Todd Onsorge, Chair
Todd comes from a long family tradition of hunting and angling. Receiving his first .22 rifle at the age of 5, he learned to hunt and fish from his father, who learned from his father and his father before him. Harvesting from the land, growing one’s own food, and traipsing through the mountains have always been central tenets in Todd’s life.
In 2009, Todd found the Yukon and he knew this was home. As a Critical Care Flight Paramedic, Todd spends his working life flying over the mountains of Yukon, admiring the beauty and vast unpopulated landscape every Yukoner holds dear. If you can’t find Todd at work, you need look no further than the Yukon’s high backcountry alpine, vast rivers, or frozen marshes. Here you will find him chasing sheep, goat, caribou, moose, and wood bison with Heather, his wife and hunting partner of 18 years, and their four rescued Yukon Mutts. Todd’s appreciation for the untouched vastness that is the Yukon runs deep, and has become part of him in a way that he cannot fully express.
Over the years Todd has witnessed many changes in hunting and angling culture, the environment, and conservation practices. Some for the better and others for the worse. He strives to find a balance between modern social ideals and the traditional hunting and angling values he was taught as a boy. He believes if we can find this elusive balance, we can maintain our age-old hunting and angling culture for generations to come.
Lucas Knowles, Vice Chair
Lucas moved to Yukon in 2014 from Saskatchewan. He loves the wilderness, people, opportunities, and solitude he has found here. Lucas has enjoyed deer and grouse hunting with his family for much of his life, and started fishing when he moved to the Yukon. Lucas now enjoys hunting grouse and rabbits with his wife, and normally targets pike, trout, and grayling when fishing. He looks forward to teaching his young daughter how to live in and enjoy the backcountry.
Outside of YBHA, Lucas is a highway engineer with the territorial government, and volunteers with Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous and the Royal Canadian Legion. A lifetime of camping with his family and six years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an infantry reservist have taught Lucas how to thrive and survive in the great outdoors.
Richard Cherepak, Treasurer
A Yukoner for almost 15 years, Richard realizes the importance of public lands and waters. Early years of hunting whitetails and ruffies in Manitoba’s Wildlife Management Areas, and most recently sheep and grayling in the mountains of Yukon – all occurred and were dependent on public lands and waters
Richard might suggest that if hunting, fishing and outdoor recreating are important aspects of your life, and you love the Yukon wilderness: YOU SHOULD BE A MEMBER OF BHA. Ensuring future access to public lands and waters - by all varieties of users - requires knowledge, respecting differences, capitalizing on shared interests and taking action.
When not working as a project manager, Richard is typically dreaming of some type of adventure with his family and friends... or with luck – in the middle of one.
Alison Daffe, Secretary
Alison was born and raised in Whitehorse, YT and has 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. Alison has always had an adventurous streak that has allowed her to explore all over the Yukon and the world. Alison spent many years as a white water river guide and a hiking guide which allowed her to explore the place she calls home. She likes to go out hiking, hunting and paddling with her husband and son and appreciate the beautiful area that they are from, and are lucky to call home. Alison is a firm believer that the land and animals should be treated with respect by everyone so that many more families can appreciate the food and land of the Yukon.
Jason has been living in Yukon for about 18 years now. Born and raised on a farm in central Alberta, Jason developed an early appreciation for the land and animals. Some of his earliest memories are big game and bird hunting with his dad, and fishing on the river that ran through the family farm. Jason loved the western lifestyle. He combined his love of horses, hunting and being in the wilderness by becoming a Yukon hunting guide. For the next 10 years, he spent every hunting season as a big game guide. He spent the off-season in the Alberta oil fields, wishing he were back in the Yukon. As a guide, he worked throughout southern and central Yukon for 3 different outfitters, where he learned profound patience in managing strings of pack horses, and developed enviable endurance in pursuit of sheep over endless mountain ranges. During his years in the Yukon wilderness, he developed a deep understanding of the fragile habitat that sustains Yukon’s unique wildlife populations.
Jason lives in the Carcross valley with a mountain view that still takes his breath away. A contractor, he travels throughout Yukon building and renovating houses. During summers, he fishes the southern lakes with his beautiful wife and loyal dog. Fall and winter see him trying to call in moose, sneak up on bison... and wonder if he still has the endurance to hike after sheep.
Jason’s growing concerns about wildlife and habitat preservation, and his awareness of the need for proactive engagement drew him to Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Jason is committed to advocating for conservation and collaborating with diverse stakeholders to strengthen awareness and ensure sustainable hunting, fishing, and land use.
Growing up in Ontario, Taylor was mysteriously drawn to fishing and target shooting at a young age, despite not having anyone in his family or circle of friends interested in such pursuits. His father said he would spend hours tossing a line into the water, with occasional luck. The mystery was solved 35 years later when he learned his great, great grandfather – a settler in the Chilliwack Valley – spent his days fishing the Vedder River for steelhead and Chinook. This is the very river Taylor called home many years later when he replaced a mountaineering obsession with a fishing obsession. Shortly thereafter he met a group of people preoccupied with sourcing their own wild meat and his interests evolved to include hunting. Taylor enjoys both hunting and fishing because to be good at them you have to study the habits of animals and their ecology. As well, it is a great way to develop friendships with people of all backgrounds and ages who love adventure. For these reasons, and because of the word “backcountry” in the title,
Taylor sought out and joined the BHA. Taylor is a consulting land use planner and economist working in the areas of economic development and resource management in a northern, rural and/or Indigenous context. He’s lived in Yukon for 1 year, in BC for 27 years before that, and Ontario for 19 years before that. Taylor is happily married and the proud father of a son that, at the age of 2, is already identifying game in papa’s hunting magazines.
Steve has been messing around with a fly rod for over 30 years. Growing up in North Vancouver, Steve could often be seen standing at the bus stop, with rod in hand, heading off to go steelheading or source out that secret beach to chase sea-run cutthroat trout. Since arriving in the Yukon 17 years ago, he has fallen for the pike, grayling and lake trout fishing opportunities throughout the Territory. An owner of a fly angling guide company and North America's first "tiny house" fly and tackle shop, Steve loves to teach others about the land and the natural resources that swim within it. A committed conservationist, Steve seeks to balance the economic realities of sport fishing with traditional practices of all stakeholders. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a natural forum to provide advocacy to conserve our natural piscatorial resources.