Deer Hunting with Border Country Outfitters

Experience this trophy whitetail deer paradise between Lake of the Woods and Rainy River

In early December Kevin Beasley headed out on a whitetail deer hunt with Border Country Outfitters in the Rainy River District of Northwestern Ontario. This was a hunt that Kevin was looking forward to all year! This is one of the best spots in Ontario to hunt deer because this is where the Canadian Shield touches the edge of the Red River farming valley. The area where the two regions meet creates a great habitat for the deer. This helps them to reach their full potential—creating truly immense bodies and racks.

Kevin arrived at the Thunder Bay Airport on a cold snowy day and wasted no time jumping into his rental vehicle and starting the 4-hour drive west to Emo. When he finally arrived at his destination he was greeted by Roben Ogden and Steve Toriseva and the rest of their crew. They had an incredible steak dinner ready for him, which really made Kevin feel right at home!

The hospitality of Border Country Outfitters is matched only by the comfort of its bright and spacious accommodations. The lodge offers guests all the luxuries of home and every meal has the warmth of a holiday dinner. The Ogden and Toriseva families have cultivated a comfortable and inviting atmosphere that has kept hunters coming back year after year.

Shortly after settling in, the team sat down and showed him a series of recent trail camera pictures which captured some of the great bucks where Kevin would be hunting this week.


The forecast for the week wasn't quite as promising as the trail camera pictures. A glance at his weather app showed that Kevin's arrival had immediately preceded a drastic change in weather. As the days go on, the temperature is set to drop drastically and some heavy snow coming early in the week.


When the alarm clock went off the first morning Kevin was excited to get out and get hunting. As the day broke he was up in a blind on a field edge and it wasn't long before he watched a doe and two fawns emerge from the woods and approach the bait. The deer lingered for a while, but Kevin noticed that they were acting skittish, continually monitoring the nearby woods. Whatever was lurking beyond the tree line, however, remained out of sight. 


The wind changed direction halfway through the day, so Kevin took advantage of the many options offered by Border Country Outfitters. After discussion, they all decided a mid-day change of scenery would be best. After a short stopover at the lodge for a hot lunch, Kevin was relocated to a treestand for the evening. He had barely settled into the stand before the deer started swarming the bait. The site was teeming with does and fawns for hours as they passed by him, around his stand.


Although he didn't see any bucks, Kevin did have a rare encounter with an unlikely visitor. In the final moments of daylight, he noticed a lone wolf wandering through the trees barely ten yards behind his stand. The fur on the wolf's cheek was red with blood, evidence that the wolf had just been enjoying the rewards of its own successful hunt. This marked the first time Kevin had ever seen a wolf while on a deer hunt.

The next day the team decided to try a different stand, and the forecast was calling for a considerable snowfall. Knowing this, Kevin donned his fully insulated bodysuit to shield him from the massive amounts of blowing snow that piled up throughout the day.


Unfortunately on this day, the snowstorm did not have the deer moving well. Kevin did see a handful of deer, including some young bucks and a handful of does and fawns, but the day ended with no sightings of mature bucks.


On the third day, there was a tremendous drop in temperature. The daytime temperature hovered around -18 degrees Celsius and the wind changed directions again causing Kevin to go back to where he was the first morning. Despite the cold, the deer seemed to be back on their feet now that the snowfall had ended. At first light Kevin spotted three, then four, then five deer marching through the snow to the bait. All does and fawns.

He watched as many more does and fawns made it through the snow, chasing each other, and stopping to munch at the bait site throughout the day. He had one encounter with a young buck that wandered directly in front of his blind, but still not one of the mature bucks that Kevin was after.


After dinner, one of the Border Country crew retrieved the SD card from the trail camera at Kevin's blind and made a shocking discovery: A massive buck had made an appearance merely minutes after his departure. If this buck had materialized just ten minutes sooner, Kevin might've already been celebrating a successful hunt. Knowing this buck was nearby, they determined that Kevin should give it one more day at this blind in hopes that this trophy whitetail might appear in daylight.


It turned out to be a good thing that Kevin had committed one more day at this spot. The temperature plummeted once again to -26 degrees Celsius (-31 with wind chill). Though the thermometer hit a new low for them, the deer activity took no time to heat up. At first light, Kevin watched a young buck wander into the bait, a second spike right on its tail. He noticed that the two bucks continually glance back into the woods behind the bait before leaving.

It wasn't too long after they left that a great buck appeared from Kevin’s left. This big buck was backlit by a glorious sunrise as he strolled out from the woods and moved toward the bait. Kevin didn't waste any time putting this mature buck in his crosshairs.


Kevin squeezed the trigger and made a perfect shot dropping the buck right in his tracks. He was thrilled to put his tag on this beautiful 10-point. Although this wasn’t even the deer that he went in after, that is one of the great things about hunting up in this area of Ontario. They have so many deer and so many new deer moving into the area on a daily basis, you just never know what deer you will get a crack at.


What a great ending to a great trip! Thank you Border Country Outfitters for an amazing hunt and for all that you did for us! We will definitely be hoping to come back!  

About Canada in the Rough

The Beasley Brothers' passion for hunting is only surpassed by their commitment to their family. Respect, integrity, a strong work ethic and an undying passion for hunting bond these youthful advocates of our hunting heritage at the hip. Also producing Ontario's only magazine dedicated to whitetail deer hunting, and running the day-to-day operations of the Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife (FROW), the brothers are anxiously engaged in promoting the joys of hunting and are thrilled to be part of Canada's most-watched hunting adventure television show.

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