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