Saskatchewan 2021 semi-live hunts

SaskHunter

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Joined
Aug 7, 2018
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Pretty late to be a live hunt but a few of this year's hunts are done so it's giving me time to sit down and do a write up. Unfortunately, with work and the land border closure, I've had to cancel my Wyoming/Montana trips, again 😔, but I hope to finally be able to hunt the 2022 season down South.

So much like 2020, this year will be local hunts, I might do a Manitoba trip in November but not too sure at the moment.

The season started slow with spring bear, 5 days of nothing but nocturnal bears in May. I managed to get very lucky on the last morning of that hunt and tagged a beautiful colourphased blackie. A few weeks later, plans changed and I managed to head North again to try and fill my second tag but decided not to shoot any of the smaller bears I saw. All and all, spring bear was slow but still beat staying home!

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Fast forward to August, I hit the elk woods. I did a five day stint for archery and had some decent action, got into some cows the first morning and called in a bull to 81 yards a couple days later. 20 yards out of my comfort zone so he lived to see another day!

A couple weeks later I was back at it for a few days during rifle season. Not much action for the rut and the orange army was out in full force. The last couple days involved some vocal elk that never showed themselves. Overall, pretty good elk season with lots of new lessons learned. Got to test my new wall tent on both trips and can't believe I didn't get one before this. Not sleeping in a truck or on the ground and being able to actually dry my wet gear was amazing!

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Elk season rapidly faded into archery mule deer. Lots of failed stalks or opportunities I chose to pass on. As always, the cacti were present and made for interesting stalks. Side note and piece of advice, always watch where you fling a piece of cactus at. I learned that the hard way when I flung a piece of cactus which unknowingly landed on my crotch, only to burry itself into my left testicle a few moments later! Anyway, back to archery mule deer; I succesfully stalked a nice 180 inch 4x4 and released what was a great shot but at the wrong range. I had rapidly taken a 61 yard range for what was actually a 52 yard shot. I watched that perfect shot fly straight above that deer. Getting a proper range after confirmed that that was the issue and all and all I was happy I hadn't injured a deer. September archery is always a great time, tons of animals, beautiful skies and awesome weather.

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SaskHunter

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Joined
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2,274
Location
Saskatchewan
October arrived and it was time to temporarily put the bow away and pick up the muzzle loader to chase moose. Lucky for me, I had the next 3 weeks off work. This was the second time I drew this "easy" to draw tag. The tag was for a "City Zone" with extremely low density, access and opportunities. Still, I'd drawn that tag in 2017 and had somehow landed on my first moose of that season, a spike and 49 inch bull, a few days into the hunt. The choice was easy and I blasted the spike without any hesitation... just kidding... I had taken a shot at and harvested a beautiful 49 inch bull. I knew there were moose there, from harvesting one and saying some on other years. Fast forward to this year and with the same tag in my pocket, the season started more or less the same. Nothing but old sign was found on the first three days. Saskatchewan is being hit by a reccord drought and while its nice keeping your feet dry, it made for finding fresh tracks and sign very hard. I arrived late on the fourth morning, the wind wasn't great so I hunted the only spot that made sense. Stayed there until 9h30 and decided to change things up and move to where I had shot my bull in 2017. Made it to the spot around 10h00 and chose to leave my backpack at the truck, it was pretty hot and what were the odds of actually seeing something anyway. I made my way to the only spot that has any water left and somehow spotted something black moving in the corner of my eye. My first thought was "probably another f'n cow that escaped". I put my binos on the "cow" and saw that it had a large hump but it quickly moved out of sight. There was a strong cross wind and it was 350m away so I decided to get closer and start calling. I quickly got to about 100m to where I had last seen it and looked through my binos. I could see something dark behind a bunch of willows and figured I'd keep my eyes on it, maybe it was a stump, maybe it was a moose, maybe it was a f'n cow. A minute or so in, I caught movement, it was definitely a moose as it was very tall but still wasn't sure of what it was. Calls weren't doing anything, it was just chilling there chewing on willows. I kept my binos on it and a few more minutes in I caught that "bull moose shaking its head" wobble and clearly saw two white paddles shining in the sunlight. More calls didn't do much. I decided to use the terrain to get completely downwind of it and start my approach. Once I got to 75m of where I had last seen it I activated stealth mode and took off my boots to close in the distance in what has been the driest and loudest terrain I have ever seen. Lucky for me, the wind was strong and louder than the 100s of crispy leaves I was walking on. I finally saw the moose, still chewing on some willows. Clear as day, I could see the antlers and told myself "f*ck it, I'm shooting that bull". From what I could see, it was a small bull but for this zone beggars can't be choosers. The moose was quartering away and its vitals were covered. I was standing on the edges of a dried slough and a couple of feet to my right was a 2x2 ft hole inside a dead patch of trees. If I could make it there, it would probably give me a shooting lane. So after taking the world's slowest and most careful steps of my entire hunting career, I finally made it to "the hole" which now gave me a much better view of the bull now standing probably less than 50m away. With my muzzle loader through the only gap in the branches, I waited there for a couple minutes hoping for the bull to take one step forward and open up its vitals, I was looking East and the sun was right in the scope but I thought I could still take a good shot. The moment it took a step forward and settled it legs down, 'BANG' went the muzzle loader. Instantly I saw what none of us want to see, a branch that I had not seen being blasted away, a few feet in front of the moose. The moment I broke the action to remove the primer I realized how much of an idiot I can be at times and that my five spare shots were at the truck, on the other end of the section. Against my better judgement, I went and looked for blood right away. Suddenly, the smell of brush fire hit me and a thick grey ominous cloud slowly made its way towards me. I found what was a great blood trail and again, against my better judgement, I followed the trail as I figured it was a good shot afterall. I followed the trail until I came face to ass with the bull moose, which had bedded 75m away. There I was, like an idiot, with a perfectly good opportunity to end it, with an empty muzzle loader. I slowly backed out and when I figured I was far enough, took a mad dash to my truck, from one end of the section to the other. Knowing the area well, I knew I could drive down a trail to about 200m downwind of where the bull was. Once I got there, I got closer and activated stealth mode once more but came face to face with a now dead bull moose, no follow up shots required. It turned out that my shot had deflected off the branch and entered in the back of the moose's right thigh, going through muscle only, through the liver and into one of its lungs. Not the shot I'd hope for but it was still over within 45 min and not far from where it was shot. Turns out the smoke was from fires 5 hours North which are still very active today. The bull turned out to be bigger than I thought which made an already happy man, much happier!

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This moose was my third but first that I could drive my truck to. This made for a much easier breakdown and "pack out". Got home with my bull and showed my two biggest fans who were all very excited! "Mom, daddy shot a huuuuuge moose!!!"

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I gave myself a day off and picked up the bow again to go and chase mule deer. That morning, the wind wasn't great and I had to take the long way around one of my spots. I bumped a good buck onto a property I don't have access to and saw nothing but does for the rest of the morning. I decided to walk/still hunt back to the truck with the wind to my face. I somehow managed to walk to 20 yards of a buck. He was in a whole surounded by trees with rattling dry leaves which is probably why he never heard me. As soon as I saw him I ducked, nocked an arrow and took another look at him. Without messing too much around, I figured he was big enough, got a range on some brush that was next to him, got up for a clear shot and drew my bow. He looked straight at me as I drew and released. Ducked the arrow which hit him right in the spine. Down he went and a quick second arrow sealed the deal. I got up to him and started counting; 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 AND 7!!! I had just shot a beautiful 5x7! Two days, two bucks!"

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Got home to the official SaskHunter fan club who were again all excited! My sassy oldest said something along the line of "Dad, TWO days, TWO bucks". The next few days involved butchering and cleaning skulls.

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That's all for now! I might go out for birds tomorrow morning, not sure yet. I still have lots of doe tags to fill and a whitetail buck tag that I am keeping for the rut. My brother and FIL are coming down for the rifle season so that should be pretty fun too! I think I will squeeze in a whitetail hunt in Manitoba in-between though! For now, the truck engine light just came on so I've got to deal with that!
 
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SaskHunter

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Joined
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Messages
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Freezer pics or it didn't happen.. ;)

I shot my first bull moose in 2011 I believe, I knew they were big but never really thought about what I would do with a whole moose. I had nothing but a 4cu freezer at home at the time.

After working all day breaking down and packing it out with a friend, I got home that night beatup and tired and had only a few words for my wife. They were along the lines of: "we're going to need a bigger freezer".
 

SaskHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
2,274
Location
Saskatchewan
Outstanding!! A few more years and the fan club will become the hunt club!
Dude, you have no idea how I'm excited to take them out on their own hunts in a few years.

I take my oldest from time to time! She saw her first deer kill when she was 3, not that she remembers much, but I do! I plan on taking her out this fall to fill some doe tags.
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