I have only been hunting with a compound bow for three seasons, prior to that I gun hunted 27 years ago as a kid! My first deer put me in the Ontario record books, it was a 13 point non-typical which scored a respectable 140 3/8. The following year was a small 6 pointer and I began to question if my hunting buddies were perhaps right and my deer of a lifetime was my first one! All that changed on Nov 20/08, sitting the edge of a hardwood stand surrounded by recently harvested soybean fields. I hunt in an area forty- five minutes northeast of Toronto in Durham Region. It was the first snow of the season and the rut was winding down.
I settled into the stand and put the grunt call, bleat can and rattle bag to work with a secret formula taught to me by two very experienced bow hunters and friends, John Logeman and Brian Lavis. It wasn't twenty minutes later I caught site of "The Dream" north at one hundred yards! It was nosing its way toward me in all of its antlered splendour fully consumed by the scent of a doe that had no doubt passed by earlier. Minutes seemed like hours as it made its way into range, it presented at twenty yards angled sharply towards me. I placed my pin forward of the front shoulder and released, the strike sounded solid! I waited as long as I could and hit the trail, it was dark now but the blood sign showed nicely on the new snow.
I retrieved the arrow about 100 yards away, blood right up to the fletching. The first bloody bed came within 50 yards of this. Time to call in reinforcements, not wanting to lose the buck of a lifetime I decided to use a lifeline, I went back to the truck to phone a friend! Logie and Brian were there within minutes, great guys that they are and the chase was on! We found one more bloody bed within fifteen minutes and the decision was made to leave the animal overnight and retrieve it the next day.
My buddies assured me it was a done deal, but ask me if I slept that night! Returning the next day we found three bloody beds within 40 yards of where we had left of the night before, there was no doubt about it this was where the deer had spent the night. In shoulder high grass we tracked it out of the last bed, rounded a corner and there it was, the most majestic piece of nature I had ever seen! The only problem was it wasn't lying down, somewhere it had rallied the strength to rise from its deathbed and was on all fours. Not much you can do with a field dressing kit, so back to the trucks and home to get our bows! We reassembled in about an hour and with a plan tailored to the lay of the land, we went to work.
Brian jumped the deer within minutes of where we had left it, it went 60 yards and bedded down again. Logie and I caught a visual of Brian who alerted us as to its whereabouts and my two hunting buddies worked me in for the shot of a lifetime. It may known as the "Alex MacCulloch Buck" but without all the education provided to me by Logie and Brian and there hands on help that day, it could just as easily be known as the monster that got away. When all was said and done the buck counted 26 points, 23 of which were scoreable and panel scored at 213 2/8. This is a new Non-typical Archery record for Ontario and surpasses the previous record of eight years by a whopping sixteen inches! It is in the final stages of mounting by world renowned Advanced Taxidermy out of Caledon. I must comment that no matter where I have gone with the antlers or the mount they bring a smile to the face of all outdoor enthusiasts and despite my limited hunting experience I have been made to feel welcome by people far more versed in this sport than I. People view it, ask questions, take pictures and leave determined to find that record hidden in their neck of the woods, I sincerely hope they do. The story in its entirety with photos is going to run in North American Whitetails, Ontario Monster Whitetails, Big Buck and perhaps a few other magazines.