top of page
fighting does in saskatchewan
trail camera picture of whitetail deer

Trail cam pics

2019 deer hunt:

Sunday, November 10, 2019 - the night before it all starts:

It is so wonderful to have such wonderful friends all sitting around the kitchen table.

Welcome back John S, Kenny, Tom, Justin, Josh, Bob, John K and welcome to our newcomer, Michael.

fun at camp Makwa River Outfitters
fun at camp Makwa River Outfitters

With a group like this IT'S GOING TO BE AN AWESOME WEEK.


2019 hunt begins...
Sunday, November 11, 2019 - Day 1 of Week #1

Its a "balmy -6 degree day.

Breakfast of pancakes and bacon, coffee and juice at 6:00 am.

By 7:00 they are off to the woods.

to day is Veteran's Day in USA and Remembrance Day in Canada.  So many of our hunters (and guides) are veterans.

Words are never enough when it comes to the sacrifice of all who served ... those who did not come back and those who did...

We humbly thank you all!

veterans day

No deer taken today.

But ... we do have a Birthday to celebrate.  It is our guide, Randal's birthday yesterday but he wasn't there to celebrate.  Happy Birthday Randal.

fun at deer hunting camp Saskatchewan Makwa River Outfitters

Here are all four of our guides:  Larry, Walker, Randal and Che


Tuesday , November 12, 2019 - Day 2 of Week #1

I warmed up over night considerably - it's a 13 degree morning.

This morning they were all off to an exciting day in the forest at 6:30

Our first deer for 2019 is taken by Kenny.  Congratulations Kenny!

trophy white tail deer hunt Saskatchewan

Nov 12/19 Kenny

"It was a great week with you guys, a blast" - Kenny - NY (on Facebook)

And it was another guide's birthday to celebrate!  Happy Birthday Che!

fun at a deer camp Makwa River Outfitters

Tomorrow, lets get back to hunting!!


Wednesday , November 13, 2019 - Day 3 of Week #1

First Justin took his deer in the morning and then in the afternoon, Bob took his. And just when we thought we were done, Tom took his deer too ... its a great day!

Trophy whitetail deer hunt in Saskatchewan Makwa River Outfitters
doctors hunt deer in saskatchewan
white tail deer hunt in saskatchewan canada

Nov 13/19 Justin, Bob & tom.   This is Bob's 10TH YEAR HERE!

But wait ... Josh has a deer down too!

Oops.... Josh's deer got up and walked away ... whaaaaat?

And of course .. it was a GOOD BUCK!

A search party will be going out in the morning!


A shout out to Ray Manicor and the whole group from Norway, Michigan who hunted with us for many years when my husband and Walker's father, Ken Dopko was still with us. Ray phoned me today to tell me that he watches the website every day every hunting season.  The last time he was here was April, 2006 .. he and Eddie Dierkens travelled all the way from Michigan to be with us for Ken's funeral... how special is that!  
Well, I tell you Ray... we miss the whole bunch of you and much reminiscing is done about the water fights, Kenny spray-painting hunting boots and all of the fun that was had when you guys were here ... we were young, crazy and lived for the moment .. very special memories for sure.  I love all of you guys!


Thursday , November 14, 2019 - Day 4 of Week #1

Last night, the story that we were left hanging with was that Josh shot a GOOD BUCK and that it feel but then got up and walked away!  Of course, everyone is saying "yeah, sure ... GOOD BUCKS are always the imagination of the shooter when they get away... ".

Last night the guides found very little blood and no deer.  They knew that the deer fell when it was shot so that was a good sign.  Unfortunately, it got too late to continue the search and so with great anticipation, they went looking this morning.

Yep ... our guides are good!

No blood trail this morning at all but they still found Josh's deer!  Josh actually made a great shot and the deer didn't go too far!

And .. for all of those "non-believers" out there ... it IS A GREAT DEER!  Congratulations Josh!

white tail deer hunt in saskatchewan
the best trophy whitetail deer hunt Saskatchewan, Canada, Makwa River Outfitters

found Nov 14/19 Josh

Yes ... We are glad that this BIG ONE didn't get away!

And more good news ... Mike got his deer too!

white tailed deer hunt Saskatchewan, canada

Nov 14/19 Michael


I could not have had a better Makwa deer hunt if I drew it up myself.  From the moment I arrived you greeted me as a friend and made me feel at home.  Your entire organization and accommodations are first class and comfortable.  all the meals were just outstanding.  And deer hunting was amazing.  I want to give a special shoutout to Randal.  He really is an outstanding guide.  I hope he's there next year when I return.  All the hunters in camp are all really great, funny, helpful guys that I am sure I'll be in touch with for many years.

Thank you!

-Michael Young, NJ"


Dang ... its a GOOD DAY!

Just wait ... a shot was heard in the direction of John K!  Hang on people!  ... YES - John K has a deer down...

white tail deer hunt saskatchewan

Nov 14/19 John K

OMG ... John S also took a deer!

This is WILD!


deer hunt Saskatchewan

Nov 14/19 John S

"Thanks so much Kathy for a week that will NOT be forgotten.  You and your crew are the best." - John, NY

Hey ... we have 8 deer for 8 hunters for our first week!  We are off to a great start for the 2019 white tail deer hunt in Saskatchewan.

It was a Dang good day today!

It was a Dang good week!

This is a picture that our Guide Randal took - a rainbow in November is a very unusual thing!

winter rainbow at deer hunting camp in saskatchewan

I just received this message today from Wayne who will be coming in the last week of this year:

"You guys are getting it done!  IO saw the pics and the one found this morning (Josh's deer) is a stud.  Very exciting.  I can't wait.  I was checking your website at 5am before work for updates .. MY WIFE SAYS I HAVE A HUNTING PROBLEM!"

ha ha ha .. can't wait to see you again Wayne for the last week of this season .. its gonna be a blast!

white tailed deer in Saskatchewan

Just a couple of our up and coming bucks for future years but what I posted this picture for is to see how our treestands blend in!  You have to look hard ... its between the two bucks.

We sometimes have people who are concerned that moose chase deer away but the following two pictures show a different story:

moose with white tailed deer in Saskatchewan

Here is both a moose and a deer together.  The deer might not come right into the hay but its close by.

moose in Saskatchewan

This picture shows the moose leaving with a deer coming in right behind.


Monday, November 18, 2019 - Day 1 of Week #2

6:00 am- breakfast is on for our four hunters.

Welcome back Ben and Dan and welcome to our new hunters, Cobbie and Bob!

Lets talk about the weather ...  45 degrees this morning!  45 degrees on November 18th is way too warm!!

... and not only 45 degrees but windy too!  

Its going to be a tough day of hunting today ... deer don't like days like this ... but you never know!

As the day goes by, thankfully it is getting colder .. 

... Well, like I said, YOU NEVER KNOW!

With wind and rain and warm temperatures who would have thought that we would have a deer today?

But Dan has his deer ... and ... it has a DROP TINE!

Woo hoo!  Love it!

white tail deer hunt in saskatchewan, canada
whitetail deer with drop tine in Saskatchewan Makwa River Outfitters

Nov 18/19 Don

Don was watching another buck for quite a while that was a lot bigger than this one but it was the first morning after all ... but when this one came in and he saw the drop tine, he didn't think twice about pulling the trigger!  ...Who would?


Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - Day 2 of Week #2

31 degree morning.  

It didn't take Ben long this morning..

white tail deer hunt in Saskatchewan

Nov 19/19 Ben


Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - Day 3 of Week #2

I didn't hear anything today ... not even the static on the radio.

Both Bob and Cobbie were seeing deer and they will go out again tomorrow.


Thursday, November 21, 2019 - Day 4 of Week #2

The weather continues to be mild ... 33 degrees here this afternoon.

Last week we had the excitement of having 8 hunters and this week it has slowed down because we only have 4 hunters but it is still exciting!

Ok .. I hear a rumour that Bob has shot...

YES .. Bob has a deer.

Saskatchewan deer hunt

Nov 21/19 Bob

Notice the really cool worm hole on the bottom of the antler ... sweet!

And .. the story doesn't end yet for today .. Cobbie has tagged out too!


Here is the first view:

white tail deer hunt in Saskatchewan Makwa River Outfitters

HOLY MOLY!... this is an awesome deer!

Cobbie Geesaman white tail deer trophy hunt in saskatchewan
the best white tail deer trophy hunt in Canada

Nov 21/19 Cobbie

caping out a deer in Saskatchewan

Nov 21/19 Cobbie

"Honorary Guide", Barry came out to cape Cobbie's deer (with guides, Che and Randal helping) in preparation for a FULL MOUNT!  WOW .. I can hardly wait to see that!  There are a few Makwa Riverout Outfitters full mount deer out there already and its always exciting to see another one.

This is wonderful!  WE ARE STILL ON COURSE FOR A 100% YEAR!

Last week all of our hunters got their deer and this week all of our hunters got their deer too!  Way to go guys!


Sunday, November 24, 2019 - night before the hunt starts for Week #3

at a deer camp in saskatchewan
at a deer hunting camp

Phil & Phil (father and son), Jeff, Gareth, Walter and Luke(Walter & Luke are father & son) listening to Larry in "the shop".

We LOVE families hunting together!  Next year, Jeff is coming with his Dad too!

It is very wonderful to meet new friends - Phil Sr, Jeff and Gareth ... I can see that we are going to like them A LOT!

Its even more wonderful to see old friends, Phil Jr, Luke and Walter!  These great guys hunted with us in 2012 and 2013.  They hesitated too long to book for 2014 because of an event at home.  When they called back to book, we had no available spots so they took the opportunity to hunt with several other outfitters. 

They are back with us ... to stay!  That makes us very happy!


Monday, November 25, 2019 - Day 1 of Week #3

It is still unbelievably warm weather for Saskatchewan at 33 degrees Fahrenheit.  Usually we think of warm weather as being a slooooooow day on the treestand but shortly after 10 this morning Gareth already had a deer down!  The man came her for a deer and he didn't wasted any time .. way to go Gareth!

deer hunt in saskatchewan

Nov 25/19 Gareth

Luke had a great day ...

He saw deer ...

white tail deer picture

he saw elk ...

elk in saskatchewan

he saw moose ...

moose in saskatchewan

he saw moose and deer ...

moose and deer in saskatchewan

... but just no "keepers" today!

And Phil Sr ... Phil Sr saw a real beauty and decided to let it walk!  Whaaaaat?   Ha ha ha ... he will never hear the end of it from everyone if it doesn't come back!  But, we get it, being the first day and all!


Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - Day 2 of Week #3

"Two of us got'ter done!!" said Jeff as he brings his deer in!  You bet Jeff ... nice deer!

white tail deer hunt

Nov 26/19 Jeff

Jeff watched some does all morning (what better "bait" then some good looking does?).  This was the first buck of the day to come in. 


It came in by Jeff's side and as Jeff slowly and cautiosuly raised his rifle in readiness, the buck heard him and removed himself from Jeff's sight.  Very patiently, Jeff waited as the buck slowly circled around .. and when the moment was right ... 


We had heard another shot this afternoon but thankfully the hunter had made a completely clean miss.  Hey ... there isn't a hunter out there that hasn't had at least one miss .. some more than one!  LOL!  But as I said, it was  CLEAN MISS and as hunters, we ALL appreciate that ...

At supper, I asked Phil Sr if his big buck from yesterday had returned.  He shook his nead "no" and then he looked didrectly at Luke.  that buck had wandered down to Luke's stand and that's what Luke missed!

That dang buck has 9 lives .. LOL!

So ... "retired" Barry who had guided Luke in past years had to come to camp for "the ceremony"!

fun at a deer camp

And, just like that, there is another shirt tail hanging on our wall!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - Day 3 of Week #3

So ... ok ... on the first day, Phil Sr tells us that he let a real nice buck "live another day" so when I heard that he had shot today, I waited anxiously to see if "that buck" had come back.

It didn't ...

Phil says the first buck was bigger, but he LOVES the buck he got ... and so do we!  Way to go Phil!

whitetail deer hunt in Saskatchewan

Nov 27/19 Phil Sr

Our guide, Larry, came upon a part of the forest that had recently been the scene of what must have been quite a magnificent bull moose fight.  All that was left was trashed snow and tufts of hair everywhere!

result of moose fight
 result of moose fight

The forest shakes when bull moose "rumble"!


Thursday, November 28, 2019 - Day 4 of Week #3


We all have so much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving from Makwa River Outfitters

Wishing you all a very BLESSED DAY!

It's a 16 degree Fahrenheit morning here in Saskatchewan!

Phil says to his guide, Larry ...

"Don't go anywhere ... I'll be done by 10 this morning!"

He saw 5 different bucks and was done by 9:32!  LOL!

deer hunt in Saskatchewan

Nov 28/19 Phil 


Friday, November 29, 2019 - Day 5 of Week #3

8:45 am and Walter has a deer down ... on the bait pile ... Good shot Walter!

white tail deer hunt in Saskatchewan

Nov 29/19 Walter

Luke did not take a deer home.  He patiently waited for that BIG 11 POINT that had missed his chance at on Tuesday.

Another group of wonderful friends head home ... see you next year Phil Sr, Phil Jr, Walter, Luke, Gareth and Jeff!


Saturday, November 30, 2019 - end of Week #3

I still have a tear in my eye from saying goodbye to this week's group when an email arrives from Tim who is arriving Sunday ...


Ok I know you are excited to see me - and trust me, I can't wait to get to my home away from home!!!  I can't believe its been a year since last season already - and trust me when I say - Me, Kevin, Dick & Rich are sooooo looking forward to another successful time at camp this year.  Can't stress it enough what YOU and your crew do for us and I just wanted to say THANK YOU Kathy, Larry, Che, and Walker (Connor & Natasha too) - You're the best.  See u tomorrow God willing, 



Monday,  December 2, 2019 - Day 1  of Week #4

Our last week of the 2019 White tail deer hunting season has arrived!

Welcome back Tim (this is his 7th year), Kevin (this is his 5th year), Dick and Rich (this is their 5th year) and "newbies" Mike and Wayne!

Woo Hoo ... Let the fun begin!

Its a 21 degree Fahrenheit morning.  Everyone is excited to start!

at a white tail deer camp in Saskatchewan
white tail deer camp in saskatchewan
at a whitetailed deer hunting camp in saskatchewan

7:30 am and off they go.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, I am brewing up a batch of Cinnamon Apple Moonshine for Christmas featuring Larry's own moonshine so its gonna have "KICK" and all of you that have been here know exactly what I mean!

The guides have been instructed that if the lights are all out in the big house tonight when they return from the hunt, to take the hunters out to the local bar for pizza because that means that I have been "taste testing" a bit too much and was not able to make supper!  LOL!

2:00 pm ... A SHOT WAS FIRED!

Who was it?

Was the shot good?

The excitement grows ...

Yup .. Mike has his deer!  Way to go Mike!

white tail deer hunt in saskatchewan

Dec 2/19 Mike

Funny story for the day:

Most of us achieve a certain age before we have a refined taste for particular brand of beer ... right?

Not Natasha's puppy Aspen!

Two cases of Labatt's Blue and one case of Corona were left on the lodge's steps to stay cool.  It looks like she ripped open the Labatt's first - took out 5 bottles but left them there.  Next, she opened the box of Corona. 

Yup, she liked them ... the box was ripped into a million pieces and by the time I caught her, the bottles were scattered along the path between the lodge and the big house.  All dogs like to hide their "treasures" and I suspect that bottles of Corona will be turning up all spring!

deer camp in saskatchewan

ha ha ha ... I have to admit, the pup has good taste!

Around the supper table, Tim tells us about a buck with strange antlers that he saw.  A football sized "ball" on one side ... interesting!


Tuesday,  December 3, 2019 - Day 2 of Week #4

9:25 am ... a shot echoes through the forest!

The hunter is trembling with excitement, sitting in the stand for the mandatory 45 minute waiting period, letting the buck settle down and stiffen up, allowing us to find him easily.

"Its a REAL BRUISER" he says!

"My heart was beating right out of my chest!"

"This is the first time I've had buck fever!"

Ha ha ha ... now that is exactly what it is supposed to feel like!

And here he is!

The best trophy deer hunt in Saskatchewan

Dec 3/19 Tim


Wednesday,  December 4, 2019 - Day 3 of Week #4

10:45 am ... quiet

12:45 pm ... quiet

2:45 pm ... quiet

4:45 pm ... quiet

sigh ... I don't like quiet!!

No deer were taken today but deer were seen by Dick, Rich, Kevin and Wayne.

scoring white tail deer at Makwa River Outfitters

Barry scoring deer with Larry looking on.

at a deer hunting camp in saskatchewan Makwa River Outfitters

Rich recording the measurements.

deer hunting camp Makwa River Outfitters

Mike & Wayne

Kathy Dopko-Esler Outfitter and client

Kathy & Tim


Thursday, December 5, 2019 - Day 4 of Week #4

Ok .. we are cheering for you guys!

Dick says he had a really good day yesterday .. lots of action!

Kevin say Day 4 is always HIS DAY!

Rich texts me:

"I'm PUMPED!!!"

whitetail deer hunt in Saskatchewan

I can see why ... Nice deer Rich!

white tail deer hunt in saskatchewan

Dec 5/19 Rich

Sorry Kevin ... this year was not a "Day 4" year for you!


Friday, December 6, 2019 - Day 5 of Week #4

As we head into the end of our 2019 deer hunt season, we still have minimal snow ... every year is so different.

I just got a message from Wayne ... he has a deer down!

deer hunt in saskatchewan

Dec 6/19 Wayne

And then shortly after that, Kevin is on the radio saying he has a deer down too!  Its a beautiful 11 pointer!  Good job Kevin!

deer hunt in saskatchewan

Dec 6/19 Kevin

And then came the text message:


white tail deer hunt in saskatchewan

Dec 6/19 Dick with his son Rich

Way to go Dick!

This is Dick's 5th year of hunting but for the last 2 years he has NOT TAKEN A DEER!

So here he is on the 5th day thinking that there was a strong possibility that he would be going home empty handed again!

"I was thinking that I must smell bad or something" he laughed!  

But then this one came in!  Good job Dick!

2019 is a 100% year!

Luke ... sorry Buddy - you went home without a deer but you did get a shot off on a magnificent 11 pointer .. thank you for missing clean!  Then, knowing that he was out there, you waited for another opportunity at him ... it just wasn't your time! ... it will be next year!!!

And just like that ... WE ARE DONE!


The "shop" was rocking tonight!

fun at a deer camp
fun at a deer camp
fun at Makwa River Outfitters deer camp
fun at Makwa River Outfitters deer camp

Fun times with fun friends!

fireworks celebration at a deer camp

We even had fireworks .. thank you Wayne!!


Saturday,  December 7, 2019 - The end of Week #4

Just before the guys leave, we need to celebrate one more thing:  Tim' Birthday!

Happy Birthday Tim!

a birthday during the white tail deer hunt

The 2019 deer hunting season here in Saskatchewan, Canada was a tremendous year!

I have come to the conclusion that we have 'THE BEST OF THE BEST HUNTERS" here at Makwa River Outfitters!

Each and every one of you guys are "top notch"!

As usual ... after the season is over with, I find it too quiet.

No laugher in the shop...

No excited story telling over the kitchen table ...

Nobody in the lodge ...

The quads are put away...

The trailers are all neatly lined up ...

The treestands are put away and the tarps are rolled up ...

Sigh ... 48 more weeks until you are all here again ..

... we can't wait!

bullet holes
bottom of page