André van Hilten's
Willow Creek Outfitters
2015 Bow Hunts
André van Hilten
Willow Creek Outfitter's
2015 Bow Hunt Report
We are now in our 15th season of providing quality, fair chase hunts and what a season it has been!
This year has been by far the best year we have seen for antler growth. A combination of the mule deer being on draw for Alberta resident hunters, a mild winter and good moisture at the right times this spring and summer have provided the ideal situation for these mature bucks to flourish. As always we spent many hours scouting during the summer to find the largest bucks in our area for our clients to hunt. The returns of this time invested resulted in our bowhunters harvesting some huge bucks!
We kicked off the archery mule deer season with first time hunter Danny Edmonds (NJ) arrowing a giant 191" on the first day of his hunt. This deer was an absolute giant and grew in size when seen up close. This was Danny's largest mule deer by far and made another one of our hunters addicted to spot and stalk mule deer hunting with a bow. Danny will be back again next year to try his luck again! Brad Gray (MI) has hunted with us a half dozen times and was back with us for another bowhunt. Brad harvested his first mule deer with a bow in 2014 and enjoyed it so much he came back to try again this year. Brad has something about getting the most out of his hunt, and like last year waited until the last day to take his buck, a dandy that taped out at 161"!
Carl Rossi (PA), on his fourth bowhunt with us in as many years, had been spreading the word on the great bowhunt we provide and brought a group of three other hunters with him. Carl's good friend John D'Angelo (PA) came out on his first western hunt. On the second day of his hunt John made a great shot on a cool looking buck that had a bunch of trash that totalled up to a surprising 182"! Not bad for your first mule deer. With John tagged out we had the rest of the hunt to find a good buck for Carl. On day four we were experiencing some really nasty weather but that did not stop us from looking and it was good that we were out there. We surprised a great buck in a coulee that escaped into a barley field. Carl endured some rain and freezing temperatures and gritted it out to harvest the largest deer of his life with a great 54 yard shot. This buck was an absolute giant and taped out at 203"!
My brother Hans was guiding Al Ceprano (PA), who has taken a couple nice bucks with us in the past two years, and Wayne Birster (PA) on his first hunt with us. Both Wayne and Al had some bad luck missing the same buck that we would later harvest that scored over 190". Wayne also had a couple shots at another buck over 180" but it was not meant to be and both Wayne and Al went home empty handed but will be back again next year to try again! That is how bowhunting goes sometimes. Dreabon Joiner (TX) and friend Don Williams (LA) had an amazing hunt with us. On day three Don was able to harvest the buck that was missed a couple of times earlier in the season, this buck had amazing brow tines and some trash and taped out at 191"! On day four Dreabon arrowed another buck we had been watching, a nice typical that scored 177". Juan Rodriguez Cerrillo (MX) had hunted elsewhere in Alberta a few years ago for mule deer but was unable to connect on one. Juan came on a hunt with us and after one missed shot it was time to go home and the mule deer jinx continued for him.
This year I had an archery only tag and after all our bowhunters were gone I got a few days to hunt for myself. This does not happen too much for me this time of year but fortunately I was able to take a nice 180" typical with a 57 yard shot.
This will be an archery season for the books! All our bowhunters took one or more shots with a 66% harvest rate and the average score on the archery bucks harvested was an incredible 184"!
Watch our videos on YouTube. They will give you a feel for the country, animals and the way we hunt here at Willow Creek Outfitters where you will experience "Fair Chase Hunting at it's Finest"!
Andre van Hilten
Sign Up For Our NewsletterRegister
Read more about each hunting season, the excellent time our hunters had on our hunts and the animals harvested in previous years.
past hunting seasons
Opener for the rifle deer season here is Oct. 25. Joining us this week would be return clients Francois St. Louis (QC) and Milo Ravndalen (MN) who brought his friend Chad Turner on his first western spot and stalk hunt. All three guys harvested real old bucks with Francois' being a 188" monster!
Hunting trophy class mule deer in open country with a bow! Seeing Pope and Young class bucks every day and sneaking within bow range is an excitement hard to beat. I guess that is why many of our bowhunters return multiple time to take in this action packed hunt!
The season was filled with many new hunters as well as a number of repeat clients. We harvested some really nice animals and made some good memories for all. We also acquired some more whitetail and black bear tags in our area early this fall and both are spot and stalk hunts, the whitetail in the rut in November and the black bear in the spring during the month of May.
We just finished another fantastic bow season for mule deer and again it was an exciting one with many repeat clients and some great bucks harvested. Overall 12 bowhunters took 8 bucks with an average score of 171"! The average shot range was 43 yards and everyone had a shot opportunity at a trophy class muley. The 2013 bowhunting season an unforgettable one!
Another hunting season is in the books, they seem to come and go faster every year! We had another exceptional year, a full slate of good clients and some great trophy animals that we could pursue. Conditions for the animals in this part of the province has been nothing short of amazing. The animals had no shortage of feed and once again we saw great antler growth on the bucks.
We just wrapped up another very successful archery season here at Willow Creek Outfitters! We specialize in trophy mule deer hunts and had 14 bowhunters join us in 2012 on this exciting hunt. We invest endless hours every year scouting and patterning the mule deer before our clients arrive. This pays off huge once the season starts as we can spend less time locating the deer and more time stalking them.
Another season has come to an end here at Willow Creek Outfitters. Eleven years now that we have been outfitting here in southwestern Alberta and it was the best year I have seen for antler growth on our deer and beautiful color phased bears. Our hunters took 5 mule deer bucks that scored over 180" and 7 that were in the 170's!
We just finished our archery mule deer hunts, and what a season it was! This was by far our best bow season yet, as far as clients harvesting bucks. With good moisture in the spring and early summer this area had quality antler growth! Of the 10 bucks our bowhunters took we have live video footage of 9 of them.