To most, being labeled an outfitter has a broad definition. According to OutfittersRating.com, anyone who provides any combination of expediting, guiding, accommodations, meals, access, and transport for hunting and fishing adventures. This can range from complete safari packages like you’ll encounter in Africa to a Canadian bed and breakfast operation for pheasant hunters. Their definition of outfitter also includes lodge operations, shooting preserves, and fishing charter services.
Because Shadow Mountain Outfitter is a full hunting/guiding service provider in British Columbia, we supply everything from accommodation, equipment, transportation, experienced one-on-one guides, tags, licensing, food and even our famous homemade chocolate chip cookies that the hunters fight over after a long trip. After 37 years of guiding, we are very capable in knowing what every skill level of hunter requires.
There are certain legislations in place all over the world that hunting outfitters are meant to follow. British Columbia is no different. To know that you are within the legislation there are certain questions we recommend you ask your service provider before committing to your hunt and putting down your deposit.
There is a survey Outfitters Rating sends to hunters who actually used a specific outfitter. This survey is based on what they believe are the 10 most important aspects of quality hunting and fishing service. Shadow Mountain Outfitters agrees with this foundation and is happy to answer each question with pride.
Here are the questions from answers from OutfittersRating.com answered by Shadow Mountain Outfitters.
1.How many hunters will be in camp and how many hunters are there per guide in the field?
All of our hunts are one-on-one meaning each hunter is paired with their own guide. We take a total of 24 hunters per season, dividing them up into 4 hunts, meaning that we only take six hunters per hunt dispersing them throughout our 4000 square kilometer hunting area. In each of our five spike camps, there is room for two hunters and two guides.
2.How large an area is there for these hunters and guides to hunt?
We have 4000 square kilometers of hunting area with five spike camps throughout the area. We start them in our Lodge and then sending them off to a spike camp or they can hunt right from our lodge, depending on where the Elk is Bugling the best.
3.What kind of accommodations will we be staying in (i.e. cabins, wall tents, spike tents, lodge, motels, etc.) and how far are they from the actual hunting/fishing area?
If the hunter is staying in our lodge or the cabins next to the lodge, all have the luxuries of electricity, hot water, and cell service. Our lodge is situated in the middle of our guiding area, so hunters can hunt right out our back door so to speak. All of our spike cabins are just that dry cabins wooden or steel, they all have wooden stoves for heat, propane lights, sleeping bunks and camp showers. These cabins are a little more rustic, but still, have all the comforts so you can relax after a good day of hunting. Everything is provided so that the hunter and his guide can enjoy a good meal. These spike cabins are situated in prime locations in drainage where the there is lots of game movement. There is no cell service or electricity.
4.What kind of outfitter provided equipment will we be using (trucks, boats, ATVs, tackle, horses, tents, bunks, cooking ware, etc.) and what kind of condition is it in?
Our guiding area is so vast that we use all means of transportation, from trucks, ATV, side by sides, boats and horses. Our equipment is serviced before the season so that everything is in good condition. We are full and complete service providers.
5.Will you, the outfitter, be in camp and in charge of the operation? If not, who and can we talk to him/her prior to the trip?
As we live in our lodge/home we are always available unless Tim is out guiding himself but his wife (Oz) is always there preparing the wonderful meals and the tasty sweets that hunters always enjoy coming home to.
6. Who will be our guide and how experienced is he/she in this area and with the species we will be pursuing?
Our guides are hand picked by Tim. He has over 30 years experience in the industry and knows how important all aspects of guiding are. He has made sure that the assistant guides have a good working knowledge of the area, the tools and the animals that they are working with.
7. What are the CURRENT conditions of the game herd/populations in the area we will be hunting/fishing? What can impact this between now and the time of our trip? What are alternate plans if there’s a significant reduction in the number of game or fish?
We start hunting Black bear in the spring May and June hunt methods are usually spot and stalk or using the hounds, then we take a break from hunting and get all of our spike camps and trails in order in the summer months so that we are ready for the fall Elk season starting Sept 1st. with the bow hunt and then rifle hunts start Sept. 10 and run through until October 20th. We start our Shiras Moose hunts October 15th through to November 7th. We also hunt Mt Goat and Mule deer and whitetail, in this time frame. Then once the snow falls we start our Cougar/Bobcats in December running through until the end of February.
Tim spends most of his time in the mountains accessing the game population and searching out new areas to hunt in, He is always watching the game movements and since our area is so vast we have the opportunity to move a hunter and his guide to another part of the area where the game is more prevalent.
8. What is the payment schedule as far as deposits, payment in full, and refunds, etc.? How and how often should we expect to hear from you between now and the trip?
Once deciding to book a hunting trip with us we expect a 10-40% deposit to hold the hunt depending on how far out the hunt is,( for example if you book a hunt a year off, we ask for a $1000 deposit to hold the hunt within 30 days of a verbal booking) then the following January we expect a total of 40% to hold the hunt, then a month prior to the hunt it is to be paid for in full. All deposits are non-refundable unless prior arrangements have been made. We look at each booking in their own merit.
9. Does this package include cooked meals, food we prepare ourselves, or are we responsible for our own food? If meals are provided, what’s a common week’s menu for the time we will be in camp?
All meals are provided for the length of the hunt. We provide a good hearty breakfast; bacon and eggs or if the hunter and guide want to get out extra early, they can grab a quick breakfast bar or take an extra sandwich, then come back for a hearty breakfast later in the morning depending on where they end up.
If the hunter is in a spike camp, they are sent out with prepared supper meals so they just have to heat them. They are also supplied with lots of breakfast and lunch supplies as well as Oz’s sweet treats. Most of our hunters express to us that they were supposed to lose weight on their hunt not gain weight.
10. How long have you been in operation in this location/territory, and what percentage of your business is repeat customers vs new customers?
Tim and Astrid ( Oz) have been in the guiding industry for over 35 years, and have owned and operated several guiding areas throughout the East Kootenays. They purchased this Kootenay Lake guiding area in 2001, and built a lodge and home in the center of this guiding area, Tim is always cutting new trails and building new spike camps, so that the hunters have more opportunity to access the mountains offering a wonderful hunting experience 9 months of the year. We have built up a large number 50-60% of repeat clientele due to the work ethic that we have shown over the past 35 years.
We pride ourselves on the quality of experience our hunters continue to enjoy year after year. Not only are we very knowledgeable of our surroundings and equipment, we also provide comfortable accommodation and delicious meals. We believe in the complete package and creating an experience of a lifetime with simple comforts included.
For more information contact us by phone at 1-250-225-3551 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.