André van Hilten's
Willow Creek Outfitters
2014 Bow Hunts
Willow Creek Outfitter's
2014 Bow Hunt Report
Again it seems the fall is moving by quickly as another successful bow season has past and we are less than two weeks away from starting our rifle deer hunts.
Over half of our twelve bowhunters were return clientele coming to experience what is my favourite and most exciting hunt that we offer here at Willow Creek Outfitters! Hunting trophy class mule deer in open country with a bow! Seeing Pope and Young class bucks every day and sneaking within bow range is an excitement hard to beat. I guess that is why many of our bowhunters return multiple time to take in this action packed hunt!
Our first group started in the beginning of September. Carl Rossi (PA) on his third straight bow hunt here broke the ice and put the first buck on the ground on day two. Carl made a perfect 88 yard shot to harvest a super, old buck. I have never seen a hunter as dedicated to the art of perfecting his bow shot as Carl is, there are very few bowhunters out there that can confidently harvest animals at longer distances. All the modern equipment out there can make accurate shots at long distances, but it is the person behind the equipment that is the variable to how well a shot is made! Carl's friend Al Ciprano (PA) harvested a dandy buck with us last year and this year took a long tined 175" deer on day five of his hunt. Lance Larue (PA) had been hearing the stories of Carl's and Al's past bowhunts with us and had to come up this season himself to experience it and was able to take a tall, dark velvet buck, his first mule deer.
Mitch Mitchum (NC) made a great 40 yard shot on a big framed, old buck that we had hunted unsuccessfully in 2013. It was nice to finally have one of our clients connect on this buck that we had spent many days hunting in the past. Brad Gray (MI) had rifle hunted mule deer a number of times with us in the past and wanted to try a bowhunt. Brad dedicated his whole hunt hunting a large, cagey 6x5 buck and on the last day when the big buck did not give him a shot opportunity he took another buck out of the bachelor group, his first mule deer with the bow.
Of our second group of hunters, Johnny Cleveland (AL) was the first to experience success taking a real, wide buck with a 40 yard shot. Husband and wife, Chris and Karla Kossmeyer (MO) decided to join us for a bowhunt on a recommendation from one of their friends. Chris took a dandy buck that eluded us the previous week and though Karla had a few close opportunities, unfortunately she was unable to connect on any of the bucks we stalked throughout the week. John Bute (AZ), who has hunted with us a couple times in the past and friend Kevin Rector (AZ) hunted a couple huge bucks when they were here. Both had multiple shots but Kevin was the only one to connect. He successfully harvest a deep forked 177" buck.
The last two hunters of the bow season were Mike and his son Jimmy Charron (FL). Mike and Jimmy have rifle hunted with us a number of times for black bear, whitetails and mule deer and decided to join us for their first bowhunt. We spent the majority of our hunt hunting the big 6x5 that our hunters had tried in vain to harvest for the past few weeks but once again at the end of the hunt the buck was still alive and well! Hopefully one of our rifle hunters this season will get lucky enough to harvest him!
Like last season, we again took a total of 8 bucks for 12 bowhunters with an average score of 165"! At this stage we still have a few openings for archery mule deer in 2015. I would like to thank every bowhunter that joined us this season as well as the guides and cooks for making the 2014 bow season a very fun, successful, and memorable experience!
Watch our videos on YouTube. They will give you a feel for the country, animals and the way we hunt here at Willow Creek Outfitters where you will experience "Fair Chase Hunting at it's Finest"!
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
The season was filled with many new hunters as well as a number of repeat clients. We harvested some really nice animals and made some good memories for all. We also acquired some more whitetail and black bear tags in our area early this fall and both are spot and stalk hunts, the whitetail in the rut in November and the black bear in the spring during the month of May.
We just finished another fantastic bow season for mule deer and again it was an exciting one with many repeat clients and some great bucks harvested. Overall 12 bowhunters took 8 bucks with an average score of 171"! The average shot range was 43 yards and everyone had a shot opportunity at a trophy class muley. The 2013 bowhunting season an unforgettable one!
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.