We had a very successful fall hunting season with high success rates for all the species we hunt, mule deer, elk, moose and whitetails, bow and rifle hunts! A large part of our success was due to having all of our long term guides back for another season, Kyle Mudge, Josh Harb, Gerard Van Den Boogaard, Logan Dolen and Sam Hampton plus new guide Alec Zabel was doing a great job. Our cook Chef Jeff also did a fantastic job!
We always start off the season with 10 days of extensive scouting in August and by the end of it everything was looking excellent. The constant rain and cool temps since June had all the animals looking fat, healthy and big antlered! We were very optimistic going into the first week of mule deer and moose bowhunts Aug 25 with four repeat hunters. But after several missed shots and hunters holding out for big 180 plus score muleys, to the shock of us all, we ended the week with no kills! We quickly regrouped for the 2nd week and Blake Luse from Montana bow killed a beauty velvet moose the first day and then we did some mule deer killing! Mark McGovern got a solid 164 score deer, John Hawthorne bowkilled his 1st muley, a heavy, 147 gross, 3 by 3 and 2nd time hunter Dan Edmonds took a massive but narrow 190 inch deer! Guided by Kyle. Another couple shots were missed too. Then on Sept 7th we started our elk and moose combo bowhunts and long time repeat hunters from Ontario, Troy and Lucas White both killed 5 by 5 elk and so did Dave Anderson and Mark Dunahoo, 100% elk success! Dave also scored on a bull moose and lots of other moose were chased around with some shots fired.
The rifle elk and muley hunts began on Sept 17th and we were nervous on the elk because last year the bugling died out early and our success rate was terrible. I predicted a much better season this year because of bull carryover and I was right. Three out of 4 elk hunters killed the 1st day including a giant 800 lb bull scoring 338! Hunter Zach Covar, guided by Gerard. The 4th bull was taken 2 days later by Leonard Mallet and it was his 1st elk kill, guided by Alec Zabel on his 1st guided elk kill, 100% success! We also had two muleys to kill and with the very delayed crop harvest they were feeding right out in the fields. Josh had been going crazy trying to kill a giant deer in bow season and he finally got it done with repeat hunter Kevin Richards taking the huge 207 gross score non typical! Waylen Case at 16 yrs old was also thrilled to get a 180 deer. Then we killed 2 more elk with Jason Myers and Ricky Stonebraker the next week and got our moose rifle hunts started Sept 24th with Nick Roach and Mark Cook both taking nice bulls. We continued our very successful moose hunts right through till Nov 14th taking 18 more bulls and only having one unsuccessful hunter. Most hunters were done in the first 3 or 4 days, often the 1st day. Several big 40 to 50 inch bulls were seen but only a couple taken but the smaller ones taste better anyway!
I began my usual exhaustive whitetail deer scouting in October and got a dozen or more 150 plus score bucks along with some giants on trail camera. In the end all 6 whitetail hunters got opportunities on big deer or killed. Dustin Robertson was thrilled to get a 154 score, nine point and Rick Howell took a solid 156 incher. Jean Bedard and Guy Richard came from Quebec again and again both took nice deer, Jean’s going 142, and they rebooked for 2020. As pleased as we were with the whitetail season I was personally disappointed that we didn’t kill any of the several huge, 170 to 190 class deer that I had on cameras in daylight. We are learning more every year though on how to kill these smart bucks. The Nov mule deer hunts also went well with Lucas Anderson taking a 173 score buck, his Dad Tom killing a heavy, wide 177 incher and Chad Duckworth taking a giant 196 gross non typical! Tony Vicari got a solid 180 score buck and Elias Baroniel, Tom Skidmore and Sam Lawson also got nice muleys. Sarah Smith killed the last moose of the year on Nov 27th, a wicked looking double dropper bull!
Gerard did some Winter Wolf hunts again in December and Rick Franklin killed two beautiful wolves! We’ll be doing them again next year at a very inexpensive rate. Thanks so much to everyone who hunted with us! The winter has been mild so far and unfortunately for farmers tons of crops was trapped under snow but it will give excellent winter feed for all the animals. Contact us right away to see what future openings we have!