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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Monster Whitetails in Canada???

Okay, I actually made a commitment, and told my wife this weekend that I would like to take a trip with my Dad to hunt whitetails in Alberta or Sasketchewan in 2012.

Since I was in high school, my Dad and I have always talked about going to one of those places to hunt whitetail.  It was our "Hunting" dream.  I said that when I got out of college and got a steady job, we would plan a trip.  Well, 15 years into my steady job, I think it's time.

My Dad is 63 and not getting any younger.  We'd like to hunt somewhere that there is a mix of decent deer numbers, and decent chance at big, big bucks.  I don't want a "guaranteed B&C buck", or anything like that, just a chance to hunt the big guys.  I also understand that this will cost me some $$$$, but I still don't want it up in the $8-$10,000 range.  I was hoping that I can do it for less.

Here are some things I can think of, questions I may have, and I wanted to bounce them off my neighbors to the north.  If you are an outfitter, feel free to respond with answers, and a link to your website.

1)  Cost.  As said before, I don't want it too expensive, but realize I will have to fork out some cash.

2)  Animal quality/quantity:  I would like to see a decent number of animals, with a chance at a great buck.  That versus seeing tons of animals and very few good deer, or seeing hardly any animals, but guarantedd to be a biggie.

3)  Can I bring the meat back?  Are there any U.S.  importation rules in regards to CWD or such that would prohibit that.  Also, I remember hearing something where guys were hunting on a reservation, and had to give the meat from one deer to the tribe.  Ever heard of that?

4)  Gun laws.  I have heard they are a pain, but I would obviously like to bring our own guns.

5)  Length.  What is a good amount of time?  If I see a "7 day hunt", is that 5 days of hunting, with a travel day on each end, or is it truly 7 days of hunting.

6)  Trophy fees.  Are they usually included in the hunt, or do they tack them on later, depending on what you shoot?

7)  Hunt together or apart?  I know the more you split up, the better your chances at each getting a deer.  However, do outfitters offer places where Dad and I could sit together to witness each other's hunts?

8)  Amenities:  I would like it "comfortable", but it doesn't need to be a 5 star resort.  Kitchen, fireplace, common room, etc.  Nice place to dry off and warm up at the end of the day.

I am sure I am forgetting tons of stuff, but this is only for starters.  Oh, and how far out should I try to book a hunt?  Will places be filling up now for 2012, or not yet?

Thanks for any advice or info you have.  I appreciate it.


gatorfan's picture
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Location: Chula Vista, CA
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts: 465
Good for you Sean!

Sounds like we a have a similar dream hunt!  Someday I hope to read a similar post from one or both of my sons!!! lol

I've seen enough shows from Canada to keep that dream alive...

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Well, I finally serious about

Well, I finally serious about it Jim.  Gotta start researching it now.Thumbs up

saskie's picture
Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
Sask hunting

Cost - not 100% but I think 5-7K should do it for Sask.

Your outfitter will be able to advise you on the firearm import laws. From what I hear its not a big pain if done in advance, if you show up at the border with nothing you may be in trouble.

Length: Your 7 day trip will look something like this:

Day One - get picked up in Saskatoon - travel to camp (anywhere non-res hunting is allowed will be 3-4 hour drive). If you arrive in S'toon in the morning you should be able to sight in/settle in that day. Given that you'll be there in late Nov daylight ends around 5p give or take so if you arrive in the afternoon, probably have to wait until the next morning to sight in.

Day Seven - May be able to hunt that day and drive to Stoon after hunting, stay the night at your own expense and fly out the next morning. I reccomend the Saskatoon Inn. Very sportsman friendly and also the closest to the airport.

Joined: 06/21/2005
Posts: 7
sask and alberta

Vermonster: I don't want in anyway to bust your bubble, but you better research, here you are going to hunt. I live in Alberta, and our deer pop. and sask deer pop. are both down. Due to past hard winters, and the abused CWD culling, we are probably not what you are looking for in a Father/Son hunt. We still do have some Huge deer here, but not like a few years past. My concern is putting your Dad though some bad ass cold hunting, without seeing much, let alone shooting anything.  Not trying to steal anything from our local outfitters, but, give it a few years, and our populations will be back, but in the mean time, take you Dad on a warm, good chance hunt. Maybe antelope, Southern deer, Hog, something that you both get kills and bond. I'm a grandpa, and my boy's always want to take me on harsh hunts. The last was the Yukon..frooze my azz off, and was less enjoyable to me than hunting grouse with my grandson....just something to think about.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Yeah, thanks guys for the

Yeah, thanks guys for the responses.  Since posting this, my Dad has said he wouldn't mind going to Illinois or Kansas.  The deer out of there are surely impressive too, and I found that most places, according to websites, are between $2500-$3500.  That's a heck of alot cheaper, and I don't need to go through the hassle of going out of the country.

Now I just need to do my research and make sure they are legit outfitters.

Location: Nebraska
Joined: 01/13/2011
Posts: 132
I have an outfitter in

I have an outfitter in Manitoba that might fit your budget, We hunt out of blinds over food plots, average deer will run in the 150's with many larger taken every year. PM if you would like more info.


groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
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Keep us posted!

Sean: Please keep as psted as this dream hunt comes to reality. Most of us have a similar dream.  Mine would be to hunt with my son since my dad is not much interested in hunting and doesnt have the health for it any more anyway.  Any how - please share your information with us as you collect it so that we can learn right along with you. I am also looking at Canadian hunts for moose and caribou, but researching options wihin the United States too.

Speaking of hunting in the US, I know a couple of guys who hunt Kansas  every year and come back with some MONSTER bucks.  The same is true of a fellow I know who hunts in Montana every year.  So there are options for big deer in the US, and oh by the way - these are both unguided hunts on public land...so the cost is just tags, and travel expenses :D 

...and YES - I am working on going along with them within the next couple of years to learn the areas myself !

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Posts: 5813
I think we are leaning

I think we are leaning towards staying in the US now, due to cost and distance.  Either Kansas or Illinois.  It's just hard to wade through the plentiful outfitters out there, cause I am sure they are not all on the up and up.

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
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Although I have not used many

Although I have not used many outfitters I know you are right about checking them out. Even on lowly hog hunts I have been burned pretty bad.

I have found that the cheapest ones usually are for a reason. I try to look middle of the road now and ask a lot of questions.

On a hog hunt last year the outfitter told me he had over 10000 acres leased. He did, he just didn't mention it was not exclusive and other outfitters were using the area also.

Those are the kind of questions you need to ask and anything else you can think of.

Btw for no particular reason I vote for Kansas. You might check out Oklahoma also.

AlpineClimber's picture
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Location: North America
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You missed a couple important questions.

If your hunting Saskatchewan or Alberta, make sure you know the rut history of the area you are going to.  It will vary from area to area and does not match a lot of the US areas.

If your at the mercy of an outfitters schedule in Saskatchewan and forced to do an early season hunt, make sure you know the length of time he began baiting and ask to see trail cam shots.  Nearly every outfitter is using trail cams over their bait and you can have a good idea of whats there and what time they are moving.  You might get lucky on a Nocturnal Monster on an early hunt, but chances are he will be moving the most during the rut.

I will be going with Sask-Can Outfitters for the third time this year.  They are in Big River, north of Saskatoon and border as much or more of the Prince Albert State Park than most outfitters.  Vern is known as one of the best in the business and he just picked up some new areas that haven't been hunted in several years.  The last 3 winters have been fairly mild and this one is actually extremely mild so this and next year should be great for big Saskatchewan Bucks.

I will post some pics of my hunts with him when I get time.  You can see a video of my last hunt on YouTube.  Search regionalaz saskatchewan.

saskbuck2.jpg518.13 KB

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