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Freelance hunting

Discussion in 'Canadian Hunters Forum' started by Duncan, Dec 9, 2004.

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  1. Duncan

    Duncan Senior Refuge Member

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    Howdy northern neighbors,

    Hope you all are having a great waterfowk season. Looking for opinions, options, and ideas on freelance hunting in either Saskatchewan or Alberta.

    Myself and a couple of buddies are planning a trip up north next fall. We have not decided on a location yet, just that we are headed north. We are looking for opportunities for both ducks and geese, would really like to get into some specks and snows.

    We have all read the stories about how easy it is to get permission to hunt etc. Are they true? What time of year do you think is best. Sept. early Oct?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Duncan
     
  2. NORSKE

    NORSKE Senior Refuge Member

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    ALBERTA
    BWAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Come on post up

    Tell everyone where the birds are what farmers are friendly and where is the best place to stay and eat.


    NORSKE
     
  3. Duncan

    Duncan Senior Refuge Member

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    Fully expected a reply such as yours Norske, whatever trips your trigger.

    Not looking for names, address, GPS coordinates etc. Just thought I'd ask a simple question to some fellow sportsmen. Apparently I was asking for too much from our brethren up North.

    Duncan
     
  4. tikka300

    tikka300 Elite Refuge Member

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    Alberta/Saskatchewan
    Theres no need to pout.:rolleyes:


    If all you were looking for is general recommendations you already know the answer. If you're looking to hunt snows/specks/canadas/ducks then come up to AB or SK in Sept or Oct talk to landowners and start hunting.
     
  5. HeathK

    HeathK Senior Refuge Member

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    Manitoba
    Or you could start looking for an Outfitter now, before the line-up gets too long...
     
  6. bullethead

    bullethead Senior Refuge Member

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    Pick a spot and go for it. It isn't that difficult, just have to overcome the fear of the unknown. You ought to be able to find some articles on general areas - then dial one in. You'll have a learning curve like the rest of us did, but it makes success so much sweeter. I like mid October myself. Went at the end of October this year and felt we were a little late as far as ducks were concerned. Don't get me wrong, we still had fun - but one serious front pushed a decent number of birds out prior to our arrival. We have geese out the wazoo in Texas so I wasn't too concerned with killing then up there. Bueno suerte.
     
  7. shell waster

    shell waster Senior Refuge Member

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    michigan
    Respect the land and locals. Many US freelancers have gotten a bad reputation of going over their limits, trespassing, camping at access points to block other hunters etc, etc. I have family that lives in Sask. and their advice is: stay in motels, eat at restaurants, ask for permission and offer to pay field rental fees if the spot is hot enough. Word travels quick when a bunch of guys are camping, trespassing etc. I personally think the freelance waterfowling in Sask. will come to an end due to a couple of bad apples. Don't get me wrong, the locals want the hunters, but it really bothers them when they don't spend a dime while they are there, afterall they are not paying a guide.
     
  8. Anatidae

    Anatidae Senior Refuge Member

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    "Dixie"
    Well, there's some good thoughts here.....maybe well-intended.....but I see a few problems with some of your 'advice'.......(from one freelancer to another)....but in all fairness, it really depends on one's interpretation of the regulations as they pertain to 'guiding services'.

    I question one issue. So, since you have relatives in Sask, maybe you'd be able to clear something up for me and any other freelancer to SK. Understand, I'm not bashing anyone......merely trying to clarify something for myself and anyone else that is (or plans to be), a seasonal 'guest' in SK.

    According to the definition of 'guiding services', the only person who can legally be compensated for those services, is a licensed outfitter. Landowners cannot legally accept payment for the privilege of hunting, nor can a hunter legally pay him for access for the purposes of hunting, right? (.....key word is 'legally'). The statement,
    tells folks that don't know the law that it's O.K. to offer such payment and O.K. for them to accept. So, that's not legal (according to my interpretation of the guiding rules) and the mere suggestion of this activity by a prospective non-res hunter (especially one that has family in SK) is fuel for the outfitter's association's smear campaign against freelance hunters.......all of them (because stereotyping makes no distinction between tolerable and unacceptible hunting etiquette). There are many different groups of folks who would potentially benefit (monetarily) from skirting around the guiding laws which can negatively impact the outfitter's business. It's not just freelancers.........Hotel operators, 'spotters', guides that are trying to get in on some of the action by selling information on the side, all have the potential to abuse the laws. But I'm not going to accuse anyone of doing something illegal, but given my understanding of the laws that govern sport hunting and how it relates to 'guiding' in Canada, I'd be inclined to report them and let the authorities conduct their own investigation.......and let them determine whether or not the activity consititues 'rogueing' or whatever. Bottom line is.......you can't legally 'AID' or provide expertise to someone in pusruit of fish or wildlife, unless you are a licensed outfitter or are a credentialed employee of an outfitter.

    So, I am disappointed when I see statements (from another freelancer) about what freelancers should or shouldn't do, particularly when such activity can either place the landowner in a position of breaking the law, or leading prospective freelancers to believe that offering money in exchange for hunting privileges is common practice and an acceptible method for showing gratitude.

    I would appreciate some of the resident hunters' comments on this issue (naturally, avoiding the terms, 'non-res freelancers' and 'rogue guides' in the same sentence :l).......because (sincerely), the last thing I want, is to be where I'm not welcomed. I wouldn't knowingly do anything that would affect existing relationships between local resident hunters, landowners, and outifitters. It is by their generosity and tolerence that we NR's are allowed to enjoy the wonderful waterfowling opportunities these folks are willing to share with us........and I genuinely appreciate the 'privilege' they extend to us..... (that is, the many of 'us' who don't take that privilege for granted).
     
  9. SHOTGUN

    SHOTGUN Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    CALGARY ALBERTA CANADA
    You are correct. In both Saskatchewan and Alberta it is illegal to pay for or ask for payment for access.

    The land belongs to the landowner but not the resource. If he does not want you hunting he simply says no. But he cannot ask for money nor can you offer. We have had several cases in the courts in Alberta where both hunter and landowner have been charged.

    As to freelancing: well my comments are fairly well known on this subject. But the one post hit the nail on the head. The days are numbered for sure.

    I suspect in the next few years it will be like the big game you will have to go with a guide or not at all. This is all brought on by the few bad hunters who come up every year treat our country like it is their own killing fields, dump the birds and go kill some more.


    As to spending money the lodge I stayed at in Sask. this fall had several groups of freelancers, big spenders staying 4 and 6 to a room.

    WHOOOOOOOPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE look at all the money coming into that local economy would ya!!!!!!!!!


    Meantime the outfitter I was helping out had 2 per room and was using all the rest. and bar facilities. So who do you think was spending the money.

    SHOTGUN
     
  10. Anatidae

    Anatidae Senior Refuge Member

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    "Dixie"
    Shotgun......I'm disappointed..........you didn't use 'non-resident freelancers' and 'rogue guides' in the same sentence.:tu You feeling O.K.? Even though you offered another couple of 'undocumented' instances of freelancer abuse (and that's exactly what it becomes, when YOU describe it), complete with multiple 'non-specifics' that might otherwise aid anyone wanting to research the validity of your claims:l ...........I DO respect your position and I have every confidence that your outfitter friends appreciate your loyalty to the cause.

    ......and since 'Shell Waster' hasn't responded, I am going to assume he is one of your agents, posing as a well-intended but severely misinformed representative of the non-res freelancing community.:no (I ain't buyin' none of it!)

    Maybe you can answer a couple of other questions and help educate some other folks, who may be thinking about visiting SK.

    What would it take to catch and convict offenders of the guiding laws....other than a wide-sweeping 'sting'? Because the law to protect the outfitters' interests and livelihood is in place.....it just appears difficult to enforce. The phrase in the definition of 'guiding services' , "with the expectation of payment or remuneration" appears to be the biggest problem with that law. But here's where I see a huge problem with the wording.......

    Suppose a person (resident) has lodging and/or a place that can be used for a 'base' of operation. They charge the going, daily rate for hunters to stay in their house, hotel, camp, whatever. Now, the only thing they are expecting compensation for is that pre-arranged, daily/weekly room rate, right? But what if they know a little bit about scouting, set-up, hunting, transportation, contacts with local landowners......and anything else that could be used to 'aid' hunters (even though they aren't suppose to, without an outfitter's license).......so their guests will have some success, and hopefully return in following years. This is a case where they are 'aiding' hunters, but aren't necessarily 'expecting' remuneration for anything, other than future business.

    See, the term 'rogue' can be applied to anyone we might suspect of 'aiding' hunters (by providing direction, assistance, expertise), but you have to let the authorities make their own case and determine whether they are breaking the law or not......it's not up to us to do anything but report suspicious activity and avoid association with anyone who appears to be party to such activities.

    Here's my question.......I consider those as much a rogue outfitter as anyone else. But are they breaking any laws by providing these 'guiding services' if they don't expect any payment outside of the pre-arranged daily room rate? The ideal candidate for something like this is the ex-guide who becomes disgruntled with a former Outfitter/employer (for whatever reason).......sees the money that they make off this service (for which the guide may feel like he's the major player).....and decides he's going out (very discreetly, of course) and drum-up some business of his own.

    Clearly, an idiot with a little bit of equipment can kill a duck or goose in Canada. Heck, I've proven that! It's just not that hard. The only other component a 'shooter' needs is to locate huntable birds and get access to them. Here's another problem......there are spotters that go out and find birds and get permission to hunt them. Well, if the outfitter they work for doesn't elect to use a particular field that's been scouted, then what's the harm in that spotter giving it to somebody else? Well, I consider that a form of 'rogueing' even though he may not accept any money for the 'tip'.....somebody benefits from it. But is it illegal? So, my point is......just because a fella does something that may be unethical, it doesn't necessarily mean it's illegal....and certainly doesn't mean (in my book), it's acceptible. But it happens. You can't control everything you think you're going to be able to control if everyone who wants to hunt waterfowl in Canada is required to use an outfitter. It just gives the outfitters a monopoly on waterfowling and opens-up more opportunities for their own forms of abuse ('cause not everyone on this forum believes that non-res freelancers are the ONLY folks who abuse the system)

    Here's another question.......if you suspect that someone is providing 'guiding services' , but they aren't recieving payment for it, are they a rogue outfitter (by definition of guiding services.....i.e., with expectation of remuneration for those services)? I would say DEFINATELY!......but did they break any laws because they didn't get paid for whay they did?

    I think it's a terribly gray area in the interpretation of the law and one that needs to be re-worded. I'm not trying to skirt the law....merely trying to understand all the complexities of this issue.

    Something else......how many actual cases of 'dumping' (blatant case of wanton waste) were prosecuted, last year.......and how does that number compare with how many NR hunters hunted in SK? Isn't the 'guide' that takes a daily limit for all the guests of an outfitter to an Indian reservation or food bank, just as guilty of disposing game so they can return to the field for more 'sport'? I think it is too convenient to claim that hunters wantonly waste, when in many cases the word 'dumping' is a general term applied to any number of ways to dispose of game (including legal methods such as 'gifting'), so one can return to the field.

    I hope you'll agree, that it would be more productive in reaching an understanding of the issues if we avoid stereotyping a particular group of folks (whether residents or visitors), who we might suspect are pushing the limits of the law. The problem is clearly with the written law and the fact that there aren't enough agents and/or resources to effectively eradicate every offenders.

    That being said, I am confident that Lindsey Leko and his colleagues will do what they have the means to do, regarding the 'rogues'. I met him this year and will be in contact with him to discuss ways that freelancers (the honest ones) can help identify the abusers that continue to stain our reputation as sportsmen.

    Again, I submit these comments in an effort to understand how I might be able to help reach common ground because outfitters provide a valuable service to certain groups of people (.....and I will not offer a stereotypical characterization of them). I just don't fall into that group, but one day, I might get too old to 'hunt' the old-fashioned way (self-sufficiency), and may have to enlist the comprehensive services of a reputable outfitter. But for now, I'm not (as your fellow Canadian, Bill McClure so aptly described some modern-day waterfowlers), "a 'shooter', wanting to be 'taken' to what has become widely regarded as 'hunting'" and would not return to hunt in Canada if I were required to pay somebody else for 'hunting' (in the truest sense of the term).

    The reason hunting in Canada is what it is.....is because there's an abundant resource and there's equal access to that resource. We should all work together to resolve issues that will ensure that the resource (waterfowl) is protected, and that hunters who display a lack of respect for the laws that are intended to protect the outfitting industry, should be reported and brought to justice.
     
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