Local outdoorsman Russell Floyd hunted the most dangerous animal of all last August; human.
To Floyd’s advantage, he knows all of the trails, roads, and rivers throughout the Gold Bridge BC area, where he hunted Phoenix Coyotes National Hockey League player Shane Doan and Doan’s brother, Brook.
During another hunt, Floyd tried his hand at tracking down Mike and Becka, a young couple from Ontario.
But, we won’t know whether or not Floyd was successful in his hunts until next month, when the sixth season of Mantracker will begin airing on television.
Floyd’s expedition into the Gold Bridge BC area was done alongside Mantracker host Terry Grant; an Albertan cowboy with professional hunting, guiding, and tracking skills.
Mantracker is a Canadian reality television show that follows Grant and a local tracker on a search on horseback for two pursued individuals (the ‘prey’), who are attempting to reach a finish line within 36-hours.
Floyd, who was raised in Honeymoon Bay, grew up with Cowichan Lake area wilderness around him.
“Growing up, I was always interested in hunting and the outdoors,” he said.
His love of the outdoors led him to the Chilcotin Holidays Wilderness Guest Ranch in the Gold Bridge area of the western lower mainland about 10 years ago, where he took courses in ranching and farrier (horse-shoeing) work, which he quickly fell in love with. He was hired by the company as a guide, upon his completion of the courses.
“I like the outdoors. It’s a bit of an adventure,” he said, of his work.
The outdoorsman now spends his time between Gold Bridge, where he works as a guide, and Honeymoon Bay, where he works as a farrier throughout the Cowichan Valley.
It was his outdoors work in Gold Bridge that qualified him to be Grant’s assistant during two episodes of Mantracker, which were filmed back to back last summer.
“It was a cool deal riding with Mantracker,” Floyd said, of Grant.
“He’s a good guy. He’s your classic cowboy. A very genuine guy.”
Floyd’s knowledge of the roads, rivers, and mountains proved useful during the duo’s tracking of both pairs of prey, with Grant asking Floyd for directions throughout the two adventures.
“It’s a very mountainous area,” Floyd said. “Very steep cutting.”
The steep terrain and thick brush made it tough for the two trackers, who, as a result of the television show’s rules, must stay on horseback, whereas the prey are on foot.
“It was very hot during the chase, so you can’t push the horses very hard,” Floyd said.
At one point, prey Shane and Brook Doan even came into contact with black bears, which Floyd said created some excitement for the pair, and some drama for the home viewer.
Season six of Mantracker will begin airing next month, with Floyd’s episode with Shane and Brook Doan opening the season, Sunday, April 17.
Floyd’s episode with Mike and Becka will air several weeks later, as episode nine in the 12 episode season.
This will also be the final season Grant will take the reins as Mantracker.