"So what does all this mean to hunters planning trips to the north country this fall? No one is 100 percent certain, but there will undoubtedly be some effect on antler growth. Nick Fredricks of Ameri-cana Expeditions says that he saw more whitetails in the 120-class last year than usual and thinks these bucks would have been 140-class deer in a normal year. The bucks still carried good weight but tine length seemed to be shorter.
"Ameri-cana Expeditions hunts the Battle River region of Alberta and has 22 whitetail and 24 mule deer permits. Like many of Alberta's outfitters, he still has openings at this writing for the 2002 season.
"Eldon Hoff of Deer Lodge Outfitting has eight mule deer permits in the southern portion of Alberta and feels that he will be in pretty good shape. This typically arid region got a fair amount of snow and rain this spring compared to east-central Alberta, and Hoff thinks the deer got off to a good start. Even now that the forage has hardened up, it is still plentiful and quite high in protein - the most important component for antler growth. Hoff also has 21 whitetail permits east of Edmonton and expects to see some decrease in antler growth there compared to ideal years. His fear, however, is that deer populations may suffer if we have a........(continued)