Yukon Hunting Outfitters

Discussion in 'Hunting USA & Canada' started by LivingTheDream, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Hey everyone, so I am looking at a couple of different outfitters for a sheep hunt and was wondering if anyone has hunted with following guys in the Yukon.

    Widrig Outfitters
    Rogue River
    Ruby Range Outfitters

    I might consider a few guys in Alaska as well but still running down information on them.

    I am struggling to find much information as far as reviews. I think they all over some positives and not many negatives. I am going to start following up on references this week but was wondering if anyone here had hunted with them.

    Thanks so much in advance!!!
     

  2. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    If you don't find what you are looking for in the Yukon, you can try Joe Letarte from Alaska Wilderness Enterprises. Spent some time with him early this year. Great guy.
     

  3. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I am doing a Dall Sheep hunt this August with Dickson Outfitters (http://www.dicksonoutfitters.com/ ). I personally checked with about 5-6 references and got excellent reviews on Dave Dickson's operation. Several are repeat customers. The concession is on the Yukon-Alaska border and has been in the Dickson family for over 100 years. They must be doing something right.

    PM me if you'd like more details. I can share the email references with you.

    Here's an excerpt from a recent email I received from Dave & Teena Dickson:

    We are wrapping up year-end right now and getting ready for shows. We will be sending out our newsletter sometime over the end holiday season. Again we had another excellent year this year we won the oldest sheep average harvest award for all the Yukon outfitters of 10.2yrs. as well we harvested the #1 Grizzly bear in the Yukon and took another big bear as well. So we were happy to hear that…

    We are having a mild winter so far with not a lot of snow and cold. We will be heading up to camp after Christmas to snowmobile into some of our camps and have some family time. Enjoy the holiday time and we will talk in the new year.

    Note we will be at Wild Sheep Show Reno Jan 21-23 booth #813 and Safari Club International in Vegas Feb 3-6 booth #1424.
     

  4. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    2 more to add to the list to research. 375 Ruger, I'll send you a PM.
     

  5. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Do yourself a favor and check out Stan Stevens outfit, Mackenzie Mountain Outfitters in Northwest Territories. I hunted with them years ago, they run a top notch outfit and have plenty of sheep. I was hunting Mtn. caribou with them and we kept running into sheep. I was there in Oct. and the snow and cold weather pushed the sheep down off the mountains. It was strange to me to bump into sheep in the river bottom, but there they were.
    Good luck on your hunt, no mater where you go.
     

  6. redriver

    redriver AH Senior Member

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    Stan Stevens & Chris Widrig have great reps, you will save a bit in Alaska and I would look at Ray Atkins out of Cantwell, I know many people that have been with Ray including myself and he has some great hunts for sheep, Moose & Griz! He does his own flying in great country near Denali Park
     

  7. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    I am actually considering Chris Widrig, unfortunately I don't think I can afford Mr. Stevens enough I have seen some awesome reviews. Got a couple others to research but I am getting closer! Hope to talk to a few more guys over the next couple of days.
     

  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Stan Simpson runs a great outfit in the NWT and has virtually 100% success on nice rams. Having worked for him, I will vouch for him 100%.
     

  9. DiamondDave

    DiamondDave New Member

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    WIDRIG OUTFITTERS REVIEW. I just returned from a dall sheep/caribou hunt with Chris Widrig. Runs a very organized outfit in camp both there are a few negatives. I would not go back and hunt sheep with them.

    1. The problem is with Chris. He is 60 years old now and trying to run the whole outfit and he still tries to guide too. He philosophy on hunting is like banking hours....8-5...even though it doesn't get dark until 11pm.
    2. It was a 10 day hunt he said with 12 days allotted. 2 days are dedicated to flying from Whitehorse to his base camp at either Goz Lake or Bonnet Plume lake. Even though we arrived in that camp around 9am.....we spent the entire day and night there before heading out for a 7 hour horseback ride to spike camp. So now 12 days becomes 8 days of actual hunting!
    3. The horses and equipment/camp are all excellent. Very good, tame horses that were a pleasure to ride. The food was pretty good as we cooked regular food (not freeze dried) over a camp fire BUT.....3 days eating caribou meat that his previous hunter had shot got old!
    4. VERY FEW SHEEP in his entire area. The density is very low. 7 hours of horseback riding each direction and didn't see any sheep (or any other living creature other than a few ptarmigan and 1 small caribou).
    5. Chris was 1 for 3 sheep hunters himself this spring and the 1 he did get was a last minute one on the last day. He does not want to do any extra effort to go after sheep. We had 3 opportunities to go after sheep we saw in mid-day or early afternoon and he refused to make a stalk saying "they will be lower or closer to camp tomorrow!". On 1 occasion, we stalked a ram up high on the mountain and the biggest ram I had ever seen (I have 17 sheep/goat hunts to date) was in my crosshairs....standing on the ridge broadside....and he wouldn't let me shoot. It was 3:30 pm (dark at 11 and only about 1 mile by horseback to camp) and he said it was too late to recover the ram that day because he was In a "bad position". I said..... SO WHAT....we will get him and he refused and we went back to camp as usual by 5 and he was in his tent reading by 7pm.
    6. The morning of the last day which we were going to do the 7 hour horseback ride to, we were packing he horses around 7:00 am and I looked up and saw the big ram right down low on the green grassy knol just above camp. He refused to go get him (maybe 1-1/2 hour stalk) saying he had lots of stuff to do and new hunters coming in the next day and he wanted to get back to camp!!!!! I was paying for that day of hunting......we had 16 hours of daylight left and he refused to hunt.

    I went home totally empty handed...no sheep and no caribou and only 8 days of hunting time.

    The other hunters in camp got some sheep (I think they went like 8 for 12 sheep this year. So low density of sheep and just don't use Chris as a guide. He is too old to be trying to run a complete guiding outfitting business and guiding himself and is certainly not willing to work hard for the trophy. Most guides would push a hunter but in this case.....I was pushing him to make a stalk/kill and he always refused because it was 'geting too late" and he wanted to be back in camp by 5 and in bed by 6 or 7.
     
    wahunter and CAustin like this.

  10. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Oh man I am sorry you didn't get your sheep! I would be mad as hell if he didn't even want to put a stalk on it. Other hunters coming to camp, you have a hunter here now who needs to get his sheep!


    Those hunts are not cheap, especially a combo, did he offer to let you come back at a discount?
     

  11. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Sorry this happened to you! This is ugly in terms of effort put forth.
     

  12. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Dave,

    Thanks for sharing, sorry about your outcome of the hunt.
     

  13. DiamondDave

    DiamondDave New Member

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    No he did not offer a return trip and I wouldn't waste the time or money I don't think. He said that 90% of his business are new clients and I can see why.

    I had never heard of him before but when I booked, we agreed that I would hunt the last sheep hunt dates of the year and that I was going to hunt with his son Ryan at one of the camps near the base camp at Goz lake (about 4 hour horseback ride). When we were packing the horses and getting ready to leave (4 hunters heading in separate directions with different guides, horses, etc) and Chris Widrig went to one of the hunters who had WAY too much gear and wanted to see what all he had. The Hunter was 45, overweight, out of shape and complained that he had a bad knee. I am 60 but train all year for sheep hunts that I take each year and in great shape (this was my 17th sheep/goat hunt). Chris then came to me and said...."Well, we changed plans. Instead of doing what I booked and what we planned on (a hunt with his son Ryan at a good sheep camp near base camp), I am going to get you to go with me to a really bad, hard spot 7 horse horseback ride away. It's hard and the other guy would never make it. This was 15 minutes from leaving for camp!

    So, because I was in good shape I got penalized and sent to the bad place.

    Oh well, just thought others should know. Like I said, he's a very nice guy; very professionally run with good organization, horses, etc. and I think they do very good on big moose hunts but sheep I would stay away from or if you go, insist you get another guide and not him. (Ps. He also only has 1 eye from a previous grizzly attach. He can certainly see good from the 1 eye but I'm sure there may be some issues with his vision as well)
     

  14. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If someone is looking at the Yukon for a future hunt, here's some info to help:

    1. There are only 17 outfitters. It is a small fraternity and they all pretty much know and respect each other.
    2. The outfitter I used and can strongly recommend was Dickson Outfitters. When we asked about a future bison hunt, they recommended Mervyn's Outfitting. I've checked 6 references for Mervyn's and all 6 gave excellent feedback.
    3. I looked at the harvest reports and cross referenced to the zone map. This is a way to see where the animals are and where the aren't.
    4. Looking at the harvest report, particularly the resident vs non-resident numbers tells you a bit about the hunting pressure in a certain area.
    5. Finally, cross reference the harvest zones to the Outfitter's concession map.

    upload_2016-9-9_14-43-0.png

    upload_2016-9-9_14-43-25.png

    upload_2016-9-9_14-47-9.png
     
    Foxi, Hank2211 and AfricaHunting.com like this.

  15. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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  16. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    In the Yukon, I'd recommend Mac Watson at Northcurl Outfitters for Dalls and Jarrett Deuling at Deuling Outfitters for Stones.
     

  17. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    I spoke to Widrig when looking into booking my hunt for 2017. There was a lot of good references and I did speak with Mr. Widrig as well, but what got me to shy away was that the numbers put in his newletters were not adding up. As @DiamondDave said they got 8 rams this year, some years it was 7 and some years it was 9, but I knew he was taking 12 hunts a year. 7 for 12 or 8 for 12 is not 90% success. I realize a sheep hunt is tough but it just gave me some unease. I think this hunt and report would have been totally different 1) the services agreed upon had been provided and 2) there was just that little bit of extra effort.

    I ended up booking with Ruby Range just because there was so many good references. Even Rogue River (Jim Shockey's area) told me that if he had to kill a sheep to save his life that is who he would go with. Because he has the sheep. One of the references I called saw 37 rams (not all legal) on the first day.

    @375 Ruger Fan Dickinson came in second. A lot of good information and you definitely had a great report. I have also heard good things about Mervyns so can't wait to hear about your buffalo hunt. The others that really had a lot of good reviews was Reynolds and Blackstone - but I think the chance of a Fannin increases with them.
     

  18. ramsandcats

    ramsandcats New Member

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    I hope you get a great ram. The Yukon is a fantastic place to hunt. I have hunted with Dan Reynolds multiple times and he has a fantastic area and really strives to get hunters a great ram and be a conservationist of his resources. A friend of mine hunted with Ruby Range and had a good hunt there as well.
    Good Luck !!!!
     

  19. JES Adventures

    JES Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    Take a look at Bonnet Plume Outfitters - Chris McKinnon. His success rate has always been very high and his guides top notch. Chris does a lot of scouting and knows his area extremely well. I shot the ram below with his outfit in 2007. I see Chris annually at DSC and he's almost always booked a year out - that says something. Take a look at some of the Rams on his website, impressive.

    image.jpeg
     

  20. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    JES: Awesome looking ram!

    Dave
     

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