Stickers – a hunt of attrition

This is another great story from Braden, a hunter we met last season when he shared the story of his giant 2012 buck “Too Big” Braden and his brother are accomplished hunters and once again we are happy to share the story of another giant whitetail. These guys produce big deer year after year and as you read the story and understand the hard work they put into their hunts you will begin to see why. Any way I wont steal Braden’s thunder. Give the story a read and check of the great pics of this giant whitetail.

Cheers James

It all started back in the January the winter of 2012 , I found this buck he was small but had great potential. We decided he needed a couple years

We spent a good amount of time looking for his sheds without any luck. Fast forward to October of 2012 and we had finally relocated the buck. It didn’t take long to realize that he had put on some serious antler mass. He was now really heavy and sported some thick bladed tines.

Despite his increased mass we new we had to wait another year and focused our attention on a different deer. We saw him many times in the 2012 rifle season and would have had many opportunities to harvest him.

We managed to harvest a great deer in the 2012 season and the winter of 2013 roled around with great anticipation for the next hunting season. We waited patiently for the buck to reach maturity and we kept a close eye on him all winter long making sure he made it through these tough Alberta winters. While doing some recon on the buck we were also lucky enough to find his right antler out shed hunting!

We put on a ton of miles over the next few months in an attempt to locate his other sheds but never could match them up. June of 2013 was here getting here soon enough however and we were eager to watch his antler growth. Knowing this buck well we had to find a cool name for him with all this history with him.

We were busy setting up cameras trying to find his summer hide out which proved to be a substantial amount of work and we put on a lot of tough miles. After scouting for a month we found a secluded field where no one goes. As we scoured the field we quickly found that there were tracks everywhere. We got to work and strategically hid a trail camera. It wasn’t long after and our hard work payed off. Boom!! There he was. July the 9th and we finally got pictures of him and man did it kick off the year with excitement!!

A silhouette to get your heart-rate up
A silhouette to get your heart-rate up

He grew curvy brow tines, huge G 2s and out of no where he sprouted a sticker of his right G 2! Mass like that is the kind of thing dreams are made out of for white tail hunters! Those huge velvet colored antlers are exactly what I live to see. It was right then I new I had found the name for this buck, it just fit, “Stickers” it would be. It fit that buck in every way.

As July passed into August and the summer days got shorter we collected lots of pictures. Then as we approached the middle of August we decided it was time to set stands. Almost as soon as I positioned a set up in his home ground he turned into a ghost. It was like he vanished into thin air, never showing up on trail camera or during scouting.

The anticipation of August stand placement soon turned to a stressful time with archery season creeping up fast! Stickers seemed to have disappeared and we were not hopeful. We were frantic checking every spot we could think to look. Every once and a while he show up on a camera but as quick as he was there he was gone. He would never stay anywhere very long. I feared the worst, this cagey whitetail was onto me. And as many a deer has done in the past he turned nocturnal, well before our September 1st bow season ever rolled around!

I tried to stay positive setting up my blinds as I knew he was in the area. It was sure to become a test of patience and a challenge of a hunters will to capture his prey. I was just going to have to sit and hope he’d come out in daylight.

After sitting the first week of September, then the second, and then the third… Stickers had completely disappeared. I continued to scout and finally on October the 15th he showed up once again. I was quick to setup a new tree stand and I sat as often as I could. I hunted for an entire week and never saw him. We were fortunate enough however to have many encounters with moose and whitetail does.

The ghost materializes once again
The ghost materializes once again

The leaves had fallen as October moved into November and I became very wary that it wasn’t going to happen for us. We hunted everyday of rifle season. Every morning and every night. It wasn’t until the 11th I finally got a picture of this buck in daylight and it got my hopes up just a little. With increasing rut activity we knew we just had to put in the time and we were bound to see him.

The evening of November the 16th we were sitting on a fence line waiting when stickers bust out of a willow slough. He was in hot pursuit of four does running up the side of a hill. I was shaking. It was the first time I laid eyes on him in person this year! He stopped with the does on top of a big hill. He stood tall and stoic, sky-lined a top of the hill like the king of his domain. I stared in awe but I couldn’t take the shot. It was too risky as to where my bullet round would fly.

He walked off slowly and calmly over the hill, making it feel as if I was defeated by the the giant. It seemed as if I would never catch a break. But back to the grind we went hunting every day and night and finally ten days later on November the 26th I had a chance to redeem myself.

I was sitting in the same fence line but on the opposite side of the willow slough. It was about 10 minutes before legal light and it was crunch time. Off in the distance I had seen two deer out in the field. They were closing the distance quickly. I put up my binos and checked to see what they were. I was shocked with what I saw. A big doe in the lead and Stickers right behind her coming in from about 200 yards away.

Still trotting the doe stopped and naturally so did stickers , 150 yards away quartering away from me ,it was time . I settled my cross-hairs right behind his shoulder and let my 270 buck! I heard a thwack and the buck hunched up running away over a hill. I was ecstatic !!! It finally all came together!! We weren’t sure about the shot so backing out was a good idea. After about two hours we went back and located where I hit the buck , there was no blood , my heart sank and I felt sick instantly. It felt awful. All that work just to wreck it.

We followed his tracks up and over the hill. Much to my excitement just 50 yards on the other side of the hill he laid dead as a door nail! 10 yards from the fence line. I was just in complete shock!! Three years and we finally did it , nothing could have felt better than lifting his rack out of the snow and just touching this old warrior of a buck.

STICKERS
STICKERS

photo 3 (3)photo 1 (3)

The story of Stickers had been written. After 50 days of hunting everything finally fell into place! My brother and I work hard to harvest these bucks year after year. My brother played a big part to help me kill this monster of a buck and to top it off the deer I harvested previously in the 2012 season, “Too Big”, was shot just three hundred yards away in the same fence line I harvested stickers!

The feeling is amazing to finally get it done after all that work. All the sweat and hundreds of hours of scouting and waiting were certainly worth it to to finally lay my hands on him!

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1 Comment

  1. Well done again this year Braden. That is a magnificent animal. Would like to know what he scored?

    Congrats!

    Greg

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