posted on November 17, 2013 10:32
By Mike Handley
If you're going to judge a book buck by its cover, you'd better tilt it this way and that.
When Devin Moore of Purcell, Okla., booked a deer hunt with an Alberta outfitter, his personal goal was to shoot nothing less than a 160-inch buck. He was also willing to swallow that tag and write off the trip as an expensive vacation.
But that was before the last-day change of heart that so often afflicts those who travel to hunt. In this case, however, lowering the bar was a good thing.
A REALLY good thing.
Had Devin stuck to his guns and passed on this last-day whitetail, which he and his guide thought was a 155-incher, he'd have unwittingly allowed a 215-incher (spread included) to keep on trucking. Seen from head on, his buck looks 50 inches smaller; the P2s alone look like 6-inchers - half as long as they really are.
Neither Devin nor his guide, Aaron Franklin, will forget that 1 p.m. encounter on the last afternoon of the hunt. They were plodding in the snow, following an old logging road, when they spotted the buck in some willows at 200 yards.
The buck's rack was tough to judge in the mesh of limbs. It blended in so well that Aaron, an experienced judge of those Northern deer, thought the animal might go 155 inchesp>
Only because he could hear the proverbial fat lady warming up did Devin decide a mid-150s deer was too close to 160 to ignore. And even then, his happy ending almost wasn't.
Rusty Johnson measured these glorious antlers for the BTR last month. Devin's story will appear in RACK magazine next year.