The Before and After Buck
Well, in northeastern Maine, it’s been tough in recent years (decades). The deer population had plummeted, and just seeing a deer is a good thing. The days of doe permits are long gone, and any buck seen is a trophy. That is the attitude that most hunters there take, including myself and my Uncle. He has hunted the woods of northeastern Maine for his entire life, pushing close to half a century. He has taken a 252 lb 8 point, and a few other really nice deer. But for him, it’s about food and family.
About an hour from his house, he has a nice hunting camp on a lake that he shares with many of his family members on my Aunt’s side. I have been there for both hunting and fishing trips, and it’s always a fun time. Last week, my Uncle spent the week at camp. With the deer numbers what they are, their daily routine usually consists of what amounts to a nice nature walk. None of us really will complain about that, as it’s still time in the woods, away from work and the stresses of everyday life. The week was passing pretty uneventfully. On this day, he headed out with a friend to go for a walk.
Now, my uncle and his friend are also very into photography, so his friend was carrying some nice camera equipment with him. This is a fun way to pass the time, taking some great photos of the outdoors. I do not know how many times I have received an email with one of David’s photos. Considering he delivers truck supplies all over the back woods of Maine, he is usually out at first light, and gets some great shots of deer, bears, moose, and whatever else comes his way. They started out from the camp and down some old logging roads. There had been some rain, and they were hoping to catch some deer out moving. Walking old logging roads are a great way to look for deer there, as most of the woods are so thick, this offers the best opportunity to spot something. In the days of clear cutting, you could find cut after cut loaded with browse, and deer out eating.
After a little bit, they came around a bend in the road. Up ahead of them, they came face to face with a deer, and it stood there looking at them. My uncle immediately got his gun up, and through the scope, could see no horns. There was a bunch of junk in the background, but he still could not see a thing. So his friend took some photos of the deer, and it still just stood there. Now, we have all seen photos of guys who shoot a deer that they had trail camera photos of, and they post before and after photos. Well, my Uncle’s friend decided to look at the photo he just took, and zoomed in to make sure it was okay. That’s when he looked, and said “David, that’s a buck!” Sure enough, you could see the spikes on top of his head. My Uncle said “Okay”, and up came the gun, and down went the deer. That quickly, he had a nice 135 lb spikehorn, a “trophy” in anyone’s book, especially for that area.
As I think about it, and about all the advances in technology, I have to laugh. How many deer have we seen that could have been perfectly legal bucks, but due to something in nature, we were unable to tell? Sure, it probably would have gotten away if not for the camera, but it was perfectly legal. I am not sure if it will start a new method of hunting, but it’s good for a laugh!! On a side note, if you look closely at the live photo (1st), you can just make out the spikes.