Greg McHale’s Wild Yukon hunting show

The McHale family of Whitehorse is driven to succeed in sports as well as life.

By Morris Prokop on January 11, 2023

The McHale family of Whitehorse is driven to succeed in sports as well as life.

In part 2 of a look at the exceptional family, the Star talked with them about Greg McHale’s Wild Yukon hunting show.

“We’re going into season seven, said Greg McHale. “We’ve been on television now for this. We’ve produced six seasons. So the show is doing really well. I think the way that we shoot and the way that we hunt in the Yukon, it really resonates with people. People are obviously very interested in the Yukon and they have been for a number of years,
whether it’s through a gold show or through the wild places that we have, so that production side and the hunting is, it’s great.

“I didn’t necessarily think that I would ever make my love of hunting into a career. But I think … when you have opportunities you take (them) and that’s kind of how we’ve always been and sometimes you create opportunities and that was one of them that we worked on. We worked hard to get to get it to where it is and I think that really resonates
with people – the beauty that we have here in the Yukon, the style of which we hunt, is unique. And people like to see things that are unique and it’s a product out there that is taking off and it just keeps getting bigger and keeps getting better. It’s been a lot of fun.”

McHale explains what makes his show unique.

“Well, obviously the Yukon in itself, the terrain we have to hunt. The amount of game we have to hunt. That stands on its own like, if you were to talk to any big game hunter that is serious about their hunting, the Yukon would be a bucket list item without a doubt. So that in and of itself is pretty special to be able to hunt and do it in an amazing place like

“And then on top of that, just the way we hunt with a lot of human power and you know putting in more physical effort than you would ever see on any other television show. It’s that simple.

“I don’t know anybody else in the hunting world that would fly their own airplane, land it, hike 30 kilometres to the base of the mountain to start hunting. That’s unique. So we bring that style of the physical fitness aspect and what it takes to hunt and not just go out and hunt.

“I really enjoy targeting older, bigger animals that are ideally beyond their prime. And I take a lot of pride in putting in the extra effort that it takes to not just shoot the first moose you see, to really do more work than anybody else is willing to do. Generally speaking.”

McHale has his own way of getting to his hunting territories.

“I have my own airplanes that I got for the sole purpose of being able to get further into the backcountry. I didn’t have any interest in learning to fly an airplane just to get out and just look around.

“I love aviation and the family gets to go out to beautiful places because of it. But the initial interest in aviation was strictly to get me to places that nobody else can get to or that very few people have the ability to go in and ever see.”

Production values are also important to McHale.

“I think our production value is really good. We’re always working on trying to get better, whether it’s better production or whether it’s maintaining a high level of fitness for myself or researching new areas. I don’t like hunting the same area time after time, which a lot of other hunting shows do, right. You know, put up a tree stand and sit and wait for a deer to walk over to the bait pile. It’s just not that style of hunting.

“As long as I’m able and I still enjoy it then I’ll continue to do it but those are really the nuts and the bolts of what makes us different. The American audience and the Canadian audiences just seem to be happy with it.”

For the McHales, hunting spans the generations.

“The last number of years I’ve hunted with my father, who’s in his mid ‘70s, for sheep,” said Greg.

Kolter McHale seems to have inherited his father and grandfather’s tenacity.

“We took Kolter on his first sheep hunt when he was seven. He was hiking up the mountains. That’s where I think that we recognized his tenacity and his willingness to deal with difficult situations and get through them, I wouldn’t say easily but have the ability and mental strength to be able to push through.”

According to his father, Kolter has also pitched in where he can.

“He’s seeing his grandfather in his mid-70’s push through these kind of things and recognize that ‘I can help where I can help.’ When he was seven, he literally could see my father suffering and he would come up and say ‘Can I carry the gun?’ For a seven year old to take a 10-pound rifle off his grandfather, as a parent, it’s a pretty special thing to see.

“For three generations to get together and be able to work toward a common goal that is very difficult for one of them, and everybody to chip in and do their part, that was the highlight of my hunting career. It doesn’t get better than that. And it doesn’t matter whether I take an amazingly huge animal or whatever, those things pale in comparison to being
out with your family. And a seven year old and a 75 year old at the time, both dealing with challenges in a different way, but at the same time.”

Kolter McHale said “It was really fun.”

Denise McHale added that it will be “pretty neat in a couple of years for him to be able to harvest his first animal. That’ll be another one of those moments.”