Sunday, December 6, 2009


The 2009 deer season has now come and passed and for many it was another disappointing season. The kill this year was 5,150 animals.The projected kill was 6,600 deer and if your math is as good as mine,the DNR's projections were off by about 1500 deer taken.Now if we had a larger deer herd,these numbers wouldn't concern me much,but with our deer herd having shrunk considerably the last two years,I was hoping that our biologists had a better handle on our numbers of deer in the province. This is because the number of doe tags increase or decrease in each WMZ according to their increasing or decreasing numbers.If our guy's in DNR don't have the right numbers,how can they make informed decisions on how many doe tags to give out? The easy answer is-they can't! Hopefully,after this poor guesstimate by our biologists,they will err on the side of the deer and cancel all doe tags ,except for the extreme southern part of the province. We must do all we can to help our herd grow after the losses of the last three winters. I want to introduce another "huntin' Hargrove" to the readers in this post.Duane Hargrove is Kenny's first cousin.His father,Morris,was Wes's brother and was a fine outdoorsman in his own right.I can remember hunting and fishing with Morris,even when his health was very poor and Morris would still manage to get himself out doing what he loved most.Duane also has that same spirit and makes the trip down to hunt every year with us. On occasion ,Duane hasn't been able to make it down because he is in the Canadian Armed Forces and has done a tour in Bosnia and Afghanistan and he said it was pure torture to be in those hell-holes during hunting season. I have a photo of Duane and his dog with some ducks he took this year down in the lower Grand Lake area.Also included are photos of two of Duane's biggest bucks.There is a third big buck he took,but I didn't get the photo for that one. Duane will be retiring soon and Ken and I hope he will give us a hand guiding in the future. Although the deer kill was down this year,we found several nice bucks to hunt and I got a nice ten point on the last day of the season. I hunted very hard for this buck and I likely would not have taken him if Kenny hadn't intervened and came and got me from where I was posted and moved me about a quarter mile away to some fresh sign. The plan worked perfectly and forty-five minutes later,I had a nice buck on the ground! This is the second time I have killed a buck on the last day of the season.The first time was when I took my first deer up in Riley Brook near Plaster Rock in northern NB. I have also had chances at two more trophy bucks in the dying minutes of the season on two different occasions. These examples prove it doesn't pay to give up too early. My neighbour,Darrell D. took a very nice ten point buck just before I got mine and his also came from the same general area,although about six km. apart. Darrell has taken some nice bucks through the years and puts a lot of time in driving and scouting in the big woods and when he finds good sign,he has the ability to stick it out and usually this strategy pays dividends in terms of nice racks.In other words,Darrell works hard for his buck,usually.Another friend,Gilbert S. from Minto,shot a great ten point buck on the Immigrant Rd. area near Chipman.Now, Gilbert would be the first to tell you that he is not a serious hunter.Gilbert likes to team up with a friend,grab the twenty gauge and some refreshments and cruise around looking for partridge.That's just what he was doing when his big buck stepped out and stood broadside while he got out of his truck,put in a slug and dropped him right there on the road!This was not the first deer Gilbert has taken,but it's definitely the biggest! Gilbert would be the first to tell you that this buck was taken by "pure luck". Another good friend and salmon fishing buddy,George P.of Chipman,took a great ten point buck on the first morning of the season.Georges main claim to fame was as a moose hunter and his skills are in high demand every year during moose season.But lately,George has been making a name for himself on the salmon rivers and he has taken some nice fish the last few years. George new there was a nice deer in the area he was hunting because he had seen the sign during the moose hunt and he figured his best chance at this buck was to try to get him early before he got running around and was still in a feeding pattern,coming out to the clear-cut.Georgie did everything right and the result was a beautiful ten point buck on the ground!.How did George take this nice buck? By close observation, hard work and perseverance. The estimated dressed weight of Georges buck was 240 lb.'s The last buck picture I am posting is of a buck taken outside of Moncton.This is the only deer taken outside of twenty km's from Chipman that I have included in this post.This buck,taken by Scot C. of Moncton,was a tremendous buck with lots of character and mass in his rack.This buck was estimated to be ten yrs. old and Scot had sheds AND photos of this buck going back SIX years! Again,a trophy buck taken by hard work and perseverance. So how do you take a trophy buck here in NB? Well,if you read this post carefully,you will see the word "luck " is only associated with one of these bucks. The rest of these trophy bucks were taken by serious hunters who worked hard and persevered until they reached their desired goal. Bucks of this calibre rarely come easy.I'm not saying it doesn't happen,it just doesn't happen often.All our deer hunts are for bucks such as those you see in this post and the hunts are conducted on free-ranging ,big woods deer.No hand raised, fenced- in bucks here! If you are looking for an easy trophy buck,you would be better off booking a hunt with one of those mid-west farms that hand raises their deer behind high fences.But be prepared to pay a very high kill fee for a production oriented hunt. If you are the type of sport who likes to hunt the big woods,one-on-one for a trophy buck,give me a call and book your deer hunt for next year. We have the trophy bucks and they are just waiting for a sport to put their tag on one.See you there! Oh,and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Ken and I and our guides at Hargrove and Bauer Outdoor Adventures.


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