Editor’s Note: Cory Jarvis of Raymond, Alberta, Canada (www.3riversadventures.com, https://www.facebook.com/3riversadventures/), has been hunting mule deer for 30+ years and guiding mule deer hunters for the last 20 years. Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors (www.druryoutdoors.com ) and Eva Shockey are some of his enthusiastic clients.
When a cat attacks a mouse, that cat is letting the mouse dictate the hunt. The cat won’t let the mouse see it, until the cat’s ready to pounce. Sometimes hours go by before the cat has the mouse in the position where the cat knows the cat can take the mouse. We have sat and watched a buck as long as 6-8 hours, when that buck never got up and moved to a place where we could take a shot. That kind of stalk can be draining on a hunter, and some of our hunters want to push the issue and not sit as long as is required for a buck to get in a place where the hunter can take the shot with his bow.
Sometimes, we’ll eat our snacks and maybe our lunch while we’re in the truck, before we ever prepare to make the stalk, because we can’t be rattling sandwich wrap and candy bar wrappers when we’re trying to slip in on a big mule-deer buck. Sometimes I’ll unwrap my candy bars and put them in my pocket. Then if I need to eat I can without making any noise. We also carry plenty of water with us, but I don’t like to have my hunters carry their water in those plastic water bottle containers that you get at the grocery store. They make way too much noise. I like a hard water bottle where all you have to do is untwist the top, or a bladder-type water bottle like CamelBak (https://www.camelbak.com/) makes. Then you only have to suck on a rubber hose to pull the water out of the plastic bladder.
Usually in September and October, we’ll have 70-degree weather, and you can hunt in T-shirts. But during the last couple of weeks of October in 2017, we were sitting and having to stalk in snow. Snow isn’t common at this time of the year, but it does happen. Snow adds another element of difficulty to a spot-and-stalk deer hunt, because the deer can see you better in snow, and there’s no such thing as quiet snow. Generally, when you walk on snow, it will crunch. If the snow has enough moisture in it, the snow will squeak when you walk on it, making sneaking-up on deer really difficult.
I tell anyone who’s planning to hunt with us to get a good weather app, dial in the area you’re going to hunt, and try to get a weather forecast for the week a day or two before you pack to come to Canada. I have several different weather apps I use, including Weather Network (https://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather-apps), AccuWeather (https://www.accuweather.com/) and Environment Canada App (http://weather.gc.ca/). I’ve also found that the Drury DeerCast app (https://www.druryoutdoors.com/deercast.php) is reliable when forecasting the weather. That app is especially beneficial when we’re out hunting, because we can pull up the weather for where we are at that moment. That app also tells us the times of day when the hunting will be best. One of the most-beneficial features of this app is that it gives you the wind direction right where you are. It also has many other features that can be extremely helpful while you’re hunting.
To learn more about mule deer hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ book – “Mule Deer Hunters’ Bible” available in Kindle, print and Audible at https://amzn.to/2Kg62w5
Tomorrow: Why Nonresidents Must Have Guides to Hunt Mule Deer in Alberta, Canada