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I have been an avid hunter for about five years and I have to say it is more than a hobby or a pastime activity; it is a lifestyle.

After recent events, I can honestly say that I understand that now more than ever.

As we are all aware, the economy is in the toilet. I myself have been looking for a job for some time now. Deciding it was a good idea to go back to school, unfortunately, cutting costs and penny pinching have become somewhat of a need as opposed to an option.

With that being said, I have gone out of my way to provide for my family but sadly, falling short at times. It was clear we couldn’t afford the foods we were so used too.

Thus, my need for hunting was an actual necessity.

A few days ago, I was blessed with the kill of a lifetime. Mind you, it may only be a mule deer doe but it is meat in my freezer and with nothing going to waste, I feel fulfilled with my role as a husband and a father.

I live outside of Red Deer, Alberta on my wife’s uncle’s farm.

As is with every farming generation, several hunters are allowed access on this land. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough land for everyone to hunt so out of respect of my wife’s uncle, I decided to do my hunting elsewhere and let the boys who have been hunting there for 30 years carry on their tradition without me messing up their system.

Well, as we all know there are a select few that like to break rules and laws thus resulting in landowners not being likely to give permission.

Well, my luck had finally turned around. I was driving south of our farm down some backroads when I spotted a large group of mulies way off in the distance. Excited, I decided I would find the owner and ask permission anyway, worst he could was say no, right? As I approached the front door, I was met by an older gentleman. It was clear to me that he himself was a Hunter, having several antlers and skulls around. The likelihood of him giving me permission seemed further and further away. Why would he let me hunt where he hunts?

After introducing myself and explaining the deer I had seen in his field, I was shocked when the man said that I seemed like a respectable enough man and that he would take a chance on me.

Thankful as ever, I left eagerly and drove to the top of his canola crop. One condition of my hunting there was that absolutely no vehicles were allowed.

Obviously, I would abide by his one and only rule. I made my way up the hill to the highpoint of the crop, making sure I was far enough away from any road or house. As soon as I crested the hill, the group of deer spooked into the woods at the bottom of the quarter section. Frustrated, I slowly made my way anyway.

Upon finally reaching the trees, I noticed a single doe off in the distance. I can make out that she is in fact a mulie. With every step I made closer, she became more and more skittish and I knew I had to make my shot soon. As I got down to a knee, I put my binos up to see if I could make the shot. Nothing behind her. If I missed, the bullet would go into the ground.

I put my rangefinder on her. “She’s 330-yards away. I can’t make that shot,” I think to myself.

The furthest shot I ever made was 150 yards. However, I decide it’s now or never. I bring my rifle up, dial the power as far as it will go, line up on the vitals, and pull the trigger.

The mule deer doe that provided meat for the Tally’s freezer.
To my surprise, I see her buck her back legs up and run into a clearing. Excited, I quickly unload my rifle and make my way down the hill. I look around and find blood but no deer. I think, “Oh no! I hit her in the belly and she ran off. Now she’s going to suffer until I find her.”

I start following the blood trail and suddenly there she is, on her side as dead as dead can be. I’m ashamed to admit in my excitement but I let out a loud yes! Whoohooo! I finally got my deer. More food on the table.

The perfect shot.
Now the fun part is to drag her all the way back uphill between the canola swathes to the truck. Out of respect to the old hunter, I decide to wait until I get home to gut her out. Why leave a mess in the man’s field he’s been waiting to combine.

A few hours later, I finally get her to the truck. Exhausted, I call my wife and give her the good news.

I proceed to make my way home dreading the fact that she hasn’t been gutted yet. I fear some of the meat will be ruined by hitting some organs. Finally, I get home and bring her to the top of our hill to start the process. Well to my surprise, after opening her chest cavity, her organs are fully intact. There is an entrance wound and a very small exit wound. Baffled by this, I continue to remove organs and find the heart. It’s obvious she had the bottom half of her heart hit by the bullet. What a relief! No suffering, no wasted meat, and once again, a beautiful hunt. ■

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