Well, I can honestly say this year I was the lucky one – a deer magnet if you will.
You know that hunter who’s always in the right place at the right time? The one they call ‘the deer magnet’?
I have no real explanation as to why some guys have all the luck some years while others struggle just to catch a glimpse of Cervid. Some seasons, it seems, I am that lucky hunter while other years I have been on the losing end.
This year was my year!
From the very first day of this deer season I had a gut feeling I was in store for something marvelous. First chase of opening day and a dandy 4-point yearling strolled out to me at the end of a lake I was watching. He got to within 10 feet of where I was sitting and never even knew I was in town. I knew this little buck well from photos I had seen on my trail cam, and I had no intention of raising my rifle on him; especially first thing on opening morning.
I sat there quietly and enjoyed the sight of this young lad as he disappeared up the hill behind me…man, these are the moments I live for.
The following day, we hunted the top of one of our favourite 2000 ft. mountains and I watched in amazement as yet another 4 point buck bounded his way to within 50 feet me. It was a different forkhorn this time. This guy was bigger and sported a slightly larger rack, yet I let him pass hoping other hunters might do the same if they saw him.
Call it what you want, but choosing to pass on first year bucks is something I do in the best interest of our (recovering) deer herd. I have hopes that by letting these yearlings walk they will, one day, grow up to produce a damn fine progeny; seeding the deer woods with quality genetics. We have gone home empty-handy several years as a result…but so be it.
Ok, so they say some guys have all the luck. By the end of the first week of deer season I had seen, by far, the most deer of anyone and two bucks to boot, while the remaining four members of my gang saw scant few deer and no antlers at all.
It’s just luck I tell myself, as we prepare for our annual luxury trip to Fairmont Kenauk in Montebello, and surely it will run out eventually.
First day of the hunt at Kenauk and my deer numbers are going sky-high. On one chase alone I had 8 deer come out to me including two more bucks; one a spike and the other another forkhorn. Man, I’ve now had 4 bucks make an appearance at close range and I still haven’t raised the rifle.
The boys were getting a little ticked at this point. I chased, I sat, I stalked and it didn’t matter, the deer were all around me it seemed like I was the Pied Piper or something; leading the mice out of the town. Was it something I was wearing?
To be honest it was a bit weird…and somewhat of a burden to carry.
The final day of our season arrived and I promised my 81-year old father that HE would sit in the hotspot where the 8 deer had been all over me the day before. I explained that I would take the post he had and put him in my special ’hotspot’, with hopes of sharing the wealth…
The chase was on!
I could hear the chasers(doggers, as some call them) on the radio commenting on the fresh buck sign from the day before. I watched the knoll in front of me with another more watchful eye over in my father’s direction with finger’s crossed.
Today has to be HIS day, I thought.
Surely if the big buck which had been making all the rubs and scrapes were around, he would appear and practically run my father over in his hotspot. My poor Dad had seen but 1 whitetail all season long and he deserves this chance at a nice buck.
But alas, as irony and my fate as deer magnet won out, I heard the rustling of leaves on the knoll above me and the glimpse of antler caught my attention.
OMG, here sneaking down the ridge, was one of the biggest set of ivory white antlers I’d ever laid eyes on!
”How could this be?” I thought to myself. “This isn’t the hotspot, the oldman is supposed to see this deer over there!!” A small but persistent wave of guilt come over me.
Finally, instinct took over as I picked out a semi-clear window in the brush I figured this majestic beast would step into. And as my continuous knack for doing everything right won out, the deer stopped into the very spot I had chosen; as if on cue.
Within seconds it was all over and the most beautiful 10-pointer I had ever seen was down and as I walked up to this magnificent beast I knew this had to my destiny this year, and I just couldn’t fight fate. As much as I tried to share my good fortune as deer magnet with others, it simply did not work.
This deer was a very special animal indeed and not your run-of-the-mill whitetail. He sported an almost perfectly symmetrical 5X5 crown with long sweeping main beams and even showed signs of piebald pigmentation along his lower legs and hooves. Two hooves were half white and half brown. It almost looked like the old fellow was wearing white slippers!
Yes, some guys have all the luck and this year was my time. The way things go, next fall lady luck may shine out of someone else’s arse. Man I hope so, I’m not sure I handle the pressure any more. It’s like the weight of the world and extremely tiring to be so popular…
How can one member of a hunt party see 5 bucks during the season, and the rest of the guys see none? I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure…
Anyhow, enjoy these images of one magnificent whitetail buck that wouldn’t have been possible without the other guys in my gang – Rathwell Morrison, Ken Campbell & Jim Bindon.
Next fall, it could just as easily be someone else who plays deer magnet, but just in case, I told the boys I would be leaving my rifle at home….
Outdoorsguy(AKA Deer Magnet)
P.S. A special thanks to Bill Nowell & Celyne Fortin of Fairmont Kenauk and Denyse Murphy of Tourism Quebec.
(The look of an exhausted but very proud deer magnet)