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Whispers of the Ghost Buck


Outdoorsman and wilderness advocate Dean Bennett explores hunting, tradition, and family in new memoir

by Katy Kelleher

Dean Bennett went on his first hunting trip at the age of three. Too young to hold a rifle or stalk through the trees, he stayed behind at Camp Sheepskin—a family camp named for a nearby bog—while his father, uncles, and grandfather ventured out into the woods. When they returned, tired and hungry, they sometimes talked about a mythical “ghost buck,” a preternaturally large deer that was very skilled at evading hunters.

“No one had ever seen the ghost buck, but they say you could see its tracks all over the woods,” Bennett recalled. “Some hunters said you could hear it moving through the trees. Sometimes, they’d find huge scrapes on trees where it had been.” The scrapes were too high for a normal buck—they could have only come from something else, something larger than life.

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