Wild Kakwa Outfitters
Wild Kakwa Outfitters Hunting Stories

Randy Craley- 2003 Elk Hunt
In September 2003 my friend Brad and I flew to Grande Praire to hunt elk with Wild Kakwa Outfitters. When we arrived at Grand Prairie, we were met by Rita Houweling, who thoughtfully took us to a hotel to rest after a long day of traveling from Pennsylvania. The next morning Rita picked us up at the hotel, along with Ed from New York, who was to be the third member of our party. We then met Rick Houweling and Mel, our Elk guides, who had just returned from making the final preparations for our arrival. After a lunch prepared by Rita, we loaded our gear and left for what Mel called "The Bush." We then road for two hours to Mel's home. At his home, the gear was transferred to quads and we rode for another hour and a half to the site of our camp. The seclusion of camp let me know we were truly in the wilderness of Alberta. This only served to enhance my excitement for the coming week and my chance to enjoy the Canadian backwoods as few ever do.

It was decided that Ed would be hunting with Rick and Brad and I would hunt with Mel. It didn't take long to realize that Mel new elk. In fact, I later said, "Mel knew what the elk were going to do before they did." Clearly, Mel was an experienced guide and hunter. When we left at daybreak, Mel began calling elk immediately and within 300 yards of camp. As the day progressed, we saw numerous cow elk and smaller bulls, along with several moose and deer. Around 11:00, we heard an elk bugle. This peaked my excitement immediately, but with disappointment, we soon realized that the bull was across the river. Later in the day we saw a large 6x6 bull and his cows, but they also were on the other side of the river. Despite the fact that we had only seen large elk from across the water, just knowing they were near managed to stir up our enthusiasm. I could finally begin to realistically imagine coming home with a prize elk. In fact, when we returned to camp, we discovered that Ed had taken a nice 4x5 bull.

The next morning, Brad, Mel, and I left camp. Mel again began cow calling and bugling immediately after leaving camp. At around 8:30 a bull answered. Seemingly out of nowhere, a different bull with a low, heavy bugle answered Mel. Brad was the first one who saw the large bull. Brad could have eaily taken him, but he had earlier agreed that I could have the first shot. When I got the impressive bull in my scope I realized he was a real trophy. He continued coming right to Mel's cow calling. This gave me ample time for a clean shot. When we reached him, we saw he was a heavy-horned 7x7. It was then time to take photos and celebrate the excitement of this impressive kill. We then removed the head and cape and left for camp. Because of the remoteness of location where the elk was shot, it was dark when we got back to the tents. It certainly was a long and exhilarating day!

The next day, we began the job of retrieving the carcass. When we were about a quarter of a mile from the elk, it was decided I would go ahead of the others to examine the state of the carcass. Imagine my surprise when I found a bear feeding on the elk. Because of the bear's interest in my kill, I was able to take an easy shot at the bear. Wow! In 3 days I not only saw moose, deer and elk, but also managed to take a 7x7 elk and a decent-sized bear! On the last day of the hunt, Mel and Rick called a 6x6 to Brad, thus giving us three elk for the hunting party. This was a hunting trip I will never forget!

Thanks again for the dedication and a job well done. I'm looking forward to booking with Wild Kakwa Outfitters in the future.

Randy Craley
phone number : 717-244-4724

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Wild Kakwa Outfitters
Wild Kakwa Outfitters
Rick Houweling
RR 3 Site 3 Box 13
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada T8V 5N3
Phone 780-513-1338

Contact Us By E-mail:rhouweli@wildkakwaoutfit.com