(Previously published in the Merritt News – The Outdoorsman Column)
© By Othmar Vohringer
He drove all day along the roads and hiked for many miles without seeing any sign of deer. At one point during the day his hopes of tagging out sank like a stone when he drove past two hunters that had a deer on the ground. Like all real sportsmen Chad stopped and helped these hunters to load the deer into their truck and continued on his hunt with what remained of the day. Three hours later, after a long hike deep into the backcountry, the sun was beginning to sink low on the horizon. He was tired and ready to call it a day.
Driving back down the road Chad caught a slight movement just off to the side amidst the tall grass. After stopping the truck he carefully observed what could only be described as a huge monster mule deer buck that was lazily browsing on the grass. Chad continued to watch as the buck walked over to a tree where he began rubbing his antlers to mark his territory and it was at that point that Chad realized it was time to act.
Chad’s senses kicked into high gear. He grabbed his rifle, jumped out of the truck, quickly loaded it and ran around to the back of the vehicle. The truck shielded him from the sight of the big deer that surely had seen and outwitted many hunters in its long life.
Chad aimed and squeezed the trigger but in the excitement the shot was off the mark. The big deer did not stand around to see what would happen next and ran off but luckily not too far away. Chad had started running too and fortune smiled down and gave him another opportunity to get a second shot off on the deer that had decided to stand still for a brief moment.
The second shot was perfect. Upon approaching the downed buck he knew this was a very special animal. The antlers were almost perfectly symmetrical on either side and appeared to be above the minimum score for the Boone & Crockett record measurements.
Before the official score could be verified the antlers had to undergo a mandatory 60-day drying period. The certified B&C scorer in Kamloops put the measure tape to the antlers and the final official result is…drum roll…183 points. The minimum required score to enter the B&C is 175 points for a typical mule deer. With that score Chad’s buck qualifies to be entered in the B&C and the BC trophy record book.
There are two lessons to be learned from that story. Despite not seeing any deer all day, Chad persisted and was rewarded for his efforts and you do not always have to travel far from home to encounter quality trophy deer.
This column has been brought to you by Othmar Vohringer Outdoors