Hunting with Blackstone: River Float Trips

IMG_1273 Steve Hollywood, Guide Lucas Thiessen 126IMG_0309

The unique thing about us here at Blackstone is we offer a variety of different hunt styles.  Our hunters have an option to choose which style they would like to try or have a preference for.  We have the opportunity to hunt sheep by river float trip on a couple of our major rivers.  This hunt style incorporates river floating and light backpack trips off the river.  There may not be many other places offering this style of a hunt.  It’s a relaxing and great way to see the country and the fishing is fantastic.

We offer a very exciting river float trip during the moose rut.  There is close to 700 miles of many different rivers within our concession.  The hunters may travel from 5-50 miles of river on any one hunt depending on how things go.  This hunt also offers a chance at a grizzly.  Wolves and wolverines are spotted periodically as well on the rivers.

Whether with our moose or sheep hunts, your camp travels with you in our big Zebec and Zodiak inflatable rafts.  Big gravel bars allow great access onto the rivers with our mountain airplanes, equipped with the big Alaskan Bushwheels.  We operate a Transport Canada approved charter service, Nahoni Air Ltd.  This offers our hunters a service that only a few outfits provide.  We are not waiting for an outside service, our airplanes are strictly for the use of Blackstone Outfitters.

The unique thing about us here at Blackstone is we offer a variety of different hunt styles.  Our hunters have an option to choose which style they would like to try or have a preference for.  We have the opportunity to hunt sheep by river float trip on a couple of our major rivers.  This hunt style incorporates river floating and light backpack trips off the river.  There may not be many other places offering this style of a hunt.  It’s a relaxing and great way to see the country and the fishing is fantastic.

We offer a very exciting river float trip during the moose rut.  There is close to 700 miles of many different rivers within our concession.  The hunters may travel from 5-50 miles of river on any one hunt depending on how things go.  This hunt also offers a chance at a grizzly.  Wolves and wolverines are spotted periodically as well on the rivers.

Whether with our moose or sheep hunts, your camp travels with you in our big Zebec and Zodiak inflatable rafts.  Big gravel bars allow great access onto the rivers with our mountain airplanes, equipped with the big Alaskan Bushwheels.  We operate a Transport Canada approved charter service, Nahoni Air Ltd.  This offers our hunters a service that only a few outfits provide.  We are not waiting for an outside service, our airplanes are strictly for the use of Blackstone Outfitters.

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2014 Show Season

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Returning home from the last show of the convention circuit reminded us that winter has not yet let its grip off at the ranch here in Saskatchewan.  We had a great time at Safari Club International in Las Vegas and it was fantastic to see past and new clients who had the opportunity to attend.  SCI had great entertainment at their evening auctions/banquets and we had fun attending them.  Logan and Kasey were able to attend with us, and it was great to have their help on the convention floor. It was a really busy show and was one of the best SCI shows we have attended.

Logan and Kasey just returned from the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had a very successful show visiting with past and future hunters and booked our last available sheep hunt for 2015.  It was great to see many young outdoorsmen attending the event, with record breaking attendance for the show this year.  With the upbeat atmosphere and beautiful weather in Salt Lake City, they were sad to see this show come to an end. They are both back in Saskatchewan now, anxious for calving season to begin.

While we were out on the show circuit Laura, Brian, Warren, Jim Frew and Colin held down the ranch through some nasty cold weather.  Laura and the boys had time to help Brian with his gill nets that he has set in Green Lake.  With these nets they helped Brian pull in about 400 pounds of fish a day, taking most of the afternoon.

The next show we will be at is the Parkland Outdoor Show & Expo on March 8-9 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.  Adrienne and Laura will be attending it.  Come check out our new 2013 season photo book and visit with them to hear the stories of this last years’ hunt.

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2013 Blackstone Book

Our 2013 book is now available!  Follow the link to check it out and place an order.  Let us know what you think!

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Click to preview Untitled photo book

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We have just returned from the Wild Sheep Show in Reno, NV where the winter is actually nice, at least for the few who could get outside of the convention to enjoy the sun! It was great to visit with clients of all types; from those who are planning to go on one last sheep hunt to the young guy who needs to book three years out so that he’s old enough to get a Yukon hunting license! It was nice to see the strong attendance to help for a successful convention.

One of the good things that cold weather brings is nice fur. The coyotes have been slightly reduced in numbers after a couple of mini-hunts by Jim & the boys. Fur vests are in fashion again, how nice! There have been a couple of wolves around too, but they eluded everyone as usual.

Warren & Colin wrote their final exams for the first semester at high school and working at a bull sale for the rest of this week in Alberta; washing and clipping bulls. Logan has been working in the Alberta oil patch since Christmas. He is going to be with us at SCI and the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City. Logan’s girlfriend, Kasey Baumann is going to be with us as well.

We will be heading to Las Vegas on February 2nd or 3rd to set up for the SCI convention. We have donated a Sheep hunt (for either Dall or Fannin) to be auctioned on Wednesday night. It is Item #1 on the first night (Wednesday) and we’re rather nervous to have the first item up for bids. We know that many of our clients are planning to be at SCI and we look forward to a visit.

 

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Wild Sheep Show

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Leaving Saskatchewan last week for the Dallas Safari Club convention was a treat for Adrienne and I as the temperature was in the -40s when we set out. The trip started off with an airplane delay in Edmonton which put us behind on our connecting flights and we didn’t get to Dallas until late on Wednesday.  Unfortunately our booth and luggage arrive with us. Luckily, we had the photo albums and some hunt reports with us so we started the convention without the display booth. Our luggage showed up Thursday night which made Adrienne’s day and mine as well. You know how it is when a woman doesn’t have her favourite outfit to wear!

The convention was great and it was great to see and meet new faces as well as many of our old friends and clients. The upbeat attitude of the members of the Dallas Sarfari Club is always refreshing. Attendance was very good and we were fortunate to book some new hunters for our 2016 season. We had the opportunity to visit with Jim and Louise Shockey and Jim would like to hunt with us for porcupine caribou if they migrate into the area early enough to hunt as they did this past fall.  If you’re interested in an on-call caribou hunt for 2014 give us a call so we can add you to the list. The hunt is filling up fast as we are having a lot of interest this winter.

We are back home now with much milder weather.  We had to travel through the wild wind storm that hit western Canada the day we drove home from Edmonton . The winds were clocked at 115km per hour (over 60mph)! Things here at the ranch are good and the cattle are enjoying the mild weather and are looking much better than they were last week.

We are home for a few days and then off to Reno for the Wild Sheep Show on the 22.  Hope you can make it and we look forward to visiting with you there.

Jim & Adrienne

PS.

Watch the website and Facebook the next week or so as we will be adding some exciting video clips from the 2013 season

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Dallas Safari Club

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We hope you have enjoyed going through some of the photos from our 2013 season.  The convention season is starting and we are off to the Dallas Safari Club convention this week from January 9-12.  Stop by for a visit at booth 2131, we look forward to seeing you there!

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The Caribou Have Arrived!

Kasey Baumann, Guide Logan Fink OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A few years ago we started booking our Porcupine Caribou hunters on an on-call basis.  Due to the nature of a migrating herd we never know exactly when the caribou will arrive in our area.  They travel 600 miles from the north slope of Alaska and the Yukon and have historically wintered in our area.  In the past few years the caribou did not come down early enough for us to hunt them, so the hunters that were on the on-call list were not called until this past fall in 2013.  We don’t want caribou hunters in camp with no caribou for them to hunt!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rick Gambetta, Guide Laura Thomson Rich Nilsen, Guide Norm Brown

The caribou started to arrive in the first 10 days of October in small numbers, but by the middle of the month we knew that there were enough for us to call our hunters who had been waiting for this day to arrive!  The migration started slow, but by the 20th of October they were arriving by the thousands!  The antler growth this year was exceptional on the caribou as you can see in the harvest photos.

Shari Brucker, Guide Laura Thomson  Alex Brucker, Guide Tyler Stevenson Bruce Pelletier, Guides Norm Brown, Laura ThomsonPhil Mabe, Guide Logan Fink

Everyone had a terrific time experiencing the migration.  Watching these big white-maned caribou bulls during the rut is an awesome sight!  If you would like to get on the on-call caribou list for 2014 contact us and we can give you further details on the hunt.  Remember, we are not going to have you up if the caribou aren’t in our hunting area.  We would like our hunters to have a memorable and successful hunt.

Rex Heard, Guide Tyle Stevenson Norm Ingram, Guide Clinton Alm Norm Dube, Guide Darryl Klassen Monte McDowell, Guide Laura Thomson Monte Downing, Guide Tyler Stevenson OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMike Broadwell, Guide Logan Fink Maurus Sorg, Guide Clinton Alm Marcel Jean, Guide AJ Wamsteker Kevin Bahnman, Guides Darryl Klassen, Bernie Friesen Ken Fraser, Guide Norm Brown Kelly Heard, Guide Tawni DrinnanDon Stevenson, Guide Tyler Stevenson Darcy Alm, Guide Laura Thomson

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Happy New Year!

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We hope everyone had a great holiday season with friends and family, as we did.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and we wish you all the best with your hunting adventures in 2014.

 

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Biggest Bear of the 2013 Season

Shawn Rebman, Guides Lucas & Kristy Thiessen

Shawn Rebman came up in October 2012, hoping to find a good fall bear with a nice coat. Late September and early October are the perfect times for high quality bears. Shawn put a lot of miles on horseback, but the weather was wickedly cold and winter had set in in the Northern Yukon.  The bears said to hell with this and disappeared into their dens.  Shawn took a great caribou in 2012 and we had him back this fall.  The weather had definitely improved from the fall before, and he connected with this beautiful boar griz with Lucas and Kristy. This great bear ended up being the largest of our 2013 season. Congratulations Shawn!

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Moose on the River

The day we flew Bill Wilson and his guide Clinton to the river was one of those days that we should have just stayed on the ground!  The wind was violent when we left, but once we got to the gravel bar it died down.  The winds this past fall were some of the worst we have ever had. It didn’t take Bill long to connect with a bull on their float trip.  They called for a pick up and were taken back to base camp, where he and Clinton horseback hunted for caribou.

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RL Panek and Don Wice were also out on the river with guides Bernie and Darryl.  They had a great trip, even with the nasty weather we had on that hunt.  RL connected with a bull in some thick timber.  A couple days later AJ and I flew down to pick up RL’s moose from a gravel bar, and we landed one mile downstream from where they were and waited for them to float to us.  We greeted them here, heard their stories, resupplied them with grub, loaded the meat and antlers, said our goodbyes and were getting ready to leave.  They weren’t in the water for 50 yards when across the river a big bull stepped out onto the bank.  There was some frantic paddling back to shore and AJ and I got to watch the excitement as Darryl and Bernie called the moose to keep him distracted while Don got a shot into him!  After the high fives AJ and I returned to base camp with RL’s moose, knowing we were going back the next day!

Donald Wice, Guide Bernie FriesenIMG_0142 IMG_0101 IMG_0090  100_2001

 

 

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