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Hang on! Before I start typing, let me turn on Kane Brown -Heaven on “Youtube”…ok now I am ready.

Like many outdoorsmen and women out there, I love to watch videos about hunting, my favourite one’s have to be about waterfowl, either from ground blinds or jump shooting from a canoe or kayak.

Not only do I pick up on new tips and tricks but I also really enjoy watching some of the great hunts that have been captured on film, in addition I love having some great laughs, especially when watching “Outlaw” videos on Dippin’ and Huntin’ geese.

It brings back memories of dippin’ with my buds when I was younger, sharing awesome moments.

Many of those videos out there often host a guide or two and their role is vital to a successful hunt with regards to the harvesting of game. I am normally the hunter out there and it has been like this for years and I have also made some great vids too with my GoPro but in the past couple years, I have had several opportunities to be a guide. I always had my doubts about my abilities as a guide but after having taken several buds on successful duck and Canada goose hunts and now this weekend turkey hunting, I am slowly transforming into a seasoned guide.

Knowledge is definitely a large part of being a great guide, but also having the right equipment for example turkey decoys, a tent/blind and a good turkey caller is key, especially for my upcoming weekend. Then there are other attributes like having confidence about your decisions, and having a great understanding of the game that you are pursuing and its environment.

There are many other important factors to being a guide, like having the ability to take responsibility for the mistakes made because in some cases even if it may not always be said, the hunters will lay the blame on you as the guide for their unsuccessful harvests, even if it was mother nature’s doing.

My whole life I have been surrounded by institutions that solely exists based on theories and this just does not work out in the field. Part of being a guide is also earning confidence and trust from the hunters, and this is easily obtained by being modest and having proven field experience, this can be as easy as having great stories based on field time or a simple picture of you with a harvested Turkey or geese in your den.

This will not be my last blog about being a guide because it is simply an intriguing subject and so vast. Until next time remember to be respectful of your guide and keep in mind their proven field experience and learn to trust their instincts.

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In the past few weeks two Canadian families have been torn by a powerful sense of grief and the unimaginable while their loved ones were practicing the sport we love so much and hold dear to our hearts.

In times of emptiness like these the word accident is just one more word in a million found in the English language which is miles away in someone’s mind who has gone through such a tragic experience or loss.

An accident according to an online dictionary is an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss.
Our sport is dangerous, extremely dangerous but it does not have to be. Yet how dare we judge or preach the safe practice of firearm handling during times like these and how dare we have an opinion on someone or a situation we were not part of and have not fully understood the circumstances.

When an accident such as this occurs in our international community of hunters and to our fellow brethren, it is not criticism or judgment which should be released; rather it should be is a promise to have a higher sense of awareness and going back to the fundamentals which we were taught during our firearm and hunter courses.

A few weeks ago, I was out hunting snowshoe hare and I had to pass over a wired fence and I thought to myself, must I really unload my shotgun like I was taught? Then pass the weapon under the wire and then only pick it up and load it only once I was on the other side or should I just place it on safe and keep it in my hands? What if a hare sprints out as I am climbing over? …Maybe I will miss the shot of a lifetime. In the end I did take the time to do it right and passing the unloaded firearm under the fence. What is a few seconds more in a lifetime? Especially when you have friends, family and loved ones waiting for you at home. A great hunter is not one who brings a trophy or a harvest home every time, it is a hunter who learns and appreciates and knows their place in nature.

I shall dedicate my next hunt to the two families who have experienced extreme loss, and excruciating pain, and hopefully are heading toward the path of healing. While I stand on the damp soil of my hunting path with the fall tree colors burning around me and the breeze blowing in my face, I promise to take a moment and deep breath to think of the two young men who like me were practicing the sport we love so much.

To me they are not just another news article, they are ambassadors of safety and for this I thank them.

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