Raised in the outfitting business, at five years of age Nathan Olmstead began learning the skills that qualified him for a guide’s license by the early age of 17. Now in his 14th year of guiding, Olmstead explained, “I wrangled horses, learned to cape, built fires, listened and learned from the staff, my parents and clients. Being in the mountains isn’t just a job; it’s a passion my parents instilled in me. We will forever be stewards of wildlife.”
Olmstead operates the Yukon area, one of four Prophet Muskwa locations, where he guides Dall sheep, grizzly bear, black bear, Alaska moose and caribou. “Hunting in North America is different from hunting Africa, and that has to be conveyed to clients,” he commented.
When guiding clients, Olmstead’s favorite rifle is a Blaser R8 chambered in .300 Weatherby, or .375 for moose and grizzly bear. While hunting sheep and mountain goats, he carries a Blaser K95 chambered in .257 or .300 Weatherby.
An SCI member, Olmstead said his memorable experiences afield are watching clients, both young and old, complete a successful hunt. “I have taken hunters from age 12 to 83, and each hunt was a hunt of a lifetime for them. Being part of that success is what keeps me involved in guiding.” He has also guided for Expedition Safari TV show.
A recent Dall sheep hunt with Dean Capuano of Swarovski Optik, provided a special challenge since it was Capuano’s third attempt at the elusive Dall, and the first with Olmstead. The 10-day hunt began at a floatplane base. After arriving at camp, the hunt was conducted on horseback. On the first hunting day, they made two major climbs, but found no exceptional rams.
On the way back to the horses, Olmstead spotted four rams in a basin about a mile away. They had about an hour and a half of daylight left. The options were going after the rams or waiting until the next day. Though tired from a grueling day, Capuano decided to try for a ram. They made a 1,500-yard stalk through a wide-open tundra basin and got into position. Capuano made an incredible 435-yard steep uphill shot and took a ram. Capuano was pleased with his trophy and Olmstead was happy his client scored.
Prophet Muskwa is involved in local programs–conservation, education, anti-poaching and the Hunt of a Lifetime program. Currently, they are working on a new program involving youth and hunting. They have exhibited at SCI Conventions since 1994.