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How I Shot Dave Hurteau

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September 28, 2012

How I Shot Dave Hurteau

By Scott Bestul

Remember this buck? I showed you two trail-cam pictures of him back in July. You may recall that Hurteau had just gone off on people who name bucks. So I took him to task in my next post and asked you to help me name this double-forked 4-year-old.

Buckhunter wrote: “There is only one name to give a deer as sly, smart, and cagey as the one in the photo. Dave Hurteau. Later this fall, your blog title will say, ‘How I Shot Dave Hurteau.’”

Well, the name stuck. The real Hurteau and I have been calling him that ever since. And sure enough, on Monday evening, I shot “Dave Hurteau.”

I can’t say it didn’t bring me some satisfaction, especially after all this goatee business. Seriously, though, there are a couple of interesting points to be made about this buck.

1 - My friend Alan first saw Dave Hurteau Thursday night while combining a cornfield. On Friday, I set up an observation stand on the field edge and watched him step out to feed with another buck. On Saturday, Alan saw him again from the same stand. On Sunday, I hung a new set where the buck had been coming out. Alan hunted it that night and had him at 20 yards but couldn’t get a shot. On Monday night, I shot him at 30 yards. In almost 40 years of chasing whitetails, I have never seen a big buck enter a field from the same place five nights in a row. It goes to show just how predictable early-season bucks can be—and it shows the drawing power of a freshly combined cornfield.

2 - Generally, I am a scent-reduction skeptic. But I’ll try anything and had in fact been trying a buddy’s baking soda scent-killing system while hunting with him in northern Wisconsin the previous week. But I gave it up when I got home and was as stinky as ever when Dave Hurteau showed up on Monday evening, 35 yards away, directly downwind. When I first saw him, I thought, “This is over before it starts.” I didn’t even reach for my bow. But he just stopped, looked in my direction for a while, flicked his tail, and kept coming, giving me time to grab my bow, get drawn, and make the shot.

Now, had I scrubbed down and powdered up with baking soda that afternoon, I’m sure I would have given it all the credit. I would have called my buddy and said, “Hey, you’re baking soda system really works!” I’m not saying it doesn’t, but when it comes to scent reduction, you have to beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Comments (26)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Mike Shea wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Lord knows this Dave Hurteau is a whole lot better looking! Nice work, Scott!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I was good-looking once. And no one can take that away from me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

"When it comes to scent reduction, you have to beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy"

Amen!!! Preach on!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

That Hurteau is a real hog. Nice work, Scott.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Awesome buck Scott, congrats! No doubt, had you have had an Ozonics machine you would swear by it, but thats just how the thermals and air currents went, real good luck. Great job, hope to hear more details.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

With all the field farming going on and still in the early season, that guy was likely still a bit habituated and didn't get too alarmed at the scent. Very fine deer!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Newt wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Beautiful buck, even if Dave Hurteau does say so himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

You guys crack me up. Great job, Scott.

Ohio's season starts in the morning. Hopefully I'll be able to stop laughing by then.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Great buck! Congrats!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Awsome buck dude! So if I nail that 8 pointer I've been seeing since August and name it Scott Bestul do I get like a prize or something?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Nice buck

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Love this story, but I love this comment even more:

"when it comes to scent reduction, you have to beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy." :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ritlure wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

This is coming from a true rookie. I'm 42 years old and this is only my second season hunting and I have chosen to hunt with stick and string. Most of the folks I talk with about hunting say that I have made a very difficult choice by using a stick and string. At the beginning of my first season 2011, I would have agreed with them 110%. Carrying a deer stand, all the camo, all the gear required, lots of walking/climbing, and trying to stay SCENT FREE was a chore but as the season went along I fell in love with it. I let three doe and one buck walk and I do not plan on letting that happen again this year. Alright, after all that information I just gave you, remember I told you I let a buck walk. I was hunting a CRP in the morning during rut last year, I had the perfect spot with all the deer sign you could imagine, was 200% SCENT FREE, the wind was right, the conditions could not have been better and I didn't see one deer. I went home for lunch and had to do a little bit of work before going back to hunt that afternoon. While working, I got super dirty, dropped food and all sorts of other things all over my hunting clothes. I didn't have time to change before the evening hunt, but that didn't stop me. I showed up to my normal hunting spot and decided at the last minute to set up my lock on stand in a different area in the CRP. While approaching the new area I realized that I had not washed my hands, sprayed on any SCENT KILLER and I was walking into the new area upwind. By this time I was to wore out from the hike in to change areas, so I decided to hang my stand in a tree just head height, get in the stand and take a break. I wasn't in my stand more than ten minutes and I here what I thought was a duck flying over. As I looked in the sky and noticed that there were no ducks, I heard the noise again, but this time it was closer. I finally realized that it was not a duck, it was a buck grunting! About that time a doe jumped out from behind a tree in front of me and then the buck right behind her. I was so shocked at what I was seeing that I froze up and just watched the show. Both deer came within ten yards of me, looked at me and never flinched. I've wondered from that day on how much being SCENT FREE really makes a difference. That's a great deer you killed, I hope I have a chance again this year 'cause they're not going to walk this time. Great job! Safe hunting and good luck the rest of the season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Congratulations, Scott!! I hope I have some luck this season too, but we're having problems with Blue Tongue Disease where I hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scottbestul wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Thanks for the kind words, guys. It was a thrill to be able to have a couple of encounters with a buck I'd only seen on trail cams. I'm still smiling!
NEhunter: Sure, send us a trail cam pic of that nice 8, then a hero shot when you tag him. I'm sure Hurteau will send you a prize, even if its just a mock-up sketch of what you'd look like with a goatee...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Great job Scott. That's a dandy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Will Brantley wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Great buck, Scott. Congrats.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

That is a really nice photo. A goatee would not add a single thing to it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thacker20 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

nice deer dude:)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Scott,

How and where should I send the pics in? I have sent them using the "contact us" link, but my email bounced back for being to large.I have quite a few pictures of him from over the past few months. I even submitted a few pics of him into the trail cam contest. He is the buck looking back over his shoulder, and the one that's squinting at the camera. I don't know if we will get to tag him, as he seems to be one smart beast,but I'm glad that we at least have the privilege of hunting such a fine creature. Maybe someday we will be lucky enough to even see such a fine animal as you have up there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Very nice deer, and compliments to the photographer for taking a great shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryson1 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

sweet deer!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Man, that's almost too easy! In some ways I'll miss Hurteau, the deer. No more stories until the real Hurteau runs in to a Scott Bestul.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

DSMbirddog - That won't happen...Dave's too stubborn to name a deer :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Horseapples wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I see why you named him Hurteau...he has a goatee too...and it's just as white! ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Karl Evanow wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

wow good buck and great story i hope i don't have too name a buck after someone !

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ritlure wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

This is coming from a true rookie. I'm 42 years old and this is only my second season hunting and I have chosen to hunt with stick and string. Most of the folks I talk with about hunting say that I have made a very difficult choice by using a stick and string. At the beginning of my first season 2011, I would have agreed with them 110%. Carrying a deer stand, all the camo, all the gear required, lots of walking/climbing, and trying to stay SCENT FREE was a chore but as the season went along I fell in love with it. I let three doe and one buck walk and I do not plan on letting that happen again this year. Alright, after all that information I just gave you, remember I told you I let a buck walk. I was hunting a CRP in the morning during rut last year, I had the perfect spot with all the deer sign you could imagine, was 200% SCENT FREE, the wind was right, the conditions could not have been better and I didn't see one deer. I went home for lunch and had to do a little bit of work before going back to hunt that afternoon. While working, I got super dirty, dropped food and all sorts of other things all over my hunting clothes. I didn't have time to change before the evening hunt, but that didn't stop me. I showed up to my normal hunting spot and decided at the last minute to set up my lock on stand in a different area in the CRP. While approaching the new area I realized that I had not washed my hands, sprayed on any SCENT KILLER and I was walking into the new area upwind. By this time I was to wore out from the hike in to change areas, so I decided to hang my stand in a tree just head height, get in the stand and take a break. I wasn't in my stand more than ten minutes and I here what I thought was a duck flying over. As I looked in the sky and noticed that there were no ducks, I heard the noise again, but this time it was closer. I finally realized that it was not a duck, it was a buck grunting! About that time a doe jumped out from behind a tree in front of me and then the buck right behind her. I was so shocked at what I was seeing that I froze up and just watched the show. Both deer came within ten yards of me, looked at me and never flinched. I've wondered from that day on how much being SCENT FREE really makes a difference. That's a great deer you killed, I hope I have a chance again this year 'cause they're not going to walk this time. Great job! Safe hunting and good luck the rest of the season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Shea wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Lord knows this Dave Hurteau is a whole lot better looking! Nice work, Scott!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Love this story, but I love this comment even more:

"when it comes to scent reduction, you have to beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy." :-)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I was good-looking once. And no one can take that away from me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

"When it comes to scent reduction, you have to beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy"

Amen!!! Preach on!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

That Hurteau is a real hog. Nice work, Scott.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Awesome buck Scott, congrats! No doubt, had you have had an Ozonics machine you would swear by it, but thats just how the thermals and air currents went, real good luck. Great job, hope to hear more details.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

With all the field farming going on and still in the early season, that guy was likely still a bit habituated and didn't get too alarmed at the scent. Very fine deer!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Newt wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Beautiful buck, even if Dave Hurteau does say so himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

You guys crack me up. Great job, Scott.

Ohio's season starts in the morning. Hopefully I'll be able to stop laughing by then.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Great buck! Congrats!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Awsome buck dude! So if I nail that 8 pointer I've been seeing since August and name it Scott Bestul do I get like a prize or something?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Nice buck

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Congratulations, Scott!! I hope I have some luck this season too, but we're having problems with Blue Tongue Disease where I hunt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scottbestul wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Thanks for the kind words, guys. It was a thrill to be able to have a couple of encounters with a buck I'd only seen on trail cams. I'm still smiling!
NEhunter: Sure, send us a trail cam pic of that nice 8, then a hero shot when you tag him. I'm sure Hurteau will send you a prize, even if its just a mock-up sketch of what you'd look like with a goatee...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Great job Scott. That's a dandy

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Will Brantley wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Great buck, Scott. Congrats.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

That is a really nice photo. A goatee would not add a single thing to it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thacker20 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

nice deer dude:)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nehunter92 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Scott,

How and where should I send the pics in? I have sent them using the "contact us" link, but my email bounced back for being to large.I have quite a few pictures of him from over the past few months. I even submitted a few pics of him into the trail cam contest. He is the buck looking back over his shoulder, and the one that's squinting at the camera. I don't know if we will get to tag him, as he seems to be one smart beast,but I'm glad that we at least have the privilege of hunting such a fine creature. Maybe someday we will be lucky enough to even see such a fine animal as you have up there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Very nice deer, and compliments to the photographer for taking a great shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryson1 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

sweet deer!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Man, that's almost too easy! In some ways I'll miss Hurteau, the deer. No more stories until the real Hurteau runs in to a Scott Bestul.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

DSMbirddog - That won't happen...Dave's too stubborn to name a deer :-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Horseapples wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I see why you named him Hurteau...he has a goatee too...and it's just as white! ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Karl Evanow wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

wow good buck and great story i hope i don't have too name a buck after someone !

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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