June 15, 2010
Guide and Outfitters Association of British Columbia thSuite 103, 19140 28 Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
Canada V3S 6M3
I recently completed a bear hunt with Ray Jackson, owner of Horseshoe Creek Outfitters, in Hudson’s Hope, BC. I first met Ray at the 2009 Wild Sheep Foundation Show in Salt Lake City, UT while I was working for the Rowland Ward Guild. Ray and I struck up an easy conversation and discussed the possibilities of hunting grizzly bear in his guide area in northeastern BC. He walked me through the process of booking the hunt and told me that his first available grizzly bear quota was in 2012. We agreed on the details and I booked the hunt.
This year at the Dallas Safari Club Convention Ray asked me if I could move my grizzly bear hunt up to May 2010. I had already booked a safari to South Africa for that time, but Ray and I met with the South African professional hunter and worked out the details so that I could hunt in Africa and make the quick turn to hunt in BC.
I arrived in Ft. St. John where Ray met me at the airport, and during the drive to his ranch we discussed the prospects for killing a grizzly bear during the two weeks that we would spend together. He impressed upon me that there was a big difference between hunting for grizzly bears and killing a big grizzly. We got to the ranch where I settled in to the bunk house and Ray invited me to share a supper meal with him, his wife Sharon and son Ben. After supper, we went out looking for bears.
We found bears immediately. We saw a nice black bear that first night and we saw him again the next day, but declined to shoot him because it was only the first day of the hunt. After a week of scouting, stalking and riding the roads looking for bear we encountered a big boar grizzly in the middle of a clearing. Ray calmly told me, “Shoot that bear!” I followed Ray’s instructions to the letter and we found the bear lying dead just inside the tree line.
Five days later we found a large black bear in a clear cut on a steep hill. We completed the long, silent stalk and killed the bear just before it got dark. During the two weeks that I hunted with Ray we encountered 41 bears including seven grizzlies. My grizzly “squared” 8’9” with a skull measurement of 24 and 15/16”, and the black bear “squared” 7’2” with a skull measurement of 19 and 10/16” – two
great bears by anyone’s measurement.
I’ve hunted extensively throughout North America and in Africa, and Ray Jackson provided the best outfitted hunt that I’ve ever experienced. He and his family made me feel welcome and at home during my two week stay with them. The food was delicious, the accommodations comfortable and Ray’s guiding expertise and field craft was nonpareil. Ray instills confidence in his clients and was willing to share his knowledge of the game in his area and the history of the backcountry of BC. I always like to try new hunting venues, meet new people and hunt for different species, but after my experience with Ray Jackson and Horseshoe Creek Outfitters I think I’ve found a “home” where I hope to return as a repeat
client for years to come. For my money, Ray and Sharon Jackson offer the best possible service any hunter could hope to receive.
W. David Price, Jr.
2517 Timberleaf Drive
Carrollton, TX 75006