I will never forget Nov. 20, 2011. My hunting season began in early September. Each year, I try to get out for some bowhunting with family and friends, particularly my best friend, Joey, co-owner of Jim Bows Archery in Calgary, Alberta.
We usually set up trail cameras to pattern the deer and determine where to place stands prior to the season.
Although I tried hard to take a buck with my bow, it didn’t work out for me, but Joey arrowed a fantastic buck.
I booked my holidays from work so that I could hunt with my rifle from Nov. 5-30.
The deer and elk firearms season started out really slow. There was very little deer movement because we didn’t have the cold snap and snow as early as we normally do. That also kept the elk up on high ground.
My ritual was to wake up early, meet friends for a coffee at Tim Horton’s, and then head out to hunt hard for elk and deer. By Nov. 15, Joey’s father, Peter, had taken a nice bull elk.
We all hunted hard, regardless, but we were really killing time until the whitetail rut kicked into high gear.
Cold weather finally arrived on Nov. 17, which caused the deer to become more active. I had so many choices of where to hunt, it was difficult to decide. I wound up hunkering down in a woodlot, just waiting for a nice buck to stroll within range.
I saw only does.
I tried another property down south on the 18th, and I missed a decent 5x5 buck before it disappeared into the timber. The only thing it left behind was hoof prints in the snow.
The following day, I encountered a couple of small bucks. I played with one of them by using a doe bleat, which was almost as fun as taking a shot at it.
When I left the house on Nov. 20, I was so bundled up that I felt like a one-man army. The wind was strong, which I knew would make for a long cold morning.
Rather than go south, I headed north to a property where I’d encountered nice deer in the past. With the rut in full tilt, I thought my chances would be greater there.
I arrived half an hour before daylight, which gave me enough time to reach my destination before dawn broke. By the time the sun peaked over the horizon, I was nestled in and eager to see what the day would bring.
Within a half-hour, two cow moose and a young 5-point whitetail came through, the latter with its nose to the snow, apparently looking for a girlfriend.
The next couple of hours were uneventful.
Eager both for a change of scenery and to let walking restart my inner furnace, I decided to pack up and ease back down to the south side of the property.
When I crested the last hill before reaching the place I’d planned to spend the remains of the day, I stopped to glass across a frozen pond and spotted what I thought was a dandy mule deer looking the other way.
Both of the rack’s P-2s appeared to be forked.
Soon, I saw a doe coming out of the trees behind the buck, but she wasn’t a muley; she was a whitetail. When I looked back at the buck, it flicked its tail.
It was NOT a muley either, which meant it was not only fair game, but also the biggest whitetail I’d ever seen!
My heart pounding, I quickly dropped to a knee and wrapped the rifle sling around my arm. While the buck was breeding the doe, I centered my crosshairs under its throat patch and squeezed the trigger.
The buck dropped instantly, and the doe never looked back to see what happened.
I ran to the buck, eager to see if it was as big as I’d thought. And it was indeed. I lifted the deer’s head, thanked god, and then dragged my awesome whitetail to slightly higher ground. When that was done, I began calling people.
I don’t know how I would’ve managed to get it to my truck without the help of friends Tony and Mauro.
Hunter: Adam Maucieri
BTR Score: 200 1/8
– Photos Courtesy Adam Maucieri
This article was published in the Winter 2013 edition of Rack Magazine. Subscribe today to have Rack Magazine delivered to your home. Read Recent RACK Articles:
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