Typical Deer - Muzzleloader Record

1. Jack Delorme 183-3/8 2010

I grew up in Cornwall and the surrounding area. I am the middle child of 11 and the only one with any interest in hunting. I was always interested in wildlife and the outdoors, so when some good friends asked me to hunt small game with them, I gladly obliged. Along the way my passion for hunting grew and expanded to larger game such as deer, moose and even bear; then more recently I’ve begun turkey hunting.

Over the years I've taken a few whitetail with a shotgun, a compound bow, a crossbow, and now at 60 years old with a muzzleloader, but this year has been the best.

The first day of the 2010 muzzleloader season came and went with little success. I saw nothing and only heard a grunt or two from inside the bush. All in all it was a beautiful but uneventful day. Nightfall came so my son and I laid down the big buck decoy, covered it up with cedar branches and headed home.

With my son having to work the next day, I went out alone. It had been a cold night and the fields were frosty so I dressed warmly and put my hunter orange on and made my way across the field to the edge of a cedar bush where I had covered my decoy for the night. I uncovered the decoy and set it up in the corner of a cornfield that had been cut just days before. I then climbed into my tree stand inside the bush overlooking that corner of the field.

I did some calling with a grunt call--three short grunts every half hour--with little or no response. I waited over the next hour or so just listening and scouring the field. At approximately 7:15am, I looked over at my decoy and saw something near it. I slowly picked up my gun and looked through the scope to see a good-sized doe near it. Not having a doe tag, I put my gun down and looked all around the area but saw nothing else.

About 15 minutes passed until I looked over at my decoy again and saw the doe was still there, but now there was something behind her. Just at that moment, she moved forward and revealed a giant buck; the same buck that I had seen and missed in 2009 at approximately 200 yards. He was now a year older and only 65 to 70 yards away and broadside to me. Without any hesitation, I lifted my gun, brought the crosshairs of the scope to his chest, released the safety and squeezed the trigger. He immediately jumped the fence and disappeared into the bush.

I sat there listening as he ran off, breaking branches and sneezing. And then all got quiet. After about 15 minutes (which seemed like an hour), the excitement got to me and I climbed down from my stand. I reloaded my Traditions 50-caliber Pursuit muzzleloader with a 240-grain XTP hollow point, and walked over to where my decoy was and began looking for any sign of a hit. The blood trail was easy to follow and it didn’t take me long as he was down just 25 to 30 yards inside the bush. I was thrilled to know that my shot was good and he was down. All my hard work and scouting had finally come to an end.

This big whitetail, the one that had eluded me for two years, was now mine. After drying for more than 60 days, it was officially panel-scored by Terry Merkley, Richard Teal, and Rick Poulin from the Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife. At that time it became the new Typical Ontario Muzzleloader record, grossing 188-7/8 and netting 183-3/8.

I give many thanks to the landowner and his wife for allowing me the pleasure of hunting on their property. It's been great these past 10 years and hopefully many more to come. Thank you so much, Dale and Darlene Shaver of Northfield Station, Avonmore.

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