It was years ago… “Booked a whitetail hunt in Saskatchewan. You can pay me for your part next week. You, Homer Saye, Murphy Ray, Sidney Lindsay and me! Booked with Kent Wolawosky who hunts near Carrott River. Dick Idol recommended him and the area. Dick will join us there.” Said Gary Machen. “We’re all going to have to buy some all red coveralls, because that’s what we’re going to have to wear. Don’t know how they came up with such a rule, but it is what it is.”
The flight to Saskatoon was fun. The two smallest of our group were Homer and Murphy, who some may remember as the co-author of Producing Quality Whitetails, which has long been the bible for those who want to grow bigger whitetail bucks on properties they own or manage. Both Murphy and Homer weighed close to 200 pounds. I mention that because Sidney Lindsey weighed about 450 pounds, Gary and I back then weighed easily 250 pound each. That without our gear amounted to about 1,350 pounds in hunters. Our clothes, boots, gear and guns weighed another close to 1,000 pounds. So combined we weighed all in about 2,350 pounds, and that did not include our plentiful supply of adult libations.
When Kent met us at the airport he showed up with an old Oldsmobile 88, albeit four doors. There was not near enough room for all our gun cases and our bags, so after filling up the trunk we tied gun cases and bags on top or the car and on top of the trunk, plus pulled the remainder into the back seat. Sidney crawled into the front seat with Kent and filled it up. Gary, Murphy and I crawled into the back seat, leaving Homer, standing outside. Says Machen, “Homer stick you head into the back window.” He did! Murphy and I grabbed him by his shoulders and pulled him in on top of us. “All in!” proclaimed Machen, “Let’s go!”
Kent’s Oldsmobile was a push button drive. He pushed it into drive, nothing happened we just stayed right there! Kent tried it again. Still nothing!
Finally, Kent got out to see what was going on. It was then he noticed the body of the car was solidly resting on compressed wheels, which could in no way turn because of all the weight.
We got out, knowing we had to do something. If ever we intended to get to hunting camp it would take more than one vehicle. Kent started calling friends and acquaintances, no one could help get us to camp. Machen and I found a newspaper and started calling used car dealers. This from pay phones, long before cell phones. But it was Saturday evening. Dealers and salesmen would not be back on their lots until Monday morning. Then we started calling cab companies. Finally, we found a cab driver who for nearly the cost of a car said he would take us to hunting camp. Gary, Homer and I went in the cab, and proceeded toward hunting camp about a hundred and fifty miles away. Somehow we convinced the driver to stop at every pub we passed. When we finally got to camp, the cab driver decided to spend what little remained of the night in our camp. Next morning when we tried to pay the driver, he refused to take any money. Said he, “I’ve never had a fare like you guys. Was that ever fun!” I want to come back here to take y’all back to the airport.” Now he was talking with a Texan accent…
Such was my introduction to Saskatchewan. During our hunt Gary shot a Boone & Crockett whitetail only moments after I missed it at extremely long range. Sidney and I both shot really nice black bears and last day of the hunt Homer shot a nice buck. In the process I got hooked on hunting Canada and particularly Saskatchewan
I returned to Saskatchewan numerous times for whitetails deer, but also for black bear. I have made numerous friends from Saskatchewan including Milo Hanson who shot the world record typical whitetail. The winter after Milo shot his world record I was a speaker at an outdoor show. After I finished my talk, Milo appeared, “Larry I want you to have a couple of pieces of sausage from my world record buck!” I was flabberghasted! What an honor! I did not know what to say! I thanked him many times. I can tell you this much, the sausage was fabulous!
Over the years I have introduced quite a few outdoors men and women to the joys of hunting and fishing in Saskatchewan. My co-host, Blake Barnett, on my “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon” television show which airs year around on the Sportsman Channel is headed to back to Saskatchewan this spring. Last spring Blake hunted black bear and fished for monstrous northern pike at the Cree River Lodge. On that excursion not only did he take a huge black bear with his Ruger rifle shooting Hornady ammo, he was also able to catch pike well over 40 inches.
If you are in to big-bodied black bear and some of the finest fishing in the world, there is still time to plan your hunt or fishing trip to Saskatchewan. If you are looking toward the fall for the best freshwater fishing ever or a big-racked whitetail deer, or even a black bear that might not actually be black (Saskatchewan has a lot of color phase bear), or some of the finest upland bird or waterfowl hunting imaginable, please get in touch with Tourism Saskatchewan (www.tourismsaskatchewan.com). They can steer you in the right direction. Adventure and fun awaits those who travel to Saskatchewan!