Agassiz Outfitters-2017 Waterfowl Hunting Review

The 2017 Waterfowl Season was excellent as usual and all of our guests experienced “World Class” waterfowl hunting at its finest!  The non-resident waterfowl season opener is September 24, but we started this year at the beginning of October and went to the end of October.

The first week saw lots of local Canada geese around mixed with migrating birds as well. However, the migration was still slow at this time as temperatures remained warm.  Our first group started off their hunt the day they arrived by taking advantage of the great walleye fishing our area has to offer.  Nothing like catching good eating size walleye all afternoon/evening and then getting ready and anticipating a great goose/duck hunt early the next morning.  And that they did, as our awesome group and re-peat hunters did.  As Pat and Dales group from Wyoming witnessed some great field hunting.  Pat also brought along his two your sons Liam & Duncan who are both excellent little waterfowl hunters and I think at times, showed up both Pat and Dale making incredible shots at both geese and ducks,lol.  Great seeing those young hunters out in the field!  During their hunt, abundance of snow geese were still around and they also got into them one morning as limits of Canada geese and lots of snow geese worked this particular field.

By October 10, some cooler weather and strong north winds pushed some new birds down just in time for our other groups arriving.  The Hughes party from Minnesota was arriving.  This group has hunted with as for over 15 years so it is always a pleasure seeing them all every year.  Excellent guys and a lot of great shoots and memories over the years, and this year didn’t disappoint.  The first morning saw the Hughes party limit out on greater Canada geese and 2 that were banded birds.  That evening out in the barley field a great shoot of mallards occurred as it rained ducks!  Nothing like field shooting mallards out on a grain field or just watching them work the spread.  The rest of the week saw some more amazing shoots as most groups got into some amazing goose shoots, both Canada and snows, out in a corn field.  The Hughes party also had a couple good shoots over water for a variety of ducks.

The daily temperature kept getting warmer by the middle of October and the migration slowed down to almost nothing.  Fortunately we had enough birds down that provided us with some great shoots.

One of the next groups arriving was other excellent repeat guests of ours for at least 10 years, the O’laughlin party.  Kevin and his group have also seen many good shoots over the years.  The first morning saw a good goose shoot and mixed bag of Canada and snow geese out in a corn field.  That evening we split the group of 8 up so 4 would hunt over water for ducks and 4 out on the field for mallards.  Both groups had a great shoot for ducks as a variety of ducks worked the slough and mallards worked the field.

The next day was a lot slower as we witnessed a “Blue Bird” day.  Lots of birds left their roost much later in the morning but would see something and most didn’t want to decoy that particular morning.  However, the next day made up for it as limits of greeters were had once again.  Good shooting guys!

As we approached the end of October the migration was still slow and spread out.  Most birds coming down were coming down through the night.

Our last 2 groups would see good friend and repeat hunters from Minnesota, the James party and another new group which was good friend Paul Carnes from Virginia and another father and son from Minnesota.  All avid bird hunters!  So fortunately were lucky to still have enough birds around for some good shoots.  The first morning saw the James party have a good shoot of snow geese mixed with some mallards.  By now it was getting a little tougher to find new birds and the next day was a little slower, however in the evening both groups had a good duck hunt.  One group over water and one group out on the fields had lots of shooting.  Towards the end of the week and hunt, limits of greaters were shot by Carnes & Stagnes party and to top of the day, limits of gadwalls over the water were taken.  Anybody who has hunted gadwalls knows how fun these ducks are when they decoy over water.  What a way to end our Waterfowl Season!

All in all, every day except the odd “Blue Bird” day saw limits of Canada Geese and ducks even snow geese the odd morning.  The migration was extremely slow as the whole months of September and October were warm.  In fact, at the beginning of November I witnessed huge flocks of greater Canada geese as well as Northern Mallards coming down.  Finally, a big thank you to all of our waterfowl guests for hunting with us, all of our hard working guides and last but not least, a huge thank you to all the landowners/farmers for letting us hunt your land.  Much appreciated!

Happy Hunting,

Rick

Agassiz Outfitters-2017 Moose Hunting Review

During the spring and summer of 2017, water levels where we hunt in Northern Manitoba were extremely high and the highest recorded in modern history.  During spring bear, I received a call that some of our moose camps were under water.  I was finally able to fly into all the camps by the beginning of August to access any damages as the water finally receded and we could finally beach the planes and walk on land.  Unfortunately, we lost a lot of equipment and supplies which had to be re-placed but thankfully all of our camps remained in good shape besides some minor damage and shifting.  The whole time since I received the call back at the end of May till August when we could access camps we worried that we might not be able to run our moose hunts in 2017 and have to move everyone back.  Thankfully by the middle of September, the water receded back to normal levels and we knew we would have a hunt after all.  Thank god!!  When I flew in to access the camps in August, I saw some good moose from the air including one huge bull by our “Broken Horn” camp.  A definite shooter!

September 13 finally arrived and all the guides and I flew up to the camps for our set up and to check out areas for sign, etc.., once camps where ready to go.  When we were ready to fly into the camps, the pilot had mentioned that he was seeing lots of moose from the air which is what I always like to hear.  Set up of all the camps went extremely well as we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  All 5 days we allowed this year for set up, etc.… were sunny and warm which makes it much more pleasant setting up and doing everything else to get ready prior to hunters arriving.  As per the norm, setting up “main camp” was the priority then guides Bob Hyshka and Bryan Minnis would go set up their “Down River” camp and my son Jordan and myself would go set up Jordan’s “Up River” Camp where he would be guiding.

All the other camp set ups went great also; as the nightly call ins would indicate.  During set up, some moose sightings were reported as Bob and Bryan saw 2 different cows and 1 big bull that we never saw again during the hunting and is around hopefully for next year.  While Jordan and I set up his camp, a wolverine walked right by us and didn’t seem to care we were there.  After set up, Jordan and I went and checked out a couple of good calling spots.  Lots of sign was evident everywhere and we knew it was shaping up to be a good season just by the moose sign everywhere.  Other camps were reporting seeing the odd moose and seeing lots of sign also. Things were looking great!

Finally camps were all ready and first group of hunters were set to fly in on Monday, September 18 first thing in the morning pending weather conditions.  Prior to this, on September 17 we all watched another good size bull walk the shores at “Main Camp”.  This bull raked the willows and was very vocal as he looked for cows.   Things were heating up!

Weather was perfect for flying and all guests arrived into the camps by 9:00 a.m. which was perfect.  As hunters and guides got ready and came up with a plan, the hunting started.  It didn’t take Bryan and Dan from Michigan long as on the first evening, Dan shoots a nice grey wolf on the way to their calling spot.  Only 3 moose were seen between all camps on this first evening.  Bob and Keith from Michigan spot a young bull and cow at their calling spot which Keith passes on as it is way too early in the hunt.  Meanwhile, guide Jordan and his hunter Byron from Wyoming spot a huge cow bedded down along the river and watch her for a while hoping a bull was in the area.  Everyone was reporting seeing lots of fresh sign.

The next day saw light winds out of the south-west, sunny with slight cloud cover, a great morning for moose.  Joe and George from Pennsylvania spot a small bull today which George decides to pass at one of the camps to the north.  Bryan and Dan see 5 moose including one big bull that was with a cow and calf and wouldn’t leave the cow alone.  They also see 2 other small bulls. Jordan and Byron see no moose today.  The only other camp to see moose was “Broken Horn” as they see 7 moose in total, 3 cows and 4 calves.  No bulls with any of them yet.  Bob and Keith see 3 wolves in the morning and later that day see 2 smaller bulls and a cow that didn’t want anything to do with the 2 bulls.  The northern lights the last two nights have been unbelievable and are putting on a show.

On September 20, we all wake up to very strong winds out of the east and heavy cloud cover.  Heavy rain started at 11:00 a.m. and continued all day with strong winds.  Jordan and Byron have a cow and 2 calves walk by them at a mere 20 yards.  Paul from Iowa who is hunting with guide Daine sees a monster bull but can’t get a good clean shot at him.  This bull was never seen again and is also there for next year amongst many others.  Bryan and Dan spot 7 Moose; 3 bulls, 3 cows and a calf.  Over the next several days, Bryan and Dan have a number encounters with smaller bulls, both from the boat and from calling positions.  They get some great video at 20 yards on several bulls that came to the call.  Vey windy and raining hard all day.  Surprised 11 moose were seen today considering the ugly weather, and already 30+ moose seen in total!

The next day was very windy too but sunny.  This day Bob and Keith break the goose egg, as Keith shoots a big 50” bull at 10:15 that was coming to Bob’s call.  What a bull!  Paul and Daine over at “Broken Horn” pull the trigger on a 43” bull.  Brian and Dan see another 7 Moose.  5 different bulls and a cow and calf.  Dan decides to be patient yet.  Jordan and Byron see a cow and 2 calves once in the morning at 7 a.m. and again at noon.  Scott and Eric from Minnesota see a small bull and Joe and George to the north shoot a 42” bull at approximately 5:30.  Cloud cover and light rain moves in for the evening.  Bob and Keith also see a wolverine today.

Waking up today to heavy fog and light rain which ends up being misty all day with heavy cloud cover and winds out of the north.  As Bob and Keith are bringing Keith’s moose meat to “Main Camp” they see 2 white wolves amongst their travels.  One wolf was on Keith’s carcass already and the other was walking the shoreline.  After all the meat is hung and taken care of, Bob goes back to kill site(carcass) and builds Keith a ground blind so he can hunt over it with his un-used bear tag.  Over at “Broken Horn” Scott and Eric shoot a 42” bull at around 2:00 p.m.  “Broken Horn” is done already! Eric and Paul both have their first bull moose and couldn’t be happier!  Jordan calls in a small bull for Byron which he passes up for another year also.  This bull walks past them at 20 yards.  Byron and Dan see another 4 bulls and called in the same bull twice.  Corbin and Scott from Ohio hear both a cow and bull call today but no luck.  Paul missed a big white wolf on his carcass at 300+ yards today over at “Broken Horn”.  Long shot!  Paul also sees a wolverine on his hunt.

Today we see a high of +5 Celsius with a light North-East wind and cloud cover.  Bryan and Dan saw a bull from far away.  Couldn’t tell how big though.  They also get a bull to approximately 20 yards in the willows grunting and thrashing but don’t see him.  Keith misses a huge white wolf on his carcass.  After his first shot, the wolf ran then came back and grabbed a piece of the moose hide,and takes off.  One lucky wolf!  Keenan and Rich from Pennsylvania to the north see a cow on North end of the lake all by herself.  They watch her for 20 minutes hoping a bull would be with her.  Jordan and Byron have a slow day as so does Brendan and Chad and Corbin and Scott.  When Bob was picking up Keith from hunting his moose carcass for a wolf, he sees a cow walking into the willows on the island but couldn’t tell if a bull was with her.

September 24 saw light wind with cloud cover.  Low was -2 Celsius.  Great day for hunting!  Geese really have been flying south the last 6-7 days and lots through the night.  Keenan and Rich from Pennsylvania see a young bull today.  Same area where they saw cow the night before.  Jordan and Byron see 9 different moose today, all in the afternoon /evening over at the “Up River” camp.  5 cows and 4 calves but no bulls with any of these cows which is rare for this time of year. Bryan and Dan change calling spots again because of the wind change.  2 bulls were close by as they could hear them but had them pegged and the 2 bulls moved off.  Bryan then calls for about 3 hours and got a bull coming from way off.  He hung up at 150 yards and a quiet call got him in.  Dan mad a couple of great shots and the big bull went down in sight!  Dan also caches a 41 inch northern today and again most camps reporting lots of moose sightings and tons of sign.

Cool, frosty morning today and Bryan is bringing Dan’s moose meat to “Main Camp” today.  Jordan and Byron pass up another bull today.  So far they have seen 21 moose in that camp.  What a week for most camps!

Change over today, September 26.  Waiting on new groups but most flights delayed due to weather.  Finally everyone in safe by late afternoon, so no hunting occurred in this first half day.

September 27, pilots coming in to get rest of the moose meat out today from last week.  Rained all night and stopped early morning.  Very windy out of south-west.  Jordan and Pat from Wisconsin have a good start to the week as they see a cow and calf west of camp.  Reporting tons of sign in some new areas they checked out too.  Bryan and Paul from Quebec see 4 cows.  Bob and Paul’s son Adam saw a cow and calf.  They also see a big white wolf on one of last week’s carcass but Adam decides not to shoot.  Pretty slow day everywhere else due to howling winds and most moose would have bedded down till weather breaks.

The next day, saw a very windy morning and finally died off around 5:00p.m. which made for a great night from calling.  Bryan and Paul saw 4 moose in total today, 2 small bulls and a cow and calf.  Also see a white wolf.  Bob and Adam also see a small bull today.  Jordan and Pat see 3 moose today, 1 a small bull and 2 cows.  Joe and Earl didn’t see anything today but did lots of walking and saw lots of sign.  Keenan and Rich also find lots of fresh sign.  Brendan and Corbin finding lots of sign also to north, but no luck yet.  Joe and Earl see a wolverine on last week’s carcass.  Lots of wolverines being seen this fall.  Scott and Sam from Georgia over at “Broken Horn” missed a good bull today clean.  Daine and Mike from New Jersey see a cow and calf today and so far seeing lots of other moose too.

Temperature has warmed up to +15 Celsius and the low tonight +7.  Wind out of south-west.  Jordan and Pat call in a huge bull to about 50 yards but he too hangs up in the thick brush at around 8:30 a.m.  He was grunting heavily.  All of a sudden, a cow called in the distance which got his attention and he left.  Bryan and Paul saw 2 small bulls and 2 cows with calves this morning.  Paul shoots a 47” bull at 4:45 p.m. Saw 7 moose today.  “In a howling wind, we set up in a nice spot and were able to get a reaction.  It went from quiet to full blown action in about 15 seconds.  Two big agitated cows came running in, followed by a real nice bull.  Paul made a couple nice shots and put the bull down within sight”, says Bryan.  Bob and Adam saw a white wolf but no shot.  Few more moose sighted at “Broken Horn” but haven’t heard whether bulls or cows.

First thing in morning, headed down to help Bryan & Bob with Paul’s moose.  Saw a cow and 2 calves going to “Down River” camp.  When I arrived at camp, guys said they just watched a cow swim across the river in front of camp.  Then we all watched a small bull walk out and along the island shore across from camp also. Getting Paul’s bull went great.  When we were hanging Paul’s moose meat at “Main Camp” Jordan and Pat arrived as they needed a hand with a 53 inch bull that Pat shot at 7:30 a.m. that was with a cow and calf also.  Then after Pat shot this bull they watched and took video of a 35-38 inch bull that didn’t care they were there.  What a perfect day, sunny and calm.  Over at “Broken Horn”, Sam and Scott shoot a young bull which was Sam’s first bull ever.

Towards the end of the week, another 44 inch bull went down at “Broken Horn” as Daine and Mike from New Jersey pulled the trigger and saw another 3 moose before that.  Bob and Adam shoot a nice 46 inch bull on the last morning of Adams hunt.  Adams bull has great character and was chasing a cow at 7:30 a.m. What a way to finish off the season!!

To sum up our fall, it was another great fall considering we didn’t even know if we were going to have a season due to the high water event.  But thanks to all the hard work of the guides fixing, cleaning and putting a lot of hard work to help assure all hunters/guests got a quality hunt and a great experience, greatly paid off.  Like every other past fall, most hunters were successful and we ran at 80% opportunity and a 60% success rate.  This is usually the norm, however some years even higher.  In any case, this is excellent when talking moose hunting. Again, a huge thank you to all of our moose guides for your hard work, dedication, and commitment!  Also, we want to thank all of our valued moose hunters who chose to hunt with us and congratulations to those successful and hope to see you all again real soon!  Lastly, we want to thank all of the workers/pilots at Wings Over Kississing and the hotels our guests stay at for all of your great service and treating our guests and guides first class!

In closing there were 147 moose sightings throughout all the camps and over the 2 week hunting period we run our hunts.  Some huge bulls were seen and are still out there spreading their genes.  Most importantly the reports and sightings of all the young bulls, cows and calves.  A lot of cows had twins which proves what great genetics are in our area.  Having said this, this is great news, speaks highly of future prospects and shows that our future moose hunts look bright!

Happy Hunting,

Rick

**We look forward to seeing everyone at the sport shows during the upcoming Sport show Season**

Agassiz Outfitters-2017 Spring Black Bear Hunting Review

The spring of 2017 arrived early.  By April 1 we were able to drive into camp already which is rare up in our area.  Usually by the middle or third week of April we can access camp, so this told me that our spring was about 2-3 weeks early compared to a more normal or average spring.  However on Friday, April 14, light rain started and continued all into the next day and by Sunday turned to snow which saw accumulations up to 3 inches of the white stuff.  This did not slow us down, as most baits were out and stands up.  By April 23, we were noticing some sign amongst our travels and some baits were already being hit.  By April 28 and to May 6, most baits were being hit and getting real active, which was great as our first hunters arrived on Sunday, May7 which is when we like to start the hunting.

Arriving was one of our good guests and re-peat hunter Richard Price and his party from Wyoming.  Bear activity was slower the first evening but still should have had two bears down but unfortunately both were missed.  A total of 7 bears were seen this evening.  The next evening avid bear hunter and repeat guest Josh pulled the trigger at 5:30 p.m. on a beautiful black bear. After waiting for a good hour up in his stand, Josh decided to get out and start walking out to meet myself.  As Josh stated to leave his stand, another big black bear started walking towards him and stopped at a mere 10 yards.  Josh had enough of this, yelled at the bear which eventually disappeared into the thick, dark spruce.  Wednesday afternoon/evening saw a wicked cold front come through which slowed down the bear activity as only a few bears were seen.  On Thursday, I decided to move whoever was left to new bait sites.  And it paid off as Richards’s good friend Chancy shot a huge 450-475 lb black.  What a bear and heck of a first bear ever for Chancy!  Finally by May 12, the sun was back out and it looked to be a perfect day to bear hunt.  Baits were really heating up now by this time. Richard waited to the end to finally take a good boar.  Passing on some other bears throughout the week paid off too as Richards bear pushed 400 lbs.  What a start to the season, some big bears down and 100% opportunity.

The second week we were 100% opportunity again.  This week saw some re-peat guests and first time bear hunters from Wisconsin and also our long time guest and avid bear hunter Mr. Earl Olaughlin and son in law.  It didn’t take husband and wife team; Greg and Terry from Ohio long to shoot their first bear as Terry pulled the trigger on a beautiful boar at 8:15 the first night.  Terry made a great shot and the big boar only ran 20 yards.  Steve and Tammy, another husband and wife team from Wisconsin watched and passed up 3 bears the first night.  Steve was sitting with Tammy until she got her bear and then would hunt on his own.  The opening of the Fishing season was also this week and it was absolutely crazy as everyone was catching tons of fish.  Meanwhile, it didn’t take Tammy long either, as on the second night after passing on some good bears, decided to squeeze the trigger as well.  Tammy took a gorgeous 250 lb bear which is an excellent spring bear especially being her first bear ever!  On Wednesday, May 17 we had light snow flurries and strong north winds, however Earls son in law John watched and passed up 5 good bears.  Steve from Wisconsin saw 3.  Ryan from Missouri had a slow evening and didn’t see a bear tonight.  On May 18 we had a perfect day for bear hunting.  Light breeze and sunny with some cloud cover.  The “General” Mr. Earl Olaughlin pulled the trigger this evening at 7:30.  Earl has shot some big and beautiful color bears with us over the years and this was another.  Earl couldn’t of been happier with this 350 lb boar.  Earl’s son in law John of Minnesota saw a couple other bears, Steve saw 5 more bears and Ryan saw some bears and couldn’t get a good clean shot at 400+ lb boar that worked his bait just before dark.  By Wednesday this week we were already 100% opportunity and everyone was seeing lots of bears.  Finally on Friday both Steve and Ryan got their bears.  Steve took a nice 275 lb boar with his bow which ran about 30 years and Ryan took a nice 250 lb boar, his first bear ever too.

The third week saw all great guys and repeat hunters of Agassiz Outfitters from many past years.  All from Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.  The first night saw real strong winds and everyone was being patient as everyone this week had taken big bears in the past.  By Tuesday, Brandon of Methodical Media took his first bear.  A real nice 300 lb. boar.  At this time, when walking hunters in we were seeing some real good bears at the baits.  Mark from Wisconsin who was seeing lot of bears too, took another good bear on the third night.  Wayne from Pennsylvania shot too which was a great decision as his bear was 350+lbs and biggest to date.  This evening, good friend Jeff from Minnesota saw 4 bears, Brad from Wisconsin saw 4 and shot a bigger boar with his bow and Brian a.k.a “Doc” from Minnesota shot a gorgeous reddish chocolate at 9:30.  Jason from Wisconsin was also having lots of action as he saw 9 this evening including a huge black, a big cinnamon and smaller chocolate and all wouldn’t give him a good shot with his bow. Great patience Jason!  What a week!!  The fishing remained hot and the biggest this week was a whopping 47 inch Northern caught by Mark a.k.a. “Killer” of Wisconsin.  For the most part, guys that fished this week couldn’t keep them off as 100;s a day were caught and released in short periods throughout the day.

By May 28, I was noticing lots of pre-rut activity around the bait sites and it was even heating up more and more with each passing day.  This week which was our fourth hunting week, saw good repeat hunters/guests from Missouri and new guest from Nebraska and a grandpa, father and son team from Oklahoma.  The first night most guests saw lots of bears.  Dana from Nebraska saw 5 including 1 big cinnamon and 1 frosted color bear.  Dana was hunting with traditional archery and couldn’t get a shot at either bear unfortunately.

Terry from Oklahoma first time/night bear hunting saw 4 bears which he decided to pass which would pay off big time later in the week.  Terrys Dad Spencer saw 3 bears the first night and shot a beautiful first bear.  Greg from Missouri pulled the trigger on Wednesday evening.  Greg and his guide walked into the bait site with a good sized cinnamon on the bait and would later see him again but decided to pass him which paid off too as Greg shoots a big 300 lb. boar that was with a sow.  Greg saw 5 bears in total that night.  Dana from Nebraska shot a big chocolate at 8:30 with his bow and Terry who was passing up tons of bears all week, shot a monster 500+lb. boar that was with a big sow also.  This monster bear squared close to 8’ and green scored 20 8/16 and should rank in the top 5 in Manitoba for 2017 Non-Resident.  What a bruin!! And what a night/week as Terry’s son Caleb pulls the trigger on his first bear that has a beautiful white V on his chest.  Grandfather, Father and Son all tagged out on big bears!  What memories!!  Mike from Nebraska unfortunately misses with his bow and sees 3 others after.  Lots of activity, lots of bears!

This 5th and final week saw more good re-peat hunters/guests from Ohio and the Hill brothers from Iowa who also brought Brian’s son Adam.  Well it didn’t take good guest and avid bear hunter Jason Kunkle from Ohio to tag out as Jason passed up 3 bear when suddenly a huge boar appears chasing a sow and presents Jason with the perfect shot. Jason’s bear tips the scales at 500 lbs and again makes the Manitoba record books.  Another monster takes a dirt nap!  George from Iowa also shoots a nice black bear with his bow.  Frank sees 6 bears and a gorgeous cinnamon.  Dave from Iowa shoots a gorgeous cinnamon way to the north at 8:00 and passed on 2 others before this.  The next night, Dave’s brother Brian shoots a beautiful cinnamon too.  Wow, two brothers, two color bears!  Again, what memories for these brothers!  George from Iowa also shoots a good black bear with his bow after passing up another.  On Thursday, June 8, Frank from Ohio sees 4 more bears and shoots one at 8:30.  Jason Pike from Ohio also shoots his first black bear at 8:45 and Adam sees 4 more but is still passing them up.  However, the next night Adam sees 3 more and decides to take his first bear ever.  After Adam shoots his bear, a big boar walks in which happens lots.  Again 100% opportunity during this week and for the whole spring season.

All in all, what a spring!  Great guests, great experiences and lots of more great memories in bear camp! Thank you to everyone who hunted black bear with us in 2017 and congratulations to everyone on your success!  We look forward, cant wait to see everyone again soon and look forward to hunting big black bear in 2018!

Happy Hunting,

Rick

*Please watch for our ads in upcoming issues of Bear Hunting Magazine*

**Fall Black Bear Hunts were all a huge success and 100% Opportunity as well**

Agassiz Outfitters – 2016 Moose Hunting Review

September 15th was finally here and weather pending all the guides and myself where finally flying into moose camp.  As we got closer to the camps, poor visibility had both otters turn around and set down on another body of water to the south.  Finally after a couple hours wait and the pilots thought we could get into camp, once again we were en route to camp.  Upon arrival, we noticed that the water levels where lower than the previous year and probably the lowest in recent memory according to a few veteran guides.  We knew what this meant, traveling of the river and lakes by boat at most camps was going to be next to impossible and a lot of territory was going to be left un-touched this fall due to the low water levels.  However, this didn’t dampen spirits as a lot of excellent territory and area was still huntable.  As the weather continued to cooperate, the main camps and cook tent were all ready to go.  The following day both the “Down River” and “Up River” camps where set up and another otter carrying another load of lumber and a boat were flown into the other two camps for expansion.  Already that day, Scott over at “Broken Horn” had reported seeing one good bull and lots of fresh sign. The guys at “Hogg Lake” reported lots of fresh sign as well and both Jim and myself noticed quite a bit of sign behind his “Up River” camp.  Un-like the previous year, Bob and Bryan didn’t see any moose or much for sign yet at the “Down River” camp but remained optimistic that things could change quickly now this time of year as the rut approached.  The four days we prepared for the hunters (September 15 – 18) saw HI’s reach +20 for the most part, with LO’s from +9 – +4°C.  Lots of leaves remained on the trees and willows as all of us prayed for cooler temperatures and hopefully frost at night.  On September 18, Jim reported of seeing a moose and Scott saw another moose today.  Over at “Hogg Lake”, Joe and Gareth saw 2 younger bulls approximately 30 and 40 inches respectively.  Joe and Gareth not only saw these 2 young bulls but watched a big wolverine walk the shorelines.  In the 4 days of set up and preparing for guests, a total of 7 Moose had been seen between all camps so far!

September 19 saw cloud cover with light rain with the arrival of 7 hunters today to begin our first week of hunting.  The planes were all in camp approximately at 8:30 a.m. and everyone including guides couldn’t wait to get out hunting after a quick bite to eat.  That afternoon/evening guide Bryan M., who was hunting with Nick from North Dakota, called in 2 small bulls that they took pictures of and videotaped.  Over at “Broken Horn” Scott S. who was guiding Dan from Wisconsin watched a cow wander the shorelines of the river.

That afternoon and evening saw very heavy winds and by morning rain had begun and fell till approximately 3:30 p.m. with the heavy winds all day long.  A few of the hunters decided to wait out the bad weather and didn’t hunt the morning.  Bryan called in a spiker bull for Nick over at the “Down River” camp who obviously passed it up in hopes of something much bigger.  Scott and Dan watched a cow and calf today.  Guide Joe P. and Kevin from over at “Hogg Lake” saw 3 good bulls after the storm moved out.  Two of the bulls were 40+ inches and the third bull pushing 60 inches!  Joe knew that this big bull was a shooter from over 400 yards and knew they had to close the distance.  As they got to within 150 yards, Kevin didn’t feel good about the shot yet and not much long after that, the monster bull vanished into the thick brush to never be seen again unfortunately.  During all the bad weather today, a total of 6 moose were seen between all the camps. The next day, Wednesday, September 21, saw more favorable weather conditions for calling.

Guide Gareth S. and Chad from Minnesota shot a 35 inch bull at 11:00 a.m.  Chad and Gareth had woke up early that morning, had a quick coffee and breakfast then proceeded to travel to the North end of the lake.  They saw a smaller bull on the shore n the horizon.  They decided to put the stock on.  They got to 40 yards of the bull when Chad decided that he wanted something a little bigger so they sat and called for a couple hours.  After a sequence of cow calls, it was 11 a.m. already and as they were having lunch, Gareth glassed a mile down the lake and saw this bigger bull.  They hoped in the boat and headed downwind of him, as soon as Gareth killed the motor he started grunting and the bull decided he wanted to investigate.  Swaying his head and grunting back at them he came towards the boat.  The bull stopped and turned broadside and Chad took a great shot at 176 yards and put the bull down where he stood.  Scott called in 3 small bulls for Dan who decided to pass on all of them and they also saw a cow and 2 calves.  A total of 8 Moose seen today.  The other camps had been slower than usual but with experienced guides and good hunters, nobody was worried as more and more fresh sign everyday was evident.

The next day saw a light frost, no wind but very foggy.  Good for calling!  Pat and Lee from Ohio saw no moose today but lots of fresh sign.  Bryan and Nick shot a 45 inch bull at around 11 a.m.  They had this nice bull come to the far shore and after a couple more calls, he entered the water and swam to their side.  They had to move to him and set up where Nick made a nice standing shot as this bull reached the willows.  They got some help from guide Bob H. and his hunter Wayne S. from North Dakota and located the bull at about 80 yards.  Bryan and Nick also saw a spiker before this today.  Wolves found the carcass a couple days later and Nick had a good opportunity at a nice grey wolf but the big wolf is still running from his “close shave”!    Bob & Wayne didn’t see any moose today but more and more fresh sign.  Scott and Dan saw a good 45+ inch bull today but wouldn’t get a shot at him as the big bull was lost amongst the willows.  Joe and Kevin over at “Hogg” saw a cow and calf today and were still in pursuit of the big 60 inch bull they had seen earlier.

Friday, September 23 saw a HI of +16°C, no wind and sunny.  A very warm day.  While coming to the main camp to drop off Nick’s meat, Bryan and Nick saw a 35 inch bull walking the shoreline.  The bull was in no hurry as Bryan was able to get good pics and video him.  Scott and Dan over at “Broken Horn” saw a huge bull with a cow and 2 calves in the morning, however no shooting.  That evening Dan flung lead at a pack of 10 wolves.  Bob & Wayne at the “Down River” camp called in a lone cow.

Saturday the leaves really stated to fall today with heavy winds out of the south east.  The only moose seen today was at the “Down River” camp as Bob called in a spiker for Wayne who passed on this young bull as well.

Sunday, September 25 it rained hard all through the night and all morning.  It finally stopped at around 3:00.  Scott and Dan were the only ones to see moose today which was a big bull before dark with no good shot.  Other camps where slow today but lost the day to rain that fell hard!  The next day and last day of week 1, Bob & Wayne saw a spiker bull who crossed the river and came to the call.  So far we have seen a very strange and slow rut and the weather has been very un-stable which can really affect the rut.

Tuesday, September 27 the start of the second week.  First week of guests all flew out and the new guest’s flew in.  A perfect afternoon/evening for calling.  Cloud cover and no wind finally!  Best evening for calling so far.  River and lakes were like glass.  Guide Daine V. and his hunter Steve from Wisconsin shot a 40+ inch bull tonight only a couple hours into Steve’s hunt, which was Steve’s first ever bull moose.  Guide Jim D. and his hunter Brian from Wisconsin passed on a good 45+ inch bull right behind the “Up River” camp which was very tempting. This bull had beautiful fronts but Brian was looking for a much larger bull.  Joe and Gareth were reporting lots of fresh sign over at “Hogg” and Bob and Bryan at the “Down River” camps saw no moose today.

Wednesday, September 28 saw clear and sunny skies this morning with strong south-west winds all day. The strong winds died down around 7p.m. just around the time Bryan and Wally were having action with a cow and big bull.  They had this cow and bull come to the water about 500 yards from their calling spot.  After a sneak which got them to about 200 yards it appeared that the cow had made them.  Amazing that she noticed something from 200 yards up wind, when she could not see them.  This changed the game and some bull challenge action seemed in order.  This got the bulls attention and he came hard to sort it out.  Long story short, the bull passed Wally at about 20 yards and he made the close shot followed by another as the bull left.  Bryan was happy to hear the shot as the bull was about 20 yards from him at that point.  In order not to push the bull they left him till morning and found him immediately where they expected.  Bryan got most of this hunt on video.  To say Wally was excited would be an understatement!!  Wally fished after his hunt and caught some great walleye right at camp.  While the other guys were hunting one morning,  Wally spotted a small bull walking the shore towards camp and Bryan was able to get some nice video of him very close to camp.  Meanwhile over at the “Up River” camp, Brian who was being guided by Jim D. shot a big grey timber wolf that came to Jim’s cow call.

The next evening Jim and Brian worked a huge 55+ inch bull.  They called him to 80 yards but couldn’t see him as they could only hear him.  They saw him at 400 yards later broadside as he thrashed trees and grunted but wouldn’t come any closer.  Bob & Keith from New Mexico saw a cow and 2 calves today and Scott and Dave saw a cow and calf over at “Broken Horn”.

The next day, Friday September 30 was calm with very little wind all day but light rain off and on.  I saw a good 45+ inch bull today at “Main Camp” walk the shore and thrash the willows as every other camp was slower than normal.  Jim called out a small bull for Brian who decided to pass on this bull too in hopes of the big monster they saw the day before.

Saturday, October 1, saw real heavy winds out of the north and rain off and all day.  Jim and Brian saw 3 moose today, a cow and 2 calves once again right behind camp.  The weather was brutal today but Scott and Dave killed a 53 inch bull!  This bull was shot at approximately 7 p.m. too and was by himself as he came into Scott’s cow call.

The next day saw heavy North-east winds.  Overcast and light rain all day again!  Snow geese were really coming down.  Jim and Brian worked and saw same monster bull they saw the other night.  This time it walked over to where they sat the night before.  They saw him again at 350 yards broadside but Brian didn’t feel comfortable with the shot.

On Monday, October 3  a special weather statement was issued as 2-3 feet of snow was predicted to fall in the next couple days.  Thankfully Bob & Keith shot at 10:15.  A good bull that was Keith’s first moose ever!  As Bob was at the boat getting something, he noticed something black on his way back to his calling spot.  It was 400 yards at first and was finally 75 yards when Keith shot and the bull fell in his tracks.  Very windy all afternoon as wind gusts were up to 90 km/hr.  Jim called in a small bull that they didn’t take him.  Northern lights were absolutely crazy tonight and put on quite the show for everyone.

Our fly out date for 4 of the 5 camps was Wednesday, October 5 but due to the heavy snow fall that lasted a couple days we were unable to fly out until the afternoon of October 7.

“Broken Horn” remained open for the third week of moose for a first time ever.  When good friends/guests Brad and Mark from Wisconsin finally arrived in after the storm, it wasn’t long and Daine and Brad had a real nice wolf down.  Two more wolves where missed this week and a real good bull also missed.  A total of 6 moose were seen this week by Brad and Mark.  The heavy snow in the willows and low water conditions made it almost impossible to access most good areas this third week.

All in all in the end, this season was slower the first week for some camps compared to the others and then vice versa during the second week as the slower camps the first week turned hot!  The weather played havoc pretty much every day which we all know can and will affect the moose rut tremendously which most of us witnessed.  Moose sightings were a little lower this year than the previous year but most hunters were still successful or had a good opportunity and saw moose.  Three hunters did not see moose out of 16 but like I mentioned above, the weather took a few days of hunting/calling and really affected the rut.  Everyone that was successful, congratulations on your bull moose and we thank each and every hunter that hunted with us this fall.  Also a huge thank you to our guides for all your hard work, commitment and dedication to our operation!

 

Happy Hunting,

Rick Liske

Outfitter

 

*Most cows seen this fall had twins which is great to see for the future of our areas.

**A lot of young bulls were seen this fall which is also good for the future of our areas

***With the low water conditions the last 2 falls, a lot of awesome hunting territory was not touched the last couple of years which will also be great in future years when levels are back to     normal or high once again.

****Some big bulls that where seen last year but not taken where able to spread there genes once again.  The future looks real bright!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agassiz Outfitters – 2016 Spring Black Bear Hunting Review

As of April 18, we still couldn’t get into our camp due to the 12+ inches of snow we received on April 11 and the rest of that week saw.  Up until this point, the snow was almost all gone and a lot of bears where walking around already as more and more tracks became evident in the freshly made snow.  Baiting and getting into sites started on April 18 with the Argo as it wasn’t until April 23rd I could start accessing baits with the quads.  The snow was almost all gone once again and the odd bait was starting to get hit.  During the week of April 25-30 while baiting, I had time to put out some “new” baits and move a few “old” ones that I felt could be better.  By the end of this week, pretty much all of the baits where out and during the week of May 2-7 my son Jordan and I started checking and freshening up all baits as the first group of hunters were scheduled to arrive on May 8.  The baits looked great already and we couldn’t wait to get started!

The first night saw some good action as hunters saw and passed up some good bears.  The second night, Daryl from Wyoming shot his first black bear at 6:00 p.m. Rain fall started at 1:00 p.m. and lasted all day and into the evening and next day.  The third night saw a young bear climb and chew at Wayne’s stand.  However, Wayne who is from Pennsylvania was after a much larger bear.  The baits in the last few days where really starting to heat up more and more.  On May 13, we had snow flurries off and on all day and woke up the next morning to an inch of snow.  That day however, Wayne shot a good black bear at 9:05 P.M. after passing on two others.  The next day Dale also from Wyoming shot his bear walking into the bait site with Jordan.  That week saw 100% success and the fishing opener was here.  All the guys caught lots of fish that day and we all enjoyed a fresh meal of fish.  The second week, May 16-21 saw 7 hunters.  By Tuesday night, we were already at a 100% opportunity.  The first night saw a total of 16 bears seen with Tyler from Ohio seeing the most with 7. Mark from Michigan shot a big black and saw another bear the first night too.  The second night, father and son duo; Travis and Josh from Indiana both shot excellent bears as Travis’s was a beautiful cinnamon and Josh shot a huge black bear with his bow.  Tyler once again was seeing all kinds of bear and shot a nice black with his bow.  This bear got a little too close to Tyler so he ended up shooting it out of the tree he was up in.  Byron from Michigan saw 3 good bears also on the second night but decided to wait it out.  On the third night, Kevin from Ohio saw 4 bears and shot a nice black with his bow also.  While running and checking baits all week, all the other guides and myself  were seeing some real nice bears at the baits.  Curtis from Indiana ended up shooting his bear Friday evening at 8:15.  And finally the last of the hunters, Byron from Michigan was done Saturday evening once again were 100% success rate.  The fishing this week was unreal as guests hammered the northerns up to 42 inches.  This past week saw lots of sun and temps for a High reach 28C.  The bush was finally starting to dry good.

The third week, May 23-28 saw 12 hunters in camp and once again saw 100% opportunity.  The first night saw tons of action with lots of re-peat and new guests!  That first night, avid bear hunter and good friend Jason from Wisconsin passed on 2 really good bears with his bow in hope at a chance at a much bigger one. Jason’s patience paid off as just before legal shooting time, a big black with a big white V showed himself just enough for Jason to get a good clean shot at.  This big bruin that went well over 7 feet ran only 30 yards.  Bob also from Wisconsin passed on 5 different bears.  Tim also from Wisconsin saw 4 bears and shot a nice black bear from a ground blind.  This same night, Tim’s son J.T. also shot a good bear just before dark and another father and son duo, Brandon and Ben from Wisconsin, shot their first bears also this night.  What a night it was as two fathers and sons all shot their bears on the same night!  Tim’s other son Mathew saw 7 bears on the first night.  The second night saw lots of heavy rain but 2 more bears where shot.  Mathew and Dalton both from Wisconsin had bears down in the rain.  On Thursday, May 26 another father and son team from Wisconsin were hunting. Steve watched a big black just before dark with no shot and his son Carl shot a big black at 7:00 p.m. with his bow.  Carl then watched and videotaped a much larger bear after all this!  My dad who was guiding Charles from Wisconsin walked into a big bear at the bait.  When he finally left, Charles while walking to his treestand shot another black that was coming to the baits.  Charles never ever made it up his treestand that night!  Steve that night saw 4 other bears and on the next night, arrowed the 8th bear that came in! Tim and Bob respectively saw 2 and 3 bears each the last night but passed on them also. The fishing was absolutely amazing still as guests claimed to be catching 100+ northerns in only 2-3 hours of fishing.

By the time we hit our fourth week, the baits where all hot and a lot of new bears where hitting them. This week saw 6 more hunters, 3 re-peat and 3 new hunters. On the first night, Garrett from Colorado was done quickly as he arrowed a big 7 footer that scored 19 4/16.  The second night saw limited activity as heavy winds and rain came through.  On the third night Leroy from Wyoming saw 2 real good bears and 1 that he said was a monster but couldn’t get a shot at.  Olin from Wyoming saw 3 different bears and shot a beautiful cinnamon colored bear.  LT from Kentucky saw 5 bears this night too despite the wicked cold front.  On Friday, May 3 Van Eaves from Illinois shot his bear with the bow.  The last night a miss occurred as good guest and repeat hunter Byron from Wyoming missed a huge black with a big white V.  However, approximately 30 miles away, Leroy had just shot a monster bear at 8:30 that was 8+ feet, scored 21 3/16 and weighed well over 600 pounds.  What a Bear!!  100% opportunity once again, what a week!

The week of June 6 – 11 saw a big group of  8 from Indiana arrive and 2 other hunters from Ohio for a total of 10 hunters/huntresses!  In this group of 8 was a family of 6 with 2 sons and 2 daughters hunting (two sets of twins).  On the first night, Eric who was sitting with one of his daughters saw 5 bears and 1 monster that was well over 500 pounds they passed up on but have plenty of video of him at the bait.  Jenny who was sitting with her son Chanz watched Chanz miss a real good bear this night.  Gavin passed on a beautiful cinnamon with his bow at 6 yards which he videotaped instead.  Andy and Trevor both saw 6 and 7 bears respectively that night.  Eric’s daughter Carly shot a real good bear on the second night a t 5:10p.m. after seeing g 4 others.  Andy shot a big black for his first bear ever that squared 6 ½ feet.  He saw 5 other that night also.  Trevor saw 7 again but didn’t shoot yet.  David from Ohio saw 3 bears and shot a nice black just before dark.  On Wednesday, June 8 Gavin shot a big black right at dark with his bow.  Unfortunately, by the time the guides found it first thing in the morning, wolves had eaten the stomach and one of the hind quarters.  Fortunately, it was salvageable for a ¾ mount.  This bear also squared over 6 ½ feet + 350 lbs.  Brian from Ohio also shot his first bear ever this night.  On the 9th, nobody went out hunting due to heavy rain, winds and lightning.  However, the next night, Eric who was hunting by himself now, shot a big black at 7:00 p.m.  He saw 2 others also and 3 wolves that came through!  Eric’s daughter Hope showed great patience and once again passed on 2 bears and also saw 2 wolves.  One that layed right by the barrel.  Jenny and Chanz also shot at 9:15 after seeing 3 others.  Chanz is 12 years old and shot the bear of a lifetime that squared 8 feet and scored 20 8/16.  Once again, 100% opportunity!  Started closing up sites at this time and seeing some huge tracks around baits still as the rut is in full swing.

The last week of bear camp saw 5 hunters arrive.  Another father and 12 year old daughter from Wyoming hunting together too.  Dave and Lillian passed up bears the first few nights and Lillian, who showed great patience, squeezed the trigger at 9:00 p.m. on the fourth night.  Logan from Illinois shot at 5:10 the first night and he had his first black bear.  The weather was extremely hot this week and bear activity slowed down a bit but we kept 100% opportunity.  The fishing remained hot all season as limits of northers were caught.

This spring saw lots of youth bear hunters which was great to see.  Most of them witnessed lots of exciting action and bears coming up their trees.  Leroy’s big bear might be the #1 Non-Resident bear this year in the Province but we will have to wait for the December 31 deadline to come and go.

Congratulations to all of our hunter’s success and hope to see you all in the near future!!

Closing up baits and taking down stands we were all still seeing some really big bears at the baits and lots of good sign.  If this is any indication, the 2017 Spring Season is going to be a dandy!!

Also a big thank you to all of our hard working bear guides.

 

Happy Hunting & Straight Shooting,

Rick

Agassiz Outfitters

 

**Please watch for our “New” ½ page Ad in Bear Hunting Magazine**

 

 

Agassiz Outfitters-Manitoba Spring Bear

The 2016 Manitoba spring black bear season was once again unbelievable! Here is Leroy D. from Wyoming with his 8′ monster black bear that weighs 600+lbs and green scores 21 3/16 B+C. This bear has the potential to go number 1 in the province this year for non-residents! Wow, congratulations Leroy on your bear of a lifetime!!

*Please watch for this springs “hunting reviews” which will be up in the near future.

**Also, please watch for our “NEW” 1/2 page ads in up-coming issues of Bear Hunting Magazine.

 

  2016 Spring Bear - Leroy

Agassiz Outfitters-Manitoba Moose Hunts

Pictured below is guide; Bryan Minnis who is heading back to his camp after another successful hunt! Hunting the bull moose in our Northern Manitoba “world class” areas is an experience second to none as our guides work extremely hard to put you front and center with this magnificent animal. We are now booking into 2018 and space is limited so please call us toll free @ 1-888-468-3394 OR email: rick@agassizoutfitters.com for your next “world class” hunting adventure!

Bryan with Scott's moose

Agassiz Outfitters-Manitoba Moose Hunting

Pictured below is Chris Hunt from NE and guide Bob Hyshka with Chris’s first moose ever! Chris had quite the hunt as early in the hunt he tried his luck with his bow but after some close encounters with a few bulls in the 50-60 inch class and much smaller bulls, decided on the 2nd last day of his hunt, to take his rifle out and it paid off. Guide Bob Hyshka decided to set up his cow moose decoy that morning and after some sequences, noticed this bull several hundred yards out. It didn’t take Bob long to have this young bull come running to the decoy just after a couple more calls and the rest is history. The next day, Bob and Chris decided to sit over the carcass and hunt wolves and bear with his un-used black bear tag as they had noticed considerable amount of wolf sign on it from the evening before already. Well as they approached the carcass to get set up, 3 wolves where already on it. A black, white and grey colored wolf! Wow!!! After a quick plan was made, lets just say these 3 predators are still walking. We wont let Chris live this one down, ha ha!! Congratulations Chris on your very first moose too!

bob and chris moose 2015

Agassiz Outfitters-Manitoba Spring Black Bear Hunting

With the recent warm weather we are having, it sure has us excited once again for another spring bear season, which before you know it, will be here. The bears in the Interlake Region should of all wintered excellent as the winter was one of the mildest in recent history. We hope everyone is excited as we are and are looking forward to seeing everyone in bear camp real soon!

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Agassiz Outfitters – Black Bear Hunting at its Finest!!!

Agassiz Outfitters-Manitoba Moose Hunting

Pictured below is Dan Willet of Illinois who was hunting out of our “Broken Horn” camp last fall with guide Scott Smith. After passing on some smaller bulls all week, it wasn’t till the second last day of his hunt, on a beautiful part of the river that has been real good to Scott over the years, they noticed this big bull with a cow. They knew right away that this big bull was a shooter and worked real fast to get into position for a good shot. It didn’t take long to get into position and set up and with a couple well placed shots, Dan had his first moose ever! And what a bull it was with a spread of just over 51 inches.  Congratulations Dan!!

 Ricks 2015 Hunting Pictures 932

Dan Willet with his 51″ Bull Moose – Agassiz Outfitters