Nontypical Deer - Modern Firearm Record

1. Grant Gustafson 250-1/8 1995

Story by Steve Bond

The northwestern corner of Ontario is great game country and boasts good populations of moose, bear and whitetail deer. Grant Gustafson lives in Fort Francis and the area he hunts consists of mostly small lakes, islands, points, marshes, beaver dams and acres and acres of bogs. Most of the area is very thick and only accessible by boat, which limits hunting pressure. Anyone who knows what they are doing can have excellent success.

Opening morning of the 1995 season dawned with seasonal temperatures around 4 degrees C and a light wind was blowing from the west. Gustafson’s group hunts with dogs and the first drive of the day produced three does and two bucks in the 120 class but no shots were fired. On the third drive of the day, Grant shot a nice buck that grossed 158 inches and dressed out at 274 pounds.

Day three of the season was Thanksgiving and the group only had time for two or three drives before they had to break for dinner at 3 in the afternoon. At 1 pm, they decided to have one more quick drive as no one wanted to miss out on turkey dinner. Grant and a couple friends would cover some runways on the Northwest corner of one particular bog. Gustafson soon heard the dogs barking and within 10 minutes they were close. “I was standing on an old muskrat house which was the only thing high enough to let me see over the tops of the bulrushes, which were probably seven feet tall in that area. Within seconds, I heard footsteps in the muck about 25 yards away from my stand and I saw the cattails parting in front of me. The deer was so close I could hear him breathing but still couldn’t see him”. Seconds later, the big deer appeared right in front of Grant who fired one shot from his .270 Winchester. The deer jumped, stumbled and then stood broadside in an opening in the reeds. At the second shot he dropped for good. “When I lowered my rifle, all I could see were horns,” Grant said. The big deer field dressed at 267 lbs and the rack has 33 scoreable points (6x5 +22). Both beams stretch out to 27 5/8 inches, the inside spread is relatively narrow at 19 inches, and the net typical frame scores 179 3/8 inches. Add 70 7/8 inches of non-typical growth and the rack goes directly to the head of the Ontario record book at 250 1/8.

Other incredible measurements of this rack are longest tine at 13-6/8 inches, largest circumference 6-1/8 and greatest spread is 23-2/8.

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