Author: Kevin Wilson

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Recognized as one of Canada's most prolific outdoor writers, Kevin Wilson has been actively involved in the outdoor industry for over 30 years. An award-winning outdoor writer/photographer, videographer and show host, his work has been widely published in, and broadcast through, many of North America’s top print magazines, newspapers, websites, e-zines, podcasts, radio shows and outdoor television networks. Former co-hosts of Canadian Outdoorsman TV, Kevin and his wife Heather, are currently team members on Wild TV’s popular Bowzone Live. With a passion for all things outdoors, they both confess a particular affinity for bowhunting whitetails and hunting wild sheep. As professional outfitters and guides, Kevin and his wife also own and operate Alberta Hunting Adventures (see www.albertahuntingadventures.com). In the off-season, Kevin owns and operates Wild Encounters Ltd. (see www.wildencountersltd.com) an Alberta-based company through which he provides wildlife conflict management services to industry and the public.

Prone in the snow, I extended the legs of my bipod. On several occasions, I’d called in coyotes from that very hilltop. Anticipating a quick response, I took every measure to ensure a flawless calling session and the prospect of a textbook shot opportunity. With a solid rest, I settled in; my 22-250 shouldered and ready. Fully camouflaged, I remained motionless. The bright afternoon sun was behind me helping to conceal my already low profile. Moments after initiating my prey-in-distress calls, I caught movement. An eager dog was seen weaving his way through the poplars. Without hesitation, he broke from…

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Trailing a doe, a heavy racked 8-point whitetail was beelining straight for me. Best guess, based on body size, better than average antler mass, width, and height, he was probably a year away from meeting his genetic potential. It’s a dilemma every big buck hunter faces – to shoot or not to shoot? He could grow some more, but no guarantees. His musculature, girthy chest, and sway belly told me he was mature. It was late in the season, so I opted to take him. At full draw, as he walked just 15 yards from the base of my tree,…

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Comparatively short-lived, the second estrus offers one of the best opportunities to tag a good Whitetail The main event—or first estrus—has come and gone. You waited all year for it. For one reason or another, you weren’t able to fill your tag. Fear not, because round two is just around the corner. Believe it or not, the second estrus can be that much better than the first—especially if you want to take a mature, trophy-class buck. To make the most of this unique and concentrated time, it’s important to understand what the second rut is, what deer are doing at…

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Clatter-clack, clatter-clack, clatter. As the sound of clashing antlers resonated through the evergreens, inbound bucks suddenly emerged from three directions. The experience was just like ringing a dinner bell, and undeniably the most immediate response I’d ever had. Each buck seemed to have an innate radar drawing them to my precise location. Sound too good to be true? That was almost 30 years ago! Ever since that day, I’ve experienced the same scenario countless times. Indeed, there’s something magical about using a grunt call and rattling antlers to entice Whitetails during the rut. Literally minutes before that moment, I’d been…

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After a long time coming, an Alberta elk tag puts the bull of a lifetime on the ground Eleven years is a long time to wait for anything. If you’re an elk hunter applying for a special-draw permit, it can seem like a lifetime. For my wife, Heather, it was an exercise in self-control. She knew full well that if she was patient and held out for a quality management unit, there could be a big payoff. With 11 priority points in Alberta, there would be a nearly 100% chance of pulling a coveted bull tag along the Milk River…

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With the snow mostly gone, packed snow still clung to the well-worn trails. Deer droppings, old and new, littered the beaten paths. It was early April, and the perfect time for some pre-season scouting. Working my way down the deer trail, I meticulously scanned every inch of ground. Careful to cover every path possible, I eventually found the right antler belonging to  one of my target bucks. If you’re a shed hunter, you know that when you find one, the match is usually somewhere nearby. Sure enough, less than 20 yards away, there it was! Mass, width and height made…

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It’s mid-winter. Fall hunting seasons are in the rear-view mirror and most deer hunters are now either in shed hunting mode, chasing predators, or anticipating spring opportunities. In my world, there’s no better time to check, collect, service and consider adding to my inventory of trail cameras. For a long time, I ran cameras on the deer properties that I hunt only during peak periods from mid-August through to the end of November. Whether I leave them out year-round depends on the type of intel I’m looking to collect. Essentially, if I want to know whether particular bucks made it…

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It was the second week in September. Archery seasons were in full swing. My wife Heather and I were looking for mule deer in southern Alberta. The area we hunt is mostly farmland laced with a mix of native prairie grasses and coulees. It’s an ideal habitat for mule deer. Walking a ridge and glassing a standing canola field, with an hour of legal light remaining, we located three good bucks. They were a half-mile away and bedded. We quickly discussed a plan, then it was my turn. If you’ve ever tried moving through standing canola, you know it is…

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He was clearly on a mission. The three-year-old buck broke from cover and beelined for the scrape a stone’s throw from my stand. The mother of all scrapes, it was visited regularly by what appeared to be every deer in the area. Measuring 45 inches in diameter, the bucks had dished it deep into the forest floor. Standing in it, the young buck sniffed, licked, and rubbed his orbital glands on the overhanging branch, then pawed at the ground and urinated. Twenty minutes later, a doe with two older fawns visited the scrape. Following a similar routine, the doe sniffed…

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And how to get those extra hours in the extreme conditions. In case you came here just to find out what you should buy – I’ll cut to the chase and list my favorites here.  But below, you’ll find all my picks as well as how to layer for the cold weather hunts and not let discomfort be the difference between you and a successful harvest.  Spoiler alert – Sitka has separated themselves from the pack. Best Base Layer: Sitka Gear Merino Heavyweight Half Zip Top and Sitka Gear Merino Heavyweight Bottom Best Insulating Layer: Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket…

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