August Lid – Signature series Chinook PrimaLoft Gold jacket. August Lid – hunting guide in Canada and New Zealand has worked with RnD for Ravnø.
August Haugen Lid from Overhalla has an above average interest in hunting and the outdoor life.
He has found his dream job in Canada and New Zealand.
Many dream of traveling around the world, spending a year island-hopping in the Pacific, crossing Greenland on skis, or cruising the entire American continent on a motorcycle. Few take the chance to let go and live out their dream, but some jump into it – and land on their feet.
For August Hagen Lid from Litj-Amdal in Overhalla, the big dream has been to make a living from hunting, trapping, and fishing.
- I’ve been thinking about it and dreaming about it since I was quite young, says August Haugen Lid.
Outside, spring is just starting to take hold on the south-facing slope of Litj-Amdal, a cold northern April wind is blowing in the corner of the house. The sun is shining, a slightly pale and winter-pale spring sun. The warmth in Namdalen is still waiting.
On the floor, two backpacks are packed and ready, on the table lies a box of snus next to the coffee cup. August looks out the window as we talk. His thoughts are already heading towards spring on another continent, eight time zones to the west.
He has practically grown up with camouflage clothing and a rifle.
- I don’t remember, but I’ve been out with them since I was quite young, says August.
He also has no idea how many hours of hunting films and hunting shows he has watched over the years.
- It was the films and pictures from the vast hunting areas in Canada and Alaska that ignited the spark. I wasn’t very old when I thought that I would do that too someday, he says.
Hunting all year round
Despite his relatively young age, August is an experienced hunter. Here at home, he has hunted mostly year-round.
- It usually started and ended with fox hunting, and in between, there was big game, some birds, and some hunting of other predators until the breeding season in spring, he says.
In between the hours in the forest or in a hunting position, he attended three years at the natural resource management program at Grong High School before he went into the military. As an infantryman. In Northern Norway. Anyone who has served in the Norwegian defense has probably heard of the Skjold Garrison and the 2nd Battalion. Far away from people as well.
- It was alright. I had a lot of OP duty, so there was a lot of tents and outdoor life there too, he laughs.
I had completed my military service and didn’t have any specific plans, so I thought if I was going to try, now was my chance.
Thus began the hunt for the dream job.
- I think I sent over 100 emails with applications to various companies and firms involved in hunting and hunting rentals, and eventually got a bite from one of them, he smiles.
When the offer came, he didn’t hesitate, and August traveled to Canada in the spring of 2016 to live out his dream.
A season in the wilderness was only going to fuel his passion. By the time you read this, August is already in Canada, preparing for a new season as a hunting guide.
To get to work, he has to fly via Reykjavik to Vancouver. Then, there’s another three-and-a-half-hour flight on a domestic flight to Fort Nelson in British Columbia. After that, a couple of hours’ drive into the wilderness.
- Fort Nelson is quite a distance by car. There’s a roadside inn about three miles down the road from the farm we have as a base, but I rarely make it there, he says.
Fort Nelson is one of civilization’s last major outposts on Highway 97/Alaska Highway before crossing the border into the Northwest and Yukon Territories.
Though “major” – the population in 2016 was around 3,350 and has been declining over the past decade. Nearly one-third of the population in Fort Nelson is under 19 years old, and about 15 percent of them are considered indigenous.
The town is located slightly north of the 58th parallel, at the same latitude as Arendal, and summers can be quite warm in central British Columbia.
- On good summer days, it can reach up to 30 degrees Celsius, August says.
But the autumns and winters can be bitterly cold even for someone from Overhalla.
- The coldest night we spent outdoors last October, it was probably minus 21 degrees, and that’s quite chilly, admits August.
Therefore, summer and the hunting season are relatively short and hectic for those who don’t live off hunting year-round. His employer rents out hunting opportunities in the summer and engages in trapping during the winter.
- He leases the land from the Canadian government and has the right to rent out hunting while also managing the area, explains August.
Half of Nord-Trøndelag
The hunting grounds, or as we would say back home – the territory – he hunts on, cover approximately 9,842 square kilometers, or an area larger than the municipalities of Lierne, Namsskogan, Grong, Røyrvik, and Snåsa combined. That’s almost half of Nord-Trøndelag county in terms of area.
- Black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, Canadian moose, stone sheep, and mountain goats are the most common species. Occasionally, a Yukon moose of substantial size shows up as well.
- Last year, I believe we were able to harvest four bears in our area, says August. The hunters have paid for a package, and the quota for harvesting must be respected.
- We have strict instructions to let bull elks with fewer than 20 points on their antlers go unharmed, says August without flinching.
Horse and Backpack
August comes across as the type of person who probably has a resting heart rate lower than his shoe size and who doesn’t get rattled even if a brash world champion shows up with a rifle on his back.
- It’s all good; of course, you meet different types of people, but that happens in other jobs too. You just have to adapt; after all, we only have to put up with each other for 14 days, and out in the wilderness, you quickly become buddies, he says with a slight smile.
A hunter is accompanied by a hunting guide and a wrangler when they are out in the wilderness. In North America, a wrangler is someone whose profession is to handle and care for animals, primarily horses. August started his career as a wrangler when he first came to Canada in 2016.
- Did you have much experience with horses since they assigned you to that job?
I had barely seen a horse, let alone ridden one, he laughs.
There were some bumps and falls, but fortunately, nothing worse than that, and he got to keep his job. After a couple of months, the boss must have seen something special in the young lad from Overhalla because August was then granted his own hunting guide license.
- You have to start at the bottom and work your way up, but luckily for me, it happened pretty quickly, August smiles.
All hunting is done from backpacks and on horseback. No fancy luxury with cars, ATVs, or helicopters. In August’s first season as a guide, his clients successfully harvested both bears and wolves.
- Actually, two bears, he says with a hint of pride in his voice. A hint. After all, his job is to find bears.
- Yes… we had to start searching – we had an episode last year where we had to search for an elk in dense and brush-covered terrain where we knew there were bears. That was an experience too.
- We found the elk by observing a bear that stayed in one place for a couple of days. It ended with us sharing, the bear got the meat, and we secured the antlers, August dryly remarks.
- We shoe the horses, head out into the field, build shelters for overnight stays, choose camp spots, familiarize ourselves with the terrain after winter, and observe where the animals are.
August 1st marks the start of the hunting season, and then there are long days on horseback.
- We are usually out for 12-14 days before we return, and then there’s barely enough time to change socks and saddle up for the next trip, he laughs.
We slaughter, butcher, and transport it in packaging boxes on horseback. That’s part of what makes this a special experience, both for the hunters and the guides. We’re out in nature and have to bring everything we need with us. We try to fulfill the wilderness dream that many people have. And right now, I can hardly imagine a better job,” says August.
- Yes, I got to know a guy who had an outfitting company in New Zealand. It worked out well to work for him during the “off-season” in BC. It’s a hunting country that I can recommend. Beautiful scenery, great people, exciting and challenging hunting. We mostly hunt deer, Tahr, and Chamois.