I must admit I am still in awe of having taken the bull that I did and have been thinking what I could possibly say that wouldn’t make the whole experience sound too good to be true! But here goes…
My hunting buddy (Bob Thomson) and I decided that we should take a hunting trip for Moose, we wanted somewhere that would be easy to reach and be able to drive to from our homes in Spokane, WA. Multiple online searches and use of different hunting websites led me to researching Wild Kakwa Outfitters. Their web page showed a very impressive array of trophy photo’s and a success rate that was second to none. Next I made a call to the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society. They had no complaints lodged with Rick and Rita Houwelings’ Wild Kakwa Adventures. I then contacted several references from previous hunts and gathered as much info from them as I possibly could. To be honest, I could not find a negative in booking a hunt with Wild Kakwa. Talking with several references I asked one of them if I could expect to have a chance at a 45″+ bull, the reference who has hunted successfully several times with Wild Kawka answered a qualified yes, but only if you can walk by the smaller bulls without shooting them first! I believe I requested to book with Wild Kakwa the very next day.
It was a long 18 months from the time we booked until our hunt began, but the hunt was more than I could have imagined, for three days my buddy and I hunted together with Matt Mann (our guide) and saw Moose every day, but nothing that was quite meeting our expectations. Both of us were having a great time, and most likely gaining weight from the tremendous food, when on day four, Rick split us up to have a one on one guiding situation, we knew the outfitter was hoping to give us the best chance to be successful. That morning (the fourth day of an 8 day hunt) I was lucky enough to harvest my bull, and what a bull it was. I had gotten a look at tremendous paddles and knew he was a shooter, and truly did not hesitate to take my shot when it presented itself. After the shot, my guide asked if I knew how big he was, I said I wasn’t even sure he had eye guards, but I knew without hesitation I wanted that bull. He told me to rest assured he had eye guards and we set about finding my bull. What I walked up on was far and away beyond my expectations of this hunt. I knew that certainly bulls of this caliber were there to be taken, but did not dream I would be lucky enough to take a bull such as this. For that experience I owe my guide and Rick and Rita Houweling a huge thanks. My buddy took a tremendous bull that very same night and I was fortunate enough to be able to go with him and Matt to retrieve his bull.
The camp is extremely comfortable with roomy cabins and a great campfire ring to sit around and enjoy talking about the days hunt. Rick runs a camp which I would highly recommend to any and all. He expects great success and has confidence in his guides to provide you with the hunt of your lifetime. Rita will make you want to make sure your back to camp in time for every meal, the food is amazing. All of the guides and people involved in the camp go out of their way to make sure you have a wonderful and comfortable hunt. To be honest it’s a camp you feel like you’ve been going to for years. If you get a chance to hunt Moose with this camp, do it. My only regret is that now I want to go up there and hunt with these guys every year! Both myself and my buddy had the trip of a lifetime with two enormous bulls, which made the 15 hour drive back to Washington seem like a trip across town.
Thank you Rick, Rita, Matt and Ricky for a hunt I will remember for the rest of my life.
Jay St. Onge, WA