One GOOD Answer: Far More GIANT Deer, Far fewer Hunters!
“Most state-side hunters have never hunted deer where there are caribou, elk, mule deer, grizzly bear, black bear and wolves, lots of wolves. Feel free to take a couple of those home with you,” Nemechek added with a laugh. “I hunt North Central Alberta and the chance to hunt in snow and really cold weather may be very different than conditions back home, especially if clients live in a southern climate of the USA.”
The rifle season in Alberta covers the month of November which allows US sportsmen to plan around their back home seasons in the quest for a giant buck. “The season opens November 1,” says Nemechek, “when the bucks are feeling the urge, but the does are disinterested. Inevitably, between November 8th-10th, the rut kicks in and the chase is on.”
Central Alberta hunts can be much like the Midwest with enormous grain and alfalfa fields, though the bulk of Nemecheck’s hunting occurs in the boreal forest farther north. In this situation, deer are larger in body size than those in more agricultural regions and posses one other important characteristic. “If you see and pass on a buck in the bush, you may never see it again,” Nemechek says.
“These deer often reach old age due to very limited hunting pressure, but their territories are large and secluded. Ten to 20 percent of our clients bag a buck of 170 or more and about that many again see or miss one that big,” says Nemechek. “But you have to be ready,” he adds. “The buck you see in the first five minutes of a weeklong booking may be just as big or bigger than one you’ll see until the hunt ends. I tell hunters to look for a number of long tall points and heavy mass. A buck with those characteristics will score well. Visit this website to see more about that at www.HuntNorthRiver.com.
Alberta’s neighbor to the east is Canada’s other big buck powerhouse as represented by Vern Hyllestad of Sask-Can Outfitters, who was quick to tout the advantages of a Canadian whitetail hunt (www.saskcanoutfitters.com). “The amount of hunters out in the woods with us and how many big deer they actually shoot says it all,” he says. “In all of Saskatchewan there may be 2,500 US hunters while back in the states, how many hunters will be out there after the same big deer? That’s why your chances are way greater for shooting a big deer up here.”
Hyllestad believes the amount of big deer keeps his clients coming back. “We had a high count of 15 rack bucks one day and we have gotten as high as 25 in one day in good years. It’s phenomenal and keeps clients on the edge of their seat. You would almost think that it’s penned hunting, but its wild hunting and it blows a guys mind at how much depth there is. Our stands are three miles apart, not 300 yards apart. We have so much wild ground that a big buck may only show up once. Some of our hunts are on the border of national parks and a buck may leave that sanctuary to check a doe quickly and return.
Like in Alberta, deer hunters in Saskatchewan may see other game, but Sask-Can concentrates on whitetail deer. “We try to do good job at one thing, rather than a poor job at a bunch of things. You will see wolves, lynx, and wild things like that,” Hyllestad says.
Season flexibility is another plus for Saskatchewan. “If the only time you can come is the 15th of October, I can run you archery, muzzleloader, or rifle due to the flexibility of our zones and the regulations we have. Feel free to check out the website for up there, (www.saskcanoutfitters.com).