Healthy Deer Harvest in Ottawa

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Hunting is already a thrilling sport, but add a little competition and you can have quite a thrilling and rewarding time. This year Gourley's Variety and Gas Bar in Ottawa held their annual buck-and-doe contest, where winners in different categories can win money as well as other prizes.

This year Gourley's contest had 356 entrants, up from 336 last year. However the same number of deer were weighed as in 2010, with a total of 64. One buck that weighed in at 249 lbs dressed was entered by Keven MacDonald into the contest and he believed that he had been the one to take this buck, but when he found out his brother-in-law had indeed made the kill shot he didn't want to take credit for the buck. His brother-in-law unfortunately was not in the contest, so that buck may have been the largest but did not take home any prizes.

Winning buck was 224 lbs with a 15 pt rack. The largest doe was 156 lbs. The oldest successful hunter was Henry Rosien at age 81 and the youngest successful hunter was Colin Kopetoske at 12. On top of all the prizes Gourley's also donated $1,000 to Renfrew Victoria Hospital's Call to Action campaign on behalf of registered hunters.

Ottawa's 2011 deer season was the healthiest it's been in three years. There were a lot of deer in the field, with a high number of does and fawns. From


Retired2hunt's picture

  This deer contest sounds


This deer contest sounds like several others that I am aware of that are offered in the mid-west whitetail states.  Gourley’s Variety and Gas Bar buck-and-doe contest reads to be one of the better ones with a substantial donation from them going to a charity organization.  It is great to read of the specific contest winning categories and the animals they have harvested.  A nice crossbow as a prize for a 12 year old is a great item.  With the larger amount of involved entrants and the greater amount of Ottowa deer available, 64 deer or a 20% success rate is actually a fair harvest for the contest.  Most of these contests only run a day or two so that is why the 64 deer is a very good number.  The weights of some of these animals are fantastic and even more impressive as they are dressed weights.  I have visited one of these contests previously and it was great to see the animals being checked in throughout the day along with the people who had harvested the deer.  I have not checked to see if any contest of this type is offered here in my home state but will look into it for the 2012 year.  Congrats especially goes to Keven for his winning of the sportsmens award.  It could have been easy to present a deer as his harvest but he did the ethical and sportsman-like thing and told the truth.  Hats off to Keven to show what a true hunter is.


hunter25's picture

I've never had the chance to

I've never had the chance to be part of or enter a deer in a contest but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Especially since the emphasis is on the weight of thedeer brought in and not on the rack size. Those are some pretty hefty deer for sure. I have only had hte chance to put a deer on the scale twice now, my buck in Texas last year at 205 and my dads this year at 215. That is full weight though and htey had not been dressed out yet. Based on those weights and deer size I'm pretty sure I have taken a mulie here at home that would break 300 but it's just a guess. For a whitetail though that'e a pretty heavy animal as even the Texas ones we have taken are pretty good sized.

This is also the first report I have ever read from Ottowa so it's interesting to see the potential they have there compared to other areas.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Sounds like some quality deer

Sounds like some quality deer being harvested up there.  The eastern part of Canada has been long overshadowed by Alberta and Saskatchewan, but there are some huge deer taken each year in Ontario and Quebec.  My parents live 6 miles from the border with Quebec, and quite a few of my dad's friends go across the bordeer and come back with some great corn fed deer.  He wants to try it one year, but hasn't pulled the trigger, so to speak, on the hunt yet.

I love the buck pools too.  We do the same thing back at our check station in Vermont.  We don't have as many prizes, but it's the same premise.  They do a nice rifle for biggest deer (weight), and then a little smaller rifle or muzzleloader for a name drawn out of the "successful" hunters, and finally something like a .22 rifle for the name drawn from "unsuccessful" hunters.  The heaviest deer there is always over 200 lbs.  Never won myself, but I always like to think I have the chance.


COMeatHunter's picture

Sounds like the deer Ottawa

Sounds like the deer Ottawa are doing well.  Not only are there lots of them, but they are pretty large.  A 250 lb. field dressed deer is way bigger than anything I've ever shot and probably seen.

What a great community event too.  It would be fun to hang around and listen to all of the stories from those bringing in their deer for the contest.  Congrats to all the winners (and everyone else who participated too) for raising $1000 for the local hospital.  


GooseHunter Jr's picture

Have read a couple of

Have read a couple of articile like this one in the past few weeks and it sounds like a good time had by all.  I think it would be alot of fun to be in a hunting contest for big game.  have done one for geese but it was for more less for bragging rights.  Conghrats to all the hunters.