Derrell Rodine has always loved hunting. Born and raised in the Weyburn area, Rodine had a dream of raising pheasants and operating a hunt farm one day. He has lived out a large part of his dream through his outfitting business, Scattergun Outfitters.

After graduating high school, Rodine worked as a psychiatric nurse and lived in different cities throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba, before purchasing a farm about 20 miles south of Weyburn when the opportunity arose.

Rodine described how his business, Scattergun Outfitters, began.

"I used to get American hunters stopping in [at the farm] every once in a while to ask permission, and it kind of led from there. They'd say, 'Well, can you take us out?' So I'd take them out hunting and show them some spots, and we generally had pretty good luck." 

He said that one day he got a visit from a conservation officer, who said, "You know, if you're going to guide Americans and get paid for it, you need an outfitters license."

"So at that time, you could just go get one, and I did that and that's how we got started and it grew from there. I had eight scouts working for me at one time. When the Weyburn Inn was still in existence, we had a working agreement with them where they would put the hunters up, feed them and I would do the guiding along with a couple of other guys."

Since they started over 30 years ago, Rodine said that he has met a lot of wonderful guys, many of them being American.

"The hunting up here is totally different than in the States, and that's why they like it. Of course, I've been able to hunt in the States with these guys or fish with them all in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, all kinds of places. We've had some great experiences, along with our family. We've had our family down a couple of times as well out on fishing boats and that kind of thing. "

"We've had some amazing meals [with the Americans]. Last time we were out on the boat, they took grouper, which is a fish that maybe most people wouldn't know about, and wrapped it in bacon, and put it on the barbecue. I'll tell you, that was unbelievable. Then off North Carolina, we caught a bunch of mahi-mahi and that is just unbelievable fish to eat. So we've had some great experiences, and I've been lucky enough those times that either Joyce [my wife] has been with me or our whole family."

Rodine's business offers guided hunts involving ducks, geese, and upland game: Hungarian Partridge and Sharp-tailed Grouse. He has five wildlife management zones in the southeast that he hunts in.  "Americans cannot hunt pheasants in Saskatchewan, so if I'm guiding they can hunt pheasants, but even non-resident Canadians can't."

He said that's always been the rule because pheasants were never very plentiful, and now we're overrun with them. "Which is great, but the laws never change quickly on something like that."

Over a lifetime of hunting, Rodine has accumulated many interesting stories. One such story happened one morning when Rodine and his son were coming out of a wheat field after a goose shoot with some Americans.

"All of a sudden they hollered, 'Stop, stop!' and they jumped out of the back of the truck and ran into the ditch, and picked up a couple of potato chip bags that were blowing around in the wind. That's the kind of people that come up here to hunt. They didn't want to see any trash littering the countryside."

Rodine explained a typical hunt with his clients.

"I'd pick them up in the morning for a goose hunt that we'd spotted. We'd go at three in the morning sometimes, out to a spot and set up decoys and shoot geese until noon, because you can't shoot geese past noon. We'd come back in and maybe do an upland hunt in the afternoon and a duck hunt at night again if we could, and that's where my guides are coming in. In particular my son, if we're out upland game hunting, I can't be spotting ducks, so he would phone and say, 'Here's where I saw some ducks,' and that would be a fairly typical day with American hunters."

He said one of the fun highlights of his guided hunting trips is when some of the hotels in Weyburn cater to the hunters, taking the wild game and making a special meal for the hunters on the last night.

"It's phenomenal what they can do. The Travelodge and Harry [Siourounis] can cook up a meal that's unbelievable with Hungarian Partridge and Sharp-Tailed Grouse and duck."

Rodine shared that his business is now up for sale.

"I'm 78 years old. I got bad knees, and 15 years ago, I had what they call Guillain-Barré syndrome. I was paralyzed from the waist down and I had to learn to walk again. I have some residual effects that affect my legs still, but hey, I'm walking again and I'm not complaining. I'm just winding this down and hopefully someone else can take it over and enjoy what I've enjoyed."

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disorder where the body's immune system damages nerves, which can cause muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. The syndrome often follows infection with a virus or bacteria, although the cause is not fully understood.

Rodine explained how he first developed the painful condition.

"I had hunters in, and I got so I could hardly get around. That night, I fell and they admitted me to the hospital and then I was transferred to Regina. It took a few days with me and they didn't know what it was to begin with. I mean, even the doctors don't see it that often. It's not one of the first things they consider, now I think they do."

He said that he's virtually better now, "and I hope that encourages people maybe coming down with the same thing that you can get better too."