Mathews Inc.

Adventure Northwest

Northwest Territories
Website Address posted for sponsors only
Where's Bruce?
Ratings to date: 5
Average Rating 2.6

Hunter Comments
I do not recommend this outfitter

Kyler Knelsen Adventure Northwest review: People can be interesting creatures prone to all kinds of behavior, from highly impressive to amazingly disappointing with the snap of a finger. I experienced this hot & cold flip after booking my traditional archery muskox hunt with Adventure Northwest and Kyler Knelsen. I was told Kyler was “the best guide” available and in my few conversations with him, became convinced he was the finest Outfitter for my pursuit of a world record ox.

This hunt was first booked with Bowhunting Safari Consultants when Jay Osting talked me out of the Spring hunt with another outfitter. He had just completed the subzero hunt and told me his close friend operated a Fall season hunt that would be much more to my liking as I wanted a fair chase, spot & stalk hunt. Jay had successfully taken a large bull and a wolverine on his Spring season hunt but recognized it wasn’t my cup of tea. The Intuits pulled right up to a herd of muskox, which is forbidden outside of their sustenance hunting, and Jay told me he expressed his dislike regarding this. I completed the paperwork (three forms BSC required) and was thrilled. I’m gonna trophy hunt muskox with cedar arrows and a recurve. I’m so happy, I can’t stop smiling. Font Rectangle Parallel Magenta Paper

Then I received a call from Kyler advising my hunt would not take place. My booking had been to replace others who had cancelled their hunt but apparently there was a disconnect in communication between BSC & Adventure Northwest and the spot had already been sold to someone. Kyler genuinely appeared to feel bad about this and offered to book for the following year at the same rate, which I readily accepted. I figured these guys are active hunters and communication is often spotty during hunting season. No big deal…I’m a patient man. Later, Jay told me he would generate a revised contract for the 2024 after coordinating with Kyler. He advised me that I was to submit a 10K deposit to BSC upon signing of the modified agreement and the balance to be paid to Kyler later on. “No prob!” I waited for the contract. This was in May ’23.

At the end of June I received this email reply after asking Jay why I had not received the revised agreement:

Thanks Bruce. July 17-24, 2024 @ $16,000 plus charter, tax & tag ? Have you sent any deposit to Kyler? I’ll get a contract issued to get this in the books. Thank you. JAY OSTING Bowhunting Safari Consultants

Why is he asking if I sent Kyler money when he told me the deposit is to be paid the BSC, the booking agent? Deposits follow the approval and signing of a contract, otherwise what documentation is there to explain what the ten thousand dollar payment is for? I’m not sending 10K to someone in another country I have never met without the contract…he could claim it was a gift and I’d have no recourse. I’m not stupid. Jay’s question bothered me.

Fast forward 6 months to December and I am still awaiting an agreement from BSC and beginning to question their reliability. I am completing my 2024 schedule and give him a year-end deadline by which I must receive a contract, so I know what other hunts to put in for in 2024. Jay tells me to contract directly with Adventure Northwest.

This convinced me I was outta luck. It made no sense. I figured they had let my contract slip through the cracks and it was too late to secure it now. I wrote to Kyler regarding my concerns about Jay’s reliability but he not only vouched for him…he promised to send me a contract. Seven months after my 2023 hunt was cancelled, I am finally getting somewhere. Traditional bowhunters are patient.

Kyler sends me the contract but it is not for the same cost as the cancelled 2023 hunt and I remind him that the price was 16K as documented by Jay in an email. He modifies the contract (for $19,950 including incidentals) which I sign and ship Priority Mail to him that same day with a $20,000.00 cashiers check. He now knows I’m completely for real and has the full amount. Once he confirms delivery, I book my round-trip flight to Yellowknife with Air Canada and begin gear acquisition, including soft luggage for archery gear.

Six weeks later I am having a surgical procedure done to improve my mobility. Nothing too serious but I had been putting it off for months and it was time. This was combined with a new diet and exercise routine in preparation for this bucket list hunt. I’m jazzed! For a week after the procedure I’m off work and recovering and decide to complete the final items on my TO DO LIST…booking of a hotel in Yellowknife and scheduling the float plane to Kyler’s camp. I’d been given a phone number and email address for a gal named Sandy who was my “contact” for these needs. Initially I thought Sandy was Kyler’s employee until the email bounced as undeliverable. So I call her and learn she’s a travel agent and right off the bat she’s upset that I already booked my flight to Canada. Why didn’t somebody tell me to use her for all my travel needs? I would have happily delegated this chore to her. I feel bad cuz she got screwed through no fault of her own and I ask her to charge an additional $100.00 to my credit card and enjoy a nice dinner out on me.

She confirms my booking into the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife and will coordinate my local flights to & from Kyler’s camp. This makes perfect sense to me since the floatplane is itemized in my contract and prepaid to Adventure Northwest which Sandy had a copy of. My local flights are booked, my hotel room is reserved and I’m done! Everything is paid for, booked, all I need to do now is get into peak condition and withdraw cash when I leave for my gratuity and walking around money in Yellowknife. I’m so happy , I can’t stop smiling.

Then I get a text alert that my credit card has new airline charges on it. Wait, what? Those are prepaid. Maybe Sandy & Kyler are not communicating cuz she’s suppose to invoice him for these. Or…maybe there’s a second local flight necessary to get to Kyler’s camp that isn’t mentioned in the contract. So I write Sandy and inquire about these airline charges thinking perhaps I was accidentally double charged, or not told I needed two planes to get to camp from Yellowknife. Her cryptic reply confuses me:

What they include is travel from Norman wells to camp Please discuss with outfitter You did approve the charge But it is refundable less my fee Please advise how you want to proceed . Sincerely, Sandy (last name removed), Travel Consultant

I reply: “Oh…I didn’t know there was a 3rd flight. The way the contract reads it seems like a single flight to and from Yellowknife.” I go on to inquire about the availability of accommodations in Normal Wells should the airport get closed down because this is the Arctic Circle and weather happens. Ya don’t wanna be asking this question when standing on a wet tarmac in 75mph winds. I always have a Plan B in everything, it’s just my nature. Murphy’s Law prevails when you’re least prepared for it.

I receive another cryptic message via email:

Sorry for the confusion , I normally do not book hotels only , I generally book the flights as well I have refunded the ticket ..

Now I am completely confused. I still don’t know if there’s one or two flights from Yellowknife to Kyler’s camp but suspect there is only one (based on the contracts) and assume Sandy realized I was double charged, that she had wasted her time and now had to issue a full credit because Kyler and she had not communicated effectively. The only rationale I could imagine is that BSC usually handled these arrangements for Kyler and without them in the loop, details were falling through the cracks.

Next I get this email from Kyler:

Subject: Muskox hunt refund.

Bruce and Jay, I think for the betterment of all of us involved here it would be best to cancel this muskox hunt all together and refund you the money paid for this hunt. Doing this muskox hunt is very straightforward and simple, but it seems to be over complicated over the duration of our communications. I will say my communications were slow, but you must understand we outfitters are often in the field or out of service.

Sandy, my travel agent, a wonderful lady, called me today and was not impressed with an email that was written to her and informed me she would no longer be working with you.

And as such, nor will I. I seem to get the drift that if not every single last detail is spelled out WAY in advance and the hunt/trip does not pan out exactly as "planned" then there will be issues in the future. I have done these hunts for a long time, and anyone that knows me knows things get done, albeit sometimes last minute but always get done. I have a long history in the arctic and hundreds of happy customers.

I do not think we are a good fit and therefore will be sending you back your muskox hunt deposit in its entirety. I apologize for wasting your time, and I hope you find a great muskox hunt elsewhere. Respectfully Kyler Knelsen 1 (780) 247-0247 Adventure Northwest Wingmaster Outfitting “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” – John Bowring

So for inquiring about an apparent double charge, he cancels the contract via email? Are you kidding me??? Ya know what? If someone prepays me $20,000.00 and asks a legitimate accounting question, I make a call and handle it. You know…like an adult. That’s the professional move, right? He is saying “I seem to get the drift that if not every single last detail is spelled out WAY in advance…” No Kyler…I was merely attempting to reserve a hotel room and transportation from the airport in Yellowknife to the hotel and pay for any remaining items on the list. Most people like it when prepaid well before payment is due. Most business owners find that a positive thing that generates confidence, not worry. He read my trophy pronghorn report from last season. He knows I’m a GO BIG OR GO HOME kinda guy who will eat a tag without hesitation when chasing a trophy. That happens to me more often than not. His excuse for cancelling this hunt is pure bovine excrement. There is no excuse for not extending me the common courtesy of a phone call.

Surprisingly, I’m not nearly as bothered as I expected to be and tell myself this is God looking out for me. Perhaps the floatplane pilot is scheduled for a massive heart attack that day. But I am deeply disappointed in this self-professed “Christian Guide” who breaks his word and contract with the snap of a finger, blame-shifting and accepting no responsibility for the miscommunication. I’m used to disappointment from people who wear Christianity like a veneer while living completely secular lifestyles. Kyler’s young…life has much to teach him. I’m old, things no longer bother me like they did when I was young. Many times when things “went bad” for me in the past, I later learned they were events that led me to a better outcome. The Lord’s plan is something to trust and not direct. If you wanna make God laugh…tell him your plans.

So I won’t be posting a muskox report from the Arctic Circle later this year. This is an unexpected and shameful display by Kyler Knelsen and Adventure Northwest IMHO. He may well be the finest guide in the north but as a businessman, communicator and person…he’s lacking. Not too impressed with Bowhunting Safari Consultants either. Perhaps I should have gotten a clue when the first booking abruptly got cancelled and it took seven months to get the revised hunt agreement. A friend of mine who is an attorney and hunter asked to look at the contract and told me I could hold him to it because the “Terms of Cancellation” only apply to the client…not the Outfitter. I said, “Yeah…that’s what I wanna do. Force some dismissive kid to walk me around the tundra in a direction devoid of muskox so he can laugh about the Old Yank he nearly hiked to death who never saw a thing.” (((sigh)))

So, a trad muskox bowhunt for the record books remains the #2 item on my bucket list. Not kicking the bucket before I can do it is #1.

Was the outfitter notified of problems? - YES

Outfitter's Response

None to date. If you are the outfitter please email us.

Hunt Information
Date of Hunt - August 2024
Implement - Traditional Bow
Hunt Type - Outfitted
Personal Guide - KYLER KNELSEN
Number in Camp - 1
Outfitter Cost - $19,950.00
Other Costs - $4,000.00
Weather Information
Did Weather Affect your Hunt? No - Weather not a factor
Weather Comments:
No weather comments submitted
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