2018 is in the record books and the campfire stories are being told. We took 16 hunters out this past season. First week, all the camps were slow, the second week was pretty good and closing camp we saw fresh rubs and actually had a bull moose dart 15′ in front of the argo while heading into Keg Camp to close up. At the Main Camp we started our season with Zach and Kayla and Walt and Jan. It is so great to have husband wife couple join us. Jan took a nice 42″ moose. Walt was along to witness which he did!! Zach took an amazing timber wolf and Kayla took a 5’6″ black bear. The second week at Main Camp we had Mike, John and Carl go home emptied handed but Karl took a nice 42.5″ moose that would have been 10″ bigger if the broken tines were still intact. A very sad ending for Karl who made it 9 hours south and grabbed a room for the night. At 4:0’clock AM the security cameras at the motel caught vandals steal his truck with everything in it including his meat and horns. Devastating for Karl and appalling for us. His truck was recovered but had been stripped of all his possessions. This is a first time incident in our 20 years in operation. At Keg camp for the first week we had Ray and Dale back and new clients Fran and Alex. Ray took a nice black bear. The next week two couples came into camp. Both Don and Will took 2 very nice moose, 40.5″ and 36.5″ while the wives enjoyed camp life. Great week for everyone. We ran East Camp for one week. Byron took a dandy 40″ moose. East camp turned one moose down and two lived to see another day. Campfire stories. This year staff was Josh for his 5th season and first time guide but avid hunter Dale. Dale will be back.! Gord came in for the first time to guide. He made lifelong friends and being an avid hunter and outdoors man, he was in his element. At Keg were veterans Dan and Chris and Camp helper our grandson Glen. At East was Murray and Roger who were most familiar with the new area and of course Roger has been with us since 1999. Cooking was Judy, Shelley and Carrie. A stand up team. The end results were Kill rate 61% and Opportunity 75%. We know one thing for certain: The efforts of our guides and cooks were 100% and we know our wild life populations are still strong. Timing is everything in this business. We are excited to further explore the East Camp for 2019. It is a beautiful remote setting that offers a vast unchartered hunting territory that we had not hunted in 14 years. The upgrades to camp have been made, lines opened up and boat in place. We are very optimistic for successful harvests. We will be conducting wolf hunts from there in the new year.
On personal note we had a very stressful start to the season. Josh and Jamie were set to come in cooking and guiding. September 10th their daughter ended up in the ICU unit in Edmonton’s Children’s hospital fighting for her little 2 year old life after contracting e.coli. After 17 days in the hospital she returned home to recover. Josh and Jamie were slated to come into Main camp not just as a husband wife team to guide and cook but they were also coming to assess joining Chinchaga River Hunts as full partners in our operation. Everything ended great though. Little Sadie made a full recovery. Jamie and the kids joined us after the hunting was over in October for a family holiday and help to close the three camps. The decision was easy for both parties. We are so pleased to welcome Josh and Jamie as full partners in Chinchaga River Hunts!!
On another personal note we have the 10 grandkids growing up so fast we can hardly keep up to what they are involved in. It is our resolution to get more time in camp with them this year so will be starting out with Christmas week at Main for some sledding and winter camping. We feel it to be the greatest gift of all to spend that time with them in such a place of serenity. (No electronics)
This year Josh and Jamie will be at all three trade shows with us. We will be at the 2019 Washington Sportsman’s Show in Puyallup from January 23-27, at the Pacific Northwest Show in Portland February 6-10 and at the International Sportsmen’s Expo in Salt Lake City March 14-17. Come and meet the kids and stop by for a visit. Be safe, keep your knife sharp and your powder dry.