Editor’s Note: Cody Robbins of Live 2 Hunt TV and his wife Kelsy live on a ranch in Saskatchewan, Canada, and hunt Canada and the U.S. every year.
I'm often asked, “What’s the most-difficult problem hunters will face when going to Canada to hunt big whitetails?” My answer is simple - enduring the cold weather. I dress in layers. Because I primarily bowhunt, I want to dress as lightly as I can. I don’t want be too bulky. I want to be able to draw my bow when a buck comes within bow range. So, I’ll wear three layers of ScentBlocker Base Layer.
I like this Base Layer, since it’s warm and quiet. On top of my three base layers, I wear their mid-fall outer layer. On top of that layer, I wear a Heater Body Suit, because I can unzip the suit. Then I’m warm enough to draw my bow and take the shot without wearing a lot of bulky clothing. I leave my bow outside of my Heater Body Suit with an arrow nocked. If I'm filming, all I have to do is turn the camera on to video Kelsy as she prepares to take a shot. In November in Saskatchewan, we can have -38 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. I wear wool gloves with the fingers cut off and keep my hands inside my Body Suit. I use four layers of ScentBlocker neck warmers (gaiters), and ScentBlocker Pro four fleece toques - what I believe you call stocking caps or watch caps.
Hunters often ask me, “How do you find those big deer to hunt in Canada?” I look for feeding areas. During the winter months, when the weather is so cold, the deer have to have plenty of food to stay warm. Often, I’ll find an alfalfa field and follow the deer trail from the alfalfa field back into the woods toward their bedding grounds. Then, I put out Stealth trail cameras www.stealthcam.com to see what size bucks are using those trails. I’ll often use as many as 20 to 30 trail cameras to find a big buck that’s walking during daylight hours. Luckily, Stealth Cam makes a 12-volt battery pack that plugs into the bottom of a camera. One of those batteries will last 6 weeks in -30 to -40 degree weather.
My favorite time to hunt mule deer or whitetails in Canada is around the rut. The prerut starts about November 12 or November 14 and lasts until about November 20. Usually, the does come in heat between November 20 and November 28. From November 28 until about December 5 is our postrut. At this time, there may still be a few does left to breed. I really prefer to hunt the prerut or the postrut. During the rut, you may not see many of those really-big bucks, because they’ll often be bedded-down with estrous does. My very favorite week to hunt here in Saskatchewan is the week of November 14 through November 20, which is the prerut. I've taken three of my biggest bucks on November 20. One buck scored 179 points, another buck scored 162 (a 4x4 or an 8-pointer eastern count), and the other buck was a 169-point buck.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oaks Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or SmartPhone.
For information on making jerky from your elk and other big game animals to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book.
Tomorrow: Cody Robbins Says Canada Has the Best Mule Deer Hunting Anywhere