Marty is all smiles after rousting a group of 6 deer and managing to put his tag on one.
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Some guys are fortunate. Their favorite hunting grounds are full of deer and filling their buck tags is just a matter of time. Doe tags? Well, antlerless deer are rarely given a thought and filling a freezer with venison is fairly simple. Then there are “The Diehards.” Taking a deer–any deer–is hard work. And in seasons like this one, in which favorite food sources such as apples go untouched, the work becomes even more difficult. Add in bone-chilling temperatures, few deer sightings and a calendar that keeps ticking off the waning days of the season, and deer hunting will just wear you out.
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Ask any deer hunter whether they’d like to hunt this place and the answer is likely to be a resounding: “HECK YEAH.” However, during the course of the past two weeks, not a single whitetail has bothered to check out these apples–even at night.
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Late-season hunts for many New England hunters are comprised of deer drives that are sometimes complex, military-like maneuvers. When temperatures fall below 10 degrees, however, the goal is to keep drives short so that both drivers and standers are able to withstand the conditions.
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The group decides to drive a stretch of timber that had thus far gone untouched, but is historically known to draw whitetails during seasons of abundant mast.
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Charlie, who has hunted these woods his entire life, rehydrates before leading the next drive.
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The next generation of hunters are a vital part of the group’s camaraderie–not to mention a big help when it comes to dragging out deer.
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Finally success! After 12 days of hunting and dozens of drives!
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Two adult does are loaded into the pickup for the ride back to camp.
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Marty is all smiles after rousting a group of 6 deer and managing to put his tag on one.
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Although there’s not much chance of spoilage in the sub-freezing temperatures, the morning’s harvest is prepped for the meat pole in order to cool properly.
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Hocks are cut to accommodate the rope.
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The group effort continues through the hanging, butchering and meat distribution process.
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Up they go.
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It’s tough to wipe the smile from Marty’s face.
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Happy Hunters who turned the last day of an extraordinarily tough deer season into a lasting memory. They’re as thrilled with these two does as anyone would be with the trophy buck of a lifetime.

An ordinary group of guys take on an extraordinary task–tag a deer during one of the worst seasons in memory.

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