Realtree Rewind: Blanton's Big Alberta Buck

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Did You Watch This Hunt?

(David Blanton photo)Hunters Names: David Blanton with Cameraman Alan Linnenkohl

Game Hunting: Whitetail

Where: Alberta, Canada

Hunting Method: Firearm

Phase: Early rut

Dates Hunted: November 11-16

Weather Conditions: Brutally cold temperatures

Finally, we had one day left. The weather, believe it or not, warmed up to about 32 degrees. This was a heat wave for Alan and me. But things didn’t look good for deer movement. Yet Alan and I moved on to a new spot near a powerline. We hunted there from daylight until 1 p.m. and did not see a deer other than one tiny buck at daybreak. We were honestly just biding our time. We were taking another whoopin’ and were prepared for going home with our tails up between our legs. Then we got a call on the radio from Vern Mochid one of the guides that helps run the camp we were hunting. We told him we’d only seen one deer, then he let us know that he was coming in to pull us out of there and move us to another location. We figured we had nothing to lose. Alan and I were all for the change of scenery.

Vern took us to a clearcut where a hunter had already shot a buck earlier in the week. We got set up, Alan in one blind, me in another close to it. It was 2 p.m. and the both of us knew we only had a couple of hours of daylight left. We weren’t there for more than five minutes when Alan perked up and said, “Look, David, there’s an 8-point right over there.” Sure enough, a little eight walked out in front of us. We were tickled just to see a deer. At this point, we’d even get a little nervous at just seeing a doe.

Ten minutes later, after I’d quit hitting the horns (I wasn’t getting any response), I turned and happened to look directly behind me and saw a big buck just trotting away from us at about 100 yards. He stopped and looked at us. I whispered to Alan, “Big buck behind us.” Well, Alan couldn’t get the camera on him, the buck stood in the worst possible spot to be filmed. There was a doe at 60 yards. The buck was on her heavy, and she kind of settled down to feeding. The buck then circled around into the thicket and Alan was able to get ready with the camera on him. I knew, and could see he was a good deer. Last day — he’s a shooter, I figured. Finally, the buck calmed down a bit. He’d been acting real cautious, probably wanted to leave, but couldn’t. There was no way he was leaving that doe.

The buck started working his way through the thicket, all the while Alan had the camera on him. And two days prior, I took the muzzleloader barrel off of my Encore and put .280-caliber rifle barrel on since we were running out of hunting time. I thought that I would possibly have to shoot one out at 200 or 300 yards and wanted to be ready.

The buck stepped out, and I could see he was a good deer. I shot him. He ran a little and then went down. He was a 170-inch 11-pointer. His right G-2 was 14 inches long. A 16-inch inside spread made it a narrow deer for Canada, but the buck sported 11 typical points with 8-inch brow tines. He was a monster.

That buck was absolutely nothing but a gift from God. I am a firm believer that all blessings come from above. And that buck was a gift, a real blessing. No doubt about it!

We were so excited -- you just don’t know. We weren’t even hollering or anything, we were just completely at a loss for words. We could not believe what had just happened. I felt like the luckiest person in the world.

All in all, we were just ecstatic about coming out of Alberta with a show, not to mention an awesome deer. It is worth noting that in one of Nemetchek’s other camps a hunter killed a buck that green-scored, netted 195 typical B&C points.

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Editor's Note: This was originally published on November 21, 2002.

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