Hunting Reports 2007

End of Season Wrap Up
Since the last report, we’ve slipped through the rest of the muley rut and the complete whitetail rut. Al from the resort, accompanied by a friend from Ontario, managed to harvest a couple medium sized 4 pts., one muley and one whitey the third week of November. A week later I had a stalk on a 4 pt. whitetail buck thwarted by a very nervous wild horse who thought the best escape from my vicinity would be right over top of the whitetail buck. Aah, but that’s hunting…..I think.
Tunkwa Lake’s elevation is 3752 ft. and my favourite muley ridge is at 4550 ft. where I can see the lake from. The reason I mention this is I was there the first week of December and there was fresh sign all over the ridge and around my groundblind. So don’t discount the high country even if it is late season.
I can always tell when the whitetail rut is over because the huge buck I call “The Ghost” is leaving his tracks on the resort property again as he has for the last three winters. I call him that because I have personally not seen him, lots of locals have, but I haven’t. Buck, our black lab, found one of his shed antlers last April while hiking in the timber just outside the gate. He is a smart old guy except during the rut. A local couple were driving one of the sideroads midday during the rut and there he was in the middle of the road. Being first year hunters they were extremely nervous as the wife slowly slipped out the passenger door and fired off a shot at him. He bolted and she gave chase leaving the husband in the truck impatient and anxious. Can you guess what happened next? That’s right, the husband waited five minutes that probably felt more like half an hour and started off after his wife. He got about 20 yds. from the truck when that big old buck circled around and came back out on the road 100 yds. from the truck. The husband (who shall remain nameless) by his own account, “was shaking so bad he couldn’t have hit the broad side of a barn”.
Well, all in all it was a decent hunting season.  the conditions were tough at time. The first month was windy almost every day and there was a serious lack of snow in November. I saw more bucks this year than ever before and I actually passed on quite a few, one or two were by choice. I’m kind of regretting not taking that 3×4 muley on September 13th standing in a very co-operating stance thirty yards in front of the truck but you know what they say about spilled milk!
Thanks for checking in with us this fall as it was our first attempt at a hunting report and we didn’t really know what the reaction would be but on all accounts it has been quite favourable. Happy Holidays and good health.  John

 

November 14, 2007
The deer rut is in full swing! If there was any doubt, temperatures of  -11 this morning should dispel that. First let me retell the story of Phil Clark of Maple Ridge. He and his family had a cabin booked for  Saturday and Sunday of the Remembrance Day Weekend. As it so happened they managed to get away a day early. As fate would have it, on Saturday morning, a half hour into his hunt Phil managed to come upon a beauty 4×5 whitetail which he quickly dispatched at 7:10am. Nice, quick work Phil. Congratulations! By Saturday afternoon the wind had whipped up and gaining in velocity until Sunday night when it all came to a head with gusts to 100kph and Monday morning it brought snow with it. Just ugly! Now that that is done the hunting conditions are ideal. Cold nights with highs around 0 midday should keep the bucks out cruising most of the daylight hours. The weather is supposed to be stable for the next week so if you can get out hunting I would strongly recommend this weekend as a good one. This time of year the bucks get so rut-crazed that when they’re with does they don’t spook easily but if you spook the does then it’s…bye bye big buck!
So until next week, get out there and enjoy the best season Mother Nature has to offer and good hunting!
John



November 8, 2007

I missed last week’s report as I was busy hunting during our week off. On Oct. 31 I took my wife hunting in a last ditch attempt at a spike fork bull moose. There was quite a bit of fresh sign in a nice piece of timber where we’ve had a groundblind for a couple of years but no moose so we headed back to the truck just before dark. As we neared the road we heard a grunting buck. We stopped at the edge of the timber just as a 26″ 4 pt. buck came off the ridge heading right at us. He spotted my movement as I ducked behind a willow and as I clicked the safety off he spun on his heels and three bounds later he was a memory. Lucky enough there were no children present as I cursed myself up and down. On November 1 we had clients check in for their cow draw and the conditions were less than ideal. The first two days brought no results so I gave them a couple of suggestions on areas with good moose populations. Outside of two moose crossing on top of their own tracks they had no sightings. So for their last day I suggested some areas at higher elevation further from the resort and at 2 PM they managed to harvest a beauty cow moose. Five hours later we had it back hanging in our “meatshed” skinned out and cleaned. Congratulations to “The Two Stu’s”. Out hunting yesterday with a couple friends who had a bull draw I came across a dwarf willow that had been thrashed, stomped and scraped by a good sized buck judging by the size of the tracks around the willow. Based on this and the Oct.31 incident I would say the rut is ready to commence any day and with the new moon coming on the 8th it could be this weekend. So get out there and push the bush and, unlike me, be prepared for that buck around the next corner.

Until next week, good hunting. John.

October 25, 2007
The weather has improved marginally this week. The moose and deer are more  predictable when the weather cooperates. Monday evening, while sitting in a well used cutblock I was “cowcalling” to try to entice a small bull out of the timber before dark. Well right at dark a 5 pt. bull came to within 30 yds. and not having an LEH draw it was a case of “catch and release”. Successfully taking a moose is an adrenaline rush but calling one in that close is so much more. The next morning was one of those times when you realize how effective your call is as I called in the ever elusive……..moose hunter! A few smaller bucks have been taken this past week, the most recent being this evening, a nice 2 point for a client who checked in this afternoon. The full moon Friday night should get some larger bucks moving midday for a couple days after that. The October LEH’s are drawing to a close. I hope everyone drawn has had success. We have several clients checking in soon for November draws and hopefully the conditions cooperate for them. So until next week happy hunting and be careful out there.
John.
Ocotber 18, 2007

Not a lot to report this week. I heard about a LEH bull taken in 3-18. Apparently this bull was 530 lbs. at the butcher which is a good class bull for this area. Another client looking for a spike fork moose had a chance at a 5 x 5 Muley mid afternoon two days ago but passed on the long shot which reminds me of a good piece of hunting advise – “it is better not to shoot later wishing you had than shooting and later wishing that you hadn’t!”.
This is an exciting time of the season. The bucks are entering pre-rut patrolling rublines, playfully sparring with other bucks and just getting jazzed for the oncoming rut and add to that the fact that it has been snowing since 10:00 AM and it is now 5:00 PM. Tomorrow morning will be awesome! So until next week, happy hunting and straight eyes.

John

October 11, 2007

Well, last week I thought the weather would become more conducive to  good hunting conditions. It was not to be. Thanksgiving Weekend was very  windy with everything intensifying to Sunday when we had winds gusting  to 80kph keeping all the game in the safety of the deep timber. One of  our annuals managed a 2 pt. buck on Saturday. We received  reports of a  LEH bull taken on Saturday evening as well as a spike fork bull. Finally  Monday morning the wind subsided and we woke to temperatures of -5 and  one of our clients came in with a 3×4 muley buck that we helped skin and  quarter before their trip back to Vancouver. Tuesday evening while  scouting a new area I came upon two bucks sparring right at dark so they  are getting in the rutting mood but not for a couple of weeks yet.  Wednesday morning we awoke to temperatures of +8 and this morning -4 and  this is what we have endured all season. Be ready, when this crazy  weather stabilizes there will be so many bucks and bulls moving that  your only problem will be which one to take!
Until next week keep your  chins high and your scopes higher.
Good luck. John

October 4, 2007
October 4, 2007 The conditions for the past week have been less than desirable. On and off rain and a week of daily stiff winds have kept the game huddled in the timber. With that said if you put your time in you can catch the bucks out for short feeding sessions. Now that the unstable weather conditions have ended I’ve noticed a strong increase in signs of moving game. I walked into the same moose swamp I was at last week and this week the moose sign was a vast improvement over a week ago. Woke up this morning to temperatures of -6 and took one of our regular clients out for a road hunt before work. In two hours we viewed 12 mule deer out on various cutblocks shortly after dawn with only one small buck with a group of six does. Now that more stable weather is here along with cooler mornings the hunting conditions should improve greatly. This long weekend should bring more deer hunters as well as LEH moose hunters so please be careful out there.

See you next week and best of luck – John.

September 26, 2007
Though the weather has been completely unpredictable, the first week of  spike fork bull moose season has started with a flurry. I know of at least four that were taken by locals in the first five days of the season. One, in particular, I assisted in the retrieving of last Friday. Three hours of blood, sweat and tears and the moose was loaded for the trip home (See Photo in Hunting Gallery). If the weather stays cool midday you can hunt all day during the rut as the moose are quite active. Deer activity has also picked up with the cooler days and should intensify as October is upon us. Monday morning is the opening of “any buck” season and lasts all of October. As the road traffic increases in October with buck hunters and the lucky recipients of LEH draws for mature bull moose, the game tends to get pushed to the back corners of cutblocks so put those binoculars to good use.  Frosty mornings should  also bring the grouse out into more visible openings along the logging roads.
The full moon is upon us tonight so this weekend hunting late morning into early afternoon can be very productive. If the nights are overcast best success could be found at first light. Get out there and enjoy the
wilderness.
Best of luck and straight eyes. John.

September 19, 2007
September 19, 2007

Thank god the heat finally broke on Sunday. The rain and cooler weather took over Monday. High temperatures around 15C and on and off rain all day Monday. The rain stopped around 5:30 Monday evening and with great relief I grabbed my hunting gear and was out the door. Apparently the deer had the same idea. In two hours I counted 19 mulies. Most of these were does and small bucks. Overnight Monday we had torrential rains until around 3AM.Tuesday we awoke and looked across the lake to discover SNOW above 4500′. Headed out before dawn and the exact opposite of the night before was experienced. I didn’t see one deer or moose. Wednesday morning I went out for a quick hunt before work. Saw a beauty of a 3 pt. buck and several does. A friend of mine was hunting a km further down the road  and saw a huge 4 pt. that had him pegged from 500 yds. He silently slipped back into the timber without a second thought.

Spike fork bull moose opens tomorrow(Sept.20) and I’ll manage to get out for a quick hunt again before work. With the cooler and more stable weather the moose should be out and moving in the mornings and evenings with the rut being just 7-14 days off as long as we don’t get another heat wave. Once the hunting heats up we’ll try to post reports twice a week but until then it will be every Wednesday.

Happy hunting and straight eyes…….John

September 12, 2007
We are pleased to be offering regular hunting reports throughout the hunting season. For those that aren’t aware we are located on the border of Management Units 3-18 and 3-19.
Deer hunting for Bow Only and Juniors opened Sept.1 with very mild pressure in this area. I directed a bowhunter staying here Labour Day Weekend to a cutblock that has a good population of mule deer and upon arrival he stepped onto the slash and crept up to the draw that attracts the deer there and spotted six bucks feeding all at about 70 yds.(too far for the bow). There was also a medium sized bull moose hightailing it for the timber.

Sept.10 marked the opening of rifle season for 4 pt. muleys and any whitetail buck. The weather was not cooperating as it was quite hot but I managed to get out there the first two mornings and if you’re at your spot by dawn you can see the deer moving for the first hour of daylight. I did spot a small buck heading to the timber around 8:00 but did not pursue him. Went back in the evening and saw only a couple of feeding does in the last half hour of light. The next evening went to check out some new country in 3-19B and saw four moose one of which was a 3 year old bull. Also saw a 4pt muley buck who stopped long enough
on the road to show us what we would not be shooting.

It appears this will be an average year for grouse. I have seen lots on my scouting trips but not an overabundance.
Don’t know why but they always seem to do the heart attack flush when you’re stalking a nice buck!

All in all it looks to be another good season for deer and moose numbers. With a combination of mild winters and favourable summer conditions the bucks are potbellied and highhorned just awaiting…..

Thanks and good luck out there.
John

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