John's Journal...

Manitoba's Extreme Whitetails with Whitetail Outfitters

He Hunts Monster Whitetails

Click to enlargeEditor's Note: What's the draw that causes a man to leave the warmth of his fireplace, the conveniences of civilization, and his family's love to go into the wilderness to hunt deer in extreme wilderness conditions? Hunters go to adventurous places like this for many reasons. For me, I enjoy the solitude, the stillness and the opportunity to be at peace with my soul. I also look forward to the chance to reconnect with friends I've made on other hunts and remember adventures we've shared together. I've hunted with Doug Grantham and John Nixon of Whitetail Outfitters, headquartered in Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada several different times. Each time I've enjoyed being with them and having some of the most-exciting adventures of my life, while visiting their outpost camps, hearing the hunters' stories and seeing the deer that the hunters have taken. Life doesn't get any better than hunting virgin bucks that never have seen or smelled a hunter during the rut. To make the hunt even more tantalizing, many of these bucks will be in the 150+ class range and never have heard a grunt call or rattling antlers. For 7 of the last 10 years, James Muise of Walden, New York, has hunted with Whitetail Outfitters.

Question: Jim, you're known as the king of whitetail hunting. I've heard your friends discuss whether or not you're lucky or just a great hunter. You certainly seeClick to enlargem to take some of the nicest deer of anyone each time you hunt with Whitetail Outfitters. Why do you return to Canada to hunt whitetails so often? Muise: I like to hunt for big bucks, I enjoy the excitement of the ride into and out of camp, and I love being in the wilderness.

Question: Tell me about this big buck you just took in November, 2007. Muise: On the first day of my hunt, at about 9:00 am or so, I spotted a 9-point buck that would have scored about 115 on the Boone & Crockett scale. On the second day, I saw an 8 point early in the morning at daybreak. Two scrapes and a couple of rubs were in front of me. There was a deer trail directly behind me, about 20 yards from my stand, and all the bucks I saw came through on that trail. At about 3:30 pm, I was getting comfortable in the stand and laid my gun on the shooting rail. I hadn't spotted any more deer since the little 8 point I saw at first light. Before I dozed off for a short nap, I looked to my left and then to my right. On my right, I saw a monster buck looking straight at me. This really shook me up, because I knew that when deer came into your stand, often you'd hear them because they'd break a limb or make some kind of sound. But this deer was like a ghost buck.

I stared at the buck, and he stared at me. I was expecting the deer to come from my left, and not my right. All the other deer I'd seen had moved in from my left. The big buck and I were locked in a dead stare. He was about 40 yards from me. I didn't move, but the huge buck started moving his head up and down, trying to figure me out. I was convinced he'd never seen a hunter before. When I saw this buck, I knew he'd sClick to enlargecore in the 150s on the B&C scale. For about 3 seconds, I wasn't sure I'd take him because he didn't have extremely-long tines. I already had shot a buck that scored 184 with Whitetail Outfitters during another deer season. So, like everyone else, I was looking for a bigger one. Once I decided to take the buck, he began to run. I grabbed my gun, swung around to the back of my stand and shot him on the right side of the tree about 30 yards from my stand. I was shooting a Thompson/Center Encore Pro Hunter blackpowder rifle with a 250-grain saboted bullet with Triple Seven-777-powder. When the bullet hit the buck, he kicked his back legs and started running. I knew the buck was hit well. He ran about 80 yards, jumped up in the air and then hit the ground, never to move again.

About 2 minutes after the shot, my hunting buddy called me on the walkie-talkie and asked if I'd shot a deer. I told him I had, but I wasn't sure of the size of the deer. After I talked to him, I reloaded my T/C, climbed down from the stand and then followed the blood trail to my buck. When I walked up to the buck, I noticed he had a really-wide spread of antlers. I did a little dance, grabbed the horns and just admired the buck. He was a fine 12 pointer that gross-scored 178. This was the seventh buck I'd taken with Whitetail Outfitters in Manitoba. My first buck was an 8 pointer that scored 137. After the first hunt, I fell in love with wilderness hunting for whitetails. I put in 5,000 minutes of talk time per month on my cell phone because I work for Verizon. So, having the opportunity to spend 1 week where there aren't any cell phones, radios or televisions is a really-pleasant relief. Even if I don't harvest a deer, when I go with Whitetail Outfitters, I'm fine because this is a great place and an amazing experience. I plan to keep coming back. The guides and the accommodations are wonderful, and I gain about 10 pounds every time I come because the food's so delicious.

Click to enlargeQuestion: Last year, you took the biggest buck you've ever bagged. What did he score? Muise: That Manitoba buck scored 184-1/4 points. My first morning on the stand during this hunt, which was a Monday, I saw a huge buck. But I could tell he was really old, and his horns were mangled-up and didn't have any tine length. I felt sure that buck would die of old age. Then I spotted a 5 pointer that same day and on Tuesday, a 6 pointer. On Wednesday, I sat on my stand from daylight until dark and didn't see a deer. So, on Thursday morning, I moved to a different stand. I spotted a doe and a yearling in the morning. But then at 4:30 pm, I heard a limb break. I grabbed my gun and eased down into the stand to brace for the shot, using the railing as a rest. I heard the deer hitting his horns against the tree as he came closer. I saw his high horns as I spotted him in a group of spruce trees. I knew this buck was a keeper.

The buck was coming to me from about 100 yards when suddenly he vanished. I could hear him, but I couldn't see him coming toward me. I saw a spruce tree about 50-yards away moving. I heard the buck breaking branches. As I looked through my binoculars, the buck was making a scrape. My heart was pumping, I was getting excited, and I thought the buck would come around the spruce tree. I had my gun pointed to the left where I thought the deer would come from, however, I saw the buck's head coming through a hole about 2-feet long x 2-feet wide. The buck was now standing 15 yards from me. I had to move my gun down and to the right. The buck had his head down, so he never saw or heard me. I aimed behind his shoulder and touched off my Thompson/Center blackpowder rifle. The buck ran about 10 yards and piled-up. The buck had a dropped tine and forks off both G2 antlers. He had 13-scorable points and weighed over 300 pounds. The Manitoba wilderness is probably the greatest place ever to hunt, and I plan to return as often as I can and hunt with Whitetail Outfitters.

For more information about hunting with Manitoba's Whitetail Outfitters, write Box 70, Stonewall, Manitoba, R0C 2Z0, call (888) 398-3459, visit, or email

Tomorrow: Christopher Muise's Rite of Passage

Check back each day this week for more about "Manitoba's Extreme Whitetails with Whitetail Outfitters"

Day 1: What a Whitetail Outfitters' Hunt Is Like
Day 2: He Hunts Monster Whitetails
Day 3: Christopher Muise's Rite of Passage
Day 4: Through the Eyes of a Dad
Day 5: The Dad Takes a Fine Buck Too


Entry 433, Day 2