Sunday 2 December 2012

10 top reasons for BCO to be the only choice when choosing a hunt in BC.

  1. The crew: Big Country Outfitters has a great group of people involved with the operation. From booking to guiding, clients can expect a professional, knowledgeable,  friendly, high level of service. If you have ever shared a camp with a great bunch of hunting buddies......that's exactly what it is like to hunt with the BCO crew.
  2. Location: BCO currently operates 2 guides areas, both areas were acquired after careful research. We understand that it is better to have 1500sq miles of prime big game country, rather then 3000sq miles of okay hunting. North central BC is well known for its quantity and quality of big game species, we feel that our exclusive guide areas are among the best.
  3. Customized hunts: Clients come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of experience, and each client also knows what their perfect hunt would look like. We actively interact with our clients and work hard to ensure they receive a hunt of a life time. 
  4. Guaranteed tags: no draws......we have tags for Moose, Elk, Deer,         G bear, Black bear, Cougar, Wolf, and Lynx.
  5. Great guides: We hire only the best guides in the country, and we (as the  owner/operators) share all the guiding responsibilities. 
  6. No overcrowding: It is one of our basic policies not to overbook our hunts. We stress quality over quantity. 
  7. Success rates: Our client's success is our success. We do not mix numbers and post inflated numbers.....we shoot for 100%.
  8. Incredible camps and food: There is a number of things we cannot, animal movement......but we can control our camp life. 
  9. Rut hunts: We book rut hunts for each of our big game species.
  10. Experience: We operate with over 50 years of guiding and hunting experience! 

Well there you have it....these are just a few good reasons why BCO should be on your hunt'n to-do list. 

Thursday 22 November 2012

Big River hunting camp

This past summer Big Country Outfitters had the opportunity to expand our operation. The new guide area was really not that new to us, as we had worked a deal two years previous that ultimately fell through. Even before that, I had done some extensive research and became quite interested in this territory about two years before we ever tried to work a deal. Basically, we have been eye-balling this chunk of prime big game country for about the past five years...give or take. This past summer we had or chance to step up, and although it was a bit of a roller coaster ride for awhile, we finally secured our dream guide area. Big Country Outfitters now operates two separate hunting camps, the "Baker Creek" hunting camp and the "Big River" hunting camp......what does this mean to our clients?
The Baker Creek camp still offers some great moose hunting, some incredible black and color phase hunting, some pretty decent mule deer opportunities, as well as the predators; wolf, cougar, lynx, and coyote. The new Big River camp offers fantastic moose hunting (the typical antler spread will exceed our more southern area), some crazy elk hunting, griz, black bear, white tail, mule deer, and wolf hunting. We are not exaggerating a bit, when we say we now have one of the highest quality hunting companies in the BC hunting industry today! We are very proud of the direction we are going and we are even more proud about he fact that we are not just seting the bar.......we are the new bar! Outfits will now start comparing their oufits and how they operate to BCO, it is exciting times folks.
We are still somewhat in the "start-up" stage of our business, so marketing dollars are tighter then I would like. We are working hard to get the mesage out there, if you are thinking of coming to BC to hunt....think BCO! If we do not have it, we help you find the right outfitter that does. We are a "guide" based business, we are not owner/operators that simply see the $$$$$$ and cashing checks, god knows there are plenty of those out there. So give us a call, or drop us an email......even simply to comment on how you think we are doing......and make your next hunting experience a BCO experience.

Wednesday 8 February 2012


Each year, we go into the start of our hunting season with certain "Expectations" and each season we guide clients that show up to camp with heir own "Expectations".....the trick is to be sure that both parties understand each others "Expectations".
What we expect from our clients: First and foremost we expect hunters to show up to camp with a positive attitude and energy. We really look forward to seeing excitement in the client's eyes and hearing it in their voice. A positive attitude will do wonders for the entire hunt and the guide just seems to work a little harder when he enjoys the company of the client. Net we need for the client to know that under most circumstances we know what is best. We are not saying that input isn't welcome, but we are saying that we know the laws, the game, the land, and we are looking for the same outcome...a successful hunt on all accounts. We will also require some patience......a lot of big game hunting requires patience......if a guide starts to get pressured, he may make decisions based on "not wanting to listen to he whining" rather then what is ultimately best for the hunt. I personally know of guides that have dug their heels in and pretty much did what they could to screw the hunt up.....but did it carefully enough to only raise suspicion, but not give themselves completely up. The guides work for the outfit, if a client has a concern or issue they should consider going to the outfitter and refrain from attacking the guide. On top of that, we also expect clients to be honest with their capabilities. As outfitters and guides, we do recognize that the client that comes in shooting his mouth off about all his abilities, well that is the guy that will typically drop the ball when it is handed to him. Clients are asked to be clear with their capabilities to ensure guides and outfitters can put together a hunt that will be a complete success.
What clients should expect form the outfit: The client should expect the type of hunt they were sold and purchased. In most cases the client has communicated with the outfitter and at that time the type of hunt would have been discussed and agreed upon. If it was a 10 Mountain Goat hunt; the client would expect that there would be some remote rough country with a certain amount of hiking involved and if instead found himself on an ATV touring swamp bottoms......rightfully so, hell is going to break loose at some level. Clients should communicate with the outfitter or head guide and should receive the hunt they were sold. Clients should expect knowledgeable guides, even if a guide is new to the area.....they should know enough about the area and the game to be considered a guide. Clients should expect quality camps and equipment.....if a client goes to bed at night and can see stars through the tent's roof.....better hope it don't rain! A client should expect to be fed accordingly......hunting out of the main lodge will involve different meals then spike camps, but the food should be acceptable....and safe to eat. Clients should expect that the they will be treated with honesty and integrity.....I personally have witnessed where it was simply understood that, for what ever the reasons may be, the client was not going to be successful. Clients should expect that guides and outfitters will work hard to help ensure the success of the hunt.
Never Expect: The client should never expect for the guide or outfitter to do anything illegal. Hunting is our livelihood and if we are caught in an illegal act, we can have it taken away. The client should never expect to be able to wound an animal, leave it, and carry on hunting. We will do what we can to ensure the shot and if the shot is not proper and the animal leaves wounded, we'll do all we can to retrieve the animal. If the animal is badly wounded, it more then likely will not make the is a dead animal and the clients tag will be cut. Never expect that the weather is going to 100% cooperate with your hunt, come prepared for anything.
Final note: Every outfit is run a little differently, do not expect that all are created equal, do your research before you show up to hunt. I can not speak or all the other outfitters and hunting camps out there, but I can speak for ours. We look forward to every season, for us it is a "get-to" not a "have-to". We look forward to each hunter we share the camp with and at the end of every season we call clients, friends! We book our hunts in such a manner that we assume we are going to be highly successful, we are not one of these outfits that book 20 hunters to kill 4 moose.......this was an actual account. We are as friendly as they come, and enjoy laughing and having a ton of fun. We are professional, but not so big that clients simply become numbers.....with checks. When choosing an outfit, do your homework......if all attempts fail.....give us a call or drop us a line.....we'll try to help out, cause that is just what we are about!

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Crew of BCO to all of you out there! So, are you planning to eat less and loose weight? Is your resolution to spend more time with your family.....make more on an old friend....what about taking that hunting adventure that you have thought about since you first spent time in the back country. It is not unlikely that you have taken several white tail deer, maybe a turkey or two, heck you may have even had a chance to harvest a majestic elk. But, what about that thought.....that feeling....inside of you that aches for a new adventure.
Imagine walking into a classic "wall-tent" hunting camp. In the center of the camp is a warm campfire, with a welcoming pot of coffee just off to the edge of the flames. Forming a ring around the fire are round blocks of wood stood up on end and used as stools, from which hunters and guides relive tales of hunting adventures... past and present. Over just to the right is the large cook tent, and from that come all the incredible smells and sounds of a hearty meal being prepared, soon hunters will pour into the tent to "belly-up". Down just off center to the left of camp, positioned high in two large spruce trees, is the meat pole. Hanging from the pole is the carcass of a large Mule deer buck and a decent Bull moose.....two of the four hunters in camp sleep just a little easier thanks to their success in the field. Directly to your left are three well constructed classic wall tents, here is where you will call home for the next eight days. As night closes in you look directly to the sky, there is no other man-made lights....just stars as far as you can see! The air has a chill to it......this will more then likely mean critters will be moving again tomorrow morning. As you approach the campfire you pick up on some of the "camp talk", half based in reality and the other half drawn straight from an can't wait for your turn. This is your dream hunting camp, we are there every year but are you there?
If this year is your year....the year you take an adventure that will have a lasting affect on the rest of your life....the year you meet some folks from a completely different walk of life, and leave calling them your friends.....the year that big Bull, Boar, or Buck rests broadside in your cross hairs..........don't put it off another year. Make this year the one you book on with a reputable Outfitter and travel North to a hunt of a life time......WE ARE HERE WAITING FOR YOU!

Sunday 1 January 2012

Does BCO have big bear?

I have been asked that very question quite a few times........."well  would like to hunt with you guys, but do you hunt big bears?" I answer "does a bear doo - doo in the bush?" BCO has some of the best bear hunting opps in British Columbia.
 Stop and think about it, currently BC's black bear population is at an all time high, with populations reaching 160,000. On top of that, human-bear conflicts have almost doubled since the early 90's. Clear cut logging produces some of the greatest bear habitat, and with the recent devastation of the Mountain Pine Bettle infestaion and the forced harvesting of large forested areas.....the bear population will take another jump. Add to all that the fact that the governement now wants many secondary logging roads laid to rest and reclaimed........"BOOM"......we are getting to have prime bear habitat literially around evey corner.
I was looking for a great bear area when I came across this one a few years back, and it has not dissapointed me in at any level. I have made a sudy of bears and bear hunting and this area is a real "furry" jewel. Each season we encounter dozens upon dozens of bears; some with size, some with color, and some with both. I feel our rate of color bears is up above 40%, and our color variations can range from near blond, to rusty red, to rich chocolate. The Island bears may have a few more pumpkin heads then we do (although we have had bears almost go 21 inches), but those bears lack the surprise of color variation. As for the size factor.....we take 7 foot plus bear each and every season. In fact last year we had a young client take a 7 foot 3 giant at 7 yards while in the kneeling position.......eye to eye. Another client had all but given up on Canada for bear hunting, he decided to give us a chance to turn his bad luck (and bad outfit/guiding experiences) around and we did so in typical BCO fashion. The message remains the same, we deliver some of the best bear hunting around. If you have ever considered BC for a bear hunting adventue, consider BCO......I strongly feel that we should be on most any sportsman's/sportswoman's bucket list, we are truly a one-of-a-kind outfit.

Friday 2 December 2011

Follow up shots

As a goat guide....mountain goats are considered one of the hardest animals to anchor and can take tons of bullet punishment before throwing in the towel....I have witnessed hunters staring in disbelief as a "well placed" bullet seemed to have no effect on the goat looking right back at them. By the time the hunter is even considers a follow up shot, typically the goat is already on the move and that can have disastrous results.
My two chosen guiding tag lines....."take'm".....followed by...."reload & hold". For the first command, I like to ensure the client is happy with the representative of the particular species that is about to find itself in his cross hairs. The second command follows right after the first shot is matter the shot placement or the reaction of the animal. Reloading & holding is like an insurance policy for the hunt! Estimates have shown as high as 10%  loss of big game due to wounding; and although the wounding of an animal is not the outcome any ethical hunter worth his salt is looking for, imagine saving for 5 years and watching your dream trophy make it to cover and not being able to recover it. Up here in the north country the chances of survival of the animal is extremely slim....cold winter weather and predators will see to that. As with any good outfit, we want to ensure the client is good with the first shot, but be also be prepared for the follow up.....if an animal is wounded and not will result in a cut tag. As guides, we must know distances (use a range finder when at all possible), know where to place the bullet and communicate that to the client. At that time it is up to the client to quickly and efficiently reload his rifle and prepare for a follow up shot. I would stress to clients preparing at home at the range, shoot your target and reload and hold on the target. I know for those that are accustomed to that movement, they will experience a lot less of the gut pains felt to wounded and lost game. Practice, Practice, Practice.......the only thing that will come of that is more experience and confidence. Our northern game can be hard to anchor for good, come prepared to "RELOAD & HOLD"!

Sunday 20 November 2011

Choose wisely.

Imagine, as a hunting client, showing up to the most incredible of hunting destinations with excitement pumping through your veins. Everything appears perfect, straight from the pages of an Outdoor Life magazine. The outfitter greets you as you approach the precisely laid out camp on the shores of a remote mountain lake......and he is wearing a cowboy is all just the way you imagined! After settling you in, the outfitter introduces you to your guide for the next 10 days........(we'll call him Buck). Upon being introduced; you throw out your hand and instead of a firm grip and a strong shake..... followed by the smell of a campfire, you receive a limp cold bony hand.......followed by the smell of whiskey. Oh well, even though old Buck didn't stand or look you in the eye during your introduction.....maybe he is the strong silent type that is less about talk and "gentlemanly manners" and more about mountain man action. Nope! Welcome to your nightmare, this is simply the start of what will turn out to be a huge waste of time and money.
 What you do not realize is that this particular outfit is operated by someone that really knows marketing and how to get guys sending in their checks and very little about the actual art of guided hunting. From the outside looking in, this hunting camp appears to be perfect.....but now that you are there, you realize that you fell for the oldest "guided hunting" trick in the book. As it typically turns out, that guy under the cowboy hat that looks  so much the part!?......Well looking the part can help book hunts, but it cannot make up for knowledge and experience. The traditional way of gaining the knowledge and experience required to really have a firm grip on the guided hunting industry, was to sign on with an outfit and start at the bottom. Years of wrangling and guiding will ensure young guides live through enough do's and don'ts to emerge a tough, wise, experienced outfitter. When times are tough enough, the weak ones simply go home and talk about that one season for the rest of their lives. I do not mean to say that unless an outfitter starts cleaning horses feet for the first two years of his career,that he is not worth a shit......but nowadays, I'm seeing more and more business men wearing cowboy hats. When choosing your next guided hunt, choose wisely. The outfit with the most outward flashiness may not be the best. Another classic move, for these would-be-outfitters is not to hire anyone that knows any more then they think they know.......the smart businessman outfitters hire and pay top guides to cover for their lack of, but this is another rarity. Keep in mind that many times good guides and outfitters will be like the cowboy hats they can tell from the sweat stains that they have seen some stuff but not so beat up that it can no longer do the job.