British Columbia, 2007, Guided
As I sat in the doctor's office awaiting the results of the MRI on my shoulder, over a year had passed since my first deposit check was sent to Art and Crystal Thompson of Gundahoo River Outfitters in northern British Columbia. The deposit was for my 14-day horseback adventure to hunt mountain goat, caribou, and moose. I will never forget the words or my feelings when he looked at the results and said, "Sooooo...what do you have going on next year, anything important?"
I had torn my rotator cuff. The only way to repair it was with surgery and a recovery period of 9-12 months! After explaining my situation, he wanted me on the operating table immediately.
The worst four months of physical therapy passed with outstanding results. By June, I was finally cleared to carry a pack with weight in it, which started my iron man training that should have started months ago.
On September 14, I left my hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania ripe with anticipation. I was greeted at Fort Nelson by Crystal and we then had a two-hour drive north on the Alaska Highway to the main camp where I met Art.
We made sure my rifle was still zeroed in and I took in some of the breathtaking scenery. After supper and stories, the anticipation and reality was sinking in that I was finally on my dream hunt.
The next day proved to be just like any other high country hunt I've heard about; the weather decides for you when you fly. The clouds lifted around 2 p.m. and Art flew me in to base camp. After an amazing flight through country you can only dream about, we touched down. I was greeted by my guide Karl, as well as by Ted, who would be guiding Greg, the other hunter in camp. As expected, the scenery and rustic cabin we called home for two weeks was exceptional. To put the atmosphere into perspective, Greg and I were greeted by a so-called "small" grizzly 75 yards from our porch. I was definitely not in Pennsylvania anymore.
We awoke the next morning to beautiful weather and clear skies for our first spike camp excursion. This would later prove to be the most cooperative day of our 14-day mission.
For a full account of Brian's adventure, go to page 16 in the June/July 2009 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.