WILD HARVEST: Quest For A Three-Province Whitetail Slam Part 2

New Territory, Same Goal

A few days later, I was eagerly driving across Saskatchewan to guide for a whitetail outfitter in the Meadow Lake area. It was early November and I was chomping at the bit to continue chasing whitetails, with one nice buck in the bag already. Many hunters dream of Saskatchewan, and I was now converting this same dream of mine into reality. Many of Saskatchewan’s whitetail outfitters operate in the forest fringe region, north of farm country, where vast tracts of land are designated provincial forests and largely publicly owned tracts of Crown land.

Arriving at the lodge, my task was to manage the outpost or bush camp, near Saskatchewan’s Chitek River. I erected several blinds along the 12-mile quad trail that connected the main road to the bush camp, and I had two hunters per change over to tag out on nice bucks. The outfitter and I negotiated that if my last group of hunters filled their tags early, I would have the opportunity to hunt those Crown land blinds along the bush camp trail, while decommissioning them.

All guests were spotting good numbers of deer and some nice bucks daily. The high numbers of deer and tight buck-to-doe ratios were impressive. Saskatchewan deer hunting legends were certainly holding true! My final bush camp party, a father and son team from Wyoming, were great guys and we had a blast in camp that week. As luck would have it, Al tagged out on a nice nine-point his second day, while his son Dean followed up by harvesting a dandy, tall-tined, 10-pointer on his third day. Once done, they were eager to make it back home in time for the American Thanksgiving. My guiding responsibilities were complete, with the weekend coming up in which to hunt for myself before tearing down the blinds along the bush camp trail.

The first morning, I sat in the only blind that had not been hunted. Within minutes I had deer showing up from all directions, and it continued that way for the remainder of daylight hours. I saw eight different bucks, the biggest being a 130-class 10-point. After a promising first day, the plan was to hunt this same spot again the next day. The mercury read -18 degrees Celsius the next morning, so I bundled up, grabbed my gear and made my way to the blind. Again, I only had mere minutes of daylight without deer in front of me. It was amazing! I saw all the same bucks I observed the day before, and a quick rattling sequence brought in the same 130-class 10-point buck I had passed on earlier.

My third and final day had me sitting in a different location, hoping to see some different bucks. I set up where Dean had shot his big 10-pointer only days before, suspecting other good bucks were in the area. My previous blind was in thick cover, but this one looked out over a clear-cut on a series of interconnecting ridges. I saw nothing until late morning, when I was rewarded with a wave of about eight does and a couple of yearling bucks that seemed to sneak in all at once. Within minutes of the group of deer arriving, movement on the far right caught my eye. Strutting down the ridge was a beautiful, wide, 11-point buck. He didn’t seem cautious, so I let him approach and made a decision. It might be my last day and he was the nicest buck I had seen on stand so far. I raised my rifle and dropped the buck where he stood with a single 150-grain .308 bullet. Words could not describe the feeling! I had been blessed in two provinces and I capitalized on a pair of handsome bucks. I was two-for-two so far, and was heading home next for the holidays, timing my trip perfectly with Ontario’s late archery season. I was excited to continue the slam and participate in the final chapter of Canada’s 2012 whitetail season!

WILD HARVEST’s Quest For A Three-Province Whitetail Slam will be continued in Part 3 on Dec. 15.

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