BC Safaris Ltd. was formed in 2001 when Shane Black and Keith Connors purchased Turnagain River Outfitters Ltd. from Eugene Egeler. Turnagain River Outfitters dates back to 1963 when Gene Overton took over the area, which he operated until 1988. Keith has now retired and Shane has partnered with Mike Gilson , they are committed to providing an uncompromising quality to the hunts they offer. We have a great deal of respect for the wildlife we hunt and the people we hunt them with. We have the exclusive guiding rights to over 2000 square miles of some of the finest hunting country in North America. Along with that we have excellent facilities and equipment as well as the experienced guides and dependable horses to ensure that the hunt you book with us will be as good as it gets. The service is personalized with the owners/outfitters always there. Shane is always in the area and Mike is there for the majority of the time , Mikes son Shawn will be a wonderful new addition to our crew this season as he is not only as polite and capable young man as you will be around but he is also an exceptional hunter and horseman. We are a Family run operation.
If you want to hunt Stone Sheep, Mountain Caribou, Moose, Mountain Goat, Grizzly Bear or Wolf this is the place. Our hunts can be tailored to your requests and we boast extremely high success safety and fun. . Generally our hunts are on horseback but we also hunt moose and grizzly by boat and have excellent success on our backpack sheep and goat hunts.
Shane has been involved in big game hunting and outdoor related adventures in British Columbia and the Yukon since 1975. His tremendous knowledge of game animals acquired throughout the years, has allowed him to gain an in-depth understanding on providing the best quality hunting experience combined with the highest chances of harvesting quality trophy big game in Western Canada. Shane’s impeccable reputation worldwide has led to a loyal client following. Since 2010, he also became co-owner of Canada North Outfitting, which is a premiere outfitting business operating in Canada’s Arctic. Shane has successfully marketed and represented his outfit at the highest rated hunting tradeshows in North America.
Mike and Lindy Gilson own and operate a family cattle ranch in the Quesnel area. Their children are Shawn, Jody and Tim. Shawn has a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and is an avid outdoorsman. Jody is currently enrolled in the University of Montana Western and will be completing her degree in Business Administration this spring. She competes in barrel racing at College Rodeos in the US and is on the Universities Rodeo Team. Tim is 3rd year heavy duty mechanic apprentice and works in his field in the Quesnel area. He also holds a Class 1 Driver’s License. All three take an active role in the family ranch.
Mike has guided for the last 30 years for numerous outfitters including Mervyn’s Yukon Outfitting, Collingwood Brothers and Pete Jensen Outfitting. Mike and Tim Mervyn actually trailed horses into the Finlay river for Keith Connors and guided for him 30 years ago. He also guided a few years for Johnny Blackwell. Mike and his family all enjoy horses, hunting and the outdoors.
B.C. Safaris – remote wilderness with reasonable access. Dease Lake is the jumping off point for all of our trips. Located on Highway 37 the Cassiar Highway Dease is about a 20 hour drive from Seattle on good hard surfaced highway.
There are scheduled flights 3 times a week from Vancouver via Smithers, B.C. with Northern Thunderbird Air. Our main lodge at Turnagain Lake is just a 25 minute flight from Dease Lake by floatplane. The company charters a DeHavilland Beaver floatplane that is owned and operated by Ootsa Air Ltd.
Our guiding area has the mighty Stikine River as its southern boundary starting on the west at Beggarly Creek and continuing eastward to the Pitman River and up the Pitman about 20 miles. The Eagle River forms part of the northern boundary and Tanzilla Butte is generally the northwest corner post. King Mountain at just under 8000 feet, is our highest peak. For 1:250,000 maps of the area you will need Cry Lake – 104i and Stikine River 104h.
For a Google Maps view of our area go to the Links page and the link will take you right to Turnagain Lake.
The main lodge at Turnagain Lake will impress you with its setting, its comfort and especially the view. The spacious and bright log building provides family style dining and lounging area with comfortable chairs and couches. And you can always get a cool one at the “Turnagaian Trough” or a strong one at “Milt’s Wolfpack Pub”, named for our late friend Milt Warren. We have log cabins for sleeping, with comfortable bunks and cast iron wood stoves for heat. There is a washhouse with shower and sauna. Our hot water system is propane powered. We also use quiet and clean propane lighting for our main source with a backup solar system and also two 110 volt generators. Calling the place luxurious might be a stretch, but for a location where everything has to be flown in it’s hard to beat our comfort level.
We are nomadic hunters generally never hunting the same area twice the same season for the same species , not pressuring the area nor the game . Spike camps are comfortable wall tents with wood stoves as well as small cabins . There is never a case where you do not enjoy coming back to a spike camp , a good meal and a fire and stories of the days hunt.
To allow us to get within easier reach of game animals we often use mountain tents as a spike camp from our base camp. This allows a hunter and his guide to move quickly and still provide a roof over your head. When we use these its generally only for a couple of nights.
At BC Safaris “The Resource Comes First”. It has to be that way for us to survive, but our clients come a very close second! Gene Overton, who owned this area from 1963 to 1988 had guided for us until 2005. After looking over his old hunting grounds for a couple of seasons he told us the game was at least as plentiful as in its best years. That’s a legacy we’re intent on maintaining.
We want our clients to leave after having the best experience and to that end will do everything that’s reasonably possible to make it happen. We believe the key to that is letting you know what we can do and more importantly finding out what you expect.
Our assistant guides are superb outdoors men with exceptional hunting and people skills and are also good friends of ours.
We pay attention to the details we believe will have the greatest influence on providing a safe and successful hunt. Some of our hunters had their first hunt with us in 2001 and we haven’t worn them out yet ! Whether it’s your first, second or 14th hunt with us we’ll be happy to have you here and make certain that you know it.
Mike & Shane
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