My name is Wes Pederson, and I am from Regina Saskatchewan, Canada. I am 41 years old, and have had the great pleasure of hunting whitetail deer for 29 years. Most of my time hunting has been spent with my father, Andy. He has taught me more about deer, there habits, and what to look for, than anyone could possibly imagine. We usually hunt in the same area every year, which happens to be where my father was born and raised. Living on the farm gave him a great advantage. Just looking out the widow of the two story farm house, one could see deer of trophy caliber.
The 2000 whitetail season started as most do, with the hope that someone in our group would harvest a big buck. My dad and I also hunt in the black powder season, which gives us an idea of the deer population for that year. We look for trails and any other deer signs we can find. One great thing about the area we hunt is the co-operation of the land owners. We gain permission well before hand, and leave nothing to chance.
This year we hunted with Doug and Ryan Stagg. Ryan is a relatively new hunter, who on the first day of the season, bagged his first deer. A nice 3X4 buck. You should have seen how excited he was. The second day of the season didn't start out very well. Fog was very heavy in some places making it almost impossible to see 50 yards. The way we hunt, is too do what we call "pushing bush", or a forced push or drive. Hunting with me was my Dad (Andy), Doug and Ryan Stagg, and my cousin George Flotre and his son George Jr. We pushed about six miles of bush and decided to continue pushing straight through George's home quarter. George and my Dad went north, setting up for the deer which would hopefully go that way. A yearling ran right past my Dad in a matter a minutes.
One thing I should mention is the unique way my Dad has of knowing where the deer will run. I guess when you have hunted for sixty years, you tend to be good at it. The wind was blowing north west which was perfect for this drive. I walked the west side along a fence line, with Ryan in the middle. George Jr. was to Ryan's right, and Doug covered the east side. When we got close to the end, I stopped and waited until Ryan pushed a small bush in the corner. George was on the top of the hill at the end, the perfect spot I thought. If there was a deer in there, he could smell me, see me, and if he came my way, would run into a wide open stubble field.
As Ryan stepped in, I heard a crash in the bush, and out came a monster buck. He came out of that bush going faster the you would believe. The stubble field was to say the least, hilly. This buck knew every low spot in that field, and made getting a good shot off very hard, to say the least. I shoot a Husqvarna Vapenfabriks AB. 30-06 a rifle given to me by my Dad. He bought the gun in the early fifties. I put a Tasco 3x9 world class scope on it. When I fired my first shot, I knew I had missed. Did I shoot high, low, I had no idea. My second shot was about 200 yards. This buck was flying. I led him about two and a half feet, right in front of his front shoulder. I thought I heard that sound you hear when it sounds like a hit, but I didn't see him fall. After that, all I saw was fog.
Ryan came running out of the bush almost as fast as the deer. He said it sure sounded like a hit. We walked along the field edge until we picked up his track. There was lots of snow, so if there was blood, we would be sure to see it. Sure enough, we found the track, and we found a good blood trail. The rest of the group headed back to get the trucks, and Ryan and I stayed where the blood trail started. You couldn't see more then twenty yards now. The fog had really settled in. We decided to walk over a small hill, and see where the tracks led.
As we peeked over the hill, not knowing if it had been a kill shot, we both saw the bucks antlers. There he was. Shot through the neck. What an exciting moment. The adrenaline level was peeking in both of us. Ryan gave me a high five and sprained my thumb. I didn't care. I lifted the bucks head up to check out his rack. He was an 8x5, with very heavy antlers. The inside spread was almost 23 inches. It is the biggest Whitetail buck I have ever shot! As we were admiring the big buck, the rest of the guys came driving through the fog. You could see the excitement on them as Ryan and I held up the bucks head. What a great day!
I gave credit to every one of the guys. It was a group effort, especially giving Ryan credit. He was the guy who pushed him out to me. The season is still on, and now I am the " bush pusher", and let me tell you, my legs sure can feel it.