Realtree Outdoors 2008 Episode 4
Known for their immense size, Canadian whitetails' heavy racks and massive bodies make even the most seasoned hunters tremble in their stands, and Realtree Outdoors Host David Blanton is no exception.
"You never know what you'll see when hunting in Alberta," Blanton says. "Seeing and even arrowing a world class deer is a real possibility. Just knowing that one of those enormous Canadian bruisers could be lurking nearby is enough to give anyone a serious case of buck fever."
Last October, Blanton had the opportunity to travel up to Alberta two hours north of Edmonton to hunt with Ron Nemetchek of North River Outfitting. In years past, he'd joined up with Ned Yost, manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, to hunt there during the gun season, but this year, he'd be going it alone.
"Yost and I have had fabulous success in that part of Canada arrowing nice bucks," Blanton says. "This year I wanted to up the challenge a little bit, so I opted to hunt during the archery season while Ned decided to stick with his traditional gun-season hunt."
In keeping with the entire area, North River Outfitters is known for its big-bodied bucks, and hunters are given their choice of hunting them on farmland or in the bush.
Blanton headed out to Alberta with the plan to hunt the farmland deer as they traveled to and from their feeding areas. So, throughout his hunt, he set up in stands along the trails that connected their feeding zones with the hopes that a nice one would cruise by within range.
Blanton enjoyed relatively mild Canadian temperatures for that time of the year with lows in the 20s and highs in the 50s, but despite the ideal weather, the bucks had transitioned back into a nocturnal mode before the rut hit, which created quite a challenge.
"The deer limited their daytime movement much more than I hoped they would, which made getting in range of a big one much harder."
Despite the lack of deer movement, Blanton saw a number of big shooter bucks throughout his hunt, but he just couldn't get any of them to come in close enough to his stand. A nice 145-inch buck eventually walked to within 60 yards of the stand, but David refused to attempt the long shot.
"I had a ton of smaller bucks come within range of my bow, but in Canada there's just too much potential to take a giant, so I was determined to hold out for a big one. I never got the opportunity to draw my bow on a big guy, but I don't regret passing up the others." "
Blanton left empty handed but felt fired up for Yost fully expecting him to have better success with his gun the first week in November. The deer movement remained slow the first couple days of Yost's hunt, but toward the end of the week, Yost's luck improved. He ended up taking a nice 130-inch, 8-pointer with his gun in the same general area where Blanton had hunted.
"I was pumped up for Yost and was so happy that at least one of us experienced success," Blanton says.