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Outfitters trained in Pond Inlet

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Pond Inlet (Mar 07/05) - Once you have the equipment and a little knowledge of the land, running an outfitting operation may seem easy.

But aside from that knowledge, outfitters have to know how to deliver high quality service, keep their insurance up to date, do their own taxes and advertise to bring in business. Eleven students from Pond Inlet, Clyde River and Resolute Bay recently learned about these things and more during an outfitters course hosted in Pond Inlet Jan. 10 to Feb. 4.

"It gave me an idea of the things I need to know," said Josh Idlout, a course participant from Pond Inlet.

After completing the course, the 41-year-old Idlout is thinking about starting his own business to provide support services for the three or four outfitters already open in Pond Inlet.

Wes Werbowy - an Ontarian who has 25 years of experience in the industry - taught the course in a way Idlout appreciated.

"(Wes) taught us from his own experience. In previous courses, I've had instructors that just go by the book," Idlout said.

Almost all the participants passed a knowledge test delivered at the end of the course.

"But the real test will come in the future with their outfitting businesses to see if it survives or not," said Colin Saunders, the event organizer and Pond Inlet's economic development officer.

"It was a pretty intense four-week course," said Saunders. "Being as far North as we are, there are smaller operations that haven't had a lot of experience with the realities of outfitting."

"We're competing with the rest of the world," he said.

And even experienced outfitters took something from the experience. A pair of people who currently run their own outfitting operation in Resolute Bay learned how to save money on their taxes by recording the depreciation of their equipment, Saunders said.