Mark Buehrer has spent 17 years as North American Specialist for Bowhunting Safari Consultants with the enviable task of helping bowhunters transform wishes into reality. Here’s his pick of adventurous and successful North American hunts:
“My favorite spot for moose is south of Fairbanks in the foothills of the Alaska Range,” Buehrer said. “Fred Bear hunted this region, which is a high plateau between two rivers. The best time for this hunt is September 14-25, the peak of the rut for moose, and hunters also have the option of stalking Dall’s sheep or black bear.”
Due to the elevation, weather in the high plateau can range from snow to 60 degrees, and you’ll want the best equipment you can afford. Hunts of this nature will be based in wall tents where hunters hike to high vantage points, spot a big moose (50-inch minimum), stalk closer and call to close the deal. Cost is $15,000-$20,000.
Stalking through the tangle of Alaskan alders is nightmare enough, much less trailing something that can kill you. However, hang a series of treestands along a salmon stream and suddenly, the nightmare turns heavenly. “This hunt is one of my favorites,” said Buehrer, “because you primarily stand hunt in evenings. Salmon streams are a hub of animal activity, and one archer reported seeing over 100 bears during a week’s hunt. It’s based at a great lodge with comfortable accommodations.” This ultimate bowhunt costs $14,000-$25,000.
New Mexico Elk
If you’re interested in a really big elk, you should be building preference points in several Western states. Once you draw a license, you can make the hunt on your own or hire an outfitter and still save about 60 percent off the normal price. The other option is to buy a landowner tag, but the price has escalated since last year. Buehrer’s top pick in New Mexico is Unit 15 in the Gila National Forest, a primitive-weapons-only unit that has a 5-7 percent draw rate, or buy a landowner tag. “Landowner tags increased $2,000 to $4,000 from last year, and that price will be passed onto the consumer,” he said. “Still, New Mexico has excellent trophy potential with many bulls’ measuring 350-inches or better.” The rut peaks September 16-22 and hunts cost is $8,500-$12,500.
Colorado Mule Deer
Mention Colorado and you automatically think mountains, yet Buehrer’s pick is private land in Eastern Colorado where mule deer grow to maturity in difficult-to-hunt CRP fields. “This is all spot and stalk,” he said,” you must be able to do a lot of crawling and shoot effectively at 40-50 yards.” On the other hand, bucks are often 170-inches, with antlers in the 180-200-inch range the goal. A two-on-one hunt costs about $5,000.
Whitetail/Mule Deer Combo
“Most hunters have heard of the Edmonton Bow Zone, yet Calgary has one, too, about 20,000 square miles of agricultural land around the city where there is no rifle hunting. You can take a mule deer and a whitetail on a 6-day hunt for about $3500,” he said. “Hunting is from treestands and ground blinds, and the area is producing 150-inch whitetail and 150-170-inch mule deer, September through November.”
Editor’s Note: All the photos above are Buehrer’s clients. For more specific information about Buehrer’s picks, visit the Bowhunting Safari Consultants website.
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