Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak pros Pat Reeve and his wife Nicole have hosted “Driven with Pat and Nicole,” a TV show on the Outdoor Channel for the past 10 seasons. The biggest news from Pat and Nicole is that during the 2014-2015 season Nicole was with child.
My son Carson took three animals this year, and Nicole reminded me of how much fun we had on those hunts. We really enjoy hunting with our children, and those are probably the most-memorable hunts all year, every year.
I went on a hunt in Alberta for whitetails with Ben Cockrell of North Alberta Outfitters. His hunting property is north of Edmonton up in the wilderness country. This was the first hunt I had ever made with Ben. Ben is a really-good farmer. He leaves a lot of food in the field for the deer. The deer migrate out of that big timber forest and feed in his fields and in his food plots. What makes Ben’s hunts so unique is that he’s one of the few farmers I know of in Canada who leaves a portion of his crops in the field for the deer and plants food plots for the deer. Ben had the sheds from a really big buck, as well as numbers of trail camera pictures of this same buck he showed me. This buck was so impressive I decided this was the one I wanted to hunt.
If you’ve hunted deer very long, you know that nothing’s sure when you're trying to take a trophy buck, regardless of how well you’ve patterned the deer. When you get ready to hunt and try to take that buck, the hunt usually takes more than one day of sitting in the blind. Although we had plenty of pictures and scouting reports of the buck, Nicole and I sat in the blind for 4 days, but this big 10-point never showed up. I've been hunting deer for a long time, and I know that older-age-class bucks don’t move and show up where the hunter expects them to be the first day he tries to hunt them. I was going to be the shooter, and Nicole was filming the hunt for our TV show.
When we first saw the buck, he was really close. I let him close the distance, until he was about 20 yards from our blind. Before I came to full draw, I made sure that Nicole could see the deer through the viewfinder of our camera. Once the buck was 20 yards from the blind, I released the arrow, hitting the buck right behind the front shoulder. The big buck ran only a few yards before he piled-up. He scored 170 inches. He was a 5x5 and had a dressed weight of more than 250 pounds.