I’ve hunted whitetail deer with Bob Irvine’s Wolf Creek Outfitters for four straight seasons – but only after being on their waiting list for three years,” says subscriber Jeffrey Hartzler. “This year I got lucky. First day, first hour, this brute of a buck steps out. Prior to shooting this buck, I saw another huge buck that was just too far away for a shot. Deer like this are why you go to Canada!!!”
Hartzler’s monster buck grosses 194 B & C. (See photo in our online Trophy Gallery.) He has taken trophies three out of his four years hunting with Wolf Creek and says the Lac La Biche area where Irvine operates is just covered in white- tails. His first year, when he hunted the first week of the November season, (which Irvine says is his sleeper week, offering perhaps the best opportunity at an unwary buck) Hartzler scored on a 150-class buck. Thereafter he’s hunted the last full week of November (US Thanks- giving week), taking a 160-class buck in 2007. He got blanked the third year, and in 2009 he downed his monster first-day trophy. Not surprisingly, Hartzler gives Wolf Creek Outfitters excellent ratings across the board.
Irvine conducts his whitetail hunts on 12,000 acres of private, exclusive territory, which is about 50 percent open land, 50 percent “bush.” Hunters wait in enclosed, one-person plywood stands Hartzler called “shacks,” each equipped with a comfortable swiveling office chair and four plexiglass windows that give protection from the wind and drop out of the way for 360-degree shooting opportunities. Some of these are elevated, while others are on the ground. Some hunters choose to stay in their shacks all day, but Hartzler says he typically sits in his stand from well before first light, until 10:30 or 11, when his guide picks him up so he can warm up and eat lunch. Then he hunts another stand until dark. “I dress warmly in Raven Wear, which is made locally up there, but some hunters use a portable propane heater in the shack,” he says. He tells us that all stands are strategically placed in what is usually semi-open country on mostly private farmland. The shots, Hartzler says, can range from 200 to 400 yards, so a flat-shooting rifle and good skills are essential.
Hartzler has high praise for the guides he’s hunted with, Clem Girard the previous three years and Ty Shelton this year. “Bob Irvine uses all local guides who are hunting on their own properties, so they know the area and deer movement patterns extremely well.” he says. “I missed my first deer from a stand, but later, while we were traveling to another stand, Clem found where he was feeding, and I was able to stalk and get him on the second try.....