During the month of November, despite the ongoing pandemic that changed all of our lives so much, I tried my best to do the things that I always do at that time of year.

I wrote, of course, because that’s what pays the bills. But I also made sure to sneak off into the woods as often as possible — often with a buddy or three — to observe that grand Maine tradition: Deer season.

On Saturdays, you’d find me in my ground blind, sitting silently, waiting for a deer to amble past. (That never happened). Sometimes, on weekdays, I’d rise early to get a headstart on my writing duties, then head to the woods for the last couple of hours of daylight. (Never saw a deer then, either).

And at the end of the season, after I failed to fill my tag yet again, I took my trail camera down, packed up the ground blind, and began making plans for this year.

Eventually, I checked out the last videos that my trail camera had captured before the season ended, and I received a nice surprise.

While I hadn’t seen any deer in my time in the woods, a few had been around after all. One, a healthy-looking young buck, stopped by one night and stood not 30 feet from my camera — and not 50 feet from the blind where I’d spent so many hours.

Deer hunting can be a pretty lonely affair, though I’m fortunate to be able to meet up with my pals at the end of most days afield. It’s easy, after spending hour after hour sitting and listening for deer that never show up, to think that there just aren’t any deer in the woods.

It’s the successful hunts of my friends, and videos like this one, that begin to rejuvenate my deer-hunting spirit.

Ever since we began running reader-submitted trail camera photos and videos last October, I told you that eventually, I’d share one of my own.

Today, as I spend yet another day confined to my home office, the pandemic isn’t over. But the sun is shining in the window. There are better — and warmer — days ahead.

Soon enough I’ll be back in those woods, scouting for turkey and deer, setting up cameras, and trying to figure out where I’ll set up for this year’s hunting seasons.

And if my enthusiasm begins to wane, I’ll just queue up this video again.

There are deer in those woods. I know there are.

And maybe, just maybe, this will be the year I cross paths with one in November.

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

Avatar photo

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...