It was November 22, 2000 and I decided it was a good day to skip school. I was attending the University of Alberta in the Environmental Science program and was convinced by some classmates that I should be hunting instead so….. I was easily persuaded. I had a friend that was getting into bowhunting so gave him a call to see if he wanted to come hunt in the morning. Jason met me at home and we headed out to hunt the morning. I put him into a busy treestand and I went to a newer one I had put up that year. It was a slow morning as I grunted and rattled in an attempt to bring in a shooter buck, or any buck for that matter. Around 9:30 I saw some deer in the field. I was about 50 yards inside the treeline so definitely not in range with my 1992 Martin Lynx bow. I gave a few more grunts as I noticed a nice buck trailing a doe. I was shocked when the doe made a 90 degree turn into the bush and came towards me with buck in tow. She passed 25 yards directly behind me and he followed. I drew my bow while twisting around the large spruce tree I had my stand and waited for him to step into the lane. I released the arrow and watched it miss low and just in front of him. I was so frustrated as I watched this great deer run off into the trees.
I got out of my stand and walked to where the deer was to recover my arrow. I couldn’t see my arrow but I did see blood, and a lot of it. Now my frustration turned to excitement and, as a young hunter, started to follow the trail immediately. I found my broken arrow beside an amazing blood trail. I thought I missed but the trail said otherwise and I thought the deer would be down close by. The trail just kept going and going with several spots where the deer had laid down. I went about 200 yards through the deep snow and looked up to see this deer standing about 60 yards away. He looked sick and was not very steady on his feet. I slowly walked back as I couldn’t get a shot on him thinking he will die very soon. I got Jason and we went home for lunch to give this deer some time.
A few hours later, Jason, my dad and I headed back into the location I last saw the deer and picked up the trail. He was laying down only a few yards from where I saw him last and he jumped up and ran into the thick willows. I sent Jason and my dad around the back side so the deer would think we were walking by and I snuck into 20 yards of the bedded deer and sent a follow up arrow his way. He jumped up, ran towards me and then a sharp left. Took a few strides in full run and rolled into the tall grass. I was so excited to have taken such a nice deer.
My first shot hit him in the brisket but punctured the chest cavity and nicked some vitals. I am so glad I decided to back out when I did. This was a deer to remember as he was my very first Pope & Young deer scoring close to 150″ and a long drag out to the field. It was one of the many animals my dad was there with me on. This deer hangs on my basement wall and the memories come alive when I look at him.