Perhaps one of the most outstanding trophies ever recorded is the world record non-typical mule deer. This deer was taken by Ed Broder in 1926 near Chip Lake, Alberta. Luckily, Broder gave a colorful account of his hunt.
“On November 25, 1926, I and two friends, driving an old 1914 Model T Ford, left Edmonton for Chip Lake, Alberta,” Broder said. “It was a distance of approximately 100 miles. The weather was 20°F with a foot of soft snow. At a sawmill camp, near Chip Lake, we made arrangements to hire a team of horses and a sleigh to haul our gear and equipment. Finding a good cabin near the lake, we used this instead of putting up our tent.
“It was about 1 p.m. when I left camp and set out through some heavy timber,” Broder continued. “Soon, I came across a large deer track. Following the deer tracks for a half mile, I found where [it] had bedded down. Knowing the deer could not be too far away, I tracked [it] off the timber ridge and through a jack pine swamp. There, I found that two moose had crossed the deer’s tracks.”
Then, Broder had to make a life-altering decision. Lucky for him, it was nearing sunset.
“I had to make a decision as to whether to go after the moose or the deer,” Broder said. “Through past experience, I knew moose would travel farther and faster than deer, and with only a short time before dark, I decided to carry on with the deer.
“Following these tracks through the swamp, I came up onto higher land with a clearing not too far off,” Broder continued. “In this clearing I spotted the deer; he was approximately 200 yards away, standing and feeding with [its] back to me. So immediately I had to make a guess as to when and how to shoot. The distance was right, but his position was wrong. I knew I had to select a rear shot. The shot would have to be placed high in the spine, so I pulled up my .32 Winchester Special to a firing position, waited for his head to rise so as to back up a high spine shot. I fired and the animal dropped; I had broken its spine. ‘What a rack that one’s got,’ was the first thing I thought.”
What a rack, indeed.
At 355-2/8, the final score replaced the former World’s Record by over half as many points, but it was not officially scored until 1960. However, the rack was impressive enough that a drawing of it appeared in the 1939 edition of North American Big Game. Broder acknowledged his record with the determined words of a true sportsman.
“I started hunting in the year 1909 and have never missed a season since; I am now 72 and in fair health. Who can tell, I may yet beat my old 1926 record.”
Editor’s Note: The Boone & Crockett Club has long been a conservation organization that stands and strives for the preservation and well-being of all big game animals, but especially the mule deer. As one of America's most popular game species, it carries a storied history and a promising future.