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Saskatchewan Hunter Bags Ancient Buck in October Snow Storm



Saskatchewan Hunter Bags Ancient Buck in October Snow Storm

Posted 2024-01-26  by  Josh Honeycutt

Peter Andersen played the weather just right to get his shot at the 7½-year-old trophy whitetail

Rack Report Details
Buck:176 5/8 inches
Time of Year:October 25, 2023
Weapon: Thompson/Center Pro Hunter .50 caliber 
Image: ImageBy_Peter_Andersen_rack_1

This heavy Canadian buck is a dream whitetail. Image courtesy of Peter Andersen

Killing a 7½-year-old whitetail is a serious feat few hunters achieve, but Saskatchewan hunter Peter Andersen pulled it off during a late October snowstorm in 2023.

The story began the previous season. “I spotted the buck for the first time last November,” Andersen said. “It was the end of shooting time, and he was chasing a doe in a field.”

The next morning, Andersen hunted the same area again. He conducted a couple of rattling sets, and ended up jumping the buck and its doe.

“They crossed into the neighbor’s land where I couldn't hunt,” he said. “I saw his huge set of antlers prancing around at less than 100 yards. I tagged out on a nice 150-class buck later that morning. Dad spent the remainder of the season pursuing him but never got a shot.”

Skip ahead to this past fall. Opening day kicked off renewed efforts to find and tag the buck. The first couple of sits failed to produce a sighting of the deer. But on Oct. 25, 2023, the third time was charm. The day brought a blizzard; the first snowfall of the year for the area. About 6 inches of powdery precipitation blanketed the landscape. Hunting rolling terrain, Andersen could see well into the distance, which consisted of poplar bluffs and canola fields, all covered in white.

“I hunted the deer with Dad last year and this year,” he said. “I actually wanted him to sit with me and be the shooter, but he had to drive my mom home in the poor weather.”

Image: ImageBy_Peter_Andersen_rack_2

This deer has it all, including beam length, tine length, mass, and more. Image courtesy of Peter Andersen

His blind was positioned on the northern side of a bluff beside of a big deadfall. “My bait site and camera were 135 yards across the field against the southern side of another bluff,” he said.

He settled into the blind, and deer immediately started funneling through. “Deer started to enter the field before I got the door closed,” he said. It wasn’t long before a 145-inch buck walked by within bow range. It fed for a while, and then departed.

Soon after that, another big deer walked through. Knowing his target buck was likely in the area, Andersen passed that one, too. The afternoon hunt continued, and so did the deer parade. “They were all feeding in the field or at the bait,” he said. “The bucks fought for a bit before becoming friends again. With 3 minutes of shooting time left, the buck appeared.”

Just as Andersen was beginning to pack his gear, he glanced up and saw the buck 40 yards away. He immediately set down his pack and spotting scope and picked up his gun. As he did, the buck moved closer to the bait station.

After a few tense seconds, Andersen settled the sights on the big deer. The 100-yard, slightly-quartering-away shot placement hit its mark. The recovery was short. But with the size of the deer, it wasn’t easy.

“My friend Dustin Millar came out to help with photos and loading the buck,” Andersen said. “He had the largest body of any whitetail I've taken. This deer means a lot to me. It was years of learning deer behavior that culminated in the perfect opportunity. I prefer pursuing big mule deer, but a special whitetail steals my attention.”

The buck sports a mainframe 5-by-5 rack. It was scored as a 6-by-9 nontypical. The gross score is 176-5/8 inches and the net score is 171-7/8 inches.

“Shooting this buck was very satisfying,” Andersen said. “I picked a spot nearly a year before. I set up with the intention of having late-October weather push him to food, or the rut make him come looking for does. I used my knowledge of deer activity around certain weather patterns to target this deer with minimal sits and pressure.”


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