Dave Foster has three loves in life: his family, country music and big whitetail deer. Growing up in the lone star state of Texas he was able to be around big deer. He was able to walk the sinderos with his father, who was also a trophy deer hunter. As is normally the case, most of our southern cousins who getbitten by the whitetail bug, soon look to the north to fill the burning desire to hunt the mega-Canadian whitetails which inhabit the frozen north country of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Dave Foster traveled from Texas to Alberta to try his luck on a big whitetail. He anchored this excellent 4×4 which grosses 160 typical points. Outfitter Scott Taylor is pictured on the left with the happy hunter.
Dave hunted with us in 1994 and harvested a 4×4 scoring 153 with 6 5/8″ bases and a 20″ inside spread. After he harvested this buck, a 22″ wide 5X5 scoring in the net 180’s sauntered past Dave and his guide Bob Voth, who had a mule tag left. All they could do was watch and appreciate this truly magnificent northern monarch.
1995 found Dave and his brother-in-law Keith Connelly back in Alberta searching for the 180+ Boone and Crockett buck he had seen at the end of his hunt in 1994.
Over the course of the year we had dubbed the buck the “Caterpillar Buck” because he was as big as a D9. Six square miles of scrub poplar and swamp spruce surrounded by alfalfa and wheat made the perfect fortress for the “Caterpillar Buck” to watch over his kingdom. Sign of the deer was very evident with rubs as big as a man’s thigh as well as numerous carhood-sized scrapes on the cut-lines and in two different slough bottoms.
We had positioned four stands in strategic locations in late October. All the stands were potentially productive depending upon the wind.
Dave started his vigil spending three to four hours per day in the stand as well as four to five hours trying to determine some sort of pattern to the buck’s travel.
Big deer in big country usually die of old age because they are seldom forced to be in the same place at the same time on different days. With six different options for feed and 12 different groups of does, he was a challenge to say the least.
After five days on stand we had opportunities at seven different bucks all of which were 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years of age, 140+ class, but no real shooters.
Day six greeted us with four inches of cold, wet sleet and blowing hard. There went our perfect conditions; it sounded like corn flakes on the kitchen floor with every step in the crusted snow. There was no chance to sneak up to your stand unless the deer you were hunting had forgotten to turn on his hearing aid.
We decided to sit on a high hill in a large alfalfa field where we could glass a long draw between a connecting wheat field and the big timber. At about 9:30 I saw a group of deer run into the draw three-quarters of a mile to the east of us. They were clearly heading back to the bush to bed.
Dave trotted down the field to a spot where the draw emptied into a neck in the field. I waited until I was able to pick up the forms moving through the scrub poplar and willow. It appeared there was some chasing taking place.
About five minutes had passed. Once I was sure the deer were committed to their direction of travel, I circled around behind them, allowing the wind to blow my scent into the draw. Within moments I could hear the snow giving way under the running whitetails. I hollered a warning to Dave. I soon heard the 7mm breaking the sound barrier. On the third shot there was clearly a solid hit. As I crashed out of the willows, I was able to see the black main beam of a high heavy buck sticking out of the stubble. It was not the “Caterpillar Buck” but a super 4×4 with a gross score of 160 points Boone and Crockett.
Dave had found his range on his last shot at the 220-yard running buck. No small feat, and a fitting end to the effort he had put forth during the previous week.
Due to our permit system in Alberta, we are allocated a few mule deer permits for non-residents. Two days later Dave and guide Daryl Johnson connected on a 30″ wide, 30″ high 190 gross Peace River mule deer. Not a bad way to end an Alberta dance with Canada’s greatest treasure, our trophy deer.
Dave Foster with the 30-inch mule deer he took in 1995. The Texan was hunting with Bear Paw Outfitting out of St. Isidore, Alberta. The Peace River giant grosses 193 points and nets 186 typical points.
Photos courtesy Bear Paw Outfitting.