Liz Richter above with her father George Weber and Boone and Crockett caribou.
Father’s Day takes place on Sunday, June 18 this year and not only does it bring back fond memories of our own outdoor adventures with Dad, it does the same for our guests, many of whom return to our lodges years after their first visit.
It’s amazing how time spent with Dad, learning how to cast a line or shoot a gun; to catch, clean and cook a fish; to respect and cherish wild animals and the environment; to build a campfire or explore a rocky stream; or to just take a walk in the woods, all while surrounded by the protective hands and kinds words of a father; stays with you forever.
It’s kept us in the woods for life, and it’s the reason many of our guests return, even decades later.
Time spent hanging out with Dad as a kid conjures up treasured memories for all of us, especially as we get older, and those memories have a wonderful way of carrying us through life, as the guests below have already discovered.
Liz Richter will never forget taking a Boone and Crockett caribou with her Dad George. She had difficulty getting anyone to take her hunting, but Dad came through for her.
Ray Croissant and his daughter Christine not only successfully hunted caribou with Webber’s Lodges, they also spotted an Arctic wolf and a black bear amidst the vivid fall colours at Schmok Lake. That’s not something you ever forget.
Greg Yuel will always remember his three generation musk ox hunt in Nunavut with his father Jim Yuel and son Yuri. And Tom Harrison and his daughter Rebecca had the time of their lives on their caribou hunt at Schmok Lake, seeing the polar bears in Churchill before their adventure and then going on to see over 100 caribou, three wolverines and 15 wolves.
“Rebecca said I was the best Daddy in the world,” said Tom in his guest post for us. “And she would not have changed a thing. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
Seventy-six year old former rocket scientist turned philanthropist Dick Gadomski was fishing at North Knife Lake Lodge for the third time last summer.
He was continuing a father/son tradition that began 68 years ago with his own father, and this time he brought four stepsons and a grandson with him. You know they’ll be back at North Knife Lake again.
Just as brothers Rich, Joe and Al Knaebel have, for the past 15 years. They first came to North Knife Lake Lodge with their father, Joe Sr.
“When my Dad was alive we always took him to the main lodge at North Knife Lake,” said Rich. “But after he passed away we started flying out to Small Lake. (A Webber’s Lodges fly-out trip). We took Dad to North Knife until he was about 85. He was in real good shape. He died at 87. He had some good blood in his veins.”
Nephew Jeff was on the recent Knaebel trip. It was his second time on the Small Lake fly-out. His first trip came years earlier, and it was to North Knife Lake Lodge with his grandfather, uncles and several cousins.
Brothers Rich, Joe and Al have been on every trip, but they won’t soon forget Jeff hooking into a monster 47-inch northern pike on the trip to Small Lake.
North Knife Lake Lodge owns a treasured piece of Paul Vukelic’s heart, and not only because of the fishing. Vukelic still remembers the early days of going to North Knife Lake Lodge with his father Gene, recalling the hospitality his family received from Doug and Helen (Webber), their daughters Jeanne, Toni and Shari and sons-in-law Mike, Nelson and Dave.
“They’re a family business, we’re a family business,” said Vukelic. “We can really identify with that. And I think they appreciate that. They have an appreciation for what we do. There’s just a mutual respect and love for each other, given that we’re close knit families. Certainly the hospitality is second to none. And of course the food, you can’t speak enough about the food. You don’t expect to find gourmet food when you go on a fishing trip like this, but they really, really, do have great food.
“They get their family members involved, just as we do. They really take it to heart. It’s very, very, important to us that we take care of our people and we do treat them like family, and we feel like they are family. They’re important. I can see that in the Webber family too. They take great pride in their people. You treat them right and they’re going to treat you twice as well.”
Gene Vukelic and family celebrated 20 years of coming to North Knife Lake Lodge last year with another trip to their favourite fishing lodge.
It all started when Gene was part of a large group on a Labatt-sponsored trip deep into the heart of polar bear country to see the great white bears on Canada’s Hudson Bay coast.
Their group stayed at a remote polar bear lodge near Seal River owned by the Webber and Reimer families. Two years later the Vukelic family returned for another trip with the Webbers and Reimers, but this time it was for a fishing adventure at North Knife Lake Lodge.
They’ve been coming back ever since.
Five of Gene’s sons and seven of his grandsons took part in Vukelic’s 20th Anniversary celebration at North Knife Lake Lodge last year. They will return again, as will their sons.
We’d like to think we’re the main reason our hunting and fishing guests return year after year and decade after decade, but we know better. It’s a generational thing.
Thank you Dad (s).
Happy Father’s Day!