Saturday, November 2, 2013


It begins with Jim Bubb, Mechanicville, joining several of his hunting buddies for their traditional northern zone opening deer hunt in the Forked Lake area of Hamilton County. Jim’s day began very early paddling a canoe across the lake to reach the base of the mountain that he planned on hunting. It was an area he had hunted before and knew that he had a chance at getting a big buck there. He headed up and over one of the mountains in the wet windy snow and at about 11 a.m. he reached an area with fresh tracks and scrapes; and began his sneak and peek adventure. He hadn’t gone too far when he got a quick glimpse of the deer when it jumped up; but he saw enough of it to know it was the one he was after. 

After several hours of tracking Jim thought he knew where the buck was headed and decided to cross over the creek and circle around and try to get in front of him; which he did. What he didn’t see was the buck laying down about 40 yards from him until it jumped up. He missed with the first shot but the second round from his 30.06 was on target. I am sure there when that buck went down there was a very big smile on this face and his “YES” echoed all over the mountain when he stood over this huge 8 pointer.  But now the hard part; he was at least 3 miles from the canoe.

He radioed his friends and told them he had taken a buck and would be on his way back. It was after 2 p.m. before he finished dressing out the deer and then started the long drag back. He knew the shortest way out was to follow the creek; however he also knew that the heavy brush that he had to encounter. When he looked at his GPS about 5 p.m. he realized he was still several miles from the canoe. It was then that he decided lessen the weight and he deboned the deer and very carefully cape it; because this buck was going to be mounted. Now, with over 100 pounds in his backpack, his rifle and flashlight in one hand and the head and cape in the other, he headed Jim started out again.

It was dark now and the radio contact with his friends became very spotty, and it was then that his friends notified the rangers. It wasn’t too long after that the rangers finally made some radio contact with Jim; but that too was spotty. The rangers continued to try to get radio contact and were about to start their search when Jim reached trail he was able to tell them he was fine; and on his way out.  I don’t know how many stops to rest Jim made, but I am sure that when he reached the canoe and rangers sometime after midnight they looked very good to him.

Back at the camp the measuring tape came out and his big 8 pointer raw scored at 134.25 inches; which included 4 inches around the bases of the antlers and a 21.25 inch inside spread. As for weight it was well over 200 pounds. Congratulations Jim.

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