Baby New Year
Scott Bestul

Deer hunting ended here in Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. It’s always hard to see a season end for me, regardless of my success (or lack of it) that fall. I moped around a little on January 1, wrapped in that weird funk I fall into when I know I won’t be bowhunting for another 9 months. Sure I was a little tired of hitting it hard, fighting the cold, and largely getting trounced by the bucks I sought….but I surely didn’t need two-thirds of a year for recovery!

Then the next day it occurred to me: I still had a trail camera out! Id hung my favorite Stealth Cam on a remote plot I’d seeded with brassicas in August, and I knew the deer were hammering the feed. I hopped in the truck, made the drive to the farm, and trotted out to grab the camera. The camera had snapped over 200 images in a week, and the last three–all shot on January One–were of the buck below. I nicknamed him “Baby New Year” and he is one special deer for at least two reasons. First, I had no idea a buck this nice lived on this farm, and second, he’s got me excited for the next big event in the whitetailer’s year–shed hunting.

Oh, and I almost forgot…next September!