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Dave Hugelschaffer

Dave Hugelschaffer was born in Edmonton, Alberta and grew up on a small farm about forty miles north of the city. Work on the farm was hard and steady but he found time to spend in the surrounding forest. At age fourteen, a Métis trapper appeared on the farm, asking permission to trap beavers in a creek passing through the property. Dave accompanied the trapper and learned to trap.  This led to several years of adventure in the woods.


Following graduation from high school, with no specific career plans other than to live off the land, he built a log cabin.  Income was sporadic, from trapping, cutting firewood, construction work and odd jobs.  He acquired a team of sled dogs, learned the art of knife making, leather tanning and working with birch bark.  An idyllic lifestyle from another era, and great fodder for later stories.  Alas, it didn't pay the bills...

After a stint in an engineering program (too much time in-doors), he transferred to a field more to his liking, graduating in 1989 with a diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Several summers were spent fighting forest fires, cruising timber and surveying reforestation. His first permanent posting as a Forest Ranger was in the remote community of Fort Chipewyan; a unique location, set amid icy lakes and rocky Canadian Shield (and the setting of Whiskey Creek, the third Porter Cassel book). It was during the long, dark winters that he started a family, and began to write.


After three years of isolation in the north, he moved to Peace River to broaden his career as a Forest Ranger, reintroducing the family to the luxuries of civilization.  Roads.  Stores.  A movie theater. Writing continued.  Practicing.  Refining.  Rewriting.  It's good to be an optimist.  Delusion and stubborness are benefical traits in a writer.

After nearly ten years as a Forest Ranger, it was time for a change.  For the next ten years, Dave worked as an industrial land planner, integrating the operations of the forest and oil and gas sector in a way that minimized the impact on the land base and environment.  Life events led to a return to the Forest Service, where Dave supervises a team of Forest Rangers, responsible for inspection of industrial activities, such as oil & gas, mining, and grazing.

Dave is currently working on several new book projects.

Photo (right); Jason Ness Photography