Two Slave Lake young men are making a living out of their love for fishing, hunting, and trapping.
Three or four years ago, Erik Labrie and Brody Teale started ‘Non-Typical Nation’ as a YouTube channel. In June 2020, the first season aired on the Sportsman Channel on satellite. They are filming the second season.
“It did quite well,” says Teale. “One of the largest followed hunting shows in Western Canada. It keeps us insanely busy.”
Teale says they chose the name because the show, website, and blog highlight “a non-typical lifestyle.” Their lifestyle brand covers: fishing, trapping, hunting, cooking wild game and fish, and shooting sports.
For example, the two filmed their participation at the second annual Slave Lake Victim Services Clays2Raise family fun shoot in August.
Both Labrie and Teale harvested their first deer when they were 12. However, Teale took up hunting seriously in his 20s.
“I’ve been out with my dad (hunting), since I could walk,” says Labrie.
“We both sort of enjoy documenting everything,” says Labrie. “You can tell a story,” about hunting or fishing, but video proof “makes the story that much better.”
“I was raised by a family that didn’t necessarily hunt,” says Teale. When he started, he found making videos a good way to explain his new interest to his family.
When it comes to hunting bears and moose, “Slave Lake is a tourist destination,” say the duo.
Along with the TV show and website, Labrie and Teale work at Dave Booth Taxidermy in Slave Lake. Bears are the most common fur that people bring into the shop. This is because in Alberta hunters are required to keep and preserve the fur of a bear.
For moose, deer, and other game, the requirement is to keep the meat and the hide is optional.
Labrie and Teale also enjoy eating bear meat.
“Somewhere along the lines it (bear meat) got a stigma,” says Labrie. Many hunters over 40 won’t eat it. However, as long as it is cooked through like pork, it is safe and tasty. Labrie and Teale cook it “low and slow.” Some people smoke it like a ham.
People with bear tags are allowed to kill one bear in the spring and another in the fall.
Alberta has hunting licenses for “any species of big game except grizzly bear and caribou,” says Labrie. Depending on the region the number of licenses varies.
Labrie and Teale also trap.
“Hunting is the pursuit of meat,” says Labrie.
“Trapping is the pursuit of fur,” adds Teale.
For the most part animals that people can trap can’t be hunted and vice versa.