Willow Creek Outfitter's 2014 Mule Deer Bow Hunt Report
Again it seems the fall is moving by quickly as another successful bow season has past and we are less than two weeks away from starting our rifle deer hunts. Over half of our twelve bowhunters were return clientele coming to experience what is my favourite and most exciting hunt that we offer here at Willow Creek Outfitters! Hunting trophy class mule deer in open country with a bow! Seeing Pope and Young class bucks every day and sneaking within bow range is an excitement hard to beat. I guess that is why many of our bowhunters return multiple time to take in this action packed hunt!
Our first group started in the beginning of September. Carl Rossi (PA) on his third straight bow hunt here broke the ice and put the first buck on the ground on day two. Carl made a perfect 88 yard shot to harvest a super, old buck. I have never seen a hunter as dedicated to the art of perfecting his bow shot as Carl is, there are very few bowhunters out there that can confidently harvest animals at longer distances. All the modern equipment out there can make accurate shots at long distances, but it is the person behind the equipment that is the variable to how well a shot is made! Carl's friend Al Ciprano (PA) harvested a dandy buck with us last year and this year took a long tined 175" deer on day five of his hunt. Lance Larue (PA) had been hearing the stories of Carl's and Al's past bowhunts with us and had to come up this season himself to experience it and was able to take a tall, dark velvet buck, his first mule deer.
Mitch Mitchum (NC) made a great 40 yard shot on a big framed, old buck that we had hunted unsuccessfully in 2013. It was nice to finally have one of our clients connect on this buck that we had spent many days hunting in the past. Brad Gray (MI) had rifle hunted mule deer a number of times with us in the past and wanted to try a bowhunt. Brad dedicated his whole hunt hunting a large, cagey 6x5 buck and on the last day when the big buck did not give him a shot opportunity he took another buck out of the bachelor group, his first mule deer with the bow.
Of our second group of hunters, Johnny Cleveland (AL) was the first to experience success taking a real, wide buck with a 40 yard shot. Husband and wife, Chris and Karla Kossmeyer (MO) decided to join us for a bowhunt on a recommendation from one of their friends. Chris took a dandy buck that eluded us the previous week and though Karla had a few close opportunities, unfortunately she was unable to connect on any of the bucks we stalked throughout the week. John Bute (AZ), who has hunted with us a couple times in the past and friend Kevin Rector (AZ) hunted a couple huge bucks when they were here. Both had multiple shots but Kevin was the only one to connect. He successfully harvest a deep forked 177" buck.
The last two hunters of the bow season were Mike and his son Jimmy Charron (FL). Mike and Jimmy have rifle hunted with us a number of times for black bear, whitetails and mule deer and decided to join us for their first bowhunt. We spent the majority of our hunt hunting the big 6x5 that our hunters had tried in vain to harvest for the past few weeks but once again at the end of the hunt the buck was still alive and well! Hopefully one of our rifle hunters this season will get lucky enough to harvest him!
Like last season, we again took a total of 8 bucks for 12 bowhunters with an average score of 165"! At this stage we still have a few openings for archery mule deer in 2015. I would like to thank every bowhunter that joined us this season as well as the guides and cooks for making the 2014 bow season a very fun, successful, and memorable experience!
Watch our videos on YouTube. They will give you a feel for the country, animals and the way we hunt here at Willow Creek Outfitters where you will experience "Fair Chase Hunting at it's Finest"!
Andre van Hilten
The Full Printable 2014 Bow Hunt Report in PDF