I watched this buck grow in velvet all summer.
He would come in with a four point every time. late in the season he started to show up once a week between 4 and 630 pm. I patterned him to come in the first friday of bowseason when I wouldn't be able to get into my stand and he did at 615 I got a picture of him under my stand. I was able to sit on Saturday and saw him at 70 yards with the four point. The next time I could sit in this stand would be the following friday. On the 6th I had a spike come in at 40 yards and a doe late. The 7th I rushed into my stand and I knew I was running late. The pattern that this buck was running I knew he would walk by my stand on this day because he would come in a day later every week. I climbed into my stand, hung my bow, and went to pull my rangefinder. Before I could get it out of my pocket I heard a stick break and turned to see the 4 point 40 yards away with the 9 point popped out right behind him and they headed right to me. I had no time to stand up because the 9 point kept looking at another spike that was walking behind me. The 9 point circled 10 yards in front of me and I drew and took the shot sitting down. He ran 70 yards and I watched him go down. After he went down, both smaller bucks came right back under my stand. This was my first deer with a bow and will be on my wall next year.
I think 2004 was my most memorable deer hunt, so far.
On Monday of that week, my husband John shot a nice 8 pointer, but not quite nice enough to please him 😉 The rut was on and he was devastated that he was tagged out. On Tuesday morning, he literally put his feet on me and pushed me out of bed! If he couldn’t hunt, he was going to hunt through me! He told me he wanted me to take the electronic call and every 15 to 20 minutes make a couple of calls. He said to change it up between the tending grunt and the estrous doe call. So out the door I went and down across our back field to my blind that my dad built for me. I remember my last words to him... I said “I’ll go, but I can tell you one thing... if I get a deer, there will be no pictures taken.” I had no make up on and was bulked up like the Incredible Hulk!! I did exactly what he said. It had been about an hour and I had already made 3 series of calls. I picked the call up again and was waiting for the road noise to quiet down so that I could make another set of calls... As I was listening and waiting for it to get quiet enough, I heard what I thought was the family dog coming. I thought someone had let him out and he followed my tracks and was about to ruin things for me. I looked back in the direction of my house, where the noise was coming from, all disgusted, and ready to hang it up and take the dog home, when I spotted a big buck headed my way, walking right in the trail that I had just walked in on. That was the first big buck I had ever seen while hunting. I always expected them to come in all quiet and stealthy like. Not this guys. I couldn’t believe the noise he was making. He barged in there so deliberate - like he was king of the forest!
I grabbed my gun and let one fly. He ran and I was sure that I must have missed. I started to cry... I called John and he came down across the field in record time. I continued to cry as he questioned me and I shocked him when I used the “F” word for the first time in my life!! I showed him the direction he ran and we found a little blood... John looked ahead and said “there’s your buck, right there!” He hadn’t gone 40 yards. Obviously I conceded and had my picture taken. I still hate this picture of myself, but all I see when I look at it, is that beautiful buck! I don’t know if I have ever been more excited about any of my game animals that I hunted. A truly memorable day
Step #3 of my 2018 “Grand Slam”.
I have been applying for a Maine Moose permit for about 30 years. In 2018 I was finally drawn. I was lucky enough to get drawn for a bull permit in zone 9, which is where our family camp is located. We made several “scouting” trips up to camp in the weeks leading up to the hunt with very few moose sightings and no big ones. The week of the hunt came and we ended up with 16 members of my family at camp to share in the excitement. 4 generations of family! My biggest desire for my hunt was to be close enough to camp to have everybody included in some way. I also really wanted to get off the beaten path and to call a moose out. Sunday, the day before the hunt, my husband John and son Cody went out early to do some last minute scouting and went to checkout a big, hidden chopping we had been looking at on google earth. When they got there, they saw a decent bull about 300 yards up in the chopping. In order to get a better look at him with the binoculars, John made a cow call to get him to turn his head. He turned it alright.... He headed down across the chopping and closed the gap within a minute. They hid in the bushes and got video of him. We decided that was an ideal place to hunt and that’s where we would be for opening morning. We went back mid afternoon and made a make shift, natural blind. We spent the better part of day one and two there in that area. In the blind during a.m. and p.m. prime times, and off on foot, up over the mountain hiking skidder roads during the day. On day 3 we were back there for a.m. prime time. Mid morning on day 3 and still not even one sighting, we decided we needed to change things up. We headed back to camp for a late breakfast and to regroup. It was decided that we would pack up for the rest of the day, and head to an area that was quite a ways away, but had some area that looked like it had good potential. It was exactly what I didn’t want to do. Traveling that far from camp with a big group and 3 little kids was the recipe for a LONG afternoon! When we were nearly packed and ready to go, my sister said she was going to go on ahead because she wanted to take some pictures at a pond that was on the way and she would wait for us to catch up there. She hadn’t been gone for 5 minutes when we could hear her racing back... She said she had just seen a good bull cross the road and go into the woods, less than a mile from camp. John and I jumped into the truck, at the same time, grabbing gear and putting our orange on... We hurried to the place where we could see her tire tracks abruptly stop and we shut the truck off and got out. We listened and listened and heard nothing... John made a couple of cow calls and we immediately heard some bushes breaking in the woods behind us, not very far in. We repositioned and John continued to make a few calls... Silence.... In reality, I’m not sure how long it was. Seemed like a long time, but we heard nothing more. I whispered to John, “try raking the bushes”... He did and then waited a few seconds and did it again. Not knowing exactly where the bull was, I was looking left and right, up and down the road.... I looked one way and when I looked back in the other direction, there he was, standing broadside in the road at about 70 yards, looking at us. I pulled up and fired and he went about 30 yards into the woods and dropped. After I fired, and he ran, a cow came out behind him, looked at us and turned and ran away, down the road. We had no idea there was a cow with him and I don’t think any amount of cow calling was going to call him off her, but when he thought he was being challenged by another bull, that did the trick. He wasn’t the monster bull that I was hoping for, but in the end, the hunt was perfect. I got everything just the way I wanted it. Close to camp and everybody involved. It was the easiest drag out ever! I couldn’t have scripted a better hunt.
I put together a video of my moose hunt and it can be watched on youtube