#1 Whitetail Deer
November 1979 I killed my first whitetail deer with a .222 Remington. I had "dabbled" in archery throughout my youth, but never really got serious until the late 80's. I had hit/wounded a couple spot and stalk whitetails in the early '80's with my Herter's Recurve that went unrecovered but it wasn't until Christmas Day 1987 that I finally got my first archery big game kill. I got my brothers and Dad to do a walking drive around a lake bottom while I set up the ambush. The unsuspecting button buck never knew what hit him. He walked by at 5 yards and a well placed Bear Razorhead from my Bear Whitetail 2 had claimed it's first.
I always enjoyed archery growing up, but now I was hooked. And so the journey begins. Over the next 39 years over 100 whitetails would fall victim to my bow, firearms and muzzle loader. And almost 39 years to the day from November of 1979 to November of 2018 I accomplished a goal I wasn't sure I would EVER accomplish...The North American Super Slam.
For the next 15 years I would chase white tails , pronghorn and an occasional mule deer around my home State of North Dakota, Montana, Alberta, and Oregon.
In 1991 I moved back to ND after a five year stint covering California, Minnesota and Massachusetts. I had killed all of the "non draw" species in my home state and was left wanting more. Black bear would be that species. After calling a fishing guide in Sask, Canada three buddies and I booked a baited archery black bear hunt for $500 a guy. We all killed great P&Y bears that first year and it became an annual event for the next 5 years with all of us killing bears every year. Black bear continues to be a favorite spring time activity of mine.
Caribou started getting my attention in 2001. At the time Newfoundland was a bargain. I booked a hunt two years out with Moose Valley Outfitters. The day after I booked the outfitter, Dean MacDonald called back with a cancellation hunt for the current year...WITH TWO WEEKS NOTICE) The price was too good to pass up. ($1500 for archery Woodland Caribou). I passed up a P&Y bull on day one and killed this small bull at 26 yards on the second to last day. I would return to Newfoundland several times the next 10 years taking a few Woodlands and a couple Canada Moose.
Took this bull the second to last hunt before the $&@t hit the fan with Tuttulik/Mavic Corp. Several hunters reportedly lost nearly a million dollars when they went out of biz. Some Bowsiters included.
Around 1994 a local family friend was closing in on a Super Slam. I was intrigued by his quest and his adventures, but it was a pipe dream for me to think it was possible for me to ever accomplish. In the late 90's I got side tracked by Africa. Four trips over the course of 6 years with Ken Moody Hunting Adventures put a damper on my North America pursuits. In 2010 I was reading in a magazine about a fairly new new program called a Super 10. The Super 10 is basically taking one animal from each animal group in NA. The concept sounded neat and was a realistic goal to try and accomplish. My goal initially was to accomplish a Super 10 with archery equipment. I had already taken deer, pronghorn, moose, bear, cougar, elk and caribou with archery equipment. I would only need a musk ox, mountain goat and sheep to accomplish this goal. I booked all three hunts over the course of the next three years.
I booked a fall musk ox hunt with Canada North in the fall of 2011. Seeing the frozen tundra in the spring didn't really appeal to me as I live it 8 months out of the year here in ND. Fall on the tundra was beautiful. Day 2 of a wonderful adventure hunt yielded a P&Y Musk Ox. After three or four attempts/stalks, we finally caught the musk ox on a ridge and my 45 yard shot was perfect. He went 60 yards and tipped over.
Babine Outfitters advertised an early season special for mountain goats right here on Bowsite. I took them up on the deal and after killing a wolf on day one of the hunt was able to harvest an old goat on day 3 of the hunt after spending a day fogged in the tent. I would return to hunt goats with Babine a couple years later on a late October hunt and killed another great goat. Great outfit, great country.
The big, majestic caribou of the North had always been a dream of mine. A buddy and myself booked a hunt with Arctic Red for Sept. of 2012. While we checked our bags in at the airport the outfitter called. NWT had just received a record snow fall for this time of year. Over 2.5 feet had fallen on the hunting area and they wanted to postpone or even cancel the hunt. I told him we had already checked our bags and were on our way! After a short stay in a hotel in NWT we were flown by helicopter to the hunting area. We hiked through 2.5 feet of snow for three days when the Chinooks blew in and took virtually all of the snow in 24 hours! We ended up killing the only two bulls we saw. My buddy killed a solid 400 incher and I killed this great 370 class bull.
I booked my first sheep hunt as a 50th birthday present to myself. With two years to prepare for a Stone Sheep hunt in the Yukon, I wasn't quite prepared when I received the call on a cancellation Desert Sheep hunt in Sonora Mexico with Bart Lancaster. I took the cancellation hunt and killed my first sheep, a nice Desert Sheep on day 6. Lancasters have some great options for Desert Sheep in Mexico and their reputation precedes themselves. Great hunt, great people. Goal #1 complete with a Super 10. My Stone sheep hunt in the Yukon would be a bust. I would have to repeat Stone Sheep.
While trying to accomplish the Super 10, I was able to hunt a few more new species along the way. By the time I accomplished the Super 10, I came to the realization that I had actually killed 13 different species. This got my wheels turning. With 13 species down I was basically half way to the Super Slam. Time to rethink the hunting goals!
In fall of 2013, I embarked on my third sheep hunt. I was 1 for 2 on sheep and after a near miss and a small plane crash my Dall sheep with Jonah Stewart would come to an end. I re-booked the Dall hunt for the next year and also booked a spring Brown Bear Hunt with Jonah. My guide for this hunt would be the ledgendary Roy Roth. After a week of completely destroying my body on snow shoes and a snow machine, I came home with a completely ruptured ACL, torn miniscus, broken tibia, bruises from head to toe and a great AK Brown Bear.
My return Dall Hunt would be short and sweet. Two days before season Jonah would drop my Guide Harold and I on a beautiful AK river bottom. After spending a night down low, we hiked to our destination the day before the opener. We spent our day glassing from the tent. Later that afternoon we spotted a band of rams several miles away. We decided to go for it and when season opened at midnight I was laying in position for the shot. At 12:06 on opening day, I had my ram.
Coues would be a "nemesis" species for me. After two unsuccessful archery hunts with Ward's, I booked a November rifle hunt three years from the first hunt. On day 3 of the hunt I took a great old buck. I enjoyed hunting with Ward's and Steven treated me right on every hunt.
Looking forward to the rest of the tale.
In researching the options for CB Caribou one soon finds out the choices are limited. (Even more so today). I chose Munroe Lake Lodge in Northern Manitoba. I was again "caribou lucky" in that I hunted one of the last years the caribou repeatedly came into Manitoba. I killed two great Bulls and shared camp with another great group of guys.
I received a broadcast text from Bowhunting Safari Consultants that they had a Southern BC Shiras Moose hunt available at a discounted price. Granted this hunt would not be for a P&Y qualifying bull as it was North across the border, none the less Super Slam and Safari Club recognize these moose as Shiras. I decided to book the hunt and had a great trip, calling in and killing a great bull.
I went all out and booked Roosevelt Elk on Vancouver Island. On the first morning of the hunt I was able to stalk this Boone and Crockett bull "on the beach" at sunrise on opening day.
taken with High Plains Adventures in Colorado...
Congrats on a tremendous accomplishment!
Some of us are mountain time. :)
It was great getting to be a small part of your story, and you becoming a small part of mine at the airport in Iqualuit!!!
Good luck afield this season and those to come Kota. May the weather be cooperative and the targets plentiful. Cheers!
And still got room to grow!! (You know the greatest hunting secret- “wife vacations”) !!!
The first "fringe" species for me was my Shiras moose. P&Y and Boone say anything North of the border is a Canadian moose. SCI and Super Slam puts the Southern BC moose in the Shiras category. I can bet you the moose don't know the difference and I can about guarantee you if you did a DNA test on my moose it would come back as a Shiras. Does that not make my Shiras a "true" Shiras? Or does SCI/SS have it right? I'm going with the fact that mine is a Shiras.
I was going to make a post on the Bison when I put it out there and assumed some smart guy might question it. SCI and SS acknowledge Colorado Bison from High Plains Adventures a Fair Chase, Super Slam Bison. I shot my Bison on public land down from Pikes Peak. The ground was accessed through a private ranch. The Bison I killed was as wild as any Bison you will find. I stalked that bull for 2 days with my bow before finally killing him with a .375 H&H. Mathewshoortphone - When you complete your slam, kill a bison that fits your "true" definition. This one fits mine. If Colorado would recognize the Bison as a game species this hunt may very well also be considered "fair chase" by Pope and Boone. But until that happens, the Colorado Bison will not be able to be entered into B&C or P&Y even though it is considered fair chase Bison by SCI and Super Slam. It looks like a Bison, smells like a Bison, tastes like a Bison and was taken on public land in a fair chase manner. "True" enough for me.
I have killed two other "fringe" species and I will address those when I get to them. In summary, I don't know what a "true" NA 29 is. I hunted and killed 29 big game animals as defined by someone. There are only two organizations recognizing this achievment. First is Super Slam, second is SCI. Are any other "NA 29's true"?
Arctic hunts are generally "epic" for me and this one was no exception. On an arctic hunt the "kill" is usually anticlimactic. Spending 6 days in a 6x8 shack with two eskimos you just met due to a complete whiteout is something everyone of us should experience at one time or another!
I booked this hunt through Ameri-Cana Expeditions. My hunt was based out of Grise Fiord in Nunavut. Grise Fiord is the northern most settlement community in North America. Right near the top of the globe! This hunt was adventure filled from the get go.
Congratulations on an unbelievable accomplishment!
I've always wanted to do a hunt with Lance and Niki Kronberger. (Freelance Outdoor Adventures in Alaska) Grizz would be my first, but not my last! After several days of glassing bears, it finally all came together on this really neat looking blonde grizz. It had just killed two moose calves and was enjoying his snack when we made the ambush. Unlakleet is a sportsman's paradise for grizz and moose. I truly believe some of the worlds biggest grizz and biggest moose live on the tundra around Unalakleet, AK. I ended up taking a great 65" moose with Lance this past fall and will be hunting Kodiak for Brown Bears with Lance in 2020. I was guided on both the grizz and moose hunt by none other than Bowsite's own Mark Gutsmiedl.
Cory, this is outstanding!
I was visiting with Zack Walton one day a few years ago about my "quest" and he asked me what I was going to do about Tule Elk. My logical choice was to try to get in with Don Martin aka "Hollywood" but he was booked three years out. Zack mentioned a guy that a guy he hunts Blacktail's with had a couple Tule Tags. I gave him a call and booked a hunt. As most of you know, Tule hunts aren't always the most challenging hunt and this one didn't stress us out too much. The tule is/was another fringe animal for me. The bull I killed was HUGE for Tule standards but was within the Tule zone of central/northern California. IMO this one definitely has some "Rosie" blood in him, but none the less it goes down as a Tule. On the first day of the hunt I was able to stalk and kill a "true" Columbia Blacktail though...:)
I had unsuccessfully hunted Rocky Mountain Bighorn in 2015. (I actually made a poor shot on a really nice ram and did not recover him) I already had a Cali Bighorn hunt booked as one of my "other" goals was also to shoot all 6 sheep species inhabiting NA. September of '17 I headed to British Columbia to hunt with my good friend/guide Ben Stourac. Ben and Rosie own Arcadia Outfitting along the Fraser River in Southern BC. The landscape is pristine and the area is full of wildlife. I took this great, old 12 year old warrior on day 4 of the hunt.
2017 was a HUGE year for me. The year started with Polar Bear in April, Grizz in May Tule and Blacktail in August, Cali Bighorn in September and Moose and Caribou in October. The moose was a bonus as I had not planned on hunting them until 2018, but when this beast popped up along the trail, I couldn’t pass him up.
The last “fringe” animal for me. Caribou North of the Dempster Highway in the Yukon are for the most part considered Barren Ground Caribou. However there are also mountain Caribou in this area. You be the judge...Looks like a “true” Barren Ground to me!
I had a great hunt with Tombstone Outfitters in the Yukon for the moose and Caribou. I booked Fannin sheep with them for next fall. I will be joined by a “legendary” Bowsiter on this hunt. ;). I would also like to pursue RM Bighorn sheep again. That’s about all that’s on the “radar” for now...I promised my better half I’d “slow down” a little.
Stones was a tough one for me. I tried a less expensive hunt in the Yukon first, spending 17 days backpack hunting all over the Yukon. I “re-tore” my ACL on this hunt and came home seeing one ram for the whole trip. Trip #2 was to BC with Stone Mountain Safaris and what different Hunt it was. We saw 26 rams on Day 1...to be continued...
Sometime in 2016, I was again talking with my main hunting consultant “Zack” about Sitka Blacktail. Zack had done Kodiak several times with Homer Ocean Charters and thought highly of them. We talked about how neat it would be if I was chasing #29 on the boat hunt, but things would really have to go my way for that to happen. Well, things went my way and the first week of November found me boarding a plane with Mark Watkins headed to Kodiak for #29. Joining me on the hunt were the following Bowsiters: Zackman, Hollywood, Mark Watkins, Jay Stanford and John Pestorich. There were a bunch of Bowsiters getting off the boat prior to our hunt. It was great meeting up with Owl, Fuzzy, Steff, MattB, Bliz6 and Demo Bowhunter. With Mark Watkins at my side I was able to accomplish a lifelong dream...to be cont...
Our week was full of adventure, laughs, Kodiak weather and too much celebrating.
Glad I got to follow along!
I would love to come up with a list of everyone on here that I have met (some in CRAZY unthinkable places), crossed paths with on a hunt or even shared a camp with, but the list is too large to even attempt! Kudos to Pat for coming up with this amazing platform where bunch of guys with similar interests and goals can come together and discuss Bowhunting. Thanks Pat...
MY Easiest Hunt: Tule Elk...My Hunt was almost too easy. BUT, I’ll take all the easy ones I get. Makes up for the tough ones.
MY Toughest Hunt: Without a doubt Stone Sheep-25 days of hiking the rockiest, steepest country I’ve ever been in. They’re hard to see and unpredictable. I have a couple buddies that WILL agree. One went 44 days another went 21 days. Killing the 4 sheep with archery gear is an incredible accomplishment. Not one I was willing to conquer. (and I had a hard enough time killing 4 with a rifle)
How many repeats? Mountain Lion 3 trips, Coues Deer 3 trips, Barren Ground Caribou twice, Stone Sheep twice, Dall Sheep twice, Bighorn Sheep twice. (Repeating Dall and Bighorn was ALL on me...Sheep fever I guess;)
Nicely done. my best, Paul
Paul...I get that!
Nick...Thanks for your help along the way. Whether I needed a ride from the airport in Fairbanks or someone to kill a day with in Anchorage Nick seemed to always show up. Nick and I met on a Coues deer hunt in the AZ desert...On that hunt were Bowsiters Trkyslr, Shug, Nick, Brian and myself. Great week with a great bunch of guys. Crazy small world we live in...
Epic animals, storytelling and the adventure friendships that last forever!!!
Only three of these are Euro mounted: RM elk, Shiras Moose and Columbia Blacktail.
All of the sheep are full body along with all of the bears, (minus the polar bear) the musk ox, mountain lion, mountain goat and the wolf. The rest are shoulder mounted along with about 20 whitetail deer, a few mulies and a few pronghorn.
Skull...The PB is currently stored in a taxidermy shop in BC.
I’ll try to get a couple pics of the mounts...
Please post some more pics of the taxidermy you had done. Not only do I want to see em it may help get my wife off my back for all mine that she complains is too many. :) Thanks again.
And you have enough clothes, boots and gear to outfit for twenty more Slams. lol
*Far East: Newfoundland for Caribou and moose.
*Yellow most Southern: Texas Hogs and Javalina
*Furthest SE: Tennessee for hogs with Ken Moody
Thanks for taking us along. About the only way this poor PA boy is gonna get to experience that! I can't even imagine what the taxidermy cost for those hunts! ;-)
Respectfully, I could not agree more.
Good luck, Robb