André van Hilten's
Willow Creek Outfitters
2018 Hunting Season
Francois St. Louis
André van Hilten
Willow Creek Outfitter's
2018 Hunt Report
The past year of 2018 marked the 18th season that we have been offering fair chase hunts in Alberta. The years seem to go by so quickly and this year was no different. We had many return clients and a number of new ones, a perfect balance. It is always nice to meet new clients as well as strengthen the relationships with the returning ones.
The month of May is when the big game hunting all starts for us. Our spring black bear hunt has become a very popular hunt for fathers to bring their son to come and experience the best of what nature has to offer us here. Max brought his son Luca to experience their first spot and stalk bear hunt together. Both harvested nice boars, Luca a nice cinnamon and Max a beautiful black. Rick and Joe returned again and Joe finally connected on a huge pumpkin headed cinnamon boar after striking out last year. Don Williams had hunted with us in the past for archery mule deer and decided to join us on a spring black bear hunt and was rewarded with a nice black boar. Dale and Joel Sowders were here 10 years ago on a bear hunt where we encountered some nasty winter weather. This trip was a lot nicer and Joel harvest a real nice bear.
With summer came our preparation for the coming sheep and deer season. Trails were cleared and sheep camps were set up in the mountains and deer were scouted at home for the coming archery season. Our usual repeat hunters Carl Rossi, Al Ciprano, John D’Angelo and Mitch Mitchum came up for the early season hunt in the beginning of September. Carl harvested a super old deer that had regressed in antler size making it his 7th buck in 7 years. Mitch took another great 183” buck, a dandy for sure but it will be pretty tough for him to better the 198” giant he took with us in 2016! John on his fourth consecutive hunt with us took a cool looking non typical velvet buck. After we returned from the sheep mountains another four archery hunters arrived. Juan Cerrillo, Bill Crapser, Ron Fillmore and Mike Nelson. We harvested two awesome bucks this week. Both Bill and Ron took their first mule deer with archery equipment. Congrats guys!
After a season of terrible weather in 2017 where Gary Wiechens and Brent McNamee were unsuccessful in harvesting sheep, they returned in 2018 to try their hand again. Both were successful in taking awesome bighorn rams which completed Brent’s first grand slam and Gary’s second. Great job guys!
For the opening week of rifle season we had Francois St. Louis and his friend Serge Girard come for mule deer. This was Francois’ fifth hunt with us. Both harvested nice bucks within the first two days of their hunt. Dean Capuano and Tom Hogan of Swarovski brought up Ron Spomer and Gordy Krahn who both have hunted here a number of times in the past. At the end of the week they had harvested three mule deer and a couple of whitetail. Russell Coleman from Australia returned again and took a nice whitetail and mule deer. Other successful mule deer hunters were Dave Dibblee and Troy Kalnoski. Whitetails were taken by Greg Boyes, Gary Marietti and his son Dominic.
I would like to thank all of you that hunted with us this year and years in the past. Also none of this would be possibly without the great crew I have that make it all happen. If you would like to experience fair chase hunting at its finest come join us here in Alberta and we will do our best to make your hunt the best experience we possibly can. Best wishes for 2019!
Until next time, good luck!
André 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
Rifle deer season started in late October and continued until late November. We started the season just hunting mule deer. Our mule deer rifle hunters once again experienced a 100% harvest.
After another real mild winter, the 2016 season looked promising in respect to mother nature being very easy on the animals in our areas.
The 2015 season has just wrapped up and I can't believe it is over already! This year marked our 15th year of offering fair chase hunts in Alberta, to make it even more sweet, it was our most successful year for quality animals taken.
Opener for the rifle deer season here is Oct. 25. Joining us this week would be return clients Francois St. Louis (QC) and Milo Ravndalen (MN) who brought his friend Chad Turner on his first western spot and stalk hunt. All three guys harvested real old bucks with Francois' being a 188" monster!
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!
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.