Over the years I had been fortunate to be able to hunt a piece of family property in Northport, Maine.
It was a narrow small field with no hunting pressure around it. I was the only one that hunted there. The "shack" had been built in the 60's and myself, my stepdad and his friend hunted there for over 30 years. The fall of 1997 couldn't have come too soon. I was ready to hunt and for more reasons than I knew at that time it would be a rewarding and difficult season. I hadn't seen much during the first week of the season, a doe or two. But I never lost faith. The morning of November 6th started as a very cold day, there was a dusting of snow on the ground. I got to the shack 30 minutes prior to legal shooting. Once legal time came I loaded my rifle. At the time I used a single shot .357 Magnum Savage. It was my first rifle handed down to me by my stepdad. I couldn't afford anything more advanced at the time. I was confident with it and had shot several deer with the 158 grain hollow point I used. Once legal time came and I loaded up not even 30 minutes went by when I saw a nice buck enter the field from the right about 50 yards in front of the shack. The deer there almost always were right to left in the morning and left to right in the afternoon. I remember saying to myself "that's a nice deer, 8 point anyway". Once the buck got to the center of the field (he was on a mission) I pulled up the .357 rifle put the cross hairs on him and squeezed. I knew I hit him well. He ran into the woods on the left and I heard crashing. I waited for 15 minutes or so which seemed like an eternity. I went in the woods maybe 30 yards and there before me was the biggest buck I had ever seen in my life. He had dropped into a ditch and his chin and head were resting on the edge looking straight at me. His rack was huge and had three drop tines. For a moment I didn't think it was my deer. I sat there and just stared for a few minutes. I was so excited, I just started to drag him up the field before even dressing him out. I got him to the field. Back then I had no cell phone or camera or anything to document. I just started dressing him out and then struggled to load him into my truck. I stopped by my friends house and off we went to the tagging station. The 11 point weighed in at 220 pounds. After tagging I stopped by Scott Brown's house to see if he could take the buck in to butcher. Scott said he couldn't at first but when he looked at the deer he said "bring him by tomorrow I'll get you in". I hung the buck for the night and took him to Scott's the next day. He asked if I wanted it caped, which I did. He then asked if I was going to get the rack scored. At the time I didn't know anything about that stuff. With the encourgement of several friends I got the deer's "green score" which was around 166 inches. After the 60 day dry period EJ Wancus scored my buck at 164 7/8 Non-typical, A double patch buck!! The buck got entered into the MASTC club and they recorded the story. The unique rack had a 7 inch tine protruding down just above his left eye. The best part was seeing my stepdads reaction when I showed him the deer. I didn't know it at the time but it would be the last deer he would ever see. Sadly he passed away one month later on Pearl Harbor day. It was a blessing to share this harvest with him and have that one last hunting moment. An experience I will never forget.