What a fantastic hunting season we had this past fall! Three mild winters in a row and good moisture each spring has finally paid off, especially on our mule deer. Muleys were the main reason we started doing fall hunts in the Peace River Country and it was really great to once again take several 300 plus pound, high scoring bucks. We started out our season with our Mule Deer Bowhunts and we shot five deer scoring over 180 with the two best ones scoring 200 and 206! The 206 inch deer had to weigh over 350 lbs and had 8 inch bases on his massive rack. Then we shot a whole pile of elk and moose on our Elk and Moose Combo Bowhunt. For our full bowhunt report click this link: http://www.mikesoutfitting.com/2017FallBowhuntReport.html
We thought we were really going to knock it out of the park on our September Muley Rifle hunt but rain hit us early in the week, along with an abundance of local elk hunters, pushing the bucks into the trees. The best we could come up with for hunters Paul Cartmill and Rob Stenrud were 160 class deer. The bucks came out in the November Muley Rut Hunt though, especially on the later hunts. Steve Evans was the first one to take a big 180 inch double flyer buck and then Mark Petrik came on his 2nd Mike's Outfitting muley hunt and he said all he wanted was a buck with mass, well he got it, a heavy 180 score, massive deer! Craig Sullivan took a wide 186 incher the same week. Then 3 time repeat hunters Chuck Peeling and Tony Rounds both took 180 inch deer. I think Leonard Gallo was the happiest hunter in camp with his 186 mule deer and a 151 score, 10 point whitetail! We did see several other 150 to 180 class whitetails but they continue to be a very challenging hunt and we didn't kill any of the them. All three guides killed 140 to 145 score whitetails on their days off though. Bret Burnside, Steve Sullivan and Marvin Cook took mule deer they were proud of too. 100% kill success on rifle mule deer!
Our Sept Elk Rifle Rut hunts went really well with 5 kills for 6 hunters, Boyd Theil, Brad and Scott Howell, Danny Witmer and Larry Burton. Unfortunately the weather turned unusually warm and windy for the end of the elk hunts and one hunter didn't kill despite our best team effort. The heat also messed with our first two Moose Rut Hunts, moose do NOT like 80 F! We saw 15 moose but not a single bull in 6 days of hard hunting, sometimes with 3 guides for the 2 hunters. But the day after that brutal hunt ended we got a frosty morning and killed two big bull moose for Dale Wheeler, a long tined 46 incher, and a wide panned, high scoring 45 inch bull for Emile Vaillancourt, one of the biggest bulls we have ever killed. Bill Fern, Dennis Larson and Jimmy Green also got nice bulls. To further cement the idea that moose like cool weather best, on the next moose hunt we had a beautiful, calm, cold, frosty first morning and we broke a camp record, 4 kills for 4 hunters in one morning! The killers were Tim Alt, Mark Ritola, Brad Musser and Jack Samkowiak. They were all brought up by repeat brother hunters, Dave and Dan Miller. Dave also killed his 2nd, 40 inch bull with us and Dan broke our long standing, widest bull record with a huge bodied, 53 incher! Just a fantastic week for a great crew of guys.
The good moose hunting continued with our November Moose hunters taking 8 bulls for 8 hunters! 100% kill success! Dean Irvine, Deanna Irvine, Steve Nesmith, Lorne and Paul Leichty, Art Hayes, Joe Gillespie and Jeremy Smith. Jeremy came on the hunt through the Wounded Warriors in Action program. One of our repeat hunters had booked and paid for the hunt in full right before he got a cancer diagnosis, he immediately and anonymously donated the hunt to WWIA. What a generous guy!
A personal huge THANK YOU goes out to my lovely wife Jen, and my main three incredible guides Kyle Mudge, Josh Harb and Gerard Van Den Boogaard. They ran the whole outfit while I was crippled up with a debilitating, pinched nerve in my cervical spine. I was laid up in bed, on a couch and/or messed up on pain pills for almost the whole season. Eventually on Nov. 9 I got a disc replacement surgery and did my best to finish out the season, feeling 90% better now and OFF the drugs! We also got a new great cook, Pete, and we hope he is back for bear season. We do hunt in a Big Game Hunter's Paradise! Feel free to contact me about any of our hunts.