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called locally, are a relative new immigrant into Manitoba. The first recorded whitetail deer was discovered in 1910 in Manitoba and it took 30-40 years for them to become established in reasonable numbers in all the agricultural lands of southern Manitoba. It took a little longer near the park because of 3 abnormally heavy winter snows in the 1950's followed by some heavy snowfalls in the 1960's.
Huge increases in alfalfa acreage, increased grain production and the willingness of fanners to feed deer in severe winters has resulted in record deer numbers near and inside RM P in the last 25 years. We personally have put out alfalfa bales for deer every year since 1979 and now feed in excess of 300 deer every winter.
There are 1150 sections of land inside RMNP with 227 miles of park line. Five miles outside the boundary of RMNP, all round the park, includes as much acreage as the park. This is the key extra food area for today's large elk, moose, bear and deer populations.
South Side Guide Services was established in 1980 when it became compulsory to have a licensed guide accompany non-resident hunters. Some friends from North Dakota wanted to hunt bear and Rudy became a licensed guide. We did not charge guiding fees, and Rudy still remembers the first $50.00 U.S. given more as a tip rather than a charge in 1980. By 1985 our gross revenue from guiding went over $10,000.00 for the first time.
By 1986, we had twelve non-resident deer hunters from New York coming annually. Lodging was at Elkhorn Ranch and Johnson's Cabins at Clear Lake. In 1986 we put out our first price list and started charging resident elk/moose hunters. In 1986-87, the province wanted to control all non-resident bear hunters by quota, area and Licensed outfitters, South Side Outfitters was established and licensed as a Limited Service Outfitter with a bear quota arrived at by a complicated provincial fonnuLa including highest number of non-resident bear hunters in previous five years then multiplied by number of years over last five years with non-resident clients; then 25% was deducted. To this day bear quota are the most difficult to obtain and no new outfitter has received any since 1995 in Game Hunting area 23.
In 1988 near disaster strnck. We were grain fanning some 2200 acres and lost two crops in the early 1980's; one to an August 13 frost and, two years later, to three hail storms striking all our fields, No crop insurance. At the same time interest rates went to 22% and grain prices dropped by 50%. As with many fanners, we used the serv ices of the Manitoba Farm Mediation Board in 1988-89,
resulting in the sale of 800 acres of prime gram land, and Federal Farm Credit Corporation (F.c.c.) taking owner ship of all our north farm where South Side Outfitters was operating.
The farm had three auction sales. October 1988, we sold 100 bred cows; June J 989, a farm machinery reduc tion sale; and October 1992 another 100 bred cows. It took 10 years and $400,000 cash, from 1988 to 1997, for our family to buy back the 15 quarters of land near the park from F.c.c., which lands were then incorporated as a family corporation called South Side Ranch Company.
The near farm disaster of 1988-89 was probably the single most important experience for the growth and devel opment of South Side Outfitters, Grain acreage was reduced form 2200 acres to 600-700 acres and we had the time to develop and increase our outfitting business.
Guiding and Outfitting for black bear and whitetail deer is a cash business with a potential market from 25,000,000 licensed hunters in the U.S., only 125 miles from South Side Ranch.
In the fall of 1991, we started building the South Side Ranch Chalet on NE 34-18-17 which was completed in time for deer hunters in November 1992. The chalet has full kitchen facilities, two bathrooms, four bedrooms and is licensed by Tourism Manitoba for maximum occupancy ofS. With this new licensing South Side Outfitters became a full service outfitter,
In 1997, the Province decided to put whitetail deer under quota available only to licensed or potential licensed outfitters, Our past records were used to determine maxi mum quotas in G.H.A. 23. In G.H.A. 22 (south otPR. #357 - Mountain Road), where we live, we also received a non resident deer quota but only for archery.
1999 proved to be the near cl imax in the growth and size of South Side Outfitters, We had over 40 non-resident bear and deer clients, along with over 60 resident elk/moose hunters. Our bear and deer quotas were increased by the Dept. of Conservation. We also had three weeks of duck/goose/grouse hunters.
As of March 2000, we have deposits for more hunts than in 1999. Some hunts are presold as far forward as 2003. U.S. clients from over 20 states and Alaska have represented 98% of our non-resident non-Canadian busi ness with three main cities ( and area) namely New York, NY, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. And Green Bay, WI equaling 50% of all hunters.
(Rudy and Marion are both licensed guides and licensed outfitters and operate South Side Outfitters),