The following is a list of the many common questions I get from interested waterfowl hunters every year.
Q. When is the best time to come?
A. There is no best time, we hunt from early Sept. until late Oct every year and no matter when you come, rest assured we will give you the best waterfowl hunting opportunity available at that time. That being said historically there has been better times for specific species. For more information on the best time to come for specific waterfowl species CONTACT US
Q. Where in Saskatchewan are you located?
A. We are based in the small city of North Battleford
Q. What airport will I fly into?
A. You will need to fly into Saskatoon International Airport: YXE
Q. How do I get to North Battleford?
A. You will need to rent a vehicle at the airport and take highway 16 west to North Battleford, the drive will take about 80 minutes
Q. How do I bring my shotgun into Canada? Isn't it a big hassle?
A. It is surprisingly simple to bring a firearm into Canada, We will provide you with the required paperwork and instructions on how to fill it out, you will be charged $25/gun at customs and you will be asked to open your gun case so the serial numbers can be matched, then you will be on your way.
Q. Do you have shotguns available for rent?
A. Yes we rent Franchi (made by Benelli) semi-auto 12gauge shotguns for $50/day/gun, a rental agreement must be signed prior to using the firearm
Q. How far is North Battleford from the Saskatoon airport?
A. It is an 80 minute drive on a good highway, no gravel or rough roads
Q. How many hunters do I need to book a hunt?
A. We will book hunts from 1 single hunter to a maximum of 12 together
Q. How many hunters do you put with one guide?
A. We hunt groups of 6 per guide per field, any groups smaller than 6 people will be matched up with other hunters to make a group of 6 unless otherwise agreed upon
Q. Do you own the Gold Eagle Lodge that I see on your website?
A. No we do not own the Gold Eagle Lodge, it is a professionally managed hotel, that has won multiple awards and has some of the best customer service in the industr
Q. Your website says 2 hunters per room in the hotel, if we are an odd numbered group or a single hunter what happens then? Do we have to share with a stranger?
A. No you will only ever share a room with someone from your own hunting party, if you are an odd numbered group you may be put in a family suite which has an extra bedroom and 2 queen beds and 1 king. If you do not want to share a room with anyone from your hunting party there is a private room fee of $250. If you are a single hunter you will be required to pay the private room fee
Q. Your website says you provide shotgun shells, what kind?
A. We provide 12 gauge, 3 inch, steel shot only in different sizes ranging from BB-#4 shot, any hunters that would like something different can stop at the Cabelas in Saskatoon before driving to North Battleford. Your firearms declaration is a license that allows you to purchase ammunition. Please double check your firearms to see if they accept 2 3/4 inch, 3 inch or 3 1/2 inch shells
Q. I want to book a hunt now what do I need to do?
A. Once you have confirmed dates and the number of hunters in your party, I will send you a welcome package with more information and a few forms to fill out, these forms will need to be mailed back to me along with a check for the deposit, your deposit is 50% of the cost of the hunt, your hunt dates will not be saved until a deposit is received. If and when you are ready to book a hunt follow this link: BOOK YOUR HUNT NOW
Q. When is the remainder of the hunt cost due?
A. August 1st
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. Your deposit is non-refundable, if you do need to cancel after you have paid in full we will transfer the deposit to a future hunt. Example: if you send us the final payment August 1st for a total of $2400.00 paid, then cancel at the end of August, We will keep $1200.00 on file for the next year and if you decide to book another hunt, your deposit is already paid. However the original $1200.00 will be used to cover expenses.
Q. What shotgun should I bring, 10 gauge, 12 gauge, or 20 gauge?
A. The best gun to bring is a 12 gauge, however we will be more than happy to accommodate you no matter what you decide to bring
Q. Do I need waders?
A. No you do not need waders the majority of our duck hunting takes place on dry fields and when we do hunt water, it is small, shallow, potholes
Q. What type of blinds do you hunt out of?
A. Almost all of our hunting for both ducks and geese is done out of our very comfortable lay out blinds (also called coffin blinds) do not worry if you have never used lay out blinds before, your guides will be happy to show you how they work. Occasionally we will use a willow blind if the conditions call for that type of a hunting set up
Q. How much do I need to tip?
A. Tips are optional of course and should be relevant to how hard your guides and scouts worked for you, not just the number of birds harvested. Industry standard says 10% of the hunt which would be $240/hunter divided between all the staff but this is simply an industry guideline
Q. Can I bring my birds home? Can I ship birds Via Fed Ex or UPS?
A. Yes 3 days limit of birds can be brought home as long as the hunter that shot the birds is accompanying them in transit, however absolutely no shipping is allowed. We will help you with getting coolers and packing them for airline transport
Q. Can I donate some or all of my birds?
A. Yes, over the years we have developed relationships with many landowners and families in the area and have multiple homes that are happy for the free meat, if there happens to be any ducks or geese left unwanted at the end of the season they are taken to the butcher and made into sausage and jerky. Nothing will ever be wasted
Q. On the last day of the hunt will I be able to catch a flight home?
A. Yes, but be warned it can be rushed. We do not recommend a flight any earlier than 3PM. Depending on the time of year and the conditions that day, the morning hunt will be over sometime between 9AM and 11AM. We will have you checked out of the hotel by noon at the very latest and it is an 80 minute drive back to the airport. Another option is to check out before the morning hunt and bring your rental vehicle to the field, that way you can leave for the airport immediately afterwards. The last and possibly best option is to book a hotel room with airport shuttle service and fly out the next morning.
Q. Can you accommodate older hunters and people that can not do much physical activity/hiking?
A. Yes, we drive the vehicle right to the hunting spot and the guides and scouts will take care of the set up and take down process. No hard labor or hiking is required
Q. Do you do all the calling? Can I bring my own calls?
A. Yes, our guides are expert callers and you do not need to do anything except shoot. If you are an experienced caller and would like to bring your calls that is no problem, however in certain circumstances you may be asked by your guide to stop calling, if that happens please respect the experienced professionals opinion as it is nothing personal just a judgement call that needs to be made at that particular moment
Q. How far from the Gold Eagle Lodge do you travel to hunt each day?
A. We will travel up to 1 hour away if needed, while it would be preferable to hunt closer to town, our scouts travel far and wide to ensure the highest odds of success on each and every hunt
Q. Can I bring my bird dog?
A. The only way you can bring your dog is if your group is 6 hunters, the reason for this is to avoid conflict with any other hunters that may have different ideas about dog handling. Also lodging arrangements will need to be discussed prior to the hunt.
If you have any other questions or would just like to chat feel free to CONTACT US or give Mike McLane a call at 403-807-9939