Big Buck Deer Hunting – “Have to Get Ready For Florida!”
Sometimes in hunting, jealousy can prevail. Some guys just hate it when you shoot a Big Buck, when it’s not them. But that’s not really what got this former friend of mine. I am the kind of person that really likes to see people get their game. In my many years of living in the country, I took many a friend and put them on watches, to hear the sound of a gunshot and the smile on their faces, as they showed me their success. That gives me a lot of happiness. Not everyone is like me I guess. But then, hey, some guys are a very competitive bunch.
In this particular story, I had a hunting friend we’ll call J. Now J is the kind of guy that had to have the best of everything, and he let you know it when he bought it. Did not matter what it was, his was always better, and his knowledge of anything, well let’s say he thought he was the Master of it all.
Our hunting posse got into bow hunting in farm country. In my home back-yard were hundreds of acres of orchards, soyabeans, alfalfa… a deer haven. So we all went out and bought compound bows and crossbows. We practiced and practiced, and listened to how much better J was. Rosebud, my best hunting and fishing friend for 42 years, and I just laughed. We did not care a bit about his competitive nature; it was just J being J.
On the first morning of the opening with bows, J decided to put the doe-in-heat scent right on his clothing. Hmm, not the smartest thing to do. He came back at about 11 am shaking, saying, “I just had breakfast with your friend, a twelve point buck, he followed me all the way into the corral.” He had heard me talk about this big lad. “Thought he was going to charge me,” he said.
We laughed, then he told us what he had done. Rosebud and I just shook our heads, “Well, did you get a shot?”
“No,” he said sheepishly.
“Can’t eat the memory of it,” we said, and laughed again.
After lunch and after a brief nap, we went back out. As the afternoon approached dark, J came down with a grin on his face. “Got a nice big doe!” He said. Rosebud and I were happy for him. First kill with the bow, and well, we had meat on the pole. That was great.
As the weeks went on we were looking for the big boy he had talked about, and that I had seen a few times, but we had no luck. J, who just so happened to own land up north where big rifles could be used, invited Rosebud and I up for a hunt. He said, “I have been after this monster buck for the last three years, and he is a dandy.” We all put in ten dollars for the buck pot. J was confident he was going to win it. All the hunters in the area pitched in. The pot was $500.00 when we entered it.
I said jokingly, “Wouldn’t it be nice to get that big buck and win the pot.”
“Oh ya,” said J, “I know where he is, and I am going to get him with my Browning 30-06 (which he had just purchased at Bass Pro outfitters).” He also had all the toys; a new Big Bear quad as well. So that night, as men do, we yuked it up and had a few too many bevies. That alarm clock went off early and we were eager, but, a little rough from the night before. Of course J was up, had eaten without us, and was gone, all before Rosebud and I got up. Wow, we thought.
As we were newbies to this area, we relied on our many years of land knowledge. Rosebud and I had a plan, he would go deep, look for a runway and sit on it. I on the other hand, said “Go ahead Rosie; that curry got to me last night. Have to visit the biff. After, I will go over to the right and cover the ravine.”
So we knew where each other was for the morning, and agreed to come in around noon as it was the opening day. On the way up to J’s camp, I had lost my brakes. I was in a mess. Later, when we met up, J told me “Don’t worry, I know a mechanic, we will look after the brakes after the week is over.” Easy enough… or so I thought. Anyways, I grabbed my Ruger 44 Magnum, with my red dot scope and proceeded to go to the biff. Left the door open, and well, let nature take its course, and boy did it ever. I looked up, the silence was great — other than the snorts. Maybe that was what got him to come by, in hindsight– and low a behold, there was a monster of a Big Buck! I slowly reached over, grabbed my gun and had a twenty yard shot. Man, no one was going to believe this. This thing was the size of a billboard. One shot and down he went, a magnificent ten pointer. I was, to say the least, very excited.
I went over to the Big Buck and pulled him to the side of J’s cabin. Cleaned him, tagged him and pullied him up onto the hanging station. A Big Ten pointer, and I knew in my heart, he would win the pot.
What took place next was unbelievable. After a couple of hours, both Rosebud and J came in. J said, “Heard a shot, what were you shooting at?”
I said, “Your Big Buck! And from the outhouse no less.”
His mouth dropped and he said, “That’s my Big Buck.”
I said, “Really. Funny, he didn’t have your name on him.” Both Rosebud and I had a great laugh.
Now, we thought he would be happy. Hunters came from all around and would check in at the various camps, to see what was shot. He was not a happy camper at all, and proceeded to go back into the bush, we guessed the game was on now. Rosebud and I went back out for the evening hunt, very happy to be part of a group. Hours passed and it was dark and cold. Winter is like that. Rosebud and I came out into the camp into total darkness. There on the picnic table were all of our personal belongings, our food, clothes and a note… Sorry guys, had to leave. Have to get ready for Florida!
We were stunned to say the least.
Now it just-so-happened that a great guy, Ken, and his group pulled-in to see the buck that they had heard about, and saw us shivering in the cold. Ken said, “Come to our camp and stay the night. We will take your buck for the weigh-in and help you get your brakes fixed.”
As it would turn-out, my Big Buck did win the pot. When J heard about this, and called to congratulate me, I said to him, “Sorry, can’t talk; I have to go get ready for Florida!”
Have not talked to him since that day. Wonder why?
More stories from the Squirrell’s Nest at Big Bear Outfitters – Nova Scotia from Brian “Bear” Squirrell your Nova Scotia Hunting and Fishing Guide and Outfitter.