Credit: Gabor Degre

Spend enough time in the Maine woods and you’re bound to see all kinds of weird stuff. Whether you’re sitting around the campfire or picking up your morning paper, those stories are lots of fun to hear or read.

Today’s odd Maine woods tale comes from reader Chris Greeley, who passed along a story from his dad.

“As an Army veteran who served during the ‘Korean conflict,’ he never hunted, nor would he have anything to do with guns, once back in Maine,” Greeley wrote. “However, he was out with a friend who WAS deer hunting (I guess just accompanying him for companionship), when they came across a nice buck. My dad’s friend, who was armed with a .30-30, took a shot and dropped the mature male deer, which was sporting a nice rack.

“He was so impressed with the number of points on its antlers, that he almost immediately suggested to my dad that he intended to get it mounted. He approached the buck and placed his beloved Winchester rifle onto its antlers in order to envision how it might look as a ‘rifle rack’ on the wall of his living room.

“As the two stepped back to admire my dad’s friends accomplishment, the deer suddenly ‘came to’ and took off … with the gun. Neither the deer or rifle were ever seen again.”

I’ve heard all kinds of odd stories over the years, including one about a rifle-stealing beaver and another that’s remarkably similar to the one that Greeley shares here.

And while we’ll never have concrete proof that the story played out exactly the way it’s told here, it’s interesting enough to share, I figure. File this one: “Well, it could have happened.”

Do you have an off-beat, odd or downright weird outdoors story you want to share? Have you spotted unexpected animals or critters behaving in ways you didn’t expect? My colleague Aislinn Sarnacki and I are eager to share your stories. You can reach us at or

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...