The Good (And Great) News On NWT Hunting


Published: January - 2002

My report on the Northwest Territories is very upbeat, but before I get into it, I would like to pay tribute to my friend, Phil Spano, owner of South Nahanni Outfitters in the NWT, who died at my side on October 5, 2001. We were returning from a two-week hunting trip in the mountains when the Hughes 500 helicopter Phil was piloting developed a fuel system complication. I am an ex-pilot, and I observed the fuel gauges with my own eyes. They showed adequate fuel, but something went wrong, and the engine quit at the worst possible moment on our approach to the Fort Simpson Airport. Phil died on impact. I was left with some serious fractures and bruises, but I am happy to report that I am mending well. The Department of Transport investigation is still ongoing, but there is no question that there were at least two fuel system malfunctions that led to this crash.

This is the second time I have been involved in an aircraft crash while hunting in the Northwest Territories. Some have said I am lucky. Others see it as being most unlucky. I know I am happy to be alive, and I accept these risks as part of the great adventure of hunting the Canadian North's vast wilderness areas. I have thousands of flight hours on planes and helicopters, and odds are that lighting will strike on occasion.

Turning to my report, hunting in the Northwest Territories continues to be fantastic. Empirical proof is found in this year's issue of an annual report produced by biologists Alasdair Veitch and Ellen Simmons. They are based in Norman Wells and have surveyed outfitters and hunters alike for several seasons. Their report, which is available now on The Hunting Report web site (www.huntingreport.com), is a tremendous read, underscoring the vast hunting areas and great potential for top trophies in the NWT. According to the report, the average Dall ram taken by all outfits last year was 10 years of age. Moose and caribou taken were of high quality. And hunters had numerous opportunities to take wolves........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: South Nahanni Outfitters; Nahanni Butte Outfitters, Ltd.; Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters; NWT Outfitters; Arctic Red River Outfitters;

  


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