Hunting Reports 2008

End of Season Wrap Up
Tunkwa area, like much of the province, experienced some unusual weather conditions this fall, with very warm temps, and very little snow, at least until mid Dec. when deer seasons closed. Guests hunting from the Resort, still did quite well, even with some challenging conditions. In total we had 34 bucks,(&1 doe) ‘hanging in the meat shed’, with most coming in the first few weeks of October. Seemed everyone reporting seeing some incredible numbers of big does out there as well. Once the snow and extreme cold temps arrived in mid-December, the deer sign and activity down lower, was just incredible, the deer finally started to come down from the higher eleveations. The last couple of weeks of the season, saw several whitetail bucks harvested just outside the resort, as well as a couple of trophy mule deer taken.

Jim Fox proudly displays an incredible example of a Tunkwa area trophy mule deer, from late November.
We had a few spike moose taken early in the season as well, but overall, moose hunters indicated it was tough going, but saw lots of sign and non-shooters.
Grouse numbers where very good this season, and many birds were still out there at seasons end, boding well for next season.
Waterfowl pressure was very light, but hunters who targetted them, reported having great success, this is still a relatively untouched hunting option up here.
Track from snowshoe rabbits is very prevelant as of late, as are the many coyote tracks, all over the area.
Again, we’ve had a few reports of wolf sitings and tracks in the area, as well as the odd Bobcat being spotted.
No reports of any cougars or track, but the lack of snow revealling track, when the majority of hunters were out, probably explains this.

All in all, guests hunting the area, esp. for the first time, where very impressed with all the hunting opportunities in the Tunkwa, WMU 3-18/3-19 areas.

We’ve had some real extremes in weather up here at Tunkwa. Monday saw temps at +9, then Tues. -17 in the morning, then back to +10 yesterday?!? This morning we awoke to a much needed few inches of snow, but still daytimes temps went to just above freezing. Guests are reporting still seeing quite a few does, more grouped up as of late, and a few big bucks keeping everyone keen. Lots of track in the fresh snow. A nice whitie was taken nearby earlier in the week, but that’s been about all. Hunting pressure is light out there right now. Backroads are very slippery and trecherous, the thaw freeze cycle has made them slick! Some areas at lower elevations are very slick as well, walking is challenging and very noisy with stale crunchy snow/ice.
Not much happening up here this weekend. Friday snowfall really got packed down in a hurry with all the mild temps. the area was blanketed in low cloud/fog making seeing any distances a challenge. Guest in hunting still reproting seeing a bunch of does around, some non-shooter bucks and a few moose sightings as well. We heard a bigger muley was shot close by on Saturday. Temps are very mild again today, although much clearer. Temps are supposed to plummet to more normal ranges in the next day or two. What an odd season it’s been for weather!

Another good dumping of snow has further blanketed the Tunkwa area. Backroads are still easily accesible, and fresh tracks are all over. Today, we had a big whitetail buck running around the resort a few times throughout the day, getting everyone a wee bit excited.
A good snowfall, of about 3″, blanketed the area, and will only help push the deer lower. Tracks in the snow this morning shows all kinds of activity out there. We’ve had some big muley’s taken in the area the past few days, good to see! It is prime time for trophy deer.
A few whitetail bucks have been seen the past couple days close to the resort, with one of them being big.

Good shooting Brad!
Tunkwa awoke to a light snow covering and -8C temps.

Unfortunately, snow in the forecast has not materialized as of yet. Guests hunting in the area are reporting much more action in the bush, indicating the rut is coming on pretty good.

A heavy frost and -15C temps this a.m. can only help. Snow is in the forcast for tomorrow, and should really help with tracking and getting a better idea on what the big bucks are up to.
We had some successful hunters stop in later this morning, with a nice 4×4 buck, in full rut. They said the buck was out in the open, during mid-morning, hot on the heels of a doe. Good to hear!
Unseasonably warm weather the last few days has really slowed things down, temps are staying warm even through the nights! Bring on the snow and cold, hunting in T-Shirts just ain’t right! Upcoming weather forecast is looking favorable to get things going again.

The Rut Is Here.   Finally!

   After spending most of the past 6 days hiking and hunting a good part of the Tunkwa Region I can finally report the rut is finally underway.  The bucks are starting to aggressively “rub” or should I say destroy some of the young spruce and pine trees that get in their path.
Also in the last couple of days while following larger track through the bush we are finally getting the telltale stench of buck urine as we stay downwind on our tracks.  Lots of doe groups were found in open areas but the bucks still seem unwilling to leave the heavier cover during daylight hours.   

On Thursday we had a guest, miss an opportunity at a 5×5 White-tail, then bagged a nice 4×4 Mule deer, and another guest easily filled his doe tag.

  It’s getting close to prime time and if the weather cools the next two weeks should be bang on if you’re searching for the big boy!

Signs of the rut are starting to show with many reports of bucks running around.  While we have yet to see a deer come in this weekend, we have had numerous reports.  One hunter was slow to the trigger on a beautiful 4 point mule at the edge of a clearcut accompanied by 7 does.  One of our guests arrived late on Friday afternoon.  3 kms before the resort, he saw a huge whitetail 50 yards off the road.  By the time he pulled over, the buck was gone.  The snow is now gone around Tunkwa Lake but there is roughly 3 inches or so when climbing up 500 feet in elevation.  Many tracks can be seen crossing the roads and trails and the larger bucks seem to be in the higher elevations.  We have a number of hunters staying with us so we will have some updated information soon.

Oct. 27/08
We awoke to more seasonable weather at Tunkwa, Sunday morning saw temps of -12C and toay -7C. Reportsindicated traffic was fairtly steady in the bush around here, but hunters willing to get off the roads and do some leg work had success. We had another big bodied 2pt Mule come in yesterday morning, guests out for a quick morning hunt before checking out.

Afternoon Oct.25/08
We’ve had another father, son team bring in a buck this aft, his first of many!
Reports from this past week indicted things were slow, with very few bucks being spotted, lots of does and even a few cow moose around. Temps were warm, even night time temps stayed above freezing. This morning we awoke to -6C and a light snowfall. One of our guests, with his young son, bagged a beautiful 4×3 muley last evening, that was a very thick bodied deer, the biggest deer in so far. The rut is not far away, and that should see the bigger deer in the area.

October 19, 2008
Just when we were about to report that the hunting has been a bit slow for the
past few days, we had a guest arrive Saturday night just to try hunting for a
few hours on Sunday morning.  After heading out early this morning (temperature
was -12 at 6:30 am), they returned at 10 am with a beautiful 2×2 mule.  They
also said that they saw a moose cow and calf during their quick trip out.  We
have had a number of guests over this weekend that saw little more than a few
does, coyote and a bear.  

Temperatures where very mild this morning, awaking to +8C. Steady rain in the area this afternoon. Reports indicate still a fair bit of trafiic in the bush, but hunters are still having success. We had another spike Muley come in this morning, putting our count at 20 bucks in since the Oct.1 any-buck opener, not bad!

This morning, we had our first dusting of snow around the lake, and lower elevations. Temps were hovering around 0 this morning, and the sun is burning it off quickly. The 4 point whitetail that came in yesterday aft. was our first one in this year. Another spiker Muley came in later this morning as well.
Oct,11 evening
The first white tail buck came in this evening, a 4 pointer, also in the shed is a two point muley from this afternoon. It’s snowing in the mountians now so hunters will be able to see fresh tracks in the morning in the higher elevations.

Oct. 11/08
Another cold morning up here -12C this, will have the animal moving…we had another spike buck come in last eve, and another one this morning. Clear calm and sunny now, starting to slowly burn the snow off in the hills.

A change in the weather has appeared to have the animals moving. Yesterday morning we awoke to -10C temps, and this monring -2. Snow in the hills is starting to stay. Guests hunting waterfowl are reporting some good success with lots of mallards and teals around. We two had guests come in this morning with 2 nice bucks, one a nice3x4, shot while pushing the bush together. Reports of big numbers of does being spotted as well as the odd moose as well, just not spikers.
Very windy and wet night up here. rain has stopped, but wind is strong. Temps were +5C last night.
We had 2 more bucks into the shed yesterday, and just heard from another guest that made a quick last stop on his way out on Saturday, and bagged another buck, seeems to be lots of deer around this year! Still no whities to come in yet.

Weather sure has changed up here the last couple days, temps have really dropped, and we have had scattered rain, heavy at times, at lower elevations, and snow in the hills surrounding Tunkwa. This mornings temps were -6C, casting a heavy frost all over, and putting a layer of skim ice on small ponds. We have had 3 more bucks come in since the last report. Weekend traffic in the bush was heavy, as to be expected on the opening weekend of our ‘any buck’ season. Most guest in were fishing, but the few reports coming in from the ones hunting, indicated lots of deer are still being seen in the area.

Breaking news
An imature bull just arrived in the meatshed, what a day!!

Oct 2,08
It’s getting crowded in the Tunkwa Lake Resort meat shed !!  Every hunting guest that has been out this morning has returned with a mule buck and more are expected back this afternoon.  Since opening up for all bucks on Wednesday, the hunting has been fantastic with most bucks taken on the edge of the numerous clear cuts close to the resort.  Points have ranged from a spiker to a 4×4 which was brought in this morning (Thursday). Blue grouse on the higher areas and ruffed grouse in the lowlands are making it on the nightly dinner plates. On of our guests called in three moose the first  a bull,the second a cow and the third coming 20 feet away in the bush and then rushed him and ran by a few feet away and in the excitement could not get a shot off as the spiked bull crashed into the bush.

We have just one log cabin available this weekend (won’t last long) and some cabins available midweek October 6-10th – come up while the hunting is fantastic !

Summer like weather has been the story the past week up here, not great hunting weather, but sure nice to be out in. We have had another imm. bull moose taken in the same area since last report. Guest calling moose are seeing animals, but not the ones they are needing to see.  Some reports of smaller bulls being seen in 3-19, but not shooters, too many spikes. Guest out scouting, are reporting seeing large number of does and fawns, and smaller bucks. Starting tomorrow, those smaller bucks will be fair game. Still seems to be lots of grouse around, but they are getting a touch more skitterish. Lots of Sandhill cranes passing through the area as well, as sure sign winter is fast approaching.

Sept. 22/08
Fall is definitley in the air! We awoke to snow blanketing the hillsides around the lake, and rain in the lower elevations, great to see. This weather has got the animals moving, as more reports have come in of better sized bucks being spotted in the area. One of our staff’s husbands, bagged a spiked immature moose yesterday morning, in the area. He had sighted another one the evening previous, in the same area, but came across this one first thing the next morning, and dropped the animal with a 250yd shot. Lots of grouse still being bagged in the area as well. Not much to report on the weaerfowl front, but many ducks are passing through now.

Day time weather up here has been unseasonably warm, and night time temps have been holding above freezing as well. Not many hunters out right now, so pressure has been light.  Reports of sightings of lots of small bucks, does and fawn in the area, but most hunters out now are targetting the plentiful grouse, and some chasing waterfowl.

Sept 11, 08
Hunting season for all started yesterday morning and pressure was very light in the areas around Tunkwa Lake.  Reports from a few hunting guests staying at the resort indicate that there is plenty of game but, as of the morning of September 11th, no big game was taken.  One group was targeting grouse and had a very successful day – 5 grouse were shot.  The guest commented that the ruffled grouse were absolutely huge and nearly the same size of blue grouse taken the previous year.  Another group out saw 10 does and 1 buck ( a 2×2 mule).  They also saw a large black bear (estimated to stand 7 feet high) out in the middle of a clear cut with her 2 small cubs.  The bear stood up high as the hunters approach and then ran acros the clear cut with cubs following.  This weekend will see many more hunters out especially if this beautiful weather continues (near zero in the morning warming up to the low 20s in the afternoon).
Warm sunny days, up to the mid 20’s, and cool nights, -2 this morning, definitley has that fall feel in the air. A quick trip on the Rhino last eve, around the lake area, saw many grouse, several mule deer, including one nice buck, lots of moose droppings and tracks in the softer ground. We are also noticing more waterfowl passing though the area as well.

Hunting season started this Monday, opening up early for bow-hunting or Junior hunters. One of our staffs son was eager, and out opening morning for his first deer hunt, and was rewarded with a nice 3×3 buck muley, a great start to the season and a lifetime of hunting. Hearing tell the story was pricelss, and dad sure was proud. They reported seeing many deer that morning, including several bucks, five bears and a lone coyote, definitely in the right area at the right time. No other reports coming in yet, as archery pressure is very light to non-existant up here. Many mule deer are being spotted along the roads, mostly does, many with fawns. White-tail sitings have been infrequent as of late. We have had several very cool nights, dipping below freezing, with daytime temps in the mid to upper teens, fall is definitley in the air, and hunting season is opun us.


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