The author with a cagey prairie white-tailed deer

5 essential tips and strategies for hunting Canada’s giant prairie whitetails


Optics are essential for spotting whitetails on the prairie


Given the vastness of the countryside and the amount of walking required during a prairie whitetail hunt, a comfortable pair of hunting boots is essential. I prefer boots that fit over my ankles, which provides support and helps prevent injuries. I also like waterproof boots. Nothing spoils a day faster than wet feet thanks to rain, morning dew or even light snow.

Good-quality optics are another must, allowing you to glass comfortably for extended periods, even in low-light conditions. While you can get by with just a pair of binoculars, I prefer using a set of rangefinding binoculars in conjunction with a spotting scope. This combination allows me to spot animals, then determine how far away they are.


For firearms, I like a flat-shooting rifle that’s capable of making shots both at near point-blank range, and out to more than 275 metres. I typically zero my rifle at 25 metres or so, which allows me to hold on a deer from point blank out to around 300 metres. Given the possibility of long-range shots, use a set of shooting sticks to help hold your crosshairs steady. While bipods do work, they can be limiting if you need to stand while making the shot. I prefer three-legged shooting sticks, which allow me to shoot while either standing or sitting.