Fishermen and hunters have one thing in common: a favorite spot, the one no one else knows about. When it comes to hunting, mine is somewhere in the great state of Maine – especially when I’m after the wily whitetail deer.
In Maine is just the right mix of low lands and mountains to make the hunt a challenge. You’re in the natural habitat of the deer and my experience shows they are vastly more intelligent in that environment than we are. My old friend Jim McDonough who spent his lifetime studying deer, analyzed that the odds of harvesting one during the limited season was against the hunter by about 27 to 1. Find where the deer feed and sleep and you cut those odds to maybe 20 to 1.
The 2013 season was approaching and the weather was cool but rainy and sometimes windy. These conditions limit deer movement, which is not so good for the hunter. Over my nearly 50 years of hunting whitetails, I’ve learned that patience is the one thing you need.
On Thanksgiving morning I went out early on my usual route, but the slight breeze had changed direction from the day before so I entered the area downwind. It was 6:30 in the morning and the woods were just beginning to come to life. Red squirrels, chickadees and woodpeckers were chattering and the last call of the day for a great horned owl was heard.
“Sit still,”my father’s voice resounded in my head from forty years ago. But after four and a half hours I was cold and damp and needed to get my old bones warmed up. Slowly I rotated my body toward the direction I felt any movement would come from. As I did so, my soon-to-be-supper was sneaking through the hardwoods about sixty yards to my left. I had been hunting this spot for 14 days straight but now the wait was over.