Encounter With A Beautiful Whitetail Buck

When I was hiking at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park last weekend with Mike Link and Kate Crowley (they’re the Willow River couple hiking around Lake Superior this summer), we had a remarkable encounter with a whitetail buck. He came swimming across a broad bay of the lake, perhaps chased into the water by wolves, although we’ll never know for sure.

He was a 10-pointer with antlers in velvet. The rack was high and wide, and the buck was big-bodied as well.

Here is a series of photos I made as the buck approached shore, thought better of leaving the water and spent the next hour contemplating his next move:

After crossing more than a mile of open water on Lake Superior, the buck continued swimming to shore near us. (Sam Cook photo)
He's standing on the lake bottom, but he is hesitant to come ashore. (Sam Cook photo)
He's giving us a close look. Occasionally, he would stomp a forefoot under water. (Sam Cook photo)
The buck stood near shore for most of an hour. In the distance, islands in Thunder Bay and a mainland point lie in the haze. (Sam Cook photo)
He's still not so sure about our presence and what kind of threat we might be. (Sam Cook photo)
He was still standing there an hour later, after we had lunch on the beach about a quarter-mile away. (Sam Cook photo)

I wrote a column about the encounter with the buck for Sunday’s Duluth News Tribune (Aug. 29). Look for it in the back of the Sports section.

2 Responses

  1. Steve

    I saw five large bucks together about a week and a half ago just before sunrise in the lower part of Lester Park. The one that was standing in the middle of the trail and caught my had 10 points. As I was trying to set up my cell phone camera, the others walked by. Unfortunately, they moved out of sight before my cell phone was ready.

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