We opened up camp first week of July, and immediately had to repair the tack tent frame once more. It had been a long winter with lots of heavy snow. It was wonderful to be here once more! The horses arrived a few days later and immediately headed down to their stomping grounds in the meadow below. Our summer of hiking and trail rides started out slow, but picked up in August after word began to circulate that we were open for business.
Fall came upon us quickly, but not before we had everything ready for our clients comfort and success. The huckleberries and blue berries were so abundant, we even managed time to pick some for ourselves and thanks to a friend of ours had jam made for our clients.
Black bears were first on our agenda and with the huge amount of berries there should have been one standing behind every berry bush. However, since there wasn’t a salmon run this fall it brought the grizzlies inland for food, resulting in most of the black bears leaving. We chased some around and did take two beautiful bears, with one on its way to Poland
We began our moose season end of September hunting out of our cabins on the far end of Ghost Lake. The amount of sign was absolutely incredible with few moose seen. One morning we had two moose come up to the cabins pre-dawn. The following day he circled the boat thirty yards away, and the next day beat up the bushes fifty yards away, never completely stepping out. The rut had kicked in earlier than usual and as the valley is long and narrow most of the bulls had already picked up their cows and headed for higher country, just a few days before our arrival. The weather was strange, from snow fall to heavy rains, with none of the days staying really cold.
We had far better success out of our main camp at Cameron Ridge for moose, with three moose for the four hunters. Unfortunately the black bear continued to stay hidden hunt. We celebrated Thanksgiving again with a large turkey along with our clients and some friends travelling up from Likely.
After the last tail lights pulled out we began shutting down camp for the winter. A day later our horses left for winter pasture, I’m sure they were happy to leave! The following Sunday we returned to drive a couple of ATV’s with gear down to Quesnel Lake to finish off our moose season. We had tied our pontoon boat at the neighbours dock for the summer. When we arrived it was mostly sitting on land as the water had receded so far! It was an interesting and challenging project to get our boat out, we did it!
Our last hunt off Quesnel Lake was very successful taking two moose for both our clients, one the first day and the other the last day, within the last hour.
A few days later I headed for Alberta to guide a mule deer hunt purchased through my donation to GOABC. The amount of snow was astonishing, about 2’. Because of the huge amount of snow spot and stalk was out of the question and I spent several days scouting out some great places to set up a blind. Unfortunately over the next 6 days we saw very few mule deer as nothing moved out of the timber.
Testimonial comments from the bear hunt this past spring…bottom line is that I don’t have any negatives…and I’m pretty critical:
- extremely diligent in getting hunter on game, even in very trying conditions that Mother Nature throws at you, great positive attitude…realistic evaluator of her hunting client’s physical condition…safety oriented…can make tough decisions which might not be initially popular to her client, but absolutely the right thing to do for the success of the hunter…communicates in a very helpful way.
- very enjoyable to be around…always upbeat…loves to laugh…good conversationalist…good communicator…has lots of hunting stories.
- tough as nails…can steer a quad through some unbelievably rough trails without mishap…has pistons for legs and can pack a lot of weight…very impressive…meets unforeseen Mother Nature’s challenges head on and totally focused on solving the problem, e.g. taking 3 hours to cross a swollen stream, getting back to our cabin very late at night by boat in a rainstorm, etc.
- patient and helpful…since I’m 65 years old, frequently asked if I needed to stop while hiking to get to where we hunted grizzly…told me how she handled a foreign hunter older than me to hike along a trail that took him 5 hours while it took me 2 hours, and would have taken her only a little over an hour…that’s patience extraordinaire and excellent client service.
- very good accommodations…rustic log cabin, wood stove, great meals…true hunting-in-the-bush experience for city-slicker hunting clients.
- thinks about details…reminds hunters of things they need to pack before heading out (e.g. extra snacks, socks, gloves, shirts, rainwear, etc.)…prepared for backwoods challenges, e.g. nylon rope to cross streams, fire starting materials, etc.
- loves the guiding business…20 years experience…gets along well with fellow guides in her area and has developed mutually beneficial relationships with guides whose areas adjoin hers…as good as any male guide I’ve ever hunted with and better than most.
- well-regarded by government fish and game personnel familiar with her operation.
- very good equipment, seems to be very organized
- knows her hunting area and where game might be, good sense of direction in the woods…loves animals, fascinated by Mother Nature’s creatures that we encountered, large or small.
- prepares downed game very well…excellent skinner, very detailed and precise care of my bear hides….clever use of bear skull, bear hands, and human cap for once-in-a-lifetime pictures…very funny.
Overall…an extremely enjoyable hunting trip which was very successful, having taken a beautiful mountain grizzly and a black bear….no hesitation about recommending Chris to any hunter
It sounds like you paid me to say these things, but I really mean them…and they reflect the feedback from your references that I called…totally positive.
San Antonio Texas