The Cotter Buck

By Kreag Cotter

Cotter Buck

Ontario County Buck

November 22, 2011 I was all set to butcher two doe that we had taken in West Sparta, NY on opening day. I had the meat pans, the grinder and cutting board all at the ready. When I got outside, I decided that it was a beautiful day to take a stroll out back with my deer gun for a few minutes. Halfway to my stand, I saw a doe moving in some brush so I froze. In a few minutes there appeared a buck behind her; possibly the biggest buck I had ever seen.

I watched the two for an extended period of time as they moved very slowly. She in the lead and he stayed one step behind. Over the next hour, they worked their way toward me. Eventually, she caught wind of me and abruptly turned back. He raised his head and looked right at me. I took the only shot I was going to get.

I trailed the deer to a thicket. He was moving quite well even though he bled profusely leaving a clear trail. I marked the trail with my hat and left to return later in the afternoon. I returned at 3:00 PM. The trail was still quite clear. I put a dozen deer out of the thicket following him. My deer jumped up and again was on the move. I was able to continue pursuit with the help of the landowner who found me out trailing. I pushed the deer right back to my property; and then the rain began to pour. The trail was lost, darkness came and the search could not continue.

November 23rd, I could not sleep that night concerned about losing such a beautiful animal or leaving him to suffer. I drew up a plan to grid my thickly overgrown 8 acre property in an attempt to find him. I planned a start at the south-east pin to work to the north. With the plan complete, this is where I called for help. My wife and I prayed that I would find the deer, and I left. When I arrived at the planned point of origin at my south-east pin, the deer was laying right there. I always feel closest to God in the woods. He is able.

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