Hunters flock to Living Sky Outfitters

Jeff Doyle hasn’t shaved for days.
It’s a look he could be sporting for five weeks as he and his partner in Living Sky Outfitters, Trevor Bessey, enter the second week of hunting season.
They are on the go day and night guiding groups of American hunters who have flocked to the area to take in the fall bird hunt.
At this rate, Doyle’s thick stubble could grow into a full-fledged beard.
It’s facial hair he’s proud to wear because those whiskers mean that he and Bessey have done their job by making sure their customers have lots of waterfowl to shoot at.
“I’m getting horribly scruffy, but I don’t shave till we get skunked,” he says, explaining skunked for Living Sky Outfitters means none of their hunting guests encounter any waterfowl to shoot at.
“As a guide we know we’ve done our job with decoys when in the morning the birds are there. If they can’t hit them, that’s not our problem.”
He and Bessey scout fields and set up hundreds of decoys to convince geese and ducks southward bound on the fall migration to make a pit stop in the farm fields around Bladworth and Davidson.
The chance to hunt Canada geese, snow geese, specklebelly geese, and a variety of ducks on the “flyway highway” attracted a group of five hunters from Maryland to Bladworth last week.
They arrived last Sunday night and by noon Monday had already bagged 12 specklebellies and seven Canada geese.
They started planning the trip last year.
Jim Scott, who is from Bowleys Quarters, Maryland, said a guy they know back home recommended Living Sky Outfitters.
“We used to go to Birch Hills, but the outfitter there pumpkin patched us too many times,” Jim said.
“It’s beautiful here, a lot of birds. We made the right decision,”
His son Todd Scott said the weather is warmer than they expected and the geography is much different from back home.
“It’s a whole different experience up here. It’s so expansive, you can see for miles,” Todd said.
Coming to Saskatchewan to hunt waterfowl is the only hunting-type of holiday they take.
They do the rest of their sportsman activities close to home. Bowleys Quarters is on the Chesapeake Bay.
Donald Price, also a Maryland resident, said one reason they hunt in Saskatchewan is the hunting limits are more liberal than in the States.
Jim Scott said they also have a chance to hunt more species.
Doyle said most of Living Sky’s hunters are American, from states such as Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Some of the 55 to 60 hunters coming this year are also from Ohio and Illinois.
“We’re pretty much all return customers,” Doyle said.
They started the business six years ago and had 23 hunters that first season.
Doyle said support from local landowners, who allow them to hunt on their land, is crucial to their success.
To read more please see the October 7 print edition of The Davidson Leader.