My Obsession: Whitetail 2012
I took this nine-point buck in the Harewood New Brunswick on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 but I had obsessed over him for what feels like forever.
I got this one single, solitary picture of him on my trail camera on the 29th before first light. Over the previous two years we didn't get any pictures of any bucks of this calibre. Likewise, I didn't fill my tags but instead passed on a couple of small bucks, watching and waiting to find one like this.
So when the trail camera showed this buck, I immediately became mesmerized with him. I set him as the "wallpaper" picture on every electronic device I had, even carrying him with me everywhere on my phone. After my vacation was finished at the end of the second week, he still hadn't shown up again in the area... And I was worried he was already a trophy for someone else.
With my overwhelming buck fever, I decided to go in early each day to work so that I could get about an hour and a half in the stand afterwards and maybe have a crack at him. Tuesday I climbed into the stand at about 4pm, dreaming of that encounter. On this day... He didn't let me down.
Nearing 5pm I could hear something walking in from behind my tree stand just off to the left. Not moving a muscle, I was astounded when I caught a glimpse of this big boy walking through the hardwoods. Unfortunately, I had obsessed about him so much that it nearly got the best of me. My heart was pounding so badly, I could hardly breathe as he carefully but steadily walked through the woods toward the clearing I was overlooking. As he got to the edge of the clearing and stepped behind a windfall, I raised my .307 Winchester model 94AE into position and tried to steady myself. The big guy didn't want to make it so easy however, and decided to linger at the edge, where I could glimpse him sniffing the ground and surveying the area but didn't have a shot at him. After what felt like forever, he turned back 180 degrees the other way. My mind raced as I feared he was going to head back out the same way he had walked in without giving me a chance, but he circled instead and slowly entered the clearing about 20 yards from my stand and angled slightly away from me. By this point my shoulder was completely numb, but I steadied myself and took my shot. The time was 5:20 and I headed back to the camp to wait before tracking him.
Hunting for us has always been a family affair, and I contacted my brother immediately... Who demanded that I wait until he got there from his house (near Saint John) before tracking the buck. He was just as hypnotized by the buck and wanted to be there when we found him. So my father and I waited at our camp while he and a friend made the hour and a half drive.
My excitement was nearly uncontrollable, but I relented and waited until they made it to us before going in with our father to find him.
The buck hadn't gone far, and when we found him it was more special by being able to share it with my family! A great hunt... a great buck... And a new wallpaper for my phone!
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