Nontypical Deer - Crossbow Record

1. Paul Kimmett 222-1/8 2009

As hunters, we all fantasize about sitting in our special place and having that buck of our “dreams” walk into our sights. Although the location and size of that trophy will differ greatly depending on each individual’s needs and wants, the dream is pretty consistent among us. Few of us are blessed with living out the realization of that fantasy.

It was October 10th of 2009. The day started out like any other day. It was the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend, and little did I know how thankful I would be by the end of this day.

I decided to go out that morning at around 10am, to do some scouting. I also wanted to brush out my existing treestand as I had not done this yet. I travelled over on my ATV and did some maintenance and cleaning. Once I had completed trimming some shooting lanes and clearing debris, I decided to go for a ride and check out a couple of other spots on the farm. This area had been known to house a big buck, with a characteristic drop tine.

I saw this buck for the first time, three years ago, while I was turkey hunting. He was a beauty. He came across a plowed field right up to within 12 yards of my turkey decoy. His rack was in velvet and he brought a nice four pointer along with him. At this time he was a big-bodied deer with a very nice eight, possibly ten point rack. The following year was the next time we had an encounter. He was walking up a soya bean field that fall and he had three other bucks with him. He was way too far for me to get a good look at his rack, but I knew that he was a nice buck. The next time I got a look at him was last year. I was in my treestand and noticed two does, one being mature. They kept looking back while trotting off into the field. The mature doe seemed nervous so I figured a buck must have been close behind. Sure enough, a few minutes later, out came the big buck. You could clearly see he was a big-racked deer sporting a very nice drop tine. As I watched the mature doe run off, sure enough the buck followed. It was clear that the rut had started in the deer woods. The smaller doe stayed about 80 yards in front of me. A few minutes later the mature doe returned with the buck following shortly after. I sat with anticipation hoping this doe would bring this buck close enough to take a clear shot. It seemed this was not going to be the night. A short time later the doe ran across the field and jumped the fence. The big buck followed, but when he got to the fence he decided he was not going to get anywhere with this doe and slowly made his way towards my treestand. As I watched the buck approach, I got ready. He walked along the swamp ridge and instead of coming down the trail to me, he walked along the ridge until he encountered a small cedar tree. When he got to this tree, it seemed that he was going to decide to make his mark, and let all other bucks around know that this was his domain. I watched as he tore the tree to shreds. I sat thinking about how awesome this story would be if I was able to harvest this great deer. After he was through with the cedar he walked in behind me. As a rule, deer tend to ignore the script and avoid our shooting lanes, and avoid presenting the perfect shot. This deer in particular was not about to make things any easier for me either as he walked right into my blind spot. I could hear his ears flapping, as he stood right beneath my stand and dusted the snow off himself. I was very unaware that I could hold my breath this long. My heart was pounding, and the adrenalin was taking over. I had no other choice but to hold my breath and not let any out. Luck did prove to me that it was not on my side, as he disappeared off into the bushes. The only thing I took away from that experience was the story of the close encounter that I had with the deer. I was even more determined than ever to harvest this deer, and make room for this monster whitetail on the wall downstairs.

The next summer, I went and talked to the farmer who cash crops my farm. I was telling him to be sure to leave part of the crops for the deer. He told me he has seen a monster deer going into a corn field. He said it was the biggest he has ever seen and I felt that it was most likely the same buck I had seen. As the fall approached and the season opened, I was kind of late getting my treestands ready. This brings me back to the day I prepared my stand beside the apple tree. The apples were plentiful this year and I had hoped that it would bring deer into my stand within my shooting range this time. After I had completed my stand preparations I decided to go check out some of my other spots with the ATV. About half an hour later, as I was passing my treestand, I jumped the monster buck. It was the drop tine buck, and he was bedded down in a hay field. As I stopped my bike and watched, the deer ran across the field jumping a fence and disappeared into the woods with not a single glance back to see what the noise was.

Upon coming home that afternoon, I shared my stories with my hunting partner, Rick Burris, who was unable to hunt due to an operation. After listening to my story, Rick told me “you have to get out there tonight, he will be coming back to that apple tree and if you’re lucky he will make a mistake,” If this failed, we would get a trail camera and put it out the next morning. I got ready and was in my stand at 4:00pm. A couple of hours later, as the sun was just starting to set, a nice doe appeared and worked her way down the trail right to my stand. She was grazing on the grass as she worked her way to the apple tree. I decided to not take her, even though she was broadside to me at about 15 yards. I heard some loud cracking of branches a few minutes later, and noticed what I thought was a nice eight pointer, coming towards me from the west side. As he traveled through the brush I couldn’t get a look at how big he was which only created more and more anticipation in my mind.

Peering through openings in the trees, I kept my eye on every movement he made. I finally noticed the drop-tine, telling me that it was the same buck I had jumped earlier this morning. He was now about 45 yards away and broadside. I slowly anchored my crossbow, squeezed the trigger and released the arrow. It hit with a loud smack and appeared to pass clean through. With two short jumps he stood there in front of me for what seemed like hours, but only a few moments later he laid down. By this time I cocked my bow again in case I needed a second arrow. I got down out of my stand and started to walk towards him. Suddenly he did the unexpected. He stood up, and I quickly took the second shot I needed to put him down for good. As I continued to walk towards him I was then able to get a glance at the very large rack and huge bodied deer. The eight points I thought I saw turned into 19 points on a quick count. I raced home, and told my story to my wife, Mary Lynn, and my girls Anna, Emma and Maggie. I told them that I had shot a monster deer! I then phoned up Rick and he told him as well. He seemed unsure of the story, and unsure of the huge buck I had just shot. He decided to come over and see for himself. I was happy to hear that he was coming as I knew that I was going to need his assistance in dragging this monster buck out.

Rick was going crazy with excitement as we pulled up to the buck. He grabbed the deer and started counting. The 8, which became 19, had now finished at 21 points! Rick started to tell me that this must be a record and it was the biggest deer we might ever see. We all dream of this, the day where we get this huge deer that we have been working so hard for. All the hard work definitely paid off; it’s not like we do it alone either. I can`t wait to return the favor to Rick; hoping he shoots his monster buck just as I did. We loaded the deer up, and went to Rick`s house to continue the celebrations.

The final weight was 265 pounds field dressed. As the news of my buck started getting out I realized how big this deer was and decided to call the boys of Advanced Taxidermy and Wildlife Design to do the honors of mounting this incredible deer. With knowing that I harvested a world class whitetail I knew it was only fitting to be mounted by world class taxidermists. When I first called Shawn and James and told them about shooting a 21 pointer, they didn’t seem as excited as I thought they would be; that is until I sent them the pictures. James called me back and told me how unbelievable this deer really was. He said that he has seen a lot of nice deer, but this one sure did look like it had the potential of being the new record.

As soon as schedules permitted, Rick and I made a trip up to Caledon, ON where Advanced Taxidermy is located. James green scored my buck that day at 224 B&C. I have never been so anxious in my life waiting for the official 60 day drying period so the deer could be officially scored by a FROW panel. After years of hunting, after many hours of scouting, after passing on many deer, after many close encounters, after many frustrating hunts, and after many incredible stories, it came down to the day where I thought it was going to be like any other hunt. Boy was I wrong. After five months of a lot of talk, the big boy I had been chasing down for the past three years was confirmed to be the new Ontario record non-typical whitetail for the crossbow category.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me but especially Bob Yearwood of Bishop Lake Outdoors Center, Rick Burriss my hunting partner, of course, my wife Mary Lynn and three girls Anna, Emma and Maggie.

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