Shooter Buck's 2020 week 1 report

Shooter Buck

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2020 Season started a little differently this year as our grandfather passed away this spring and this would be our first year at hunting camp with out him. My uncle who had been coming up the last few years mostly to cook and keep an eye on my grandfather decided he was going to hunt this year for the first time. He had trouble getting his hunters safety done with all the covid cancellations but was able to find a state where he could get it all done online. He came up for our scouting weekend a few weeks ago and was able to shoot some and get used to his GPS and everything. He would be hunting with my grandfathers or his Dads model 88. We had 8 of us in camp for Thursday to kick things off. My brother took my uncle up to one of our most productive spots and had him sit. He was going to sit for a while and then hunt back towards camp. He said he heard some squirrels that he kept thinking were deer just as a seasoned hunter would do. About an hour into his sit he caught some movement headed by him. He saw that it was a deer and it went behind some brush and when it came out the other side he saw antlers. He didn't have a clear shot for a little while then eventually the deer stepped out but it spotted him at the same time. He had a stare down with the deer and made the decision that he wouldn't get a better shot. He put the cross hairs behind his shoulder and pulled the trigger. The deer stumbled and ran about 40 yrds and crashed. One hour into his first hunt and he had an 8 point that weighed 153lbs. I told him he would never learn how to be a good hunter if he was just going to shoot a deer in the first hour.
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I had followed some tracks in the leaves while this was happening. I got to a little ridge and heard some movement down below me. I figured it was just a squirrel but i better check anyway. I looked over the ledge and saw a squirrel hop out and then immediately a deer jumped up 20 yards right below me. At the same time i heard the radio chatter about my uncle shooting. The deer just stopped out of my sight so I waited to see what it would do. After about 15 mins i decided to just head back and check out my uncles deer and help drag. As soon as i turned to leave i heard the deer run off.
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Friday I went to the area I killed my deer last year but saw nothing. My cousins husband who has been hunting with us the last few years was out on another mountain near camp. He just started hunting and hasn't got a deer in Maine yet just a few does back home. He had found an area with a bunch of rubs the day before and snuck back into there. He sat down and let out a grunt and he instantly heard leaves crunching towards him. He saw antlers sneaking out of the evergreens and was able to get a bullet in him. The deer ran off but died with in sight. His first antlered buck weighed 147.
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That afternoon I was hanging around camp helping out with the deer and waiting a little to go out since it was so hot out. I was inside tying my boots when one of the guys asked if i heard those shots. We grabbed a radio and got the news we had another buck down. We grabbed a sled and headed off to help drag. My cousin was out a few ridges away and set out some scent. He had missed a spike the day before because he hit a tree between him and the deer. He was still trying to shake off the miss and would get a chance to redeem himself. A buck came in and made a scrape 20 yards from him but he got caught and couldn't move into shooting position. The buck finished making the scrape and made a small circle and he shot him at about 15 yards and the deer went nowhere. He had himself a 161lb 6 point and his first racked Maine deer. Two days into the season and we already had three deer down. Doesn't get much better than that.
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Shooter Buck

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Saturday I went out to an oak flat I like to sneak around on. I got up top to a little swampy sections and said this is nice but its a little too open to hold any deer. I went 10 yards further and looked up and saw a deer standing there. Guess I was wrong about that. A doe and fawn fed around a little but the swirling winds got them spooky and they took off. I was going to sit on their trail for a while but I saw another hunter walk by. He was headed right where I wanted to so I headed back to the truck and went to another area for a while. It was so hot I almost didn't even want to go out for the afternoon hunt. It didn't seem like anything could possibly be moving. I decided to wait but go out for the last two hours or so. I wanted to get up on top of a mountain for the last hour when it hopefully cooled off some. I had some pics from this mountain of a few bucks. One small fork and one bigger fork with some extra points that we named the fat 7 as his body looked really big but his horns were not huge. I worked my way up the hill sweating my ass off. I sat down when I got near the top and tried to cool down for a while. With about an hour left of light I got up to start moving around. I went about 40 yards and it was real crunchy so I stopped and let out a few grunts. I thought I heard something out in front of me and then caught a flash of brown. I crouched down and waited. I first caught a glimpse and thought it was the smaller fork horn and I was going to pass him. Then I started getting to thinking his body looked pretty big and maybe he was the Fat 7. He stopped broadside at about 50 yards and I started to squeeze the trigger when he started to move again so i let off. He kept coming around right down wind of me and I was just waiting for him to explode and run off. He stopped behind a tree and I thought it was over. He took a few more steps and then turned his head and looked at me. Before I knew it my cross hairs were settled on his neck and I was squeezing the trigger. A 200gr 35rem hit him in the neck and he did a back flip and broke a little piece of a tine off. No tracking needed. My uncle and my brother were hunting near by and heard the shots and showed up to help. That Fat 7 was down and I was able to gut him out with my grandfathers knife. We got back and weighed the deer at 177lbs. My second heaviest deer but the smallest set of antlers I have shot.
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The first season without my grandfather his gun took down another deer and his knife gutted another as well. With the crazy hot weather we couldn't ask for a better out come of our first week. We still have a few guys hunting out of camp and I will head over to NH to try and get my first NH buck. Season is off to a hot start. Cant wait for more.
 
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longbow

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Really enjoyed that! A lot of firsts and great that your Grandfather's knife and rifle was used. Love that Model 81! Which rifle was your Grandfather's? Were you using the 81?
 

Shooter Buck

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The model 88 in the 2nd pic was my grandfathers. I was using the model 8. It was my great grandfathers. I have been taking it out on opening day the last few years. I belive it was made 1910 -1915 range. It has probably shot more deer in Maine than I ever will.
 

VTHunter08

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Great recap! you guys did well that first week! I have the exact same knife that was handed down to my father from my grandfather, and now to me. This years deer are the last ones I will gut with it. It'll be going into retirement waiting for my kids.
 

mowbizz

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Wow! Talk about the right place at the right time! You all cleaned up!😃
 

SportsmanNH

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Well that leaves me out ! No sense in going to Maine hunting this year.
Your crew killed them all already ! LOL

What a great week you guys had at your camp ! Congrats to all !
 

Big D

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Man you guys aren't screwing around! Congratulations all around. That might be tough to top.
 




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