In the month of October we had a chance to experience an incredible waterfowl / upland combo package in south central Saskatchewan with Benelli Boyz Outfitting. On our 3 day all-inclusive hunt package, we experienced incredible field Snow / Blue goose and Mallard hunting, decoying Sandhill crane hunting and some World Class caliber Sharp-tail grouse and Hungarian partridge hunting in the afternoons. Overall, we were very satisfied with not only the hunt but also the lodging and meals package provided as well. After the trip was over we gave Brent and Kote Abbott an A Rating for this incredible Saskatchewan Waterfowl / upland bird package they offer.

Hunting the Saskatchewan Prairies
By Dan Wennerlind

It had been several years since I was able to get up to the land of the Snows and Blues, due to all of the CoVid garbage over the past few years. One of my favorite places on earth to hunt waterfowl, the grain fields around the prairies of central Saskatchewan. When outfitter Brent Abbott of Benelli Boyz Outfitters gave me a call and said he had an opening, I called my old hunting pal Mat Roach and we jumped at the opportunity.

Now Matt and I go way back to playing high school sports together in our younger years and chasing ducks and geese all over the upper Midwest after college. In fact, our annual trip for ten hunting seasons in a row was up to this very area.

In talking to Brent before we departed for our adventure in early October, he threw in a special twist to this particular hunt. Not only would we have the opportunity to harvest upon the thousands and thousands of Snow / Blue geese that migrate through the region each fall, but to also go after decoying Sandhill cranes on one of our mornings. Now I have hunted cranes over the years but to do it right, over a spread of full body decoys on The X! There is nothing else like it.

On top of that Brent shared that they also run professional pointer dogs for their afternoon upland bird hunts, and with the bountiful amount of Hungarian partridge and sharp-tail grouse in the area, we were in for a treat!

At dinner that night, at the unique Bin, their hunting lodge, we met up with owner / outfitter Brent Abbott and his son / right hand man Kote Abbott. What makes this lodge so unique is the thoughtful use of new Corn Bins turned into 2 story cabins for hunters. They gave us a rundown of the area and what we could expect over the next 3 days. Since it was early October, the weather was perfect. It was cool enough to keep the birds migrating south but warm enough where you didn’t freeze your butt off in the blind every morning. Brent explained that they just had a new push of Snows into the area from the north so for the first morning he had a really nice feeder wheat field lined up for us that was full of geese just a few hours ago.

We were up and ‘attem early the next day and were eager to help get the spread set up so we would be ready for the first flight. Brent typically runs a spread of 1,000 – 1,500 Sillosock style snow goose decoys and has the option of either hunting out of layout blind set ups or A-Frame style blinds, whichever his clients prefer. For this hunt Matt and I both chose the old school layout blinds we grew up hunting out of.

It didn’t take long once that sun broke the horizon before the Snows started lifting off the roost pond about a mile away. It was clear they wanted in, as they V-lined it right for our field. The first flock of the day sailed right into the spread not 20 yards high. Kote gave the “Take Em” call and we opened up on the flock! Geese were falling left and right. Kote’s professionally trained yellow lab Scarlet made quick work of the downed birds and we were back in action within minutes. The next flock followed the same path… and met with the same fate.

This continued over and over for the next 90 minutes. We had Snows and Blues circling us at all times from different distances out. Finally, Kote made the call that we had to all get up and make a big circle to find any dead or crippled geese we may not have seen go down. My young chessy Boone did a great job tracking down a big adult Snow that had sailed over the hill. Such a great experience for a young dog to be able to see the big white birds in the open fields. By the time the first morning’s hunt was over we had our limit of 40 Snows and Blues in hand.

Later that afternoon we took to the raw prairie land in the area in chase of the Sharpies and Huns. It didn’t take long before we had several birds in hand. Then, just as I was about to stop and call my pup back for a drink of water, I could tell he got birdy. All of a sudden, he was in hot pursuit. Around a big willow looking bush he went and sure enough a big covey of Huns popped out, flying every which way. Matt and I each dropped one and tag teamed a third bird. What a thrill! By the end of the day we had to have flushed over 30 birds in the short couple of hours we hunted. We both had great shooting and finished the day with 2 successful hunts under our belt. It was a perfect start to the trip!

Now the second morning we were in for a real treat. While Kote was guiding us on the upland shoot the afternoon before, Brent was busy putting to bed a field full of Sandhill cranes for the next morning’s hunt. That night I couldn’t wait. This was one of my favorite birds to hunt.

As we set the spreads the next morning, I was very impressed by the large spread of full body crane decoys Brent and Kote had invested in. The spread was VERY impressive. And to make it better we were hunting out of a large 6-man A-frame style blind up against a rock pile right where the birds had been feeding the day before. This had all the makings of one of those hunts to remember!

Although the morning started off a little slow, as the cranes didn’t lift off at the crack of dawn, it didn’t take long until the sky was full of them. Our first pair sailed right into the landing hole and Matt and I made quick work of them. Then a single came gliding in right off Matt’s end and he dropped it cold with a single shot. From there it got fast and furious. We had a flock of 5 come right in and we dropped the whole flock!

We did our best to extend the hunt as long as we could before we met the limit of 5 cranes per hunter. With Kote’s expert crane calling and the magnificent spread we were limited out pretty darn quick. We were all smiles and full of laughter as we helped Brent and Kote pick up the spread. What a morning!!!

Back at the lodge that night we sat around the fire with a cold one in hand reliving the day’s events before we were treated to an incredible steak dinner with all the fixins. This was turning into one of those hunts you just didn’t want to end.

On our final hunt of the trip Brent had another field full of Snows, Blues and Mallards waiting for us. Like clockwork the Mallards hit us early. We were dropping two or three at a time out of each flock. Not only were there Mallards but we even got into a few Pintails and Wigeon as well. Then when the sun came up the Snows turned on and for the next three hours, we had a hard time keeping the guns loaded. Both our dogs were dead tired by the end of the morning with all the shooting and chaos of birds falling and sailing every which way.

As we started to wrap up the hunt, I thought to myself, THIS IS WHY I COME BACK to the prairies of Saskatchewan year after year. There is absolutely nothing that compares to an early October day in a wheat field with an abundance of waterfowl migrating and feeding in every direction you look.

At the end of our 3 day hunt, I couldn’t thank Brent and Kote enough for all the hard work they put in to make this trip and absolute success for us. I was proud to be able to call Benelli Boyz Outfitting The Official Saskatchewan Waterfowl Outfitter of HuntTheNorth.com!

Booking Information

Contact Information For: Benelli Boyz Outfitting

Outfitter: Brent Abbott
Phone: 1-888-804-6458
Email: benelliboyz@huntthenorth.com

more photos from the Benelli Boyz Outfitting Waterfowl / Upland Hunts…