After six shut out years in a row, I am pleased to report that the “streak” ended at 9:00 am Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012 between number 7 and 6 behind the Camp.
It was a rainy morning and I decided to hunt out back with plans to come in around lunch time to put on dry clothes for an expected and predicted clearer afternoon weather-wise and to hunt up high. It was raining so hard early in morning that I delayed my departure until about 7:15 am.
I started from the road at number eight and hunted slow, sure and steady. I thought of how my brother Paul had shot a pretty big buck just behind the Camp by taking it slow. I also thought of my grandfather and his buddies who so many years ago blazed and maintained these trails and the many hunters, now long gone, who had likewise hunted along these trails. Alas, I digress….
Just before 9:00 am, I was walking slowly along the trail through the rainy woods which were drenched with such sound that it masked any noise made by man or beast.
Movement caught my peripheral vision at about 45 degrees to my left side. As I turned my head, all I could see was a rack and a big body walking quickly and deliberately through the woods. I raised my grandfather’s 8mm Mauser and looked for an opening and although there was pretty thick brush in my scope, I decided to fire as soon as I could see the body of the deer.
As soon as the rack and body came into my scope, I fired but didn’t see a flag or anything. I paused for a moment, heard nothing and started walking toward where I thought he was. Sure enough I saw the big body on the ground, but his head was up and he was clearly alive thrashing his thick neck and head made heavy from the rack adorning it. I watched for what seemed like forever, thinking he would expire momentarily, but as soon as his eye met mine, he became even more agitated and I decided that I should show mercy, which I did, with the second and final shot.
Of course, at that moment, I was filled with a rush of emotion and thought of all of you, among others. This has been a long dry spell and so this one’s for you!
Marc helped me with my ATV drag the buck to Monty’s waiting truck just beyond the driveway into the Lawrence camp and we registered it at River’s Edge in Oquossoc. According to the owner, it is a 12 point, 244 lbs. buck and I believe is now the new record. (I will leave it up to the Camp historians to confirm this)!
Monty drove me back with the buck yesterday afternoon, as I am leaving for a week in Florida with Bettie early tomorrow morning (she deserves it!). I hope the other stalwarts left behind (Gerry, Marc, Denis and Ron) are successful. Either way, now that I have my life back, I am already looking forward to the 2013 Sacred Week!
All the best,