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Best Hunting Season Ever
This year's hunting season was a lot different than any other. Back at the start of May 2020, I was told that our engineering team would be going to 50% time. Working at an Oil & Gas service company, if our customers aren't drilling and completing wells, there is little work for us. Good planning through the good years meant this was going to be the best summer ever.
With all my new found time, I was able to take a buddy up on his invite to go hunt bears with him. The plan was to drive up to Peace River on Saturday, bait on Sunday and start hunting on Monday through the following Saturday. The hunt ended short with me killing a net 20 6/16" Tuesday morning at 6am
I also have to mention that I got my new Bowtech Revolt the Friday before. It was delayed due to COVID and came just in time as I had already sold my other bow.
The good times continued on from there. I took full advantage of all my new found time and went to the mountains a lot over the summer hiking for sheep. I found some great rams and was hoping to get my first archery ram that fall with my bow. Our archery season opens up Sept 1st for most of the zones I hunt. My buddy Blake that took me bear hunting had never shot an archery mule deer and I really wanted to change that. He showed up at my place early morning on Aug 31st and we headed to eastern Alberta to a family friends. They have 26,000 acres of deeded land that we would be hunting. We got our camp setup and spotted the first night. We found several great deer that evening and had a plan for the morning. One deer in particular that we wanted to get had double drop tines. The next morning it didn't work out for the double drop tine but Blake managed to kill a beautiful mid 170's full velvet buck for his first deer. We got the deer taken care of, celebrated that night and then headed back home Sept 2nd.
I got back home at 1pm Sept 2nd, unpacked my truck and went spotting where I had been watching a great mule deer all summer. I was able to find him but I couldn't make a play on him. I went out on the 3rd and watched him all day. With where he was bedded, the lack of wind, a stalk just wasn't possible. On Sept 4th I found him bedded up top on a ridge that didn't offer any opportunity to get on him. On the neighboring property they were moving cows on horses. They kicked up a group of white tail that ran over and spooked the group of mule deer. The 9 mule deer bucks ran off the ridge down into a standing wheat crop. This was perfect as there was a good wind. A shot stalk later and I arrowed this beautiful buck. Just before I shot him, the farmer, a good friend of mine, pulled in with his combines. Once the deer was dead, I gave him a call and he combined a path from the road approach right to where my buck was. This made for great pictures and I could also drive my truck right to him to recover him.
Now that my mule deer tag was filled it was time to focus on sheep. The sheep season where I chose to hunt opened up Sept 9th. I packed in my camp on the 8th and got some spotting done. I didn't find any sheep the first day. I found a couple on the 9th but they weren't legal. I found a great ram on the 10th and hunted him on the 10th and 11th but then he decided to relocate to another mountain. That was about the time that the boar grizzly decided to start checking out my camp at 2am, 2 nights in a row so I packed up and left. My plan was to head back with a friend for safety reasons but that never did happen.
Grandpa with his great grandson on his 280" 5x5
Grandpa with his great grandson on his 280" 5x5
Austin and his first archery animal
Austin and his first archery animal
Now it was time to focus on elk. I had one more week left before I started working night shift. On my week off, the action was very slow. The day after I went back to work, my grandfather told me that the elk had moved in, about 150 of them. The one zone that I hunt I get 2 antlerless elk tags and a general tag. My goal is to always put a cow elk in the freezer and then hunt for a big bull. With meat in the freezer, I can hold out for a really big bull. On Sept 25th I was able to harvest a cow elk in the morning after my shift was done. That was a long day with little sleep. I was careful in getting her out as I didn't want to blow the herd out. Just after my shift ended and I crawled into bed on the 26th, my phone rang and my grandpa told me he had shot a great bull. I grabbed my good camera, my 2 1/2 year old son, and we went to go see Papa's bull. On the way out there, I got a text from our neighbours son that was hunting with him that day, that he had also shot a nice 6x6. It was his first archery animal ever.
At this point there really wasn't much in there for bulls that I was interested in. On Sept 29th after dark, my grandpa called me and told me that there was a great bull that had moved in. After my shift ended at 630am on Sept 30, I jumped in my truck and headed hunting. Things worked out perfect and the elk were going nuts. This bull split off from the herd to get a drink of water and came right into me. One well placed arrow and my general bull elk was tagged. I managed to get him out, skinned, gutted, to the butcher and back home just in time for my night shift to start. It was a long 42 hours of being up but well worth it
After that, I focused on getting rested up and finishing off my 3 week night shift hitch. That took me to the 3rd week of October. I had a couple more days off where I went to look for sheep but day trips only. I found some good rams but I wasn't able to harvest them. Our general sheep season closes Oct 31st so I was down to a white tail tag and a moose tag. Where I have permission, there are very few moose so I will only shoot a big bull. Plus at this point, I didn't really need any more meat.
I decided that I would focus on White Tails. I only hunt white tail when I have shot my mule deer and elk as I really enjoy hunting mule deer and elk. I have one spot that always seems to have good white tail activity so I run cameras there in the summer and through the fall just to see what is around. Through the summer I ended up getting pictures of a really big 4x4 white tail that we did hunt for a bit the previous year. He had put on quite a few inches so he would be my target buck. On Nov 6th he came into 17 yards of my blind but I had the wrong window of my blind open and I spooked him trying to open it. He disappeared after that for quite some time.
For November I had the 11th-16th off, worked 17th & 18th, off 19th-23rd, worked 24th & 25th, the off the 26th-30th. With all this time off, I was in no rush to shoot just any deer.
On Nov 15th, my buddy and I were driving back out from having lunch in town when we spotted the big 4x4 running a doe hard in a stubble field. I snuck up this small treed draw and managed to get into my ladder stand. About 45 min later, his does decided she wanted to go to the draw and they were about 80 yards east of me. They had a stand off for about 5 minutes and started trotting towards me. The doe came past my tree at 1 yard and the buck was following. The buck came past me and I was able to arrow him. He turned out to be a lot better buck than I anticipated.
Wowzers! You did have one hell of a hinting season! Great critters, too! Keep em roll in’!
I still had a bunch of time off and my grandpa still hadn't filled his white tail tag. My bestfriend was also hunting with us and he was looking to fill a white tail tag and an antlerless elk. We had a few close calls on getting him an elk but it never came together. Him and my grandfather both sat a new ladder stand that I had put up that summer but they both reported the same thing, the deer were travelling north of the sand about 80 yards. After the morning hunt the one day, we snuck in and moved the stand. The plan was to leave my friend in it as my grandpa would be hunting with my little cousin. It was her first year bowhunting so he wanted to be there to help her. We finished moving the stand and trimming the lanes by 2pm and I left him there. At 330pm I got a call that he had shot a big buck. I drove in there and he directed me to where the buck was standing when he shot. I found the arrow and it was a clean miss. He was heart broken as this was a very large deer. I backed out and motioned for him to stay in the stand at there was till 1.5 hours later. I drove back out to do some more spotting. I had just got to the gate and finished opening it when my phone rang. He has shot a buck and it was a 100% hit. I turned around and went back to the tree. Right away we found blood and the deer a short 60 yards away. He had his first ever white tail.
We had about 10 days left in the season and we weren't stopping until the season ended or my grandpa got his white tail. We hunter hard, and got on some amazing world class bucks. In the end, he didn't get to fold his tag but we sure had fun.
This season was a one off for us. Not only did I have time off my primary job, but because of COVID, none of our clients could make it up from the US to hunt with us. This gave us an unique opportunity to focus on hunting for ourselves. My grandfather is 78 years old with very bad shoulders. I do fear that this was his last bowhunting season so I'm very thankful that he got some much time to hunt. Not only that, I'm very thankful that I got so much time to hunt with him. The icing on the cake is that our season is now over and we are going back to full time at my primary job as the work load is really picking up.
I hope everyone had an amazing season and has an amazing Christmas.
That is a awsome yr loved reading them but now get back to work lol ots been slow and tough here in oklahoma on our place
That's a helluva season! Congrats!
And another great animal! Congratulations on a hunting season of a lifetime! Awesome!
Here are some picts of the animals that we were after but lived through the season. We will be looking for them next year for our clients (hopefully)
What a wicked season Kyle. Way to make the most of a unique year! I have made 3 trips to Alberta and all were amazing. What a great great place to live. If I had my choice to move, I know where I'd be going.
I almost forgot, my little cousin was able to get her first archery animal ever with my grandfather by her side. She made a great shot and the doe was down in 50 yards. The next morning she followed it up with her first elk ever. Also, here is a picture of one of the big bulls that we were after but he out smarted us and still lives
Wow that one hell of a season. You turned those lemons into a lot of lemonade. Sounds like a 2-3 freezer worth!
Congratulations on an amazing year.
Wow, Kyle! You certainly got the most out of your extended time off! Terrific season for sure, and a huge congrats on some great animals!
Great work Kyle! I'd say you definitely made the most out of your time off of work. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the stories.
Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of having fun. But wait, seems like you and lots of fun! Nicely done. my best, Paul
What an incredible year. Those are some great animals. Congrats to you and the whole family!
Unbelievable! Wow wow wow. Thanks for taking us along! Stupendous
Absolutely great year for you sir! Congratulations.
Congrats to all!! Even without the sheep....that is one of the best season's I have seen posted on BS. Thanks for taking the time to tell the stories and post up the pics.
Wow you had a great hunting season in 2020. Congrats!
Dang! What a year...congrats...
That's a heck of a season! Congrats!
Some fine animals, and yea...heck of a season!
U da man, now that I read the story cant wait for Hollywood to make the movie.
Unbelievable, but pics don't lie!!! Congrats to all of you and especially the youngest and oldest! That will get you through a couple of slow seasons.
Congrats and thanks for sharing...I might be a little jealous!
Man, I don't know who loves ya more, your Taxidermist or the sales person at the appliance place selling you more freezers!!! haha
Bigtime Congrats to All,
Wow, what an epic season, congrats to all! Great pics and write ups as well, thanks for sharing. Glad you were able to spend the quality time with your family. Be safe and shoot straight!
Very impressive indeed! Great animals and great season
Wow what an epic year! Congratulations.
Yessir!! Amazing season to say the least! Good on ya for getting the kids and family involved. Really well done...
Thanks for sharing
Awesome!!! Heck of a year for you all. A lot of meat there!!!
Heckuva year man! All tremendous animals too. Well done.
I think this post impacts where I would move to, if I moved.
Although. The Prime Ministers recent passing of a law to confiscate privately owned firearms. Impacts that decision since hunting isn’t my entire life.
Congrats! What a great year!
Not too shabby! What a great year for you-- many congrats!
Awesome year indeed. Great pics and write ups. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Congrats on your season, that’s gonna be hard to beat!
Congrats on your season, that’s gonna be hard to beat!
Wow Kyle, super critters!!! Congratulations! Next year for the ram! Kurt
Sounds like a dream season for sure! Congrats!
Awesome stuff! Congrats on a unreal year
That's great, congrats to you!
Outstanding, nicely done Kyle.
Wow. Great season for sure. Congrats !
What an absolutely INCREDIBLE season! Congratulations!!
Great pics and story. Love people making the best of the covid situation!
Amazing season, congratulations!
Well done Kyle...now that’s a season!!
I'd say so... congratulations. Ed F
Dang, hell of a year! Congrats!
Thank you for all the kind words. We worked hard this hunting season and our efforts were rewarded. The best part was seeing my son with my grandfather. There is 76 years between them but yet, they understand each other better than anyone. Anytime they are together, they are stuck to each other like glue. Seeing them have time together in the outdoors makes everything else seem so small. My son may not remember it, but we have the pictures for him to look back on. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and best of luck to everyone still out hunting hard.