John's Journal...


Guthrie Gets a Good ‘Un

Click to enlargeEditor’s note: J. Guthrie, the executive editor of NRA’s Shooting Illustrated, was on the Canada hunt with me at Garden River Outfitters. Guthrie had taken a nice buck the year before, and this year he took another really-nice buck. Here’s what Guthrie said about his hunting experience.

QUESTION: Tell me about your 2004 hunt.
GUTHRIE: Well, in 2004, I sat on my stand for 64 hours and then within the last 10 minutes of daylight, finally, I killed my 10-point buck that scored 150 B&C points. I wanted to come back and hunt again in 2005, because I believe this is the best place in the world to take a really big whitetail. The deer here, are the Borealis sub-species of whitetail, which means they have the biggest bodies and the biggest antlers of all the whitetails. There’s not a lot of hunting pressure on these deer, so they attain ages that allows them to reach their maximum antler potential.

Click to enlargeQUESTION: On the fifth day of this year’s hunt, what happened?
GUTHRIE: Previously, I’d had been sitting on the same stand for four days, and the biggest deer I’d seen was only about 115 inches. So I asked if I could change stands. The weather had been cold, we had had a full moon, and the bucks weren’t in a hard rut yet. The morning started out as a bust. I was excited about going to a new stand, but when we got there, the platform didn’t have a blind set up on it. So, the guide started to put the blind on the platform, but the blind was the wrong size. Then the guide went to another stand site, took the blind off that stand and brought it back to put up on my stand. In the end, I didn’t get the blind in place and all my gear set up until about two and a half hours after daylight. The weather was hot, and I was pretty well bummed-out. The temperature had gone from –20 degrees below zero, three days earlier all the way up to 40 degrees. Not only was the weather frustrating me, but I felt like we had made a lot of noise, taking the four-wheeler back and forth, putting the blind on the stand and getting all my gear into the stand. I felt like we’d probably spooked off any mature bucks that might have been in the area.

Click to enlargeThe area I was in really looked like it ought to hold deer. I was overlooking a little meadow, with some low-growing shrub that was surrounded by an old-growth forest on one side and either an alder, red alder is the only large tree of the alders; others are shrubs or small trees commonly forming tangled thickets, or poplar forest on the other side. So, we had three-different types of habitat all converging at the same place. I noticed a lot of big tracks on the road as we came in, but because we’d made so much noise, I had pretty well decided I wouldn’t see any good deer until late in the afternoon. I started reading a book, and then I watched a whisky jack fly by. I looked back toward the bank and saw a buck coming in towards me. I put my binoculars on him and quick-scored him at about 140 something points. Then, I decided to take a real hard look at him, and I determined he had good mass on his antlers, really-wide tines and some cool, curled stickers on the ends of his main beams. I decided to take him. I cocked my CVA Kodiak Pro equipped with my Bushnell Elite 3200 riflescope and a PowerBelt 275-grain bullet on top of 150 grains of Pyrodex. Also, I was using a Winchester 209 primer. The shot was about 60 yards. When I fired, I knew I’d made a good hit. The buck ran through the meadow after I’d fired, and I was pretty sure I’d heard him fall, so I got out of my tree stand, re-loaded and went to the spot where I had shot. I quickly and easily picked up the blood trail, and in about 10 minutes I was at the deer. I was very, very pleased when I saw the buck. This fine buck had lots of mass and was very representative of his age class. The photographs taken of this buck and his mount on my wall, will bring a smile to my face for many years to come. This buck had some bark in the beading on his antlers down near his brow tines, so I know he’d been scraping and cruising for does. He was really an ‘against all odds’ buck because he came along about an hour after I’d gotten in my stand when I knew I had made way too much noise

Click to enlargeQUESTION: What do you think about baiting deer here?
GUTHRIE: This land covers a very-large area. You might be able to find these bucks and their travel trails, but it would probably take you a minimum of two to three weeks. I follow the rule, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Baiting is about the only way I know to accomplish the goal of getting a lot of different deer in front of a hunter in a short period of time.

For more information on Garden River Outfitters, contact Mo at (306) 978-2307, or you can write to him at Box 929, Martinsville, Saskatchewan, SOK-2TO.

You can learn more about Bushnell’s top-quality optics by calling (913) 894-4224 or checking out

To learn more about Black Powder Products, Inc. (BPI), the makers of CVA, Winchester and New Frontier Muzzleloading guns and accessories, call (770) 449-4687, or visit


Day 1: The Mo of the Monsters
Day 2: Garden River Basics
Day 3: Memories at Garden River Outfitters
Day 4: You Can Hunt Bear Too
Day 5: Guthrie Gets a Good ‘Un


Entry 329, Day 5