Bearpaws' 2001 Whitetail hunt proved to be one of our most frustrating.
34 hunters harvested 28 bucks for a respectable 80% success rate. Our average buck for 2001 was 153 point gross.
Although these are good solid numbers, they are no where near what we expected. Record high temperatures in the Peace River area though the first 3 weeks of November dramatically slowed the visible rut and the feeding pressure was very low.
Although we saw a number of 140-150 class bucks we only had occasional glimpses the true giants that inhabit our area.
We had opportunities at 6 bona fide 180 class bucks of which 3 were hit and lost. The other 3 were clear misses.
We took two Whitetail bucks over 170 gross. A 175 10 point harvested by first time hunter Gene Wilson with Rookie Guide Chris Broster. The other 170 was taken by another first time hunter, P. A.s' Jeff Salter with veteran guide Mike Bruneau out of a well placed tower blind.
Ron and Dave Gleixner took a pair of good bucks with veteran Bowen Dolhan. Gene Yount on his 11th hunt with Bearpaw took a good 184 Mule Deer with Bowen as well.
Guy Bruneau took over our 527 camp from Shane Elliot and collected 3 out of 4 bucks for clients in 527.
Our private land hunts continued to produce excellent opportunities. Ben Kunstleben and Brad Brubach teamed up for another 150 on the last day after hunting two monster Whitetail for 9 days. The only opportunity to shoot either deer was on a Sunday.
It seems like the "Big Boys" were really blessed, many shots were taken and lost, it almost seemed as if there was a way to screw up, we did it. But I guess that's hunting.