Sunday, November 27, 2016

Baba's Thanksgiving buck.

The deer hunting in northern Maine is unlike hunting in many other parts of the United States. The vast, thickly forested areas that cover the region can hide the majestic animals like a fog.

Baba is my adopted brother from Africa. Although we don’t see each other much these days due to life getting in the way, Thanksgiving tends to bring us back together. Hunting has never been a pastime for Baba like it is for me and it’s also my profession. However, Baba’s 2016 trip would change all that with a newly found love for the outdoors and hunting. This was truly a special trip for both of us.

Because of the diminished deer population here in Northern Maine, I haven’t spent much time hunting the illusive whitetail except for the weekend of Thanksgiving as it is a standing tradition that cannot be skipped. 2016 was no different except for this year, I took along my brother Baba.  After locating an excellent pocket of deer, Baba and I set out to place a blind in an area where does were feeding. The snow that blanketed the area helped to expose the deer sign and their travel behaviors that led to the location of the blind. His first 3 hours sitting in the blind were unproductive. 

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The next day, deer were moving heavily. On our way into our spot, we noticed a great buck track. A buck was meandering through the area in search of does. I realized I needed to get Baba into his blind quickly. On our way in, we cut the buck track again. My girlfriend was also hunting with us so I placed her in an area I thought the buck might travel through then I set off on a tracking mission. The buck began wondering through the cuts and started to circle and head back into the woods. As I was tracking and glancing in front of me with my EOTech Thermal Imager, I noticed his track heading into what seemed like the same clear-cut I had just followed him through. When I entered the cut, I knew he was close but was still unsure of which cut I was in due to the dense fog lifting off the snow. Just then, I saw the buck! He was 150 yards in the cut. With no shot, I began to circle the buck to get a better shot. Just as I was peeking up over the brush I heard a loud shot right next to me. I looked to the right and, to my surprise, saw Baba’s blind. He had shot the deer and I had watched the whole thing! Happiness and joy rushed through me. I signaled for Baba to come out. The deer had fallen from the single shot from his Forbes rifle. It was a moment that will never be forgotten by me and my brother. At 32 years old, I believe Baba is now a hunter for life. A great day to give thanks and a great day to celebrate a great tradition that brings people together. What a hunt!