This Year’s Deer Hunt

Our dedicated hunting editor, Alleghany Al McNeil has come through with a report on his recent successful deer hunting season. Pour yourself a coffee and let`s read about Al`s latest adventure

Hi Robert

Thought I would drop you another note about this year’s Deer hunting season in Nova Scotia. When I last wrote to you a friend (not a good friend Ha-ha) of mine had shot a nice 9 pointer from his tree stand in one of my good hunting spots.

I finally got down to some serious hunting last week. The temperature dropped and the deer started moving. For 3 days I stayed focused on a section of woods that encompassed an area 1 km by 700 meters and included the before mentioned tree stand and nice buck.

I had twice seen another good looking deer at a distance and also came across a spike horn.

On Thursday I wasted an hour and a half in an overgrown chopping. I was making a lot of noise breaking branches under foot and having trouble just moving. So I left the area and hustled out to the logging road.

Being late in the afternoon I needed a place close by for a short sit before sundown. I started out at a quick pace to a place with lots of spruce blow downs, old deer trails, new scrapes and fresh tracks. Only 300 meters away and a half decent skidder trail to get me in there quietly and fast.

Settled in by 3:30 and found a pocket full of peanuts in my coat to munch on. Time reached 4:15 when a strong urge to relieve myself came over me.

Well you should not leave your bodily fluids in the area you hunt as deer do not like it and may not come around for a while.

So I decided to pack up and get out of there, cutting my evening sit short rather than ruin a good spot.

I had not even picked up my rifle when I heard a hunter coming through the tall grass and 6 foot maple, birch and spruce. Excuse me, hunter, from where? Bingo, the light bulb comes on. Deer!

Deer with horns, big deer with horns, big horns. And it was close. Pick up rifle. Aim. Thinking big deer with big horns, how to get it out by myself as darkness will set in soon. Maybe I should wait for the spike horn. BANG!!!!!!

Oh well. That took a whole 10 seconds. Now the real work starts. Yes we all know that the fun is over and the real work starts after you shoot a deer.

I grabbed the deer by the antlers and pull it to a position for cleaning. Crap that deer is heavy. Work fast as light is fading.

It takes a lot longer to clean a big deer when you are by yourself. It may be dead but it fought me all the way. Finish cleaning. Turn flashlight on. Start hauling and I mean hauling.

After 10 meters I knew there was no way I could move something that big 125 meters.

Could get an ATV and make my way up the skidder trail to the deer. For those who have not seen a skidder trail, the trails have wheel ruts that are up to 2.5 feet deep by 1.5 foot wide and 6 feet apart. They are usually full of water and the limbs from the trees that it has pulled out are everywhere at every possible angle. Hard going for an ATV.

But alas there is no way to lift the deer up on to the bike. OK, get help. Ah yes help. I am at the hunting camp by myself. I will have to call in some favors.

I laid my coat and hat on the deer to ward off predators for a little while and make it easier to see the deer in the dark. It could be a few hours till I get back.

As I head down the skidder trail I hear a vehicle coming. So I ran to flag it down for some quick help. He stops, a nice guy with a bad back.

Hustle up the road to the truck and as I head down the old muddy road, I switch to 4 wheel drive mode, better safe than sorry.

Half way to the hunting camp I see some hunters getting into truck at the spot I shot an 8 pointer last year. I ask them for help. One guy just had a knee replacement and the driver has a bad back.

Shit, how are these hunters going to get there deer out of the woods if they shot a deer? I guess by finding friends like I am about to do.

Now I continue on to the camp to phone some friends. Why wait till I get to the camp? It’s the closest place to get cell service. So I phoned the first victim friend on my list.

“That’s great”, Randy says,”but I can’t help, I’m in Moncton”. Poor excuse I think to myself. But he adds, “Phone Russell. After you helped him set up a tree stand, let him shoot your nice deer and you helped clean and haul his deer out, the least he could do is help you.”

So I phone Russell and I tell him I have a 10 point problem. And the fellow hunter says “I’m on the way and I will pick up more help on the way”.

That’s an hour drive to the camp plus time pulling deer out of woods and driving an hour home again all on a work day. That’s good friends.

It was a good haul to get the deer out even with three guys. Everything else is anti-climatic and it is 10 PM when we finish hanging the deer in the garage.

Thanks to Russell, Chuck and Randy (who would have come, but Moncton is a long drive) for their help. Oh yes, I reminded Russell many times already that my buck had 1 more point than his, 10 points vrs his 9 points.

Chuck is now sitting on a 6 pointer. Hopefully on the last two days of the season he will be rewarded for his hard work. I can’t wait for November 2013.

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