Dad's Memories

- 19 August 98  26 August 98
"Biggest Bucks in Maine"
(Click for: New England Map)

Grace & I camped, with the boys, for 10 straight years at Mt Blue State Park - near Weld, Maine. Pratt & Whitney had a two week plant "shutdown", the first two weeks of August every year - so those two weeks of vacation were easy to "schedule"...

During that time we became good friends with the Park Supt, Ed Stulpin and his wife Edith. One year Bill Hall and I arranged to rent a cabin, owned by the local Grocer, as a base for a weeks hunting trip - near Weld, Ed, and Edith.

Following our normal routine, we'd study a "Topo" map - decide on a direction to hunt, separate about 100 yds and both move slowly -stop-wait -and move again. One short "bark" to track our location, two short "barks" to get together - easy communication.

Working along a high ridge, a big Buck appeared out front, one quick shot and Mr Buck took off. Two "barks" brought us back together. I was pretty sure he'd been hit and we started on the trail. One to follow slowly, the other to circle ahead and try to waylay him. We soon found out we were always going downhill off the high ground. Finally Bill caught sight of him in a swamp and downed him there.

We'd started trailing at 2PM, now it's almost dusk, we're miles from our start point, with a huge Buck on the ground. We agreed that dragging that monster out at nite was no bargain, so we gutted it and kinda hung it off a tree limb for the nite. Tomorrow's another day, and now it's pitch dark in these woods..

Field dressing Mr. Big Buck
Bill Hall - Field dressing "Mr. Big Buck"

Marked our location, as best we could on the Govt Topographical Map (Std equipment for strange territory) set a compass heading for our logging road, picked a brite star for a guide beacon and started home - up that big hill.

Almost 9PM now - and there's a horn blowing up ahead. Says Bill- "We are in trouble now, I bet thats Ed Stulpin out looking for us." And, he was right, reached the road and at Bill's wagon was Ed Stulpin in his pickup. Edith sent him to look for us when we never showed up for dinner at their house. Explanation accepted, we enjoyed a warmed over dinner at 10 PM, thanked Edith for her consideration and headed off to our cabin.

In the morning we went back and found Mr Buck without too much trouble - those Topo Maps are a big help in strange territory. We cut two poles, loaded "Mr Big Buck" and carried it back out to the road, a long, mostly uphill - trek. Checked in at the Ranger Station and it weighed in at 214 lbs. dressed, and qualified for a special card as a -- "Biggest Bucks in Maine".

Even Ed was impressed enuff to say - "That's a Big Buck - Big Rack too."

Dad & "Mr. Big Buck"

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