obvious to anyone willing to look. Study Feral’s and Oxley’s analyses. Only a fool would consider them uninformed or naïve. In anti-trophy hunter arguments we observe a witches brew of intentional ignorance, cheap self-righteousness, a near pathological need to feel good about themselves and a virulent rejection of reality. Possessed of an alleged altruism that is, in fact, pathological in its lethal consequences, the moral character and whimsical arrogance of the anti-trophy hunter accusers MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


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eing from Pennsylvania my dream was to hunt sheep. Any sheep. In my home state you don’t find much more than a deer in your crosshairs, which are almost never farther than 100 yard shots. However, a career in public service and sheep hunting doesn’t financially equal out. Years ago, I decided that a goat hunt would be just as challenging. I don’t think the mountain goat gets the credit it deserves. Probably because their horns are not much of what, most hunters, would consider a trophy. I say that’s all wrong. I spent weeks looking for an outfitter. I finally settled on Rocky Mountain High Outfitters and after a few conversations with the owner, Marty Lightburn, I booked a goat hunt in October. I know less than a handful of people who have gone on a goat hunt and I have to thank them for their stories. They helped me mentally prepare for of the treacherous terrain and steep mountains. I like to think I’m already in pretty good shape, but I spent the few months before my hunt preparing by hiking mountains anyway. No terrain at home can prepare you for altitude and 45 to 50 degree slopes. I don’t get to vacation very often, so I drove the trip with my brother-in-law and did some sightseeing along the way. We arrived in B.C. the Sunday night before my hunt. I contacted Marty and got directions to his place for the next morning. From Marty’s home we were about an hour drive on logging roads to our base camp. From the base camp we drove another hour to the horses and then rode into the mountains for another

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by Chris Rothermel

hour to hour and a half. For me, doing a trip like this, was just part of the adventure. On the first morning, while riding, we stopped to do some spotting. As luck would have it, we spotted a nice mature billy on the mountain. We rode about a mile, tied up the horses, geared up and started hiking. I knew 20 minutes into the hike that this was going to be a hard hunt. I was already sucking wind but figured most of that was due to the altitude. Evan and I made the hike up in about an hour and a half. I held him up, I think he’s part goat himself, I’d swear it! On his own it would have been half that amount of time. We moved across the mountain to the edge of a bowl area and got set up. It was foggy and hard to see but Evan said we had a 250 yard shot. Perfect I thought, because I had practiced my shooting up to 300 yards and knew where the bullet should be out to about 400. Or so I thought. Suddenly, we could see the goat! It was a short excited panic getting into place. Evan ranged it, 409 yards. I could feel myself getting nervous. I knew the 300WSM could handle the shot. After referring to my ballistic chart with Evan, my 300 line on the top of the goat’s back should drop the bullet right into the kill zone. We waited for the goat to stand. I was shaking. I’ve never had any animal that wasn’t a white tail deer in my crosshairs, and the pressure of knowing I probably couldn’t afford to do this twice settled in. When the goat stood, Evan whispered to take the shot. I missed completely! Now, I was really rattled. I didn’t come all this way to miss. The fog had now settled in and closed us down for the day. I can tell you that there is nothing like replaying that nightmare in your mind. It’s kind of life changing. Definitely a lesson for the next hunt, if there ever is one. The alpine was fogged in on Wednesday so we spent the day looking for moose. Although, the time of year I chose to goat hunt was not the best time of year to moose hunt. I didn’t care, my dream was the goat. After my embarrassing display under pressure we did some target practice. Perfect shots at 100 and 400 yards. That only meant that my nerves had gotten to me. Marty decided that any tree out to 400 yards was definitely in trouble the rest of the week. Luckily, I’m the type of person to laugh at myself and roll with punches. Nothing like learning lessons thru male bonding. It toughens you up.


The next morning the skies were clear and blue; and after a short discussion on what location to hunt, Marty decided we were going for the same goat. It’s hard to walk away from an area where you knew there was a good billy. We spotted the goat in the exact same spot, what are the odds? We hiked up again. In only an hour this time. It was only the CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


Chris Rothermel and his goat

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 3 of us this time as my brother in law chose to stay in camp and get a fire going.

whisper screaming back at him. I couldn’t find him in the scope! I could feel my feet losing grip.

On the same ledge at 400 yards again was a nanny goat, with a kid tucked tight in behind her. Definitely not what we were looking for. Marty figured he had to be close. After waiting for 45 minutes or so Marty decided we needed to hike higher. It was a short hike he assured me, but Marty lied. I told him so and he just laughed at me.

I found the goat in my sight, I shot, and missed! Evan said “that was 5 feet over his back. Hold dead on! Hold dead on!” Realizing the recoil wasn’t going to send me down the mountain, I settled in. The next shot was through the heart at 120 yards. He took 4 more steps and laid down.

We broke out of the tree line and approached the top of a creek at about 6500 ft. The snow was getting deeper and we stopped to glass. Marty spotted a single line of tracks above the area where the nanny was bedded. Evan was about 20 yards from us checking out a lower bowl. Unknown to us while we glassed the opposite direction, Evan had peeked into the bowl and spotted our goat at 20 yards and moving away. I was kind of shocked later he didn’t just bolt, like deer do. The goat just calmly started walking away.

Getting to my goat was an experience in itself. Walking along steep ledges and cliffs in the ice and snow really gets your heart pumping. I had worried the goat wouldn’t drop where he was standing and tumble down the mountain. Lucky for me, this wasn’t the case. We harvested the meat, caped the goat, and packed it all back down the mountain. This hunt was definitely an experience of a lifetime. I don’t think I could have picked a better outfitter and I couldn’t be happier. A few pointers for guys like me. Trekking poles are your friends on those mountains. It’s just like a deer in the crosshairs, no different than home. Wear wool, you’ll thank me later, and find a place near home to practice shooting to about 400 yards. It’ll save you some heartache and some joking from the boys.

The next two minutes is a blur. Evan was throwing snowballs at us to get our attention. Marty just whispered to grab the rifle and go. I was scrambling. I handed the rifle to Evan and started climbing as fast as I could. It was only 10 feet or so, but it seemed to be straight up covered in ice and snow. I slipped   backwards twice getting there and just as I was reaching for the rifle slipped again. Evan grabbed me by the shoulder and heaved as I pushed my way up. He gave me the rifle and was telling me to shoot. Hold dead on for 100 yards he said. I was

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EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Rocky Mountain High Outfitters at 250-429-3560 or


Contact: CHRIS & SHARRON McKINNON PO BOX 89 Calling Lake, AB T0G 0K0


(P) 780-331-2440


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t all started back in 2011 when my good friends, Perry and Bryan of Kansas River Valley Outfitters, recommended Mike Danielson of Little Dease Ventures. After visiting with Mike at the GSCO show in 2012, I booked two moose hunts to take place in September of 2014 during the rut. By the time 2014 came I had gotten to know Mike and I couldn’t wait to go hunting with him. I phoned my good friend and hunting buddy, Alan, to join me and he didn’t hesitate.

After the exciting

On the 19th of September Alan and I departed from Denver for Dease Lake BC. There we met up with Mike and his guide Jason. The following day we trailed the horses into a cabin that was in the middle of nowhere. Mike had started putting cabins in his hunting area a few years ago. They were great for warming up and drying out at the end of each day. After a nice warm cooked meal, we all got organized and crawled in our bags for the night. Anxiously we awaited the hunt to start the next day.

spotted one good bull in the group. Since

After breakfast on day one we climbed up a hill right behind camp that gave us a vantage point overlooking a huge valley floor. There was a bull about a mile across the valley walking away from us. However, we couldn’t get a clear look through the scope with all the trees in the way, so Jason said he might be able to call him in. Jason stood up and started calling. Alan and I watched in disbelief as the bull turned and started coming across the valley. He came towards us without hesitation. We

two hundred yards behind a tree. I brought my gun up just

scrambled to get our gear packed and threw our guns over our

first two hours of our hunt we hiked back and saddled the horses. Then we trailed an hour up to another lookout. It wasn’t long before Jason spotted some caribou feeding on a hillside just a couple miles away. He I had gotten a tag back in town, off we went. The caribou grazed in the heavy timber as we trailed towards them. Hoping they’d come back out to feed we decided we should wait until afternoon. We found a nice place to rest overlooking the draw they went down. Two hours later some cows and a smaller bull came back out onto the hillside. Intently we continued to look into the timber trying to find the bigger bull. Before we knew it, there he was, as he stepped out perfectly broadside. With one shot, he fell instantly and I harvested my first caribou. Meanwhile, Alan had captured the whole thing on video for me. We all celebrated and watched the replay. After we took some photos we worked to get him caped out. Then we loaded up all the meat and headed back to camp. It was a great first day to say the least. Now we were even more excited for the

shoulders. We closed the distance around three hundred yards days to come. to a knob. When we looked around the corner he was already within three hundred yards of us. After looking at him closer, he needed about another year to get bigger; so we decided to pass on him. He put on a show and closed to forty yards for about fifteen minutes. He may have been in trouble if I would have brought my archery equipment along.

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We spent the next couple of days looking over several moose from our lookout. The rut was just starting, so we weren’t in any hurry to pull the trigger. During the second and third days, we watched several cows wade into a lake and feed on the plants. Their calves ran around the shoreline eager to join them, but couldn’t muster up the courage to do so. It

MEMORIES by Brandon Reystead

truly was a magnificent sight to see. Numerous bulls

came into view. The cows headed our way towards the lake and the bull followed. Before I left home, I would often think disappear back into the timber. One particular bull caught about what kind of bull I’d like to harvest. This bull is what Alan’s eye. If we didn’t have any luck in a few days we I had envisioned. He was mature, and his points were worn would try to find him again. down to the paddles. It didn’t take long to tell Jason I was On the third day, as I was scanning through my scope, something very interested in this bull. We took off down the hill, finding stood up. I soon realized it was a grizzly bear. Alan had a tag. ourselves five hundred yards away, but almost out of cover. We knew the bear was heading downwind of us, so we hustled Jason started calling by raking trees and grunting. Amazingly, down to a ridge. It would give Alan a four hundred yard shot. within a few minutes, he pulled the bull away from the two The bear never showed, he gave us the slip in the tall brush. cows. He kept calling and the bull closed the distance to one Thirty minutes later from our perch, we watched as the bear hundred yards, stepping perfectly broadside. I had my first went up and over a mountain. It’s amazing how they can cover moose! so much distance in such a short amount of time. came into the lake. They would check the cows and then

While glassing on the fourth day, a mature bull with two cows CONTINUED ON PAGE 48 MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 47 Alan was probably beginning to wonder if he came along to video or hunt but I knew he was just as excited as I was. We have great respect and support for each other. Before the stalk I had asked if he was interested in the bull. He said, “nope you get him,” and on we went without another thought. If you and a buddy are going on a trip like this, discuss these things, as you will encounter them. Alan likes “gnarly” horns and antlers. I like the more “typical” look. It doesn’t matter if it’s deer or sheep. We continued on to look over my moose, and took some time to admire this beautiful animal. They are so large in size it really is mind blowing. Once again, we spent the majority of the day caping and caring for the meat. We made it back to camp with an hour or so of daylight left. We hung the meat and unsaddled the horses. Before the sun went down, Alan and Jason started to cook supper. I went up to the lookout by camp to scan the area. Actually, it was more about enjoying the recent events that had just unfolded around me. As my thoughts drifted to how lucky I truly was to be in this beautiful country, I spotted another good bull! Even better he was coming towards our camp! This looked similar to the bull Alan liked with all his “gnarly” points. I ran down to the guys and let them know about the bull. They immediately stopped cooking. The bull was three quarters of a mile away when I first spotted him, so we decided to go to a dry pond area not far from camp. This would hopefully put us in the bulls path. We ran there and got set up on the west bank. Instantly, Jason let out a grunt. We were shocked when the bull answered and was within fifty yards. At first we couldn’t see him, but then out of nowhere, he was standing on the east bank staring right at us. A quick look from Jason confirmed it was a good bull. He said shoot and Alan didn’t hesitate. The big bull stumbled down the embankment he had just came up. We were all celebrating just as the sun was

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going down. From the time I spotted the bull, to the time we got him, was exactly thirty minutes. This was Alan’s first bull moose as well, and number two down for the day! It made for a late night but two great bulls were well worth it. Over the next two days we prepared the capes and enjoyed camp life. We cooked several meals using the fresh moose and caribou meat that hung from one tree to another around camp. All of us shared hunting stories and played the previous day’s activities over and over. On day seven Alan still had a caribou tag in his pocket, so we headed to another area. The day before we had noticed some caribou high on the ridges from camp. Once there, we weren’t glassing long and again, Jason spotted the bulls a half mile away. There was a bull that looked legal and another bull that was definitely legal. We cinched up the horses and headed towards the now bedded group. Since the thermals had the wind going up the mountain, we thought the chances were very good to sneak within shooting range. As we rounded the corner where the bulls were, the wind nailed us on the back of the neck. We watched as they all went up and over a mountain. In no time at all they were just out of range for a clean ethical shot. We sat in disbelief on what just unraveled and laughed about how crazy these mountain caribou are living in such extreme country. Deciding we had done all we could in the area, we headed back to camp for an early supper. Once back in camp we started thinking about packing all our trophies to the mid-point for extraction. We had one more day to hunt, but when we found out snow was scheduled to move in, we thought we better get organized and fly out early. Getting stranded this late in the hunt can sometimes lead to a several day delay. We didn’t want to gamble with Mother Nature. Once packed with all our gear and trophies, we rode to the extraction lake the following morning. After a couple hours of waiting due to nasty weather, the float plane arrived and we were flown back to Dease Lake. Mike was there to greet us. We enjoyed some good fellowship with

Mike and started our journey home the following day after a After watching them, Jason thought he knew exactly where warm shower and home cooked meal. they were going. After a short wait we made our way down to start the stalk. Mike stayed on the ridge with a spotting scope Our guide Jason was above and beyond our expectations. He in case the sheep snuck out on us. An hour later we spotted was always up before dawn and worked until well after dark them bedded down nearby. We crawled within 381 yards and every night. Each morning he would be up cooking breakfast before I knew it I had my first stone sheep. After five days of before we even stirred. Then while we were eating he would bad weather, this day was so textbook. It came together just gather the horses every day without hesitation. This is when like Jason had mentioned the night before. Even a little eerie I learned he was Mike’s Stone sheep and mountain goat in a way. He thought with the forecast being nice and sunny guide. He had been guiding sheep for several years for other we’d have a ram by noon. It was now 12:15. outfitters. I knew from Jason’s work ethic that I was going to be signing up with Mike to be sheep hunting in 2015. Mike got to watch the whole thing unfold through the spotting scope from above! After some celebrating and respectful So there we were in August 2015 where I arrived in Dease Lake handshakes, we turned around and could faintly see Mike. He two days before season. After a day of gathering groceries and was pumping his arms in the air. It took us a couple of hours packing, Mike and I trailed the horses eight hours to camp. We to take care of the beautiful sheep and get our packs loaded got everything set up only to watch it rain on and off over the with the meat, cape, and horns. Thankfully, Cheyenne let us next five days. We had just a few instances when we could put any extra luggage we had in her pack so we could haul glass. Even then, the weather was miserable, and Mike and the sheep. She never missed a beat and seemed to be soaking I darn near “huddled up” on many occasions. I know many up the experience. Then we hiked back up to Mike for even of you are thinking “been there!” In the meantime, Jason had more celebration. All in all it took us five hours from the time been scouting with another hunter, who had tagged out in the we left him to when we returned. Then back down the other first two days in a different area. His intentions were to come side to camp we went. The ram had 13” bases and was right take over for Mike on my hunt if his hunter tagged out early. at 36” in length. Truly a dream come true. They did and up the trail he came. Since the weather was expected to finally let up for a few days, Jason brought along Worn out, we decided the next day was a camp day to rest his 13 year old daughter Cheyenne to help with everyday our backs and legs. Mike trailed out to get other camps set chores. She proved herself and did a great job for us in the up the following morning. This was for the soon to days to come. Jason knows his sheep and he knows the areas. be moose hunters arriving in September. It is As with many good sheep guides, he craves the challenge. His mind blowing how much work goes in knowledge became a great advantage for us the following to this country to make it easier day. Hell, he is even a great chef! While Mike and I were still on the mountain the day he arrived, he cooked a very tasty CONTINUED ON spaghetti dinner that warmed us up when we got back later PAGE 50 that evening. The next morning, all four of us marched up the mountain behind camp. Once on top, Mike spotted some rams moving in the basin below us.



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49 for the hunters. The remoteness of the area requires a lot of maintenance. From clearing trails to keeping camps in order, Mike and his crew do a fabulous job of keeping everything maintained. Knowing the drive Jason has when mountain hunting, I knew I couldn’t think about going into the bush without having a second tag in my pocket. Unfortunately, for the mountain goats it was the only other species open at that time of year. Mike and I had seen several good goats during previous days. We knew that there were a few goats in the cliffs not far from where we got my ram. On August 8, Jason, Cheyenne, and I headed up the mountain searching for a mature billy. After glassing for a couple of hours in the cliffs, Jason asked if I’d like to go for a short hike to warm up a bit. We were all shivering, so I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Only thirty minutes

later Jason spotted a billy as we came around a corner. He was two hundred and eighty six yards across a boulder field. Jason confirmed he was a good size billy so I snuck into position. With the help of a boulder I got a good rest and took my first mountain goat. At the shot he fell about fifteen feet and amazingly didn’t move. If he would’ve rolled at all, it was a fifteen hundred to two thousand foot drop on the opposite side of the mountain from camp. Thank you billy and thank you Federal ammunition! We all sat in awe, admiring the old billy. He had one horn measuring 10 1/4 inches and we talked about what kind of nasty winters in this range he must have survived over the years. This was another very extreme and fascinating animal to encounter first hand. After a few moments to take it all in we loaded everything up and began side hilling back down to the horses. By four that afternoon we arrived back in camp. Getting back to camp early gave us plenty of time to get the cape salted and meat hung. That night Jason cooked goat back strap on the fire and we had a wonderful meal to celebrate two great

years and a lot of firsts for me in BC. I would like to thank my wife and kids first and foremost for putting up with me and my adventures. My wife has Lyme disease and it’s been a different uphill battle that does not involve mountains and is much harder. She’s been in and out of treatment for several years. God willing, she will hopefully be able to once again climb a real mountain with me someday, pain free. I would also like to thank Mike Danielson, whom I consider to be a great friend. He is so soft spoken and has a giant heart; he cares deeply for positive outcomes from not just his hunts but for life in general. He lost a son several years ago and cherishes every day on this earth. Mike does his part to make this world a better place, and has given me huge life lessons being a father myself. Last but not least, Jason Trudel, for the determination and the drive it takes to be a great sheep guide. I believe he has found his home with Little Dease Ventures and it won’t be the last you hear of him. It definitely won’t be the last time I hunt with him. That reminds me, I still need a grizzly up there, hmmm.......

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can reach Little Dease Ventures at 250-771-3819 or

50 |


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NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: October 8, 2015 GOABC COMMITS $250,000 TO WILDLIFE STEWARDSHIP PARTNER PROGRAM Supports sustainable hunting and the public right to hunt and fish Today the GOABC announces a 5-year, $250,000 commitment to a new provincial Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program, demonstrating the role of the hunter conservationist in wildlife management. The Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program will provide annual funding of $50,000 per year for community-based wildlife stewardship initiatives. Recently, the hunting community has been facing unprecedented attacks in the media. Anti-hunting activists, including some in the provincial and national media, are attempting to impose their own personal beliefs and opinions on the hunting community. They are attempting to divide hunters based on their citizenship, financial position or hunting motivations, believing a house divided cannot stand. Hunters, however, are united in their commitment to sustainable, science-based wildlife management for the benefit of wildlife. Hunting is an important part of the social fabric and economy of rural communities, and hunters do not only hunt for the benefit of organic, healthy meat, they hunt for the social, recreational and spiritual aspects of hunting. Hunters are not mere observers of nature, they are participants. Sustainable hunting is recognized worldwide as an important tool in wildlife management, including population control and to reduce animal habituation. The GOABC supports sustainable hunting and the public right to hunt and fish. We endorse the Province of BC’s science-based, precautionary, and risk-adverse approach to wildlife harvest, and its commitment to conservation, respect for First Nations harvest needs, and the Public Right to Hunt and Fish. We continue to support the ethical and sustainable harvest of all big game species, including grizzly bear hunting and predator control programs in British Columbia. Hunting enjoys strong support and wide ranging acceptance due to the passion and stringent ethical standards amongst hunters. A recent Insights West poll reported 72% - 80% of British Columbians support hunting for sustenance reasons. The fair chase hunting tradition is strong, united and here to stay. This initiative is another example of hunters giving back to benefit wildlife. The Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program (WSPP) is designed to enhance partnerships between hunters, First Nations and others who care about wildlife. WSPP funds can be used as seed dollars to leverage larger projects, professional fees to design projects for submission to Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and other funding organizations, and education programs on the sustainable use of wildlife. For more information please contact Scott Ellis at or 604-541-6332.

Wildlife Stewardship is our Priority™ 52 |



Dall Sheep • Mt. Goat • Mt. Caribou • Alaska -Yukon Moose

Backpack Hunts enjoyed by all – using Bushplanes and Helicopters Phone: (867) 399-3194 Werner and Sunny Aschbacher Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada NORTHWEST TERRITORIES – CANADA MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


If hell has willows, devils club, and huge fallen trees then from now on I will behave myself...


ue to the heavy snow the willows and trees were draped onto the road. We cut several fallen trees with an axe and a saw and maneuvered under some giant leaning ones. Chris even jumped several trees up to 30” diameter with the 4 wheeler. On one such jump the hitch broke on the trailer which pulled the bolts out. After analyzing the situation and contemplating what we could use for washers Chris suddenly had an idea. With a grin, she pulled out a can of beans which according to her had travelled in the 4 wheeler for the past ten years. She cut off each end and I punched holes in the middle and there we had two washers large enough to cover the torn holes and off we went. We pushed through the willows with the 4 wheeler until they became so thick we had to cut our way forward. After battling 6 hours to travel 8 miles we arrived at the trailhead which had been cleared a couple years prior. We hiked as fast as possible, our footsteps quietly echoing through the most beautiful and serene ancient forest of cedar, Englewood spruce, Douglas fir and hemlock. It was 3 PM and it had been a long day already when we arrived to sit under two giant cedars in the hopes of a grizzly appearing

54 |


from the tall vegetation. I was silently thinking how long we would have to wait before starting our journey back to camp. It had been 30 minutes and Chris decided to hike a short distance downhill to glass the bottom end of the clearing. Suddenly a grizzly appeared walking onto a snow bank 200 yards away and laid down. I frantically got her attention as she was getting ready to leave. With a pounding heart I setup my shooting sticks and prepared for a shot if she gave me the OK to shoot. It all began when I met Chris Franke of Mountain Spirit Outfitters at the Missoula, Montana outdoor show. As the Executive Director of the Montana Wild Sheep Foundation I was manning a booth adjacent to her and for the next two days discussed her grizzly hunts, success rates and quality of animals in the Cariboo Region in British Columbia (BC). I had been on 12 outfitted hunts on the North American and Asian continents including 4 trips to Alaska to hunt brown bears. My goal was a well-furred 9’ plus boar; in the past I had turned down sows and 9’ plus bears because they were rubbed.


by Jim Weatherly

I decided to hunt with Chris for grizzly and black bear. I have to admit I wondered how hunting with a female outfitter would compare to my previous hunts with all-male outfits. She assured me she had plenty of years of experience and would personally guide my hunt. During the following year we corresponded by email, planning the hunt dates, and logistics for the upcoming hunt. Chris suggested that I be flexible with my dates as there had been record snowfall that winter. So I cleared my calendar for the better part of May up until the first half of June. I didn’t want to be embarrassed so I spent the winter and spring working out in order to get my 68 year old body in shape. I also noted each correspondence from Chris included the quote “Life is either a daring adventure…or nothing” by Helen Keller. What was I getting myself into?

better access to the slide areas at higher elevations. It took several hours in her tri-hull boat to the cabin which was fortunately still standing considering the effects of the heavy snow fall. The lake was calm that morning and I was able to enjoy the scenery which was spectacular; the snowcapped peaks, the clear aquamarine glacier-fed water and the warm sunshine on my face. It was great to be there. Upon our arrival it was discovered that to her dismay, the stove pipe had broken off due to the snow but was still hanging in place. Not to be deterred she crawled into the small attic space. One and a half hours later, after beating on the roof with every available tool to dislodge the old pipe, she had a replacement pipe in place. With not much to work with she insulated the area around the pipe with aluminum foil to protect the roof and we had heat. I no longer wondered whether this lady was qualified to take care of clients in a remote environment. As a matter of fact she scared me a little.

The departure date arrived and I headed out driving the 770 miles to Likely, BC. The ice had just melted off Quesnel Lake the day before my arrival. Chris decided to travel up the lake to hunt black bears while the heavy snow melted to provide CONTINUED ON PAGE 56



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 55 Early mornings found us on the porch enjoying our coffee, chatting about world events, watching the world go by and trying not to get hit by low flying hummingbirds. Upon our arrival Chris had set out the feeders and it didn’t take long for the humming birds to find the sugar water. It was interesting to watch them as there was always one bully who jealously guarded the feeders. The location of the cabin was perfect for wildlife sighting. The abundance of wildlife that could be seen roaming around was a wonderful sight. It was also the calving ground for many moose and on occasion one saw a cow with a new born calf at her side. There were huge flocks of migratory birds landing along the shoreline and the noise they created was astounding. Every morning watching the sun slowly rise turning the snowcapped peaks pink was beautiful. What a paradise! The next few days were spent accessing the log landings by boat. Although Chris had a 4 wheeler at one of the landings, it was of limited use as the snow was too deep. Several days were spent hiking through the snow looking for signs of black and grizzly bears. Each day we saw several bears but no grizzlies. On one occasion we came across a smaller black bear which we decided to stalk for fun to see how close we could get. It was exciting and somewhat nerve racking as we managed to come within 15 feet before he decided that we weren’t the friendly sort and left. We proved the old saying that bear hunting is hours and hours of sheer boredom followed by 10 seconds of sheer terror. The days were spent hiking and glassing areas with new grass, waiting for bears to appear. I had spent the past 43 years hiking the mountains of Montana and set a fast pace. It was a pleasure hiking with Chris as she matched me step for step up and down the mountains.

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After spending days stomping through snow we decided to return to Likely and hunt another part of the area while the snow melted in the higher country. Hunting from Likely we saw many black bears and turned down one male grizzly at 120 yards that was deemed to be too small. Another day was spent travelling to the north end of her territory hoping the snow levels would at least allow a 4 wheeler access to her grizzly camp. We found only more snow. It was frustrating to say the least, however Chris always had a plan. She asked whether I wanted to return to Missoula while she guided her upcoming black bear hunt which would allow more time for the snow to melt. Agreeing it was a good idea I packed my things and made plans to return 10 days later to hunt until the end of the season.

I alerted Chris and she told me to take a shot at my first opportunity as she was afraid the bear would drop over the other side of the snow bank. With a pounding heart I steadied my breathing and fired one shot. The bear stopped with no appearance of being hit. Quickly jacking in another shell I fired again and the grizzly rolled down the bank towards us. We could see the vegetation moving as he moved downhill parallel to our position, then suddenly the vegetation stopped moving. We stayed in our spot for several minutes slowly calming our heart rates, watching and waiting to see whether there was any more movement. Aware that time was of the essence we crossed above the last known position and climbed the snow bank glassing the vegetation trying to locate the bear. We found a blood Upon returning to Likely 10 days later we trail and soon located the again boated to the cabin on the lake as dead bear. I stood there snow depths still precluded vehicle access beaming as Chris did to her grizzly camp. Most days we left the the jig of happiness cabin about nine in the morning boating and smiling with to the log landings and either walking or delight. Then to 4 wheeling the old logging roads looking my surprise for bears or sign. One evening we staked and out a road junction when a black bear appeared on the road at 165 yards. One shot from my 338 magnum grounded the bear. Chris quickly and efficiently caped the bear. We grabbed our packs full of meat, and headed for the boat as it was getting late. Our boat ride to the cabin was spent in the dark and it was good to get back, build a fire, eat one of her great meals and recap our day. The next day we hauled the bear hide to the top of a logging unit where I glassed for bears while she finished fleshing and turning the lips and ears. There is no lost time when she is in charge. As I was glassing for bears, suddenly, I saw a huge grizzly.


pleasure she pulled out a small flask before midnight and used the moonlight easy chair and grinned from ear to ear. and a Cuban cigar for us to toast the to find the cabin. Every hunt I have completed has left me grizzly. Climbing the steps to the cabin deck with a lifetime of memories. This hunt Then a few pictures, a quick caping I realized we had just experienced a certainly added to that list. Chris Franke and a forced march back over the huge fantastic daring adventure. The lake was is a very pleasant person, she knows her downed logs quickly found us back dead calm, it was a warm evening and a guide area, and is very resourceful when at the 4 wheeler at dark. I was very perfect end to a great day of hunting. With required in the field. I look forward to impressed with her ability to cape, skin a pleasurable sigh I dropped down into the hunting with her again in the future. and then carry a very heavy pack back to the trailhead. The trip back down the EDITOR’S NOTE: road jumping the logs and deflecting You can reach Mountain Spirit Outfitters at 780-817-4349 or the willows was a very tiring effort. We arrived at the pontoon boat shortly

With a pounding heart I steadied my breathing and fired one shot...





Meatball Surprise 1 lb. ground meat

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp. oregano

pinch salt and pepper

cheddar cheese

Combine ground meat, oatmeal, water, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Cut cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Using a piece of meat the size of a walnut, flatten it in your hand and place one piece of cheese in the center of it. Roll into ball form, making certain all cheese is covered. Fry over medium heat until brown all over. Remove meatballs from pan. Use the drippings and make gravy. After gravy is made, return meatballs to pan. Serve hot over rice or spaghetti. Serves 6.

Irene Smith Bear Paw Guide & Outfitters

More recipes available from our cookbook “Recipes From the Kitchens & Camps of the Guide Outfitters of British Columbia”. Email to purchase your own copy for $20 +shipping & handling.

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by Mark Werner

orn in 1923, Robert was a homesteader in Saskatchewan, Canada. He lived rurally with his parents and seven siblings. During the Great Depression, they were sustained with game meat, as the boys were avid hunters. When Robert was in his 20s, he was responsible for the farm and helped take care of his younger sisters, Ruth and Irene. In the mornings, he would bring them to school in a closed-in cutter driven by a team of horses. Once the girls were at school, he Shortly after he gave up the trophy, Robert moved to the Yukon would put on his cross-country skies and check on his trap line. Territory to join the military. He married and had a family, One day Robert and his brother Leo were on their way home from and was always proud to tell the stories of his homesteading dropping the girls off at school when they spotted a buck bedded hunting days. He was particularly proud of monster buck. down in the timber along the road. From a distance, it looked like Before his death in 1983, his children vowed that they would an impressive one. They stopped the horses and arranged a plan: return to the game office in Saskatchewan to reclaim their Leo would run back home for the gun while Robert kept an eye father’s buck. Unfortunately, when they attempted to find on the buck. Leo returned with the nickel-plated 32 special. “I’m the buck, nobody remembered it. The game warden had long breathing too hard, Rob,” he said, “you go ahead and take him.” since moved on and the buck had disappeared. The buck stood up, revealing its upper body above the willows. One of my greatest joys as a father is hunting with my kids. I The brothers moved quickly: Leo passed Robert the gun and Robert aimed it at the buck’s neck. Bang! The shot echoed also love instilling the magic of hunting and the importance of record keeping. It is these relationships that keep the tradition throughout the quiet countryside, and the buck was down. of hunting alive; we tell our stories, teach our kids to savour The brothers had harvested many deer, but there was the outdoors, and make sure the trophies on the wall are not something special about this one. They were overwhelmed forgotten. This is an important part of preserving our legacy. with excitement as they approached the buck, which displayed 27.5 inch inside spread with 5 even points on each side with Through organizations like Pope and Young, Boone and Crockett, SCI Record Book, and the Mountain Hunter™ Record 10 inch plus tines. Truly a monster buck. Book, we are able to honour amazing animals. Readers, I Word about the buck spread quickly through the local hunting encourage you to tell your stories exhaustively. Put out the community. Neighbours came by to see the enormous buck. money to get your animal in a record book. If there are When the local game warden came, he was amazed. “I see a lot trophies tucked away in the basement, pull them out! Our of big bucks, but not one like this,” he said, “Can we have it?” “We stories and our records help keep this tradition alive! could put it up in our office for everyone to see … we’ll even put a plate with your name on it.” Robert conceded and sent the By the way, Robert was my father. monster buck home with the game wardens. If you have any historical stories you would like to share please email

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Some people watch hi-def. You live it. Nothing makes you feel more alive than being out in the wild, stalking your prey, every sense heightened by the thrill of the hunt. Because the wilderness is in your blood. It’s in ours, too. And it’s our mission to make sure you’re equipped with the quality gear and expert advice you need to make the most of your outdoor adventures.

As Canada’s outdoor outfitter, we’re as obsessed with hunting as you are. And we have the people and gear to prove it. MOUNTAIN HUNTER MAGAZINE - WINTER 2016 |


“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


Shiras Moose ● Canadian Moose ● Mule Deer ● Mountain Grizzly ● Coastal Black Bear Interior Black Bear ● Cougar ● Wolf ● Mountain Goat K I F F CO V E R T

Licensed / Insured Guide Outfitter 62 |


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Mountain Hunter Magazine Winter 2015  

Brandon Reystead recounts his two British Columbia hunts in Good Friends and Fond Memories. Also featured in this issue are the stories A Da...

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