Deer Hunting Stories #6

I’ve posted deer hunting stories for the last five Fridays, and I thought that was it, but this past week I thought of a bunch of other stories you might enjoy. So here they are.

I deer hunted one November with my friend Ed Pineau up to his camp in Northeast Carry at the north end of Moosehead Lake. Deer are scarce up there so my expectations were low. In fact, a friend of Ed’s was there who lived in Texas, and in the last five years of deer hunting there he had not seen a single deer.

We headed out the first morning to one of Ed’s favorite places and everybody scattered into the woods. Ed sent me into the woods to a little knoll with an open area to my right. And about a half hour after I sat down on the knoll, a really nice buck walked into the open area and I shot it.

Everyone was astonished by my good luck. And I’m not sure the fellow from Texas was very happy for me, but he was complimentary.

One year on one side of the bog on my woodlot, I shot a nice 6 point buck, and a day later, on the other side of the bog, dad shot a 6 point buck identical to mine.

One fall I was walking the woods road in the woodlot next to mine, with a friend, when a big buck jumped up to our right. My friend got off three shots at the buck as it crossed the road in front of us, missing all three shots. And then I saw the buck off to my left standing on a knoll, so I lifted my rifle and shot the buck which dropped right there.

On another day in that same spot, hunting with the same friend, I convinced him not to shoot at an albino deer that was half white because that would cost us a lot of bad luck for seven years. At least that’s what I was told would happen if I shot an albino.

I have a stand of large hemlocks on my woodlot and I would climb up one of the trees to a spot where I could actually sit and lean my rifle over a limb in front of me. I shot several deer in those hemlocks and eventually I put a ladder up to make it easier to get into the tree.

One year, while deer hunting, I sat down on the ground and leaned up against one of the hemlocks. I saw a beautiful white ermine running back and forth about 30 yards away, and when it got about 10 yards from me, it turned and ran right at me, running up my leg and onto my chest.

Ermine have very sharp teeth, and if it had bitten me in the neck, I probably would have died. But it quickly decided I wasn’t a tree, and it jumped off me. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to react.

One fall, I was sitting in one of my tree stands when three young bull moose walked right by me. Another time in that same stand a huge bull moose walked by and apparently knew there was something in that tree so he walked right up to my stand and looked up at me. His antlers were about even with my feet.

So I said, hello Mr. moose, and he simply turned and walked away.

Yes, some great experiences while deer hunting have nothing to do with deer!

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,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.