André van Hilten's
Willow Creek Outfitters
2013 Hunting Season
Hans van Hilten
Francois St. Louis
Willow Creek Outfitter's
2013 Hunt Report
At the beginning of the year we took a few coyote hunters in January and February and then our first big game hunt of the year was for black bears in the month of May. Our first group for bears was Kent Green (UT), with his two sons, Chris and Josh. Josh got his first bear ever, a nice cinnamon phase, and Kent also harvest a cinnamon bear, his first colored bear. Chris was able to connect on a black boar, his fourth bear in for years with us. Next group included Mike Raymond (CA), who harvested an absolute giant, old black boar! Mike Charron (FL) and his son Jimmy rounded out the last bear hunters, Mike took his first colored phased bear and Jimmy got a black with a beautiful hide. In the end we harvest 6 bears for 6 hunters and half were color phased. In 2014 we will be taking 10 hunters on this exciting spring hunt where you actually get to hunt a bear and not just wait for one to show up at a bait!
September 1st marked opening day for our mule deer bowhunts. A total of 8 bucks were harvested for 12 hunters and the average score was 171"! Every hunter had a least one shot except for one hunter that was trying to get a buck larger than his 181" he took with us in 2011. For more information on our 2013 bow season check out our 2013 BOW HUNT REPORT.
Rifle season started Oct. 25 and joining us for opening week was Mike and his son Jon Stehling (TX). A few days into the hunt we encountered a brutal winter storm but in the end Jon got a nice, tall buck that we had hunted during the bow season. Mike unfortunately went home empty handed after missing a couple bucks but put in an amazing effort considering some physical limitations he had.
We had a short break early in November and then started up again on the 10th with both whitetail and mule deer starting to rut at this point. Brothers Rex and Luke Gillespie (ID) had both harvested nice mule deer before the week was half over. Henrik and Brit Larsen (DK) came with us for their first whitetail hunt, by day five they both had taken nice bucks and were extremely happy with their overseas hunting experience. Good friend Ron Spomer came and hunted with us again this week and harvested a nice whitetail on film for his TV show "Winchester's World of Whitetail" which will air next summer. The next group was Jack and Chris Miller (MI) and friends Duane Andersen (MI) and David Buskirk (OK), this was Jack's third hunt with us and this group was here for a good time, and a good time we had! Everyone had whitetail and mule deer tags, a big bill to fill and when it was all said and done we filled 5 of the 8 tags. For the final week of the season we had Mike and Jimmy Charron (FL) again. They both got nice mule deer bucks and Jimmy also harvest a cool looking whitetail. Francois St. Louis (QC) and Joel Walsh (AUS) also joined us this last week both for whitetail. Joel got his first whitetail ever and Francois got his best whitetail to date. All in all for the rifle season we were 8 for 10 on mule deer and 8 for 10 on whitetail.
Once again I would like to thank all of you that hunted with us this season and in past years and hope you can join us again for another hunt. For you that have not hunted with us we hope you can join us sometime for one of our quality, fair chase hunts! I would also like to thanks those that helped me make this season a great success; Kelly, Wyatt, and Darcy for guiding and Ian and Julie for the great meals!
On a sad note my great friend and client Kent Green who hunted with me 15 times and brought his sons and friends numerous times to join him for a hunt passed away on Nov. 30, 2013. He was a great man and mentor and will be greatly missed by many people who were fortunate enough to know him.
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 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. The animals had no shortage of feed and once again we saw great antler growth on the bucks.
We just wrapped up another very successful archery season here at Willow Creek Outfitters! We specialize in trophy mule deer hunts and had 14 bowhunters join us in 2012 on this exciting hunt. We invest endless hours every year scouting and patterning the mule deer before our clients arrive. This pays off huge once the season starts as we can spend less time locating the deer and more time stalking them.
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.