James C. Reed, Director of BookYourHunt-North America:
I just returned from a great trip to beautiful Victoria British Columbia where I was attending the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia’s (GOABC) annual general meeting and conference. This was my eighth year attending the convention representing Sports Afield but this year was very special in two regards; this year is the 50th anniversary of GOABC so that was a very big and proud milestone for them and it was my first time representing BookYourHunt there.
GOABC is one of the preeminent organizations leading the charge for sustainable use conservation through hunting. Their efforts and model of success have been recognized and emulated worldwide. One of the many highlights of this year’s convention was when they recognized individual outfitters and their families for their decades in the business. Many of these outfits are multi-generational and very proud of this heritage. They filled the stage with outfitters and families that had been in the business 10, 20, 30 40 and even 50 years.
The highlight came when they called the final recipient Gerry Bracewell. Gerry was the first female registered guide in British Columbia and had been in the business 74 years! Now 94 year’s young Gerry was wheeled in a wheelchair due to a bad knee but when they reached the main floor the crowd erupted in cheers and tears when she stood and walked to the stage. Truly an emotional moment. She even made it out to the dance floor later!
BookYourHunt was a sponsor of the convention and was well represented there. I gave a presentation introducing BookYourHunt and the interest from both outfitters and organizations in attendance was very high. We are signing up many new outfitters and are working on some partnerships with some very renowned organizations.
The trip was very much a success and definitely a memorable experience for all in attendance. BookYourHunt is proud to have been a part of it and congratulations again to GOABC and its members on 50 years!