A True Story from a Maine Deer Hunting Camp

Never should have got this one! I Shot this 217LB, 9 pointer Whitetail deer on Maine’s opening day of the rifle deer hunting season from a  friend’s tree stand…..while he was in it!  My friend Mike was tagged out as he shot his deer during the bow season but decided to hunt from his tree stand with a camera. So after an early breakfast at deer camp on opening day of the rifle season, we headed out by canoe into the ‘bog’ . As always, we proceeded very quietly. I dropped Mike off at his tree stand to do some camera hunting, I continued upstream about 400 yards to my stand. After a 3.5 hour morning sit which produced no deer sightings, I quietly slipped out of my tree stand, headed down stream to pick up Mike so we could head back to camp for coffee. As I quietly approached Mike who was 40′ up in a clump maple, he gave me sign language that I read very clearly, he said with his hands…..There is a buck bedded down in front of me, park your canoe, climb my tree and take the shot. I am thinking, ya right, like thats going to work! I parked the canoe, walked over to Mike’s tree and began the 40′ climb (being very slow and quite all the time). Mike was standing on a small wooden tree stand. When I eased myself onto his stand, Mike said “quick, get  up he’s going!” So I jumped to my feet, placed my Remington Gamemaster 760 pump (which was my father’s deer gun, he has been gone 20 years this fall) onto the crotch of a tree branch and caught sight of the swamp buck bounding away through the Alders at 75 yards out. I  didn’t have  a shot but stayed focused as the deer made it to the swale grass at 125 yards out on its way to the woodsline and safety, Fixing my scope on the buck, it made one leap to the left when I touched off a shot aiming at the neck (the only shot in the tall grass). I turned to look at Mike who was shaking from excitement as he proclaimed “I think you got him, that deer went down!” While I didn’t have time to get excited, I decided to climbing out of the tree and head over to where the deer went down while Mike stayed in the stand as a spotter in case the deer got up and moved. As I made my way to the location where I dropped the deer, I could not find any sign of the deer, looked back at Mike as he was signaling me to head towards the woodsline. Approaching a small stream and beaver dam at the woods line I noticed tracks of  a large deer headed to the woods but no blood. Looking up, my eyes widened and my gun rose to my shoulder as the huge buck was standing just inside the woods broadside to me about 40′ away! I finished off the deer and now it was my turn to get excited!  What a way to share the shot and the hunt of a lifetime with such a good friend! Here is the picture from the tree stand with the distant swale grass. Check out my website for other great pictures and links to Maine moose huntingguided hunts and Maine wilderness canoe trips Fishing for Brook Trout and  Allagash Canoe Trips  at