September 11: Mark Drury

This marks my fifth year hunting with Corey Jarvis of Three Rivers Adventures in southern Alberta, Canada.  Over the past four years we’ve had unbelievable success.  My anticipation was high, especially after a great trip to Wyoming.  I couldn’t wait to get there.  The twelve hour trip to Glenwood, Alberta is well worth it!  With Jared preparing for his first child, I brought along cameraman Aaron Bennett to video the whole trip.

High anticipation was quickly met with what turned out to be a challenging hunt.  As we started looking for Mule Deer in all the old spots, we soon found out this hunt would be drastically different from the past.  We walked, hiked, and drove across the province, gained access to new land, did all we could possibly do, but we just weren’t seeing the Mule Deer.

Without so much as even spotting a shooter on day one, we knew our work was going to be cut out for us.  Two factors were working against the hunt.  First, record-breaking summer rain had the bush greener than ever, so deer weren’t showing themselves in the alfalfa fields.  That, coupled with a late harvest leaving acres upon acres of grain still in the fields, provided ample cover for the deer – more than you could shake a stick at.

It was game on!  A numbers game that is.  In a situation like this, you have to cover a lot more ground in order to find the deer.  And cover ground we did!  Seven to eight miles per day, fourteen hours a day.  We finally found a good Mulley buck bedded on the side of a coolly.  We were able to sneak in to twenty yards.  Boom, suddenly the buck gets up, spots us, then runs out of our lives forever.  My heart sank to the ground.

We continued our efforts, and finally on day five we found another shooter buck on a ranch that we did not have access to.  Corey was able to locate the landowner who graciously gave us permission to hunt.  We got back on the buck and soon closed the distance from one mile to forty-three yards where the Rage found its mark.  All is well that ends well.

Now Corey was up to bat.  Luck would have it that we found the mother lode of all Mule Deer – a group of twenty bucks, seven of which were shooters, and five of those were over 170!  We spent the next fourteen hours hunting them.  You’ll just have to tune in to season three of Bow Madness to watch the most amazing Mule Deer hunting ever, and find out what happened next!

A footnote about cameraman Aaron Bennett…  Before coming to work for Drury Outdoors, Aaron spent a few years of his life in the United States Marine Corps.  Last fall he suffered a knee injury, tearing his ACL.  I know the miles in Alberta put the hurt on Aaron’s knee, but there’s a saying among Marines – once a Marine, always a Marine.  The Marine definitely came out in Aaron as he sucked up the pain and kept on going without complaint.  Semper Fi!