Trophy buck grew in crosshairs

By Geoff Lee

January 31, 2018 1:26 PM

Lloydminster hunter Stan Benson shows off his first place trophy, left, in the Typical Whitetail hunting category at the Lloydminster & District Fish and Game Association banquet on Saturday and the Cel Stang Memorial Trophy that went with his first place trophy for a 170 3/8 inch antler from a whitetail deer he hunted in 2017. It was the first time in nine years the Cel Stang trophy has been awarded. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO

The buck stops here.
That’s what Lloydminster hunter Stan Benson might have said when he finally brought down a record-setting Whitetail deer in November at his secret happy hunting ground in Saskatchewan.
“I watched him for three years and he could have gone somewhere else and been taken out, but I was very fortunate,” said Benson.
“He just seemed to be like a homebody type—he always stayed in that one area.”
As for where that is, Benson said, “I won’t be specific, but it’s the Lloyd area —the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster.”
Benson was feted at the Lloydminster & District Fish and Game Association family and wildlife awards banquet Saturday with the Cel Stang Memorial Trophy given to the hunter of a typical whitetail deer with antlers measuring at least 170 inches net around its beams and points.
Benson’s buck had antlers totalling 170 3/8 inches, making him the only club member to earn the trophy in the past nine years.
He also received a first place typical whitetail deer plaque that goes with the trophy and a first place typical whitetail deer plaque for the biggest deer of 2017.
Benson brought him down with a 7mm-.08 cartridge using a Savage rifle, as he says he’s not a bow hunter.
“I don’t know if I would ever get close enough with a bow; I’m not a archer guy; I’ve never grown up as an archer person,” he said.
He said he watched his prey two years ago and again more than a year ago, knowing the buck just wasn’t where he wanted him to be in size at those times.
“I wanted to get a 170; I didn’t want to take a deer just to take a deer,” he said.
He said he wasn’t going to take him unless he thought he made the book.
“So I waited and I had pictures of him and I filmed him one day with my movie camera at about 40 yards and I thought that deer should make it, so I went and I waited for him for two or three days and I finally got a chance to take him out.”
Benson said the kill shot took place at the end of November 2017 while he was sitting alone in a blind.
“So that’s my story and I’m sticking with it,” he said with a laugh.
Benson, who is 78 years old, figures he’s been hunting for at least 50 years and never shot a deer as large as the record buck that earned him the trophy.
When Benson was younger, he used to walk a lot during a hunt, but nowadays he prefers to sit in a blind.
“That way if nothing good happens, you can sit and enjoy it and film different things and different animals and sizes,” he said.
“I’m just there for the video and to watch the activity. It’s not about taking everything; it’s just about being out there and enjoying it all.”
Benson was one of about 500 people who turned up at the banquet held at the Lloydminster Stockade Convention Centre to applaud all of the big game, fish and bird winners, along with the recipients of photography awards.
Larry Chambers, association treasurer, said even the menu had a fish and game theme to it.
“A lot of the donated wild meat that we have has been made into appetizers so there’s moose jerky, wild boar sausage, smoked sausage, smoked pike,” said Chambers.
The main course featured wild boar roast, beef and turkey, and salmon and northern pike entrees.
The banquet is also a fundraiser and followed the association’s annual gun show funder, held two weeks ago at the Servus Sports Centre.
“A lot of the money we make is donated to both provinces for habitat,” said Chambers, noting the association is affiliated with the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and the Alberta Fish & Game Association’s habitat buying programs,” said Chambers.
“Of course that takes a lot of money.”
The association also funds youth program including two $1,000 scholarships for post grad students pursuing careers in conservation, as well as conservation camps and a youth centre for shooting and archery classes.
“At the end of June, we have an outdoor activity day that we do with 10 to 13 year olds,” added Chambers, who hunts moose and deer in Alberta.
He said he’s been driving north of High Prairie with a group for several years to hunt moose and south of Lloyd to hunt deer.

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