André van Hilten's
Willow Creek Outfitters
2012 Hunting Season
Willow Creek Outfitter's
2012 Hunt Report
Here it is December and another hunting season is in the books, they seem to come and go faster every year!
We had another exceptional year, a full slate of good clients and some great trophy animals that we could pursue. Conditions for the animals in this part of the province has been nothing short of amazing! With it being a very mild winter and then a spring and early summer with good moisture the animals had no shortage of feed and once again we saw great antler growth on the bucks.
We started the fall with the bow season and had 14 bowhunters booked for the month of September. The bottom line for our 2012 mule deer bow hunts were as follows; 12 of 14 hunters had shot opportunities which combined for 18 shots that had an average distance of 36 yards. There were 7 bucks successfully harvested and combining the scores we had an average score of 174” and 6 of these 7 bucks were found during our preseason scouting trips.
Our rifle season opens October 25 and we had a few deer that we had hunted with our archery hunters earlier in the season picked out for our first rifle hunters Milo and Bryce Ravndalen (MN) and Steve Smith (ON). It all worked out and at the end of the first day Bryce had a 182" buck and Steve a 173", both their first mule deer! Milo was able to connect on a real old 3x3 on the forth day of the hunt. Opening day in one of the other zones we hunt started Nov. 1st and Bob Cobun (NV) who had hunted with us before joined us and took a neat, non typical character buck on the second day of his hunt.
The next group were Mike Charron and his son Jimmy (FL) along with friend Randy Teiszen (AL), all came up for mule deer and all filled their tags by the third day of the hunt. Randy decided to hunt whitetail for the rest of the hunt and got to experience some real cold Alberta weather and unfortunately missed a big 6x5 whitetail on day four.
Eric Guidobono and his son Eric as well as Bill Gray all from Michigan were next, all coming for mule deer. Eric Jr. took his first mule deer ever on the second day of the hunt and his father a nice long tined 172" buck on the forth day. Bill was on his fifth hunt with us and connected on a big bodied, old buck that was over 29" wide!
Randy Douglas (ON), Serge Lecompte (QC), and Ken Hodgins (AU) were all on their first mule deer hunt and Ken had a whitetail tag as well. By day four everyone had been successful and filled their tags. Kent Green (UT) who has hunted with us thirteen times came up for a few days this week and took a nice mule deer on the last day of his trip.
The last five days of the season we hunted whitetail with Jeff Schletz, Pat Murphy, Mark Hoatson, and Bill Bright all from California. Hunting conditions were a little tough for whitetails, warm weather and a full moon with no cloud cover but we prevailed and filled 3 of the 4 tags.
It was another successful and memorable season for both guides and hunters, good times were had and good animals were harvested, what more can we ask for? We are all blessed to have our health and to be able to follow our dreams and passions. We plan to call some coyotes this winter and still have some hunts available for this, as well our fall hunts for next year are booking up quick for both bow and rifle.
I would like to thank all that you that joined us for a fair chase hunt this year and hope to see you back. I would also like to thank guides; Kelly, Gord, Wyatt, Oscar and Jason as well as Ian and Julie for cleaning and the great meals. Great crew and clients made for another awesome season!
Until next time, good luck!
Andre van Hilten
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Read more about each hunting season, the excellent time our hunters had on our hunts and the animals harvested in previous years.
past hunting seasons
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 and beautiful color phased bears. Our hunters took 5 mule deer bucks that scored over 180" and 7 that were in the 170's!
We just finished our archery mule deer hunts, and what a season it was! This was by far our best bow season yet, as far as clients harvesting bucks. With good moisture in the spring and early summer this area had quality antler growth! Of the 10 bucks our bowhunters took we have live video footage of 9 of them.