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A 2005 Deer Hunt and My Biggest Buck
March 2012 -- Tom W.
I had been happily hunting all season with success. It was now November 23, 2005 and I had one buck tag and one doe tag left. I had filled my moose tag and gotten a nice big doe for meat. The night before, I had talked about a missed opportunity with my friend Casey N. who did not hunt big game. He had suggested that I come out in the morning and check an area that I had never hunted before; of course I said yes.
I got up early and was at his house 45 minutes before shooting time. He was still sleeping but I got him up. I tried to rush him but he said we didn't have far to go. While we were in the house, it started to snow hard. At about 5 minutes to daylight, he finally said: "Let's go."
We got into the pickup and went about 3 km before he said: "Stop here." I got my rifle out of the case, put scope covers on, and away we went. We walked what seemed like forever, without even seeing a fresh track. I wasn't surprised; you could not see 20 yards in front of you.
By 10:30 a.m. we were soaked. He decided he had had enough and we started to walk back to the truck, talking and having a good time. A doe and fawn jumped out 15 to 20 yards in front of us. We laughed: "Why couldn't you have horns?" They ran away and we carried on. I turned around to check where the deer had crossed, just then getting a glimpse of a rump bouncing into the bush. I laughed again.
We made it back to the truck and I said: "Well, we were close. I'm sure that was a buck." He replied that he had one more spot to check out. I agreed. By this time the snow had started to let up. We drove for about 4 km to a big cut; I started to glass the cut, not being able to see much through the snow. I was surprised to spot 2 deer standing way at the back of the cut; there was a big one and a little one. We watched for a couple of minutes and I decided I was going in after them, but if it was a doe and fawn, I wouldn't shoot.
I handed Casey my binoculars and started in nice and slow. Finally Casey said: "The one on the left has horns." I positioned myself so I could get a clear shot and could see the rack. I was satisfied and shot. Casey said: "Your shot was short." I adjusted ... deep breath ... exhale... pause ... squeeze ... the deer ran!
It became a very long 20 minutes, waiting while cold and wet. Then we started towards where the deer had been. When we got there, I started looking for blood -- there was none. Following his tracks, I found where he had been standing, marked with a big tuft of fur on the ground. I shouted excitedly: "Follow me, follow me!"
It was about 30 yards to the bush line where he had gone in. Once I entered the brush, I could see one side of his antlers sticking out of 2 feet of snow. Words cannot express how I felt at that moment. I had never seen such a magnificent buck before and was very pleased.
Click on the picture for a larger view.
We were able to drive the truck to within a hundred yards of where the deer was originally, and only had to use a come-along once while getting it out. It had been a shot of just over 300 yards. The trophy buck "green scored" into the 160's using the measurements specified by the Boone and Crockett Club.
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