by Thomas de Scally
(Maple Ridge, BC)
Myself with my 2010 5x6 mule deer buck Trophy
My story " My First Trophy" begins in 2008 when my family had purchased a piece of property on a remote private lake in the Fraser Canyon, British Columbia.
After the purchase I went and visited my good friend Greg and his dad Harry at their house and told them about the recent purchase. Harry was very surprised when I told him where my family's property was, he told Greg and I that he had hunted in the area between the years of 1980 to 1985 and had taken lots of mule deer out the area and it was actually some of the best mule deer hunting he had ever experienced.
Harry had a 4x3 buck mounted on his wall he had taken in the area in 1980. Over the summer of 2009 we began building a cabin on our property and had it pretty well finished over that summer.
The 2009 hunting season had finally come and we headed to the area where Harry had hunted 25 or so years ago at first light.
Harry sent me up the side of the mountain while him and Greg went up the front side of the mountain. Going up the 45 degree incline hill while slipping and falling in the half of foot of snow I made the mistake of not pacing myself and taking breaks to catch my breath on the way up.
Almost 3/4 of the way to the top I stumbled across a large opening with fresh deer track all over the place. Right away I saw a two point buck and a doe running away from me, then all of a sudden in front of me approx 80 yards a monster buck with six does around him, I tried to sight in on him but could not keep my rifle steady enough because I was gasping for air.
I took a shot anyways hoping I would hit the big buck but I had missed then they all took off into the bush.
Two minutes I heard a shot, Harry had shot a doe as he had a LEH (Limited Entry) draw at the time. The next day we had to head back home but I knew these new hunting grounds that Harry had shown us had a lot of potential for big bucks to come in the future.
The 2010 hunting season was here now and all of us were ready, Greg and I had two limited entry doe draws this year as well. First morning out Greg and I arrived at our spot and wished each other good luck before heading our separate ways up the mountain.
On my way up I had seen two does but could not get a shot. Once I got 3/4 of the way to the top of the mountain Greg and I had found each other and we decided to go up the highest peak on adjacent hillsides.
While hiking up Greg said to me on the radio there was three does above me, he started shooting and hit one of the does. I hiked about ten feet up and could just see one of the does and hit it with my 7mm rem mag. Greg and I had two does down. We went back to camp and celebrated.
I was excited to get back up the mountain the next day knowing that there should be a big buck around with all these does. So the next day I went up my usual route up the side of the mountain while Greg and Harry went up the front side. I got 3/4 of the way up the mountain and took a long break and had a stretch before heading up the highest peak on the mountain. I started hiking up not even one hundred yards and started seeing some movement coming out of the bush but could not determine what it was.
I got down on one knee had the thumb on my safety of my rifle and waited. All of a sudden there he was the king of the mountain approx sixty five yards in front of me and he didn't even know I was there.
I raised my rifle and counted his points to make sure he was in fact a legal size deer as it was only four point or bigger bucks at the time. One...two...three...four I counted. I pulled the trigger on my 7mm rem mag and the 150 grain bullet was all it took and he was done with one shot.
I told Greg and Harry my location on the radio and they were there in about 15 minutes. We approached the buck together and he was a big five by six and 35 inches wide. My First Trophy! What an awesome hunt that turned out to be.
The following year in 2011 Greg had shot a monster five by six mule deer buck only a couple hundred yards from where I had shot mine. This new hunting spot of ours is by far my favorite place to hunt and I am lucky enough to have a cabin nearby, its almost like a dream come true. I am looking forward to may more successful trips to come in the future.
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