Saskatchewan 2021 semi-live hunts

SaskHunter

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So haven't done much hunting between shooting my mule deer and early November. I ended up going to Manitoba for whitetail the second week of November for rifle season. Halfway to Mabitoba, we were hit with a huge snowstorm, the second half of the drive was slow but I made it to destination fine. Last season I'd made the same trip and was hit by an even bigger snowstorm which cut the hunt short. I'm starting to think Manitoba isn't for me, but anyway...

Hunted hard in 2 feet of snow for 5 days; over those five days I passed a few smaller bucks and held off for a bigger buck. Saw two very good bucks but never managed to get a shot off.
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Returned home to Saskatchewan to get ready for the whitetail opener on the following morning.
 

SaskHunter

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The first two days of Saskatchewan rifle whitetail sucked. The first day was fog so thicc it would make one of them rap guys girlfriends jealous!

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The fog broke at lunch and the evening was more fog. Found a nice scrape and overall had little action, mostly mule deer.

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Second day was pretty crappy, another snow storm rolled in and that day was more or less the same as the first saw a decent amount of deer. Ended up hunting another afternoon, saw lots of bucks but nothing big enough. I took the rest of the week off as my brother was coming in with my father-in-law for the non-resident season.
 
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SaskHunter

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Picked up my brother and FIL last week at the airport for our annual whitetail hunt.

My brother and I hunted together and the FIL went solo as they both drew two different zones as non-res.

With coffee and breakfast burrito energy, my brother and I got on the action right away thebfirst few days, the whitetails were on the move and the bucks were chasing HARD. The majority of does had bucks in tail. We passed half a dozen good bucks the first morning and figured out our plan for the following days. One of my favourite spot was snowdrifted pretty bad so we dug out a snow fort (dubbed OP Igloo) and figured we'd hunt there when the wind wpuld be right as we had seen about half a dozen bucks there in the span of an hour the first day. OP Igloo is on top of a knob and had a 360° view of high traffic areas. It concealed everything but our bobbing noggins.

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Between hunts, we would check out other spots or go home to pick up/drop off the FIL for his PM hunts.
 
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SaskHunter

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Came home for lunch, fueled up on a fat azz meal spiked with some Bubbly and off we went for a PM hunt. Dropped off the FIL on the way and headed to a different spot I know well.

The first sit of the PM was pretty simple, watch two fields seperated by a T shaped tree line surrounded by little islands. Setting up on either side of the T corners we would watch the fields covered in small pockets of trees. I would do the calling and that way we could catch action coming in from most sides. I dropped my brother off and went to my spot and did a quick calling/rattling sequence. A few minutes after, 3 does and a small buck came out of the bottom of the T onto the field I was watching, about 800 yards away. Right away I noticed that the 3 does were pretty nervous but not because of the small buck. All three mature does kept looking back and I knew it could very well be because of a bigger buck. So I made a move and rushed down the tree line, making sure they couldn't see me and set up 200 yards away from where they crossed. At this point the does were gone and I caught a glimpse of a big boddied deer walking through the bottom of the T. Almost immediately, a big 4x4 walked out of the bush, into the field, body as big as the other one I had seen through the trees, chasing the does' scent.

At this point I figured that there were not one, but two big bucks and since I hadn't gotten a good look at the other guy's rack I decided on shooting this buck and I figured this could also push the other buck to my brother. As I shot the buck and watched him drop, the other buck came out of the tree line. Body size was about the same but this guy was a 6x6 with a narrower but much higher rack.

The second buck made a B line straight to my downed buck and proceeded to give him a proper ass kicking. Right away, I pulled out my cell to give my brother a call and tell him to get his ass over here ASAP. As I pulled out my cell, I got a text from my brother: "was that you?", right away I hit call and tell him to drop everything but his rifle and get over here QUICK! My brother did just that and rushed to where I was in the deep snow, being between him and the buck, there was no way he would shoot until he got to me.

The other buck was busy kicking my buck's ass and that gave the opportunity for my brother to finally get to me just as the other buck was walking off. At this point he was gassed and couldn't take that 200 yards shot. The other buck got into another tree line and we took this opportunity to try and cut him off. At this point my brother was wheezing so I kept reminding him to slow down and take it easy otherwise the same thing would happen; he wouldn't be able to take a shot. The other buck disappeared so we went back to my buck. He got a shot at a smaller 4x4 and didn't shoot as he had nothing but that big 6x6 on his mind (I don't blame him).

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We took quick pictures of my deer, tagged it, dragged it to the tree line and I went to drop off my brother at a different spot with the hopes of catching that big 6x6 or another good buck. After showing him a good spot, I went back to work on my deer. While I was elbow deep in my deer, I spotted lots of deer including one nice buck. I walked back to my truck and on my way back to my deer, I spotted that big 6x6 which had went the complete opposite way and was now onto posted land. It was too late to make a move on him so my brother and I left a little early as my FIL would be waiting for us to pick him up at last light about 20 min away.

I have to say that day with my brother was probably in the top 3 best whitetail deer hunting days I've had. We saw or passed tons of bucks and the rut was in full swing. Most does had a buck in tail and the chase was on! My FIL had the same action and passed several mid-range bucks.
 
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MTLabrador

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Saskatchewan seems so close, but bucks like that remind me that it is very far away. Awesome whitetail and mule deer.
 

rtraverdavis

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Not sure how I missed this when you first started posting, but this is awesome. You’re having one hell of a season.
 

SaskHunter

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So with my buck down, we concentrated on filling my brother's tag. As the first few days of the non-res season went by, he became more and more picky (which means more deer hunting, which I'm okay with!). We hunted several different parts of the same zone and what we saw was more or less the same; hard rut action with tons of chasing. If you saw a doe walk past, chances were she had at least one or two bucks in tail.

We eventually spotted a buck one morning at first light that tickled my brother's pickle. A decent 4x4 was hanging out with a small 3x3. I gave my brother a range, 300m, and watched him set up on a fence line. What happened next was both funny and sad. Instead of using the fence line as a proper rest, buck fever took over him and he started blasting rounds at this deer with my words of encouragement in the background: "MISS!!! MISS!!! MISS!!!". With due diligence in mind, we went and checked for blood even though I had clearly seen three rounds impact at the deer's feet.

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After wasting $15 worth of ammo and a good laugh at my brother's expanse, we made our way to OP Igloo. As soon as we settled down, we got on the action. It didn't take long that I spotted two bucks trying to cut doe tracks, across the horizon. They were out of my grunt tube's reach so I took out the rattling antlers and that did the trick. The two bucks started zig-zagging towards us going down the ridge in front of us and disappeared in the timber. I told my brother to get ready as they should come out of the tree line and over the second ridge shortly. Out came the bigger of the two bucks, walking out of the timber on a mission looking to scrap with some bucks. I grunted a few times to get him to stop walking and as soon as he stopped broadside, my brother's landed a great hit on his fourth shot of the day and anchored him on the spot. The second buck ended up hanging around for quite some time wondering who those two blaze hosers were and why his buddy was just chilling on the ground. OP Igloo proved to be a great location which will definitely be exploited again next season.

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His buck ended up being a wide 4x5. After taking pictures, tagging and gutting the deer, we headed home for lunch and a few celebratory beers!!!
 
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SaskHunter

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The forecast was turning to crap and I offered to set a blind for the FIL. He does mostly still hunting but with temps in the -20s he was happy to take me up on my offer of settimg up a Gucci blind with heater. We ended setting up the blind in one of my good spots in the same zone that the FIL drew. I set up the propane heater full blast, he settled in the blind and we made sure he had clear shooting lanes before leaving and off we went.

We figured we'd have the rest of the day to butcher both our bucks. About an hour into butchering, I get a phone call from the FIL, he'd just shot a buck and was going to go look for him.

So my brother and I finished the quarters we were working on and headed out for the retrieval.

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He ended up shooting a dark antlered 4x4 with a surprisingly large body for it's rack/age. We gave him a hand with the gutting, took down the blind less than 2 hours after we set it up and packed the deer out. All buck tags were filled, some doe tags left and a whole lot of butchering to do.
 

SaskHunter

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The next few days involved lots of butchering but my brother and I took the time to do an extra outting and try and fill one of my many doe tags.

We drove out to the zone for which I held 2 mule and 1 whitetail doe tags for. It didn't take very long once we got there to spot some deer and make a move. We saw a doe with a decent buck and made a move on them. I managed to cock block the buck and shot his hot doe. As we walked back to the truck to get my sled to retrieved the doe, a guy stopped by looking annoyed and asked if we'd shot the buck. His son was holding a buck mule tag and he was keeping an eye on the buck and had lost sight of him after I'd shot. To his relief, the old horny boy was still roaming around.

This was my brother's first succesful mule deer hunt and first time seeing a mule deer up close as non-res can't draw tags. What was otherwise pretty normal for me was very exciting for him which made me very excited about shooting that doe. All and all, our quick morning hunt was pretty fun and my brother was smiles ear to ear.

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The rest of the week involved more butchering and enjoying time off with my brother who I don't see as much as I should.

My brother ended up flying home with 175lb of deer meat for himself and my sisters, that included my buck, his and that mule deer doe. Being a Vet he gets free lugage so flying home with all that meat was a no brainer.

I ended up taking a short break from hunting eventhough I still had 3 doe tags left. I ended up going on the last day of the season and filled my other mule doe tag. This deer along with my archery mule deer buck were processed with some army buddies and donated for Christmas hampers for military families in need. I try to organize wildgame donations with my base's Chaplain and it's always well received. All and all, it gives me an excuse to keep hunting for a good cause.

My 2021 season is mostly done now unless I get out for coyotes or rabbits... 2021 was a great year but it took lots of efforts, failures and time in the field.

I always laugh when people are in awe with my "success". I'm an Okay hunter at best but what I do have is opportunities, lots of time off, an understanding wife and am kinda dumb enough to stick it out when things don't go well...

Looking forward to 2022's season but for now I'd like to sleep in at least one morning until the end of the year... Enough story telling for today, time for some hispter drinks!

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Wallydeuce

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NV
We all know what the definition of success is.

Your preparation met the opportunities.

Congratulations on a successful year and thanks for the great stories!
 
Say Goodbye to Disposable Whites

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