We asked two of our WILD Jaeger Pro-Staff members recently “What was your favorite hunt in 2013?” Here are their answers and as you can see, they are both proud of the experiences.
By Wayne Davis
Figure 1 “Photo” Wayne Davis and his son, spending some quality father son time in their ground blind.
My best hunt of 2013 was when I got my five year old son Bryce to go hunting with me. We were given some hand me down camouflage clothing from a friend. My son thought they were cool, which helped convince him to go hunting with me.
It was getting late in the day, so we were scrambling to get into my ground blind. Once we finally arrived there, my son could not see very well; so he wanted to stand outside the blind.
I got him to come back in and sit down. He only lasted about 20 minutes, because I forgot to bring snacks. Needless to say we did not see anything, but is was still my best “hunt” of 2013.
By Ryan Yaskiw
Figure 2 “Photo” Ryan Yaskiw and his trophy buck taken with his bow in 2013.
What was my favorite hunt of 2013? Well that is an easy one for me; it was my Manitoba whitetail hunt. For the last three years, I have been working to improve the habitat on a farm I hunt. I hardly hunted it in 2011, but hunted it hard in 2012, without taking an animal off it. So I had a feeling 2013 would be the year I finally harvested a deer off this farm.
I hunted for deer that were four year old and up, which means two deer made the list. One was a monster six year old 180 class 5×5, and the other was a four year old 120 class 4×4 that I had passed on the year prior. These two bucks were a study in contrast. Normally I would shoot only the 5×5; but my time to hunt was limited due to other hunting commitments.
I am a firm believer in understanding then hunting the seasonal tendencies of deer in a specific location. My scouting camera data from the previous two years had shown a very defined seasonal tendency. The deer piled into the timber and moved a lot in the daylight hours between August 20 to September 15. It then seemed that the moose that lived on this farm chased the deer out with their rutting activities. Deer season opened September 2, so I was ready to hunt the fourteen days after the opener.
The first five days of the hunt were slow with only one encounter with a pair of does. Warm temperatures and a massive acorn crop had really thrown a loop into the daytime deer movement. But I continued to hunt hard. September 6th was again warm, but an approaching cold front promised to change that. The evening hunt looked good. I would be able to finally hunt my best stand due to the north winds the cold front would bring. I like to call this stand the corner pocket.
I slipped into the stand around 17:00 and settled in for a long evening sit. Nothing happened until the last 20 minutes of daylight; I caught a noise off to the east of me.
A few moments later the four year old 4×4 stepped out of the timber into the opening I was hunting. I hit record on the video camera, grabbed my bow and waited for a shot to present itself.
Figure 3 “Photo” The view from Ryan’s tree stand right before he made the shot on his buck.
Eight minutes later the buck finally worked his way into a shooting lane where I could both shoot and capture the shot on camera. I drew, anchored and aimed at the last rib on his left side…..and proceeded to put a perfect 18 yard quartering away shot on the buck.
His death run was short and quick and I heard him crash forty yards away 10 seconds later. I gave him a few minutes and then picked up the trail. I found him right where I heard him crash. Then it was time for pictures and field dressing. My head hit the pillow at 2 am after all the recovery and cutting up work.
This hunt was my most memorable because to two things; the first was the fact that I had passed on this buck in 2012, giving him one more year. The other was the amazing sense of fulfillment I had. I was finally being able to take an animal off of the farm I had worked so hard to improve, by creating a plan based on observed seasonal tendencies.
I was able to fill my Saskatchewan deer tag two weeks later. Then, I helped a first time deer hunter score on a buck on November 3 due to these same observed tendencies. All in all 2013 was a very rewarding season for me.