Jay St. Onge - 2008 Moose Hunt
I must admit I am still in awe of having taken the bull that I
did and have been thinking what I could possibly say that wouldn't
make the whole experience sound too good to be true! But here
In early 2006 my hunting buddy and I (Bob Thomson) decided that
we should take a hunting trip for Moose, we wanted somewhere that
would be easy to reach and be able to drive to from our homes
in Spokane, WA. Multiple online searches and use of different
hunting websites led me to researching Wild Kakwa Outfitters.
Their web page showed a very impressive array of trophy photo's
and a success rate that was second to none. Next I made a call
to the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society. They had no complaints
lodged with Rick and Rita Houwelings' Wild Kakwa Adventures. I
then contacted several references from previous hunts and gathered
as much info from them as I possibly could. To be honest, I could
not find a negative in booking a hunt with Wild Kakwa. Talking
with several references I asked one of them if I could expect
to have a chance at a 45"+ bull, the reference who has hunted
successfully several times with Wild Kawka answered a qualified
yes, but only if you can walk by the smaller bulls without shooting
them first! I believe I requested to book with Wild Kakwa the
very next day.
It was a long 18 months from the time we booked until our hunt
began, but the hunt was more than I could have imagined, for three
days my buddy and I hunted together with Matt Mann (our guide)
and saw Moose every day, but nothing that was quite meeting our
expectations. Both of us were having a great time, and most likely
gaining weight from the tremendous food, when on day four, Rick
split us up to have a one on one guiding situation, we knew the
outfitter was hoping to give us the best chance to be successful.
That morning (the fourth day of an 8 day hunt) I was lucky enough
to harvest my bull, and what a bull it was. I had gotten a look
at tremendous paddles and knew he was a shooter, and truly did
not hesitate to take my shot when it presented itself. After the
shot, my guide asked if I knew how big he was, I said I wasn't
even sure he had eye guards, but I knew without hesitation I wanted
that bull. He told me to rest assured he had eye guards and we
set about finding my bull. What I walked up on was far and away
beyond my expectations of this hunt. I knew that certainly bulls
of this caliber were there to be taken, but did not dream I would
be lucky enough to take a bull such as this. For that experience
I owe my guide and Rick and Rita Houweling a huge thanks. My buddy
took a tremendous bull that very same night and I was fortunate
enough to be able to go with him and Matt to retrieve his bull.
The camp is extremely comfortable with roomy cabins and a great
campfire ring to sit around and enjoy talking about the days hunt.
Rick runs a camp which I would highly recommend to any and all.
He expects great success and has confidence in his guides to provide
you with the hunt of your lifetime. Rita will make you want to
make sure your back to camp in time for every meal, the food is
amazing. All of the guides and people involved in the camp go
out of their way to make sure you have a wonderful and comfortable
hunt. To be honest it's a camp you feel like you've been going
to for years. If you get a chance to hunt Moose with this camp,
do it. My only regret is that now I want to go up there and hunt
with these guys every year! Both myself and my buddy had the trip
of a lifetime with two enormous bulls, which made the 15 hour
drive back to Washington seem like a trip across town.
Thank you Rick, Rita, Matt and Ricky for a hunt I will remember
for the rest of my life.
Jay St. Onge, WA