Bill Hanlon, Chair
Bill is blessed to be a wilderness hunter and to live in super natural British Columbia.
Bill grew up in Trail, BC and although he had never hunted or even knew anyone who owned a horse, he had a passion for all things wild. His dad got him interested in fly fishing at an early age and established a high degree of ethics in how they conducted themselves outdoors and how important it was to adhere to the regulations of the day. Bill graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1984 with a BA in Industrial Technology and went on to finish his B Ed. at the University of British Columbia in 1986. He taught Industrial Education at Elkford Secondary School for almost 20 years before changing careers in 2006 to begin a small business called Wilderness Spirit Woodworks. He has been creating and building custom Rocky Mountain lifestyle furniture ever since.
Bill married Miss Rodeo Canada in 1990 and thus began his love affair…and immersion into horses, too. With his lovely wife Sue he raised three wonderful children on a small horse acreage in the Elk Valley where they could ride a horse right in their backyard. All the kids could ride before they could walk and were introduced to the wilderness on extended backcountry horsepack trips. Hunting with his children brings Bill his greatest pleasure.
Bill has been fighting for habitat, wilderness and access management for the last 25 years with various conservation organizations. In 2000 he co-founded the Hornaday Wilderness Society, a small but effective wilderness advocacy group situated in the Elk Valley. To this day he is the table representative for the wilderness and wildland sector on the Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan Advisory Committee. He owns six sturdy mountain horses and two blue heeler/border collies named Smokey and the Bandit. He spends every possible minute riding or hunting in the wildest places remaining in BC. He is honored to be the first chair of the British Columbia chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Allen McEwan, Co-Chair
Allen McEwan was raised in the small town of Pemberton in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. Family trips into the mountains were a huge part of Allen's youth. After high school he went on to study Fish and Wildlife at the BC Institute of Technology. Allen also worked in the forest industry before eventually returning to the family farm in the Pemberton Valley.
Now semi-retired, Allen and his wife Tonette spend their spare time traveling to wilderness areas in the Pacific Northwest, seeking that perfect combination of scenery, wildlife, peace and quiet. An avid hunter and angler, Allen has also volunteered with the Pemberton Wildlife Association for many years and assisted with various conservation and land use planning projects.
Sam Medcalf, Treasurer
Sam was raised in the Elk Valley of southeastern British Columbia. From an early age he developed a passion for hunting and wilderness. Sam has been an active member in local hunting and conservation groups for over a decade and is passionate about wildlife, access, management, and wilderness. Sam also works as a big game guide a local outfitter, and when the opportunity arises he is saddling up one of his own horses to head for the backcountry.
Witnessing and frustrated by the continual loss of wilderness to mining and logging, as well as abuse to the landscape from motorized recreation, is what attracted Sam to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. He believes the province of British Columbia needs an organization of like-minded individuals that cared about wilderness, habitat, and a quality hunting experience.
Sam is pleased to being part of an organization that fights to ensure that wild places and wild experiences are not just a thing of the past.
Corey Phelps, Co-Chair
Corey is originally from the Kootenays but spent several years in northern Alberta where he worked as a trapper. He was mentored by an old Cree man who taught him to trap, hunt and appreciate a true wilderness experience.
Corey returned to the Kootenays 18 years ago and continues to be an avid outdoorsman, backpacking and hunting with horses throughout the region. He is an advocate for preserving and creating wild habitat to ensure his children can enjoy unspoiled wilderness hunting. Spurred by the loss of non-motorized hunting opportunities in the Kootenay region, Corey formed and currently chairs the non-motorized hunting committee with the Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club. The mandate of this committee is to maintain unspoiled non-motorized hunting opportunities for hikers, backpackers, horsemen and cyclists of all ages.
Aden Stewart, Secretary
Aden grew up in the Kootenays where his father, grandfather and numerous uncles assisted in cultivating a love of the outdoors bordering on an obsession. Aden left the Kootenays for work, spending 13 years in Alberta. Living in a large city surrounded by tracts of private land taught him how rare and precious public land, which many take for granted, really is.
Aden returned to the Kootenays with his family in 2009 and now works as a Senior Reclamation Technologist in Cranbrook, BC, spending much of his time focused on soil conservation and the reclamation of fish and wildlife habitat in Western Canada. When not working in the field Aden enjoys playing in it: fishing, hunting, hiking and training his bird dogs. Aden especially enjoys introducing his children and other young people to the outdoors and has spent a number of years teaching hunting and fishing education programs and the International Bowhunting Education Program.
Nakita Dalke, Board of Directors
Nikita was born and raised in Kimberley BC and enjoyed the outdoors from a young age. Growing up in a family of hunters and anglers, she was raised on wild meat and fish that the family caught and shared amongst each other. Growing up she enjoyed fishing with her dad in a boat and on the ice, along with her grandparents. Having a family ice fishing trip for a full day was normal. At a young age she enjoyed helping her grandparents process their animals and tagging along on hunting trips. She didn’t start to hunt though until she met Kyle. Now, married with 2 young kids, they enjoy their time hunting, hiking and fishing together and as a family. Nikita is a successful bowhunter and rifle hunter, and enjoys competing in local 3D archery events. In 2014, she was able to compete in the Extreme Huntress contest as the first Canadian and placed second. Nikita believes conservation is an important part of hunting and enjoys teaching her kids about it. Her favorite place to be is up in the high country and backpacking through the backcountry. She joined Backcountry Hunters & Anglers because of her love of the backcountry.
Kyle Dalke, Board of Directors
Kyle Dalke was born in a small town in the mountain of the East Kootenays in British Columbia. His father always had him out fishing and hunting when he was growing up vs sitting in front of the tv wasting life away. Now being an avid outdoorsman with primary interests being in big game hunting, wildlife management and habitat maintenance- he is always in the backcountry doing his part. Along with working with the back country hunters and anglers, kyle volunteers’ countless hours to do animal counts and assist with information for the government to use for hunting seasons to ensure that populations stay strong and healthy. And now it is his turn to pass on the way of life to not only his kids and family, but to other families with education of what we had, have and will have in the future if we do not fight for it now and keep the back country the way it is along with proper wildlife management.