Second Chances

By Jeff Schlachter

Jeff Schlachter
Alberta, DIY, Public Land

In early September, two of my hunting buddies, Nick Schlachter and Kyle Stelter, and I headed to the prairies of southern Alberta with archery gear in search of big, elusive mule deer. I had fared well on the previous year’s journey, arrowing both a 78-inch antelope and a 185 typical mule deer.

On our first morning, I stumbled onto a big shed antler - a heavy threepoint with some stickers. Within half an hour, we came over a ridge and came face to face with the same buck whose shed I had just found! He had grown considerably, and although still a basic threepoint, he had increased in mass, point length, and junk. From that moment, he became known as “Mr. Stickers”.

We tried several different stalks, but always came up empty. Whether it was luck, skill, or an invisible shield, he always seemed to have the upper hand.

On the last day of our hunt he vanished, so we tried a different area in search of another giant buck. We didn’t look long before we found another big bedded buck. This big non-typical was still in full velvet and would gross around that magical 200-inch mark.

Nick and Kyle closed the gap as I watched from a distance. As it turned out, he left us all with a stupid look on our faces as he covered ground at a remarkable clip. We had little choice but to change directions and continue on.

Second Chances

For a full account of Jeff's adventure, go to page 44 in the July/August 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.