My season started off in the Edmonton Bow Zone this year, unsuccessfully I might add, but I did have my opportunity! The week started off slow, showing up a week ahead of the season opener I thought I would have time to locate some deer worth hunting, not so. The weather was extremely hot, and after spending 4 nights glassing alfalfa and canola fields with no mature deer spotted, I began to wonder about my decision to drive half way across the country to start my bow season.
I did however set out a half dozen trail cameras when I arrived, and after leaving them set for 4 days, checked them a couple days before season started and had a great buck show up! Actually, it was the same deer that got by me on my hunt in November, in the same field, and he was looking bigger! He was a typical 8 point frame with split G2’s, two extra tines on his right antler, 10inch brow tines, lots of mass and super wide! I figured he was in the mid 160’s, a definite shooter. I set up an observation stand, just like back home, and watched the field the next night and watched him enter the field on an inside corner with a northwest wind an hour before dark! Guess what wind we had on the opener, a north west wind, I was pumped! I set my stand that afternoon and settled into my Lonewolf Assault by 3:30. About an hour before dark, guess who entered the field – 200 yards away in the opposite direction! Just my luck. I backed out of there undetected and watched the field for the next two nights from a distance, and sure enough he was entering the field from multiple trails, never the same one twice! There was a common denominator though, he always ended up in a low spot about halfway down the timberline I was hunting. With only 2 days left in my hunt I had to get aggressive, and I moved my stand right in the low spot, even though the wind was marginal. By dusk that evening I had four different bucks within 20 yards of my stand, in every direction, how they didn’t smell me I have no idea ( thank goodness for Conquest scents and their “Evercalm” cover up, I had that whole bottom smelling like a deer herd! ) I had a small 8 point that had me pegged in the tree, while a 145” ten point (that I would have shot) stood right in front of me at 10 yards in the wide open! While this was going on, another nicer 8 came in on my backside and worked a scrape until Mr. Big strolled in and took it over, at 15 yards, and offered me no shot. Instead of coming out into the field, he worked the scrape and turned about face and walked directly away from me, not to be seen again! Oh well, back to the Bow Zone in November, just hope its a little warmer than -30 like last year!
After leaving Alberta, I headed south to Wyoming and met up with my good friends at the Solitude Ranch near Devils Tower Wyoming. I had a great time there a couple years ago and could not wait to return to hunt with the guys from Intrepid Outdoors. The owner, Mike Schmid, has a 4000 acre ranch with an additional 4000 acres attached thats leased, and he manages the ranch for big bucks, and he’s got them! In fact, Mike has 3 bowkilled bucks in the top 10 for the state of Wyoming, after shooting #1 last year!
When I say this ranch is loaded with deer, I mean it’s LOADED! I saw over 30 deer my first night, with 6 shooters in the bunch. After tweaking my set up on day two, I connected on a beautiful 10 point and managed to capture the whole hunt on video filming myself, and recorded 3 different camera angles of the hunt! Watch for it next year on Intrepid Outdoors which will air Saturday mornings on Versus.
Before heading home, I stopped in to see my good friend Mike Dyche in Schyuler county Illinois, and to check my trail cameras I set out before heading to Canada. Looks like I have a couple to target in Illinois this fall!