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Making a living from hunting: Dan Lavoie's passion

Guide, hunter and trainer: in the field of moose hunting, Dan Lavoie wears many hats. It is without hesitation that he says that Sportchief has been by his side since the very beginning of his passion, 27 years ago.

"It's been since I've been a hunter and I can buy clothes and accessories that I know Sportchief. I was the kind of guy who picked up little pennies every week, and three weeks before the hunt, I would go shopping, sometimes on the sly! » laughs Dan Lavoie. “I am one of those who like to dress in beautiful hunting linen, but above all good hunting linen. »

For Dan Lavoie, Sportchief's expertise lies largely in the team of enthusiasts that make up the company: “Sportchief is made by hunters, for hunters. The team listens to us a lot. During a hunt with Jean-François Brouillette [the director of the Sportchief banner], I brought him some ideas and it was put to work this year. »

Exceptional clothes

Hunting guide for 10 years, Dan Lavoie explains that he had the opportunity to try a range of Sportchief products. Year after year, these are always a guarantee of satisfaction. “By becoming a hunting guide, I became equipped with 100, 200, 300% Sportchief products, and I am more than satisfied. »

The garment he recommends for sure? The silent camouflage set of his good friend, Jason Tremblay Morneau. "It's by far the best I've seen for what I practice, moose hunting, very close," says Dan Lavoie. In all my trainings, without exception, when I talk about hunting accessories, I always, always talk about Sportchief silent clothing. Since May 4, I give training almost every weekend, and I always talk about hunting clothes, especially when I teach hunting nearby, because it is essential. I also wear these clothes in the videos I present in training, and people ask me a lot of questions about it, they often contact me afterwards to find out what clothes I was talking about. I can't imagine wanting to buy anything else. »

Dan Lavoie also remembers a time when he was able to demonstrate, live, the benefits of Poseidon G3 rain suit : “I was with a client to go and do an assessment in a territory, there was heavy rain, I think he fell 45 mm… the client wanted to hand over, but I couldn't see him again until 2023 because my schedule was full, so I went anyway, with my Poseidon G3 set. The client was so impressed that he wrote back to me to find out what brand my clothes were! »

Extensive expertise

Field analyzes are only part of the expertise of Dan Lavoie, who specializes not only in moose hunting guidance, but also in the analysis of cartographic territories and training for hunters. His passion eventually led Dan Lavoie to set up his own company, Dan Lavoie Guide. Since 2022, he has therefore been 100% self-employed. "Now I only live from hunting!" » he exclaims.

The advice that Dan Lavoie systematically gives to the enthusiasts who follow him is to go back to basics: “Hunting is a matter of pleasure”, he points out. You have to practice this as a family, and above all, do not neglect the family for this! He reminds us that respect for game must be essential: “A lot of people are reckless and don't practice before they shoot. If you shoot and you're not sure, call the bloodhounds, out of respect for the game. »  He adds that the hunter's ethics implies respect for his brothers and sisters: “Everyone has the right to pursue their passion. »


Moose hunting with Daniel Gilbert: “A family story”

Hunting stories, Daniel Gilbert is not lacking. Heir to a passion transmitted by his father, he recounts his beginnings in the world of hunting and what a name like Sportchief means to him.

"My passion for hunting started at a very young age, because my father was a hunting and fishing enthusiast," explains Daniel Gilbert. I remember very well my father who told us his hunting and fishing stories with enthusiasm, but above all with passion. I found it mysterious. We had a small hunting and fishing lodge, and that's when I got hooked. It started very early in my teens. »

Daniel Gilbert still remembers the moment he witnessed the first moose harvest: “I was with my brother. It wasn't me who shot, but I was so proud. We came home and my father was waiting for us outside. When he saw the male… it is an unforgettable memory. » It was on this occasion that he took an interest in this game, which still excites him even more than 40 years later: “Every fall, I still have that same passion that comes to gnaw at me to go hunting. »

He adds : “All these little anecdotes there, as much when I went fishing as hunting, with my father, my brother, my cousin, make it a family story. »

The passion for hunting shoots

The passion for hunting led to a new hobby for Daniel Gilbert: shooting hunting movies. When he started filming 30 years ago, the VHS camera was still in the spotlight. That didn't stop him from getting started, he who wanted above all to share his passion with other amateurs: “It was bad, but I felt like talking to passionate people. It was from that moment that my passion grew. I have made it my job for almost 20 years and I am really proud of it. »

Obviously, over time, technologies have evolved a lot, which makes filming easier: “When I started in the business, there were cameras that weighed 25 pounds. Now the cameras are ultra capable, very professional, and weigh just 3 or 4 lbs. We use the quietest equipment possible, it's essential, it's what is most important on our side. Usually, people hunt alone or in pairs, but during a shoot, there are always 3 to 4 people, so it's a lot of people. »

Sportchief's expertise, a significant asset

To help keep silence during filming, there's nothing like the silent suit resulting from the collaboration between Sportchief and Jason Tremblay Morneau, who is a hunting guide in the shoots organized by Daniel Gilbert. The latter says that the silent sets of Sportchief are popular among the guides, who do not hesitate to bring several to change the participants in the filming, if necessary: “In recent years, I have worked a lot with the guides, because I am as much behind the camera as in front. When I'm behind the camera, I see the guides working extremely hard, and they want people to have the Sportchief products for the quiet side, because that's super important to us. It happens all the time that you approach a moose and say to yourself “I am lucky to have my silent suit.” Lucky we have that, because it helps a lot. »

For Daniel Gilbert, the success of Sportchief products is based on the listening skills of the company, which does not hesitate to ask the opinion of enthusiasts: “Sportchief really listens to fans and their needs. When they bring a product to market, they give us samples to evaluate, and I think that results in really on-point products. »

Sportchief, a long-time partner

This is not Daniel Gilbert's first association with Sportchief. He noticed the company early on as a hunter. “I remember my first Sportchief set. I started, in 1993, and Sportchief had made a model especially for the archers. When you are an archer, it is important that the string does not hit your arm, so the suit had fasteners, [thoughts] so as not to deflect your arrow. Sportchief were the only ones who had thought of that. I fell in love. »

Eventually, Sportchief became a sponsor for the shootings orchestrated by Daniel Gilbert, a bond that eventually deepened to give way to a friendship that has lasted for several years.

“I have always been with Sportchief, and they are now friends. It is important, because someone who would manufacture this without having people on the ground, it would not work. Sportchief really take the advice of the amateurs who are on the ground of the cows, or rather the ground of the deer and the moose”, he adds, laughing.

Daniel Gilbert recalls that Sportchief represents several decades of expertise: “I am 58 years old, and when we talk about the 80s, Sportchief was there. When you wear a Sportchief product, you have so much experience, competent people who are behind this product, people who are listening. These are quality products, but they are affordable. Quebec and Sportchief, we talk about it so much, it's a love story that has lasted for decades. »


Valérie Gauthier, first women ambassador

We are happy to welcome the dynamic Valérie Gauthier, the first woman of the clan, to the family of Sportchief ambassadors! Passionate about fishing and hunting, she describes herself as an honest, very positive and ambitious person. "I'm always ready for new challenges or projects. It keeps me alive.", she said with a smile on her face. 



The hunt for memorable memories

His oldest memory in connection with moose goes back to his childhood when his father went hunting only with his friends. His mother, passionate and ravenous, called the moose from the second floor just to hear their vocalizations! Once with her darling, that's where Valerie was truly initiated. "At first, I was just spending time in nature and I liked it. I read a lot of hunting and fishing magazines to learn the techniques. My first moose harvest was in 1999. I had done some rattling and then I heard the animal come out of the wood. My heart was pounding in my chest, it was such a strong moment of adrenaline that it sparked my passion for hunting. Then I followed my firearms lessons. Over the years, the whole family has been initiated, the couple's children and now the granddaughters Éléa and Charlotte are taking over. 

On the fishing side, her highlight was during an outing on Lake Abitibi with her partner and friends and where she caught one of her biggest walleyes, a 30-inch beast. 

A proud ambassador
While she's been with her hunter and fisher beau for 30 years, her love affair with Sportchief dates back roughly a decade. It was her mother-in-law who gave her a gift that would change the course of her trajectory. "Before, I used to go hunting and fishing in randomly chosen clothes. With this Sportchief set I realized the importance of being well dressed. Not only did I look good in my coat and my pants, but in the more comfortable and warm I was. Since then, I select the right garment for the right activity that I practice ", she explains. 

Head full of dreams
When we ask Valérie Gauthier about her biggest dream, she does not hesitate for a second before answering that she wants to live her passions until she is at least 90 years old! Until then, she blows out her candles every year hoping to have a bigger fishing or hunting story to tell than the previous season. Beautiful intense and passionate, she does not stop at a single wish however. “I would like to develop clothes for women and have my edition like Jason Morneau. I throw that in the universe!”, she concludes, laughing. 

To follow her in her Sportchief adventures, Click here


Mario Huot, nomadic hunter

If most Quebec hunters have the habit, come fall, of isolating themselves for a few weeks while hunting, Mario Huot works at a completely different pace. Indeed, for 21 years, the owner of Aventure Express has traveled the globe to hunt around the world. His favorite place? Africa.

“I would describe myself as a nomadic hunter, an exotic hunter, summarizes Mario Huot. I guided moose for 19 years, and I wanted a change, that's when I left Aventure Express, an agency that organizes hunting packages for amateurs from all over the world. »

His passion prompted Mario Huot to become the owner of an outfitter in South Africa, where he hunts several times a year: “I hunt all over the world, but Africa is my hobby. There are 42 species there, so a lot of diversity compared to what we have here. I specialize in plain game, or everything there is in industrial quantities: kudoo, antelope, warthog, etc. »

Mario Huot says he dreamed of Africa for a long time: “My first hunt in Africa was a childhood dream. The first time I wanted to go there, my parents told me that I had to learn English, French, maths… my mother was right! I went to university in marketing accounting, and from the moment you know how to count and speak in English, you have no limits on earth, so my dream came true! At the time, it was extremely expensive. As soon as I picked up my money, I found myself in Africa and it was the sting. »

Hunting clothes, a priority that never goes out of style

Obviously, the climate and the territorial particularities of Africa mean new challenges for hunters. “There are not many possibilities of camouflage in Africa, recalls Mario Huot. In the savannah and the bush, what you see are small thickets 3 feet high. Camouflage is more difficult, we must develop new strategies. » The hunter is unequivocal: clothing must be the priority of hunters, regardless of where they practice their sport: “ Having the right garment, at the right time, to protect against odors is the key to success. Because when you are not comfortable in what you wear, you suffer, you are hot, you suffocate. And when you're gone, you can't come back and change your clothes! »

Thus, from Africa to Newfoundland via the mountains of British Columbia, Mario Huot is always perfectly equipped, in particular thanks to the coat Windshield from Sportchief who has earned his trust because of his versatility: "The hunting coat Windshield, it is a water-repellent windbreaker that is a great all-rounder! » He explains that he prefers the X-Unity Light color, perfect for the many places where he hunts. “If you go to Africa, to Newfoundland, to the rockies in British Columbia, the colors are perfect. If you want to be sure not to miss your shot, this is the ideal product. »

For hunting in North America, the hunter highly recommends the waterproof camouflage suit Predator : "It's the suit I have on my back almost full-time in North America. It does the job 100%! »

A tip to remember

To moose hunters who will soon experience their first weeks of annual hunting, Mario Huot reminds one thing: “ Moose have two very keen senses, hearing and smell. When we call we make him come to us, but he needs to guarantee that it is true, what he has just heard. This is where urine comes into play, because he needs his sense of smell to confirm to himself that everything is correct. »

Indeed, even though he has his outfitter in Africa, Mario Huot still spends a good part of the year hunting in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada: “My slightly exotic hunts are all done in January, February, March and April. Afterwards, I arrive in Quebec in time for the turkey hunt, then the bear hunt… in mid-June, I take a few vacations, and afterwards, we clan for moose and elk: Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. »

Need a hunting outfit?

All the clothes mentioned by Mario Huot are available on Sportchief's online store. Shop your set now and experience Sportchief quality, hunting enthusiasts since 1946!


Sportchief X Jason Tremblay Morneau: moose hunting in the spotlight

Well known in the hunting community in Quebec, Jason Tremblay Morneau puts his 23 years of experience as a hunter to good use and inaugurates a brand new collection in collaboration with Sportchief. Completely silent, the Jason Tremblay Morneau collection was designed with one thing in mind: moose hunting.

“The most important thing for me was a set of black color! » says Jason Tremblay Morneau. "There were none on the market, so it absolutely took this: a black suit that does not make noise, with lots of pockets to put all our [gear]", he adds.

For Jason Tremblay Morneau, clothing is the basis of any good hunt: “Before even setting foot in the woods, people have to be well dressed. Already there, they increase their chances [of harvesting]. That's why we developed sets with Sportchief. »

Black, an obvious choice

If the choice of a black outfit may seem counter-intuitive, Jason Tremblay Morneau explains that this decision in fact corresponds perfectly to the needs of moose hunting: “In all other hunts, you want to be camouflaged, but with moose, it's something else. His eyesight isn't good, so if you stand facing forward and don't move quickly, he'll think you're another moose, while if you stay hidden, he won't see you and won't come out. » Jason Tremblay Morneau mentions, however, that a black suit requires changing an old habit: “A lot of hunters have the reflex to kneel down to shoot, but if you kneel down with a black coat, in the eyes of the moose, you are a black ball that looks like a bear. »

The hunter points out that moose hunting enthusiasts now have to deal with the increased suspicion of animals, which adds to the need for quiet clothing, one of the main features of his collection: "A moose who calls himself, but who hears the rustling of clothing immediately afterwards, he will not come," says Jason Tremblay Morneau. Moose have figured out that a call, more often than not, is a human and not a female. » He explains that, if we want to outsmart the animal, it is now necessary to attract it using two of its senses: "It's a good idea to leave moose urine in the corner where you call, but more and more, we call as little as possible. We will rather favor other sounds such as snorts or noises in the water. Pretending to urinate also helps. All you need to do before you call are really important things that make it easier. »

Jason Tremblay Morneau remembers a day in September 2015 when he saw how essential the sense of smell is for moose: “I went to practice in the woods to try to learn some sounds. Every year I do this: I try to call the moose and see what sound works, etc. After a while, I saw a male, and I started [trying sounds] with him. It lasted 2 hours: he was approaching, leaving… then I came across THE sound, a kind of “U” that trembles. All of a sudden, he turned around and he came 2, 3 meters from me, then he did a flehmen [to smell the pheromones]. I understood that the sound I had just made was the female in heat. In all my life, I've never seen anyone succeed in sniffing a moose like that. For him to check if I am the female in heat, he was really convinced. »

“Bar gold. »
When asked if he is happy with the result of his collaboration with Sportchief, Jason Tremblay Morneau has no hesitation: "It's gold in the bar. I have nothing to complain about, this is the set that I will recommend to everyone. » However, he recalls that the suit was designed for walking in the forest: "It's a suit that's made for walking, not for sitting and waiting. Something I do, if the temperature drops to -4, -5, is I put two suits on top of each other and I'm good all day! » he laughs, admitting he already has three copies of his eponymous set.

Hunters, an important clientele in the eyes of Sportchief
Anxious to offer its products to as many fans as possible, Sportchief has ensured that its collaboration with Jason Tremblay Morneau is also available for women. Moose hunters will therefore be able to equip themselves in the same way as their male compatriots. A little more fitted, the women's version of the collection has the same characteristics as the men's version: black color, absence of membrane and multiple pockets. The initiative is in line with the values of Sportchief, which offers multiple hunting and fishing sets for women.

The collection Jason Tremblay Morneau is available now on the Sportchief website.


Fishing with Raymond Carignan

With 50 years of experience, Raymond Carignan has fished in the most remote places in the world. He is not afraid to say it: 12 months a year, rain or shine, Sportchief products go fishing with him.

“I have used my Sportchief all over the planet, even in Cape Horn, at the very south of South America, almost in the Arctic. “, describes Raymond Carignan. From Alaska to Cape Horn, which is a very dangerous place, with extreme conditions, to the Yukon, to the Northwest Territories, to Chile, even to Patagonia, where the weather has never been good! We had rain, slush, hail…I've been everywhere with Sportchief and I've always been very happy with my equipment! »

He particularly remembers a fishing trip to Chile, where members of the government as well as journalists had accompanied the group of fishermen of which he was a part. “They came from San Diego and they are not used to these conditions! They had never seen snow in their lives. I repaired them with Sportchief equipment, because they were really cold. Lucky we were there with tuques, because I think they would have frozen to death! » he says, laughing.

More recently, during a boat shoot, Raymond Carignan was able to test the extent of the capabilities of the fishing set Poseidon G3. “I was with a cameraman, on a boat, on Lake Saint-François, to fish for bass. There was a weather alert and we had to get out of the water because it was dangerous, but we didn't have time. It happened like a wall of water! We all had our Poseidon costume, the guest, the cameraman and me, and lucky that I had it! It was windy, rainy… I had never seen that, water falling like that. The cameraman, we hid him in the boat with the roof, and I stayed outside so that he could take the video footage! I was very happy to have my Poseidon! I stayed dry, I felt good and I finished my day! »

Even if the anecdotes he tells refer to bad weather, Raymond Carignan reminds us that fishing clothes must always be a priority, even in less extreme conditions: “A fishing trip can last between 3 and 7 days. The priority is to have good clothes that protect against biting insects, sun, heat and cold. Must also to be well shod, because you can do 12 to 14 hours a day on your feet. »

Sportchief: a prestigious name

It was after meeting the owner of Sportchief at a sports show more than 20 years ago that Raymond Carignan began his association with the brand. Over the years, he has witnessed the pride that drives the Sportchief team: “It’s a prestigious name, since 1946! I see the pride of those who work in the company. It's a name synonymous with efficiency and, of course, performance. » Raymond Carignan recalls that Sportchief is one of the few Quebec companies to offer hunting and fishing clothing and equipment: "It's a homegrown company, and there aren't many in Canada [like Sportchief]. I find that very motivating, because most of the sponsors are American companies. »

Patience and thoroughness

Not only is Raymond Carignan not stingy with anecdotes, he willingly shares his advice. Fishing enthusiasts can therefore benefit from its 50 years spent catching different kinds of fish.

"First, when you find a fishing area that seems productive, you have to be patient and try different techniques before leaving the area," he recommends. You don't just have to cast a few lines and change right away... The big fish are more and more educated, they don't bite the first time. » The fisherman also advises washing with an odorless soap before going fishing, as fish have a very sensitive sense of smell. This advice also applies to lures: “You can add smells and tastes to lures. Fish like it with taste, any little garnish, it's the same as with humans! It also masks odors of gasoline or oil, etc. »

Raymond Carignan reminds us that a single place can be good for several kinds of fish. “If you fish for trout, salmon and landlocked salmon, the place can also be good for walleye,” he suggests. Don’t forget to take the water temperature into account! On the surface or at depth, you have to find the most pleasant temperature for the fish. The more comfortable the fish, the better your chances. »

Regardless of the advice and the technique, one thing is certain: Raymond Carignan will continue to fish, and this, with its faithful Sportchief products!


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