One example is Bob Irvine of Wolf Creek Enterprises. He says he is "almost embarrassed with his season." Irvine got 22 shots for 24 hunters, and his whitetails averaged 163, with the best going more than 184 gross. He is booked up to 2011, but he may be getting additional permits that will open up some opportunities. He thinks he has two possible new ones for the coming year, and he has recently purchased some more farmland, adding to his network of farm and bush properties. Irvine is also opening bear hunts in his deer hunting area for the first time and is guiding for Coues deer in January in Mexico. Since he is booked so far in advance, you may need to take an entry level hunt for bear or Coues just to get on his waiting list.
Similarly, Scott Taylor of Bear Paw Outfitting says he may never have a season like 2004 again. No wonder. The statistics are truly phenomenal and almost beyond belief - until you see the pictures! Taylor had 35 mule deer hunters achieve success out of a total of 36 in camp. The deer taken averaged 192 gross, and the biggest was a behemoth that unofficially grossed 227 points Boone and Crocket. He had 40 whitetail hunters and only one went home empty-handed. The average was 163, and the biggest was 210 gross.
How could these outfitters achieve such success? Irvine thinks it has to be due to El Nino and its impact on Alberta's weather. Indeed, other outfitters say mild winters over the last five years have pushed deer up in numbers like never before. As Taylor put it, "We may never be able to duplicate it." Taylor, incidentally, is largely booked forever, but you might get........(continued)