Mathews Inc.
Closure Day
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
APauls 22-Apr-19
Drahthaar 22-Apr-19
M.Pauls 22-Apr-19
Jaquomo 22-Apr-19
Scoot 22-Apr-19
Nick Muche 22-Apr-19
BigOk 22-Apr-19
t-roy 22-Apr-19
sticksender 22-Apr-19
EmbryOklahoma 22-Apr-19
Inshart 22-Apr-19
HUNT MAN 22-Apr-19
otcWill 22-Apr-19
Marty 22-Apr-19
kylet 22-Apr-19
IdyllwildArcher 22-Apr-19
Tyler 23-Apr-19
BULELK1 23-Apr-19
elkstabber 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
M.Pauls 23-Apr-19
deerslayer 23-Apr-19
OFFHNTN 24-Apr-19
Treeline 24-Apr-19
Fuzz 24-Apr-19
Kicker Point 25-Apr-19
M.Pauls 25-Apr-19
Treeline 25-Apr-19
Treeline 25-Apr-19
Inshart 25-Apr-19
Treeline 25-Apr-19
Ambush 25-Apr-19
Treeline 25-Apr-19
M.Pauls 26-Apr-19
Tyler 26-Apr-19
jrstegner 26-Apr-19
Thornton 27-Apr-19
From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19
Most days in the bush I find my myself amazed at all the things I see and learn. A day in the bush is never wasted and I look forward to every walk, be it short or long. Just the other day, out shed hunting with our family, we found a 110# dead female wolf, which starts a chain of trying to piece things together. How did it die? Why here? Just can’t get that stuff in the concrete jungle. Always an adventure. Anyways, yesterday was no exception.

I started hunting a big 4x4 sometime after 2012, but 2012 was my first year that I knew of him. Strong suspicions would lead me to a genetically superior 2 1/2 year old at that time. I was hunting a 200” buck that year, and they seemed to feed together a lot of the time in the summer that year. That’s how I came to know him. I ended up killing the 200 that year, and the next year my focus was partially on the big 4. As a 2 1/2 year old, I figured him at about a 130” gross 4x. The next year he easily went over 145” as a 4 so he was a definite shooter if I could peg him. He was so crazy smart though, I only saw him once in person and once on trail cam. He hung up on my buck decoy on an alfalfa field at about 120 yards, and just locked eyes without moving for about 45 minutes before leaving with numerous does. I can’t remember now over the next few years exactly, but I would see him one year once, and then not the other. He was strangely weary, almost never moving in visible or huntable areas in daylight. I now know where he must have been, as in 2017 I locked up a new 80a parcel of permission, a half mile away, and my brother actually picked him up on cam. I saw him once for about 2 seconds crossing the pasture there, and then not again until after the season, he showed up where I feed deer throughout the winter on my property. The thirst was real though, as he was likely a mid 150s 4x4 with unreal MASS. In 2017 I arrowed a great deer grossing around the 170 mark earlier on, so I was content leaving him one more year, but with no big bucks around that I “knew of” for the upcoming season, and with this monarch approaching 9 years old, he would definitely be the primary focus for 2018. Shed hunting that year with the family, I found the matched set, and I figured him right around 155” with very little deductions, remember, as a 4x4!

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
The big 4 at the winter feed station
M.Pauls's embedded Photo
The big 4 at the winter feed station

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19
In 2018, I had fresh alfalfa on my personal home quarter and the does were thick. I had no great bucks running around but with high deer numbers on the field within sight of the road, this brought heavy truck traffic. All season I had guys glassing which makes you nervous, as you never really know peoples’ intentions. This only got worse during the rut, and then it started to happen, shots at night into our field and the occasional truck track, along with a couple does shot and left to rot. I would attempt to wait for guys to slip up, but it never did quite work out and Lord help them if it would’ve worked. Around November 20th I had a neighbour tell me he saw a giant on my field. I instantly knew it was the big framed 4, and the hunt was on. I had been on a real low pressure approach until then but I started to shift heavier into buck decoying the edge of this field littered with does. On November 26, I was sitting just inside the treeline when a shot rang out what seemed right beside me. I quickly called my wife and asked her to start locating trucks, as I began to walk around looking for clues. Nothing. Then 2 days later as I checked one trail cam, the big 4 had moved IN daylight on the 26th in a clear shot from the road that evening I had been hunting. A couple hours later on cam, I caught the “low life” 3 times obviously looking to pick up a trail of a deer he had shot. With 3 photos spanning 25 minutes, I knew he was looking hard, but with no drag marks or truck tracks, I figured he had been unsuccessful. Throughout the winter, he never showed up at my feed station deep in the bush, so I knew that he had likely been shot and just not recovered.

I waited patiently for the snow to melt, and yesterday being a beautiful easter afternoon, I said to my wife, “well I’m going to go out and find the big 4”. Not an hour later I found him in a small opening in the middle of a thick portion of bush adjacent to where I figured him to be shot. More bitter than sweet, but at least I don’t have to go into 2019 wondering if the big 4 has relocated and he is still King somewhere else. He lived a good long life, but it was still a shame he wasn’t killed in in a fight with some other ‘up and coming stud’ of the forrest, or held as a warm body by hard working hunter, or enjoyed around a table as a family. But I guess as they say, nice to have closure.

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
As I walked up on him
M.Pauls's embedded Photo
As I walked up on him

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19
Then later that afternoon, we went out as a family, my wife and our 3 kids to do some shed hunting. Not much success, but I was really hoping my wife would find one, that would actually be her first, when I heard “I found one!” Took me a while to get where she was at, but as I got closer I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the right side of my 200”er from 2011! I already had the left, and had spent years looking for that right, but eventually realized the antler would likely be disintegrated by now. She was standing with the kids joking around about seeing sheds, when she actually realized she was almost standing on one! It was almost completely submerged in dirt, meaning, this was likely the only way it would have been found. We are in big bush country and this seriously is needle in the haystack type stuff. Man did I ever spend time dreaming of where in the world that shed dropped!!!

So for now,. I’ll call April 21st Closure day! Happy Easter you guys, HE IS RISEN!!

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
What he looked like in 2012
M.Pauls's embedded Photo
What he looked like in 2012

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19
For those that are interested, the big 4 as a dead buck measured 158 and change gross, nets like junk as he went to a 5 on the one side and the split tine, as well as losing some symmetry, not that it would have mattered all that much to me. He was a real pretty deer

From: APauls
22-Apr-19
Funny I'm the first person to open this thread lol. Ya, really sucks, I was hoping I was going to be able to ride on my brother's coattails and kill that buck ;) Matt you need to post the pics of that wolf as well. Far too many deer meeting their maker from a bullet in a bow zone.

From: Drahthaar
22-Apr-19
A damn shame about the big 8, but like you say now you know where he is. Congratulations to your wife on a BIG first. Great read thanks for taking us along. Forrest

From: M.Pauls
22-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
Here’s a pic of the wolf we found. Got to him quick enough he hadn’t spoiled
M.Pauls's embedded Photo
Here’s a pic of the wolf we found. Got to him quick enough he hadn’t spoiled

From: Jaquomo
22-Apr-19
Yes, thanks for the great story. It really sucks what some people will do. Road hunting poachers do it where I hunt deer on the CO plains, too, or get permission to "coyote hunt" on some ranches and hide a big poached buck on their way out. Is there any way to identify who shot the buck? You got closure, but not the sort of "closure" you wanted.

Very cool on the find of the other side of your big buck! I found the right side shed of two years prior of my 210 net muley, but never could find the lefts. Did you figure out how the wolf died? Poison, maybe?

From: Scoot
22-Apr-19
Bummer about the big 4. Were you able to make use of the 3 pics you got of the schmuck poacher on camera? I hope so and I hope he was punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Very cool finding that shed!

From: Nick Muche
22-Apr-19
Great story right there and while I am sure it's nice to know it's all over, I'd still be hard pressed to get it off my mind for awhile. Nice find for your wifes first shed too, btw! Let's hear the story about the wolf, he looks rather large!

From: BigOk
22-Apr-19
Good story. Glad you got closure on the story and not have always wonder where he went.

From: t-roy
22-Apr-19
Closure can definitely be bittersweet sometimes for sure, Matt. Too bad you didn’t catch the douchebag that poached him, but, at least, he didn’t end up with the deer.

Those big eights are always impressive to me. Way cool that your wife’s first ever shed was from a buck that you killed!

Beautiful wolf as well. You don’t think that homicidal muskrat that was stalking Adam last winter, had anything to do with its death, do you!?!?

From: sticksender
22-Apr-19
You guys have some fabulous genetics up there. That 200 incher is outrageous!

22-Apr-19
Nice story, Matt! Bittersweet for sure. Glad you have some closure... btw, you're a great story teller. Congrats to the wife on even more closure. That's a great Easter!

From: Inshart
22-Apr-19
Great read. Did your wife ever find a truck? I imagine your "wardens" are spread pretty thin?

From: HUNT MAN
22-Apr-19
Thanks for posting . Bummer on the buck!! Happy Easter ! Hunt

From: otcWill
22-Apr-19
Enjoyed that, Matt. Save for the poaching part. That would drive me crazy. Thanks for posting!

From: Marty
22-Apr-19
Pretty cool story! Too bad on the other buck tho.

From: kylet
22-Apr-19
That’s too bad. I think a lot of big deer are poached around here.

22-Apr-19
Cool story. Post the pic of the poacher.

From: Tyler
23-Apr-19
great story and finds! too bad about the old 8 there always has to be somebody shooting in our beloved bow zones eh. such a shame.

From: BULELK1
23-Apr-19
What a good reading story and chain of events

Thanks for sharing with us all

Good luck, Robb

From: elkstabber
23-Apr-19
The more we learn when truly spending lots of time in the woods and paying attention the less I like some people. That low life wasn't poaching to feed his family, he was doing it for his ego.

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19
Nick, the wolf unfortunately doesn't have much of a story. We went out looking for sheds, but snow in the bush was still too deep so we were sort of skirting the edge, when I saw something in the open prairie grass that could have possibly been a small snow drift but upon closer inspection was the wolf, mostly still frozen. No blood or anything. After skinning, there was a very faint mark in the neck that could have possibly been a 22lr, but one of my concerns would be that it was poisoned by strychnine. I can't confirm that, and I guess I could have with some more digging around but I just left it at that.

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
Love the look on my middle son Layne here. I guess he was full predator mode now LOL
M.Pauls's embedded Photo
Love the look on my middle son Layne here. I guess he was full predator mode now LOL

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
This is zoomed in. It was at 5:08. 11/26/2018
M.Pauls's embedded Photo
This is zoomed in. It was at 5:08. 11/26/2018
Ike, you’re right I probably should post the pic of the poacher, I haven’t as they really arent that great. But here is the chain of events. The big 4 may even be shot already in this pic as he runs past the cam

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: M.Pauls
23-Apr-19

M.Pauls's embedded Photo
M.Pauls's embedded Photo

From: deerslayer
23-Apr-19
What a dirt bag......

Real sorry to hear Matt. That was a true Manitoba Monarch. I am super happy to hear you ended up with the antlers, not that they really matter, except that better you enjoying looking at them than the idiot who poached him.

Regardless it is an incredible story. Somehow I either forgot, or didn't pick up on him being a sidekick to the 200". Adds to the sadness now that the big 4 is gone too.

That is super cool Jordin found that other side!!!! Wow!!! Some good and some bad that day, but a crazy cool story all the way around nonetheless! You going to leave it green?

From: OFFHNTN
24-Apr-19
What an a great story! I still hope you find the POS in the pics, regardless, I am glad you have some closure.

From: Treeline
24-Apr-19
Wow.

Fabulous story to document your interaction with this great buck.

Glad you got closure, even though a lot of sadness. Sucks that such an elusive buck just happened to be visible when that poacher was driving by.

Maybe consider planting a row of cedars or something along the road to block their view?

Would it be possible to set up cameras to get pictures of vehicles on the road?

That poacher deserves a serious ass kicking! You know that was not the first time nor will it be the last.

From: Fuzz
24-Apr-19
Great story Matt! Good to have some closure but man it sure sucks. There's been a few bucks that I've been after that I'd like to know what had happened to them.

From: Kicker Point
25-Apr-19
Incredible story. Very sorry about how it happened. Thanks for sharing.

From: M.Pauls
25-Apr-19
Tavis, couldn't agree more. I spend 8 years following the buck and the one mistake he makes is while a poacher drives by LOL! mind you it was at 150 yards, so it wouldn't have helped me.... and I won't dispute you on what he deserves!

My mile road has quite a bit of traffic unfortunately so cams on the road would likely be around 150 pictures a day, and being in November with our temps I'd run a set of batteries every two days, so I don't think it's feasible.

It has been my plan all along to plant something at least there, but I am dealing with a mile of road frontage on my land so it's no small task and I keep trying to think of how to do it cost effectively and with good success. A fence will be going in this year at a minimum and hope this helps, as trees are more of a ten year plan anyways. Game wardens are now quite tuned in to my property and we are working together so I'm hoping next year we can put an end to this nonsense.

From: Treeline
25-Apr-19

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
Maybe put these up and fake camera boxes on all the sign and power poles along the road.

I would love to catch the guy and give him a good thrashing but the bottom line would be to get the poaching to stop.

If they think they is the potential for someone getting their picture, they will go where their are easier pickings.

From: Treeline
25-Apr-19

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
These are $11 at Home Depot and have blinking LED lights.

These should add enough pucker factor to dissuade your local poachers.

From: Inshart
25-Apr-19
I would think that the poachers would use the cameras for target practice.

From: Treeline
25-Apr-19
Thus the use of “official looking”, cheap and very visible dummy sets. Point them so that the look like there are multiple cameras that will catch them from multiple angles.

From: Ambush
25-Apr-19
You owe a lot Matt.

You owe yourself a pat on the back for raising a family right.

You owe your wife big time for finding that special shed!

You owe some poacher several hard boots to the crotchel regions.

You owe it to yourself to take it in stride and keep enjoying God's daily and life’s blessings.

From: Treeline
25-Apr-19
Well said, Ambush!

From: M.Pauls
26-Apr-19
You're a sweetheart Rod :)

Yeah Tavis, that could help. I had signs this year "No trespassing Cameras in Place!!!" but only 3 of them. My plan is to hang a sign like that every 50 yards or so on my fence after I put that in this year. I could also ask for broken trail cams and just literally start strapping them on everywhere as decoy cams and keep two or three in operation, maybe even with one of those large external batteries. In the mean time I'd like to start some planting of trees.

From: Tyler
26-Apr-19
Matt if you need a hand planting trees my Dad has a mini excavator and I'm sure you guys could work something out works good for digging holes and moving trees. A mile of frontage is a lot of work and a lot of trees!

From: jrstegner
26-Apr-19
Maybe just plant 8-10 rows of corn around the edge every year and leave it standing. That should be an effective and low cost screen.

From: Thornton
27-Apr-19
Makes me want to come back up there and try for another huge one. That country is truly the hardest I've ever hunted for whitetails due to the low deer density and millions of trees.

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