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John's Journal... Entry 225, Day 1


Enjoy Monster-Buck Hunting in Manitoba

Editor's Note: At the first of November 2003, I went to Manitoba, Canada, to hunt with John Nixon and Doug Grantham of Whitetail Outfitters, headquartered in Stonewall. On this my second trip to hunt with Whitetail Outfitters in the deserted Interlake area near Winnipeg, I had just as much fun as I did the first time. During my first trip a couple of years ago, I saw more monster bucks and met more people who had taken the biggest bucks of their lifetimes than I'd ever met before. I also saw some unbelievably big bucks on my return trip in November of 2003. I interviewed the sportsmen who had braved this wilderness area so far removed from civilization that in a week's time you wouldn't even see an airplane fly over.

If you've ever dreamed of hunting where few other hunters go, then you need to visit this region between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. This wilderness area, which burned in 1989, has no human population but homes a big-deer population across its 1200-square miles. To hunt here, you'll have to commit to exciting rides on snowmobiles and 4-wheelers, walking through snow that's several feet deep and staying in hunter's cabins where you'll remain warm and dry and enjoy good food. You'll hear no road traffic, telephones, radios or any of the sounds of civilization. The still, quiet silence is so unusual that it's almost deafening. In this section of Canada, the temperatures in November will hover around 0 degrees or below with a wind chill factor often minus-20 or minus-30 degrees. Hunters go to their stands before daylight and usually don't come out of their stands until well after dark. These trophy-buck hunters often will pass-up bucks that most of us will eagerly take at home that will score from 90 to 110 or 120 points on Boone & Crockett. There's often opportunities to take big-bodied bucks scoring from 150 to 160 points B&C. Even a runty-looking deer in the Interlake region will weigh 200 pounds. Most of the bucks will weigh more than 250 pounds.

In November 2003, hunters took eight bucks that weighed 300-365 pounds in less than two weeks. These bucks were so big they'd scare you with such huge body masses. Their heads appeared to be jammed down into their shoulders, which made them look like giant toads. The hunters with Whitetail Outfitters met and hunted with some of the best guides who lived in this area and had hunted this wilderness region all their lives. These guides understood that the deer here wouldn't be spooked by hunters. Some hunters had the opportunity to take the same trophy buck two or three times. Here's what some hunters had to say about their hunts who just returned from their wilderness adventures in Manitoba's Interlake region.

Tom Case Takes 5th Big Buck:
Tom Case of Limestone, New York, took a buck that scored 160 4/8-points on B&C. "One of the owners of Whitetail Outfitters, Doug Grantham, and I found a spot where four deer trails all came together. Too, there was a fresh scrape under a pine tree just off one of the trails. I got in my stand 1/2-hour before daylight, but I didn't see any deer until 3:15 p.m. About 4:00 p.m., I heard some loud grunts in the brush off the trail. Since the grunts were really drawn out and loud, I assumed a buck had made those grunts. I grunted back to him with a grunt call, but the deer didn't respond. Next I tried my Bleat-In-Heat call, but the deer still didn't grunt. I decided the buck knew there was a deer by my stand, and that probably the best thing I could do was be quiet. Fifteen minutes later, I heard the buck grunt again a little bit softer. So I kept watching where I'd heard the sound come from, however, I didn't see any movement for about five minutes. Finally, I spotted the deer's legs and saw him move ever so slightly. The buck was about 100-yards away when I saw movement to his left. I spotted the second deer first and saw it was a doe, which was probably the reason he didn't answer my grunt calls. When the buck was 75-yards away from me, I could see his front shoulders and decided to take the shot rather than risk the deer's not coming any closer or getting spooked before he got to me. I took a shot, and as the buck went down, I was able to see just how large he was. I was extremely excited about the enormous creature, and I can't wait to put him on my wall."

Why Case Hunts With Whitetail Outfitters:
"This year is the fifth one I've hunted with Whitetail Outfitters because I enjoy the solitude of a wilderness hunt," Case says. "I like being away from other people and hunting in places that I know haven't had any hunting pressure. Too, in the States or any other place I've hunted, you don't see 300-pound plus bucks in the numbers that Manitoba has them. I know my chances of taking a really big buck are better here than anywhere else. "This buck was my fifth white-tailed deer to take up here in the Interlake area. The two other bucks I took here were even bigger than this past one. One was a massive 8 pointer, and the other buck had two large drop tines. If you had the chance to hunt an area that produced bucks like these, why wouldn't you hunt here? The remoteness of the area, the huge body size of the bucks and the chance to take the buck of a lifetime is what draws me back to Whitetail Outfitters and this Interlake region each year."

For more information on hunting the buck of your lifetime under extreme conditions, contact Doug Grantham or John Nixon at Whitetail Outfitters, Box 70, Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada ROC 2Z0, phone toll-free (888) 398-3459, e-mail hunt@whitetailoutfitters.ca, or visit the Web site www.whitetailoutfitters.ca.




Check back each day this week for more about CANADA'S BEST DEER HUNTING ...

Day 1 - Enjoy Monster-Buck Hunting in Manitoba
Day 2 - James Muise's Freight Train Buck
Day 3 - Steve Broderick's Buck of a Lifetime and Anthony Messina's Biggest Buck Ever
Day 4 - Waiting Paid Off
Day 5 - Frank Sarro

John's Journal