After a 10 hour drive to Burns Lake B.C on Friday Sept. 28th, Mark, myself and my daughter Tegan arrived at our hotel for the night. Tegan decides that some chinese food is in order so off we go. Pick the better of the two restaurants in town and sit down. Get looking through the menu and no ginger or sezchaun beef. So Mark says wtf over? So now we decide to go to the other one. And yes you guessed it, same result. So he’s in a frenzy and it’s decided to go have wings and burgers….lol Tegan and I finally get to sit down and enjoy a meal after all the comotion. Enjoy some great food and a few cold beverages and back to the room to pack it in for the night. Long day ahead of us tomorrow.
Up at 7:30 a.m for our last shower for the next week and off to breakfast we go. A little continental breakfast at the hotel with the regular complimentary toast, cereal etc. Check out and on the road to the outfitters house to meet the cook. We arrive and help load up the grub and back on the road. We had about a 1 hour drive to their collins lake cabin where the float plane was picking us up. We get all unloaded from the truck and into the float plane by 1:30 pm. And we aare off.
A quick ˝ hour plane ride and we arrived at Nanika Lake. We met our guides, unloaded and got settled in. The next morning is when the hunt commences. Before bed I told everyone in camp the same things I told the woman at home. By day 4 of the hunt we will have 2 moose hanging.
The cabin comes alive at 5:30 a.m. with fresh coffee percolating on the propane stove and the sound of fire crackling coming from the wood stove. Out on the deck having a coffee when the sky opens up and starts raining. Great, first day of the hunt is going to be wet. Back in for some fresh bacon and eggs. Slowly get all geared up and wait for a little day break so we can head across the lake to the meadow where as my guide Chad says “the moose live there” lol. So off we go and yes get pretty wet. We sat until 10:30a.m. And only seeing a cow/calf and a young hot to trot bull. Back to the cabin for some lunch and an afternoon siesta. 4 p.m. hits and back out in the rain we go to try our luck. The young bull comes out at 6:30 p.m. We taunt him with some calling and watch him run in circles wondering where the love of his life is. Mark and his guide call in a young bull but let him go. Back at camp at 7:30 for some dry clothes, a warm fire, a few games of crib and a night cap.
Get woken up at 3 a.m. with one of the cabin doors being swung open from the storm that has escalated. We ended up staying in camp all day due to the weather. The lake had 6 foot swells back to back. No way were we going across in our little 14’ aluminium boats. So I decided to take some pictures.
Finally it breaks a little by 4 p.m. and we are off by 5. We both go to the same area but go 500 yards apart. As I was walking in with my guide Chad I hear a grunt and assume it was Chinny (marks guide). We get set up and start calling after about 15 minutes. Half hour later we hear “BOOM and “WAAAP”. Both Chad and I look at each other and say “now that’s a hit”. So we leave our spot to go help the boys out as we agreed on that prior to the hunt. So we boat over to where they are and see them standing at the spot where they went in. 5 minutes later we hear another shot, then another and another. Now we are wondering if should go in, sounds like a war. Those 3 shots sounded like a swing and a miss. Then we hear the 5th and it sounded good. Long story short, they called the bull into 100 yards. Mark hit him low in the brisket and the bull dropped. They stood there for a bit and there was no movement. So they came so we knew where they were. Started back towards the bull and he was standing. So mark hit a little panic mode and was shaking like a hooker in December. So 3 shots were all over and then he regained his composer and put the bull down. And here he is all finished up on day 2 of the hunt.
Day 5 (day 3 of the hunt):
Weather smartened up with some cool temperatures and no rain. Hunted in some different spots at either end of the lake. But I had no success. On our way back to the cabin I told Chad that my dream hunt would be to shoot off the boat with my bull standing on a shoreline. We did see a cow on the way back. A couple of photos prior to traveling back to the cabin.
Day 6 (4th day of the hunt):
As normal I was up at 5 am waiting for day light in anticipation. Especially this day as it’s the big day 4. I told Tegan she could stay in bed longer and sleep in because I wanted to change things up. So we get all the essentials done and head out with just Chad and I. Well my idea to change things up didn’t work as we did not see anything. Got back to camp to see Tegan fishing away. She was catching 2 pound rainbows of the rock shore like nothing. We had our regular lunch at 1 and relaxed for the afternoon. 4 p.m. hit and we started getting ready for the evening hunt. I asked Tegan if she was going to join us for the hunt and she opted to stay fishing. Guess you can’t blame her when the action was great. So we head off to the far west end of the lake but this time mark and his guide came along. We sat at the end in a little bay on the boats calling into a meadow. We think we heard some activity but never seen anything. Lots of fresh rubs along the shore, so it looked very promising. 7 p.m hit and we had to make our way back to the cabin as it was a half hour boat ride. We were cruising along when we seen a cow and a young spike bull. We kept on going of course and when we got around the next point there HE was just walking down the black sandy shore. He never knew we were there or didn’t show any concern. We quickly turned around to get some nearby canoes. Once we did the quick switch we started rowing towards him and got within 150 yards. Chad made a few grunts and the bull stopped in his tracks. I sprawled out in the canoe and used my pack as a rest. As my cross hairs were moving up and down, I counted 3 times as they crossed my mark and when the 4th time my cross hairs were coming down on its mark, I squeezed the trigger and sent my 200 gr. Accubond. The bull dropped in his tracks and into the water, he folded right up. WOW it’s true; my long awaited fly in trip all came together on day 4 from the boat. I was in shear amazement. Here is a few photos of myself with Chad and my daughter Tegan. This bad boy had a bell that was 22” long.
Day 6 and 7 (day 5 and 6 of the hunt):
Both bulls hanging, so we had lots of time to debone the rib cage and the care for my meat. The rest of the time we just helped out to get the cabin winterized and all the gear put away. Also did some more fishing. Here is the view from the cabin as we were waiting for the fog to lift so our plane could land and pick us up. And finally the last pic when we landed.
This hunt was truly an amazing trip and I will go back in a heart beat. The staff and guides with Nanika lake Outfitters are a professional class act and would highly recommend them.
A special thank you is in order to my wife that gives me the opportunity to take part in something I cherish and love. Also to a good friend that helped me with a hand load for my .338, it sure did the trick.