Nicole Reeve joined Pat Reeve on Driven TV in 2007, and hunted for huge bucks on camera for the first time that year. She learned quickly, and shot a massive buck on camera during the process.
“Looking back, 2007 was truly my breakout year as far as my deer hunting was concerned,” Nicole remembers in the book Trophy Whitetails with Pat and Nicole Reeve. “It was my debut year of filming with Pat for the TV show and things had been going incredibly well. Pat kept telling me, ‘This is not how it usually goes. It’s not that easy to shoot a big buck in front of the camera.’ But I was still very naive and it would take me awhile to fully understand what he was talking about. “And now we were on our way to Saskatchewan. This was my very first trip out of the country and I was both excited and a little overwhelmed.” On this hunt, Pat and Nicole wound up with Buck Paradise Outfitters operated by Grant Kuypers.
Two Tips for Hunting in Canada
Things you can learn from Nicole’s hunt, which could apply to you if you’re ever in Canada, or hunting with an outfitter:
- Listen to your outfitter and veteran hunters in the area. For instance, in this area, deer could handle fire and noise. As veteran hunter and cameraman Doug Klunder told Nicole, “If you get really cold, it’s all right to get out of the tree and build a fire. It won’t spook the deer at all.” Later in the book, the outfitter calmed similar fears about noise.
- Know the quality of the deer in the area. Said Nicole, “One particular buck kept coming in and leaving throughout the day. He was a beautiful 140-class 10-pointer, and I tried every way I could to talk Doug into letting me shoot him. Doug just kept saying, ‘I promise there are much bigger bucks than this around here.’ The buck would leave, then come back 30 minutes later, and we’d go through the same routine again. He kept assuring me that this was not the deer I had come all the way to Canada to shoot.”
- Bonus Tip (applies anywhere): Lack of a pass-through doesn’t always mean a bad hit. From Doug, following the shot on this 182-incher, “You’re okay because you made a good shot right behind the shoulder. It was perfect all the way and you have to remember the size of these deer – they’re huge!”
Nicole talks in the book about how much work it took to prepare the video of this monster buck for TV. “The next morning Pat carefully measured the rack. My buck gross-scored 181⅞ inches. We spent most of the next day taking photos, and the outfitter thought we were totally out of our minds. Months later after he viewed our TV show, I’m sure he realized why we had spent so much time filming various scenes and taking so many pictures.”
“In many ways, having had such a great season in 2007 and shooting the biggest deer of my life in Saskatchewan really did take some time to sink in. I was naive about so many aspects of the hunting industry. The entire experience was surreal. I had just shot the biggest deer of my life and was definitely on cloud nine. But I had not grown up watching much hunting TV and really didn’t have a grasp on how much that buck would impact our TV show, or increase my stature as a hunter in the eyes of others.”