It was the second last week of hunting in Ontario, October 2007, and I was a week away from getting out of the military and myself and a friend, Darren Trist were planning on going deer hunting on opening day (October 28/07). He had been scouting for deer at our friends parents, Ron Bartlett’s farm up the 601 Hwy. He said that their been lots of deer on the farm of lately and a few decent looking bucks. He said that their was a good looking 8 point buck, with good size and might even of been a 10 pointer. Even talking to the Bartlett’s, they said they seen a few good size bucks as well. And also a year or so back they size a buck with a huge rack but didn’t no how many points. Ontario is definatly the place to hunt.
It was my last day in the military and once I was done at work I was hitting the road back to Dryden. I drove for like 12 hrs and stopped for the night. I got up early the next day and was just outside of Kenora (Clearwater Bay) and thats when I saw a deer on the highway. I hit my brakes and slowed down to about 10 km/hr and that deer kept running at me. It hit the front driver side and took off the outside mirror and a little dint. I pulled over and saw that the deer was pretty injured but it ran off into the bush. So I got my first deer actually before opening season but I didn’t get to keep it.
So I got back to Dryden from Edmonton probably two days before opening deer season for gun. And myself and Darren Trist went out to scout for deer again at the Bartlett’s farm. Ben and Brad Bartlett built a deer stand on the ground the year before and thats where we stay for a few hrs. During those hours of sitting there, we seen a few does (female deer) but no bucks. But we thought no big deal we’ll see one once opening day starts or later on.
Opening day was in 2 days, or so we thought, when my younger brother Patrick Doherty told us that it was tomorrow (Saturday October 28) and not on Sunday. So thank god he told us that or I wouldn’t be telling this story. So later that night we got everything ready for tomorrows hunt and planned on getting up early before sunrise.
On opening morning day we got up around 6 am and jumped into the truck and started driving out to the Bartlett’s farm. Before we got there, Darren told me that because it was my first deer hunt, that he would let me shoot at the first buck. Well I’m sure Darren still regrets saying that to me to this day.
We got down to the stand before the sun was up and got ready and settle in to whitetail head hunt. It didn’t take to long before we saw the first doe. It walked out in front of us and was eating the grass in the field that was in front of the stand. It didn’t take much longer after the next doe came out after the first one. Then the third one came out from behind us. It must of been 5 to 7 feet away from us sitting in the stand. We tired not to move or breath loud or anything because we didn’t want to scare the doe away because who knows if a buck is following it. But it walked out and nothing followed. And it went on like that until about noon. By noon, I think we saw around 13 to 14 doe’s and no bucks. We decided to go back home to eat some lunch but we stopped in the Bartlett’s house before we left. We talked to Ron and Lana Bartlett and didn’t think we were going to come back for the evening hunt. But they said that they were going to cook us supper (hamburgers and beer!) so we decided to come back.
We came back to the farm at roughly 4:50 pm. Got down to the stand around 4:55 pm. First whitetail doe out into the field was 5:00 pm and the first buck was at 5:05 pm. I whispered to Darren that I could see a deers legs coming out of the bush straight ahead of us. This deer was different. It took its time with everything. It would take three or four steps and stop. It would sniff the air and you could see its ears moving like crazy to hear any danger. Then it would repeat that again and again for about half an hour. And that whole time we couldn’t tell if it was a buck or not because of the bushes it was in. But then it came into the clearing. And thats when my heart rate and breathing went through the roof. I remember Darren whispering “its f##king huge”. I was sure about how many points it had but there was lots.
It then walked slowly over to the doe that was in the field and at that time I was getting my rifle ready. I remember trying to hold it in the air but I was shaking too much so I had to use the stand to steady myself. I was looking through the scope of my rifle when Darren told me to take my time and wait for it to turn sideways. It was when about when he said “take your time” when I shot. And I hit it right in the lungs. The buck ran about 10 yards and dropped. Darren also shot right after me but didn’t hit it. He’ll like me saying that, haha. We got out of the stand a few minutes later and my breathing/heart rate was still going crazy. We got up to the deer and then we saw the rack up close.
In the end, the deer had 16 points and scored at 184 1/2. Not too bad for my first deer. I was told that they only get bigger, haha. But I think I had a lot of luck on my side those few days, if it was for my brother saying that Saturday was opening day, I wouldn’t of got it, if it wasn’t for Darren saying I got first shot, I wouldn’t of got it, if it wasn’t for the Bartlett’s making us come back for supper, I might not of got it. So luck was involved!
Hopefully thats enough details for ya. If you got any questions about the story or want to make changes, do it or just email me on here. I just got into the typing so I finished it quicker than I thought I would have.