McGregor River OutfittersBritish Columbia
Website Address posted for sponsors only
We booked a moose hunt with McGregor River Outfitters out of Prince George, British Columbia, for my son and me. It was a 30th birthday gift from his wife. Eric Hanson, the owner of MRO was our guide. Upon our arrival at the guide area, Eric informed us he had forgotten his jacket that also contained critical gear and his wife was on the way to deliver it. Little did we know this was a harbinger of things to come and the start of the Eric Hanson Comedy Show. Communication and obtaining information from Eric leading up to our hunt was difficult at best and he displayed a propensity for leaving out critical details. The accommodations did not align with the details listed on his website, which was misleading and full of untruths. All three of us slept in the same cabin, to which Eric immediately proclaimed which bunk was his. Leftover for us was a cot and another bunk, both with minimal bedding material. The first morning he complained of the snoring, and he was actually the worst offender. He exhibited- bipolar tendencies throughout the week, multiple times getting upset about who knows what, then leaving us to fend for ourselves. The leaky boat, which was essential in getting to the campsite and for the hunt, had to be bailed prior to each use. The motor was a constant question mark and unreliable. The hunt itself, was simply motoring up river and sitting on a river bank for 10-11 hours per day. In six days of hunting, we saw 4 cows, 1 calf and a very small bull (for about 2 seconds). This, after spending 60-70 hours on the river and listening to Eric say, ‘time on the river equals moose in the boat’. Alas, anything but true. If you actually got a chance for a shot at a legal bull, it would have been just dumb luck. One day, he even proceeded to sit in the boat and bang around trying to fix the motor, pretty much ruining that day’s hunt. It was evident Eric had put little to no effort in advance scouting and his inadequate hunting skills yielded the fact he was a one trick pony in hunting technique. When asked about different hunting options, Eric provided none. MRO’s territory consists of over 1700 square miles according to the website and Eric. Yet, for the moose hunt, only about 2 miles of river is utilized. Eric refuses to move off of easily accessible river banks, because his laziness prevents any ground hunts and having to expend effort on moose recovery. Eric does not hunt in the rain, so we lost an entire day at the beginning, even though it was only a drizzle off and on. Before our 7th day, clouds moved in and he made it clear we need to leave in the morning to not get ‘caught’ on the river, ‘it could raise up 15 feet’. Complete BS. I have no doubt Eric will rebuke this testimonial, as its in his DNA to shift blame and make excuses. He made that clear throughout the week as he constantly told of previous hunts and customer dissatisfaction. He served to provide nothing more than a water taxi service to deliver us to his designated hunting ‘honey holes’. If this is the kind of hunt you seek and have very low expectations, then Eric is your guy. I would never rebook with this lazy, egotistical, self-proclaimed guide again and caution others to heed warning.
Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES
This hunt was a rifle hunt NOT a bow hunt. It is very unfortunate to see an inaccurate review posted. Mr. Barnes was a pleasure to have in camp with no conflict or confrontation. This client booked an 8-day moose hunt on the McGregor River, which is located in a remote section of Northern B.C. Mr. Barnes had an unrealistic expectation of hunting Moose in this terrain, which caused discouragement. He stated he was expecting this hunt to be similar to one he had in Newfoundland. I explained, the more time spent on the river would mean more opportunity to put a moose in the boat. Unfortunately, the client would request to return to base camp earlier and earlier each day for personal recreation time and alcohol consumption. On the morning of day 6, the client relinquished the remainder of his hunt disclosing he was impatient. Mr. Barnes is accurate stating the guide area is 1700+ square miles, unfortunately the McGregor River does not cover that much territory. The area offers many hunts for different species, in a wide variety of terrain. This particular hunt Mr. Barnes booked was dedicated to a particular section of the guide area. Mr. Randall Barnes has been hopping between hunting sites bashing my character, business, and guide territory, evidently to his regrets of quitting and for fitting a successful hunt. I wish Mr. Barnes all the best in future hunts he may partake in and refrains from inappropriate online defamation. For whatever it is worth I just finished a successful moose hunt with a client who was 84 years old and his 29 year old grandson. We saw 3 different bulls in 3 days and one being the best I have ever seen in my guide area in a decade. The hunt concluded successfully in the same area Mr. Barnes was taken into.
It drizzled off and on the first day of hunt, but no enough that should prevent hunting. The remaining days were slightly warmer in the afternoons than normal.