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Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 9062 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: September 1, 2012 to September 11, 2012
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area:


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): Ben and Lorne Stourac plus Christ Widrig
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Moose - Availability: Average - Trophy Size:
Caribou, Mountain - Availability: Average - Trophy Size:
Game Sought But Not Taken:
Game Condition Comments: See attached letters


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Poor Guide/PH Ability: Poor
Condition of Camp: Poor Condition of Equipment: N/A
Quality of Food: Poor Trophy Care: N/A
Name of Airline: Airline Service: N/A
Airline Comments:


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $0
Trophy Fees: Amount: $0
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $0
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $0
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Amount: $0
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: See attached letters
Highlights of Hunt:
Equipment Recommendations:
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? no
Why? See attached letters


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Dimitrey Stebley
Contact Information: Tel. 847-471-9911 - 36 Plymouth Ct., Lincolnshire IL 60069-3157 E-mail: gstebley@gmail.com
Hunting Experience: I hunt for many years all around the world.
Physical Condition: Good


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL
Letter from Dimitrey Stebley to editor Barbara Crown:

I am writing this letter to you to tell you about my recent hunting experience. My letter is full of hurt feelings and bad situations. I never thought that I would be writing to you about this kind of a hunting trip. Its all about the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY. In my case its UGLY beyond belief. I hope you can bear to read this till the end.

 

My very close friend, Michael Tabachnyk and I booked a Moose and Mountain Caribou hunting with Widrig Outfitters for September 1st through September 11th, 2012.

 

We arrived at base camp where we met our guides, brothers, 23-year-old Ben and 18-year-old Lorne Stourac along owner Chris Widrig. We were happy to arrive to base camp which was very comfortable and well organized; this specifically made me feel at ease as I was ill with a severe cold. That first evening, I inquired with Ben about our hunting plan for the next day. He informed me that we were supposed to leave base camp next morning no later than 10 AM. Ben advised that we have to leave this early because it takes 6 to 8 hours to get to fly camp by horse. I understood and was looking forward to the travel. To my surprise, the next morning Ben and Lorne tried to reschedule the hunting trip, they wanted to stay at base camp and hunt within the area. The proposed plan was to travel to fly camp the day after next. My friend and I weighed our options and felt that if we stayed at base camp for another day we would be loosing valuable hunting time. We insisted to go to the fly camp same day; it was evident that our guides did not like that suggestion which was the beginning of insulting and disrespectful communication.

 

Since that day and for the rest of the trip, our conversations with our guides were forced.  It was clear that our conversations were very dry; Ben and Lorne gave us short answers to our questions. We did not feel that we were a part of a team; Michael and I were on our own. They quietly started to load horses just around noon and we left base camp right after 3:00 PM.  There was no training or directions given on how to ride a horse. Luckily Michael had experience but I needed some help, so we just jumped on the saddle and started the trip. As expected we arrived late, after sundown and started to set up camp. Set-up of the fly camp was very poor. From years of experience I was surprised that our guides showed very little expertise in camp set up. This was the first sign for us that our guides may be underqualified.

 

On the very first day of hunting Michael and Lorne were pursuing Caribou. They spotted a pair of Caribou.  Lorne was unable to determine an estimated size of the trophy and define which Caribou needed to be hunted. Michael asked Lorne three or four times which Caribou he needed to choose based on trophy value. He did not receive any answers. When the pair of Caribou turned around and started moving away, Lorne quickly said Shoot! Shoot!, still not being clear which one to aim at. On our way back to camp, Michel was very frustrated. Back at camp, Lorne said that Michael shot the wrong Caribou. Lornes demeanor was very unprofessional.

 

We woke up on the third day to find out that all of our horses ran away. The only choice was to stay in camp for the day. We lost a day of hunting. Around 4 PM, our guides returned to camp with the horses, tired and angry. I asked Ben if we had any hunting plans for the rest of the day. All of a sudden, Ben started yelling, Why did you stay at camp all day! As I told you, you had to climb on this hill and watch for a Moose! So you are here to hunt a Moose, is that clear! I was shocked, why was my guide yelling at me? I did nothing wrong, I did not let the horses run away. He may have been upset about the horses running away; however, this was not my responsibility and I should not have been treated this way. The action that the guide took was very unprofessional and left a very bad taste in my mouth. I politely asked Ben to lower his voice, reminded him that I didnt deserve his rude tone. His response was terrible and every word and phrase was offensive. I did not understand his anger towards me; I turned around and stopped talking.

           

Next two days everything was the same: short answers to our questions and we still did not feel like a team. Chris, the owner was expected at camp to pick up harvested meat. I asked Ben to call Chris to bring two thermoses as I was still ill and hot tea or coffee would be beneficial on the field. The answer was; Things like this we are not going to provide!

 

Another day I was waiting by the horses while Michael and Lorne went on a hunt.  Michael then told me that he did not have a good experience with Lorne again as he could not determine the size of Moose. When they saw two animals, Michael asked Lorne which one to shoot? Lorne advised that it was hard to say, that one was bigger than the other. Michael asked if he could shoot the one on the left because he looked bigger, Lorne confirmed and said Yes, Shoot! Michael again asked for confirmation and Lorne confirmed that he was sure the Moose on the left was to be shot. Then, Lorne advised that Michael shot the wrong Moose, again!

 

I was waiting by the horses, when Lorne came back angry and furious. We started to ride looking for Michael but couldnt locate him. Lorne lost his patience and started screaming in the air: Michael, where the f**k are you? Son of a bitch, where are you? I was baffled at this behavior but I kept to myself. When we found Michael, Lorne screamed: You guys listen up! You must follow me while Im searching for wounded animal! Is that understood? This is when I lost my patience. I told Lorne that I did not appreciate his tone. I told him that I am three times his senior and wanted to know why he was screaming at me. Lorne responded in a rude tone telling me that he is my guide and I must listen to him and do as he says.

 

Hunting that day ended too late, almost in the dark. Around 9pm that night, we jumped on horses and headed towards camp. On our way back to camp guides ran away and left Michael and I alone on the middle of somewhere one on one with darkness in complete disorientation. I mentioned earlier that we did not receive any training on horseback riding and was still terribly sick, I lost my position and fell off my horse, fortunately with Michaels help, and I was able to mount the horse again. We were nervous and disoriented. Luckily the horses found their way back to camp. When we arrived back at camp, Ben and Lorne asked with angry faces: What took so long? I did not answer; I was mentally exhausted. That evening our guides denied cooking supper. After asking why, Ben said that he was not hungry and that we could open any can and eat what we want. Following this, both, Ben and Lorne began to blame us for the events that occurred earlier, they said that Michael and I were not good hunters. In a mess of words and sentences I overheard them saying You guys suck! Only after our conversation came to an unacceptable level they made some food and left us alone acting as if they were doing us a favor.  I was very upset at that point, I turned to Michael and said that I did not want be there anymore. I paid for hunting, not for personal offences and abuse.

 

Michael and I decided to finish this nightmare for once and for all.  I called Joann, Chriss wife, to ask her to arrange a charter flight from camp back to Whitehorse at my own expense. We did not want to be in the company of these guides any longer. I advised Ben that this hunting was over and we were going back to base camp.

 

In the morning, after loading the horses, in very unpleasant manner Ben gave me a horse lesson, how properly manage horse riding; on last day of hunting?? Then Ben and Lorne hung big bells the horses Michael and I rode. Our guides said, If you are that scared to be lost, we put bells on your horses, to make you sure you wont be lost. It was formal mockery.

 

As soon as we got back to base camp we wanted to speak with Chris in private. I tried to explain to him our complications between guides and us. We told Chris about their rude and offensive behavior and our frustration. Unexpectedly, Chris stopped me and said: If you dont like my guides, this is your problem, they are my best guides. I was shocked and frustrated, Ive been offended verbally by his guides and now the owner. We told Chris about our doubts of his guides qualifications, professionalism and experience because of their age and behavior, and asked to see their licenses. Chris Widrig, grey haired man in respectful age, yelled at me: Who the f**k are you? Who do you think you are? Get f**k off here!! I cant wait until you leave the camp! Never have I had uglier clients. This was followed by many more offensive and profane language. In awe I shut my mouth and stopped talking. Furthermore, Ben, Lorne and Chris Widrig came again in our cabin and continued a conversation in offensive manner trying to prove to me that Im very bad guy and deserve this. Ben said that he and his brother were more experienced hunters than Michael and I because he hunts 200 days a year and my friend and I were not even close to that. I couldnt believe it. At that point I ended the conversation and insisted to leave camp as soon as possible using charter flight. Unfortunately the weather did not allow us to leave the camp; we stayed two more days until scheduled flight took us back to Whitehorse.

 

It was an awful experience. Even now I dont understand why our guides preferred to mistreat us instead of providing professional service. As experienced hunters, this trip was truly the worst Michael and I have ever had.

 

I have hunted for many years all around the world. Hunting is my passion and a big part of my life. I hunted with world-renowned outfitters and achieved my reputation.

Here are some of them:

Laurentian Wildlife Outfitting (Canada),

Canada North Outfitting (Canada), Jerome Knapp, Polar Bear 2007

Omalanga Safaris (Namibia), Gunter Schwalm, Plains game 2008

Tsui River (Alaska), Sam Fejes, Moose and Brown Bear 2008

African Hunting Company (Zimbabwe) Dirk DuPloy, Elephant, Cape Buffalo 2009, 2010

Canada North Outfitting (Canada), Jerome Knapp, Musk Ox, Black Bear 2010
Yuri Mattison (Tajikistan), Marko Polo Sheep 2010

Omujeve Safaris (Namibia), Corne Kruger, Leopard 2012

Canada North Outfitting (Canada), John Sauro, Musk Ox 2012

 

Barbara, I appreciate you reading my letter and bearing with this poor experience. I hope that no hunter ever experiences what my friend and I have. We are still undecided regarding legal action to protect our honor and advantage.

 

            You may remember me from our short conversations at the Dallas Safari Club show or SCI convention in Reno. Please contact me at your convenience if you need any explanations or details of this sad story.

 

Very truly yours,

Dmitrey George Stebley

Response from Chris Widrig

 

November 19th, 2012  

 

            Please find enclosed my response to Mr. Stebley, as well as comprehensive responses from the two guides who conducted the hunt, Ben & Lorne Stourac.

The complainant, Dmitrey George Stebley (born in the Ukraine) and Mykhailo Tabachnyk (born and lives in the Ukraine) hunted on a moose and caribou horseback hunt with us September 1st-11th, 2012. Both hunters indicated on their pre hunt questionnaire that they had previous experience with horseback hunts and with moose hunts. In fact Dmitrey explained to me that he had been on several unsuccessful moose hunts in the past.

Each hunter successfully harvested moose and caribou with us on this trip. Dmitrey harvested a 59 ½ moose and a record book quality caribou. Mykhailo harvested a small moose (shot the wrong one) and a small caribou (shot the wrong one).

I believe the primary reason for their hurt feelings was the fact that we would not allow them to shoot more than one animal of each species on the hunt. After Dmitrey harvested his 59 ½ bull he immediately asked his guide Ben if he could try and find a bigger one to shoot. Mykhailo harvested a caribou early in the hunt and had to be verbally restrained for shooting a second one. Later Mykhailo gut shot a moose and had to be forcefully and verbally restrained by his guide Lorne from shooting a 2nd bull. Yukon wildlife regulations clearly state that each hunter can only harvest one moose and one caribou. Nowhere in my promotional literature does it state that a hunter can harvest more than one animal on a hunt. At the conclusion of the hunt Dmitrey said that they thought I owned the animals and could harvest as many as I wanted. I explained that this was not the case. Wildlife in the Yukon is a public resource and managed for sustainable harvest (meaning one animal per hunter on each hunt). He considered this to be an unusual situation and gave personal examples of shooting multiple Marco Polo sheep, Muskox and Brown Bear (which is probably illegal in Alaska).

One of the responsibilities of a Yukon guide is to; directly supervise and provide instruction to the hunter and to ensure their safety, as well as to exercise reasonable control over the hunter to ensure they comply with the wildlife act while hunting (page 23 of the Yukon hunting regulations). A guide leads and the hunter follows. Mykhailo refused to follow instructions or to listen to his guide Lorne on the stalks for moose and caribou. As a result he shot the wrong animal in both cases. In addition he attempted to contravene Yukon Wildlife law by shooting a second animal of the same species. Mykhailo also refused to follow his guide when

Tracking his wounded moose (Yukon wildlife regulations stipulate that hunters must stay with their guide and to make every effort to track wounded game). His command of the English language was not very good, but he was able to communicate with the guides on a daily basis.  After shooting each animal he said in perfectly clear English I can shoot another one cant I.

The complaint lists examples of disrespectful communication on the part of my two guides, Ben & Lorne. A full reading of the guides submissions will make it clear that they carried out their guiding duties in a professional manner. There was less than optimal guide-hunter communication in spike camp because the two hunters treated their proud, hard working, guides with serious disrespect and called them children. Ben and Lorne Stourac are two of the finest young men I have ever known. They are totally dedicated, professional guides. I have a long list of very favorable hunter references for each of them here on my desk. As well, I have personally been in spike camps with each of them during the Dall sheep season and would rate them both as top ten guides that I have hired over the years.

The hunters rode back to base camp on September 8th, and immediately launched into a tirade about their guides, even before the horses were unsaddled. I was prepared for this, as I had received a briefing every few days from Ben on the satellite phone regarding the hunts progress. I knew that they had both filled their tags in only a few days, had requested or attempted to shoot more than their legal bag limit, had treated their young guides with contempt, had disregarded their guides instructions on numerous occasions (resulting in Mykhailo shooting two small, inferior animals), and had requested to fly out early from base camp.

I listened to Dmitrey rant for a few minutes and then I had had enough. Yes, I defended the honor of my guides. They are hard working and honest. I am currently the 2nd oldest outfitter here in the Yukon and have served hunters for 27 seasons (over 750 hunters). In addition I have personally guided hunters for 39 years. Last fall we had hunters from twelve countries visit us. I am very proud of the service we offer, a classic wilderness horseback hunt. So, when Mykhailo belligerently demanded to see my outfitting licence in Ukrainian (translated by Dmitrey), I responded with verbal force. His quotation of what I said at that moment, although not entirely accurate, pretty much sums up how I felt about them. They were difficult hunters, arrogant, narcissistic, and disrespectful of both the people and the unique wilderness of the Yukon. Thank you for listening to our side of the story.

 

Yours Truly,

Chris Widrig, Widrig Outfitters (97) Ltd.

________________________________________________________________________

Response from guide Lorne Stourac

September 1st 2012,

 

Dimitry and Michael arrived on the Twin otter float plane at our moose base camp at Bonnet Plume Lake September 1st 2012. They had just finished a muskox hunt in the North West territories and traveled to our hunting outfit a few days later. Apon arrival we were very accommodating as we are to all the hunters that arrive we unloaded the plane showed the hunters to their cabin and assisted them with any questions or other needs they may have. After a delicious supper provided by our camp cook we sighted in there rifles in case they got banged around on the long travel here.

 

We discussed the plan and schedule for the hunt and both the guides and hunters were very excited to get hunting. The next day I woke up early and set out to wrangle the 10 horses we had assigned to us for the hunt. The weather this day was cold and wet typical September day. I had all the horses in and back at camp before 10am after a long wet wrangle. We discussed with the hunters if they would like to hunt out of base camp that day or head out to our spike camp. We asked this to give Dimity a day to rest as he was sick with a cold and a five hour ride in the saddle on a wet cold day isnt the best way to heal. We had seen large bull moose frequently travel along the other side of the lake and if they decided to hunt out of base camp that day they would have a gear chance at shooting a nice bull or at least another day to rest. They thought about it for a while and both Michael and Dimitry said they would like to travel that day.

 

Ben and I saddled all the horses and packed up. We were informed that Michael trained horses back in Ukraine and Dmitry had little experience as most of our hunters do. This was not a problem we gave both the hunters a riding lesson showing them how to sit tall in the saddle and control there horses how to rein them left or right, stop them or get them to go faster. we put Dmitry on Red man a tall roan gelding standing around 17 hands high, a gentle giant he was the slowest horse in the group and the gentlest a great match up for a rider who has never ridden before especially because Dmitry was a larger hunter and Red man would be able to carry him all day without a problem on our long ride that day. We left our base camp and got into our spike camp nice and early we set up camp cooked supper and relaxed and talked about the plan for the next day.

 

September 3rd Ben and I were up long before the sun Ben made coffee and breakfast and I wrangled and saddled the horses. We woke up Dmitry and Michael had a nice filling breakfast made our lunches and headed out for the day. Right from the first fifteen minutes of the day we spotted game we had spotted over 25 caribou in a few short hours. Ben and I spotted a nice bull about a mile away on top a mountain with another small bull. We also spotted another beautiful caribou close to us only 800 yards away across the mountain from us. We asked the hunters who wants which caribou, as the bigger one was much farther and harder to get to. Dmitry took the closer caribou and Michael wanted the larger trophy. I took Michael and headed out to stalk our caribou.

 

Michael was having troubles with the long journey on foot so I carried his rifle and gear for him. This was no problem and is quite common for me to do with most our hunters I want them to be rested and not tired when they have to take the shot. Once we got to the top of the mountain I spotted them 400 yards down below us. There was our caribou a beautiful mature bulll. He was the widest caribou I had ever seen he had long double shovels and bez's and enormous tops and width to him, this is unusual to find in a caribou he would score over 400 Boone and crocket with deductions for sure without a doubt in my mind. The other caribou he was with was a very little young caribou they were both bedded down at the time and were unable to shoot because the big one's antlers came back so far his antlers covered to much of his body when laying down to get a clear shot at.

 

I discussed with Michael for just over an hour which caribou to shoot so it was clear to him I ended up getting Michael up to 227 yards with a rest on my backpack I told him his bullet will drop approximately 4 inches with the angle and bullet grain he was shooting. I bent over on all fours and pointed to just behind my front shoulder to where my heart and lungs are and told him all he had to do was put his cross hairs where I showed him and he would have a record book caribou. About fifteen minutes later when the caribou presented himself with a perfect broad side shot I said if you feel comfortable take the shot. The bull on the left is our man; when comfortable take the shot. When he did I seen something drop out of the corner of my eye he had shot the wrong caribou. There was a 75- 100 yard separation between the two bulls and he shot the wrong one.

 

I said "you shot the wrong one" he replied with "thats ok I get two caribou I can shoot this one to" " I said no you get one caribou and you just shot him" Michael replied with "what are you talking about I can shoot him and buy another tag later" I said "no you cant put down your gun you shot your caribou. You only get one!" he looked at me and started to yell and swear in Ukraine. We sat there for a while as we watched our big caribou run away slowly down the valley stopping and looking back every hundred yards or so. I climbed back up grabbed our remaining gear that we left on top the mountain before we did our stalk.

 

Ben heard our gunshot because I seen him running on a mountain about a mille away where he and Dimitry were chasing there caribou I signaled Ben telling him we got the caribou. I grabbed our gear climbed down the mountain with Michael took photo's of the caribou with Michael. As I was doing this I seen something on the skyline it was Ben he came down we talked to Michael he told us he had made a mistake and thought he could shoot two caribou it was an accident he told us. Ben and I cleaned the caribou de-boned it all and back packed it up and over the mountain and a mile back to the horses Michael never got his hands bloody once.

 

Back at camp we discussed what went wrong Michael told us he just got to excited and thought he had two caribou tags and could buy more. The rules in the Yukon state you only get one tag. They wanted us to call Chris break the law and get him another tag this was impossible and not going to happen, Then the hunters started to complain that they were not seeing any game, that day we seen over 35 caribou by the time the day ended and we had seen a couple moose one being about a 54 inch bull that was much to small to shoot this early in the hunt.

 

The next day I set out to wrangle the horses. Little did I know it would turn out to be a full day event. Along the way I had a stand off with a grizzly a couple miles from camp. I never had to shoot him in defense thank God. And the tense stand off only lasted about a couple minutes. I kept tracking the horses and after six hours of tracking with no food I returned to camp to inform the hunters and Ben what was going on. It wasnt a wasted day because it gave us time to spot game I spotted six moose around the lake next to our spike camp and Ben spotted a couple nice bulls as well. Me and Ben set out again after eating some food we returned a few hours later after a 1 1/2 bare back ride back to camp we had all 10 horses with us. Ben and I cooked supper and climbed a hill looking for moose. we spotter a nice bull down the valley he was about three miles away but through our spotting scopes he looked like a 60 inch plus bull.

 

The next day we traveled down the valley to look for the bull the spotted within half an hour I had spotted two bulls, we let Dimitry and Michael decide who shoots the one bull as the other one was to small. They decided that Dimitry would shoot the bull so we all traveled down there pulled a stalk and Dimitry shot his moose. First thing he said when he walked up on it was "do you think we can find a bigger one" we were looking at a beautiful 60 inch moose and he said "do you think we can find a bigger one"? Most hunters would dream to be on a hunt in the Yukon like this and to shoot a beautiful 6o inch moose. We told them 'No your a very lucky hunter and this is a beautiful moose you should be very happy" we took our pictures with them and I left Ben and Dimitry to clean there moose and I took Michael up on a hill to continue looking for our bull.

 

Within a couple hours of I had spotted a few different bulls. I showed Michael them as he just sat there not looking through his binoculars once. So it would be next to impossible for him to spot a moose in the vast Yukon landscape without using your binoculars. Just before dark I spotted a nice 57-58 inch bull with a cow up on a hill he had nice tall and wide palms not the widest moose but extremely good looking bull. It was too late to pursue that day so me and Michael would head for him the next day.

 

We woke up early and I was excited to find this moose again and stalk him. Within half an hour of sitting Dimitry and Michael came to me complaining "there is no moose here"! I said "what are you talking about you just shot a nice bull yesterday and we've been seeing lots of moose every day. this isnt Africa or a fenced hunting farm this is the Yukon a hunt like this requires patience there's moose every where be patient" Its frustrating hearing a hunter say that after showing him a dozen moose a day telling him none of them are right for him and were waiting for a bigger one. About fifteen minutes later I spotted my bull again almost in the same spot I told Michael and Dimitry and we watched him for another fifteen minutes to see if he moves at all.

 

We rode up and stalked him he was with a couple smaller satellite bulls. Dimitry stayed at the horses as he was coughing and sniffling and this could potentially interfere with the success of our hunt. We walked for about twenty minutes through the willows before I spotted them. I got Michael set up at 96 yards and told him to wait there was three moose two smaller satellite bulls and our moose bedded down with a cow. I told him "just to wait and be patient in going to call and see if he will stand up when he does if youre comfortable take the shot. Do not shoot until I tell you, do you understand" he said yes. Next thing I know shots ring out. He shot twice before I told him to shoot! Then the big one stood up after the gun shots he said "shit I get two bulls right I can shoot him to!?" I said "NO! You wounded one shoot him again he shot a third time and missed" frustrated I said "why the hell did you shoot!?" he said "I thought I get two bulls" I said " "of course you dont what would make you think you do" he was silent

 

I said follow me I started to track the moose I was following blood than Michael took off in the total opposite direction. At this time a snow storm was blowing in and I was worried it would cover the blood trail and we would loose this animal. Being the wrong animal or not it made no difference to me. I started calling for Michael through this snow storm he wouldn't reply, I yelled again for him still nothing I started to look for Michael now in a snow storm while having to leave a blood trail in a snow storm, I called for Michael again he replied telling me "come over here" I said did you find him " he said "no" I replied with " well get over here! I got a blood trail and the snows going to cover it up Get over here now!" when he came over I said "what were you thinking? you knew I had the blood trail why would you leave I shouldnt have to go out looking for you when Im on the blood trail you have the rifle and there's a wounded animal out there dont ever leave like that again," he nodded his head and said he understood.

 

I left Michael at the last patch of blood I found and went back to the horses to get Dimitry and the horses and let him know what had happened. All dimity had to say was his isnt bigger than mine is it? I said does it really matter there's a wounded animal out there we need to find it" I took Dimitry to the last known blood spot I found. I told them that its going to be dark in a couple hours and we need to find this moose. Dimitry got mad at me and said Im older than you; you dont tell me what to do" I said age out here doesnt mean anything Im your guide you need to show me some respect Ive gave you nothing but respect this whole hunt if you want to argue, we can argue later put everything aside and we need to find this moose" Dimitry replied with "what do you know your only a child" I said " Im your guide you need to show some respect this isnt Africa where you can buy another tag there's a wounded animal out there and we need to find him you only get one tag here, if we dont find it you still have to pay your trophy fee and you dont get a moose" after I told him that he showed me some respect and followed me.

 

when it was all said and done I tracked this moose through the thick willows and buck brush for six hours when I found him Michael had to shoot him three more times and I had to shoot him once because he tried Charging Dimitry and Dimitry fell over when all said and done the moose was maybe ten yards from Dimitry. After that he never called me a child he was thankful for me. Looking at the moose at was clearly the wrong moose he was only 46 inch's wide and Michael knew he shouldn't have shot until I told him to. We took pictures and I cleaned the animal while they sat and watched me. That night we rode back to camp getting in just after 8 pm still a little day light I had told Ben what happened I was sick to my stomach. These guys truly didnt understand how much effort we put in every day and all he would have had to do was wait another couple minutes maybe a little more and listen to me and he would have had a beautiful 57-58 inch moose with wide palms and huge left fronts. This was only the fourth day of the hunt - still early. We were not rushed by any means.

 

The next day I went out to pack out the moose with horses and Ben took Dimitry up a mountain above where I shot my moose to chase a group of 28 caribou. There were 14 bulls in that group and not a small one in the bunch. A couple hours later I heard gun shots. Michael was watching me as I de-boned his moose and never offered a hand once. Ben came down just as I was finishing de-boning the moose and asked me to help pack his caribou down. We climbed up the mountain and cleaned up his caribou and back packed it off the mountain in a snow storm. We got back to the horses packed up all the meat onto the horses and headed back to camp. We rode in the dark for a while but we stopped ever couple hundred yards to make sure we got everyone and everyone was ok. We kept voice contact with them though the ride to keep them calm and let them know where we were at all times. We got into camp me and Ben dropped the meat by the lake for Chris to pick up the next day.

 

That night they started to argue with us They said we left them alone which was the farthest possible thing from being true, they started calling us children I said children dont get you up on a record book caribou, all you had to do was listen to me and you would have two nice animals. This isnt my fault its yours. You wouldnt listen to me. After arguing with us they demanded to us that we cook them supper by this time is was 12:30 at night. We told them you can have whatever you like were not hungry you can help yourself to whatever you like. They demanded we cook them something we ended up making them some noodles and vegetables and went to bed around one in the morning.

 

The next morning we woke up early took down camp packed up everything. Just before heading out we heard Chris flying and landing on the lake. We went over to talk to him they asked if they could get Chris to fly them back to camp so they didnt have to ride. Chris said he's just too busy flying meat and cant do it. me and Ben took a walk around camp to make sure we got everything and didnt leave any garbage behind when we got to the spot where the hunters had there tent there was a huge pile of used Kleenex and empty water bottles and candy wrappers. This was extremely disrespectful. We told them this is extremely disrespectful, next time you come visit someone else's country clean up your mess and show some respect. We shouldnt have to pick up after you. We cleaned up there garbage for them jumped on our horses and gave them another riding lesson because Michael insisted that riding horses here is different than back in Ukraine. Anyone who rides knows that if you know how to ride a horse its the same all over the world. We gave them a quick lesson and headed back to camp.

 

Upon arriving at camp Dimitry and Michael complained to Chris about there hunt. They had no valid arguments. Chris handled them very professionally he sat us all down and debriefed the whole hunt. They admitted they made a mistake and shot the wrong animal. They said they were not disappointed with the outfit or us but that Michael did not get an 84 inch moose. He wanted the worlds biggest moose. This is unheard of. This was the only argument by the end of the hunt they would bring up, they settled down after we all debriefed and were civil with us. . Chris told them we are not children, Lorne tracked your moose for you for six hours you should be impressed with him.

 

The next few days they were friendly with us, they hung out in there cabin mostly and came out mainly only to eat or get coffee. They were unable to fly home early due to the weather and planes not being able to fly. The last day when we were saying goodbye to all the hunters as soon as Michael and Dimitry seen the plane they ignored me when I went to shake there hand and walked right on past. So I continued to say good bye to the hunters and congratulate them on there hunt.

 

The Yukon is a very tough but extremely rewarding hunt. Age in the bush means nothing if someone knows something more than you its simple you should listen. No child can work 90 days in the bush on horse back away from civilization, his family and friends. Where you are in charge of everything on a day to day basis right from catching and saddling the horses to cooking meals and ensuring the best possible result for the hunt. Ben guided a record book caribou and a 60" moose. Michael should have had a record book caribou and a beautiful moose. Im still sick to my stomach of the result of the hunt based on the fact of not listening to me. Sometimes pride needs to me set aside. Every hunt I guided was successful and the hunters were thrilled with the result. The only difference being they shot when I told them to and they listened to me.

 

Maybe there was confusion they thought they could buy more tags. This isnt how our outfit or hunts in the Yukon are run. Michael told us he had a history of buying more tags. On Marco polo hunt he went on he was able to shoot three because he wounded three and ended up having to shoot and take home all three. He has six Grizzly bears from buying more tags during the hunt. Chris operation does not run like that you get one tag for the animal your hunting take pride in it and dont try and play the system. Chris manages his game and area extremely well and makes no exceptions no matter what.

 

Chris runs a very successful and well established operation. I have posted a review from one of my other hunters.

 

Lorne Stourac

________________________________________________________________________

 

November 18, 2012

Ben Stourac Response

 

1. He says we told them we were supposed to leave camp no later than 10am the next morning because the ride was 6-8 hours long. He also states how he is very ill so was happy to see that the base camp was comfortable so he could feel better.

 

 Response: At no point did I or do I ever tell a hunter we will leave at a certain time. I stated (with Lorne and Leanne right there as my proof) that we will try to get out of camp as early as possible, but it depends on how long it takes to get the horses in the morning. We told them the horses tend to head a long ways away on hunter change dates, so it can be difficult to find them sometimes, but we would do our best to get them as early as possible. Lorne was up at 5am and out wrangling horses, long before these guys even woke up. When he was not back by 8am I was getting nervous because he had been gone a long time. Finally Michael and Dmitry woke up at 8ish so I told them of the situation, and asked how Dmitry felt. He said not well. I gave him the option of staying in base camp for the day so he could hopefully get over his cold in comfort instead of going out to stay in a tent and possibly not get better. I said I dont know when the horses will get back, it could be a while yet, so if they would like they could hunt out of base camp today and hunt the lake in the boat with me so we did not waste any hunting time while waiting for the horses. They agreed, and then decided later on they would like to go anyways, so when Lorne got the horses in at 10am, we saddled up and left camp. We left camp by noon, not 3. Leanne is our witness. 

 

2. He says conversations were dry and forced. The only conversations ever forthcoming were from Dmitry as Michael would never speak to us in English because he couldnt very well. We had some friendly conversation together every day until they became jerks to us. They would never try to make small talk with us, in a friendly manner; they would just speak to each other in Russian and leave us out. We would try to be friendly but it only goes so far when the other is not responding. 

 

3. He said he was given no instruction on how to ride his horse, but Michael was an experienced rider. He told us he had some experience our first supper at base camp, but that Michael rides horses 3 hours every day back home and was very experienced. We helped him adjust his saddle, told him how to hold the reigns, and how to ride comfortably, sitting straight up in the saddle and balancing his weight evenly. Other than this, his horse follows and all he needs to do is hold on. Every day either I or Lorne would be up front, and the other behind so we could keep an eye on the hunters and how they ride to make sure they are okay and not soaring up the horses doing something stupid.

 

Dmitry insisted he take his huge DSLR camera and backpack on him every day, and would not wear it on his back, so he would hang it off of the horse's saddle horn instead. His saddle slipped sideways one day, and we were right there to help out. We helped him get off his horse without falling, and adjusted it for him once again so he could jump on. We had told him he would have complications with his saddle slipping sideways because of the added weight of this huge camera, but he insisted he would not wear it on his back because thats what the horses were for...to work for them.

 

As Lorne or myself would ride behind the hunters, we would give them tips on riding safely and securely, telling them to shift their weight one way or the other to keep their saddles straight, to sit up straighter in the saddle to take strain off of their backs so they would feel more comfortable. Dmitry would let his horse Redman wander off the trail and pick his own route, as this horse likes to do. He just picks the path of least resistance instead of following the other horses sometimes. We told him he needs to pull his reigns in the direction he wants (left or right) and showed him how to do so, to make Redman stay on course. He said these horses are not like Ukrainian horses and control much differently, and even Michael does not know how to control them. We showed them how every day, but they would be lazy and let their horses wander anyways.

 

The day Dmitry shot his caribou and Michael picked up his moose meat, we rode back in the dark, and Lorne and I were out front with the meat and packhorses. Dmitry and Michael were always within 100 yards of us, and their horses were always following our exact tracks. Not once did I lose sight of the hunters, and I stopped multiple times on the ride home to make sure everyone was doing okay and nobody needed anything. They always said they were fine. Dmitry did NOT fall off his horse this day, only the other day when we were right there to help him. At no point were they left "alone in the wilderness one on one with the darkness" as he states. We could always see them, and were always within speaking distance. If ever one or the other became too far away, I would stop to tighten up the group again as some horses walk faster than others. They rode into camp no more than 20 seconds after I made it there with my lead horse. And this was only because Dmitry would let his horse Redman wander as previously stated, and not urge him to speed up. 

 

4. He says set up of camp was poor...We had two tarps and two tents to set up. How is that complicated? I think he was upset because he had to set up his own tent. We even gave them additional tarps to put under their tent for comfort and asked if they would like anything else for comfort, offering them our sleeping pads etc. They said no everything looked very good. 

 

5. First day out we got on the caribou. He says Michael asked Lorne 4 times which one to shoot, and Lorne wouldnt give him an answer. Lorne stated time and time again which one to shoot, and they waited above the two caribou for over an hour sneaking in closer so Michael could get a good shot, all the while, neither caribou had moved from their bed. When they snuck in close enough, Lorne again stated which one to shoot, asked if Michael was comfortable and ready, as the caribou had no idea they were there, and he shot. He missed twice, at around 250 yards, at which point the caribou finally stood up, and the third shot he shot the wrong caribou in his own confusion. He then proceeded to yell that he got him when the caribou dropped, and Lorne stated, "no you shot the wrong one! Michael said, "Oh thats okay I get two caribou" and proceeded to swing around to shoot the other. Lorne had to forcefully tell him that he only gets one caribou as law allows, and Michael started cursing in Russian.

 

The whole while, the big caribou he should have shot stood there and watched from a shooting distance, at no point did they get up and run away making it confusing as to which one to shoot. Lorne stated this clearly many many times, and at no point was he rude to Michael about it. We were both very congratulatory to him even though we knew he could have had an amazing trophy had he not screwed up in his excitement and shot the wrong one. It was Michael himself who was upset he was not allowed to shoot two animals. 

 

6. The next day the horses ran off, and Lorne was gone wrangling for 8 hours before returning to camp empty handed. I had been up the mountain looking for them as well, and when he returned to camp, I went to help. Dmitry asked what the plan was, and I said we would go find the horses, but if they wanted to do something they could head up the small hill I had just been on, and could glass for a moose while we were away as well. I said they could not shoot anything so to only bring their guns as a safety measure for bears, but to look for a bull moose so we knew where they were for the next days hunting so we could get on it quickly later on. When we returned with the horses 3 hours later, before I even jumped off Ella, Dmitry came up to me and asked what the plan for the day was. It was already 4pm. I said I had mentioned he should have gone up the hill to look for moose if he wanted to hunt, and asked why he was not up there and in camp instead, as he knew it would be late by the time we returned home and hard to get out and hunt anywhere that day with remaining daylight.

 

He became angry with me and said he was very sick and did not feel like climbing and hill without a horse to carry him as he paid for the horses to work and not himself. We left it at that, and 1/2 hr later when I went to make supper for them, I noticed Dmitry was fuming and asked what was wrong. He proceeded to talk to me in a demeaning manner stating I was offensive to him and cannot tell him what to do because he is sick and is my elder and very much more experienced as a hunter than myself or Lorne, who are both "young children" as they quoted. I told him if he wanted to hunt so badly, I had given them something to do rather than sitting in camp bored all day, and was disappointed they did not take the initiative to do so to help all of us out, as we were working hard looking for horses that can be unpredictable sometimes in their feeding habits.

 

He said even if they had gone up the hill, they would not be able to judge the moose for themselves so how would they know what to shoot. I stated that I specifically said they could not bring a gun to hunt for moose only for safety from bears. They were not legally allowed to shoot anything without us there, but the point was to SPOT a moose for the next day for us to go check out better. Somewhere along the lines in every conversation there was a language barrier, whether because they spoke primarily Russian or because they just did not like listening to a younger figure, I do not know. Either way, they would never listen to any suggestions we would give them out of their "hunting experience", because they knew better than us. 

 

7. They asked for thermoses because it was cold out. I called you and Joanne up, and you said you would look for some for them. They also asked to be able to shoot another caribou each, and I asked you that as well and it was not an option.

 

8. When Michael and Lorne got on their moose for the first day, we were all together and we both told the hunters the moose was a nice 57 inch or so bull with hefty palms and good fronts. He had two buddies with him that were significantly smaller to every eye. The next day when Lorne and the hunters went out to get on the bull, the small bull popped up first and Michael shot without Lorne telling him to do so. Lorne was very frustrated as this was the smallest bull of the three. Once Michael shot without Lorne telling him to do so, the big bull stood up out of the willows and Michael tried to shoot it as well. Lorne had to forcefully tell him that is the Yukon law and he is only allowed to shoot one moose, not two! Michael became very angry, as he knew he had shot the wrong one again because of his excited behavior, jumping the gun before instructed to do so. In every outfit, the hunter is supposed to listen to the guide, who is experienced in his field. At no point did Michael ever listen to Lorne because he figured he was a much more experienced hunter than Lorne due to his age. He showed no respect whatsoever.

 

Michael gut shot the small moose, and Lorne is morally required to track and find any wounded animal. He tracked this moose for 6 hours through a snowstorm, following small blood patches here and there. The whole time Michael was supposed to be following Lorne, but Lorne would look back and find Michael headed in the opposite direction to the horses, back to Dmitry. Lorne had to yell over the howling wind for Michael to get over to him, and stop wandering around because he is legally required to stay by Lornes side within an unamplified speaking distance, and Michael was making it very difficult for Lorne to stay on the blood trail when Michael would keep wandering off and Lorne would have to go find him too, and then find the blood trail once again. After 6 hours, Lorne finally found the moose, and it stood up in its sickness, swaying from side to side, walking slowly towards the group of hunters. Michael and Dmitry panicked and Lorne finally had to put the moose down himself.

 

Michael was very unhappy with his moose because he stated it was his dream to shoot an 84" moose, the biggest in the world, and he ended up shooting one that was very small instead. It was his own fault for shooting without instruction, before the big moose stood up, and he tried getting Lorne to lose the blood trail so he would not find the wounded moose, and would be able to continue to hunt. It was both morally and legally wrong for Michael to act the way he did. He wounded the animal, and even if it is the wrong one, he pulled the trigger and is responsible for his actions. At no point did Lorne call him a "son of a bitch" or use any other curse words towards him. Yes he had to raise his voice to be heard over the howling wind, but was never rude to the point of cursing Michael. 

 

9. We arrived back at camp that night at midnight after packing home all the caribou and moose meat, and the hunters wanted supper. I said there were plenty of cans of food available or any other things they could desire within easy reach if they would like. Lorne and I had to be up at 5am the next morning to catch horses, only 5 hours away, and said we were exhausted and heading to bed so we would be able to work to our full hunting potential the next day for the hunters. They insisted they could not make any food themselves and were hungry, so I made them supper and headed to bed. We only received 4 hours of sleep that night because we had to make such a late supper for them. They did not say thank you that we did so. 

 

10. After we were in base camp, Michael and Dmitry immediately started to complain to Chris about Lorne and me before our horses were even unsaddled, and tell lies. I went into the hunter cabin shortly after to see if they were doing alright and if they needed anything and to get them to sign their tags for their animals. Dmitry wanted to talk to me about why the hunt went the way it did, and why I always raised my voice to him. We had a civilized talk in which no voices were raised except for Michaels who was sitting across the room in anger, and later Chris and Lorne came in and we all discussed that this hunt was just not for them and they did not agree with the way our operation went. We did not ever do anything illegal or degrading to the hunters. We always tried to treat them with the utmost respect and appreciation and make them feel at home as much as possible. We always made sure their safety was first and foremost, and were always there to look after them as they rode on their horses, etc.

 

11. Dmitry fails to mention, but the only time I actually became upset with him and may have been "rude" as he put it, was the last day when we rode back to base camp. We were all packed up and ready to go, and I did a final sweep of camp to make sure no one had forgotten anything. I went to the area where Michael and Dmitrys tent was, and found there a very large pile of toilet paper, plastic bags, batteries, and other garbage they had dumped in the bushes and left to litter the place. I became angry at this point and told him that he was extremely disrespectful to do this and leave such a pile of garbage in such a pristine land. He started to try to defend himself by saying he was going to clean it up. He had been standing around for 2 hours while Lorne and I took down the entire camp and saddled all the horses, and he had jumped on his horse at this point to go. He had no intention whatsoever of ever cleaning up this garbage, and it was a shock to see that someone could have so little respect for such a beautiful clean land. I told him that it was disgusting that I had to clean up his dirty toilet paper and garbage, and that he was acting like a baby that could not do anything for itself. I have never had a hunter that has had such little disregard for the land and its conservation as Dmitry Stebley.

 

The gist of it is Dmitry and Michael never once respected us as their guides once they found out we were "young children" 23 and 18, and from that point on decided they knew more about hunting than either of us. Dmitrys first response upon killing his 60" moose and walking up to it was, "Ben do you think we could get a bigger one than this?" I told him no as he had his moose down and it was a very respectable bull anywhere in the world. He was not happy with his moose, or his caribou, and Michael was not either because he was trigger happy and shot without warning and without asking. 

 

Lorne and I always tried to treat them with as much respect and appreciation as we could, though their lack of respect and kindliness for us made it difficult some days and we would not volunteer to have friendly conversation with them if we did not have to outside the realm of instructing them and guiding them in a professional manner. We never left them alone once except the day we had to wrangle the horses, and they both took home nice animals, regardless of the fact that Michael shot two of the wrong animals because of his own fault. When they were back at base camp, we even made the effort to make them feel as welcome as possible, going over to offer them tea and coffee and baking often, and having friendly supper conversation with them. I even edited video and pictures for Dmitry and Michael. Why would I do any of this if I was not trying to make these hunters have a good hunting experience? They were used to plush hunting outfits, and were not used to roughing it in the wild, as our amenities allow. It was just not a good fit for them all around. 

3/15/2013

Response from Dmitrey Stebley

Dear Barbara,

             I would like to express my deepest gratitude for your time in reading my complaint and reaching out to the outfitter to get their perspective. I respect and appreciate your approach in always getting and reviewing responses from both sides; I understand that there is no right or wrong resolution to my type of complaint. Of course, both parties will have a different recollection of the events that have occurred. After reading the responses that you forwarded to me, I am glad to see that the outfitter described most events as I did in my letter, we simply did not agree on the details of the experience.

             I understand that an outfitter hosts clients from different parts of the world, clients that speak different languages, and come from different cultures. It is clear that some of these factors may be cause for some miscommunications or misunderstandings. However, I believe that it is a responsibility of the business to ensure that if communication is a bit more difficult to achieve, that the business works that much harder to achieve it. As a client, I never expected to be spoken to in forced language and "rude" tone, especially from guides who are younger than my own children. I also expect to be treated with respect and receive flawless guidance to ensure that my experience is better than I have ever had before. This approach creates clients for life and I am sad to say that this was my first and only experience with this outfitter. This was the most offensive treatment that I have received in all of my 30 years hunting.

            Thank you again for taking the time to listen. I cherish my hunting experiences and this experience was bothering me greatly. I truly appreciate everything that you do for the hunting community, hunters who read your publication are given the opportunity to learn about the hunting experiences, both good and bad, from across the world. This is a great way to incorporate feedback to make personal experiences better and more enjoyable.

Truly Yours,

Dmitrey George Stebley

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 7548 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 10, 2009 to August 20, 2009
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area: Northern Yukon


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any):
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken:
Game Sought But Not Taken: Sheep, Dall - Availability: Never saw a legal ram.
Caribou - Availability:
Bear, Grizzly - Availability:
Game Condition Comments:


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Good Guide/PH Ability: Fair
Condition of Camp: Good Condition of Equipment: Good
Quality of Food: Good Trophy Care:
Name of Airline: Airline Service: Good
Airline Comments:


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $16200
Trophy Fees: Amount: $0
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $324
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $1250
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Amount: $575
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: Lack of game.
Highlights of Hunt: Shot a wolf.
Equipment Recommendations:
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? No
Why?


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Steven Sasnett
Contact Information: Tel. 252-939-6259 - 2895 Tilghman Rd., Dover, NC 28526 E-mail: stevens2@portbridge.com
Hunting Experience: Extensive: sheep, elk, moose, deer, bear, antelope, etc.
Physical Condition: Good.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL
Rebuttal from Chris Widrig of Widrig Outfitters:

Thank you for forwarding this report to me and allowing me the time to respond. The vast majority of our hunters are very satisfied with the services we offer. We have been in business here in the Yukon for 24 seasons and our motto is "success requires a happy hunter". I will keep my rebuttal brief and try to only concentrate on the negative aspects of his report.

Mr. Sasnett's guide was David Vey. David has worked two full seasons for me and also has guided for many years on Vancouver Island. Over the past two seasons he has been successful on five of his six sheep hunts and six of six moose hunts. All of his hunters, except Mr. Sasnett have been positive about his guiding ability. David was once nominated for the coveted "Leland" award and in my mind is an absolute professional.

According to his guide, Mr. Sasnett saw twelve rams on the hunt, of which two were just short of legal and two others were definitely full curl or legal. Unfortunately the two good rams were spotted on the last day of the hunt and could not be stalked, given time constraints. Not many caribou were seen, as they were concentrating on finding a Dall ram first, with the goal of changing spike camps for caribou when successful on sheep. David did report seeing several grizzlies on the hunt, although not trophies. Mr. Sasnett did shoot a wolf.

I assigned Mr. Sasnett and his guide to a very remote spike camp, where a large ram had been spotted on the previous hunt. It was a very rugged area with mountains to 10,000 feet and an 11 hour horseback ride to access it. The area had not been hunted for a year and some portions of it had never been hunted. I felt that this area had all the ingredients for a successful hunt, but it was not to be.

I am fully aware that Mr. Sasnett was unhappy with his hunt. Immediately on return to base camp he was loud and belligerent. When asked how his hunt went he made numerous wild accusations such as "I was sent to the wrong camp", "the other hunters got better treatment, even though I paid the same", "never saw a legal ram", "my guide was incompetent", "my guide never got up till ten o'clock each morning", etc. He then retreated to his cabin; refused to eat supper or breakfast, would not talk to or congratulate any of the other hunters in camp (all three other hunters were successful on both Dall sheep and caribou). According to his guide this attitude was prevalent right from the first day of the hunt and cast a dark cloud over the whole trip.

Eleven of our twelve Dall sheep hunters were successful this past fall. This is a 91.6% success rate, which has been consistent over the past 24 seasons. Not every hunter harvests a ram. There are many factors in play with a wilderness hunt, including weather, wildlife movement, rugged terrain, amount of ground covered, guide/hunter bonding, and an intangible---luck. Each hunter is an individual and has different expectations for his trip. I am sorry that Mr. Sasnett's expectations were not met, but he did receive that same type of hunt as our other clients.

ReRebuttal from Steve Sasnett:

In my initial hunt report I claimed lack of game for the reason for an unsuccessful hunt with Widrig Outfitters. I never once made mention of any problem with Mr. Widrig, my guide, or anyone else on his staff. These matters were taken up in a private letter to Mr. Widrig, the way they should be handled.

I was very disappointed to see that Mr. Widrig and his guide chose to attack me personally in his rebuttal letter. I guess a true testament to their character or a clever ploy to distract readers from the truth about the hunt.

I would like to defend myself by stating that I did not start this hunt with a bad attitude. My attitude did change after the first four days of the hunt for reasons that Mr. Widrig forgot to mention.

I was first told by my guide that the area we were going to hunt had not been scouted because bad weather had kept Mr. Widrig from flying to look for rams. Then after arriving at our camp site we spent more time the next four days hunting horses than sheep. We lost two days of hunting because the horses keep running off. Finally after spending the entire fourth day looking for horses my guide decided to move camp to a different area hoping the horses might stay close. This was an eight day sheep hunt and two good weather days had been lost, yes I was discouraged.

In the end I saw eight rams none of which were legal. I never saw a bull caribou although I did see some cows, my guide even said he couldn't believe we had not seen a bull. I never personally saw a grizzly, although our wrangler said he saw two cubs one morning while looking for horses and my guide said he saw one cross our path while we were riding.

Late in the afternoon on the last day with no time left to hunt my guide said he spotted two legal rams that were six miles away.

As for the other hunters in camp, they did have rams. One was only 29 inches, the smallest legal ram I have ever seen, and I did congratulate them on their sheep.

I have been hunting big game for many years, and this was not my first sheep hunt. There is never a guarantee when your hunting, but I and most hunters do expect an opportunity when you're paying $16,000 plus for a hunt. I did take a wolf which I mentioned in my first report. And as for my not eating back at base camp, that was of a personal reason, not relevant to the hunt.

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 6223 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 1, 2007 to August 10, 2007
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area:


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any):
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Sheep, Dall - Availability: Average - Trophy Size: 37 5/8 inches. 10 years old.
Caribou - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size: 370 inches.
Game Sought But Not Taken: Bear, Black - Availability: None seen.
Wolf - Availability: None seen.
Game Condition Comments: Saw lots of ewes and lambs and about 10 young rams.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Good Guide/PH Ability: Good
Condition of Camp: Good Condition of Equipment: Fair
Quality of Food: Excellent Trophy Care: Good
Name of Airline: United and Air North Airline Service: Good
Airline Comments: No airline problems. Go with Air North, very hunter friendly.


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $14700
Trophy Fees: Amount: $400
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $0
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $1300
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Hotels. Amount: $260
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: Not real problems. Rained a lot.
Highlights of Hunt: Saw a couple grizzlies. Killing a 10 year old ram after many years of dreaming of taking one.
Equipment Recommendations: Good packable rain gear. Light weight rifle.
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why? Awesome country. Hunt of a lifetime.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Ed Salisbury
Contact Information: Tel. 717-732-0268 - 508 W Shady Lane, Enola, PA 17025 E-mail: esali67@hotmail.com
Hunting Experience: I've hunted Canada five times now. And up and down the east coast of the US.
Physical Condition: No bad but should have put more effort into getting in shape before I went.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL
The Yukon countryside is so unbelievable. Its huge. Just go and experience it. You will not be disappointed. Just get in shape before you do.

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 5546 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 1, 2006 to August 10, 2006
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area: 6


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): Chuck Choumont
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Sheep, Dall - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size: 10 years old.
Game Sought But Not Taken: Caribou - Availability: Did not see one we liked.
Game Condition Comments: Area holds a lot of sheep scattered throughout the mountains. You have to look hard and hunt hard.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Excellent Guide/PH Ability: Good
Condition of Camp: Excellent Condition of Equipment: Excellent
Quality of Food: Excellent Trophy Care: Excellent
Name of Airline: Air Canada Airline Service: Fair
Airline Comments: Better off flying Air North from Vancouver to Whitehorse. Air Canada often does not have enough room on the plane for everyones bags. My bag and gun arrived the next day.,


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $13500
Trophy Fees: Amount: $0
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $292
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $950
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Government fee after kill. Amount: $250
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt:
Highlights of Hunt: Taking a Dall sheep after reading Jack O'Conner 40 years ago.
Equipment Recommendations: Miendel boots and good day pack with back support, telescoping walking stick.
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why? Chris and his guides are top notch and the scenery are second to none. You will not go hungry either.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Bobby Boido
Contact Information: Tel. 520-490-8367 - 4439 Paseo Don Juan, Tucson, AZ 85757 E-mail: boboido@msn.com
Hunting Experience: All North America, 40 years with 6 years guiding for coues deer.
Physical Condition: Good.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL
This area of the Yukon is so vast and untouched. Spectacular views and scenery. The horses were very easy to ride and the guides were very responsive to every detail.

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 3975 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: September 6, 2003 to September 18, 2003
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area: Bonnet Plum


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): John Severs
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Caribou - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size:
Moose - Availability: Average - Trophy Size: 56"
Game Sought But Not Taken: Bear, Grizzly - Availability: Large bear scarce.
Game Condition Comments: Second hunt with Widrig Outfitters, mainly horseback, great nature and tranquility, John Severs PH for second year - super.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Excellent Guide/PH Ability: Excellent
Condition of Camp: Good Condition of Equipment: Good
Quality of Food: Excellent Trophy Care: Excellent
Name of Airline: LH Frankfort-Vancouver, AC Vancouver-Whitehorse. Airline Service: Good
Airline Comments:


COSTS
Hunting Fees: US - hunter and nonhunter. Amount: $12925
Trophy Fees: Amount: $0
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $140
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $0
Charter Airfares: US - whitehorse, base camp. Amount: $750
Other Costs: Two nights hotel. Canadian Amount: $194
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: None
Highlights of Hunt: Weather conditions tough, cold/rain/snow makes the real challenge.
Equipment Recommendations:
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why? Very professional and reliable, but insist John Severs as PH.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Karl Herold
Contact Information: Tel. 011-49-69-9726-3939 - Telemannstr 1-3, 60323 Frankfurt, Germany E-mail: kgherold@jonesday.com
Hunting Experience: Africa, Belarm, Ukraine, Yukon, Poland, Germany, have own hunting district in Germany.
Physical Condition: 10 kilo too much; otherwise good.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 3800 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 25, 2003 to September 6, 2003
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area:


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): James Lightfoot.
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Moose - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size: Saw five in trophy range, large.
Bear, Grizzly - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size: Saw six, large.
Game Sought But Not Taken: Caribou - Availability: Didn't see any big enough.
Game Condition Comments: Condition of game was excellent. Moose was pre-rut and still had some velvet. Grizzly coat had no rubs.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Excellent Guide/PH Ability: Excellent
Condition of Camp: Good Condition of Equipment: Excellent
Quality of Food: Good Trophy Care: Excellent
Name of Airline: American and Air Canada Airline Service: Fair
Airline Comments: For some reason American did not put my gun case on the plane with me on my way to the hunt or returning. They did get it to me in Vancouver before I went on to Whitehorse. They have no explanation for the problem.


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $9900
Trophy Fees: Amount: $0
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $0
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $0
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Amount: $0
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: None.
Highlights of Hunt: Shot grizzly inside ten yards.
Equipment Recommendations:
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why? Spectacular country and a very fun hunt. I have already rebooked for 2005.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Don Robillard
Contact Information: Tel. 972-596-7144 - 5109 Captiva Dr., Plano, TX 75093 E-mail: drobil2217@aol.com
Hunting Experience: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, North America.
Physical Condition: Very good for 52.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 2958 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 12, 2002 to August 25, 2002
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area: Snake River and Wernecke Mountains.


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): Graham Van Tighem.
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Sheep, Dall - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size: 42 3/8 inches.
Game Sought But Not Taken: Caribou - Availability: Only two days left of hunt and I was waiting for a large bull.
Game Condition Comments: Due to unprecidented weather (19 days straight of rain and snow with heavy fog) it was very difficult to glass for sheep, although when a window opened, many mature rams were seen.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Good Guide/PH Ability: Excellent
Condition of Camp: Excellent Condition of Equipment: Good
Quality of Food: Excellent Trophy Care: Excellent
Name of Airline: Northwest, Air Canada and Black Sheep Aviation. Airline Service: Good
Airline Comments:


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $9400
Trophy Fees: Amount: $156
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $119
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $840
Charter Airfares: Amount: $675
Other Costs: Motels - before and after, misc. expense. Amount: $600
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: Poor visibility due to constant precipitation and fog.
Highlights of Hunt: Taking the ram of a lifetime in spite of impossible weather conditions, awesome scenery, saw 11 grizzlies.
Equipment Recommendations: Best raingear obtainable, stream crossing shoes.
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why? Abundance of game. Not over hunted. The richest game area I've ever experienced along with unbelievably scenic terrain.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Gary Stanek
Contact Information: Tel. 586-781-5086 - 52708 Stag Ridge Rd., Macomb, MI 48042
Hunting Experience: 35 years. Michigan, Ontario, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Yukon and Quebec.
Physical Condition: Excellent.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 4338 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: September 5, 2001 to September 18, 2001
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area: Bonnett Plume


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): Daryl Dimen
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Caribou, Mountain - Availability: Average - Trophy Size: Average size.
Game Sought But Not Taken: Moose - Availability: Saw no trophy bulls, only two small bulls.
Bear, Grizzly - Availability:
Game Condition Comments: Very few animals in my hunt area.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Fair Guide/PH Ability: Excellent
Condition of Camp: Good Condition of Equipment: Poor
Quality of Food: Excellent Trophy Care: Good
Name of Airline: Air Canada Airline Service: Excellent
Airline Comments: Bad, there were three hunters on different flights including myself who did not receive their gun cases intil later.


COSTS
Hunting Fees: $9,000.00 Amount: $9000
Trophy Fees: $9,000.00 Amount: $9000
Permits/Licenses: $25.00 Amount: $25
Commercial Airfares: $750.00 Amount: $750
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Motel one night each way, trophy prep and government fees of $150 for caribou. Amount: $150
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: This is a horseback hunt. Older guides got the better areas, horses and better equipment. I am just now reporting this hunt even though it occurred in 2001 because Chris Widrig had promised a make up reduced cost hunt to me this year or next. The horses my guide was given were horrible. On the way in they spooked constantly and nearly threw me twice. During the hunt they literally would pull out trees by the roots to head back to camp. Leaving us stranded and forced to walk back to camp at night. They kicked the guide nearly breaking his leg on several occasions. The tack was old, rotted and repairs in the field were needed daily with nylon rope. Stirrups were narrow and did not fit my size 10 boots, It later may have been a factor when packing out the horses spooked several times headed back to base camp from spike camp. Redoing the packs was nothing compared to the breakneck race through the woods ending with me dislocating my shoulder, breaking my arm along with other injuries. I was forced to walk back to camp with no gear, at night with the injuries I sustained. I later learned the next hunters suffered the same fate with the same horses only their injuries were dislocation of finger(s). There was no moose in my area. We saw one cow and two small bulls in ten hunting days. No grizzly were seen or any type of fresh sign. Other hunters in camp during my hunt fared poorly as well.
Highlights of Hunt: I shot a nice Mountain Caribou on the second dat of my hunt. The country is beautiful and there is always that hope that maybe tomorrow the animal you are looking for will appear.
Equipment Recommendations: Rent your own satellite phone for about $100 per hunt.
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? No
Why? No animal is worth risking your life because of shoddy equipment or renegade livestock. Not of all Widrigs outfit is like this but there is no way to insure you don't get stuck.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Steve Krier
Contact Information: Tel. 605-339-7289 - 24668 S. Garfield, Dell Rapids, SD 57022 E-mail: stevekrier@sommervoldlaw.com
Hunting Experience: Previously hunted British Columbia twice for moose, elk, and caribou. There were ten day horseback hunts. I have successfully hunted Alaska on drop camp hunts, guided in several western states for bear and cougar. Ran my own hounds for over 20 years in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Physical Condition: Average. I did not have any problems associated with my ability to go where I needed. I do have a bad knee that riding more than three hours a day causes problems.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Yes Notified Personal Guide? Yes Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide? Yes
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought? My medical bills exceed $5,000.00 and laid me up for a year. If Widrig is sincere I would expect a 50% reduction in the price of a hunt and that hunt would be by boat at a lake where good bull moose are located. Widrig has the ability to scout these areas by plane located a base camp. If he is not interested in this then $5,00.00 cash reimbursement would satisfy.


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL
This is a beautiful area. Base camp is well furnished and cook was great. I elected to rent my own satellite phone and was glad I did because Widrigs satellite phone had dead batteries. Getting a plane in to fly me out would not have happened earlier if I did not have my own phone. Chris did stay with me and did what he could for my injuries but when I did get to Whitehorse his wife was to meet me and get me to the hospital. She was very unconcerned about me and my injuries. She took care of meat, antlers, and visited with towns people prior to taking me to the hospital. These items were in a vehicle with a hired hand to watch them and did not need to be dealt with first. I was made to feel as though my injuries and me were a thorn in Widrig Outfittings side. My guide was a great guy to have with me. He was passionate about finding animals but was frustrated with the area assigned by Widrig to him. He was frustrated with the horses and bad tack and there was even an undercurrent of tug of war between the guides in base camp with who was getting the better equipment. This area I believe contains great animals and has a lot of potential but I don't know believe Widrig is committed to spending any more money than the minimum to run his camp. He promised a reduced priced hunt to compensate me. I only agreed to go back on the condition that we would hunt from a boat at a remote lake accessed by a cub he flew and kept for hauling meat from spike camps to base camp. He only has a couple of lakes in his concession where this is possible. This year he tells me a grizzly bear has destroyed his boat and to look elsewhere is that is the type of hunt I want. I have checked with legal council and was told that the statue of limitations is two years. I believe Chris Widrig waited until the statute ran out to file a lawsuit before he pulled the plug on making this one up to me. If I were looking into hunting with him it would only be with the long term guides who get the better areas and better equipment. Those guides do well on great animals on a regular basis. I would not risk my life again with a new or unseasoned guide because experience shows the areas they get and the equipment they get are substandard. My guide worked his ass off and risked his life on a daily basis with the horses we had to work with. I have no criticism of his efforts. I waited until now to report this pending Widrig making this right with me.

Rebuttal by Chris Widrig of Widrig Outfitters on March 17, 2004

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond to the negative hunt report filed by Steve Krier. The report is filled with inaccuracies and false statements that really need to be addressed.

There is some background information that readers need to be aware of as they go over this report. Mr. Krier works for a personal injury law firm based in South Dakota. He is a paralegal and specializes in disability claims. He had been on several previous hunts in British Columbia where riding horses had been a problem for him. I believe he had injured his knee on one of these trips. He has requested that the horseback riding be kept to a minimum in his hunt with us, Mr. Krier is 5 foot 9 inches and weighs about 325 lbs with his hunting clothes on. At the time of h is hunt he was 40 years old. His physical condition was terrible and well below average.

Mr. Krier did not have a broken arm. He states; ?Redoing packs was nothing compared to the breakneck race through the woods ending with me dislocating my shoulder, breaking my arm, along with other injuries.? He was diagnosed at the Whitehorse hospital as having a sprain shoulder. The arm was not broken, and there were no other injuries.

My pre hunt plan for Mr. Krier was to fly him over to a pre set spike camp on a lake with my Super Cub aircraft. Through pre hunt discussion, I was aware that he was not capable of doing much riding on the hunt and I wanted to save him the ride to spike camp. When he arrived at base camp I realized that this would not be possible because of his excessive weight and girth. I didn?t think Mr. Krier could be flown as a passenger, given the weight restrictions of my aircraft. Also, it was not likely that he could even get in or out of the aircraft successfully (the passenger seat in a Super Cub is designed for an average 200 lb person). I had to go to Plan B. I had him ride to the closest spike camp from our Bonnet Plume Lake base camp, an 8-mile, 2-½ hour ride.

I have been in the outfitting business since 1986 and have provided over 500 hunters with horseback hunts; only two hunters have been hurt while riding out stock. One was Mr. Krier. He asserts that ?the next hunters suffered the same fate with the same horses, only their injuries were dislocation of fingers.? This is absolutely false and I would ask him to name those hunters.

Mr. Krier great difficulty getting on or off a horse with out assistance from his guide, He was too heavy and he did not have the mobility to lift his leg up without help from a stump, high ground or his guide?s hands. The hunter, saddle, rifle, daypack, and other gear he carried would put the total weight on his saddle horse at about 400 lbs, He was very limited on the amount of riding he could do each day because of his bad knee as well as a serious chafing problem in his groin area. He complained to his guide Darrell about bleeding and chafing in the groin brought on by the least bit if riding. He was also in no physical condition to do walking for any length of time. He would be wheezing and out of breathe in no time. The amount of actual hunting area they covered on the hunt was very limited as a result. These are not horse problems- they are health problems brought on by the hunter?s excessive weight.

Mr. Krier was not ?forced to walk back to camp with no gear, at night with the injuries I sustained.? He was brushed off or fell off his horse within 2 miles of base camp, along the shore of Bonnet Plume Lake. His guide Darrell told him to stay put and wait, while he rode ahead to base camp and returned with the Zodiac boat. This was a better option than trying to get him back up on a horse. Mr. Krier was brought back to camp by boat promptly. By this time it was after dark. His gear came into base camp on the packhorses, ahead of him.

I have satellite phone with several sets of batteries at base camp. My batteries were not all dead as stated by Mr. Krier. I used my own phone to call for a plane the next day as well as communicate with my wife. As a side note, Mr. Krier carried a satellite phone in his hand almost constantly during the hunt, even when riding. He called 911 emergency number on his satellite phone while waiting for Darrell to return with the boat and requested a helicopter. This was not possible after dark, in the mountains, 270 miles north of Whitehorse. It did cause quite a bit of confusion and panic in Whitehorse, with the ambulance service calling my wife late at night wondering how to get to Bonnet Plume Lake.

At base camp the cook, Pat and I, got Mr. Krier undressed and into a warm sleeping bag by the wood stove. We are both trained in first aid. We checked him over and put a sling on his arm and shoulder where he complained of pain. The shoulder did not appear to be dislocated and certainty there was no indication of a broken bone, swelling, redness, ect. He took some painkillers and tried to sleep. I personally stayed with Mr. Krier the whole night, giving him water, painkillers and making sure he was comfortable. His major complaint during the night was his chaffed groin, to which he was constantly applying some type of powder. He seemed better in the morning, ate breakfast, posed for some pictures outside by his caribou trophy and seemed in better spirits. I made the decision to send him to Whitehorse on the first available plane.

The otter came into camp around 2pm and he was back in Whitehorse in the early evening. My wife, Vanessa, met Mr. Krier in Whitehorse and took him to the hospital. Yes, she did unload the meat and antlers before going to the hospital. This only took a few minutes and it did not appear that his injury would require rapid transport to a hospital. She waited at the hospital for about 3 hours with out two young children (a 4 year old and 9 year old) while he was checked over by doctors. The diagnosis was a sprained shoulder. She then drove him to his hotel. What exactly did he expect her to do?

Mr. Krier states, ?there were no moose in my area.? Well, on the next hunt I send a hunter back to the same spike camp with the same guide, Darrell. They harvested a nice, mature bull. They did hunt harder, longer and covered more ground?

Mr. Krier states that, ?I would not risk my life again with a new or unseasoned guide?? Darrell worked for two full seasons for me, was about 30 years old, not young or unseasoned. He guided fore the largest moose of the year just before Mr. Krier?s hunt. In fact over two years he successfully guide 5 moose hunters with one (Krier) unsuccessful. No, I do not play favorites with the guides, horses or areas. Obviously, it is to my benefit to have each hunter go home happy and to a large extent we are successful in this.

We send out post hunt questionnaires to all our hunters and receiver very little negative feedback about the condition of our equipment or horses. Most hunters? rave about how great out horses are. We did not receive a questionnaire back from Mr. Krier.

Given Mr. Krier?s physical limitations, I do think that a gentle, boat hunt for moose would be his best option. However, this is not the type of hunt we offer. We are a horseback based operation and physical exertion is required on every hunt. I have communicated this to him on several occasions over the past two years. I recently told him that I could not accommodate the type of hunt moose hunt he wants and he best look elsewhere for different options. Now, after reading his hunt report and gross distortion of the truth: i.e. ?broken arm?, ?forced to walk back to camp with no gear, at night? ect. I will never have Mr. Krier set foot in my campus again. I would further warn any other horse-based outfitters that might read this, to stay away from him!

Again, I want to thank you for this opportunity to respond to this report.

Response from hunter on October 11, 2004

First, it was difficult to read what Chris put in his response because the personal attacks about me are not true. For Christ to say that I was brush off the horse and not hurt except for a chapped groin , give me a break. I have attached a copy of the MRI and Orthopedic physician?s records from the US showing I had a shoulder dislocation, severe bone bruise and a small fracture of the head of my arm bone where it goes into my shoulder. There were not doctors in Whitehorse, only a nurse who could only put my are in a sling for the trip home.

I have and continued to hunt extensively around North America. I ran hounds for bear and cougar guiding hunts and selling dogs for over 20 years. Hunting is how I put my way through college. It is what I enjoy. It is my passion. I would never put a client in the situations Chris believes are appropriate. I have been on multiple horseback hunts and never experienced a problem. I bought a horseback hunt. I filled out Chris?s paperwork with all my personal information. This hunt is the only hunt were I have ever been injured! Hunting is risky. I understand that. Bad tack, bad horses and bad planning equal trouble. Chris just doesn?t get it. Chris?s attacks about me and my physical condition on this hunt are not based on the truth. Check out my website at www.skhunt.com. There are numerous photos of me and where I have been. I think my photos on the website speak for my ability and experience.

My guide and I got along great and I am thankful for his efforts during my hunt and the night I was hurt. This complaint isn?t about not seeing a mature moose. It is about your willingness to advertise and represent something you can?t deliver. I have talked to my guide numerous times since my trip. We call each other and exchange email. We stay in touch and share our experiences since then. We are friends. That is why I knew what those guys in the bush everyday think about you and your operation. That is why they are not carrying your brand anymore because you have not spent any money back into your business by keeping up your tack, buying good horses and putting hunters where there is game.

I don?t have access to the names and address of the hunters who were in camp with me or your other hunters that year or since. But I do know that the moose killed from ?my camp? after I left was actually 5 ½ hours further out and was only killed because you spotted it with the plane first and told your guide where to find it the next day. The other hinter in that same camp failed to see a good bull. I don?t know which of those two hunters was thrown and hurt, but you know. You have the names of the guides who quit you for the same complaints. The same is true of hunters.

The best hunt I have ever been on was in BC. It was a 10-day horseback hunt. I never pulled the trigger on that hunt but the equipment and guides and the outfitter promised and delivered a first class operation. Game was everywhere but things didn?t work out. That?s hunting. Perhaps you should book with then and experience the same, so you understand where you fall short.

If I could I would get the printout of the 911 call I placed at 1:30am when walking back to base camp. Your statement of me being brought promptly back to base camp after the accident and your statement of your wife being awakened late at night by the emergency team don?t match. Which is it? Was I brought promptly back or was your wife awakened late at night by my call from the bush? You say I wasn?t forced to walk back to camp with no gear. Bullshit. This accident happened at about 8pm. I called 911 from the satellite phone at 1:30pm from the bush. You are correct about the 8 miles between camps but that is by GPS co-ordinates not by horse or foot. The bogs, timber, and lake require a 5-½ hour ride from base camp to spike camp.

You told me that night that you blamed the guide for what happened to me. Now you blame me because I have complained. Yes, I work in the legal field but you are not being sued. Criminals who tell their victims if you tell anyone, no one will believe you and I will this hard on you. Living in the Yukon insulates you from being forces to be legally accountable for your actions. Places like The Hunting Report help make others aware of how I was treated. That business of you were going to fly me to a camp to hunt but I could not fit in the plane? Bullshit. That was never our arrangements and I knew from the time I booked the hunt I was riding in on horseback. That was not even the issue. We came out of camp that evening so that we could hunt on what should have been ?travel day.? I am assuming the chapped groin issue you have fabricated is meant to embarrassment me but the fact is the guide and me were trying to get one more hunting day in by getting to an area where there was game. The rodeo stock we were trying to saddle and use to pack with kept that last chance from happening. On the fourth hunt day your stock pulled out the trees they were tied to and left us miles from camp at dusk. After that all hunts plans for the day were made with not letting them out of our sight. You didn?t address Daryl getting kicked from behind in spike camp or getting thrown to the ground in base camp before we even left with you standing there watching.

You are seasoned with excuses and lies. This matter will not get settled in the pages of this report. I took you for your word. That was my first mistake. My second was thinking you would make things right. We will not get to the third.

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 3189 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 25, 2001 to September 6, 2001
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area: Area 6


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any):
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken: Moose - Availability: Scarce - Trophy Size: 60 inch heavy.
Caribou - Availability: Abundant - Trophy Size: 390 inches.
Game Sought But Not Taken: Bear, Grizzly - Availability: Could not get on one, saw several.
Wolf - Availability: Abundant.
Game Condition Comments: Very good.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Excellent Guide/PH Ability: Excellent
Condition of Camp: Excellent Condition of Equipment: Excellent
Quality of Food: Excellent Trophy Care: Excellent
Name of Airline: Airline Service: Good
Airline Comments:


COSTS
Hunting Fees: Amount: $11500
Trophy Fees: Amount: $0
Permits/Licenses: Amount: $0
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $0
Charter Airfares: Amount: $0
Other Costs: Amount: $0
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt:
Highlights of Hunt: Remote country spectacular.
Equipment Recommendations:
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why? Wilderness hunt, excellent guide.


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: David M Wells
Contact Information: Tel. 606-784-5247 - 1900 Cranston Rd. E-mail: david@greentreeforest.com
Hunting Experience: 40 years.
Physical Condition: Good for 58 years old.


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL

Subscriber-Written Trip Report On Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.) Hunts

Below is one sample of such a Report which is made available to you FREE of Charge.

DATE AND PLACE OF HUNT
Report ID: 2385 Weapon Used: Rifle How Hunt Was Conducted? Guided
Date of Hunt: August 22, 2001 to September 6, 2001
Place of Hunt: Canada - Yukon
Hunt Area:


OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or safari company): Chris Widrig; Widrig Outfitters (97 Ltd.). 139 Falaise Rd; Whitehorse; Yukon; Y1A 3C8; Canada; Tel. 867-393-3802; Email: chris@widrigoutfitters.com; Web www.widrig.yk.ca
Personal Guide (if any): Daryl Dimen
Booking Agent (if any):
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
License Required:


GAME DESCRIPTION
Major Game Animals Taken:
Game Sought But Not Taken: Caribou - Availability: Got moose on last day of hunt. Didn't have time to hunt caribou.
Game Condition Comments: Good.


SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Quality of Outfit: Good Guide/PH Ability: Good
Condition of Camp: Fair Condition of Equipment: Good
Quality of Food: Fair Trophy Care: Good
Name of Airline: Air Canada Airline Service: Excellent
Airline Comments:


COSTS
Hunting Fees: For both moose and caribou. Amount: $9000
Trophy Fees: $100 for moose. Amount: $100
Permits/Licenses: Cheap. Amount: $0
Commercial Airfares: Amount: $1000
Charter Airfares: Amount: $675
Other Costs: Amount: $0
Total: $0


SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems of Hunt: Spike camp was very primitive. Food in spike camp so-so.
Highlights of Hunt: Getting my moose, seeing grizzly bears and wolves.
Equipment Recommendations: Outfitter needs to make sure each guide has a phone or radio. We had no communication with base camp and that's dangerous!
Would You Recommend This Hunt to a Friend? Yes
Why?


HUNTER INFORMATION
Hunter Name: Ray C. Fleitz III
Contact Information: Tel. 865-458-1265 - 125 Tahlequah Lane, London. TN 37774 E-mail: rcfncf@aol.com
Hunting Experience: Considerable
Physical Condition: Fair


IMPORTANT NOTES (actions taken if hunter unhappy with hunt)
Notified Outfitter? Notified Personal Guide? Notified Booking Agent?
Seeking any kind of restitution or other settlement from agent, outfitter or guide?
If Seeking Restitution, What is Sought?


ADDITIONAL HUNTER COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL



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