- Deer Hunting Strategies
- Fly Fishing
- Fresh Water Angling
- Hunting News
- Moose Hunting
- Mountain Adventures
- Prince George Sockeye Salmon Season 2010
- Scouting for Moose
- Epilogue to 2010 Sheep Hunt
- Stone’s Sheep Hunt – August 2010
- Sheep Hunt 2010
March 29th, 2010
For all you fly fishing fanatics, Dragon Lake just opened up and became ice free as of yesterday, March 28!!!
We had a weekend of heavy winds which helped free up the ice sooner.
Continued cooler temperatures throughout the week and great weather forcast for Wednesday through Friday should make for some great fly fishing for huge rainbows. After ice-out, these large rainbows can be caught cruising in water as shallow as 1.5 feet tight against the reeds along the shoreline. There’s nothing like the thrill of a 5 lbs plus rainbow ripping your line off from the shallows headed for deeper water!!
My top 3 fly choices after ice out at Dragon Lake has been the olive scud, teeny nymph and black or purple micro-leaches with red wire ribs.
Dress warm as temps are still falling to sub zero temperatures with day time highs of 10 degrees.
Tight lines.Filed under Fly Fishing, Fresh Water Angling | Comment (0)
March 26th, 2010
The 2010 BC LEH Synopsis is now available on line for viewing!
The deadline has been moved up and LEH cards must be received in Victoria by 4:30 pm, May 21, 2010.
The hard copy versions of the LEH Synopsis will be available to the public the week of April 19, 2010.Filed under Hunting News | Comment (0)
March 26th, 2010
After a great trip to the Thompson Nicola region, I turned my focus to northern BC, the Peace River country, to pursue mule deer and white-tailed deer with my father and his cousin. The Peace is a special place for me and its a trip we’ve made many times with many special memories and successful hunts.
As the miles went by on our way to Ft St John, I couldn’t help note the excellent snow conditions (although perhaps a little too deep for driving on side roads). More important, I couldn’t help but not notice the number of deer out in the open. A small buck here, a small buck there all wandering around in the daylight. Now normally it is normal to see deer at all times, however most of the time the deer are either feeding or bedded. Nearly all the bucks I observed, were literally cruising along with purpose.
Ahhhhh, yes…….that magical time when the bucks are on the move covering as much ground as possible in the search of receptive does and there were also plenty of does around with smaller bucks tailing them.
Mule deer buck sign was everywhere but that was also because the snow was 2 1/2 weeks old. I also noted several huge buck rubs on 6-10 inch trees which is a very important indicator that large bucks were in the vicinity.
I was back in the Peace! I was excited. Hunting conditions were phenomenal and I knew I was in for an excellent hunt.
They say hunting is a lot of luck. But I’m a firm believer you can make your own luck increase 10 fold by putting yourself in position to take advantage of the hunting situation. I had all the ingredients to make my own success happen:
- Does in estrus- mature bucks will be on the move looking for them.
- Small bucks on the move: indicative that larger mature bucks will be looking for does too.
- Sign: big rubs and big tracks = mature bucks.
- Identified bottle neck / travel corridor: probably one of the best features to hunt and watch when bucks are on the move and cruising for does in heat. Be very patient.
Adding to the 4 strategies previously stated in Part I:
Strategy and Scenario No. 5: Hunt all day: especially bewteen 11am and 1pm.
I say this with conviction because everyone is back in town or back in camps eating their lunch or having a mid day snooze. They’re not hunting at what is probably the most critical time to catch a smart mature buck on the move. They know and learn when hunters are afield.
I was paying special attention to the funnel / bottleneck area, watching and waiting. All was quiet and then in one moment, there he stood, having just emerged from the heavy timber stand right at the bottleneck………at 12:20pm. One quick look through my binoculars and I knew I wanted him. The buck also had other ideas and began bootin’ across for cover. I didn’t have much time, bracing myself into a sitting position with the cross hairs on the buck (god…..a running mule deer buck at over 300 yards isn’t a favourable target and I held off from shooting) and waited……and I waited……….and then he did it……….he did what has been the downfall of mule deer bucks all across North America……….the very curious nature of mule deer……….he stopped and turned broadside ………for one last look……… and a single rifle shot echoed through the air………..I was ready for that moment……..
By incorporating my own strategies with your own hunt planning, you will greatly enhance your odds and success taking mature mule deer bucks. I hope by presenting real situations with real success, that you are able to take that knowledged and added confidence that you too can have blind success for mule deer.Filed under Deer Hunting Strategies | Comment (1)
March 26th, 2010
Some of you may have read the article, ‘Blind Success for Mulies’, in the fall 2009 issue of BC Outdoors Hunting and Shooting magazine. For those of you who have not read the article and wish to read it, do not hesitate to contact the editor (Mike Mitchel).
In that article, I highlighted 4 proven strategies which have worked for me in over 20 years of deer hunting British Columbia:
1. Watch the does
2. Ambush bucks enroute to or from feeding areas
3. Watch natural funnels / travel corridors
4. Stand hunt road crossings
I like to practice what I preach, and the 2009 deer season was no exception!! I know what works and it has proven to be very successful and it can work for you too! Read on and learn more on how you can be successful from my deer adventures of 2009!!
Watch Natural Funnels / Travel Corridors
Mid November of 2009 found me deep in the hills of the Thompson Nicola (Region 3) hunting once again with good friends and savvy deer hunters Steve Dana, Matt Brown and Terry Smith.
It had been three days of tough hunting and while we all saw legal bucks up to that point, they were not what we were looking for. I arrived back at camp to find Matt sitting by the wood stove, with a wry smile, “You’re going to go set up your treestand in that spot tomorrow aren’t you?……I saw your tracks.” he said.
With a big grin on my face I answered, “Yep!”.
You see, both Matt and I, while still hunting a huge tract of timber, came upon a series of game trails converging and being funneled through a low spot in the terrain bordered by impassible cliffs. If any deer wanted to cross, they really had no choice but to cross at this location. The perfect stand location! This highlights Strategy #3 from the article: Watch natural funnels / travel corridors!
I embarked early the next morning with my tree stand for the long hike in the dark to the funnel we found. With the crunchy snow conditions, I knew I was making the right decision. Normally, I would utilize natural ground cover or features, however this location was perfect for an above ground tree stand.
Stand hunting takes patience and it can be taxing mentally to sit in one spot all day long. Its not easy. Especially, when after 3 hours, all I saw was this:
After 4 hours, I was able to entertain myself with thoughts of, “What would she do if I jumped on her back?”
When sitting in a stand for a long period of time, its important to pay attention and stay focussed. Deer and wildlife will show up in the blink of an eye when you least expect it and often will not give you much shooting opportunity. Such was the case after 5 hours when I caught the subtle glimpse of grey movement coming through the trees in the distance. Fully alert and ready with my rifle in my lap, I waited for what I was hoping was a mature mule deer buck on the move. Another glimpse closer and I knew now that it was a deer, I had one window of opportunity to shoot, and I raised my rifle waiting and ready………he walked into view, and I lowered my rifle. He was a buck, but just a healthy young 2 point.
I had been in the stand now nearly all day with only 1 squirrel, 1 moose and 1 fork antlered mule deer buck sighting. There was 1 hour left of light and I was full on alert slowly scanning the timber back and forth watching when all of a sudden my heart stopped as the slightest glimpse of antler flashed through the trees way up the hill and disapeared and I instantly knew this wasn’t going to be any fork antlered buck.
I instantly also realized the buck wasn’t using any of the trails, but was utilzing the security of the thicker timber parallel to the trail and I wasn’t going to have much opportunity to shoot. He was getting closer and closer and finally I had a good view of the 4 point buck. It was long enough for me to quickly decide I didn’t want to shoot him and let him walk to live another day……but not before being able to zoom in and snap a photo of him on the ridge 50 yards away before he continued on his way!
For most hunters, new and old, this would have been a climatic way to end a very rewarding day by stand hunting a location after identifying a funnel / travel corridor!
Watch the Does
I had a great hunt in Region 3 and although I did not pull the trigger, it wasn’t without opportunity to harvest bucks.
On my way home, I thought I would check out a grown in cut area filled with small gullies and ravines that I know mule deer tend to favour. With only an hour left of light, I was glassing the small clearings and openings when I spotted a mule deer doe. She had my full attention as she was displaying an erratic stotting pattern, stopping to look back towards the timber, only to repeat the erratic stotting pattern again, stop and look back towards the timber.
One needs to be alert and understand deer behaviour. The mule deer doe was displaying classic doe in heat behaviour and I knew by her actions there could only be one thing that was causing her erratic behaviour………and that is a mature mule deer buck nearby!
I quickly grabbed my rifle and stalked downwind quietly to within 50 yards of the doe, who was oblivious to my presence. She was impatient, pacing around and even coming close enough for me to get a photograph without being overly alarmed. Note her ears turned back in the direction she was looking at. Another clue, that I knew there was a deer in the timber.
Darkness and remaining legal shooting time was fast approaching and there was no sign of the buck I figured was holding up in the timber. I had to think fast as I realized I needed to something to entice the buck out into the open. With my rattling antlers back in the truck, I quickly used the end of my rifle barrel and brushed it across the willows while letting loose a series of low grunts………and boy that did it!!! That buck came out of the timber with purpose and intent to thrash whoever was intruding on his girlfriend!! He homed in right in my direction and it was long enough to see he was a nice mature 4 point mule deer buck with a swollen neck and being downwind, I could smell the strong scent of urine and scent from his glands.
I decided not to shoot him either. Instead preferring to observe the buck go about chasing the doe back into the timber. Paying attention to does and behavioural clues as to what they are doing, can give you a great opportunity at a mature mule deer buck.Filed under Deer Hunting Strategies | Comment (0)
March 24th, 2010
Great news from the MOE with the latest proposal to introduce the LEH Synopsis for resident hunters early than in years past.
This is a step in the right direction to get the draws results out to resident hunters earlier. Although I would like to see all LEH draws to co-incide with the earlier grizzly / sheep draws. Earlier drawings enhance participation by many hunters who must otherwise plan and book their holidays in advance.
The following schedule as follows is subject to change. Make sure you have your cards filled out correctly and sent in early this year!!
The proposed LEH schedule for 2010/11:
Posting of the synopsis on the F&W Branch Website: by March 26, 2009 (this Friday).
Distribution of paper synopsis: initiated by April 13th, with full distribution completed by April 19th.
Closing Date for Applications: May 21st, 2010.
Notification of drawresults is anticipated to be by June 18, 2010.
For comparison, last year (2009/10), the dates were:
Posting of the synopsis on the F&W Branch Website: last week of April.
Distribution of paper synopsis: 1st week of May.
Closing Date for Applications: June 12th
Notification of drawresults was mid July.
The 2010/11 schedule will provide hunters with about 4 wks to review the synopsis and submit their LEH applications, (but considerably longer if they check the website). In addition we anticipate hunters will be notified of the draw results almost a month earlier than last year.Filed under Hunting News | Comment (0)