December 20, 2022
Dominick Reale is 25 years old. He was born and raised in Florida and works there as a full-time firefighter and paramedic. He’s been hunting for the past 17 years and loves the idea of hunting out of state. This year, he went to Minnesota.
“Hunting plays a huge part in my life,” Dominick says. “It gives me a chance to escape reality and the stresses of life.”
On Nov. 5, 2022, Dominick flew from Florida to Minnesota. He settled in at deer camp and prepared for his highly anticipated rut hunt. He was ready for a fun few days. About 11/2 inches of snow had hit the ground already.
The next day, he hunted out of a Redneck blind on a field edge in slightly rolling hills. The temperature was in the mid 30s. A strong 30-mph wind blew hard. The blind kept him shielded from the bitter-cold elements, and cloudy skies draped the landscape in soft shadows. A few does is all he saw, however.
November 7th dawned a new day, and he anticipated a great hunt. Despite seeing minimal activity the day before, Dominick went back to the same blind for the morning hunt. The morning sit didn’t produce a deer sighting. So, he took a lunch break and returned for the afternoon sit.
The sun started to set, and the hunt had been slow yet again. Several does fed in the open about 100 yards to his right, but nothing with headgear had appeared all day.
Then, Dominick saw a big deer come out of the tree line to his left. At first, all he could see was his head, and he couldn’t tell how big the buck was. That continued as the deer walked down the edge of a potato field.
“I could see that this was an absolute monster of a buck,” he says. “He started to graze about 50 yards away from me.”
The buck dug through the melting snow in search of food. All the while, Dominick prepped his gun and readied for the shot opportunity. He gripped his Bergara .300 Win. Mag. and peered through the scope. Just as the buck turned broadside, he squeezed the trigger. The round blew through the buck’s front shoulder, and the deer ran about 25 yards and piled up in the clearing along another tree line.
“I immediately FaceTimed a few of my closest friends and showed them the monster that I was able to put my hands on,” Dominick remembers. “I was still shaking like a leaf and in complete disbelief of the buck I was able to get a chance on.”
The huge Minnesota deer scores 184 6/8 inches.