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Old 11-28-2021, 08:40 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Default The Bushleague season.

Havent done much for posting this season, so now that its over I thought I'd share a bit.

It started off with the annual canoe hunt. Prairie Kid and I canoed in the first day and made camp in a spot that I knew held some moose. The next morning at first light we spotted a cow on the bank of the river about a half kilometer away. The cow crossed the river, but I thought I saw another moose hanging out right on the bush line. We got into position and I started calling, after about 20 minuets a bull came out on the bank. Prairie Kid sure took his time shooting his first moose, but when he finally pulled the trigger it was perfect. Not an ounce of meat wasted and the bull went down in less than 20 yards. Great job and congrats! With heavy rain, wind, and wet snow we waited out the worst of it and paddled our meat out the next day.

2E697916-65C0-4C33-9C73-2C0FA95215F3 by , on Flickr

For years I've been trying to get a deer stillhunting with my kids along to experience it. Obviously this is a bit of a tough thing to pull off, but this year I took my eldest daughter (11 years old) out for an evening hunt and it finally happened. I crested a knoll and saw a weird dark spot about 100 yards away in the bush, I waved my daughter up and told her to check it out with my binoculars. At just that moment the dark spot briefly sprouted a head. It was a frontal shot, but with the doe somewhat below me and with its head down. I put the bullet through the neck and into the boiler room, that deer went down so fast I doubt it even heard the shot... an absolutely perfect experience to share with my daughter.

1C4E2D9E-BD16-4FD3-8477-21B88F67EACB by , on Flickr

With a pretty good start on my meat I got down to the business of trying to find a trophy buck. I have some really rugged areas I like to hunt way back in the Swan Hills, usually when I'm not super serious about killing anything. Ridges that top out at almost 3000 feet, nearly 1000 feet higher than the closest access road, and most of that gain in less than 2KM. High enough that sometimes the clouds come in below you and you get an eerie feeling as you watch the whole world disappear. The sides are scoured with deep drainage ravines and the valleys are carpeted with spruce bogs and blowdown to the point that I actually am forced to admit they are literally impassible. I love hunting back there because it is so wild and rugged, but I never really do shoot anything. It would take a fantastic buck to tempt me to brave getting it out of there, and while I've found sheds that indicate those deer do live back there I have yet to get a shot at one.

PA230257 by , on Flickr

Through late October and early November I saw a couple nice ones, but decided to let them walk. Late in the second week of November I was hunting my way out of the bush, I was hunting through a piece of timber on the edge of a cutblock that is surrounded by old logging roads. The wind was bad and I figured if I heard anything spook I would immediately run to the old road and try to catch the deer crossing into the big timber. Thats how it played out, and when I got to the road I saw two does cross, I waited a bit and about 10 minuets later a really nice buck stepped out onto the trail about 100 yards away. I whistled at him and he stopped dead... and somehow I clean missed him. I couldnt believe it and I still dont know how I missed such a clean shot. Though it likely wasnt my rifle, just to be sure I started using my spare which is the exact same rifle and scope as my main rifle. Lots of guys like variety of guns, I started out like that but eventually I just found a setup that worked for me, got two and never looked back.

DSCF1911 by , on Flickr

Coming into the last full week of the season I got a crack at an even bigger buck. I spotted him headed out into a cutblock with only a half hour of daylight left. A personal best for sure, with no better option I tried aggressively trailing him through the cutblock in the hopes of getting a shot before dark, admittedly a very low chance of success but what else do you do? I'd catch a glimpse of him once in awhile, popping out of a low swale and disapearing into a thicket of willow before I could get a shot. I finally got a clear look at him just as he was about to drop into a ravine. I shouted at him and he stopped broadside, unfortunately it felt way too far to freehand the shot. I tried to kneel or sit but undergrowth was in the way, with buck I missed in mind I just decided to let him go rather than risk a shot I didnt like. After a minuet he took off into the ravine, I ran up to the lip of the ravine hoping to catch him going up the far side. The ravine was actually quite open in that location, and I knew with a sinking feeling that if I had let the buck go in without trying to stop him, then hustled up to the edge, I very likely would have got a good shot at him. Finding my way back to the truck through in the dark I actually felt pretty good about the whole experience though, a half hour spent trailing a buck like that, within shooting distance almost the whole time was an experience I will never forget.

DSCF1908 by , on Flickr

That evening I got the news, because of the flooding in BC the mill where I work can not ship product, and a bunch of us are getting laid off until the situation is resolved. The next morning I woke up to warm temps and slushy snow, meaning that it would freeze and go crunchy. At that point I decided that it made more sense to get some more meat rather than try and hang on to the tag and hope for a cranker, so I walked into the bush having decided to shoot the next deer I saw. By 8:30 I'd shot a small 4x4 that I didnt even bother to photograph. Not the buck I wanted but under the circumstances I had no regrets. The tenderloins and heart were delicious.

IMG_0514 by , on Flickr

Predictably the next day was super crunchy, I had to work my last couple night shifts and was going to sleep. But my wife decided to head out for one last try. As my daughter will be old enough to hunt next year I'd been keeping track of good spots to put a blind. With stillhunting a bad option I sent my wife to one of the best ones I'd found... a small natural clearing in a large stand of thick spruce, a little ways off the side of an old burn. it had become a major trail hub with many trails crossing from all directions. At 9:30 my youngest daughter woke me up and told me mom had shot a buck. We all headed out to lend a hand, didnt get much sleep before my shift but it was a great end to the season.

IMG_0512 by , on Flickr
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Last edited by Bushleague; 11-28-2021 at 09:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2021, 09:57 PM
jayquiver jayquiver is online now
 
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sounds like a great season!

Hopefully you aren't laid off for too long.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:31 PM
59whiskers 59whiskers is offline
 
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Great hunting trips.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:19 AM
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58thecat 58thecat is offline
 
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time well spent in the woods!
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:29 AM
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Phil McCracken Phil McCracken is offline
 
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Excellent season!...
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:59 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Congrats on your season and hopefully the layoff is short
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Old 11-29-2021, 01:56 PM
Bigwoodsman Bigwoodsman is offline
 
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Sounds like the perfect season to me. Congratulations.

BW
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Old 11-29-2021, 03:06 PM
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Tronneroi Tronneroi is offline
 
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Thanks for the read. Sure hope Prairie Kid shared some of that moose with you!
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Old 11-29-2021, 04:13 PM
Prairiekid Prairiekid is offline
 
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That cranker in the ravine only has to make it one more day and will hopefully be there next year!
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Old 12-02-2021, 01:10 AM
Peebles Peebles is offline
 
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you seem like an expert at life.

your annual thread is one of the reasons I still come back here.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:55 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peebles View Post
you seem like an expert at life.

your annual thread is one of the reasons I still come back here.
Lol, ask Prairy Kid... I'm an avid hobyist at best.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:39 PM
roper1 roper1 is offline
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Sure fun to have the wife & kids interested in our passion. Makes it so much more enjoyable. An enjoyed & successful fall for you & the family. Congrats. Well done!
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:38 PM
Prairiekid Prairiekid is offline
 
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BL is just being modest. I didnít seek out learning to still hunt from him because I thought he was merely a hobbyist.

Like many of the successful hunter/outdoorsmen here, BL enjoys being out in the woods year round. Being a good outdoorsmen doesnít start and end in November.

Iím heading out for grouse tomorrow. You better believe with some snow on the ground Iíll be sure to check into what the deer are up to these days.
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Old 12-12-2021, 08:22 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronneroi View Post
Thanks for the read. Sure hope Prairie Kid shared some of that moose with you!
Obviously such a trip is a joint effort, and all meat is split 50-50. Horns go to the shooter.

Back to work today, thanks for the concern guys.
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Old 12-12-2021, 11:11 AM
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sns2 sns2 is online now
 
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What a really great season. Thank you for sharing. Great pics. Congrats man.
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