Below are some excerpt from letters and e-mails from past hunters (some that have scored on trophies, and those that have not). Our hunts have been featured twice on Eastman’s Hunting Journal, as well the Federal Experience show on Versus TV. A moose hunt on “Grateful Nation”, hosted by Tim Abel was shown on ESPN in 2010.
I am pleased to recommend Ryan Berard and the Sawtooth Outfitters.
Here’s my story:
I booked an elk/mule deer hunt with Sawtooth for the first week of rifle season 2013.I met with Ryan and he got me to the camp on the day before opening and I met with my guide Ron and another hunter and guide. The camp was well stocked and comfortable. After an early start opening day we spotted 2 mule deer, one of which was a shooter, but I passed on the shot. It got quite hot by midday so we took a siesta on a dead end road and while scouting around, Ron found some fresh elk sign.
We made our way in carefully to a high level basin and had a drink from a stream and sat down on a big flat rock to cool off. Ron bugled and we heard the bull coming, he broke from the treeline and ran broadside to us at 75 yds and stopped. Ron said he was a shooter, so I took the shot and away he went across the meadow, and it was wobbling pretty good by then. We made our way over to the treeline and there was my 6X6 bull elk. Ron did a great job of harvesting the meat and we were able to get one load of meat out and come back in the morning for the remainder. Ryan looked after transporting the meat to a local butcher and my meat was cut and wrapped expertly for the trip home.
Although I got my elk on the first day we spent some time after looking for a mule deer, and saw some but no shooters. We did also see some whitetails and a dark chocolate bear. This hunt was the adventure of a lifetime for me, and I’d like to thank Ryan & Co. for helping to make it happen .My guide Ron was excellent and did the lion’s share of packing the meat out. I found the terrain physically demanding at times and he was patient and understanding. Rocky Mountain elk is some tasty meat!
Sawtooth Elk hunt – 2013
Beautiful landscape, very nice people, exciting hunting…And to watch Ryan’s dogs during their work, when they track and chase after the cougar is unforgettable experience. Ryan Berard is great huntsman and very patient and qualified guide, who never lose his confidence in successful hunting. It was eight exciding days of Predators hunting program, when we cross plains and hillsides of Kootenay Rocky Mountains. In the middle of beautiful landscape we met troop of whitetails, males and elks, we struggled through deep snow to track lynx and bobcat and in freezing morning we were waiting for wolf or coyote. And then came the excitement, when we saw a fresh step of cougar and when dogs started to chase it.
Now, back in Prague, when I see the trophy of cougar on the library floor, I still feel smell of tamarack bushes, hear wild dogs bark and calm Ryan’s instructions. Always I tell my hunting friends that it is not important to hunt the animal but to hunt the experience. When a person comes to Sawtooth, hunt with Ryan, meet his friends and enjoys atmosphere of sunny days and beautiful nature, it is unforgettable experience.
Milan Gruber PhD, Prague, Czech Republic
Sawtooth Predators hunt – 2013
My Dad and I hunted with Ryan on a 2013 spring black bear hunt. When I first started looking for a hunt I wanted adventure, scenery, and the chance to unplug from the real world. My Dad really wanted to hunt with dogs and I really wanted to spot and stalk a black bear. After talking to quite a few outfitters, researching on the web and going to hunting shows, Ryan’s outfit had everything I was looking for. I’ll never forget when we met up with Ryan on the highway and the drive to base camp. We’re following Ryan’s truck with the dog box driving down the old logging road taking in the scenery and out of nowhere I hear all the dogs barking like crazy. That was my first experience with hearing a strike, and I was hooked.
The hunt itself was full of adventure, we were able to stalk my bear and got within 20 ft when I took my one and only shot, we ran bears up trees with the dogs and got fantastic photos/videos, and we even crawled into a cave to retrieve my Dad’s bear. I got a nice boar and my Dad got an old sow with an amazing fur coat. Ryan’s dogs are some of the best dogs in the world, and to see them in bear hunting mode and then flip a switch into couch potato mode after the hunt is absolutely hilarious. Ryan even had a border collie that thought he was a bear dog. The accommodations, scenery, abundance of wildlife, dogs, guide services, and hunting area were all top notch and exactly what I was looking for. I would not hesitate in a minute to recommend hunting with Ryan and the next time I go hunting in the Canadian Rockies, Ryan will be the first person I’ll call.
Andy Lux, Omaha, NE
Sawtooth Bear hunt – 2013
Another great black bear hunt with Ryan Berard and Sawtooth Outfitters out of Cranbrook, BC. This was the 4th time that I have been guided on a bear hunt with Ryan and his dogs and my second hunt on the Sawtooth Outfitters concession. Every time that I hunt with Ryan and his hounds I have had the pleasure of seeing what has to be one of Canada’s best houndsman working with some of the top hounds in North America. The log cabin accommodations we stayed in this year was one that could have been used for wilderness movie setting. Secluded in the tall pines of the East Kootenay region of British Columbia, we were but just a few steps away from a major tributary of the St. Mary’s River.
While the log cabin was very warm and dry, Ryan’s culinary abilities only top off an unbelievable wilderness experience. Unlike with Ryan, I have hunted with other outfitters that spend very little time with their clients. Ryan takes care of his clients with his many years of experience and knowledge of the region and you will rarely ever see him slacking off. He is always trying to make the best for all. While I was very limited from a time standpoint to actually hunt this year, (3 days which included travel time to camp and back from Cranbrook) Ryan still got the job done. First afternoon out we spotted two black bears and a big grizzly sow with two cubs. One of the bears was a little small while the second deserved a stalk. We were unsuccessful in making a stalk on the second bear so we took it back to the cabin.
After breakfast the next morning we loaded the dogs and went for a run. About 10:00 AM we crossed a sent trail, the dogs made a hard strike, and the hunt was on. About 45 minutes into the hunt the dogs had the bear treed so we moved in to take a look. After a 500 yard hike we found the dogs and a very nice mature chocolate brown bear. After several minutes of careful consideration and discussion on the bear’s size, color, and hide condition, I dispatched the burin. Ryan estimated that the bear was over 20 years old. He squared out at 6′-4″ – my largest bear to date. My next hunt with Ryan will be for a big tom cat. If you are seriously considering a big game hunt in Canada, DO NOT look any further than Ryan Berard and his Sawtooth Outfitters. You will be glad you made the choice.
Sawtooth Bear hunt – 2013
I had a very exciting experience on my hunt with Sawtooth Outfitters. The lodging and food were first rate! My guide, Ron, was incredibly talented and professional. He called my bull elk to within 30 feet of us!!! I would highly recommend an elk hunt with Sawtooth Outfitters.
Sawtooth Elk hunt – 2013
A “guided elk hunt” has been a bucket-list goal of mine for several years. Before booking, I researched several elk hunting states in the US (a few others in CAN) and talked with approx. 30 other outfitters and their references prior to making my decision. Due to the combination of British Columbia’s rugged beauty, variety of big game animals to see and/or harvest, 6pt minimum, the ability to hunt elk during the peak of the rut with a rifle, and lastly the references I talked with and scenery displayed on the website all led me to Murray at Sawtooth Outfitters. I was NOT disappointed. As I put it to Murray, I am young and willing to work hard for the opportunity at a bull elk. (Did not want to drive up to a herd of elk in a pick-up truck, jump out, and shoot.) Murray exceeded my expectations going above and beyond as we busted new trails up and down mountains, hurdled several avalanche slides, drank directly from the clearest of mountain springs, saw numerous other big game animals, and successfully harvested a 314″ 8x6 bull elk. Quick pointer: BE IN SHAPE as this is NOT hunting a flat desert mesa! Simply hiking this terrain alone provides you a sense of accomplishment and memories of a lifetime! Thanks Murray for the AWESOME and MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE!!!!
Josh Justman, Richland Wisconsin
Sawtooth Elk hunt – 2012
Can not stress enough how great a hunt my father and I had with you Ryan – opening week of rifle elk. It was the mountain wilderness hunt we were looking for and by the end of the hunt, we had seen more than our share of both! Whether it was my second-guessing of the call of “6”, or whether we were both caught off-guard in disbelief when our 3 hour bugling sound off materialized into a monster of a bull bee-lining to us at warp speed, it just wasn’t meant to be. We were reminded once again that it isn’t the kill, but where the hunting takes us-both physically and mentally- that makes the experience. Thanks again Ryan for sharing in it and making it a great one! Would love to come back again.
Craig Ferguson, Carthage, NY
Sawtooth Elk hunt – 2012
Our guide for this goat hunt was Sebastian. We spent the first afternoon glassing for goats and had no trouble spotting numerous goats in 3 different areas. The next morning we were able to glass a good billy from the truck and decided to get closer. After about 30 minutes of hiking we were in shooting position and were able to knock the goat down. Only problem with this was having to get to him up the mountain. We spent the next 6 hours hiking and searching and were finally able to locate the goat. That 6 hours was the most exhilarating and exhausting time of my life. The next 5 days were spent hunting whitetails. We were extremely lucky to take a wolf on Thanksgiving morning that was crossing a pasture in the valley. Now we are just trying to figure out how to talk my wife into letting us go back to chase the goats again. I cannot say enough about Sebastian and Ryan. These guys know the country like the back of their hand.
Lance Caskey, Frisco, TX
Sawtooth Mountain Goat Hunt, 2011
I had a wonderful experience in Canada last month. The hunt took place in the Sawtooth area just north of Cranbrook, B.C. The hunt was to be filmed for a television show, and I was hoping to have a chance to get a good black bear. I’d never hunted black bear before — I really don’t know why I hadn’t—and I was really looking forward to a new experience.
On the third day, we spotted the bear. We devised a plan to let us get close enough to shoot without the bear seeing or hearing us. The bear was about 120 yards away when I quickly got set to take the shot. I aimed right behind the shoulder. When I fired, the bear immediately went down. Excited, we all climbed the steep hillside to look at the bear. The bullet had gone exactly where it was supposed to go. The bear was an older sow with a beautiful coat. Her teeth were worn down and the pads on the bottom of her feet were also pretty worn. All I could focus on was the beautiful coat—I was very excited about that. I hunted with Sawtooth Outfitters. I stayed in a wonderful cabin way back in the timber, and the country was absolutely breathtaking. After the snowfall, everything was so beautiful it seemed like I was in heaven. I was very thankful to be where I was at that time. Happy hunting,
Coni Brooks, Mona, UT – co-owner of Barnes Bullets – Excerpt from Barnes Bullets Newsletter
Sawtooth Bear hunt – 2009
I made an elk hunt in British Columbia this past September with Sawtooth Outfitters. Now let me just say up front that we did not come home with an elk. Now that that is out of the way, I WOULD recommend out outfitter (Sawtooth Outfitters) without hesitation. When we booked the hunt and asked which season he recommended, his reply was that the first season is typically the best, the rut is ongoing and the elk are unpressured. But there is a chance that it will get hot at that time of year, and if it does, you will not kill anything. Well, it got hot (hit 91 degrees one day) and we didn’t kill anything, but we had a great time.
Their operation is first class. We hunted from horseback and stayed in a line cabin. Just a two (small) room shack with no power, no running water, no nothing and we drank straight out of the creeks. We packed our supplies in with a packhorse. This was a week long hunt. We had never done anything like this and the experience was great. The country was beautiful, and we didn’t see another hunter.
The guide was there to put us on the animals, but we shared work with him. He was not our babysitter. He did bugle a nice 5x5 to within 23 yds (I ranged him), but there must be 6 points on one antler there. We also had a chance at a huge 6x7, but were too slow determining if he was legal, and he spotted us and ducked into cover. We also saw mountain goats, bull moose, deer, etc. Most of our hunting was done around 5000 feet.
Sawtooth 2010 elk hunt
I just want to say thanks for an awesome experience. An experience that turned out better than I could ever have expected — from the people, hunting area and the quality of your animals I never thought would be reality. Murray was incredible, an absolutely great hunting guide… one of my most enjoyable experiences ever. I’d be honoured to be a reference for your outfit.
I will be sending both of you pictures feel free to use them.
Noa Prieve – Lodi, Wisconsin
2010 Sawtooth Elk hunt
My husband and I have hunted in the Kootenay Mountains for the last three years, and each time at the end of our stay we leave anticipating returning the next year. Craig, the owner is a stand-up guy, and truly aims to insure we are thoroughly satisfied….his integrity, warm heart and accommodating nature, not to mention his mom’s awesome camp cooking, makes our visits wonderful! The lodge itself is very nice and comfortable and set within beautiful surroundings. Ryan Berard, our first and only guide for these past three years, and whom we consider a friend, is the best of the best. The first year we hunted with Ryan we took a moose with a bow and almost harvested a nice elk. The second year we had several opportunities to stick young moose and ultimately harvested a very nice bull elk. This last year, out of 14 hunts (7 morning hunts and 7 eve hunts), Ryan was able to have bulls answering him all but 3 or 4 outings. Though we never closed the deal, it wasn’t from lack of opportunities and certainly wasn’t from a lack of effort. We’ve nicknamed him “mountain goat” because of how he well he travels the hills as if they were flat….and for hours on end! …we’re just glad he’s patient and doesn’t mind waiting on us to catch up! He’s truly the epitome of what one could hope to have for their guide: he’s accommodating & works hard, fun to be around, he knows the terrain; he knows the habits of the game and has a six sense about how to find the quarry and get close to them. There’s nothing quite like hearing that branch break as a bull sneaks in for a closer look, or better yet, having a big bull screaming at you as he’s heading straight for you at 15 yards away! We have truly enjoyed getting to know Ryan and hunting with him for the last several years. We can’t see ourselves hunting in the Kootenay’s with anyone else. We thank him for some truly memorable hunts….
Chuck & Carol Emerson – Temple, Texas
2008, 2009, 2010, Sawtooth Elk and Moose hunts
I was so impressed with Ryan and his dogs on a bear hunt that I signed up for a goat hunt. Again, a great choice. These guys hunt hard and will do everything they can to put you on an animal. The country is so beautiful that at times you forget about the task at hand. Thanks Ryan for the great hunts. See you next winter.
Doug Rowell, Prosser Washington
2008, 2009, 2011 Sawtooth Bear, Mountain Goat, and Predator hunt
I have hunted in BC with Ryan Berard as my guide for two years now. When it comes to Ryan’s Hounds, if the bears are there, his dogs will find them, track them down, and hold them till you get there. Ryan is without a doubt one tough guide and a great dog handler. You cannot go wrong by hunting with them.
Good luck and happy hunting,
Lloyd J. Taylor, III, P.E., Ph.D. – Odessa, Texas
2008, 2009, 2011 Sawtooth bear hunts
We just keep coming back to hunt with Sawtooth Outfitters and the crew, and every time we´ve hit the jack pot. The Canadian Rockies are awesome and Sawtooth Outfitters has a great guide territory with lot of game. Last year we got a nice 6 1/2 ft chocolate coloured bear that turned out to be 23 years old. This outfit probably has one of the best houndsman in all of BC, Ryan Berard. His dogs are extremely well trained and make the hunt a once in a lifetime experience. During the hunt we both saw and treed several colour phased bears. With great hospitality, good cooking and an outstanding wilderness, we would absolutely recommend Sawtooth Outfitters. Their planning and professionalism were superb. You owe it to yourself to go and experience it. We have special memories of these hunts that we will Cherish forever, next spring will be the forth in a row. Thanks to Sawtooth outfitter, the great cook and guide Murray and the bond of friendship with the Houndsman and guide Ryan Berard. He is a guide that will share and show you the quality of a hunt. See you next spring!
Linda and André Strand – Norway
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Sawtooth bear hunts
Having just returned from a very successful Elk hunt with Sawtooth Outfitters, I decided to write this note. This was my second hunt with this outfit, the first being a successful cougar hunt last year. Firstly the Elk were abundant and 4 out of the 6 days we called in mature bulls (one within 3 yards!). My guide, Ryan Berard was very experienced and knowledgeable and in my opinion did everything he could to make this a great experience for me. The main camps, spike camps and tent camps where well equipped. Good meals, quads and pack horses were included. The hunting area is huge, I completely felt like the only hunter in the area. The terrain tested my endurance but at my own request, easier terrain was available. I highly recommend Craig and Ryan at Sawtooth Outfitters, they take this very seriously and are operating a professional guiding service in a region that is an incredible place to hunt.
Joel McDaniel, Victoria, BC
2009, 2010 Cougar, Elk Hunt, Sawtooth Outfitters
Thanks for an awesome elk hunt, the country was beautiful, and we saw a variety of game and took 2 nice bulls within our first four days . Our guide Bob, was a first rate guide and horseman, and bugled our bulls in on a rope. The memories for my son and I will last a lifetime” I would have to say, the Sawtooth area is some of the nicest scenery I have ever hunted in. We will be back, and Sawtooth will be our outfitter for sure. Thanks again.
Doug and Jordan Laidler, Lloydminster, Alberta
2010 Sawtooth Elk hunt
We just got home 1 hour ago. We had a wonderful time this hunting trip – in fact, it was our best hunting trip ever. We got to see Grizzly bear, Moose, Black bear and mountain goat and elk all during this trip. Joe, the guide, was wonderful. Both of us are talking about Mountain Lion hunt during Jan of 2012. We shall talk to you once your busy season is over. See you soon.
Jim Bee, Pinckney, Michigan
2010 Sawtooth Elk hunt
Great guys, great horses and food mixed with the awesome country and animals that Sawtooth offers make for a real back country experience. Tell your future hunters to just make sure they’re in shape tho’, – those mountains are steep and BIG!
2006 Black bear hunt, 2007 Rocky mountain elk hunt
Thanks to our guides, Sebastien and Barry, and the rest of the Sawtooth team for an outstanding experience and unforgettable hunt. We’ll be back.
Mark Hilleshiem & Dave Sorensen
2007 Sawtooth Rocky Mountain Elk Hunt
I’d like to thank you for the elk hunt in ’06. The country was breathtaking, and the chance to hunt bugling elk was awesome… the bulls we saw were awesome 300-350 class animals – which is first rate. I did not harvest an animal, but had a chance. Look forward to hunting with you in ’08 for mountain goat. Good Luck in the future, and Happy Hunting. Once again, thank you Sawtooth Outfitters.
2006 Sawtooth Rocky Mountain Elk hunt
Thanks for the great hunting trip last fall. I would highly recommend Sawtooth Outfitters to anyone wishing to hunt big game in British Columbia. I look forward to hunting with you again this fall. Thanks.
2006 and 2007 Sawtooth
Rocky Mountain Elk hunts