President & CEO
Kevin comes from a diverse corporate, recreational, and wildlife conservation background. With a BPE in Administration from the University of Alberta, he has 26 years of experience as a consultant working with industry, all levels of government, and the non-profit sector.
Since 1998 Kevin has earned a strong reputation as a Project Manager & Communications Specialist. For 17 years he has provided consulting services to the University of Alberta, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD), Alberta Education, and many private businesses and non-profit agencies. Projects have focussed on initiating and administering wildlife management programs, developing and facilitating safety guidelines for Alberta’s school system, assessments, environmental scanning, and extensive report-writing.
Aside from his consulting services, he also owns and operates a successful professional outfitting & guiding business (Venture North Outfitting), hosting big game and bird game hunters from around the world since 2001. An integral part of that business involves interaction with a variety of wildlife, travel into remote backcountry destinations, and regular close-range encounters with a variety of predators e.g., black bears, grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, and more. Through his 14 years as a professional outfitter & guide, Kevin has gained an intimate understanding of wildlife ecology, animal behaviour, how to avoid and respond in wildlife conflict situations, and most importantly how to safely and effectively implement non-lethal defense strategies and tools (such as pepper spray) to defend against predatory wildlife.
Further, Kevin has been a member of the outdoor media since 1992. As a multiple award-winning outdoor writer/photographer and active member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada, he has brought his diverse outdoor skills and knowledge to readers in hundreds of magazine, online, and newspaper articles and columns. He, along with his wife Heather, have been guest hosts on several outdoor television shows, co-hosts of a popular hunting television show and currently serve as co-hosts of Canadian Outdoorsman TV. Through their broadcasts, they continue to share their expertise and interest in hunting, tracking, trapping, and encountering wildlife with viewers.
Maintaining a passionate interest in predators, Kevin enthusiastically brings awareness & education to his clients through Wild Encounters Ltd.
Problem Wildlife Specialist & Course Instructor
Adam Christie worked for 20 years as a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer in British Columbia. Throughout his career, he responded to thousands of human-wildlife conflict situations across the province.
As a problem-wildlife specialist, he has developed skills in recognizing & categorizing wildlife behaviour, assessing the resulting risks to people, and how best to mitigate those risks; whether by advising the persons involved or actively intervening himself. This experience has given Adam a deep understanding of tools & strategies used to professionally manage wildlife interactions with people in whatever environment they occur.
In addition, Adam served as a Firearm Instructor in the British Columbia CO Service for 14 years, providing training to in-service officers & recruits. He eventually advanced into the position of Chief Firearm Instructor. In this role he was involved in developing & delivering the curriculum of firearms instruction provided to the Wildlife Officer recruits of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as part of their joint training initiative.
Since retiring from the CO Service in 2014 he has continued to put his skills & experience to use working on a Mountain Caribou recovery project and providing wildlife monitoring services in Alberta’s Oil Sands operations.
Consultant & Course Instructor
With over 40 years of hands-on industrial and outdoor recreation experience, Wally has an in-depth understanding of bears and biodiversity. Born and raised in Lac La Biche, Alberta, he attended Alberta Vocational College, Northern Alberta Technical Institute (NAIT), and Portage College. His diverse background brings a wealth of expertise to the Wild Encounters team, both as an active oil & gas industry worker and as an accomplished environmental consultant with a specialization in predrilling services.
Certified through ACSA as a Health and Safety Administrator, Wally is currently working on completing his NCSO status. As such, his personal commitment to safety draws not only from formal training, but also decades of hands-on time in the field. As a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-A) he has been a preceptor for local colleges, a certified CPR and First Aid instructor, and a primary Medivac attendant in northeast Alberta.
Wally’s academic background, skill, enthusiasm, and passion for wildlife make him an ideal consultant and course instructor.
Consultant & Course Instructor
Craig Lafleur has a diverse background in public service and industrial safety training. Growing up in Vanderhoof, British Columbia, his father played a significant role in introducing him to hunting and other outdoor pursuits. His professional accreditations combined with his intense interest in predatory wildlife species, make Craig an exceptional asset to Wild Encounters.
An active firefighter for over 13 years, Craig currently holds rank as his fire department Captain and training instructor both internally and for outside agencies. He also steps into live burn scenarios to act as an interior fire Safety Officer, overseeing the proper training and safety of the teams.
Craig’s analytical approach to work and his recreational pastimes have allowed him to gain a wealth of wildlife knowledge, and a specialization in predator management.
Firearms Course Instructor
Born and raised in rural Alberta, Dean’s family history is deeply rooted in the outdoor lifestyle. Hunting and shooting sports have been an integral part of his life for as long as he can remember. Securing his first Firearms Acquisition Certificate (F.A.C.) and rifle at the age of 12, firearms have since become a focal point for his career.
Dean’s earliest professional services involved teaching safe firearms use & marksmanship at a busy commercial gun range in 2003. During that time he also worked as a Range Safety Officer (R.S.O.) and trained new staff in that capacity as well. In 2005 Dean became a licensed gunsmith and launched his company Tactical Advantage Ltd. Then, in 2006, he became an accredited Canadian Firearms Instructor/Examiner. He has been actively teaching classes, training students, and facilitating certification challenges since then. Over the past 10 years, Dean has gained a strong reputation for both his proprietary R.S.O. course and his professional knowledge, skill, and delivery of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.
In 2014, Dean also began consulting to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) for future gunsmithing and related courses slated to begin in 2016.