When Brock Maksymiw of Yorkton, Saskatchewan saw a photo on his phone of what looked like a mature buck with the head of a dead buck firmly affixed its antlers, he thought his remote trail-camera was glitching. “It looked like maybe the deer shook its head, and the camera picked up that motion or something,” Maksymiw tells Field & Stream. “I wasn’t sure what was going on.”
Later that day—November 22—a few more snapshots of the same deer showed that the camera was functioning just fine. The whitetail buck in Maksymiw’s photos was walking around with the dead head of a much larger deer permanently attached to its 4X4 rack. Roughly 48 hours later, Maksymiw went out and tagged the extremely rare trophy. Here’s the story of his hunt.
Two For One
“I showed the initial photo to some buddies later on when we got to the end-of-the-day meetup at work,” Maksymiw recalls. “We looked at it and looked at it. It took about 25 minutes before we realized what we were looking at.” He couldn’t get the bizarre photos off his mind while at work, he says, so he arranged for a day off when he’d head out to hunt the buck.
Maksymiw isn’t sure how the 8-point whitetail that he’s now calling the “two-headed buck” got tangled up with a much larger 7X8 dead head, but he has a theory. “Some buddies and I got to talking while the deer was hanging, and we think the bigger buck probably died from other causes before the smaller buck came in and got locked up with its rack,” he says. “It seems too unlikely that the 4×4 could have killed the 7X8 in a fight. And if he did, he would have had to contend with coyotes—but there wasn’t a single bite mark on him.”
Saskatchewan, where Maksymiw lives and hunts, is known for bruiser whitetails. During his last two seasons, Maksymiw tagged a giant dark-racked 9-point and a beautiful main-frame 10 with a brow-tine kicker. One of the biggest and most symmetrical whitetail racks of all-time—the standing B&C record for more than three decades—came out of Biggar, Saskatchewan. It was shot by a grain and cattle farmer named Milo Hanson. Maksymiw killed his deer about four hours east of the area where Hanson shot his world-famous whitetail back in 1992.
A Borrowed Gun and a Stroke of Bad Luck
Maksymiw hunted the “two-headed buck” for the first time on Friday, November 24, two days after it showed up on his cellular trail-cam, and he killed it that same day, shortly before noon. “That morning it was -15 degrees celsius,” he says. “I used a gun I borrowed from my friend. My .300 Win Mag wasn’t really doing what I wanted it to do, so my friend loaned me his son’s 6.5 PRC.”
He got to the farm where his camera was set up around 6 a.m. and sat a field edge next to a bait station until the deer appeared just after legal shooting light—around 8:00 a.m. “I’m not going to lie. I was shaking like a leaf when he walked out,” he says. “And I just flat-out missed the shot.”
Devastated with the miss, Maksymiw knew he had to be back in town soon for his youngest son’s doctor’s appointment. He left the property at 8:30 a.m. thinking his opportunity to tag the two-headed buck had slipped through his fingers. Luckily, he managed to head back out a little later in the day, while the deer was still in the area.
A Shot at Redemption
“I got back out to my Dad’s farm around 11:30 a.m., and I made it about 30 yards down a deer trail before I saw a tine through the brush,” he says. “I put the scope on it, and he turned and looked at me. That’s when I saw the two heads. I pulled the trigger and heard a thwack. It felt like a perfect shot, but he got up and ran.”
Maksymiw quickly found blood. He followed the trail for less than 100 yards and found the deer dead in a clearing. “I called my fiancé and said you gotta come take pictures. I got him. This is awesome!” he says. “As I was getting back to the truck, the neighbor drove up and asked if I got anything. I said, ‘Yeah, Ron. I got the buck that’s got two heads on it!’ He was in awe.”
Before tagging the buck, Maksymiw says he phoned the Saskatchewan conservation authorities to let them know about the extra set of antlers. “They asked a bunch of questions and had me send in some pictures to apply for a permit to obtain the head,” he says. “By the time we had the deer hung up, my permit was approved. We left the meat to cure, and I cut off the head and cape for my taxidermist. I’m still on cloud nine.”