Mountain Spirit OutfittersBritish Columbia
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Outfitter Guide has been guiding for years but I felt she was inexperienced and not prepared. Her knowledge was faulty and resulted in trophy goat fleeing and shot having to be rushed with no spotting by her for adjustment. After making a poor makeshift campy due to her non preparedness, she was wet cold and miserable. She wanted to end the hunt the next morning even though I wanted to search for the goat. It was Long arduous climb over the steep drop off the back of the ridge and a 9 hr hike down the mtn in the dark while it rained and snowed at times getting lost due to her inability to read her gps. Often having to backtrack and find another route. Back in camp I stayed in the cabin the entire 8 days left of my hunt with no effort by her to find goats on a different Mtn as I would not go back over that ridge again noting how dangerous it was. She was xo to sully rude to me especially while others were present and another hunt was disappointed in her behavior towards myself. I would not recommend her to any other hunter and especially how she treats people.
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES
This is in response to Frank Laythorpe’s letter. I am a seasoned Guide/Outfitter with 32 years’ experience. Frank bought my hunt at an SCI online auction in February. Upon his arrival I questioned him whether he would be up to the challenge as the goat I had spotted was in a difficult location. He informed me that he was, had been training for some time and was ready. I told him that we had only one day to hunt this goat as the weather was changing to rain and snow. I also told him I was packing several tarps for us to use for a camp as I didn’t have a packer and wanted to keep our load lighter. He was all for it. The climb up took longer than anticipated as Frank wasn’t in the physical condition he had led me to believe. We first spotted the goat on the ridgeline as we were climbing up, however he dropped back down into the back basin before we were able to get there. Upon arriving on the ridgeline, we spotted him below us at 400 yards. Frank was able to take that shot but wanted to close it to 300 yards. Since the window of opportunity was closing due to the following days weather, I made the decision to drop into the basin to try and close the distance. We managed to come within 360 yards when the billy stood up to leave. Frank hurried over to a good spot to rest his gun for the shot and told me he was okay with the distance. I asked him for his rangefinder, but it was attached to his binocular case, and he didn’t want to unclip it, so ranged the distance himself. After missing 7 times the goat disappeared behind a rock outcropping. The time was getting late, and I figured the goat was long gone, as that’s what they do when shot upon. Frank, however believed the billy was still around, so a decision had to be made. Drop down or climb back up and wait till morning to see whether we would spot him again. Frank and I discussed our options. I made the decision to drop further into the bowl so Frank wouldn’t be able to accuse me later that I hadn’t put in the effort if we would have left. It was close to dark when we finally arrived at the location where the goat had been and where it was flat enough to set up camp. I did take ½ hour to try and find him, however, was unsuccessful. We quickly set up camp as it was beginning to rain and it was getting dark. It rained most of the night and continued into the morning. I told Frank we had to leave as I was concerned about the weather. He was adamant that we should stay and continue looking for the goat. I tried explaining to him that the goat was gone and made the decision to leave once it stopped raining and the fog lifted. My big concern was still the weather, if it turned to snow, which was a huge possibility, the climb out would become extremely treacherous and I was concerned about Frank’s safety as well as my own. Most of our gear was wet and so was also worried about the possibility of hypothermia. We managed to climb back out before it began to rain again, and I was very happy about that! We arrived back to the ATV’s at 2 am, it was a long climb down and we did have to backtrack a few times as I just had the quads marked as a waypoint, not realizing that there were several large cliffs directly above them, so wasn’t able to drop right down. We were lucky to make it down as the following morning there was snow. It snowed for several more days, with the snow staying on the peaks up until Frank’s departure day. The Cariboo Mountains in my area are steep and treacherous enough without adding snow into the equation and I refuse to hunt any goats if there is snow on the peaks. Frank did email me asking for a free hunt due to the circumstances, which circumstances I’m not sure of as he was given a 100% opportunity to take a record book billy, which he missed with 7 shots. I stand by any of my decisions in order to keep my clients as safe as possible while still getting their game.
It is rain with some snow but she said it was melting and the goats would be lower at timberline but she made no attempt to glass and locate any goats. She had other plans on day 8 and 9 of the hunt and it wasn’t goat hunting. She told me my hunt was over well prior to the end of my ten day hunt