It was day one of the hunt. October 8, 2001. I was wearing my lucky cowboy hat, traveling with a group of executives from our company, mostly from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were headed to Lake Mollet near Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, Canada for a Quebec-Labrador caribou hunt.
We had flown from our tent camp for about 20 minutes in three aircraft a Cessna 185 on floats, a Dehavilland Beaver on floats, and a Bell Long Ranger helicopter on skids. The temperature most of the day was around the freezing point. The caribou were on their annual migration, and we saw many very large groups. Some of our hunters were successful but most decided not to shoot as there were likely to be better trophies to try for. After all, we had four more days to hunt.
Around 4 pm we all grouped together to fly back to the camp. Light snow, mixed with freezing rain was falling as we boarded the aircraft. The cloud ceiling was high enough for adequate visibility and the trip was short. We were all ready to return to camp to refresh ourselves and talk about the day's hunt in front of a warm fire.
The charter pilot assigned the seating based upon the weight and balance desired, and I was assigned to go in the Beaver, in the seat on the port side just behind the pilot. There were seven seats on this aircraft two in the front including the pilot, three in the middle, and two in the back. We flew just under the clouds in snowy, misty conditions. I had been in two prior flying accidents, so I was very nervous. The weather bothered me, and it was only getting worse. And then the wind picked up. I was somewhat relieved when I saw the lake and campsite, as well as the Cessna and helicopter, which had already landed safely.
We passed the camp and prepared for........(continued)