Yep, Canada is a special place for whitetail hunters. We’ve already covered Tiffany Lakosky’s 174-inch velvet 10-pointer, killed Sept. 4 with North River Outfitting in Alberta. And we mentioned that while Tiffany was after that buck, Lee was hunting a buck of his own. Though he’d set his sights on a monster 8-pointer with a drop tine, this super-wide 12-pointer was in the back of his mind. He had a score to settle with the old buck after missing him the previous season.
“Last year, he was using a canola field, and I tried hunting him from a ground blind,” Lee says. “Of course, as a mature buck will, he was entering the field from a different trail every evening. Getting a shot at him was just a matter of luck.
But finally, several days into the hunt, the buck fed right by Lee at 51 yards. Lee took a shot, but his arrow flew over the buck’s back. And that brings us to this season.
“The wide 12 survived the winter,” Lee says. “They found his sheds at the end of last season, and this year, he was on that same field. And he was doing the same thing as last year—entering and feeding in a different spot, every day. But Tiffany was hunting that big 10-pointer, and she started seeing the 8 with the big drop tine. He was feeding in the same low spot in the canola field each time. Since he seemed more predictable, I switched my focus to him. Tiffany and I were on the same field, and I actually watched her shoot her buck. I stuck with it for two more days without seeing the drop-tine 8.”
Lee and Tiffany had an impending New Mexico trip on the agenda, but had already made plans to return to Alberta when that trip was over.
“I knew the canola fields would be maturing and some of them would be cut by the time we returned,” Lee says. “When we got back to Alberta that first night, they’d cut the field the big 8 was using, but the deer still seemed to be coming to it. A guide had sat in Tiffany’s stand before we got there and watched the 8 two nights in a row. When I hunted, he came through at 25 yards, but it was just too thick for a shot. And after that, I sat that stand for six days without seeing a deer—no bucks, no does—nothing.”
Lee knew a change in strategy would be in order, and so he returned his attention to the wide 12-pointer that he’d been hunting earlier. One of the guides had seen the buck still using the big canola field.
“We set up in a small bay of the field, and the buck came out behind some does from a totally unexpected spot the first night,” Lee says. “He was well out of range, but because he’d been so unpredictable, I didn’t want to move around and try chasing him. I knew I was in a spot he’d used in the past, and I thought perhaps if I just stuck with it, the buck would give me another chance.” On the last day, the buck stepped into the field 30 yards from Lee’s stand.
“There were does all around me; some of them were right under my tree,” Lee says, “but they weren’t the ones that spooked when I reached for my bow. The buck did. He picked me out and bolted 75 yards out into the canola. Fortunately, the does kept right on feeding, and he seemed to settle down. Gradually, he began working his way back toward me.”
With the buck feeding and quartering slightly away at 53 yards, Lee saw his chance.
“Knowing he was nervous, I held low on him, right around his heart,” he says, “as I assumed he’d duck when I shot. But he didn’t. The arrow hit right where I was aiming, and the buck didn’t make it far before he crashed. At 25 inches wide, he’s the widest buck I’ve ever shot, and he also had the biggest body. He field-dressed 280 pounds.”