Gerry Bracewell: Guide Outfitter, Pioneer, Matriarch is my second book, released to celebrate Gerry's 100th birthday in 2022.
Gerry Bracewell became the first licensed female hunt guide in British Columbia, Canada, in 1945. Soon after, she became the first female guide outfitter in BC. She went on to become the oldest guide outfitter and the longest guide outfitter in business in BC.
This book tells the story of Gerry's life as a hunt guide. The book features some of Gerry's own stories and poems about her hunt trips, her observations about life in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and life as a cattle rancher. I also write about the female hunters and hunt goddesses and stories of life in the Cariboo-Chilcotin that were an inspiration to the young Gerry, so that she left her home in Alberta and came to this rugged, rural area of BC. The book talks about Gerry's role in the creation of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia and her legacy, inspiring a whole new generation of female hunt guides - including myself. The stories of some of the most influential people in Gerry's life are also included in this book.
I was particularly interested to write this book because, like Gerry, I left home to move to the Chilcotin, to create a new life for myself, seeking something more. Like Gerry, I found a new home in the mountains, somewhere that gave me more than I could ever have imagined before I arrived. I too became a licensed hunt guide and threw myself into the ranch and wilderness lifestyle.
This book was written with help from Gerry's four sons, Marty, Barry, Kevan and Alex, who provided me with Gerry's stories, told and wrote their stories and assisted in the research process.