Big Buck Deer Hunting – Long May He Live – The First Ghost Buck
Every so often you run into a big buck in the wild that has your number. In other words, good luck getting him.
Over the years I have had three big bucks allude me. I will now, in order of smartness, go over just how smart these creatures were, one story at a time.
In the first story, we affectionately named him the Ghost Buck. One thing can be said, he was just that…a Ghost.
Now you know how the first nation people are when they hunt…amazing. I hunted with a first nation group up north in Burleigh Falls.
My best bud Rosie, is related to this group of great hunters, and well, if they can’t get the animal, then you know it truly is a ghost.
I arranged permission for us to go after this elusive whitetail on my late friend John Mill’s very large property. The king of the forest was seen every year in the off season by Millsie. He was a massive brute of a buck, a twelve pointer, a heavy twelve at that.
Millsie had one requirement that you had to take him in the white man’s season (natives have treaty rights to hunt year round), and that we were with the group. He was the prime breeder and was to be taken fair and square. What we did not know, was that for ten straight years, he would give us the slip…and then turn into a ghost.
Now the geography of the land was as such that you could cover the runways, these boys could track a deer right to it’s bed, but not the ghost buck. The Rosebud and our group, a very skilled, smart bunch of hunters had tried everything. It was almost like this buck had a cave that he went into, waited for the season to be over and then came out to laugh at us. It always had the same conclusion, year after year.
It ended at the peninsula. It looked like the buck took to the water and gave us the slip, by being an underwater diver. We could not for the like of us figure out how, even with someone taking the point, we did not see him cross…ever.
So the years went on, this big boy was getting up there, in age. As a buck reaches a certain size with his massive head gear, he starts to regress and his rack starts to go backwards and like us he turns grey and then passes. We guessed our buck at about 13 or 14 years of age.
Now we decided was the time to introduce Perkins the silent running deer dog, that dog would run coon with me, and loved to chase deer. It was allowed, in this area, dogs that is, but we did not shoot game on the run, nor did we ever need a dog. But we were determined to find out how this big boy had eluded us throughout all those years.
So the game was on! We set up as we always did and had every run covered that he could possibly take. Then from the highway Sir Perkins started his chase. He would only bark when he had his quarry cornered.
This shepherd, black and tan cross, had the nose and well, after almost an hour, we heard him bark, and it was at the peninsula crossing.
Finally, the mystery was about to be solved.
Now what we saw was something that we would never ever forget.
There was a cattail marsh off to the side of this crossing and submerged under water with just his nose in the air and his antlers, in amongst the cattails was our ghost buck!
When we got to Perkins, we put the lead on him and looked at the poor old buck, tired and grey. Heavily breathing with mist in the air… the big buck was tired from the chase.
Now you are probably wondering what happened next.
We did what we should have done…tapped him on the nose, watched that look of surprise, as finally he was busted…and then we let him run off into the forest.
It was clear to us all that this Ghost Buck deserved this respect. It would have been like shooting a deer in a corral.
We marvelled at that ghost buck…old and grey…that had beaten us for so many years…long gone now…but one never to forget.
Another hunting tail from the Squirrel’s Nest at Big Bear Outfitters – Nova Scotia by Brian “Bear” Squirrell your hunting and fishing guide for Nova Scotia, Canada. www.bigbearoutfitters.co