Alberta Dream Deer Hunt
I live in Huntsville Alabama where we have a very heavy deer population but most of our Bucks never get old enough to ever get over 200 lbs with most of them being about 150 to 160 lbs. I have deer hunted for over 20 yrs and am like most whitetail deer hunters in that my life's dream would be to be able to take one of those MONSTER Canadian bucks you see on those hunting TV shows, the ones that weigh over 300 lbs, have tons of mass and score really well. I am just an average guy who has to work for a living but got a chance to go on a hunting trip to Alberta Canada in 2000. I did a lot of research to find an Outfitter over the internet and after several calls and emails I selected Don Tyschuk of Alberta Whitetail Connection. That year I took a nice 150 class 10 point that was a BIG deer to an ole boy from Alabama. Don was real proud for me but told me had I been a little more patient I might have been able to get one of those MONSTER bucks that roam the bush in Alberta. "Patience" was never one of my virtues when it came to getting a buck in my cross hairs especially after what I had paid for this hunt.
Zooom forward to 2004 I get a call from Don in September and he tells me he has had a cancellation on the 4th week and wants to know if I can come. I gave it some serious thought and after getting the go ahead from my darling wife Monica to spend the money AND be gone over Thanksgiving I called Don back and told him I would be there. My trip would begin on the 21st of November which was the 4th week of the month and considered by many not to be the best week for the rut plus there would be a full moon. I have a friend who lives in North Carolina, Glen Bachman who was hunting with Don the week before me (Don only hunts 6 hunters a year on his property) and he had really been dogging me over the last couple of months before the hunt about the week I would be there, kidding me about the full moon and even nicknamed me "Luna". He told me he was going to shoot "THE" big one during his week but would leave me a small one so I would not have to go home empty handed. He was not far from being right because on the second day of his hunt he took a nice 10 point that scored 171. When he called me and told me about it I knew the pressure was on! He had shot his deer out of the same stand I had taken my 10 point 4 yrs earlier and he told me he had seen 5 bucks on the Tuesday he shot his deer.
Don met me at the airport and we talked on the way to his nice new home where I would be staying. He told me I would be hunting a new piece of land that he had permission to hunt that had not been hunted in two years. I was very excited the next morning when I got up but when we went outside to get in the truck the wind was blowing 20 miles per hour and after sitting 11 hrs in the stand I saw one doe so needless to say I was disappointed. Don picked me up and asked me what I had seen so I told him and I am sure he knew I was a little let down but he was very upbeat and just told me to be patient.
That night while in bed all I could think about was the stand that my friend had been on and maybe I should be hunting it, after all Glen had shot a Monster deer there and had seen a lot of movement. The next morning was beautiful and the wind was not a factor. I saw a couple of deer early and a Moose but nothing to get excited about. I think at this point I need to describe the area I was hunting. I was set up on a stand (A Lucky's tent blind) in a very narrow shooting lane similar to a field or old logging road that cut between two pieces of very heavy bush going east to west and was about 500 yards long. The major problem was that the shooting lane was only about 15 yards wide with a fence on the south side running just inside the bush. I had seen a couple of bucks one a 150 class deer later in the day jump that fence and when they landed they were already half way across the lane and with two steps they were in the bush on the other side so I knew I would have to make a very quick shot if I saw a shooter. I set the rest of the day very focused but saw very little and again all I could think about was the stand my buddy had shot his deer from. I dropped a few hints to Don but he was still very upbeat about where he had me so the next morning here we went again but I have to be honest I was not very confident.
The morning started out beautiful with snow flurry's, light wind and just after legal shooting time I started seeing a few deer. I had just drank a cup of coffee and set back in my chair, around 10:30 out of nowhere a big deer jumped the fence about 150 yards away but quickly started walking out of the narrow lane into the bush and all I saw was a drop tine. Don had told me to look for mass not spread but this happened so fast I could not look for anything! I just knew it had a drop tine so I grabbed my Thompson Encore looked through the scope and saw the back half of the deer as it disappeared into the bush, I shot the deer lunged and was gone. This all happened in less then 5 or 6 seconds but I felt I had hit the deer because of his lunge but was not sure so I radioed Don and told him I had shot but was unsure if I had hit him. Don told me to walk up to where he was standing and see if I could find any blood so I did but could not find one drop. My heart sank as I looked but even with snow on the ground there was no hair or blood I could see. I told Don on the radio and at that point Don's best friend David White who was hunting with us on a field west of where I was said he heard the shot and it sounded like a hit. That made me feel a little better but still no blood. Don told me to go back to my stand which I did and he told David to come through the bush the deer had ran into to see if he could flush him out. I walked back to my blind but as I did my mind started playing tricks on me because I started wondering had I really seen what I thought I had, about that time Dave came over the radio and said he had just heard something try to cross the fence where he was waiting and to be quiet on the radio. I was so dejected by this time then I heard Dave say over the radio the deer was down, he had found him but that I was going to be a little disappointed. I asked why, and Dave asked me why I had shot such a small deer and I said if he was small he sure had a long drop tine! Dave started laughing over the radio and said it was a MONSTER and had more mass than most any deer he had ever seen. I walked to where David was standing about 200 yards away from where I had shot, he walked up to me and said Bubba you're not going to believe this and as we walked to the deer it just kept getting larger WOW WHAT A DEER!! This deer looked like an Elk with all the mass and when Don drove up in his truck he was grinning ear to ear!
I had shot the deer in the right rear hip with my Thompson Encore 7mm 08 shooting a 140 grain Ballistic tip and the deer died from massive internal bleeding. This deer scored 181 3/4 gross with only a 12in spread, had a 9 inch drop tine, right side main beam measured 23 1/2 left side main beam was 23 1/8 the base on both side measured 6 1/2, the G2s where 12 and 14 the G3s 10 and 9 3/4 the deer weighed 335lbs and was figured to be between 7 and 9 yrs old. I have to thank Don Tyschuk my Outfitter and Dave White, without their help I would never have found this deer of a lifetime. I learned a valuable lesson about hunting trophy deer from Don and that is you have to be patient! Don said he had been outfitting his own land for about 15 years and this was the highest scoring buck any of his visiting hunters had ever harvested. Am I a lucky guy or WHAT??