November 21, 2007
On Big Ones That Get Away
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
John Wootters, who is retired now but was a wonderful writer and a true expert on whitetails, tried for more than 40 years to get a B and C buck, but never succeeded. (He did, however, shoot some doozers.) The big ones are simply not disposed to being shot, but I think that all of us have seen some monsters that will haunt us for all our days.
I saw one such deer last week in Maine, in my vehicle, driving back to camp along a logging road at 4:40 in the evening, which was right at the end of legal light. He had just crossed the road, and his head was already in the brush on the other side, but I got a good look at his body, and he was either:
a) an honest-to-God 300-pounder
b) an off-color moose
c) Rosie O'Donnell in a taupe-colored fur coat
I vote for a) because in that part of northern Maine, 240-pound deer are, while not common, certainly not unusual, and once in a while you're bound to find one that goes beyond 240. I thought for a second about yanking my rifle out of its case, shoving in a round, and going in after him, but it was after hours, and the warden who patrols those roads is a pitiless man who knows not the meaning of mercy.
I will always wonder what kind of a rack he had. Probably pretty good, because the headgear up there, while not pretty, gets big. On the other hand, if I had seen his horns I might have burst into tears and disgraced myself.
What the hell. That monster is still out there, and unless the snow or the coyotes get him, I may see him again next November. In the meanwhile, to tide us over until then, here is another photo of Ms. Beau Garrett.