This article comes courtesy of Chad Morgan from Raleigh, North Carolina. While Chad's quiet confidence and humble nature will never allow him to admit this, he is one of the best outdoorsmen I know. He's hunted in locations most can only dream of and he's pitted his skill against some of the most challenging of quarry. Chad, along with a select group of top notch hunters, have been working with Shawn and Blair at ProStaff to develop the premeir Whitetail hunting experience in northern Saskatchewan. Below is his account of his whitetail bow hunt with ProStaff Outdoors this year. I hope you enjoy it.
The decision we made 3 years ago on how to properly help Shawn and Blair manage this wonderful property has started to pay dividends. Year one we shot some nice deer, 8 out of 12 hunters were successful. Year two the average deer antler size increased, again with 8 out of 12 hunters being successful. In both the first years, everyone saw bucks that most people would shoot but some of us elected to eat a tag vs shooting a young deer. With 4 mild winters in a row the antler size should really continue to increase in to the 2017 season. Shawn and Blair's estimation is that some deer grew 15-20 additional inches from our 2nd to 3rd year. Based on what I witnessed firsthand, their estimation was correct. Also, the number of bucks seen has increased. Seeing more bucks equals more shot opportunities.
My group hunted the rut, Novemver 3-8. When we arrived the temps were in the 20's with snow on the ground. One of the most anticipated parts of the trip was meeting at the gate and riding ATV's in to camp. We were all feeling like little kids opening Christmas gifts for the first time. It was daylight which provided a great opportunity to see this country. Unless you tag out early you don't see any of the country, other than the area around your stand, in the daylight. The temps slowly started to warm through the week creating a bit of a muddy mess. Some of us were allowed to ride the ATV's to our stand in the morning and back out in the evening. This made the trip that much more exciting. It felt like more of a do-it-yourself type hunt.
I had rut action from the very first rays of daylight, on the first sit of the hunt, perched in a ladder on the Ridge Stand. Bucks chasing does, does fending off bucks…it was really magic from the start. I hunted the Ridge stand for 4 straight days and saw the same 12 does and 4 bucks every day. One buck was a really nice 8 point that would have probably got shot if I had still been sitting there on the last day of the hunt. On day 5 I moved to Howie's stand. Dyrk had killed an old bruiser in this stand 2 days prior. The ground blind was brushed in perfectly. One of the best set ups for a ground blind that I had ever been in.
The first deer showed up at 8:00 sharp. Does fighting one another for dominance of the bait pile. Around 9:45 all the does started blowing, like they had been spooked by a wolf or coyote. Most all of them ran to the east, just out of my sight and continued the blow. About that same time I head the familiar grunt of a rutting buck coming in. He exploded into the bait pile like he was dropped out of the sky. He let out a loud snort-wheeze and asserted his authority over the bait pile. All the does stood off in the distance, waiting to see what he would do. I did not have a perfect shot at the time but knew right away that he was a shooter buck. He was just about to move in to the perfect position for a shot and then blew out just as quickly as he came in, chasing a doe. I could hear him grunting to the northeast of me, still chasing does. He came in again towards the bait but would not give me an ethical shot. He bolted out again after a doe and I did not hear him for several minutes. My heart sank as I thought I just lost my chance to arrow a really nice buck. As luck would have it, he reappeared, chasing a doe back towards the bait pile. As she stood off to the side of the bait pile, he slipped back to the bait and posed for a perfect shot opportunity. He was facing to my left. He moved his front leg slightly forward and offered me a perfect shot right on the inside of the crease where his shoulder meets his chest. The arrow traveled 21 yards in short order and sliced through his heart. He ran 10 yards, stopped--looked normal--flicked his tail a couple of times and then tumbled ass over tea kettle and never moved again! I had my biggest bow kill to date and the 2nd bow kill of ProStaff Outdoors' short history with this land. What an exhilarating experience. Being so up close and personal with such a magnificent animal was the thrill of a life time.
I got out of the blind, texted Blair and Shawn. I then walked over to check out bubba and he was much better than I thought. 145+ inches of antler beauty! I then walked up to get my ATV, drove back and waited for Blair.
The bonus of this hunt was yet to come. I was able to skin and debone all the meat from this deer. After that I took Jim's .22 and shot 4 grouse for dinner. The next night we ate fresh southern fried back straps and fried grouse breasts! The cabin sounded like a scene right out of Blazing' saddles with all the farting going on.
Without a doubt one of the best hunting experiences of my life.