By Dean Johe
-- I'm from Los Osos, Calif., and we hunt Columbia blacktails.
Sept. 1, 2004, was a sunny evening in Parkfield, Calif., when my son, Cody, my dad and me decided to go dove hunting at a friend's ranch. Our deer season runs into dove season, so as usual, I brought my deer rifle just in case we saw a buck.
This ranch is not known for producing deer. In fact, we had never seen a deer on this ranch until that great day.
My dad and my son were driving with me to the dove hunting spot when Cody told me to stop because he saw two giant deer in the skyline. He told me they looked like elk. I thought since he was 10 that he had just been seeing things, so I kept driving toward the dove spot.
Finally, my dad convinced me to turn around and at least check to see if there were any deer. We drove up to the top of the hill, and I saw a huge buck standing in some oak trees. I pulled up, loaded my .270 Winchester and made a beautiful shot, dropping the deer in its tracks.
I didn't notice how big the deer's spread was until I measured its rack. The inside spread was 26 inches wide and 16 inches tall. It was a forkhorn, which is a 2x2, and it had an eye guard on each side. If you counted all the points, it had a total of six. This dear scored 94 1/2 in Columbia blacktail deer.
What really makes the story is that we were going up there to hunt dove, and ended up coming home with the biggest deer of my life, and it was spotted by my son.
Los Osos, Calif.