|2014 Hunt Report|
I should begin the 2014 hunt report with an apology for not getting the wolf hunt report and pictures posted earlier--sorry I just did not get around to it. We did have another successful wolf hunt again this year. We had some great clients booked and did two separate hunts during the first 2 weeks of April. We got really lucky on the first hunt and caught 4 wolves out on the lake right at Base Camp early one morning. We were fortunate to get all four and that really took off the pressure for the rest of the first hunt. We took one good sized male and 3 females--all the hides were prime. On the second hunt we had a bit tougher time. We put many miles on the snow machines travelling the river valleys and calling but only came across sign of 2 separate pairs. Both of these pairs are leftovers of packs that we have taken wolves out of on previous years--they were thus not very eager to answer our calls or show themselves. We did finally get into a pack close to the end of the hunt, and had them calling all around us in the timber but could not coax any out into the open where we could get a shot. Despite being unsuccessful harvesting any wolves on the second hunt we had a great time and are looking forward to trying it again next year.
This year we were blessed to have the opportunity to host a youth camp at our Palmer Lake Base Camp. We teamed up with the "Northern Youth Leadership Society" and hosted a camp for eleven teenage girls from various communities in the NWT. There were also two youth leaders and two elders from Norman Wells at the camp. The girls helped my wife Laura, our three young children and I open up camp and then we all had fun hiking, canoeing, fishing and learning traditional and modern wilderness skills. I was of course able to share some good outfitter stories and talk about our industry. We all had a great time and we are really hoping that we will be able to run the camp again next year. What a great opportunity to share our passion for the industry with some local youth and to build relationships with the communites.
Here is the hunt report for the 2014 season. We took 5 rams for 5 hunters on the first hunt with 3 great 12 year old rams and a pair of good 9 year olds. Two rams were 39+ and one very classy ram measured right at 38 inches. All 3 clients on the second horseback hunt took good old rams as well as velvet caribou and had days left over to hang out at base camp and fish and enjoy themselves. On the second backpack hunt of the season we took 3 archery hunters and 1 rifle hunter. Two of the archery hunters were successful taking great rams--one was an exceptional ram that scores 168 green. Both of these hunters also stayed extra days to hunt for mountain caribou and both took good bulls in the 380 class. Our third bow hunter and the rifle hunter had some bad luck and really tough weather with an early snowfall and had to go home empty handed.
On Hunt #3 both of our horseback sheep hunters took great old rams plus good velvet caribou--a couple grossing over 400 B&C. We also had a pair of caribou hunters on the third horseback hunt who took good bulls. Our third backpack sheep hunters were both successful in taking nice rams, and one of the two archery caribou hunters took a good velvet bull--his first with a bow.
Hunt #4 is always a good hunt and this year was no exception. Both of our horseback sheep hunters took good rams and both the horseback caribou hunters took nice bulls and had opportunities for wolves. Our 2 backpack sheep hunters also took nice rams and one added a B&C caribou. We also had a pair of backpack caribou hunters who each took B&C bulls.
The horseback moose hunts produced 3 nice bulls in the 56-58 inch range and one caribou. The caribou seemed to have moved down out of the high country early this year due to early cold weather in August and the moose hunters just did not see many good bulls. The fifth backpack hunt was a bit slow as one of our clients had some very serious health problems and had to cancel until 2015. Our single caribou hunter took a 411 B&C caribou and our sheep hunter got into some tough weather on the Gana but was able to stay a few extra days to take a nice ram and complete his Full Curl of North American Sheep.
The last hunt of the year is our backpack moose and caribou hunt and we had some great success this year. We had an archery hunter take a 73 inch bull that grossed 235 B&C. His father also took a great old moose that scored 205 B&C. Once again the caribou seemed to have moved out early but each of our caribou hunters managed to take nice bulls. I was also able to get out for a couple of days of moose hunting and took a great 62 inch bull that grossed 215 B&C.
All in all we had just a great season taking 19 rams that averaged 36.5 inches and 11 years old. We were 2 rams for 3 clients on archery rams, and 17 rams for 18 clients on rifle rams. We took a total of 22 caribou that averaged 375 B&C gross--just a bit below our long term average. We took 6 moose this year and they averaged 59.5 inches wide. The trail out and trip home down the road went very smooth and we are all home again and looking forward to the 2015 season.