Name: Aaron P
Date of Hunt: November 26, 2011
Location of Hunt: Alberta, Canada
Animal Hunted: Whitetail Buck
Were you successful?: Yes!
Weather, Wind, and Conditions: Low Teens, calm and slightly overcast
Interesting Details of the Hunt: I had sat all morning on a cutline and had not seen a thing. Time was running out… It was the end of the rut and the end of the season was only a few days away. Today was my last opportunity to get out.
It was quite cold but the snow on the ground was a couple days old and I wasn’t seeing any fresh tracks anywhere. It looked like the deer had been pretty well spooked and there wasn’t much moving at all.
It had gotten to be about 10:30 am and we decided to try our hand at rattling. It was really just an excuse to warm up in the truck. We hopped in the truck and drove down the lease roads stopping every once in a while. We would walk in about 200 yards, find an open place, and rattle for a bit. We would only spend about 30 minutes in a location before moving on to the next.
As we were driving down a road, I randomly said, “Let’s try here.” It wasn’t anything special I saw….just the normal treeline. To be honest, I think I was tired of driving around and just wanted to stretch my legs a bit. It was right at noon….not really what you think of as prime hunting time.
We pulled the truck of the side of the road and quietly walking about 150 yards into the woods. My friend had an old set of antlers from a buck he shot years ago and he rattled for about 30 seconds. About 20 seconds later, a buck popped it’s head out from behind a tree downwind at about 40 yards. It was looking right at us. We could tell it was a buck but couldn’t tell quite how big he was. It was good enough for me so I quickly shouldered my 7mm and fired directly at the center of its chest. (I was thankful I had turned down my scope to the lowest setting.)
You can miss from any distance, but at 40 yards my odds were pretty good and my shot went right where I wanted it to. When the lead hit its chest, the deer had no idea what was happening and ran straight at us for 20 yards before falling down dead. Easiest tracking job ever!
It was my first successful hunt and a buck at that! It ended up being a nice 5×5. Probably 2 or 3 years old and so he wasn’t very heavy, but a very nice….with just a nub of a drop-tine. I was happy.
We dragged him back to the truck and got him skinned out later that day. I took it home and that next week a friend came over and showed me how to butcher it in down in the basement of our house. We enjoyed venison jerky, ground meat, and deer steak that entire next year!
To have my first kill be an experience where you rattle him in was very exciting and got me that much more excited for next time!