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Albert Richard Buck: 155-Inch New Brunswick Brute

albert_richard_fThe 2012 deer season here in New Brunswick had been over for only a week, but I already was scouting for the coming fall, looking for fresh buck sign and picking new stand setups. The urgency of my effort was due to the fact that in my home province there's only a short time frame of a few weeks between the end of whitetail season and the onset of full-blown winter.

With post-season being such an important scouting period, I try my best to put in whatever extra time I have scouting for big bucks before the snow comes and covers all evidence of the recent rut. Having 8-10 trail cameras in the woods all year then gives me a good idea of which bucks I want to hunt and what their activity patterns are.

albert_richard_1As 2013 progressed, I knew of three good bucks I'd be more than happy to put my tag on. But over the summer their patterns changed dramatically. The closer it got to archery season, the fewer photos I acquired of them. This happens in our area every year as the rut nears.

Another big factor affecting mature buck patterns here is moose hunting. When September comes around, many people hit the woods to scout for that season, which occurs late in the month. This extra human activity seems to spook the big whitetails deeper into hiding for a couple weeks.

When our 2013 archery deer season started on Oct. 6 I was ready to go, but in all honesty I didn't have any of my three target bucks patterned. Granted, if you're not in the field you can't possibly get a chance at a buck, but I really wasn't on one. Our 3-week bow season flew by with me seeing only a couple bucks, and both were young.

Finally it was time to put away the bow and take out the rifle. However, buck movement remained sluggish. As the first three weeks of rifle season went by the buck movement seemed to intensify, but most activity still was at night and thus known only courtesy of my trail cameras.

New Brunswick's 2013 gun season fell a week later than usual, and because of that shift on the calendar, I was going to miss its last three days. My annual hunting trip to Saskatchewan would keep me from hunting all the way through at home. With only a couple days left to hunt, I felt the self-imposed pressure mounting. I wanted to shoot a nice buck in my home province, but I also needed to make sure I had everything packed and ready for my trip west.

I knew the last day I could hunt in New Brunswick would be very busy, what with getting everything ready for my trip, then heading to a doctor's appointment in the afternoon and finally getting out to hunt for the last few hours before dark. Luckily for me everything went well, and I rushed home to get in the woods for the evening hunt.

Walking out the door at 3 p.m., I knew I wouldn't be able to reach my tree stand in time for much of a hunt. So as I was walking to the woods, I decided I had nothing to lose by still-hunting along my ATV trail.

After walking slowly for about a half-hour, I noticed something to my right. I stood still, waiting, as a beautiful doe and fawn trotted along the brook's edge. Knowing the rut still was on, and thus anticipating the possibility of a big buck being behind them, I decided to wait in that spot for a good 10 minutes.

albert_richard_mapI saw no other deer and decided to move on. But just as I made my first three steps, I noticed another doe 80 yards away, standing on my ATV trail. And this one was acting differently from the first doe, making me think she might be in heat.

The doe quickly jumped off the trail, but nothing followed her. Thirty seconds later, as I was about to take a step forward, there he was — looking at me. I was caught in the wide open.


It didn't take me long to realize this buck was a serious shooter. But unless he turned his attention back to the doe, I couldn't make a move on him. Finally, after what felt like forever, he looked in her direction, put his head down and started moving that way. In a split-second I got the rifle up and shot before he disappeared into the thick timber.

As I stood there, I couldn't believe what had just happened. I knew by the buck's reaction he'd been hit, but I wasn't sure how well.

I waited for a few minutes before calling to tell my wife I'd shot a monster buck. I then waited for her to arrive home from work and get ready to help me look for a blood trail. As we walked back into the area where I'd taken the shot, we knew we didn't have much time to find where the blood began; we were going to lose daylight shortly.

We walked to where the buck had been standing when I'd fired the shot, but there was no blood — only the impressions of his running hooves in the dirt for about 50 yards. But then we finally spotted really dark blood on the leaves. I knew I'd hit the deer, but too far back. At that point, in the dwindling light I figured the best option was to pull out and resume the search the next morning.

As soon as we got back to the house, I called my father and some friends to help me look for the buck at first light. That night, all I could think about was the buck looking at me. Let's just say it was the longest night of my life. I just hoped we'd find the deer quickly.

After an hour and a half of searching that morning there still was no buck. I was really starting to worry, thinking I wouldn't be finding him after all. That's when I heard my friend Steve say, "He's right here!"

All I can remember after that was sprinting through the thick timber and finally putting my hands on this big-woods giant. I was grateful to have my wife, our unborn child, my parents and some good friends to share that wonderful celebration with me.

albert_richard_2While somewhat run down from the rut, the massive deer still dressed out at an impressive 252 pounds. And despite a tight inside spread of only 15 2/8 inches, the 11-point rack's gross score came to 155 2/8, much of that courtesy of his exceptional mass and long brow tines. All in all, this buck is a fine example of the kind of thick bodies and antlers New Brunswick is known for.

And when I got back word on the deer's age, there was yet another impressive number to add to his story. I felt he likely was 5 1/2 years old, but the results from Matson's Lab in Montana (which cross-sections incisors to age specimens) came back as much older: 9 1/2! This deer truly was an ancient warrior from the Maritimes.

For Your Information

The 4th edition of the New Brunswick Official Big Game Record Book is now off the press. This full-color tribute to the finest whitetails, moose and bears ever taken in the province includes abundant photos and dozens of stories shared directly by the hunters themselves. From cover to cover, the book (printed in both English and French) offers information on an often-overlooked corner of the hunting world.

Kyle Heuerman

Any serious whitetail hunter knows that it's not often that we get a second chance on the buck of a lifetime, or even a first chance for that matter. But luck was on the side of Kyle Heuerman and his girlfriend Jennifer Weaver when they put an arrow through this 196-inch Illinois brute. Read the full story.

Joe Franz

We estimate he was 7 1/2 years old. That's based on photos from 2010, when he clearly wasn't over 3 1/2. When I got him he weighed over 300 pounds on the hoof, as suspected. Official B&C measurer Glen Salow came up with a 'green ' gross score of 258 7/8 inches. After the 60-day drying period, he again taped the rack. This time he got a gross non-typical score of 261 3/8, with a net of 230 7/8. The gross score evidently makes this the highest-scoring wild whitetail ever harvested on professional video.
Read the full story.

Jon Massie

Jon's no stranger to free-ranging whitetails across the central plains, having guided a number of clients to trophies and harvesting many big ones himself. In fact, going into 2013 he'd shot two net Boone & Crocketts: one a non-typical scoring over 200, the other a typical from public land. With such success behind him, Jon felt all of his hunting dreams already had come true. At least, he did until a buck he'd never seen showed up on one of his trail cameras. Read the full story.

Tom Boyer

Knowing I couldn't even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o'clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn't figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering 'fire in the hole ' while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view. Read the full story.

Teddy's Buck

With a whopping 40 inches of non-typical growth, he has a gross Boone & Crockett score of 215 3/8. The rack's 21 6/8-inch inside spread certainly helps to show off its unique character. He was just a special deer, and very much a result of patience in both management and hunting. Read the full story.

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan was only 19 when, during the 2013 season, he arrowed an Arkansas buck of gigantic proportions. Like many of his fellow Arkansans, Ryan is a deer and duck fanatic. For several years, however, he gave up most of his duck season to lock horns with the world-class buck. Read the full story.

Junior Key

Junior's outstanding whitetail is the biggest ever recorded from Monroe County, and he ranks as one of the Bluegrass State's top bucks from the 2013-14 season. This great non-typical also is the latest member of Kentucky's all-time Top 30 list.
Read the full story.

Mikell Fries

At 16 yards, Mikell took aim at the giant and released his arrow. In an instant, the shaft had passed through him. The deer instantly whirled and ran out of sight . . . but then, within seconds the archer heard him crash to the ground. 'I remained in the stand for several minutes to gather my thoughts and calm down, ' Mikell says. 'I'm sure the entire encounter only took a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity. ' Read the full story.

Bill Robinson

Three double-digit tines of 10 2/8 to 13 5/8 inches, plus 7 1/8- and 9 3/8-inch brows and a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, add plenty to this regal crown. Put everything together and you have a gross 9-point frame score of 193 6/8. That's as big as it sounds. Typical asymmetry and 11 6/8 inches of abnormal points total 25 1/8 inches of deductions, so as a typical, the deer nets 'only ' 168 5/8. But the 8×5 rack's total gross score of 205 4/8 is much more reflective of its stunning size. Regardless of score, the Robinson buck is clearly a marvel of nature. Read the full story.

Nick Drake

The action was fast and furious right from the get-go. At daybreak a doe busted through the cedar thicket with an eight-point suitor following close behind. The doe, however, wanted nothing to do with her pursuer and jumped into a nearby pond in an attempt to flee the buck. This, however, wasn't the last of the action. Nick continued to watch several bucks harass does throughout the morning, but chose not to take a shot at them. Read the full story.

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