In the first part of this series I talked about how Aaron shot at his trophies and I also described what had occurred during the wait right after his shots.
Now lets get into the the worst part of a hunt, the game preparation and the drag out.
It was still only 9am and it was just starting to warm up a little. We stayed at the 2nd kill for now to start gutting the beast. Aaron always seems very happy for me to step up to the deer and gut it for him. So I stripped off my heavy orange camoflauge coat and placed it on a tree branch stub. I always carry a set of thin clear plastic elbow length cleaning gloves. I worked silently and diligently at removing all the insides of the deer. I temptingly looked at the large liver and heart knowing these are tasty. but left them again for the varments to feast on later that night.
After cleaning myself up a bit, we needed a game plan on which direction we needed to pull this guy to the nearest trail. We were about two lengths of a football field in. This deer fell in a popple cut and the trees were everywhere. I mean they were literally 10 to 12 inches apart from each other. Also the trail will have to be blazed all up hill. I took the two drag lines out of my pocket and secured them around the deers neck. This will be very tricky as the size of the antlers will be getting cought on the young trees every 1-2 feet. We moved the guns and clothes up the hill about 1/2 way, surveying the land as we went. Now dragging a doe through these trees would usually be quite a challenge, but the bucks antlers being so big will need us to work in constant coordination. Now remember Aaron is 19. We don’t always see eye to eye on everything. It took about 1/2 an hour to get to the 1/2 way point.
I have always pridemyself for being a semi strong guy, and I have always thought I could tough almost anything out. But now just turning 50 this year, I’ll say I’ve lost something, I don’t know what, but something’s gone. In the past I could put the drag line around my waist and pull a deer through the woods like a football player pulling weights. But on this hunt I could only get the animal about 5 feet on my own. When Aaron would regrab the rope and pull we would start to move right along.
Oh, did I say these trees must have something against us for invading their territory. My arms and face were constantly being slapped and whipped by these attackers. Yes, I said it, attackers.
It took almost a full hour to get this deer to the trail and load him into the back of my pickup. I was huffing and puffing almost the entire time. Now I’m thinking how do I get someone else to drag the other one. i called Eric my neighbor to see of he could come and give a hand. He was in the woods and said he would try to get to us.
We walked down to the other buck and I started working on the messy part of this 2nd animal. i had this one cleaned within 15 min and we were ready to start the uphill battle all over again.
This guy, like the other, only traveled about 15ft from where he stood at stood time. He fell straight down hill and lay 15 ft from the small swamp-creek.
We decided to take this one the other way to another path But we had to first get him through the water then up the incline to the level path to the truck.
The creek was only about one and a half feet deep we stretched logs across for someplace for us to walk.
It took another hour to make it to the truck. While we drove back to the resort Aaron stood in the back of the truck and leaned against the back window. I think he was affraid these guys would get away somehow. In the short trip back he had aready posted his story and photos on facebook and some other social media. Electronics we are stuck with it.
My pride was also bursting as I had called Deb to tell her to meet us outside the lodge in a minute. Deb called Tara, Aaron’s girlfriend, up at their cabin and the both of them were standing in the parking lot as we pulled in.
We did hugs and told our story ‘a few times’, before cleaning up and heading into town to get them weighted.
We went to Gander mountain and they both came in over 200 lbs, they will shurly taste good over the long cold Bemidji winter. Jim