2016 Hunting Season
After another real mild winter, the 2016 season looked promising in respect to mother nature being very easy on the animals in our areas.
This mild winter transitioned into a real early spring which posed some challenges for our first big game hunt of the year, our popular spot and stalk spring black bear hunt. Spring was a good three weeks early and by the time our first bear hunters arrived there was so much lush feed and cover for the bears it was tough to find them unless they came out into the open. With a little persaverance we got opportunities for most of our clients. The highlight was having three different fathers, who each brought their son, witness their boy harvesting a black bear! I also had a great time guiding Ginger Chandler and Shannon Lansdowne, both came up to film an episode for the Remington Country television show.
In late July we starting scouting for our deer hunts. Having a mild winter and good amounts of moisture in July sure proved to be the key factors in producing some great antler growth on our mature deer. Then in early August we took a two week trip into our bighorn area to haul in gear and set up camps for our upcoming bighorn hunts. This year we took two bighorn hunters. Jay Geddie on his first sheep hunt ever took a great bighorn on day five of his hunt. Charles Key came as well and was looking to complete his Grand Slam of North American wild sheep with a bighorn. Charles did pass on what appeared to be a small legal ram and could not find another larger ram by the time the hunt came to an end.
Our bow season was amazing, we took a week of hunters in September and another group in October. A total of 10 hunters harvested 8 bucks that had an average score of 181”! For more information on our 2016 bow season please check out our 2016 BOW HUNT REPORT
Late October marked the arrival of our first rifle deer hunters. We still had a number of mature deer that we had found during the summer out there for our rifle hunters to hunt. Thanks to the persistence of the guides the rifle hunters were able to harvest six of them.
Bob Austin was successful on his first hunt with us and brothers Tim and Jim Lee came for the third opener in a row and like last year, both took great bucks. Mule deer and sheep fanatic Jerry Tyrrell came next. Jerry has harvested some giant mule deer in his day but did not pull the trigger here. He passed some great deer and waited for a giant to come off posted land. This deer did not move to property we could hunt until the following week when our client Bruce Horn, who hunted whitetails with us last year, was able to seal the deal on him. It ended up being our best deer of the rifle season and taped out at 192”! Bruce’s son Eric successfully harvested his first deer ever as well! Tom and his father, Lee, both took nice bucks and Dave Heitsman took his fourth and best mule deer to date with us as well. Bob Hodson and his son Matt had such a great hunt last year that they decided to return this year and were accompanied by Matt’s wife, Melissa, and their son Hunter. All were rewarded with nice bucks. Bob had a tag for both whitetail and mule deer, even though he did not harvest a mule deer he was all smiles when he put his tag on an amazing 171” whitetail! Rick Nelson and Gary Marietti were in the same week for whitetail and both tagged out by day four. The last week of the season brought grandfather John Brogan and his grandson Nate Smith once again for mule deer. They both took nice mature bucks by day four. Last year they were joined by Nate’s father Jeff, who sadly passed away this past summer. Our prayers are with this family during these tough times. Milo Ravndalen, on his third hunt with us and Chad Turner who took a nice mule deer with us a couple years ago. This time they came for whitetail. The challenges of warm temperatures and strong winds
I would like to thank each hunter for coming to hunt with us this year as well as all the guides and cooks, without you, none of this would be possible!
Until next time, good luck!
Andre van Hilten
Posted in: Uncategorized