It is now December, another hunting season has come to a close and
winter has set in. I cannot believe that another year has come and
gone reminding me that we have to enjoy each day to its fullest. This
past season was another fulfilling one here at Willow Creek Outfitters
and the one thing that stood out to me was the great group of clients.
There were good times and relationships forged that made great memories
for years to come. Even through these tough economic times we were
very fortunate to have our busiest season yet guiding more clients
than we have ever had on a true fair chase hunting experience.
I personally started the 2009 hunting season in March by treating
myself to a trip to Africa, a place I had long yearned to see. I hunted
with Crusader Safaris of South Africa, a top notch outfitter specializing
in fair chase plains game hunts on over 900,000 acres. When it was
all said and done I had some phenomenal memories and experiences and
I harvested two species of kudu, a gemsbok and two bushbuck. I plan
to return in the near future, if you are interested in joining in
on this upcoming hunt let me know, you will be glad you did.
Upon my return from Africa I began to get ready for our spring spot
and stalk black bear hunt. Joining us on this hunt were all clients
that had hunted with us at least once in the past. We harvested two
nice black boars a 61 and a 610 that had 19
12/16 skull. There were also three shot opportunities at three
other big bears in the 6 ½ to 7 range, two of which
were colored. We all miss at some point if you have hunted long enough!
During the summer I spent a month guiding Dall sheep in the Yukon
for a good friend of mine, Kelly Wiebe who now manages Ruby Range
Outfitters. Many of you know Kelly as he has helped me guide my rifle
deer hunts for the past four years. Upon my return I started into
my intense scouting routine that consumed most days for the month
prior to the archery season opener. After many hours and miles I was
a little disappointed in the lack of sightings of top end trophy mule
deer. We had experienced a very dry spring and early summer this year
that was most likely the reason for stunting of antler growth.
Throughout the bow season we took 11 clients for mule deer and 2 for
elk. Again we hunted mule deer that would score in the 190s
and the elk hunters were on to a bull that would push 340. But
as you know if you are a bow hunter seeing them and getting them are
two different things! We were again 100% on opportunity with the archery
mule deer. All but two guys launched arrows but of the 16 shots taken
only 4 found their mark. Nick Trotta harvest the best scoring buck,
an old buck in the mid 160s. Nick harvested a 177 muley
last year and also booked for 2010. Can he make it 3 for 3! The two
elk hunters dealt with extreme heat and a few unfortunate circumstances
that kept them from sealing the deal on the big bull and a few other
smaller 5 and 6 points.
As the last bow hunters were leaving our first bird hunters arrived.
Again the extreme heat we were having at the time affected our bag
limits but we had some good shoots where guys limited out on ducks
first thing in the morning. As we moved into the middle of October
our weather improved for hunting and the duck and goose shoots greatly
As the end of October approached our rifle season arrived. We started
hunting mule deer in the pre rut stage. Due to warmer weather the
heat of the rut held off until the middle of the month when both the
whitetails and mule deer kicked it into high gear. We were 100% on
the dozen rifle mule deer hunts and 5 for 6 on the rifle whitetails.
Majority of our mule deer hunters were first timers and had never
hunted these deer before, we were happy to say that they had taken
their best buck to date with us! Mike Salmon took the best mule deer
for the season, an old brute that scored over 180. Dave Halota
took his best whitetail with us, and the best for the season, a nice
5x5 that scored in the mid 140s.
Now that the big game hunting season is over it is time to chase ol
wiley coyote! We have no shortage of coyotes in this country as any
of you that have hunted here can attest! If you are looking for some
excitement this winter give me a call and we can set you up with an
action packed coyote hunt.
At this point 60% of our 2010 big game hunts have been booked so if
you are in the market for a quality fair chase hunt, come give us
a try. We will also have a booth at the Wild Sheep Foundation in Reno,
Feb 4-6. I would like to sincerely thank all of the clients from this
year and also ones from past seasons. Also thanks to all the guides,
cook and cleaner for all your hard work to make it all happen and
doing your part in making our clients dreams become a reality!
Best wishes to all for the holiday season and hope to hunt with you
sometime down the trail!
The Full Printable 2009 Hunt Report
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