White Tales November 17, 2012

A bad back delayed my deer hunting season until this past week, but I certainly made up for lost hunting time. Getting out on four of the last six days, I’ve seen 17 deer and jumped six others that I didn’t see.

The good news is that this area of central Maine has a lot of small deer. But until today, I hadn’t seen a buck.

I hunted in Fayette this morning, only to arrive home where Linda told me a large spike horn grazed for ten minutes on our back lawn around 8 am. Of course. Could have slept in and got my deer in the back yard!

I paddled downstream from the house mid-afternoon and got up into my favorite tree stand on the edge of my woodlot. Read the new Down East magazine for an hour, had a snack, then got serious as it began to get dark.

Ten minutes after sunset, I heard a snap directly behind me. It’s not really possible to turn around in my stand, but I tried, only to be surprised by how close the deer was – about 50 yards. As it bounded away, I thought I saw antlers, but had no shot. It was a good sized deer.

Grabbing my buck call, I grunted a couple of times, and was surprised to see the deer come back towards me. It was still back a ways, mostly out of sight, and when I pulled up the gun to take a look through the scope, it turned and hightailed it away.

Standing now, I noticed movement about a hundred yards away to my left, then saw the flag go up and another deer bound away. Moments later, a third deer took off from the same spot. AHHHH!

Paddling home, 15 minutes later, I marveled at the great hunting I’d enjoyed this week, and began to plan next week’s hunts. The greatest part of hunting is the anticipation, and I’m anticipating another great week ahead!

And my new goal will be to top SAM executive director Dave Trahan’s deer, a beautiful 206 pounder. Congratulations Dave!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. George also hosts, with Harry Vanderweide, a TV talk show called Wildfire, now in its 13th year and focused on hunting, fishing, environmental, and conservation issues. The show is owned and produced by Maine Audubon and seen on its website as well as on the Time Warner cable TV station throughout the state.