By Connor Gabbott

Haida Gwaii is an archipelago of over 150 islands off the north coast of British Columbia and they are home to a thriving Sitka blacktail deer population. The Sitka Blacktail deer and a handful of over species were all introduced to the islands as means of supplying meat to new settlers in the early 20th century. With very few natural predators on the islands the deer population has exploded and has had a negative impact on the native vegetation. As a result the deer season is 9 months long with a bag limit of 15 deer over the year.

In early August myself and a couple friends travelled to Haida Gwaii for a 10 day hunt. These are my top take aways from this years hunt…

Think Different

When planning any hunting trip try and think outside of the box and do it different than others. For this hunt we hired a boat to drop us off up an inlet so we could access an area not often frequented by others.

The Whippet

This trekking pole from Black Diamond incorporates an ice axe head on the top of a traditional trekking pole and it proves itself useful time and again for different uses. During the long bushwhack on this hunt the ice axe head was extremely handy to hook onto roots and help pull yourself up the mountain. This will be come a mainstay in my gear lists. Don’t underestimate this tool.

Bring a Backpack Pantry

The weight cost of bringing a couple small pantry ingredients into the backcountry is minimal compared to the amazing food that can be prepared with the ingredients. A simple fresh cooked game meal enjoyed in the area you took the animal is an amazing thing. 

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