Before booking this hunt, I shopped other outfitters extensively at the SCI Show, on the internet and via phone calls. St. John's success rate was almost 100 percent over the past eight years, and the fact that I wanted to hunt by snow machines made him my obvious choice. We had been scheduled to take this hunt earlier, but with the lack of snowfall, St. John asked us to postpone, hoping it would snow. Our flight in was delayed by a huge storm that should have been snow but which all fell as rain.
The first evening of the trip we had dinner with St. John in Arviat, and then stayed in a hotel. Nothing fancy, but good enough. The next morning, we met our Inuit guides and traveled out on snow machines. Being an avid snowmobiler myself (I own five), I know what is and isn't a good machine, and this equipment was very good. But within 20 minutes, one of our machines broke down. Things like this happen.
Thirty minutes after the breakdown, we had another machine and were back on the trail. But a storm blew in from nowhere, and we were fighting rain, which forced us to set up camp in a small shack much earlier than originally planned; better than getting soaked. A word of caution: if you take a hunt in the far North, be sure you leave your wristwatch at home and pack an IMMENSE amount of patience along with your hunting gear. No one ever seems to be in a hurry. A 7am scheduled departure time becomes 9am; a 10-minute delay becomes an hour. With the right attitude, this could be good; life back at the office is always too rushed.
For the next four days, we traveled on some snow, some dry land, and........(continued)