Gana River Outfitters Ltd was established as one of the pioneer outfitting areas in the Mackenzie Mountains about 1965. The original outfitter in the area was Zane Palmer, followed by Bill & Dusty Cooper and Gary Koopman. The renowned William (Bill) McKenzie and his wife Carol operated the area from 1987 until their retirement in 2004.
In 1996, after nearly 2 decades of guiding in Alberta, the Yukon and in Bill’s Pelly Lake concession British Columbia, Harold Grinde booked a Dall sheep hunt for himself with Gana River Outfitters. Drawn to the rugged beauty and true remoteness of the Mackenzie Mountains he returned to guide for Gana River Outfitters the following season and entered into a partnership with Bill that same fall. In 2008 Harold was joined by his brother Adam, also an avid outdoorsman with several years of guiding experience in the Yukon Territories. Following him were several more of the second generation of the Grinde family, Calum, Mary, Colter and Sylvia …wranglers, cooks and guides – all with a great love and appreciation for the outfitting way of life. At the end of the 2004 season after nearly 45 years of devotion to the outfitting industry and having just been awarded the ever coveted Frank Golata Outstanding Outfitter of the Year Award, Bill and Carol retired from the business handing over the reins to Harold, along with Adam, Colter and Mary Grinde as partners.
Since taking over in 2005 we have welcomed many new faces to our crew and have made several improvements to the area, including the construction of new out cabins, improved airstrips, an upgraded hydro system and the introduction of Sat Phones and internet service at our base camp. In 2010 with the passing of long awaited reg changes on wolf hunting we were able to finally offer early spring wolf hunts via snow machine. Through it all our goal has remained the same: to continue on with Bill’s tradition of good game management and to provide top quality fair chase hunts from our family friendly Base Camp in the heart of the Mackenzie Mountains. Though we have been very successful with our remote backpack hunts we still love and believe in the tradition of mountain horseback hunting.
All of the family and crew work very hard to try and provide our clients a safe and fun experience in this last true wilderness in North America.
Most of us are supportive members of WSF, SCI, NRA, B&C, GOABC and AMMO as well as several chapters and affiliates. Harold served two terms as president of the Alberta Chapter FNAWS and is the lonstanding president of the Association of Mackenzie Mountains Outfitters. All of us believe strongly in doing our part to support the good fight to keep our rights as outfitters and your rights as hunters for future generations. In 201 at the Wild Sheep Foundation’s annual convention in Reno, Nevada Gana River Outfitters carried the banner yet again for Outfitter of the Year, when Harold, his wife Laura, and Ryan & Mary Faehmel accepted the Frank Golata Award for 2011.
It is our hope that our children and grandchildren will be sending home happy hunters from Gana River Outfitters for years to come.