Six Point Vermont Buck
Story written by Steve Longley
In 2004 after owning a stealth cam and getting sick of developing film I bought a Cuddeback Digital and placed in the same spot as where the 2003 stealth was, since it was a natural crossing on top of the ridge behind my friends camp. April brought the first deer pictures. As the growing began, 2 nice bucks started to show; a tall seven point and a wide six point with no browtines.
This is the six point in July
I didn't see a lot of him but he had a distinct tear in the lower left ear.
After this we saw one night picture heading away and then in September he showed up for one night in a few pictures. It seemed he had turned nocturnal.
Taken with homebrew cam. Fieldpix board and sony P41 cam.
Took the cams down by October bow hunting season, we had 3 at this time. Neither bow, rifle or muzzleloader seasons produced even a glimpse of him. By the way, the tall seven point was taken by a local camp and the deer was in the 230 lb. range, excellent for Vermont standards.
In Spring 2005 with more home built cams in my collection we started to cover areas where we expected him to be. The place where I was lucky to get his pictures the year prior only produced does, moose and bear. We kept moving the cams to where we saw deer activity and finally in July he showed up.
See the split, this is how we knew it was him. We thought it was odd to be the same rack as the year prior. Still waiting for the age to come back on him.
Well he came back a week later and usually only for no more than 5 or 6 pictures then it was 2 weeks and 3 then nothing. Everything was at night and we figured the flash was the problem. Well I built an IR home built cam and we placed it on a trail below this crossing. I should back up and tell you that this is the same ridge where he was avoiding the camera the year before.
Well again we found him with the IR cam traveling the ridge but avoiding the cam flash spots.
We tried for him during bow with no luck. The first weekend of rifle season we hunted that ridge and everywhere around and no luck. Our season goes 2 weeks and ends Thanksgiving weekend.
We had given up hope and the day after Thanksgiving four of us were going to meet to push an area well below the ridge from the pictures where we had seen activity of does there. Two guys didn't show so my buddy and I split the hill and decided we would hit the fresh snow and see what we could find. I cut a nice track not 10 minutes into the hike; communicating by radio I told my buddy I was tracking a nice sized deer in his direction. It went into some slash and ledges and mixed with a bunch of other tracks and my buddy said he had a lot of activity also. I figured I wouldn't waste time since the tracks all went toward my buddy I thought I would move up the hill in case he jumped them. Well hampered by ledges I had to cut back toward where I had came from and found a nice little ledge. I was working to get around and on the top of it and saw a fresh bed; the deer had bolted out of it. Another big track, and how he had got there was a mystery, he had to come behind me and barely bedded just to have me jump him. I called my buddy and told him that I would see where this was going to lead and he had tracks going everywhere and he was trying to figure out what was going on with that.
This deer went right down and went back our original trail, going back where he came from. Well he slowed down from a run to a good walk where I had originally picked up his track. After some time he slowed down right before some open hardwoods. At that time I turned the radio way down and was ready, I expected that he was on the other side of the hardwoods watching his back trail, boy was I wrong, he had bedded in the middle of the hardwoods, he jumped up looked back at me and I was glad I was ready, one shot through the neck and he went about 30-40 yards.
The first thing I looked for the split ear, sure enough it was him.
Well he was down to 163 for weight and a 19 inch inside spread. From his summer pictures to the ones in the truck looked like he had lost a lot of his size, but I was still happy, 2 years on the camera and finally he will be headed to my wall.
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