Dec 14, 2011, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
The winner of the North American Hunter TV on Versus Dream Hunt Sweepstakes was Charlie Valdez of Las Cruces, New Mexico! Charlie joined me and the North American Hunter TV team last week in my favorite place in the world to hunt big woods whitetails – Anticosti Island in Quebec.
We hunted with good friends Gilles Dumaresque who heads up SEPAQ outfitters on the Island and Gregory Cloutier of Quebec Tourism. There was also a special surprise awaiting Charlie on the Island. We shared the St. Marie Camp on the south shore with none other than Jim Shockey, his daughter Eva and their cameraman Matty Gibson. It had been many years since Jim and I had the chance to share a hunting camp, so it was a treat for me, too.
Everything about the trip was wonderful except for some uncooperative deer. Normally the December hunt is fantastic because snow pushes the deer toward the seashore and the cold temperatures keep them active and feeding throughout the day. This year there was not a flake to be found when we arrived on the island, and though snow arrived on the last day of our hunt, it wasn’t enough to truly impact deer activity. As the saying goes “it was too little too late.”
Of my 12 hunts on Anticosti to date this was only the second where I failed to bag a deer. I saw a number of bucks during our four days of hunting, but not a bona fide shooter willing to cooperate in front of the camera. Charlie on the other hand took his first white-tailed buck not only on the Island, but ever! The NAH-TV cameras captured the momentous event and Charlie’s genuine reaction of happiness and awe. Even when he was retelling us the story back at camp his legs and hands were shaking just like when he walked up on the downed buck. I’m pretty sure the trip turned out to comply with Charlie’s definition of a “dream hunt.” You’ll be able to share Charlie’s dream hunt adventure on North American Hunter TV during the 2012 airing season. I’ll be sure to post more details when that show is slotted into the calendar.
For me, the privilege to help in Charlie taking his first buck, laughing loud and often with Team Shockey, enjoying the bounties of Gregory’s culinary and wine expertise, and most of all hunting the deep woods of Anticosti Island with Gilles who is the best guide in all of Quebec made it another fairytale hunt in this island paradise. These memories will far outweigh and outlast my not happening to take a deer this time around.
And that, my friends, truly made it a “dream hunt” by my every measure, too.
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