André van Hilten's
Willow Creek Outfitters
2011 Hunting Season
Tarah van Hilten
Willow Creek Outfitter's
2011 Hunt Report
Another season has come to an end here at Willow Creek Outfitters. Eleven years now that we have been outfitting here in southwestern Alberta and it was the best year I have seen for antler growth on our deer.
Between bowhunters and rifle hunters we took 5 mule deer bucks that scored over 180" and 7 that were in the 170's! The bow hunters shot exceptionally well this year and we harvested 10 bucks for 12 hunters and all but two of our 14 rifle mule deer hunters got their bucks, unfortunately the two that did not fill their tags missed nice bucks.
Our Rifle season in one of our areas starts October 25 and the highlight of that opening week hunt for me was seeing the young Bart Blystone on his first western big game hunt make a great shot on a good mule deer buck! November 1st was the rifle opener for the other area we hunt and Bill Ormsbee, on his third hunt with us took an awesome 185" non-typical opening day which happened to be the best scoring buck of our 2011 rifle season.
With the second week of November came a few of our clients that were on a whitetail/mule deer combination hunt. Bill Walden took his first mule deer ever on day one and 145" whitetail on the last day of his hunt. His hunting partner Jim Liviskie also took both species, including a 171" mule deer that we had unsuccessfully hunted during the bow season. Ed Bobko also had both tags this year after taking a mule deer with us in 2010. This year Ed took an extremely heavy buck that taped out at just over 180" on the first day of his hunt and also had a nice whitetail down by the third day! Agustin Otegui and his son Lander from Mexico came on their first mule deer hunt in Canada. Agustin took a unique 7X6 buck and his son Lander, a 28" wide three point. Daryl Weyen was the last hunter of the season. Coming to try and better the buck he took with us last year, Daryl and I battled severe winds and on the third day of the hunt he harvested a dandy buck scoring 172".
Aside from the success of taking many quality animals, what stood out to me was the enjoyable camp atmosphere. Since we only take up to four clients a hunt, this really gives everybody involved; cooks, guides, and hunters a chance to socialize and get to know each other. This I believe is a big part of the experience when on a guided hunt and adds to the memories!
At this time we only have a few openings remaining for archery and rifle mule deer in 2012 and have also started to take bookings for 2013. If you have been thinking about hunting with Willow Creek Outfitters, don't delay, let us show you fair chase hunting at its finest here in the foothills of southwestern Alberta!
I would like to thank all of you that hunted with us this year as well as the guides; Kelly, Darcy, Wyatt, and my brother Hans, Ian and Julie who kept us well fed and Nora for cleaning up after us all! You all made 2011 one of the best years yet for Willow Creek Outfitters!
Until next time, good luck!
Andre van Hilten