Check out the 2016 Newsletter HERE
2016 was a very productive year. We arrived into camp early after a very easy winter. The horses and wildlife were all looking good. We had a busy time around camp. Taking advantage of Sam’s fence building experience we replaced much of the old fence and installed a new 8’ high game fence around a portion of the pasture to keep the elk out and with hopes of growing some grass for our horses. We had Charlie back and he built two new cabins and replaced the roof on the original cook shack that was built back in the 1960’s which is now our skinning shack. We finished up the sauna and built the platform for the “Yoga Shala” Yes folks the girls will be offering “Yoga Retreats”. June 18 -25, 2017 will be the first Scoop Lake Yoga Retreat – for more information please go to Hayfield Yoga Retreat www.thehayfieldyogaandwellnessretreat.com
Preparation for hunting season was upon us early and we were out cutting trail and prepping camps. Some of our first sheep hunters arrived a few days prior to August 1 with hopes of having their ram spotted for opening day.
This worked and we had success. We also continued to have success throughout the season harvesting eleven beautiful rams. As a credit to the guides we had four one day hunts and two two day sheep hunts. Our combination hunts in August got off to a great start with Barry and Don both taking sheep, goat and moose. Two of our clients from Lebanon also took two nice grizzlies. August weather was about as good as one can wish for then the weather came!! At one of our camps they had spotted an exceptional ram but it was only accessible by back packing so we had contacted JB and Riley and arranged for them to come in a couple days early. We packed them with horses as far as possible then they went the rest of the way on foot; to only spend the following four days in a little back pack tent above timberline in the rain and fog. The other clients were all stuck in town waiting on the weather to improve sufficiently to enable the planes to fly. The weather finally broke half way through the hunt and JB opted to shoot a nice respectable ram rather than holding out for the big one. Worked out to be the right decision as the weather can play a huge factor in hunting. JB also took a nice moose. His wife said it was a wonderful experience but the hardest thing she had ever done.
The government changed our elk season from Sept 1-10 to 5-15. This will make the hunts more in line with the rut and hopefully enable us to harvest some of
those herd bulls. Our average elk is over 300 but we often just harvest the satellite bulls. So now that it’s later we’re optimistic we might have better luck on calling out those bigger older bulls. Due to not knowing when or if the government was going to change the season we didn’t book any elk hunters. We had Neil, a client for over 20 years, bring his son up who harvested a nice bull while hunting from Scoop Lake base camp.
September was pretty much uneventful other than watching a small plane try to land on a mountain ridge on tundra tires and seeing him flip upside down.
He was fine! Don’t know who he was other than some local fellow looking for an experience. September is pretty much moose and goat and the boys once again found a couple Boone and Crockett moose. Dan Humphrey, who hunted with us in 2015 for moose unsuccessfully, took a very good moose in 2016. That made everyone happy as we don’t often send a client home without a moose or goat. As the end of September neared the weather cooled off, we had Carol in looking for a grizzly but she wasn’t having much luck finding any: we tried three different camps with no luck. As we pulled Carol out we dropped another client in with the same crew and, Murphy’s Law, they saw eleven grizzlies.
We had two friends from New Zealand visiting us for a of couple weeks in the latter part of September. Just prior to Brian and Jackie leaving Brian was expressing how it had been a dream of his to shoot a stone sheep. I mentioned to him that we had a permit available and next thing we had him in the mountains sheep hunting. Jackie headed home to tend to business. Brian got to experience one of the coldest Octobers we have had for some time. The weather for sheep hunting was not good, fog, rain, snow etc. Brian spent several days trying to hunt but the weather wouldn’t cooperate, they found a couple legal rams one day and that didn’t work out. Then 11 days into his hunt he had success with a beautiful ram. During the hunt they had phoned in and mentioned the thermometer must be broke as it was reading -18°C or 0°F. It wasn’t broke!! As the season came to an end we managed to get everyone out with minor delays due to weather. The bay on Scoop Lake was frozen over on our last flight
out. In 2015 it was +10- +15°C or 50-60°F during the same time frame. During the cold October weather we saw some good legal rams that will be around next year.
For our past clients if you are looking for an adventure down under in New Zealand our daughter and her partner Sam, who is from NZ, will be offering hunts for Tahr, Chamois, Red Stag and anything else NZ has to offer. Seasons are opposite to ours so this works great for them, hunting all year round For more info please contact us.
Thanks again to our staff who always amaze me in how they weather the storms and put smiles on
our clients’ faces.
See you at Scoop Lake,
Darwin, Wendy, Tiffany and Trina