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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Hunting in the BWCA
      2019 Traditional Archery Hunt in the BWCAW     

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gravelroad
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12/08/2018 03:19PM
If you shoot a recurve, longbow or hybrid (or can get ready to do so with deadly effect by the end of next September), read on.

I'm organizing a hunt with traditional bows for the BWCAW next year. Rough dates are Sept. 29 to Oct. 5. In addition to the MN archery deer season, the bear and small game seasons will be open then. Entry points under consideration are Baker Lake (39) and Homer Lake (40), but those are just rough concepts at this point. This is strictly a DIY trip, in case you're wondering.

If this is something you'd like to participate in or merely discuss at this point, either send me a message, via the link at the envelope icon under "view profile" at left, or reply here. You can read a bit of my bio here (ignore the NH address; I currently live in Duluth, where I was born): http://www.cxtranslations.com/About_Me.html Oh, and I have a membership card in my wallet from the Duluth Archery Club - No. 8, issued to my father in 1944. :-)
 
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nofish
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12/11/2018 02:49PM
That would be a fun trip to take. Very challenging to say the least but still a lot of fun.

I don't think I'll be able to wean myself off of my compound bow by then besides those dates are historically my best week for the land I currently bow hunt.
 
gravelroad
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12/12/2018 10:34AM
Ooh, a nibble. :-)

It's OK to admit you have the itch. Here's something to inflame it further:

Hunting whitetails in the Boundary Waters
 
nofish
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12/12/2018 11:42AM
I've kicked around the idea of hunting the BWCA for a long time now. However, if I were to hunt it I think I'd hang up my bow in favor of my rifle. Its a challenging enough hunt with a rifle, i'm not man enough to hunt it with a bow :)

The reasons I haven't hunted with a rifle are mainly due to my hunting buddies not being up for the challenge and I don't want to undertake the trip solo given the difficulties present in the BWCA at that time of year.
 
Pinetree
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12/12/2018 11:09PM
I will say BWCA deer population is probably as low as it has been in 50 years. Saying that there is pockets of deer and some real trophies. You are much better hunter than I if you can get one with the bow in the BWCA. Maybe the beginning of the rut or during the rut your chances would triple. But still tough. check out some of the burn areas.
 
nofish
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12/13/2018 10:12AM
Pinetree: "I will say BWCA deer population is probably as low as it has been in 50 years. Saying that there is pockets of deer and some real trophies. You are much better hunter than I if you can get one with the bow in the BWCA. Maybe the beginning of the rut or during the rut your chances would triple. But still tough. check out some of the burn areas."

I think you are exactly right. Bow hunting the BWCA has always seemed like an exercise in futility. I do love a good challenge and thats why I've even considered it but right now my hunting time is too little and too precious to use it to chase a long shot.
 
Pinetree
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12/13/2018 10:17AM
nofish: "Pinetree: "I will say BWCA deer population is probably as low as it has been in 50 years. Saying that there is pockets of deer and some real trophies. You are much better hunter than I if you can get one with the bow in the BWCA. Maybe the beginning of the rut or during the rut your chances would triple. But still tough. check out some of the burn areas."


I think you are exactly right. Bow hunting the BWCA has always seemed like an exercise in futility. I do love a good challenge and thats why I've even considered it but right now my hunting time is too little and too precious to use it to chase a long shot. "


I think it would be great fun trying rifle or maybe even muzzle loading in the late season. Muzzle loading season would have to be more land based entry point and walk in. Some of those area now average only 1-4 deer per sq. mile. That is tough hunting when it is all wooded and so much escape cover.
 
nofish
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12/13/2018 12:44PM
A late season trip could be fun. At least then you have the advantage of snow for tracking animals and seeing where they may have been recently. It could also potentially make a spot and stalk a little easier. However having to hike in would somewhat limit what areas you can target. You'd probably have to keep to hiking trail areas only as I'm not sure you could trust all of the lakes to be safely frozen.
 
gravelroad
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12/15/2018 07:22PM
There are two prime objectives for this endeavor:

1. Have fun.
2. Have some more fun.

Killing a deer or bear will be icing on the cake and will grant the person attaching the tag lifetime bragging rights among the cognoscenti.

No one should sign up who will spend any time on the trip or afterward thinking about "what might have been" in a cornfield/beanfield/metro park hunt. :-)
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/17/2019 02:16PM
so how did it go?
I have never seen a whitetail within the BWCA, nor Quetico. Seen plenty of them traveling to it though. If you were interested in camping, a better choice IMO, would be the Superior Hiking Trail. When I hike the trail in winter, there are tracks everywhere, and I've surprised a few. Lots of wolf tracks too. I have never seen deer tracks on the Border Route Trail within BWCA, seen piles of moose crap :) they seem to stay in the same area, probably to avoid wolves.
Some of the burn areas may draw them, but IMO, that would be most likely around the perimeter.
 
Pinetree
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01/17/2019 02:29PM
ZaraSp00k: "so how did it go?
I have never seen a whitetail within the BWCA, nor Quetico. Seen plenty of them traveling to it though. If you were interested in camping, a better choice IMO, would be the Superior Hiking Trail. When I hike the trail in winter, there are tracks everywhere, and I've surprised a few. Lots of wolf tracks too. I have never seen deer tracks on the Border Route Trail within BWCA, seen piles of moose crap :) they seem to stay in the same area, probably to avoid wolves.
Some of the burn areas may draw them, but IMO, that would be most likely around the perimeter."


Superior trail would be much better,but also you have to realize in the winter you get a migration of deer from inland and many will move back in the spring.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member (315)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2019 03:34PM
ZaraSp00k: "so how did it go?
I have never seen a whitetail within the BWCA, nor Quetico. Seen plenty of them traveling to it though. If you were interested in camping, a better choice IMO, would be the Superior Hiking Trail. When I hike the trail in winter, there are tracks everywhere, and I've surprised a few. Lots of wolf tracks too. I have never seen deer tracks on the Border Route Trail within BWCA, seen piles of moose crap :) they seem to stay in the same area, probably to avoid wolves.
Some of the burn areas may draw them, but IMO, that would be most likely around the perimeter."


Not sure what you mean by "how did it go?" This hunt will take place in the fall of this year.
Camping? Been there, done that.
Camping while hunting deer? Been there, done that.
Camping inside the BWCAW while hunting deer? That is what this is all about. :-)
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/30/2019 04:30PM
gravelroad: "ZaraSp00k: "so how did it go?
I have never seen a whitetail within the BWCA, nor Quetico. Seen plenty of them traveling to it though. If you were interested in camping, a better choice IMO, would be the Superior Hiking Trail. When I hike the trail in winter, there are tracks everywhere, and I've surprised a few. Lots of wolf tracks too. I have never seen deer tracks on the Border Route Trail within BWCA, seen piles of moose crap :) they seem to stay in the same area, probably to avoid wolves.
Some of the burn areas may draw them, but IMO, that would be most likely around the perimeter."



Not sure what you mean by "how did it go?" This hunt will take place in the fall of this year.

Camping inside the BWCAW while hunting deer? That is what this is all about. :-)"


my mistake, I thought your post was for last fall

good luck, every one harvested is one less to infect the moose and one less to get hit by a car
 
smoke11
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09/19/2019 01:56PM
you guys go hunting yet?
 
Pinetree
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09/19/2019 02:47PM
From Brainerd area- Too hot for me and it doesn't seem like deer hunting when in the 80's. Also shoot a deer now-than what do I do the rest of the fall?
 
smoke11
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09/20/2019 11:42AM
Im from North Carolina had some time off for opening week and went twice in mornings temps were in the 90's all week! I am going with son in morning hopefully temps will be in the high 40's, you guys only allowed 1 deer per season?
 
Pinetree
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09/20/2019 04:41PM
smoke11: "Im from North Carolina had some time off for opening week and went twice in mornings temps were in the 90's all week! I am going with son in morning hopefully temps will be in the high 40's, you guys only allowed 1 deer per season?"

The State varies on quota so much. Around the BWCA and most of northeastern Minnesota it is one deer. Further south it may be 2-3 deer but Only one buck.
Certain areas now have CWD-cronic waste disease in central Minnesota and south. These areas this year is unlimited does or anterless. The goal is pretty much to eliminate the deer in some areas or get a very low population.

The northern half of Minnesota we can get hard winters and have winter die-off and wolves also suppress the population.
I do think our deer size potential for bucks is bigger up north. A few deer get up to 250 pounds and field dressed and more deer in the 180-200 pound range for mature bucks.
 
smoke11
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09/23/2019 08:00AM
Thanks for info.
 
smoke11
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10/04/2019 06:37AM
Any luck on the hunt?
 
gravelroad
distinguished member (315)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/10/2019 09:47PM
smoke11: "Any luck on the hunt?"

None, but we learned some useful things:

1. No good deed goes unpunished. One of our party was windbound and separated from us for two days at the outset as a consequence of his generous decision to help a member of another party.

2. The Pagami Creek Fire zone remains largely impassable to anything taller than a raccoon. Preseason scouting to identify focus areas for the hunt is imperative.

3. When a weather window opens in October, however briefly, seize with both hands the opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge. :-)

4. Rinse and repeat next fall.
 
nofish
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12/11/2019 09:59AM
You may want to give this podcast a listen. Mark Kenyon and a few guys talk about their first ever trip into the BWCA with their focus being a whitetail archery hunt. They opted for compound vs traditional archery gear but sounds like results were about the same. Its a really good listen for any BWCA lover but especially so for anyone interested in bow hunting the BWCA.

Wired to Hunt Podcast - BWCA Trip
 
gravelroad
distinguished member (315)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/15/2019 10:04AM
nofish: "You may want to give this podcast a listen. Mark Kenyon and a few guys talk about their first ever trip into the BWCA with their focus being a whitetail archery hunt. They opted for compound vs traditional archery gear but sounds like results were about the same. Its a really good listen for any BWCA lover but especially so for anyone interested in bow hunting the BWCA.


Wired to Hunt Podcast - BWCA Trip "


Thanks! I tried for a long time to find that because I knew he planned to make that trip.
 
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