- What if my luggage gets lost?
It has happened but our experience with the airlines at both Saskatoon and Edmonton have been fantastic in locating your bags as soon as possible and sending a courier out right away to deliver your missing suitcase straight to our lodge's front porch! We will try to assist you as much as we can on our end as we know lost luggage can be an upsetting situation. We can offer our lodge phone and computer to contact your airline, talk to the courier and give them directions to our lodge, keep the phone with us near our bedside (yes, we have had luggage arrive at 2AM), offer extra hunting gear until yours is delivered, etc.
- What if my flight was delayed or cancelled?
Re-confirm all your flights. The last few years have been hard ones for the airline industry and many airlines routinely change or cancel flights. Not all airlines or travel agencies will contact you if such changes are made. It is a very good idea to confirm your flight the night before your departure. This can usually be done online or by phone. We will do our best to be flexible on our end for delayed/changed flights and get you in the stand as soon as possible.
- How do I get to the lodge? (airport transport)
Hunters fly into Saskatoon Airport (John G. Diefenbaker International Airport, YXE) or Edmonton International Airport (EIA).
You can rent a vehicle from any car rental agency at the airport and drive to camp. Remember when talking to these agencies, the currency will be in CAD. Budget has special deals for hunters.
Easy Rent Auto YXE Saskatoon - 1-639-471-4669
Budget Car Rental - 306.244.7925 mention "SKOUTFIT" rate code and ask that your price be quoted with the 10% discount. ASK FOR THEIR OUTFITTER RATE
Other hunters choose to drive.
Directions to the lodge:
Saskatoon to Riverside
Saskatoon to Lakeside
Edmonton to Riverside
Edmonton to Lakeside
- Can I bring my dog?
We are a pet-friendly lodge. You may even see our chocolate lab bird-dog and Safari River/Goose Haven staff/family member, Keeley Robinson. If you are thinking of bringing up a dog, please contact us beforehand and we would be happy to accommodate you the best we can.
- Should I bring US cash? How much?
Bring enough cash to cover tips and souvenirs (US cash is preferred for these transactions). The best way for you to get Canadian cash if you need it, is to use your bank card at any automated teller in Canada. USD to CAD exchange rates change often. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted in Canada.
- Is alcohol allowed at the lodge?
We do not provide alcohol for guests but they are welcome to visit the local liquor store in town and bring beverages back with them. We suggest hunters keep their alcohol in their room as if it is left in the lodge at the "bar area", other hunters may think it is "free game" and was intended to share.
- Will my cell phone work there?
We have cell coverage at the lodge and it is hit-or-miss at some of our stands. Check with your cell provider about international (US & Canada) plans. In the event you need to make a call and you do not have cell service, we have a lodge phone you may use.
- Can I eat the meat?
If you are planning on bringing meat home with you, please let us know before you begin your hunt or as soon as you harvest your animal. Note that a collapsible cooler is a great way to take the meat back. Please check with your airline to get current baggage restrictions and hotel for freezer space.
Diseases and parasites are a part of a natural ecosystem. Saskatchewan collaborates with the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center to survey for fish and wildlife diseases.
Hunters are encouraged to test their harvested cervid such as deer, elk, moose and caribou for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Do not eat or distribute for human consumption the meat or other parts from animals that have not been tested, or that are found to be CWD-infected. Hunters should take precautions when field dressing, transporting and processing harvested cervids. Precautions when field dressing include:
-wearing latex or rubber gloves;
-deboning the meat from the animal;
-minimizing the handling of the brain and spinal cord tissues; and
-washing hands and equipment thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
The fresh or frozen head of the harvested cervid can be dropped off at a Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment field office, with results available in two to eight weeks. There will be no charge for the testing. If you would like to submit a head for CWD testing during the 2017 hunting season, get a unique CWD tracking number, using the new Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative/Government of Saskatchewan submission.
- What about skinning & taxidermy?
- How difficult is it to cross the border?
- How do I transport my gun or bow?
We have information on travel and transporting your gun, bow and ammo in our travel and lodging section of the website. Hand guns are illegal. Don't bring them! Note to muzzle loader hunters: You cannot fly with Black Powder. We can purchase for you here in Canada.
- How can I find out more about travel?
- What is included in my hunt?
- Hunting License
- Bear/Deer tag
- Game recovery
- Trophy processing
- Field transportation
- All stands and equipment
- Radios for communication
- Airport transportation
- Camo clothing and rain gear
- Ammunition (included in Goose Haven Waterfowl package)
- Alcohol beverages
- How big is your outfitting area?
Bear: Over 550,000 acres Deer: Over 535,000 acres
- What if I have a food allergy?
In your hunt package, in your contract, we will ask you to describe all of your special needs for the hunt (including dietary restriction, medications, etc.). Please remind us before you come (especially directly to Chef Craig or Chef Lori) if you have any allergies, dietary restrictions or prefer certain things "on the side". We will do our best to accommodate you.
- Can I use my bow?
If you are hunting with a bow, we recommend at least a 55# draw and efficient broadheads. You should be capable of a 5 inch group at 25 yards. Whatever broadhead you choose to bring make, sure you can shoot it accurately. Although your 3D test will be with field points, we will have a block for testing broad heads. Do bring dull broad heads just for this.
- How big are the bear?
Black bear weighing in excess of 400 LBS are not uncommon. You could see an average of 20 different bear in one sit. We encourage our hunters to observe and not shoot on Day 1. We spend time ensuring our hunters know how to spot a Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young scoring bear from their stand.
- How big are the deer?
Measuring a deer can be different depending on where you are from and we believe each hunter has their own specific goal (mass, tine length, atypicals, symmetrical, etc.). Some judge a deer on its weight, while others rate a deer on the scoring of its antlers. The deer in our area are at 250 lbs to well over 300 lbs on the hoof. Our largest antler score last year was 209 6/8”, with the weekly score of four hunters (all family) scoring over 700" total. We take extreme pride in our deer management by not using/selling all the tags we hold each Fall. We work with our hunters so they fully understand their target (size) buck to ensure trophy quality and proper deer management.
- How do I get on the wait list?
We give all returning clients first refusal to return the following year. Once we confirm that the hunter does not intend to return and the spot is open, we will start contacting inquiries from our wait list in the order we received them. If you would like to get on a wait list, complete the contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our best to try to accommodate everyone but we have a set number of tags. If you would like to hunt right away, we would be happy to recommend you to another outfitter through Worldwide Trophy Adventures.
- What is your repeat clientele rate?
Our waterfowl return rate has been close to 90-100% re-book from the previous year. We do give our returning clients first-refusal to re-book and save their spot/date. Even if the hunter does not return the following year for another bear or whitetail hunt, they usually end up referring their family, friends and fellow hunters to us or we will see them again several years later. We continue to book and fill quickly. We are happy to get you on a wait list, just complete the contact form or email email@example.com
- How long is the season?
Spring Bear: May- Mid-June
Fall White-tail: November-Mid-December
- How much should I tip my guide?
The Truth About Tipping
Tipping is one of the least understood aspects of a guided hunt & can be the most awkward to discuss or ask about so we created some guidelines/tips to better understand the tipping process. Tips are an essential part of our guides and cooks compensation for all the hard work that they do.
At Safari River/Goose Haven, the camp minimum/average is 10-15% of your total hunt (per hunter).
10-15% = Good hunt
20% = Great hunt
25% + = Hunt of a lifetime
Tips can be paid in cash, check or credit card to the office (Emily or Lance) so we can ensure the chef and your guide get tipped appropriately/proportionately.
As owners, we do not take any tips from this amount (for cabin cleaning, our daily duties etc.), unless Lance is your direct guide, as we know our employees work hard for their tips and want to reward them to the fullest extent. Please feel free to tip your guide and chef personally above the 10-15% minimum given to the office, if you feel they did an outstanding job. If you had the hunt of your lifetime; limiting out on a waterfowl hunt, harvesting a bear/buck of a lifetime, etc. please tip accordingly.
Tips should be forthcoming whether or not any animals were taken, provided the guide did his/her best to find said animals. It isn’t the guide’s fault if it is a slow hunting week.
If you tip lower than is customary, we take it to mean you are unhappy with your experience and do not plan to re-book with us.
Adapted from Peterson’s Hunting-April 2004
- Do you use bait?
Yes. Three weeks before the season our guides are out in the area looking for signs and setting up baits, blinds, and cameras. The key to our success is in this preseason work. Through the years, we have learned a great deal about where our deer and bear travel between the 80 to 100 stand sites.
- What are your stands/blinds like?
Bear: Our Millenium tree stands are the most comfortable and quiet stands on the market. We offer single and double seaters and several different style ladders. A five-point safety harness in good condition is required for all tree stand hunters. Stands will be set up for archery or rifle
Deer: We use brushed in ground blinds
- What should I pack?