We are fortunate to operate in some of the most remote and wild country anywhere in North America. Our hunts in northern British Columbia offer a rare combination of huntable terrain, high game densities, and almost no outside hunting pressure. But the extremely remote nature of these hunts can lead to a number of questions from our clients.
How should I prepare for a hunt of this nature? What can I expect on a typical hunt? Is it difficult to ship trophies back to the U.S. or elsewhere?
Here are five of the most common questions we receive about hunting in northern British Columbia:
1. What’s the premier big game species in northern B.C.?
What’s your “specialty”? That’s a question we hear on a regular basis. What is the big game species that we are known for?
Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one. Our hunters have a legitimate shot at taking Boone & Crockett class animals of four different species – stone sheep, mountain goat, mountain caribou, and moose. In terms of volume, we take more moose and mountain caribou combo hunts than anything else. But our sheep and goat hunters come with those species at the top of their priority list. Between these four species, our “primary” hunt depends on the goals of each individual hunter.
Wolf, black bear and wolverine are species that we consider to be opportunistic hunts – meaning we don’t pursue these as the primary target on any hunt.
2. What is the terrain like and is the hunting very difficult?
We hunt mountainous terrain. Like any mountain hunt, the better physical condition you can be in, the more enjoyable your hunt will be.
That said, not all of our hunts are very strenuous. Much of the country we hunt is made up of high plateaus. We often ride out of camp in the morning on horseback. Horses allow us to reach the upper plateaus where we will begin glassing. This is a common approach on both moose and mountain caribou hunts. We also offer some lake-based moose hunts using boats. This can be a good option for those with physical limitations or those who prefer not to ride horseback.
On the other hand, stone sheep and mountain goat hunts can be very physical. We still use horses, which saves a great deal of hiking and climbing. However, sheep and goat hunters can expect to do cover some rough country on foot. Glassing and stalking in typical sheep and goat terrain is rarely an easy task.
3. What is an average day like on a hunt with Kawdy Outfitters?
An average day usually begins with a hot breakfast. Whether you’re at one of our comfortable base camps with a full kitchen, or a more rustic spike cabin with a simple propane stove, we work hard to make sure hunters and guides are well fed!
Hunters will then usually leave camp by horseback. We don’t often leave earlier than daylight, because hunting begins as soon as we leave camp. In fact, we’ve taken some great trophies very close to camp. After reaching one of the high plateaus or rocky ridgelines, we will often dismount and begin glassing.
It’s not uncommon for hunters and guides to spend 2 – 4 hours in the saddle each day, sometimes more. This allows us to cover a great deal more country than we would otherwise on foot. But the majority of the day will still be spent glassing or stalking on foot.
4. On a combo hunt, how much travel time is expected between species?
We understand that on many North American hunts, there is often a long distance travelled between caribou country or sheep country or moose country. One of the great things we love about hunting here in northern British Columbia is that we can hunt multiple species from a single camp location.
We can go right from hunting moose to mountain goat without traveling to a different area. This makes it very reasonable to take multiple species on a 10-day hunt. In fact, other than stone sheep, which is usually a dedicated effort in itself, almost all of our hunts are combo hunts. It’s not uncommon to see trophy-class animals of multiple species in a single day. Every year, we have a few hard-working hunters who manage to take three species on a 10-day hunt.
5. Is it difficult to ship trophies from British Columbia to the U.S.?
No, it is not difficult. We are fortunate to have a very smooth process for shipping trophies home for our hunters. First your guide will carefully field dress the animal, care for the meat, then cape and salt the hide, preparing it for taxidermy.
We have a great trophy-exporting partner that we work with in Whitehorse, Yukon. This makes the permitting, export, crating and shipping process very easy. His name is Brian Kadrmas of Dakota Taxidermy and Exports. Before leaving, you will simply need to sign a declaration form and provide us with the name of your taxidermist. Hunters are responsible for shipping fees. At the end of each season, Brian will make sure all the necessary permits are in order and crate and ship your trophies. It’s a totally hassle-free process for our hunters.
All game meat is typically used right here in our camps. If hunters would like to make special arrangements to bring meat home, we can help with that process. It will be the hunter’s responsibility to cover that cost.
Written by Ryan McSparran
Ryan McSparran is an outdoor writer, a hunting and fly fishing guide, and very proud to be a part of the Kawdy Outfitters team.