We had a fantastic and not so fantastic hunting season this
past fall 2018. Our moose hunts were the highlight of the year
with 100% kill success on the rifle moose,
22 bulls for 22 hunters and another 4 bulls were taken for the
archery moose guys and 2 more moose were bowkilled by guides
Josh and Gerard. Our archery elk hunts were also really good
with lots of bugling action and 3 out of 4 hunters shooting
elk. The mule deer bowhunts were also great
with daily stalks on Poper bucks and three big 180 plus
score deer being killed. You can see our full bowhunt
report on our website. The not so great parts of the season
were the rifle mule deer hunts where we only managed to kill
one buck scoring over 180 when last year we took 6 over 180.
Warm, windy weather in the November muley rut hunts just killed
us, never seen it like that before. We just couldn't dig up the
big bucks we had seen in scouting and bow season. But the real
low was the rifle elk hunts where we didn't kill a bull,
despite no shortage of elk. Last year we
killed 5 bulls for 6 hunters, the year before we killed 5 elk
for 7 guys along with two under 100 yard misses, basically 100%
success. This year we had one 100 yard miss on opening day and
then the bugling just shut down giving us zero kills,
unbelievable, maybe it was because of all the September rain
and standing farm crops which meant no concentration of elk and
no active rutting? Who knows, but I've seen it like this once
before eight years ago and then the next year was awesome with
the better bull survival.
As for some of the details of the hunts, Eugene Lawson killed the best rifle muley of the year on a September hunt with a 183 score clean typical. He also booked a couple of rifle mule deer hunts for his sons in November 2020 and a 2020 moose hunt for himself. Opening week of our moose hunts this year was with four hunters in our south zone where we focus on walking and stopping to call in rutting bulls. Billand Eric Axlund took a big 42 inch bull and a 32 incher. Richard Wooster and Dave Kennedy also shot nice bulls. Then we did the rest of the rut moose hunts in our home zone in the last two weeks in October when the moose are transitioning into feeding in the farm fields and breeding the last of the cows. It was fantastic hunting especially as we got later in October. The last week of October hunters said they saw over 200 moose in 3 trucks in 3 days! Most guys only had a one or two day hunt!! All the bulls ranged in size from small but good eating 25 inchers up to big paddled 40 plus inchers. Kevin and Joe Campbell got their moose on the first morning in the same field. Joe's 42 inch bull had incredible fronts. The November moose hunts went equally well with 8 hunters taking 8 bulls, several solid 40 inchers were killed by Harlan Wilson, Noah Fessler and Lonnie Manalia.
We conduct the November mule deer ruts from Nov 8 to 30th and the best muleys were taken by Dennis Sharp with a cool looking drop tine deer, Eric Vaillancourt with a matching flyers 174 score buck and Dale Wheeler with a heavy 175 incher. Eric and Dale were both repeat hunters along with Jimmy Green who had a great combo hunt taking a good mule deer and a 151 score, 10 point whitetail. I personally dedicated myself to the whitetail scouting from Oct 15th to Nov 30th hiking well over two hundred miles setting and checking a couple dozen trail cameras. I got over 20 different mature whitetail bucks in daylight on cameras scattered throughout our home zone plus pictures of many more up-and-comers. We took 4 whitetail bucks for the 5 hunters and guides Kyle Mudge and Josh Harb also killed nice whitetails with Josh's 320 lb deer scoring 150 non typical. You can see the trail camera pictures on our website in the photo gallery along with all the hero shots of our happy hunters!
Guide Gerard Van Den Boogaard ran our first ever Winter Wolf hunts in December for just 2 hunters and even though they had to deal with warm, windy weather, hunter Brian Kitzul from BC killed 2 wolves! The mild December weather has really allowed the bucks to recover from the rut and get to the best wintering grounds. 2019 really should be a great year! We are almost totally full for our 2019 hunts, 3/4 full for 2020 and even have several 2021 bookings. We do hunt in a Big Game Hunter's Paradise with the best guides in the hunting world! Thanks to all of our Fall 2018 hunters!! Feel free to contact me about any of our hunts. Thanks!