Trading a bed and bandages for a deer blind and camo last season was a no-brainer for Eric Chicoine.
The hunter from Saint-Pie, Quebec, had only three weekends he could hunt in 2018. Rather than spend one-third of his precious few off-days indoors, he postponed minor surgery in order to have every opportunity at an 8-pointer that had wandered in front of his trail camera.
“I wanted that buck desperately,” the French Canadian told André Beaudry, who shared the story with Duncan Dobie for Rack magazine.
The first weekend was a bust, though Eric thinks the buck he let walk on Sunday might’ve been the one photographed by the trail cam. He later regretted suppressing his urge to shoot it.
The second Saturday, the day he was originally supposed to have surgery, a wintry landscape greeted him. He’d never hunted in snow.
An hour into his morning vigil, Eric spotted antlers behind a black spruce tree. He didn’t know exactly how big the deer was, but it was clearly larger than the one about which he’d been fantasizing.
Eric was so nervous that his shaking caused the muzzleloader to brush against the side of his blind, creating a noise the animal heard.
“The deer was nervous, looking in my direction. I was very surprised when it started walking toward me,” he said. “It did exactly what I was hoping it would do.”
When the 16-point whitetail stepped into the clear, none the wiser as to what had made the whooshing sound moments earlier, Eric shot it.
Loading it into his small car was quite an effort.
The deer’s BTR score is 207 3/8, helped greatly by its 28 5/8-inch inside spread. It’s the second-largest whitetail ever recorded from Quebec.
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