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Hunting Monster Canadian Mule Deer Day 1: Ranking Velvet Antlered Mule Deer Bucks

Mule deer in shadows
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Editor’s Note: Cody Robbins lives in an area home to some of the best mule deer, whitetail deer, and elk hunting in North America. Most specifically, he believes, “Here in Delisle, Saskatchewan, we have bigger mule deer than you’ll find anywhere else.” Cody and his wife, Kelsey, host the TV show “Live2Hunt“.  He explains this week why he can hunt some of the biggest mule deer in the mule deer’s home range. To learn more about Cody, visit his Facebook Page.

In the province of Saskatchewan, where I’ve lived all my life, the government doesn’t permit hunting by any aliens—out-of-country hunters. So, for that reason, there’s a massive lack of hunting pressure. Too, the mule deer in Saskatchewan have fantastic genetics. With this combination, we have the perfect recipe for creating giant mule-deer bucks.

I’ve never understood why the government doesn’t permit out-of-country hunters to come to Saskatchewan to hunt mule deer. In the province of Alberta, the government has structured its hunting regulations so that sportsmen from the U.S. can go there and hunt mule deer with the help of an outfitter. If Saskatchewan had that same stipulation in its hunting regulations, I’m sure that Saskatchewan could produce a tremendous amount of income for our province. However, of course, I’m still happy that only the residents can hunt here because that makes hunting better for me. (grin)

Now, don’t get me wrong—there are some big mule-deer bucks in Alberta. However, I believe the quality of bucks in Saskatchewan is some of the best. My biggest mule deer buck scored 294-6/8 inches and is potentially the new world-record archery mule deer. The Colorado buck that Kenneth Plank shot in 1987 currently holds the world record for nontypical mule deer at 274-7/8 inches. When my buck was panel-scored by three Pope & Young (P&Y) master scorers after the 60-day drying period, it netted 288 inches, more than the current world record. After the score was turned in, the officials told me, “For your buck to be the official Pope & Young buck taken with archery tackle, you’ll have to strip the velvet of the buck’s antlers.” Of course, I replied, “There’s no way.”

Having the world-record mule-deer buck taken with archery equipment is not nearly as important to me as keeping that animal precisely how he was when I harvested him. I still have the three-man panel score sheet on my desk from 2011. Today, Pope & Young has set up a category to rank velvet-antlered mule deer. Now, my mule-deer buck can be ranked by Pope & Young. I’ve decided to send my score sheet to P&Y so he can be officially ranked in the record book. Since more and more bowhunters have learned that their best opportunity to take trophy mule-deer bucks is during early archery season in most mule-deer states, this classification is long overdue.

Mule Deer Book and Whitetail Deer Hunting Books

Tomorrow: Finding Monster Mule Deer Bow Bucks

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