I have been on the hunt since I was a small child. Fishing for salmon, driving logging roads with my Dad for grouse, picking chantrelles and looking for deer with my Grandpa, some of my earliest memories. Actually, my earliest memories of deer hunting was when I was six. My family were over at my maternal grandparents house for dinner one cold fall day. It was probably November, but I cannot recall the exact time frame. About an hour before dark my dad and grandpa decide to go for a drive, my grandpa's trusty 30-30 in the truck. I am invited along and cram between the two adults, the rifle and the "four on the floor" of grandpa's little Datsun pick-up. My grandparents lived beside a logging road, right across from a dry land log sort. It was a busy place at times, but my Grandpa knew everyone and kept an eye on the comings and goings of the area. As a retired logger(working as a school custodian until he truly retired), he knew the industry well. A new block had recently been cut, and mussed that it was a good opportunity to spot a deer. With a six pack of Lucky Lager and cigarettes for their amusement we slowly crept the truck up the road, heading towards the high bank above a local creek. Sure enough, two deer happened to be standing near a slash pile. Grandpa stops, piles out of the truck and fires at the deer. One goes down, and the other runs over the bank. As they pursue the run away buck, the doe that went down first was flopping and flailing behind some small logs. I remember being so afraid that the deer would spring up and come at me! I heard another shot, and the buck was dead. Soon my dad and grandpa were coming up the hill, puffing, dragging the large male up the ridge. I cannot remember the size of that buck, it seemed huge to me at that point. I also can vaguely remember Grandpa finishing the doe off with his knife. I was probably to brutal for many young children at that age, however I was fascinated. Always a kid who wanted to do "grown up man stuff", seeing the hunt made me want to get more involved.
Unfortunately my dad didn't deer hunt. We went out driving the roads a lot. Our community was surrounded to the west with logging roads and we could be found many weekends out puttering around on them. I would launch rocks from the pick-ups window with my wrist rocket, aiming for trees and leaves. We would happen upon many other locals looking for grouse or deer. A gravel pit was a backstop for our .22 plinking. Not very much game was had, but loads of memories. My thirst to learn was fueled by a subscription to BC Outdoors magazine, when it was loaded with great information by local writers, who had knowledge of the subjects they penned articles upon. I devoured these articles, dreaming of hunting exotic locals, like Prince George, Cranbrook and Terrace!
Soon turning 18 we were able to hunt with out our parents. Many days were spent driving the roads, talking about girls, listening to hip hop music. Again, not much game was had, but lots of memories and new vistas discovered. Those were great times in my life, with great friends that I still have today. Over the years I have had some success deer hunting, shot quite a few ducks, harvested dozens of salmon and hundreds of pounds of mushrooms. Always with great care of my harvests and cooking the food to the utmost use of the bounty. I have experimented archery, toyed with the idea of hunting with a rifle, while all of my kills have been with a shotgun.
My priorities are now shifting. I have a pre-teen daughter, who I wish to include in my outdoor adventures, and a new baby on the way this spring. A wonderful lady in life who respects and appreciates the wild foods that we can provide for ourselves. I long for adventure and quiet pursuits. Being in the woods all day, making the most of opportunities, and creating them as well. To learn and know my quarry as best as I can. To make clean kills with a single projectile. A razor sharp wedge of steel on a carbon rod. To pay homage to the animal, to thank the spirit of the brother or sister who allowed it's life to be released to feed my family. We wear and promote clothing that is made from a renewable resource, not from fossil fuels. Tools fashioned by hand by local craftsmen. Remembering our heritage and the simpler, hardier lives our ancestors lived. To quietly slip into the forest on a bicycle, meant for rugged trails, but can also carry a bow and a tree stand. I wish to help beginners, to mentor those who wish to build food security through wild harvest and local connections with farmers. To encourage sharing with those who can't, and to promote hunting as an ethical decision, as part of our heritage, our primal instincts.
Top Predator is not just another hunting company. We are a lifestyle company. I hope that by sharing who we are and what we do, we can help you create some liberty in your own life, have fun, make new friends and enjoy some really delicious food!