Wendell Wentworth and his son, Christopher, have had a fair amount of deer-hunting success over the years, which is obvious from the nine mounted bucks — eight of them over 200 pounds — you’ll find on the walls of his home.
But over a seven-day span early in this deer season, the Wentworth men may have outdone themselves: Wendell bagged a monster 15-pointer on the residents-only opening day on Oct. 28 that weighed 263 pounds, field-dressed, and Christopher followed a week later with a 228-pounder with a nine-point rack.
The deer was the seventh of Wendell Wentworth’s hunting career that topped the magic 200-pound mark, a dividing line that’s generally accepted to separate “nice” deer from “big” ones.
The opening-day hunt didn’t take long for the 65-year-old, as Wendell Wentworth shot his deer at 9:05 a.m.
“I just climbed up in my stand and he come out. I was in some alders and swale. I like to hunt swale,” he said of low-lying, often wet areas. “He come out and thrashed his horns against some bushes, then he stepped out in the wide open, so I gave it to him.”
Just a week later, Christopher, nicknamed “Critta,” filled his own tag while hunting in the same area.
Wendell said the folks at the local tagging station — Burkettville General Store in Appleton — seemed to appreciate his massive deer.
“They was quite surprised,” Wendell Wentworth said with a chuckle. “They have a buck club over there. Three or four of us who grew up [together] always try to get the biggest one each year. I’ve got it this year, I’m hoping.”
He likely does, as a 263-pound deer is relatively rare. But that doesn’t mean his friends aren’t giving it their best shot.
“One of my buddies got one this morning, weighed 224,” Wentworth said on Monday.
But the recent success doesn’t mean the Wentworths are always lucky. In fact, just last week an effort to tag another big deer didn’t pan out.
“My grandson shot one Friday night that we should have had. I don’t know what happened. I’m sick as a dog [about it]. That one would have gone 200,” Wendell Wentworth said.
The 11-year-old made a good shot, his grandfather said, and the hunting party spent all day Saturday and Sunday looking for the buck. They even contacted a guide with a blood-tracking dog, but were told that after a full day of tromping through the area, using the dog probably wouldn’t work.
“We thought we’d find it,” Wendell Wentworth said. “This isn’t our first rodeo.”
Got a deer story? You can reach John Holyoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.