It is mid-September and we are in the middle of the fall hunting season. Our guides and hunters are in the field in a new Bighorn Sheep concession I bought from Scott Carter this spring, south of Grande Prairie, Alberta. We are hunting Bighorn sheep currently with moose and elk hunting beginning on the 22nd of September, 2012. The season looks to be promising although the weather (www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/caab0140) has not been cooperating. Winds were gusting from 40-70 miles an hour, over the ridges and sustained winds were often 30+mph. We have an excellent base camp established and our hunters are currently in the field pursuing the Bighorn Sheep. The area supports a healthy and local number of Bighorns that have historically scored between 150 and 170 B&C. We use quads and backpacking to access this area. I hope to send out some shots of happy hunters with bighorns in our next newsletter. I will be leaving to join one of the hunters today.
For hunters and campers dealing with high winds, I wanted to pass along a tip that we used when camping in our Hilleberg Allak and Soulo tents above alpine. We always place a 30-50 pound rock on each tent stake to insure that they don’t pop out of the ground during heavy winds. Before placing the rock, place moss or lichen on the guide lines where they come into contact with the rock as this prevents wear or breakage on the guidelines. There is nothing worse than having to go out into the night and fix your tent in heavy wind and severe weather and this is the reason many tent poles break…when the guy lines come loose or break. Remember, never take shortcuts when setting up tents in high winds. In all my years of backpack hunting, I’ve never had a pole break, because our tents were always properly anchored.
We are working with the neighbor outfitter, Fredlund Guide Service, on the BC side of our AB area to take a few moose and elk hunters there. This area is known for its trophy quality due to the remoteness, good habitat and genetics. They can’t access this part of their area from BC so we are working with them to hunt this territory from the AB side. We start our first horseback hunt on Sept. 21/22nd. Our second horseback hunt starts Oct. 1st. These hunts are booked. We can take 2 hunters per hunt date. The moose in this area are required to have 3 brow points or 10 points total per side; it is managed as a trophy area. The moose average over 50” and 60” moose have been taken. This area actually has as good or better moose than I had in my Northern BC area. Last year, I guided a nice 56 ½” moose and the two other hunters shot 46-48” moose within the 2nd day of their hunt. One of our guides can stay after we finish our bighorns now, so we can take one more non-horseback hunt (using quads and foot hunting), starting September 28th/29th and going until Oct. 4 or 5th. Our regular price for 1×1 is $8750 and 2×1 is $7,500. I will be flexible on price if a hunter is interested. There are no elk to speak of in the non-horseback area but occasionally a wolf or black bear. Other costs are tag/licenses and 6% tax.
If anyone is looking for a fly-in/river boat or moose hunt, the area I leased part of for several years, Upper Stikine River Adventures, in Northern BC, has some great moose. The new owners, Ron and Maria Nemetchek, now called North River Stone, informed me that they have opening for 2 moose or mixed bag hunters, starting Oct. 1st. Call or email them for price and details: (780) 675-1942 or email@example.com. They have put a lot of time and money into the area and will provide a great hunt. Ron is a successful AB whitetail outfitter for over 30 years and has years of mountain guiding and bush flying experience. Because we don’t have enough photos yet to redo my old website: www.canadianmtnoutfitters.com, I have left up old photos and information from this area and the one I sold 3 years ago. It will give hunters a good overview of the area and operation that North River Stone will run.
I leave for Kyrgyzstan now on Oct. 15th instead of Oct. 4th, as two of my hardcore Ibex hunting friends/clients had to reschedule to 2013. Now, I will be in Kyrgyzstan, from Oct. 17-28th exploring our remote trophy Ibex area. It is one of the only camps I have yet to guide or hunt. This is the area where one of our 2011 hunters saw 3 Ibex, with 50” or larger horns, and he didn’t get back to the really remote parts. We have room for 1 Ibex hunter on this date. Our November hunts are booked for Marco Polo and Ibex combos, but we could take one more Ibex hunter on one of the November Marco Polo hunts. Refer to our website for pricing and details on these Ibex hunts. Due to the short notice, we will work with a hunter on pricing. Hunters MUST be fit, with horseback and mountain hunting experience for this October hunt. The Nov. hunt is less difficult but colder. In addition to Kyrgyzstan, we have one Tajikistan outfitter partner who offers less strenuous Ibex and/or Wild Boar hunts from Nov-Feb. He informed me yesterday that he still has a couple licenses for this fall/winter season. This is a great hunt for the money and no horses are used on this trip.
On Oct. 29th, I’ll fly to Azerbaijan and join 3 other hunters for Dagestan Tur. Due to the later hunt dates and colder weather, we are doing a 7 day hunt instead of the traditional, 5 day hunt. Our outfitter can take 2 more hunters, after this hunt, starting on or after Nov. 9th. For information, refer to: www.asianmountainoutfitters.com/asian-hunts/tur-hunting/ . I also recommend making this a longer hunt date as weather can be a factor. Many hunters prefer to hunt Tur before Sept. 1st, to avoid snow, fog and colder weather, but these later hunts provide much better capes and the weather is more similar to a BC or AK Mountain Goat hunt in October. I’ve done a “few” of these late goat and sheep hunts in NA, so we are prepared for such conditions. It will be difficult but challenging. Also, the hunting pressure is minimal during this time of year and the animals are often lower on the mountain.
Lastly, our Tajikistan Marco Polo outfitter has room for a couple non-USA hunters in early Nov, late December or January. These hunts have proved to be our most popular and with the best trophy quality of our Asian hunts the last 2 years. Our outfitter has excellent organization and logistics and all hunters have been very happy with this experience. This is real, fair chase hunting, on foot for Marco Polo averaging over 56”. In 2011, we took 3 animals between 59 ½ and 61 ½”.
I’ll be in the field, guiding Bighorn hunters, but I can be reached by leaving a voice mail on my phone: (250) 317-5525 and I’ll return calls at night via Satellite phone. For the Asian hunts, my sister and office manager, Amy: firstname.lastname@example.org can answer any questions.