While Texas deer hunters are hoping for a little cold weather to get deer up and moving, Tyler’s Mark Everett has already had his feel of the cold while hunting, and he sure isn’t complaining about the results.
“The high was in the upper 20s and the low was in the teens. There was about four inches of snow and the rut was just starting good,” the hunter said.
Everett is something of a reverse snowbird. Although he lives in Texas his oilfield job has had him working in Alberta, Canada the last two years. However, the assignment is coming to an end, and there was one thing Everett had not had time to do while there.
“For the last two years I have been on a rotating assignment composing mostly of a month on and a month off, with the month on generally devoted to work. Personal time up there has been limited. However, this particular assignment is over at year’s end, and my hope of getting a chance to chase a Canadian whitetail was in jeopardy,” he explained.
Everett said a co-worker heard of his dilemma and offered to take him hunting near Edson, a farm town located about 125 miles from Edmonton. In Alberta non-residents can not just go hunting on their own. The invitation worked out perfectly because the co-worker was able to take Everett through the province’s Hunter Host program that allows non-residents to hunt with a local or a guide.
“I immediately jumped on the invitation and began the arrangement of my schedule,” Everett said.
He had a four-day window of opportunity, but had to split it across two hunts.
“My first attempt left me deer-less, but not speechless. It was awesome. I saw plenty of wildlife and beautiful scenery,” Everett said.
After time off, he returned to Canada in early November and was back in the blind within four days.
“I had one day. I was hunting from my friend’s blind overlooking a recently plowed field. I began my last day with seven hours of nothing. It was tough. The sunlight was beginning to fade along with my confidence of filling the tag,” Everett said.
Time was running out for Everett who was hunting from a ground blind. Then, with about 15 minutes of shooting time left, he caught a glimpse of movement in the distance. Everett picked up his binoculars and quickly glassed the area, spotting a buck 230 yards away.
“In my excitement I reached for the gun, found the deer in the scope and pulled the trigger. Nothing. I made the ultimate rookie mistake, the safety was still on.
“Once I figured out this complicated device, I made the appropriate adjustment and fired,” he said.
As he took the shot the deer was just about to walk back into cover. He was hopeful of his shot placement, but still opted to wait a half hour before starting to look for it.
He contacted his host, who showed up within minutes with flashlights to begin an after-dark search.
“We soon found the blood, and its trail, and 20 yards into the bush there he was lying under a spruce tree. I was elated,” Everett recalled.
It was a 5 ﾽ-year-old 8-pointer that grossed 140. In a way, the antlers almost looked small on the 260-pound deer’s body.
“The deer wasn’t huge on most people standards, but for me it was a lifelong dream. It literally came down to the wire. A friend once told me a deer season can be summed up in a few seconds. Boy was it ever. A great hunt and wonderful memories,” Everett said.