Building friendship through the thrill of the hunt

By Taylor Weaver

September 29, 2017 12:33 PM

Curly Hallan (left) and Kevin Toews have hunted together for almost a decade, and were happy to share some stories with the Source at Curly’s condo in Lloydminster. TAYLOR WEAVEAR LLS PHOTO

Hunting is more than just a sport for the large number of men and women who love it so much, it’s in their blood, passed down from generations.
Real Estate agent Eugene Hallan –better known to Lloydminsterites as “Curly”– and Kevin Toews, owner of Kevin’s Computing, have known each other since Curly walked into the Kevin’s shop to buy a computer in 2000, as he was just starting to get into Real Estate.
Since then, the two have remained friends and realized they both share a passion for hunting and fishing, particularly big-game hunting.
“I know we both hunted quite a bit before we started taking trips together, and it runs in the family,” said Curly, who is also a two-time cancer survivor.
“My grandad hunted a lot, my dad hunted and I got started in it and loved it throughout my life.”
Finding someone to venture out into the wilderness with carrying large firearms takes a bit of trust from all parties, and Curly noted how “Just knowing Kevin over the years and having hunted together, we’re both cautious in the field and where the gun is pointing at all times, it’s not a concern of mine.”
A similar retort was echoed by Kevin, in that he trusts Curly in business, hunting, and fishing.
“Safety is always number one and you just have to use common sense and caution,” said Kevin.
The two have taken a number of guided hunting trips together to places such as Africa and New Zealand, and one important factor for them is that no part of the animal goes to waste.
“The conservation of the land we’re hunting on is very important,” said Kevin. “When we go on guided hunting trips in places like Africa, all of the meat and anything else usable from the animal stays local and doesn’t go to waste.
“When we hunt locally, we use everything, and my son-in-law informed me this morning he got a nice big moose today, so my family is provided with meat for the winter. It’s a way of life.”
The two have gone to Namibia on a couple of occasions, and explained the reason hunting in Africa is so popular is because there is just so much more game.
“Everything is so highly regulated now, and the more regulated everything is and the better job conservation does, the more game there is for hunters and future hunters,” said Kevin.
One big reason countries such as Africa offer guided hunting trips is because it’s a massive boost to the local economy.
“They survive on the funds we provide for guiding and lodging over there, and they get all of the meat and it’s used to feed school children and small villages,” said Curly.
Kevin added the two don’t go after animals like elephants or lions, but the excitement of avoiding being run over by an enraged kudu was good enough for him.
They two hunt for the love and adventure of the sport, and Curly explained they both have hunting in their family history, “and it’s fun to get outside in the fresh air and wander around and try and sneak up on something that is out-foxing you.”
Hunting is all about patience, and Kevin said in the past he has watched deer on his trail cams for months before venturing out with a rifle.
“The biggest thing is patience, and after you take the shot you have to educate yourself on how good of a shot it was, and if the animal is just wounded and might take off.”
The two share a common most memorable hunt, which was when they were on a guided trip in New Zealand and both came home with a tahr, which have now both been stuffed, mounted, and proudly displayed in each of their homes.

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