2020-2021 Youth Writing Contest Winner – Junior Category – Maine (Grades 6–8)
The Nine-Point Buck
Colby Sughrue, Age 12, Dayton, ME, 7th Grade, Thornton Academy Middle School
It all began when my dad and I woke up at 5 a.m. to eat our breakfast. We were heading out early to hunt the monster whitetail buck we had been tracking all season. We’d been watching this deer for three years.
We got settled down at the base of the tree in the nearby woods. We were able to see down a hill and into the trees below. We patiently waited.
All of a sudden, “CCCHHH.” At first I thought the blowing sound was a bird of some sort, but Dad whispered it was a massive deer coming into our area. The deer started to circle around us, trying to catch our scent. Luckily, we had previously drenched ourselves in Scent Killer Gold. The buck blew about fifteen more times, and walked away out of sight. We called back, to draw in the deer for a clean shot.
Just when we thought the deer was gone, we heard crashing coming up the hill to our left. We got our rifles up and ready, and then there he was! The biggest buck we had ever seen! I remember seeing the massive main beam on his rack come through the pines at the top of the hill. My dad pulled up his gun and took a shot. BAM!!! Leaves went flying into the air, trailing behind the bullet that had just been shot.
The deer didn’t seem affected, and was hiding behind a tree. Then the deer took another step, BOOM!!! It was all in slow motion. The deer started off in a sprint, with blood spraying out the side. My dad was in disbelief, hoping he’d hit the big-bodied animal in the engine room where it counted.
We waited for thirty minutes so the deer would bed down and bleed out. Those thirty minutes were the longest thirty minutes of my life. After the shot, I had watched the whitetail to see where it went, so we could track easier.
We walked down the blood trail slowly, and sure enough, there was the insanely wide nine point we had been after all season. Dad and I couldn’t believe what we were seeing.
It was hard to maneuver the deer to a perfect spot to make an incision and gut the deer. We did eventually though, and finished field dressing the mythical creature. After storytelling with family, we brought the deer to Laflammes to get it weighed, measured and butchered. On the way, we put our tailgate down so people could see the deer. Folks in a few trucks took pictures.
It weighed 177 pounds. We were slightly bummed the deer didn’t make 200 pounds, but still elated to have secured such a massive deer. My dad and I decided to get the deer shoulder-mounted because you don’t find many deer like ours in Southern Maine. However, I am still hopeful we get more whitetails like this in the coming seasons.
Photo 1, Colby with 9pt Buck: Author, Colby Sughrue, admiring the 9 point buck he and his father had targeted in the 2020 season and had watched for the past three years.
Photo 2, Colby and his father with 9pt Buck: Author, Colby Sughrue, with his father and hunting partner Pat Sughrue relish in the moments after the long hunt for this wide 9 point southern Maine deer. The 9 pointer officially scored 141-2/8”.
Photos 3-12 Trail Cam Collection: Below is a collection of photos of this buck from when we were trying to learn his patterns.