Monday, January 31, 2005

 

Peter's German Hunters Taste Success!

Peter Kalden is a friend of mine, and a well-respected Manitoba Outfitter. He owns Davis Point Lodge And Outfitting in the St. Martin area of Manitoba. I came to know him as he contracted the company I was working for, Northway Aviation, to do the flying for his non-resident Moose Hunts. The flying was conducted from a base on the Icelandic River in Riverton, Manitoba.

Peter was allocated a stretch of river on the Berens River near Long Lake, roughly 25-30 miles northwest of Little Grand Rapids. Peter had a beautiful stretch of river running east-west, with beautiful moose habitat on all sides. There was also an old trapper's cabin along this stretch of river, but it had seen many years of decay and unuse.

Peter is of German extraction, and had connections overseas to offer guided non-resident hunting packages. This fall in particular he had a group of German citizens coming to hunt.

We met on the docks early the morning of Peter's hunting party's departure date. We usually needed the Otter, Beaver, and Cessna 185 to transport a large party of hunters and guides. Hunters are a breed unto themselves. I am sure they bring everything they personally own out into the bush, as well as items they have pilfered from their neighbours the previous evening. We always found a lot of humour in what the hunters would bring.

We finally managed to load the party into the 3 airplanes, and cranked off down the river to takeoff and transport them out to the Berens River. The trip took about an hour, and we dropped the party off on a small rocky knoll on the edge of the river. Basically, the trip into the bush was quite uneventful, except when Peter slipped into the water while trying to help me secure the Otter to the shoreline. I tried to suppress the smile trying to escape my lips. This was late September, and the water was very cold. I didn't understand the words or the language that came hurtling out of Peter's mouth as he quickly exited the water, but then again, I probably wouldn't have wanted to anyway. Peter's German guests really seemed to be impressed with the stretch of river, as when they exited the airplane, each guest would stop, look up to the sky, sniff the air, thump their chest with both fists, and say "CANADA"!!

I bid the party adios and headed back to Base. They had a mobile telephone and would call daily to let us know of any success they had, and also to let us know they were OK.

Within a few days, Peter called to say they were having great success and they had meat to pick up if we were in the area, but it was a cold Fall, so when the meat was picked up wasn't critical, as they had it covered and hanging. It just so happened we had aircraft in the area, so we picked up their meat, which happened to be 4 Moose. These guys had tremendous luck, or great guiding. (We told the guides it must have been luck, jokingly. Peter had good guides: his son Alex, along with Brent, and Jerry.) We transported the meat back to our Base, and made arrangements for Peter's wife to pick up the moose meat, as the hunting party was staying in the bush for another few days to fish and relax.

We picked up Peter's group of hunters a couple of days later. I was amused and astonished to learn that the German hunters had insisted on staying in the old trapper's cabin, even though it leaked, was full of mice, and was rotting. They said they were really experiencing the "Canadian bush", and it seemed to be a badge of honour to them to have slept in a "real, honest-to-goodness, aboriginal's trapper's cabin". It made me ponder momentarily that most Canadians don't realize the value of the diverse and basically unspoiled, priceless geography that we own. I'm sure there are many countries in Europe where the natural, unspoiled wilderness is virtually nil. I'm sure this trip was the trip of a lifetime, what with the breathless beauty of the wilderness, the trapper's cabin, the tremendous moose hunting, and last, but not least, the chuckle everybody had when Peter fell in the water. Anyways, we made it back to our Base, unloaded, and bid the hunters "auf wiedersehen". I am sure this was a trip they were going to remember due to the numbers of pictures they had taken over the past number of days, and I was happy to have been a part of their "Great Canadian Adventure"!


Old CF-UKN on "the step" transporting Peter and his crew of moose hunters out to the Berens River.... Posted by Hello


A beautiful fall day on the Icelandic River, Manitoba. As you can see, 4 beautiful specimens....( I mean the moose racks, silly.....) Canada is sure blessed with an abundance of natural resources!! Posted by Hello

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