Range Rovers | Jason McLean and his dogs prepare for the duck hunt
McLean Group president and CEO Jason McLean on the pleasure of taking his hounds huntin'
Working with the dogs is the most pleasurable part for me—when you see those hunting dogs do what they were bred to do: bringing out the nose, the drive, the eagerness to work. If they have a job, they’re much easier to live with.
The season begins mid-October and runs through January. At the beginning I go for grouse. As a pointer, Emma’s job is to catch onto the bird’s scent, freeze up and point either with her head or raised paw in the direction of the bird, and allow you to get into range.
The McLean Group is a second-generation family business in real estate development, construction and investing; film and television production and facilities rental. “We enjoy working together, which a lot of family businesses can’t say.” McLean is also chair of Blackcomb Aviation.
The ducks start coming in mid-November. There’s a lot of good hunting right on the Fraser River Delta, really close to built-up areas, too—you can see cargo ships in the distance, you can see condos. Chesley is a perfect dog for this area. He’s all heart and very driven. Labs don’t hold back. When they’re going through a cornfield or in a thicket, and their tails start to windmill and they’re on something—that’s when you need to hustle and get into range. He sits with me in the blind and watches the sky. I call the ducks in; I have decoys out. As they get into range, I will select whichever one I’m going for, and he will watch the duck come down and he will go and retrieve it and bring it back to me in the blind, right to my hand.
I’m always amazed by the conservation ethic I see in the hunting community. For the little bit of biomass that we harvest, we sure are involved in wetlands habitat preservation, and we make sure that the Pacific Flyway and the waterfowl associated with it are protected. People think we’re rural, we’re right wing, but I think hunters and people who love to fish come from all walks of life.