Very good hunt. Rod certainly knew his land and how the animals moved on it. It isn't a secret that the amount and quality of whitetails is down this year in Manitoba due to the past few severe winters. I came into this hunt with low expectations on the amount of deer I would see, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
I'm not sure how many deer I saw the week that I was in camp, but I saw anywhere from 6 to 8 on almost every sit. Most all of those were bucks, with a scattering of does. Very high buck/doe ratio.
I saw many 4 and 6 point bucks that were probably 1 1/2 year old deer. I saw half a dozen smaller 8 point basket rack deer that were probably anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 year olds.....and I saw another 8 to 10 deer that were main frame 8 or 10 pointers that would have scored anywhere from 115 to 130 P&Y. The largest buck I saw was probably a 130 class deer.
Rod will bust his butt to put you onto a deer.....there just wasn't any deer that I saw that would be considered truly mature....or roughly a 3.5 or 4.5 year old. In a few years with just average winters, I would no doubt think that the quality of the deer in the area that Rod has access to would significantly increase in size.
To enhance your opportunity to kill a quality buck, Rod would like you to sit in a stand all day during these rut hunts. Obviously time in the woods will increase your odds. I was not able to do that, and I understand that I limited my opportunities because of it. Temps were ranging from -10 to -25 C with high winds on some days, and sitting for more than 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon just isn't something that I am capable of in those temps. So if you are planning on hunting with Rod for Whitetails during the rut, plan on significantly cold temps and be prepared to sit all day in the stand to increase your odds. If you can't sit all day, Rod will certainly pick you up whenever you need to come out of the stand. Overall, the hunt met my expectations with quality of deer but exceeded my expectations with quantity.
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Weather was a significant problem for me and my hunting partner. Temps were significantly cold for us ranging between -5 and -25 C all week. Windy conditions for many of the days as well.