Skip to main content Skip to main content

'That's a Good Deer, Eh'

Canadian buck makes Arkansan realize size is not why he hunts

'That's a Good Deer, Eh'
Canadian buck makes Arkansan realize size is not why he hunts

GLASLYN, Saskatchewan Canada – Looking back, I am certain I was overthinking this deer hunt. It was my first trip to Canada to hunt whitetail, and I suppose like most of us, I had visions of a monster buck in my head. And with only one tag, I wanted to make sure I took the best buck I could.

Having no experience field judging or scoring deer, I had done my homework before I left. I watched an entire DVD series on how to age and score deer in the field, read articles online, and asked other hunters questions. I had a ton of information memorized on that first morning, but in the end, common sense and some good old fashion advice from my hunting buddy proved to be the most important.

At 10 a.m., a gorgeous 10-point walked out, (bigger than anything I’d ever seen in Arkansas). I was able to video him, study his rack with my binoculars and try to apply all the information I had learned. Trying to remember that due to the large body size on these Canadian deer, the horns look smaller; my best guess on this buck was in the 140 range.

But because my guide had told me there was a nice, tall 9-point on the game cam in my area, I decided to pass. I wish I could tell you I was confident I was making the right decision, but that little voice in my head was telling me I had messed up!


Things got a little slow after the last doe left around 11:30. The little voice that had told me I should have shot the 10-pointer was getting louder now.


I was texting back and forth with Patrick Fowler, my Arkansas buddy who was on the same Canada hunt. I sent him a text wondering aloud if I had messed up and let a good buck walk. His advice to me was simple; if another buck steps out and you say to yourself, “Holy crap that’s a good deer,” then take the shot.

At 2:03 p.m. the 9-point stepped out. My first thought was -- you guessed it --“Holy crap that’s a good deer!”

I didn’t have to use binoculars, and all my field scoring knowledge was quickly forgotten. I had to be patient as he stayed behind some brush for what seemed like forever (the video says it was only 4 minutes) before stepping out and presenting a clean shot.

Back at camp, my buck was scored at 160 gross. To be honest with you, I didn’t really care what the score was, I was ecstatic to have harvested this buck and I had learned something about myself.




Getting caught up in all of the numbers and its score had taken away from the whole reason I deer hunt. It had taken away some of the fun.

I like the fact that at 50 years old, my legs still shake when a nice buck steps out. That’s the real reason I hunt, not the score. From now on, my field judging has been simplified to the “Holy crap that’s a good deer” rule.

Go to 2013 Deer Camp


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Beyond the Bait: How to Use Jerkbaits for Smallmouth

Beyond the Bait: How to Use Jerkbaits for Smallmouth

Smallmouths are predators, and few can resist an injured, fluttering baitfish. That's exactly what a jerkbait represents: an easy meal. How you present a jerkbait can make all the difference to smallmouth, and we have some pointers in this episode of Beyond the Bait.

Changing to the Chassis

Changing to the Chassis

Instead of being bedded in a one-piece stock, the Lupo's barreled action is secured to an aluminum chassis. It's one of the Lupo's most obvious departures from conventional deer rifle design. Why did Benelli choose a chassis? Learn about the benefits in episode five of Beyond the Rifle.

Beyond the Bait: Use Finesse Baits for a Tough Smallmouth Bite

Beyond the Bait: Use Finesse Baits for a Tough Smallmouth Bite

Smallmouth bass may be hard fighters, but sometimes they require a bit of coaxing to join the fray. When water conditions are low and clear, the fish are pressured or perhaps sluggish in colder temperatures, finesse baits are often the go-to choice. In this episode of Beyond the Bait, we'll take a close look at these baits and techniques for when you're faced with a tough smallmouth bite.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now