Funny how the old saying goes “if you don’t like the way things are stick around a while and they will change” As I look at the exchange rate of the US dollar today to the Canadian dollar it has come full circle from a few years ago when the Canadian dollar was trading higher than the US dollar. To today’s exchange (3/13/2015) with the US dollar exchanging at 1 to 1.28 Canadian. Gas is down it’s a great time to be hunting in Canada again.
This outfitter bought out his neighboring completion a few years ago, and although it doubled the size of his operation and doubled the number of tags he gets, he has kept the number of hunters down, and is regularly harvesting bears up to 450 lb. and Whitetail deer in the 150 to 160 inch class when other are having a hard time showing there hunters mature animals.
One of our pro staff members decided to give the operation a try. In spite of absolutely horrendous weather conditions that definitely impacted the hunt, deep snow little deer movement and limited access to some blinds the outfitter gave maximum effort and got high grades for persevering in adverse circumstances. He never quit, and earned everyone’s respect! Hunters managed to fill their tags, but it was tough! Because of the weather and conditions, we did not get an accurate report on the quality of the deer. Deer movement was just too restricted. In fact, the outfitter confided that if all his hunts had similar weather he would quit guiding! But he soldiered on for our guys, and got points for his efforts, which included trashing a vehicle trying to get to new stands! We admire a guy who gives maximum efforts even when conditions were very discouraging. Deer do not move when there’s three feet of snow! We have seen dozens of photos of deer from previous years and we know his area has excellent trophy potential. To prove that, the outfitter again had an excellent year in 2009, with about 85% kill on bucks from 140- to 180-inch class. See the pictures at the end of this write-up.
2012 update: We had a great year basing our clientele on 75% for repeat it is sometimes hard to find what those guys want to shot some guys have been coming here for 15 years and over half are going 7 years but this year we did very well having a 100% bear season on kills and only having one deer hunter go home empty but was his choice we killed 3 deer that I would have not like to been killed but one guy just come from a 6 day hunt in Manitoba and never seen a deer, one guy it was the biggest deer he ever shot and the other killed a 4 by 4 on second day and not sure why he killed so early if these 3 guys would have waited and killed the deer we had set them out to kill that we seen coming in or had on camera would have been our best year yet. I am redoing all by cabins they still will sleep the same just giving them a face lift. I am buying out by boarding outfitter that will double my area and tags but I still will be taking limited number of hunters to keep my success up.
Food is very good and plentiful home cooking, with some good desserts! Accommodations are clean and comfortable individual cabins with beds and linens (no sleeping bag needed), refrigerator, stove, electric heaters etc. Main lodge had satellite TV DVD player, laundry and 2 showers and toilets.
Breakfast about 6AM, out before daylight into your stands. Stands are box blinds about 10 feet high, fully enclosed, with catalytic heaters, a chair, and sliding windows on 4 sides. Box lunches were provided. He has about 25-30 baited sites, although uses only 6 or 8 at a time. Importantly this surplus of back up stand locations allows them to change your scenery or move you to a hotter location if needed. He re-baits all stands every 2 days, or even more often if needed. He will often re-bait at mid day to insure a busy evening! Does come in, then bucks looking for them. If it is cold enough to freeze your sandwich- heat it over the heater! This guy will bust his butt for you, as he proved under horrendous conditions!
In our experience, while the peak rut is more into mid-November, we seem over the years to have killed our best Saskatchewan bucks late in Nov and into early Dec. Weather is cold, but he has heated blinds and we have a detailed equipment list for you. In 2011 they had abnormally warm weather all over Sask- and size of animals and sightings suffered everywhere. He still managed 75% success, but some of his regulars held off knowing what was in the area. Good news is, they saw the big guys on their trail cams and they will be there for 2012 and beyond! These are those 300 pound deer, with horse sized necks, plenty of mass and this outfitters area is situated well to take trophies- he is located and hunts on 40,000 acres of farmland and 100,000 acres of fringe provincial forest along the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border . This guy takes some great deer from this excellent habitat!
This is a small family run business that takes normally 4 to 8 hunters per week. They scout year round. They have box blinds and elevated stands as well as lock-ons and self climbers. They bait extensively, but they are flexible and will allow other methods such as still hunting, rattling , hunting scrape lines, etc. They have a heated shop for skinning out trophies. All meals are home cooked and lunches are made up each day for you. They have good modern trucks and ATVs.
You fly to Saskatoon, normally the night before you are due at the lodge. On arrival, expect to wait a bit to get all hunters weapons processed. So allow some time, perhaps as much as an hour or more. The process itself is easy, as is the paperwork, but long lines sometimes occur. On your return flight, allow some extra time pre-flight, as dozens of hunters slow things down! We have used the Heritage Inn (306-665-8121) for our overnights. You will need a taxi from the airport, unless you rent a car that night for the drive to camp. For rentals we have used National, but there are many others in Saskatoon. Rent a vehicle for the 4 hour drive to the lodge. Normally, by the time you drive back to Saskatoon at the end of your hunt, you may decide to overnight again, depending on flights. We can possibly help coordinate hunters to save a few dollars on the car rental by sharing it, or you may prefer the flexibility of leaving when you tag out. We will furnish you with directions and an equipment list. We have only about 6 openings per hunt, so do not procrastinate!!
Licenses are NOT included and will cost you approximately $280 Canadian plus $11 for a Wildlife stamp. Check with the outfitter and us first, but it appears you can now purchase those licenses on the web by going to www.se.gov.sk.ca. Allow at least 4 weeks to get the license IF ORDERED ON LINE !!
BLACK BEAR HUNTS- SPRING OR FALL
He has excellent black bear hunts, and in fact has a group of 7 guys who have come back every year for many years, always with virtually 100% success, including bears up into the 300 and 400 pound class, with many color phase bears. He normally is 100% on opportunity, and the average bear is a good solid 225 to 275 pounds, with plenty larger. Colors range from black to chocolate, to red and to blonde. He usually sets out 24 stands, but only takes about 10 guys in Spring and even fewer in the fall, sometimes as few as 3 to 5 in Fall.
There is plenty of good pike and walleye fishing within a half hour ride; and in fall besides fishing, there is goose hunting, grouse and prairie chicken hunting as well. Hunting is mainly an afternoon proposition, arrive on Sunday- hunt Mon through Saturday. He had a quadraplegic take a big bear with crossbow for TV in 2011.
2016 PRICING (call for 2017/2018 prices)
DEER PRICE: $3500. 6 day hunts. Price includes GST tax, lodging, meals, guiding.
BEAR PRICE: $ 2850, 6 DAYS, includes guiding, meals lodging and game retrieval.
DIY no services bear hunts call for pricing. One bear limit.
3 DAY BIRD HUNT $1850
NOT INCLUDED: Transport to Saskatoon and to lodge; tips, hunting license and conservation stamp.