From Texas to Manitoba
Writen by: Eddie Dodd

 


 

Drop-Tine Outfitters

Barry Strong
Box 838
Dauphin, Manitoba, CANADA
R7N 3J5
Phone: 204-638-2915
Cell: 204-648-5083
Email: droptine@mts.net

Robert Strong
Phone:
204-761-3550

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Eddie Dodd of Dripping Springs, Texas, traveled to Manitoba, Canada, to try his luck on the big whitetail. His dreams came true when he downed this brute while hunting with Barry Strong of Drop-Tine Outfitters. It grossed 186 points.

It all started when good friend David Sharpe, who lives in Calgary, Alberta, gave me a call and said he had a whitetail hunt lined up with Barry Strong, who runs Drop-Tine Outfitters out of Dauphin, Manitoba. He needed someone to go in place of his brother, who had to back out at the last minute.

I already had elk and deer tags for Colorado, so I had to juggle my plans. I persuaded hunting buddy to drop me off in Albuquerque after our Colorado hunt. From there I flew into Calgary on Friday, November 5, 1999, where David picked me up. We then drove to Manitoba, where we met Barry Strong and guide Andrew Kirby (alias Koochee) at Child's Lake Lodges in the Duck Mountains area. Being my first trip north, I couldn't believe all the lakes and ponds in the Duck Mountains area. It looked more like moose country than whitetail!

We were taken to an old logging area where our guides had found some good buck signs earlier. The hunt was on!

By the end of the first day I still hadn't seen a northern whitetail, but I did see a 7x7 and 6x6 bull elk feeding in a clear-cut. Being from dripping Springs, Texas, I was used to seeing, 10 or 20 deer a day. From the abundant sign of timber wolves, I thought perhaps they had run the deer off.

The second morning dawned, still no deer, so I went looking around ant that's when I locates about 20 large scrapes in a 200- yard circle inside a spruce thicket. Judging by the large tracks and dirt he was pawing out of the scrapes(he was throwing dirt up to 20 feet), I figured a dominant buck was around and all I had to do was find him. I made a ground blind in some logs about 150 yards from the scrape area. I sat there for the remainder of day two and saw only one small three-point.

On the third morning I was back in my bind at daylight, amidst the cold and fog. I saw the three-point again, and I almost froze but managed to stick it out.

Right before dark a big-bodied deer walked out of a spruce thicket about 150 yards away. All I could see was his neck and head sticking out of the brush. It seemed like he stood there forever looking around. I didn't know it at the time, but he was blind in his left eye, so I think he was being doubly cautious! By this time I was becoming a nervous wreck because I knew he was a heck of a deer. Then he turned and headed toward the scrapes. Presented with a head-on shot, I dropped him with the first pull of the trigger.

As I worked my way down towards him, I couldn't believe his size. I think I got a little excited! He was bigger than most mulies I had seen in years past! His body was huge, and his horns matched it. When I was up close, I discovered he only had one eye, with the hide completely grown over and healed up.

I went for help but had to wait awhile because (my buddy) had shot a nice 14 point (Texas count) and they were getting it out of the bush. When they finally showed up, it took six of us three hours to get him out of the bush in one piece, but the effort was worth it.

David ended up with a nice buck on the last day, so three for four wasn't bad at all. The hunting was pretty tough, but when you have to sit in the cold all day, you better get tough. I know one thing for sure: I'll be back. Also thanks to Barry's girlfriend Tara, who is a world-class camp cook. Those Texas bucks are going to look a little different when I get home! My northern buck dressed out at 275 pounds and had a 26-inch greatest spread and 22 2/8 -inside spread. With 17 score able points and 27-inch beams, he grossed 186 points.

Big Buck Magazine Vol 14, No. 4, Spring 2001.


Manitoba Where Dreams Come True
Written by: Jim Zullo

Jim Zullo of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is all smiles after putting this mega whitetail on the ground. Him traveled to Manitoba, Canada to hunt with Barry Strong of Drop-Tine Outfitters. This province has really produces tremendous bucks the last few years. The antlers on this magnificent specimen gross over 183 inches and net around that magical 170 mark. Any one wanting to book a hunt with Barry can call 1-204-648-5083.

The anticipation was building as I awaited my Canadian hunt. When fall rolls around I get this feeling, as all whitetail hunters know, that the time has come. The time to get into the woods in pursuit of the wily whitetail. I hadn't been to Manitoba in eight years so I was anxious to return to say the least. I was looking forward to hunting with my outfitter, Barry Strong. I had numerous conversations with Barry on the phone and felt confident about the area. We hashed out the details and got ready for the hunt. Time seemed to drag on while my mind was filled with monster whitetails. I couldn't wait to get up to the bush.

One last call to Barry about two weeks before we were scheduled to leave and we would be set. However, while talking we both came to the shocking discovery that somehow the dates of arrival had gotten missed up. I was pretty upset at first and considered canceling the trip because there would be other guys that week. Barry assured me tat everything would be okay and to come in up anyway. Whew! With that settled, the hunt was only weeks away.

Upon arrival to Manitoba, Barry met us at the place where we would be staying, he had us over to an awesome dinner at his house. Afterwards we looked at some impressive racks and sheds, which fueled the fire even further. Barry wrote out our licenses and we were off to a sleepless night.

We awoke to a temperature of 25 below zero! Typical Canadian hunting weather and I was stoked! We had come prepared and were able to sit all day in this frigid landscape.

By the third day the weather started warning up, and so were the buck encounters. On Wednesday evening, my brother Andy had a chance at a 150 -inch 5x5 and somehow shot just over its back. On Thursday evening, though, he redeemed himself. He got a beautiful 5x4 that grossed 140 Boone and Crockett. Meanwhile the rest of us were seeing deer, including a few small bucks, but no shooters.

Friday morning broke with beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the high 20's. My friend Randy had an unbelievable experience with a big buck early in the morning. By the time Barry found Randy, he was pacing up and down the road. We later learned that Randy had turned around in his stand to see a buck staring straight back at him. I don't know who was more surprised, but the buck took off and Randy made a beautiful shot. He buck was a 9x6 that grossed 166 Boone and Crockett, and had a really neat third beam growing off the rack. What a buck! With one day left, I was determined to hunt until the bitter end. Up there, or any where for matter, your luck can change in seconds.

When I arrived at my tree stand, three does were meandering through the area so I waited to climb in. Around 9:30 a.m. I watched another doe pass by. It was another bluebird day and things were warming up. At about 11:30 I noticed movement coming through the trees. Right away I detected long tines, and it was a dandy buck indeed. I already had my right hand on my gun when he stepped clear of the trees, and turned to give me a head-on look at that spread. Wow! If that didn't get my blood pumping, nothing would. We stared each other down for what seemed like an eternity. Appearing like he was going to bolt, I took the shot. The buck reared and took off into the bush.

I was really excited at this point. I climbed down and went to the spot where I thought he had been standing. While I was looking around for signs of a hit, I noticed something horizontal in the bush about 50 yards away. You guesses it … there lay my buck!

I ran over to my trophy and hoisted a heavy beam. My Canadian dream had become a reality. I couldn't believe his size! I contacted the boys by radio and told them the good news. They were on their way with the snow machine in no time. We retrieved the buck but not before taking a lot of pictures. I am a firm believer in taking more pictures than you need, just in case. Especially with a buck like this one. I wish my dad could have still been here to see this one. He would've loved it!

After pictures, we did some measuring and came up with a green score of 183 6/8 gross with a net score of 171 5/8. While penning this, we are awaiting the official score, but he is a Booner in my book! With 26-plus inch main beams, a 21-plus inch inside spread, 14 scoreable points, and a tallest tine of 11 6/8, this basic 5x5 is everything anyone could ever hope for. What an ending to an already great hunt which almost didn't happen. Barry and Tara were wonderful hosts and I cant wait to go back.

Note: The final Boone and Crockett score was just under 170 due to a chipped tine on his right beam. With the tine repaired, the buck netted 170 3/8. The gross score was 183 and change.

Big Buck Magazine Vol. 16, No. 1, Summer 2002

Live camera shots of local bucks

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Box 838 Dauphin, Manitoba, CANADA R7N 3J5 Phone: 204-638-2915 Cell: 204-648-5083


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