Many of the finest whitetail deer in Manitoba have come from the Riding Mountain region. There is no baiting allowed in Manitoba and therefore the hunt we offer is of the traditional style. Lots of leg work and hard scouting is required to ensure that proper stand placement is attained. The challenging part about this hunt is that the deer always have home field advantage. When success is achieved on this style of hunt, one can sit back and relish the accomplishment of harvesting a huge buck in his own domain. The territory where we conduct our deer hunting has sort of a virgin quality. Although there are local hunters in the area, very few of them venture into the woods where we have achieved most of our success. The trophy whitetail deer of this region have learned over time that being in the woods is being safe. I believe that anyone willing to work at getting a respectable buck will more than likely see one, and also have a chance at seeing that monster buck that everyone dreams about. Our deer hunt generally starts at the end of the first week of November and consists of one week for muzzleloader hunters and two weeks for rifle hunters.
We use a combination of portable, ladder and fully enclosed stands. Ladder stands are 15 feet high, all metal construction with armrests. Portable stands have larger platforms than most. Safety belts are supplied, or feel free to bring your own. The enclosed stands are made of plywood with a shooting opening on the front and each side. Just the place you want to be on a cold windy day.
Deer stands are placed near food sources or trails leading into the food source - areas of high rub and scrape density - historical travel routes between feeding and bedding sites or trails which are frequently used during the rut - old logging trails and fence lines - short crossings between large bush areas are also very productive.
I do all my own scouting. Most of the scouting for the following year is done immediately after the season. As the beginning of the new season nears a quick check of our locations are made to verify that the deer activity hasn't changed. Scouting is only done immediately before the season or during the season if there is a dramatic pattern change and it has to be done.
We hunt a combination of private and public lands covering 3000 - 4000 acres. Hunting pressure by resident hunters is minimal, as they prefer to hunt the easy access locations. Our proximity to Riding Mountain National park is also key to our deer hunting success. The park acts like a large game preserve, where deer are allowed to grow to their full potential in a safe environment. Year after year the deer filter out of the park into our hunting area.
Transportation to and from stands - game retrieval - skinning of the animal ( cape removal ) - quartering and freezing of the meat and hide