We're living the "Non-Typical Life", are you?
With the final weeks of 2017 quickly approaching; many of us outdoor addicts are already counting down the days and dreaming of our next big adventure!
2017 was a pinnacle year for the brand, team, and the family at Non-Typical Nation. It started out with team getting together for an early season wild boar hunt, followed by a bunch of successful and unsuccessful bear hunts! We then put together our first 5 episodes of Non-Typical Nation TV and released them on our web page along with YouTube. We received a ton of great feedback and recognition from the outdoor community, built friendships and decided to expand our core group of Pro-Staff with a handful of like minded, and dedicated individuals across Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Our team is at a comfortable size right now, and we have a great group of men and women who are absolutely crazy about the outdoors, along with sharing those special moments with friends and family!
We asked each member to give us the lowdown on their 2017 outdoor adventures; and here’s what they said:
What a memorable year we are wrapping up! My earliest hunt of the year was the annual spring wild boar hunt. We brought the team together with high hopes of harvesting a couple big old boars. We hunted our butts off for 4 days; we had many run ins and quick sightings of these critters but no solid chances. Thankfully, on the final evening of the hunt; Tommy managed to drop a hog! This hunt was quickly followed up by spring bear hunts. I hunted as much as I could with expectations of dropping a big old Alberta bruin. The spring bear season was hot and one of the toughest seasons yet; unfortunately, I did not harvest a bear but I was lucky enough to guide an old friend and help him drop his first bear!
Fast forward a couple months; and before I knew it I was chasing moose, whitetail, mule deer and elk! Mule deer was my main priority this year as I had waited 4 years for the tag, and it would be a minimum of another 4 before I get drawn again. After many hours hiking, quading, and searching for a mature bucks; I had my opportunity. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I lined up the crosshairs, and took my shot but… I missed. My heart sank and I couldn’t believe it; I headed home replaying the moment in my head over and over again. Two weeks later I headed back out to the same area; just as the sun was coming up I spotted a heard of elk feeding. I wasted no time and quickly switched gears to elk hunting. I put a 300-yard stalk on the heard, picked out the bull and next thing I knew; I had harvested my first bull elk!
Two weeks later; I took my son out in the morning to check some trail cameras and pull a tree stand. We were making our way back to the truck, alongside a lengthy and windy bush path. A 4x4 buck majestically pranced down the path, and entered the bush. My son couldn’t believe his eyes; and just a mere 30 seconds later, the buck reappeared. Jackson was cheering me on to harvest our first buck together, so that’s just what we did!
A couple weeks had passed; this Mule Deer tag was really starting to burn a hole in my hunting bag. I was more anxious than ever to get out and fill it. I chose two final days in the last week of the season to hunt. I worked my butt off in day 1 but ended up seeing more whitetail and elk than mule deer; so, I decided to switch areas for day 2. The morning of day 2 came around and I arrived at the new area; noticing a ton of fresh mule deer tracks. Within in 2 hours I had my first mule deer buck on the ground! Stay tuned for this hunt to be featured on Non-Typical Nation TV in the New Year!
It was one hell of a year, and 2018 is looking to be just as exciting with a ton of high intensity hunts planned!
After a busy early season spending weeks scouting and hunting for my draw archery mule deer, I ended up not having much time to hunt. Caught up with harvest I managed to sneak off a few days to try get my boss and friend Dallas a mule deer with my bow or a white tail with his muzzle loader. Things didn't work out and we were unable to line him up with a deer. My sister was also draw for mulies this year so my family end down to try out her on her biggest mulie to date. I was up a day before her scouting and was fortunate enough to see a few before a snowstorm blew in. Following a tip from a new friend we snuck to within 30 yards of a gorgeous 192" mulie! Vicki musta felt it was too close as she waited till it was over 250 yards away before she dropped it in her tracks. This hunt is on video and I think she was the only one more surprised then I that she connected on that buck.
Now that big game seasons are all wrapped up for me I'll be focussing on predator control and beaver trapping throughout the winter. This is my first season trapping coyotes and have caught a couple already. Over Christmas I hope to catch a few more beaver on my farm that I missed this spring as their fur is prime now. Although shed hunting is still months away I’m anxiously awaiting picking up some antlers of some of the gorgeous wildlife I'm keeping my eye on!
The 2017 fall hunting season was my best and busiest season to date. Midway through July I headed north to Whitehorse, Yukon to wrangle horses for a Dall Sheep outfit. I spent a month with the outfit before heading home. Early September I found myself in North-Western Alberta guiding for moose with Udell’s Guiding and Outfitting. A wall tent and cot were what I called home for over 3 weeks while we chased the bulls throughout the rut. Once the rut Moose season wound down I was able to head home and luckily got a couple odd days to fill my freezer as-well-as my supplemental Whitetail Deer tags.
November rolled around and I headed back north to guide the late November Moose hunts for the same outfit. This late hunt was by far the most luxurious. For just over 4 weeks I lived in a motel in a small town near our hunting area. With only 4 days left of the big game season in Alberta I was able to make it home to help my brother at an attempt on his Moose draw. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful.
10:30 a.m. on November 30th, the last day of season, I found a stroke of luck and perhaps good karma from a very fun and enjoyable season guiding. My biggest buck to date stepped out at 75 yards in front of my Grandpa’s pre-64 30-30, of which I acquired only days before. Without realising his actual stature, I fired one shot through the open peep site and watched the buck drop to the snow.
A HELL OF A SEASON!!!
2017 will be one I will never forget! The hunting started off in New Zealand in April. Myself, a couple cousins and a friend crossed off a bucket list hunt for red stag and fallow deer.
Then come fall I started my true passion for spot and stalk archery Mule deer. I was fortunate enough to connect on an amazing buck, he has so much character. Then the last season is whitetail. I had been watching a buck all summer on trail cams. On opening day, I was fortunate enough to be able to find him 300 yards from my camera. With the big non-typical on the ground I had anchored my biggest whitetail yet. Needless to say, I feel so blessed to live the life I'm fortunate enough to live. #living the non-typical life!
My 2017 archery season will definitely be one to remember! The freezer is full with healthy meat, I got a beautiful trophy hanging on the wall and many memories were made with friends.
In August, I managed to get a week off of work and head up north to my home town with a bear and elk in hand. I brought along with me my good friend and his dad from Moose Jaw. For the first couple days, we had many missed opportunities and failed attempts. It was getting close to the last day that we could hunt and we were getting nervous that we wouldn’t fill our tags. On the second last day our luck changed and we called out two cow elk from the forest. We quietly waited along the edge of the bush and had the cows come to 20 yards. I drew back and made the perfect shot on the one cow. She went 80 yards before she fell over. The other younger cow didn’t really know what was going on and stayed near the elk I had shot. My friend knocked an arrow and I used my ultimate predator decoy to walk within bow range, so my buddy could make the shot on the second cow. It was an unforgettable evening with two elk on the ground and lots of work ahead of us that evening. We never managed to fill our bear tags that week, but we knew there were bears in the same area that came to feed in the oats. Therefore, a couple weeks later I headed back to that same spot in hopes of doing a solo spot and stalk on a black bear. It was a beautiful evening and just before the sun went below the horizon, I spotted two black bears come out into the oats. I didn’t have much time so I moved quickly but quietly along the edge of the oats. The bears had spotted me so I froze. They didn’t know what I was so one of the bears came to check me out. He was broadside at 50 yards and there were only a couple minutes left of legal light so I decided to take the shot. I drew back and made a great shot on the bear. He ran into the bush about five yards before tumbling over.
Now with the archery elk and bear tag filled, I only had one tag left and that was my archery Mule deer. This was one tag I wanted to fill the most because I had never shot a mule deer before and hunted hard the year prior, but had no luck. It was a Sunday morning when I spotted a bachelor group of five Mulie bucks about a mile off the grid road, on a side hill; feeding around a slough. It was definitely worth getting a closer look at, so I parked the truck and started walking. I crested the top of a hill and spotted the bucks about 400 meters away. I knew right then that the one buck was definitely a shooter. He was a big; wide typical with a little drop tine. I followed them far into the hills while keeping my distance. The big one and his buddy finally decided to bed down in some shrubs along the fence. The wind was in my favour, but there wasn’t much of it. I took my boots off crawled on my hands and knees for about 100 yards. At this point I was within about 30 yards from the buck. All I could see were the tips of his antlers, so now it was a waiting game.
Later that afternoon I heard a four wheeler in the distance. I knew the buck would also hear it so I immediately drew back. The buck stood up and started to walk away. I stood up on my knees and the buck looked directly at me broadside. I pulled the quick release trigger and let an arrow fly. It was a clean pass through just behind the shoulder. He went about 80 yards before stopping and bedding down. I gave him a little time before walking up to the biggest mule deer I’ve seen. It was one of the most rewarding moments I’ve had archery hunting. The buck ended up with a gross score 206 1/2. Its one hunt I won’t forget! Gonna be hard to top my 2017 archery Mulie, but I can’t wait to see what the 2018 hunting season has to offer!
The 2017 hunting season came and went in a flash. For me, new commitments on the home front forced me to become much, much more selective with the days I chose to hunt! This emphasis I needed to put on choosing the right wind and best conditions possible, led to a lot of great encounters! A lot of video! And some great memories with family and friends.
Not only was I able to harvest my first buck with archery tackle, but I was able to introduce and share the sport that I love with my son, Sawyer at the very young age of 2, when he was able to join my father and I on his first sit in the blind! This season taught me more about hunting than any other season, and not because I was successful. But, because when I watched my little guy light up with joy watching a doe bed down, I realized, there’s a lot more to hunting, than who scores the most inches! Good luck and stay healthy this off season, non-typical nation!
The season started out April 1st, I headed out to put my bear baits in place for the April 15th opener. After a long drawn out spring thaw the bears began to hit the baits in the first week of May. Many small boars and sows littered the Spypoints with pictures, the second week of May brought new hope in the shape of a big mature boat. After hunting the boar for a month and a half when the wind was right the old bear proved too illusive. July 1st signaled the end of a frustrating bear season and the beginning of my scouting for elk and whitetail. A month and half later I had a mature bull elk I nicknamed hooker patterned for the August 20th archery opener and my whitetail search took a back seat. On the opening day I hunted the field I had watched hooker feed in for the previous month to no avail, the wind remained in my favour for the next 10 days and I stayed persistent but like most mature animals he proved cagey.
I shifted gears and tried my luck in another area for the remaining 4 days of the season. After an ample amount of encounters with different bulls and cows I decided to wait until rifle season to continue my pursuit of hooker. The ten off days drug on for what seemed like an eternity, when the 15th of September rolled around the hunt was back on and I had a fire lit under me. However, hooker had different plans and continued to evade me, the elk were moving on the first day as 2 members of my hunting group tagged out. Two days later and the other 3 members had also hung their tags on animals. That left me with 12 days to continue my search, and on the last day of the season I drug myself out of bed, 11 days no elk. Just hours into the last day I was able to bugle in a spiker and made the decision to fill my freezer.
Fast forward a month and the rifle whitetail season was about to begin. I hunted the first day of the season with no luck, life took over for the next week and a half, I wasn't able to get out due to work. On November 12th I headed out with a good friend to get him his first deer, he was quick to pull the trigger on a mature doe. We started to head home when I spotted a nice buck chasing does about 600 yards away. I'll be the first to admit I'm not an expert marksman or long-range shooter so I stalked into about 150 yards for a shot. After a short wait he presented me a shot and I closed the book on my 2017 hunting season.
This year of hunting has been by far one of my favorite, with tons of new experiences and friends! I spent a total of 9 days in Northern Sk during Elk, Moose and bear season. Harvested my first small bull moose and my first black bear. Then to top it all off my personal best white-tail! Having the Non-Typical Nation family to talk with and get tips from has really taught me a great deal and I most definitely look forward to my 2018 season!!
This season the biggest lesson I learned was when pursuing an black bear make sure you have either your phone or a GPS with you because its VERY easy to get lost in the Northern wilderness! Right Matt? One of the most predominant things that presented itself was make sure you spend the range time and are comfortable with how your firearm is shooting! During our whitetail hunt a friend’s firearm was not performing very well and nice mature buck was injured so we decided mine should be used to humanely put the animal down. (Which resulted in my personal best distance shot of my life 673 yards, not something I want to do again but it was needed!)
I look forward to another year with the Non-Typical family as I am proud to call them just that, family. Don't forget to keep an eye out for our upcoming wild game catch and cooks coming soon!
The 2017 hunting season is going to be a very difficult one to top. My hunting partners and I managed to harvest a wide variety of animals as well as some truly great trophies.
The season started off in the spring with bear season and I was able to help my best friend Chris harvest a nice black bear, his first, which also happened to be his first ever bow kill. I then managed to follow this up by harvesting a very nice Pope and Young brown colored bear on May Long weekend. After bear season ended we submitted our draw applications with high hopes for several tags this fall.
I then proceeded to make my second trip to South Africa where I was looking to take a few animals that I hadn’t been able to harvest on my first safari. I had a great trip with a good friend and we harvested some amazing trophies. I was lucky enough to harvest a very beautiful serval, a gorgeous nyala to complete my spiral horn slam and a heavy horned springbok. We also managed to get in a day of fishing for Tiger fish which was something that I have wanted to do for years.
Upon returning to Alberta I learned that I had drawn a cow moose tag for Camp Wainwright in December and my wife and best friend Chris had both drawn muley buck tags for eastern Alberta. My good friend Mike had also drawn an archery antelope tag. We were all very excited for mule deer season as it had been a very easy winter where we hunt and we were seeing a ton of great deer before the season started.
The season started off great with Mike filling his antelope tag on opening weekend and then shooting one of our target mule deer with his bow the following weekend. I then managed to shoot a very cool old, heavy non-typical mule deer that I had almost shoot in 2015. After harvesting our second archery mule deer we shifted our focus to elk. I took another good friend out for a weekend up to northern Alberta and we managed to take a nice 5 point bull elk. From there I had to spend some time working in our mule deer area where I was doing some waterfowl hunting. The season was great for ducks and geese and I was able to keep scouting for mule deer with more good deer showing up every day it seemed like.
On Halloween my wife and I headed up to muley camp with my friend Chris planning to meet us later that evening, the forecast was calling for freezing rain, snow and cold temperatures. Chris finally made it to camp at 4:30am after what is
normally a 4 hour drive turning into 7.5. After sleeping for only a couple of hours we were up and heading to a coulee where we had 3 target bucks living. 15 minutes after legal light Chris connected on a deer we called Hedge which ended up grossing 189 7/8”. We took pictures and carried on hunting at 2:30pm that afternoon while chasing a very nice 4x4 with my wife we spotted another giant that I had only seen once and named Jim, because he had one main beam that was extremely long. After a run of close to 400 yards we were able to get setup on this deer where Carole made a great shot at 358yds to put another giant down, her buck ending up grossing 189 3/8”.
After taking 2 beautiful mule deer on opening day the season had to slow down right?? Well on Nov 9 I managed to take a very big bodied whitetail buck that ended up scoring 156”. On November 29th Carole and I went out for one last whitetail hunt and she managed to take a great management buck.
The season was not quite over however as I still had a cow moose tag as well as having a cousin and friend with bull moose tags for the last season in Camp Wainwright. The weather conditions were tough as all the snow had melted and frozen turning the trails and clearings into skating rinks, the wind would pick up in the afternoons and the temperatures were well above zero. Moose movement was very slow due to the warm temperatures, but my cousin Curtis managed to take a bull on opening morning, I took a cow in the afternoon on opening day as well. We also had some deer tags and took a whitetail doe and nice mule deer in the following days. On our last day of hunting my friend Terry managed to take a very good meat bull about 10 minutes after legal light.
With a year like this I don’t know how we can top it in 2018, I should get a trophy antelope tag as well as an antlered mule deer draw. So I guess we shall see. On to scouting and shed hunting to get ready for next year.