Makwa River Outfitters
FIRST OF ALL, MAKWA RIVER OUTFITTERS IS ALL ABOUT PROVIDING ONLY THE BEST WHITETAIL DEER HUNTS
AND BLACK BEAR HUNTS FOR YOU..
Let us tell you how we started:
Kathy and Ken Dopko have always been outdoor enthusiasts and hunting had always been an important part of their lives.
Both of them were born and raised in this area so they know a lot about the land.
Hunting was one of Ken's passions since about the age of 8.
Although his parents or older siblings were not hunters, somehow he knew that this was something that he loved.
There is a rumor that at the age of 8, he caught and cooked a rabbit on an open fire on his mom's front lawn ..
anyone knowing Ken's mom would know that this act would have caused quite a ruckus!
For Ken, hunting was one of those passions that grew and grew.
Kathy's father, John was a hunting and fishing enthusiast.
His skills were honed long before it was a "sport".
He started hunting and fishing for sustenance as this supplied much appreciated food for his family, being he came from very humble beginnings.
When Ken met Kathy and then met her Dad, Ken knew that this was the girl he wanted to marry (Kathy still wonders to this day if Ken married her for herself or for her father .. LOL!) Ken learned about hunting from the ground up from under John's teachings. John taught him the eating habits of the deer, where they lie down for the night and more importantly, how to track a wounded deer.
John taught Ken to totally respect nature...Ken already had a love of all animals so this was a natural learning curve for him
In the late 80's he was guiding for a neighboring outfitter and loving every minute of it.
In 1990, someone asked why he didn't have his own outfitting company and that's when Makwa River Outfitters was born!
Ken poured his love of animals, his love of the outdoors, his passion for hunting and his fun for life into building this highly successful business.
Ken was a great hunter who missed very few shots!
He had spent many wonderful hours in the woods, field & swamps alone or with other hunting enthusiasts of all ages
and could share many "secrets", stories and adventures.
He loved the geese for their "majestic flight" ..
He loved watching his retriever dogs working in the field...
He truly enjoyed the challenge of decoying & calling the birds in (and this can truly be challenging)..
He especially enjoyed the early mornings of the hunts ...
... the rising sun
... the vast variety of birds
... the freshness of everything that can only be found before the rest of humanity awakens..
... Ken was definitely a morning person
During the deer hunt,
Ken enjoyed watching the graceful animals and was always enthralled at seeing the different body sizes, different antler sizes and the different antler structures.
He enjoyed following the genetics of specific bucks as they followed through to their offspring.
There is an almost overwhelming thrill of knowing that at any time a "trophy B&C" whitetail deer could walk into sight!
He felt pride in being able to accurately estimate the size and weight of a live animal and to have his estimate confirmed when the animal was harvested.
It was for the bear that Ken had the most fascination.
He loved the different personalities of the bear and especially praised the motherly instincts of the sows as they protect their young.
He knew what to expect when a bear was "popping its jaw" ...
He knew the difference of a "false charge" and a real charge...
He knew the difference between a stressed bear and a curious bear ...
He knew where he should be, and he knew when he had to get the heck out of there ...
Seeing the different color phases of the black bear is a thrill in itself ..
What can compare to seeing a black sow with a cinnamon cub and blonde cub!!
The bear hunts provide a unique experience of knowing that, at any given time, you are at their mercy!!
The feeling of "living on the edge in a remote and rugged land" provides a thrill like no other!!
The big bear are especially cunning and careful and it is extremely challenging to have the patience to wait it out...
but the rush you get when you take the animal of your dreams is second to none!
Ken was a perfectionist.
He insisted that "if it's going to be done - its going to be done right".
Your comfort and your satisfaction were paramount to him!
Every year, he worked diligently on improving things for you.
He had perfected our tree stands which he manufactured himself.
He achieved the title of "MASTER OUTFITTER".
This title, certified by the Saskatchewan Outfitters Association, is awarded only after proving your skills in all areas of the outfitter business.
Ken wasn't the only one with a hunting background.
Kathy was raised strictly on venison as her father was an experienced hunter who always came with the meat.
Her father taught her much about Nature, hunting and responsibility
They never sat in a tree stand ...
They stalked the deer and Kathy's father always knew where they would be and how they would react.
Ken and Kathy, sharing the dream, worked together to perfect Makwa River Outfitters.
Unfortunately, in March 2006 Ken passed away, too young at the age of 50, from a two-year battle with a brain tumor called Glioblastoma Multiforme.
When you come to camp you will still see the constant reminder of the great work that Ken did but the improvements did not stop with his passing. In 2021, we all know that Ken was smiling in Heaven when his son, Walker stepped into a partnership in this business.
Ken's dreams built this business but Kathy, Walker and the well qualified guides continued the tradition to "serve our customers well".
Over 3 decades later, Makwa River Outfitters continues to work as a team with one goal in mind and that is CUSTOMER SATISFACTION!