Hey Mike, love the site. I got my dream buck up north this year. Here's the story, thanks Rob Engster, Fort Smith, AR:
It was Nov. 29th in Alberta. My confidence was pretty much shot. I had already hunted the first week of Nov. up there without any rut activity or decent buck sightings. It was so bad that first week that my outfitter said to return the end of the month if possible.
Only because I knew there were giants around (judged by past years' kills) did I decide to return for the last 4 days of season.
The lows were now hitting -35F and the highs were not even reaching 0. There were 5 or 6 nice bucks (150-170 B&C) killed in camp the weeks before my second trip, but now it was post rut and the bigger bucks were sticking tight to the bush.
My guide told me we were going to a new area where they had gotten some trail pics of a giant. My stand overlooked a narrow field that the deer would cross going from one section of bush to another. About 30 minutes after daylight I saw movement behind me only about 30 yards into the woods. My standards were getting lower by the day, and I was going to shoot the first 150'' buck I saw.
I knew this was a big-bodied buck; I saw small patches of horn through the brush and knew he was a shooter. When the buck stopped, I put the crosshairs of my 7mm on the only spot I could shoot; I could just make out a patch around the front shoulder. I fired and he never moved with a spine shot to the lower neck.
I walked up and his head was concealed by 2 feet of snow. Lifting a horn, I realized I had just killed a deer that was beyond all those daydreams I have had while spending so many hours in a stand. His spread is only 14" inside, but he makes up for it up with over 50'' of mass. A hunter in camp and I came up with 220"; the outfitter got 225''. He has 21 scorables and a couple more 1/2" and 3/4'' points. Those Alberta guys were suprised a deer of this caliber only weighed 300 lbs.
I was surprised at the lack of deer numbers I saw, but my guide just kept saying it only takes one. Man was he right. I know that hard work and dedication pay off, but I also think you have to be lucky to see a 7- or 8 year-old deer like this in daylight hours.
Hey Rob way to go man! I anoint your Alberta giant one of the coolest bucks I've seen from the 2006 season. See why I love Canada so damn much?