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- Prostaff Member Steve Johnson
I got a phone call in June of 2004 from Don Tyschuk owner and Outfitter of Alberta Whitetail Connection. I knew Don from a previous hunt in 2000 which was the first time I had hunted Alberta Canada. Don wanted to know if I could make the trip up to hunt with him because he had a cancellation so I jumped on the opportunity because Don only hunts 7 rifle hunters a year.
The first year I hunted with him I took a nice 10 point but I had something bigger on my mind this time. My hunt would begin on the 21st of November which is the fourth week of the rut and considered by some not to be the best week but Don assured me that the bucks will still be chasing doe's so I was very excited about going. I would also have to contend with a full moon that week but again Don convinced me that the bucks had more on their mind then a moon and it would not effect the movement.
When I arrived in Edmonton Don picked me up at the airport and as we drove to his nice new home where I would be staying he told me that a friend of mine Glen Bachman from North Carolina had taken a very nice 10pt that was going to score in the mid 160's and once I got to his home he showed me the pictures and man was I envious! Don explained that Glen had shot his buck out of the same stand I hunted in 2000 and that I would be hunting a new stand on different property.
The next morning after a great dinner and a good nights sleep I was in the new stand that over looked a very narrow shooting lane that ran about 200 yards through a dense bush. The wind was about 20 miles an hour and temps were about 20 degrees. I sat for 11 hours and saw one doe and needless to say I was a little disappointed. That evening Don and I talked about me moving to Glens stand but Don told me he wanted me to stay put and give this stand a chance.
The next morning was cold but no wind and everything seemed perfect but after 11 more hours all I saw was a young moose and two 150 class bucks and I was on a mission for something larger. Don picked me up at dark and I told him that I had seen a little more movement and thought if the weather held out tomorrow might be the day. He and I discussed the fact that the shooting lane was so narrow that I would have very little time to make a shot if I got one.
That morning I walked up to where I had watched the two bucks came out of the bush and crossed the shooting lane and put down some doe urine in hopes if a shooter crossed there it might slow him down enough to get a shot. I got back in my blind and settled in for a long day. This was Wednesday morning and just at day light it started a light snow which was beautiful and it seemed like immediately I started to see deer movement. I saw a young buck at about 8.30 and then two does about 9.15. I was starting to get excited and sat back in my chair to drink a cup of coffee, just as I sat the cup down I saw a buck. He looked like he had flown out of the trees and landed right in the middle of the shooting lane when in fact what happened was the deer had jumped a fence just inside the bush and his momentum carried him mid way through the shooting lane a 165 yards away.
The first thing I saw was the 9in drop tine and his mass on the right side so I reached for my Thompson Encore and tried to get the scope on him. He had stopped just long enough to sniff the frozen ground where I had put down the doe urine earlier but by the time I had got the cross hairs on him he was angling away from me into the bush on the other side of the shooting lane. I decided to take the shot, squeezed the trigger, saw the buck lunge and then watched as he vanished into the bush . I just sat there with my heart in my throat and wondering what had just happened.
I heard the radio and it was Don asking if that was me who just shot I told him it was and what had happened, he told me to get out of my blind and walk up to see if there was any blood or hair in the lane. I climbed down out of my stand and started the walk up to where the buck had been standing, as I walked my mind started to play games with me, I began to wonder had I seen what I thought I had and did I hit this buck because things happened so fast it was almost like a dream. The walk took about 20 minutes because of all the ice and snow and as I got to the place I saw no sign that I had hit the deer and my heart began to sink. I could find no blood or hair and I radioed Don and told him I must have missed so Don told me to get back in my blind and he would have Dave a friend of his walk through the bush and try to push the deer out. David had said on the radio he heard the shot and it sounded like a good hit to him which made me feel a little better. When I radioed David to let him know I was in place he came back to me and said to be quite he had heard something trying to jump the fence he was standing by. I guess I must have said the right prayer because about 5 minutes later I heard Dave over the radio say the deer was down and out and I just looked up to the sky and said thank you Lord. Dave also asked me over the radio why I had shot such a small deer?
I was not real sure at this point what I had shot because I only had 5 or 6 seconds to make up my mind to shoot so I asked him if the deer had a drop tine and he said yes but it only had a 12 or 13 inch spread but then he started laughing and said "Bubba" this is an absolute MONSTER with a ton of mass. I was so excited that the 200 yards I had to walk to get to David seems like it was 20 yards and when I saw this buck I could not believe my good fortune. This buck was everything and more then I could have dreamed. He had such character and was so unique with a MONSTER body. When Don got there he was ALL smiles and estimated the deer's age at 7 to 9 years old with only 4 teeth in its mouth.
The buck weighed in at 337 lbs on the hoof and scored 185 1/8 after the drying period with less then a 12 in inside spread. I could not have hand picked a buck that I would have rather harvested then this one and I have Don and David White to thank for this great deer. The buck was mounted by Brian Dodsdon of Artistic-Taxidermy in Edmonton and was shown in the summer issue of Big Buck magazine on page 60 and will be in Rack magazine in the November issue 2005. I hope you enjoyed the story and hope you enjoy the pictures and remember to take a child hunting when you can.
Below are some of the measurements from the rack.
Right side main beam: 24 5/8"
Left side main beam: 24 2/8"
G2 right side: 13 4/8 G2"
left side: 12 1/8"
G3 right side: 9 2/8"
left side: 9 6/8"
Right side Circumferences
Circ 1: 5 7/8"
Circ 2: 5 2/8"
Circ 3: 5 2/8"
Circ 4: 4/28"
Left side Circumferences
Circ 1: 5 3/8"
Circ 2: 5 2/8"
Circ 3: 5 5/8"
Circ 4: 5/38"
Inside spread: 11 5/8"
Non Typical: 22"
Largest Circumference: 9 1/2"
Final Score: 185 1/8"