About Us

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Paul Conchâtre Manitoba Hunter and OutfitterBirdtail Waterfowl hunting guides and staff are a unique group of people that all work towards a mutual goal. That goal is to deliver unforgettable guided waterfowl hunting experiences. Our passion for waterfowl, creating memories, and building long-term relationships is evident in everything we do. Our team accounts for decade’s worth of knowledge and experience in the hunting, fishing, and service industry, along with core individuals who have dedicated nothing short of their adult lives to living, breathing, conserving, and promoting Manitoba’s great outdoors. We come from various walks of life and different parts of Canada, but we all share an inseparable motivation to return to waterfowl paradise for seven exhilarating weeks. This is us!

Our People

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Mike Conchâtre

MAIN OCCUPATION: Retired National IT Director for Ducks Unlimited Canada

FAMILY: Pat and I have been married for fifty years with two great children and five wonderful grand children. And of course, our four legged family members, Teal (Labrador Retriever) and Skye (Rough Collie).

OUTDOOR RECS: Hunting, Guiding, Photography, Canoeing, Retriever Training, Sheep Herding, Dog Showing, Cycling and Fishing (much rather hunt though!!).

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

Too difficult to choose a moment!

The pleasure of hunting and socializing with so many Birdtail guests.

The camaraderie of heading into a field, building our spread, the anticipation of what is to come, the excitement of the hunt, high five’s and photos, pack it all up and the drive back to the Lodge.

The Buzz of the Birdtail Lodge, great food, guests and staff mingling, sharing their hunts of the day (and days gone by) and anticipating tomorrow.

The lasting friendships! Too memorable for words, has to be experienced.

This is not a moment but a whole collection of moments for Birdtail guests – starting (not easy) and being a part of growing Birdtail Crane Hunting.

Favourite of all favourite moments, fifteen years of moments getting to work with our Son!

Random guest quote 

“Hunt of a Lifetime” “Hunt of a Lifetime” ………..

Waterfowl hunting tip

Scouting is critical. Find your birds and get permission to hunt. Wind is a defining factor, what is it, as you observe, what is it, forecast to be, when you hunt? Now sit and observe the behaviour of your birds. On land or on water, whether you are going to replicate their feeding, resting or over flying an area – find the “X” where they will be and that is where you will be. Be prepared to “hide in plain site“. Your job is to replicate what you are observing. You may see hundreds of birds in a field. You do not need to replicate that with hundreds of decoys (it helps though). Remember, those hundreds/thousands of birds that you find scouting started with a small number and built.

One other important detail to factor in is potential competition from other hunting parties. In your successful scout and observation the birds are working a pattern (remember the Wind). If that pattern gets disturbed by another hunting party, your plans may not work out. So, before you choose this Scout as the one you will hunt, what are the odds of it being ruined by another Hunting Party.

Hunt the “X” – hide in “Plain Site” – enjoy the day! Great hunting – great friends – great memories!

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Sean Pollock

Hi there!  My name is Sean Pollock and I’ve been part of the Birdtail Waterfowl Team since 2002.  When I’m not out chasing birds I’m a law enforcement officer and educator.

Our family has deep roots in western Manitoba and each year when I return to the vast prairies and endless gravel roads it’s a true homecoming.  My son and daughter are becoming hardcore hunters and fishers in their own right and every chance we get we venture into Manitoba’s endless outdoors.

On a personal note I am constantly in the outdoors whether it be hunting, fishing, hiking, or general exploring.  I never view any time of the year as being an “off” season rather my focus alters based on what animal we’re out chasing or whether our fishing is open or hard water.   For 3 decades I have hunted waterfowl all over our province as well as having had countless memories made in the deer blind and bear stand.  I am an avid fisherman and am constantly looking for one last cast before leaving the lake! The experiences that I have shared with my family and my Birdtail brothers have been too numerous to mention.  I have been privileged enough to take a number of trophy quality bears and deer but no mount or photo can ever replace the memories that have etched themselves inside me.

My favourite moment of being part of the Birdtail Waterfowl team came from an unique hunt. I have always prided myself on the ability to connect with my guests however with one guest in particular I felt I was falling short.  On the drive to the lodge after the airport pickup he scoffed at what I told him to expect, he challenged the idea of hunting ducks in a dry field and seemed resigned to the fact that the stories he had heard about Birdtail from friends were full of exaggerations and embellishments. The next morning while he was in the goose field I found a secluded field with a near impossible number of ducks using it.  Recalling the conversations from the truck the night before I decided to downplay my find with the idea that this hunt truly would blow his mind.  After a successful morning hunt he asked which pond we were planning to hunt that afternoon for our duck hunt.  After advising that we would be hunting a barley field he turned on his heel and walked away muttering under his breath.  As the afternoon preparations wore on I became more excited as I knew what was in store for my group of hunters!  As they loaded into my truck I noticed that amongst my group there was one pair of gleaming white tennis shoes!  He noted my inquiring look and made the statement “you promised I could duck hunt in tennis shoes so here I am” openly scoffing at my plan.

The drive to the field was filled with comraderie and good natured ribbing amongst my hunters (truly one of my favourite times).  We pulled into the field, I did my daily pep talk and field plan and off we went setting the spread.  Under the brilliance of a fall prairie sky I kept reminding my hunters to soak up each moment as these times are all too fleeting in our lives.  I set the spread so that I would be just behind the group and would have a front row seat to the show.  Once we settled into the blinds, the afternoon sun and gentle winds were our only accompaniment….nothing was flying!  However, I knew they would come.  And come they did!  First in pairs, then in small groups and then in waves too big to even try to count.  Our limit was done in minutes and after the last shot rang out we sat and listened to the symphony of whistling wings surrounding us.  Mallards were quite literally landing on the blinds and buzzing around like flies.  As we began to pick up the decoy spread I noticed my guest off to the side by himself watching the sunset.  I walked over to make sure he was doing ok and he looked at me with red eyes and welled up as he said he had never believed a hunt like this existed.  He explained that he had always dreamed of a day like this and wished he could have shared it with his late father (a sentiment I closely associate with).  I took that moment of pause with him and with a smile reminded him that not only had he seen the duck hunt of a lifetime but that he had done so while wearing bright white tennis shoes!

My favourite guest quote “Sean I always pictured angels being a whole lot prettier than you but I guess not as I swear I’m in heaven”

My waterfowling tip – Realism.  Realism is the key to any decoy spread or calling pattern.  When scouting your hunt, be sure to look at the details of where the natural pockets are, what does the terrain dictate, how are the birds feeding and most of all listen.  Get a feel for that field on pothole and replicate it!  We may have to alter minor things for blind placement or landing zones but I always strive to slip in, make the spread replicate what I scouted and give the birds the opportunity  to work in without over calling.  Lastly be adaptable.  Winds switch, the sun casts different shadows at different times and as a hunter you have to read the evolving situation and move quickly to adapt as that next flight of mallards may be the memory you’re looking for!

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Ryan Suffron

MAIN OCCUPATION:  Marketing Consultant

FAMILY: Married with two kids.

OUTDOOR RECS: Hunting, Fishing, Fly Fishing, Camping, Everything outdoors with the family.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

There are literally hundreds of favourite moments during my years at BTW. If I had to pick only one…it might just be the infamous “slough shark” incident with Dr. Crane (Paul’s Dad). Mike Conchatre: AKA Dr. Crane, Little Daddy, and now, Slough Shark.

Mike and I were working together on a morning goose hunt during the wettest season in history. The fields were too soft to drive in a decoy trailer, so we proceeded to move our equipment and customers on a 4 wheeler and truck. We followed a passable road through a slough and onto the field. So far, so good. We got set up without an issue. Customers are happy, we are happy, birds will be moving in 15 minutes. Time is of the essence.

Mike and I had to move the truck and 4 wheeler out of the field, and get back to start our hunt. In the dark, I proceeded ahead of Mike on the 4 wheeler down the narrow road. Mike was seconds behind me, headlights a blaring, as I passed the section where there was a slough on both sides. Without warning, I witness Mike driving the truck straight into the slough, as if the road wasn’t good enough. In complete disbelief to what just happened, I threw my arms up in question. Obviously in a state of complete delusion, Mike begins to give me a tongue lashing for driving too far ahead of him, like the 4 wheeler lights were his guide. Lol!! So it’s my fault and I take it like a champ. We proceed to pull out a water/muskeg logged Chevy Silverado. I have my doubts, but willing to give it an honest effort. Besides, the birds are going to start flying any minute!! I grab another truck, hook up the tow rope, and tell Mike to “giver” on the count of three. To make a long story short, friendship and teamwork prevailed. We miraculously pulled the truck out of the bottomless quagmire, while celebrating with laughs, leaps, hugs, and sincere apologies from the newly crowned “Slough Shark”. No harm, no foul. We made it to the field on time and a great hunt was had by all!!

Random guest quote

“What’s a Ray Charles celebrity hunt?”

Waterfowl hunting tip

Concealment is the key! If the birds see you, especially in late season, success can often be futile. I’ll take the best cover over the “x” any day of the week. The “x” doesn’t always offer appropriate cover, so you are often forced to make a judgement call. This is where scouting becomes paramount. I always like to qualify a secondary option during scouting, should the observed “x” not offer an appropriate level of cover. Things do not always appear as they should during a scout, and even more so during the pitch dark of a morning set-up. Illusions often end up as a bad surprise. Better to take a slight risk than get burnt. Forcing the hunt can be a very successful option, and one that I will utilize more times than not. The best cover, flexible shooting positions to flight paths and wind, timely calling, flagging and patience will always offer a successful situation.

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Jason Hamilton

MAIN OCCUPATION: Manager/partner Scott Lake Lodge

FAMILY: Girl, lab and farm in NE SK

OUTDOOR RECS: Chasing big walleye and pike. When not guiding waterfowl. I’m wishing fall was 6 months long to chase all the big game species, upland and migratory birds.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

I was out with 2 Canadian Army Veterans, pressure was high for me this was their first waterfowl hunt and we wanted them to succeed in the worst way. We hunted the first day on a loaded field with during a storm and couldn’t get the birds to work. The evening hunt was similarly tough due to crazy weather. One more chance for a morning hunt before they had to head home. We set up on a knoll in a broken bale. Blinds were buried. Wind was blowing 40 mph and the ducks and geese poured in…too close! The boys crushed ‘em and left smiling.

Random guest quote

(be nice Dyck) – As I’m on my knees holding my ears “Oh was that close to you?”

Waterfowl hunting tip

Don’t over oil your guns, oil attracts dirt, stubble and slows the action down in the cold. Lubricate with light oil and wipe most of it off. Just make sure to clean the shotgun up well after the hunt. Also buy yourself a camo Buff or face mask and use it, nothing turns finishing birds away quicker than a shining face. This lets you get a better view of the working birds and helps make your first shot more accurate.

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Darcy Rands

MAIN OCCUPATION: Assistant Plant Manager, Richardson Milling

FAMILY: Married my high school sweetheart Rochelle, 2 amazing boys Logan and Layne

OUTDOOR RECS: My outdoor hobbies include hunting, fishing, shooting, hockey, family time at the cabin, riding quads and sled

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

My fondest memory of working at Birdtail was my very first season working with the team. Lots of new faces and most importantly a new chapter in the book for myself as I had never guided a hunt for anything before let alone waterfowl….which at the time was a new found passion. Paul was confident in my abilities and signed me up for the task, I immediately fell in love with all aspects of this crazy game. During that season Mike and I spent many long scouting hours riding together which is an amazing memory on its own however it was the nickname that Mike gave me that first season that has stuck with me….Sweet Talker!! No not for my calling prowess but for my uncanny ability to talk my way on to any land owners field regardless of the situation…each time I told Mike it was beginners luck! It got so Mike could tell just by my strut back to the truck after talking to the land owner that yup got the field and good to go….will never forget those days! Lots of laughs and a great start to my guiding career!

Random guest quote

Wheels up when…??? Shit…

Waterfowl hunting tip

One important thing to help your success rate, is to really spend the time required to find that X in the field where the birds are feeding, somedays it doesn’t matter where you set up the decoys however other days if not on the X you get a front row seat of an amazing flight path….not cool! While scouting pay special attention to how the birds are positioned in the field, are they spread out, are they feeding in tight groups, are they feeding in rows….you want to imitate what the birds are doing in their natural environment to be most successful. Don’t be scared to change up your spread mid hunt either, if things are not working sometimes the smallest of change can have an impact on how the birds respond or react to your spread….if it all works out “Take Em Boys”!!

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Jordan Baker

MAIN OCCUPATION: Full time Hunting and Fishing guide.

FAMILY: I grew up in Kenora Ontario with 3 siblings.

OUTDOOR RECS: For the most part we all could be found chasing birds in the fall and catching fish the other 3 seasons.  Recently I moved out west to B.C to pursue my passion of back country snowmobiling and can be found out there right up till the ice thaws.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

My favorite Birdtail memory is a late October hunt that I co-guided with Mike A.K.A “Dr. Crane” where we got a 9 man multi species limit in 45minutes with tornadoes of mallards raining down on us as we were taking down the spread. We returned to the lodge before the sun even started to set.

Random guest quote

“I couldn’t hit them they were too close” 

Waterfowl hunting tip

My overall favorite way to hunt is the backboard and ghillie blanket set up in a slight depression in a field. Setting up the majority of the spread around and at our backs placing a few family groups out in front at about 20yrds to draw the birds in close.

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Tyson Griffith

MAIN OCCUPATION: Graphic designer and sign maker

FAMILY: Married with two beautiful daughters.

OUTDOOR RECS: Hunt, Fish, Shoot Trap, Snowboard, Ride Atv’s and Snowmobile.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

One Morning hunt I was trying to find the X on a field that was loaded the night before but because of the rolling terrain when I just couldn’t get a pin on it. Little did I know it was extremely wet in that corner of the field and I buried the truck and trailer so deep that it was right to the bottom of the doors.

I was freaking right out I didn’t know what I was going to do so I called the lodge Darcy answered, he raced out to help me but couldn’t even get close to me with one of the scout trucks, it was so wet that just walking you would sink past your ankles quickly. So, I decided that our only chance we had was to head back to the lodge and get Old Blue, my Jacked up 86 Chevy. As soon as we got back to the field we hooked her on and I pulled the hunt truck and trailer out right before legal shooting light. We had a great hunt with shooting our limits of Greaters in 40 minutes, now that is one of my top 10 memories.

Random guest quote

Everything’s better with bacon BOOM!!!

Waterfowl hunting tip

Tactics I use while guiding, is to try to be as real as possible with my decoy spread and my calling. When scouting take note of how the birds are in the field, are they spread out, close together, in the middle, or close to the edge. Take what you saw the night before and try mimic it best you can in the morning.

With calling I don’t like to over call, I like to read the birds first with a few soft single clucks on those blue light flights, this shows me what vocal range the birds are using on their own and how aggressive or soft I should start working them once the sun starts to rise. If possible, I like to observe the bird in a field for a few days, let them get comfortable then whack em and stack em.

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Jay Kuypers

MAIN OCCUPATION: Business Developer/Lighting Specialist BA Robinson Electrical

FAMILY: Married and 3 kids deep, 2 girls 1 boy, born and raised in Manitoba

OUTDOOR RECS: Hunting, fishing, hiking, climbing, snowboarding, hockey, surfing basically anything outdoors.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

One of many favorite moments in the field was guiding a father son group, we had 3 days of limit hunts, we even watched my dog chase down a winged bird over 150 yards only to tackle it to the ground right out of the air, we all cheered and high fives were dished out, at that point one of the fathers turned to me and said, “this is one of the best days of my life!” He went on to tell us that we had such a positive impact on his son he was a changed man, these are the moments I live for. Sharing and creating memories just happens sometimes with out any direction, each individual looks for a very personal experience in their own way, but when everyone shares the same experience a bond is created, but not only with the people who share it but the experience itself.

Random guest quote

“Stop here, stop here let me shoot those coots in the ditch!”

Waterfowl hunting tip

Some useful tips for field hunting geese is calling and flagging. Geese are very reactive to visual and vocal communication, flagging is and effective technique when the birds are far off in the distance to grab their attention, but can also be used when finishing birds are sliding off course, a quick pop of the flag and their back on target for the pocket. Combined with flagging a calling sequence can be extremely effective, understanding what sounds to make at what times are very important, geese are very territorial and vocalize their position to other inbound birds, try to watch the geese to see how they react to each sound. The majority of notes that I use in the field are variations of a spit note and quick spit, combined with double cluck and single clucks.

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Andrew Dyck

MAIN OCCUPATION: Full time hunting and surfing guide.

FAMILY: Raised in Manitoba with two brothers and crazed hunting fanatic cousins.

OUTDOOR RECS: Living in Costa Rica most of the year, surfing, spearfishing, fishing and hunting local wildlife? flying home to Manitoba in august to spend time with niece and nephews at the family cabin and getting ready for bow season august 28th then back to the one we all love hunting down the birds!

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

It was end of season and we where flat on the ground with only back boards and ghillie blankets, the fog was so thick you couldn’t see 30 feet in front of you, thinking the evening hunt would be a wash, all the sudden birds started flying straight in like dive bombers out of nowhere, killer hunt!

Random guest quote

“We all missed, can you run out and scare the birds, so they start flying so we don’t hit the decoys?”

Waterfowl hunting tip 

Hide your bulbous red face!

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Andrew Mackenzie

MAIN OCCUPATION: I am the owner/operator of an agricultural input company specializing in environmentally treatments for manure, septic & waste water, natural pond treatments, soil conditioners and pest controls.

FAMILY: My wife Kelly and I are the proud parents of 2 boys, ages 12 & 9.

OUTDOOR RECS: I have hunted extensively throughout Manitoba for the past 35 years. My waterfowl hunting career started with my father carrying me on his shoulders in the dark through sloughs and streams to get to our planned spot. I have been fortunate to hunt waterfowl all over the province of Manitoba. From the south all the way to the tundra in the north. From there, big game hunting was added and has taken me throughout Manitoba including the far northern reaches of the province. While hunting remains my number one outdoor priority, fishing rates a close second. I have guided several seasons at one of Manitoba’s premiere fly in fishing lodges and have been able to share these experiences with our sons. Our sons are active in sports (baseball, baseball and more baseball) and we assist with their activities.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail 

I was very fortunate and thrilled to be the first person, along with Paul, to break trail into paradise. This body of water is untouched and is LOADED with ducks. In the mornings you see thousands of ducks pouring out to the fields. The variety of diver ducks will keep you well entertained. It provides use excess to thousands of acres of virgin water. Truly unbelievable adventure for any waterfowl hunter.

Random guest quote

“absolutely awesome, nothing like this back home”

Waterfowl hunting tip

Keep your head down and allow the birds to work. Movement can blow off any approaching flock.

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Kevin Nuefeld

MAIN OCCUPATION: Carpenter

FAMILY: I grew up just outside of Altona, Manitoba and have been married for 5 ½ years to my wonderful wife Maxine.

OUTDOOR RECS: If it has to do with the outdoors, I’m there! Waterfowl hunting consumes my fall season but after that its fishing, hiking, snowboarding, rock climbing (Just to name a few)

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail 

My favorite of all favorite moments as a guide at Birdtail would have to be the time my group took 4 man limits of ducks in an afternoon hunt, then pulled off a pit crew blind change for another group to hop in and have them almost take their daily limits as well!

Random guest quote

“Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while” (after the guest made a 50 yard shot on a duck)

Waterfowl hunting tip

Stay Still!! When it comes to waterfowl, they are basing their daily decisions on staying alive. They’re programmed to search until they feel comfortable enough to land. You can have everything perfect; the decoy spread, the wind, sun, perfect cover, but all it takes is a bit of movement from you or your buddy at the wrong time and that hard work doesn’t pay off. Each bird as 2 eyes and when you start having those groups of birds work in to a spread, they’re all trying to find a reason not to be there.

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Lynda Wasalyshen

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Mike Boyd

MAIN OCCUPATION: Graduated from Stratford chefs school with Red Seal certification.

Received four and half star review by London free press and was listed in top 100 places to eat in Canada two years in a row.  Best soup In London ( yes I am soup king!) now about to enter my 35th year and still wanna put a chef jackets pick up my knives and do.

OUTDOOR RECS: Standing in the icy waters fishing Steelhead.

Favorite of all favorite moments when working with Birdtail

My most memorable moment at Birdtail Waterfowl was my first season when I knew I was home when Paul and the guests wanted me just to be me and create everyday. Nobody asked me to make this or that – full creative license and thank you Paul! Truly the best job ( If I can even call it that ) ever….

Random guest quote

“Mike, this would win any Coonass gumbo cook off hands down”

Chef Tips

As if…. Ok just one… Flavor match.

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Paul Conchâtre Manitoba Hunter and Outfitter
Birdtail Waterfowl Inc.

Paul Conchatre

28 Turcotte Cove
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3R 3V9
Canada

+1 (204) 294 2694

birdtailwaterfowl@gmail.com

Alternatively, please feel free to contact Paul at birdtailwaterfowl@gmail.com