Here is our 2016 Hunt Report!

2016 was a very exciting year for us personally, as well as at the Blackstone. It didn’t come with out challenges and sorrows. Several memorable events occurred over the year.  In January our youngest son, Colin, earned his Private Pilots License! He went on to win flying scholarship in the summer. Colin also graduated from high school with Honours. The day after graduation, we began our move back to the Yukon as we sold our Saskatchewan cattle ranch. We bought a beautiful ranch in the mountains of central Yukon & are excited to once again be Yukon residents.

On July 2nd there was plenty of celebration when Logan & Kasey joined hands in marriage at her folks’ residence in west-central Alberta. Dean & Lorile Baumann hosted this beautiful wedding, a welcoming weekend for family & friends. We are very excited to have Kasey as our daughter-in-law, with her passion for the outdoors, horses & hunting she fits in so well with our lifestyle, not to mention Logan’s!

We barely got settled in at our new ranch in early July when it was time to head for camp to prepare for an exciting hunting season. Our sheep hunting was quite out standing with several tremendous rams, both Dall & Fannin & a high age-average. Many sheep hunters were fortunate to take extra animals. There were quite a few first-time sheep hunters, many experienced and it is our pleasure to host both.

In early August, we lost Jim’s Dad and the boy’s Grandpa, Jerry, at 87 years old. We thought it might put a damper on the season, but if anything, it pulled everyone together. If it weren’t for his passion for the outdoors and love of hunting that he passed on to our family, we may never have had the opportunity to be hunting the Blackstone! That same weekend, we also lost a good friend & client Doc Ripepi (Phil Sr.) at 82 years old. We hope the two of them are sharing plenty of hunting & fishing stories & maybe even a game of cribbage in the happy hunting grounds!

Our sheep season was nearing its’ end when we started our moose hunts, as usual. We thought the rut was quiet and slow to start, maybe more than most years, but our guides persevered & our hunters connected with some great bulls. On average our moose this year were some of the largest we’ve taken in years. We didn’t break the sought-after 70″ mark, but the average was well over 60″.

It was exciting to acquire a new jet boat this year to operate on the Olgivie/Peel Rivers for some of our moose hunts. Our son, Warren proved to be an exceptional Captain finding some great bulls for several clients.

Our October moose hunts again proved to be very rewarding. The weather can often be quite variable, but this year we had more than 2 weeks of beautiful clear blue days to start October. Even though it was a bit crisp, it was perfect for hunting!

Overall, the season turned out to be one of our best. We would like to thank all of our clients and crew for their hard work, effort and determination, whether they traveled a short or very long distance to join us for a fantastic season!

Jim & Adrienne

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Here is our 2015 Hunt Report!

We had a great season in 2015, but with many challenges to say the least. The weather was the worst we’ve seen in northern Canada since Jim began in the guiding business back in the mid-1970′s! The sheep hunts were tough as the poor rainy/snowy days made it difficult to spot sheep! The hunters who put in that extra effort and kept their chin up were very successful. The rams taken were some of the best in recent years! Here a few of the highlights. Early in the season a cranker was spotted. He gave the guide and hunter the slip, wasn’t to be found again on that hunt, but was spotted 2 hunts later. This ram was bedded high on an open ridge with several other rams when a wicked rain/sleet storm moved in. When the weather cleared the rams were gone. It wasn’t all bad though, for John Green. He and his guides, Logan and Chris, were looking for that Cranker when they found another huge heavy ram across the valley! That left the Cranker still out there. Jackie Lockhart was the next hunter to get into that area and this ram was haunting her guides, Chris and Kayla. The Cranker was found by the middle of her hunt, but to get to it meant spending a night on the mountain and with the weather we’d been having it wasn’t gong to be pleasant. Jackie and her husband Kim were up for it. They had a look at the ram and said they didn’t want to leave the mountain until the ram was in her backpack! The front cover of the magazine shows what determination gets you! Great job Jackie!! First time lucky was the case for Kevin Bahnman. On the first day of his sheep hunt, he and Reid spotted a lone ram and it was the biggest ram of our season! Kevin has “Sheep Fever” now and he’s booked again! In the past few years we’ve been exploring new county as much as we can and this year was no exception. Logan and Colin took Loren Cronin on a gruelling backpack trip into a range that we’ve never hunted and they came out with a great ram! Eric and Colin hiked John Grey into rugged country to take an old, heavy, broomed ram—13 years old!

 

The moose hunters took some great bulls this fall. It all started with our long-time hunter Wes McMillen. Wes has hunted for years with us and has taken several big bulls, but his goal was to get a bull over 70″. His dream came true when he and Warren called in a 72″ monster! Warren’s luck continued with Terry Kreuger taking the highest scoring moose of the season. Jim and AJ flew Tyler and Richard Carr west of base camp to hunt caribou and before we knew it they had a big caribou and moose down! Pat Cannon was back for his second “trip for a month”. He, Logan and Kasey hunted sheep in the northern-most part of our area and on one of those cold miserable days he connected with a tremendous ram! It was the first ram that Kasey had been on and one we’re sure she’ll remember for years to come. Pat went looking for a caribou with Eric. They didn’t find that big caribou, but did get the biggest grizzly of the season! Pat went river-rafting with Warren, turning down many quality moose. Just like Wes McMillen, Pat is looking for that elusive 70″ brute! We’ll see Pat again in ’17.

 

The Porcupine Caribou were doing their damnedest to frustrate us this fall. Their migration south started early in September and looked like they were right on time to hit our area early in October. They did what the caribou are famous for; changed their route!! Long story short, and hours of scouting, they finally arrived at the end of October. We took a few hunters who could come on very short notice. Lyle Sheppard was the first hunter to arrive and took a caribou with Jim that scored well into the record book! In the last group of hunters were father/son Russ and Greg Cook. Spencer guided Russ to a great caribou on their first day and Jim helped Greg get a great bull with his bow. Our season ended on the 1st of November; one of that latest we’ve had. Looking back, we really enjoyed our clients and crew. Before we know it, the 2016 season will be underway with more adventures and stories to tell.

 

Thanks for your interest in hunting with us and we hope that someday we can guide you on that hunt you’ve been dreaming about!

 

Jim & Adrienne

 

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Here are some of the out standing trophies from our 2015 season! We will be attending SCI in Las Vegas this coming week. If you are there we would love to talk to you about hunting with us at Blackstone in the Yukon. If you can not make it to SCI, We will also be at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah the following week. We hope to see you there!

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Nahoni Air

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Nahoni Air is our exclusive in house flying service.  We have taken extraordinary steps in providing our clients a safe and professional Transport Canada approved flying service.  Our flying business has been in operation for 15 years, transporting hunters, game, crew, and equipment safely since then.  Transport Canada has many stringent procedures that we must follow in order to maintain our commercial licence.  Our aircraft are maintained by Northern Aviation Maintenance, which is a Transport Canada approved maintenance facility out of Fort Nelson, BC.

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Our airplanes have been built and maintained for the purpose of mountain and true wilderness flying.  We operate 3 aircraft, an Ector Super Mountaineer (to you airplane buffs out there this is a highly modified Cessna Bird Dog).  This airplane was Cessna’s version of Piper’s Super Cub.  We also have a Super Cub built by the extraordinary team at Cub Crafters in Washington.  The third aircraft we have is used mainly for crew, freight, and hauling those big moose and caribou antlers.  The highly STOL (short take-off or landing) Helio Courier.

http://www.cubcrafters.com/

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Our two pilots are Jim Fink and AJ Wamsteeker.  Jim has been flying in the North and in the mountains since 1979 and AJ has been flying for nearly 20 years.  AJ is an extremely good guide and horseman as well as a very competent pilot.

 

 

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Inreach Units by Delorme

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This past season in 2013 we ventured away from standard satellite telephone communication we have used in the past.  We had troubles with the sat phones, due to our northern geographical location.

We were fortunate to get into the Delorme Inreach units, which have text, email and gps capabilities everywhere in our area.  They can be used on their own or linked to your smart phone, giving us true 2 way communication.  Your guide can communicate with our airplanes and basecamp throughout your day to day hunt, and for possible emergencies.

We found that these units were far more advanced than what we have dealt with in previous years and were very impressed with them.  You may want to look into getting one for yourself, we feel they are a very valuable tool.

http://www.inreachdelorme.com/

 

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Hunting with Blackstone: The Crew

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We have a top notch staff every year including guides, wranglers, cooks, packers and support crew from both Dawson City and Whitehorse.  Everyone at Blackstone strives to make this the best possible experience for every client, regardless of physical limitations and experience.  Many members of our crew have come back year after year.  We have a lot of fun, and are all here because we truly enjoy the outdoors and team atmosphere.

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2013 Season Photo Book Available on Blurb

Blurb Book 2013

http://www.blurb.ca/bookstore/invited/9f64c16101277db914412ea9dd5ff90c16afbd25

Follow this link to purchase the photo book for our 2013 season!

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Hunting with Blackstone: The Area

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Our area is 10 000 square miles located north of Dawson City, Yukon.  A question we are often asked is how we get into our hunting area.

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Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon Territory and there are several daily flights from the south to Whitehorse International Airport.  You’ll overnight in Whitehorse and then a local air charter service Alkan Air has their shuttle van pick you up in the morning and takes you to their facility at the Whitehorse Airport.  From there our clients fly on either a Twin Engine Turbo Prop King Air, or by Turbo Prop Cessna Caravan on wheels.  http://alkanair.com/

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This flight is 310 air miles and normally takes an hour and a half to two hours one way, to the big airstrip at our base camp.  If the weather cooperates you’ll see much of the beautiful landscape the Yukon has to offer during the flight.  The last few minutes you will pass through the Tombstone Territorial Park.  The northern part of the park encompasses the southern part of our hunting concession.  Once you’re in our hunting concession, all aerial transportation will be provided by our own air service, Nahoni Air Ltd.

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Hunting with Blackstone: The Backpack Hunt

 

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For those hunters that enjoy the mental and physical challenge of a backpack sheep hunt, we access a lot of our sheep country by this method, occasionally using pack dogs.  Due to the vastness of our area, this allows our hunters hike into some very remote country that the horses can’t even get into.

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There may not be more of a rewarding hunt in North America than a backpack sheep hunt.  With that being said, our backpack sheep hunts can be a very mild version from a day hunt from the strip where you are dropped off, or an expedition where you will travel varying distances between drop off and pick up points.  Hunters that arrive in good mental and physical condition have been very successful on this style of hunt.

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As on other styles of hunting, we use top quality tents and camp gear.

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Hunting with Blackstone: The Horseback Hunt

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Horseback hunts offer access into what sometimes would be inaccessible hunting areas.  Over the years we have managed to take tremendous trophies of all the species that we hunt at Blackstone.  Our horseback hunts can range from a hunt with a pack string of a dozen or more horses for a ten day mountain adventure to quite often just day rides out of basecamp with just you, your guide and a packhorse looking for caribou.

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During your horseback experience there are conventional and log cabins for your comfort after a day in the field.  Depending on the area and species you are hunting you many travel with a spike camp to different locations.  We have top quality equipment including tack from Rocky Mountain Saddlery, and tents from North Face, Marmot, Sierra Design, and Arctic Oven.  Quality wall tents are used as well, depending on your location.  We have a first class horse string with an experienced crew and quiet, user friendly horses, all with great dispositions suitable for hunters with limited experience.  The places that you can access with horses far exceeds other methods of travel, and the ability to pack out a trophy from virtually anywhere.

We have the option of hunting all species by horseback.  All our horse hunts have airplane support.

 

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