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Bear hunting can be exhausting

I need to start by thanking my friend Staci and her husband for making this happen. They helped to get the bait site up and running.  Staci was as determined as I was to get me a bear. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a hunting partner like her!   The 2021 Bear Hunting Season kicks off! My limited view of the bait site Bear hunting season opened on Monday, August 30th, and trapping season opening on Wednesday, September 1st.  With my trapping license and Staci and John’s help, I planned to initially hunt over bait and try trapping.  The first night with the traps out, we watched as a bear tripped my trap, looked at the cable...

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Hunting in MaineHunting Tips and TricksMaine MooseWomen Who Hunt

Getting Fit to Hunt

If you follow me on social, then you know I have been training with Jeremy Koerber at Fit to Hunt to ensure I am ready to hike into a choppin' miles from a dirt road in search of a moose.  I know that I don't need to do that. I know that there are people who are overweight that get out of the truck and shoot.  That's not the hunt I want - although if the opportunity arises, I will shoot.  A moose is a moose and meat fills the freezer.  But, I don't want to be physically exhausted and sore after one day of carrying a pack and hunting the North Maine Woods. Jeremy created a program specifically for me that involves rucking (hiking with...

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine MooseWomen Who Hunt

Going for my grand slam

  My son’s baseball game ended at 1:30pm.  As soon as we got into the car, I clicked the link to watch  names being read for the 2021 Maine moose lottery.  I had 21 points going into the lottery.  I watched Nate Webb, Director of Wildlife, read my brother in laws’s name.  I recognized more names of people that I knew.  Then, just a few pages into Deputy Commissioner Tim Peabody’s list of names, I saw mine.  At the bottom of the page and before he read it, I saw my name. I was headed to Zone 2 in September to find a bull moose!   It's not time to celebrate Celebratory text messages and social media messages started flooding in....

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine HuntersMaine OutdoorsTurkey HuntingWomen Who Hunt

Spring Turkey Hunting in Maine

I sprayed my clothes with permethrin and packed my bag.  Staci and I planned a day in the fields hoping to get a shot at a tom or two.  We hadn't been out on an adventures in a while and we needed it. I had turkeys on my trail cameras coming through a certain trail every morning. Staci's husband had seen a flock of them in a field near her home.  We made a plan to start there and then head over to the Sky Condo. For May, it was hot and buggy.  Temps were going to be in the upper 70s.  I had to think about what was worst; sweating while walking, scouting and wearing all of my hunting clothes or black fly bites, ticks and any other crawly...

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Hunting in MaineMaine Hunters

No Change to Sunday Hunting in Maine

Sunday hunting in Maine is probably the single most debated topic for hunters and nonhunters. During the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Committee meeting last week, there was a lot of discussion around why Maine needs to join the growing number of states reversing these old blue laws.  It was clear that Sunday hunting (in the Committee's minds) is really deer hunting in November and that is what they focused on as they discussed the proposed bills.   The Proposed Bills There are three Sunday hunting bills; LD1212, LD1054 and LD1033 currently being discussed in Committee.  LD1212 sets geographical boundaries for where Sunday hunting...

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Turkey HuntingWildlife Conservation

Taking Turkeys to Texas

There are a few less turkeys in Maine to hunt this year. A few months ago, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, captured and released more than 50 birds into East Texas with the hope of rebuilding their population.

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Taking Turkeys to Texas
Hunting Tips and Tricks

Utilizing Technology to Make You More Aware

Staci and I were roaming around the woods on a piece of property that she knew. It was snowing and we were chasing deer tracks to see if we could find some early sheds. It was a perfect day to be out in the woods and we were relaxed and not really paying attention to where we were going. We knew the border of the property and we knew that if we walked long enough we would hit roads or the bog and find our way back. We got to a point where we thought we knew where we were but we were not sure. Staci got out her compass to take a waypoint to make sure we were going in the right direction to get back to the truck. I took out my phone and...

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Utilizing Technology with OnX Hunt
Trail Camera Views

Not what you want to see on the trail cameras

I missed seeing what was happening in the woods so I decided to put a couple of cameras back out to see what was roaming around. I am not a fan of this.  I have had pictures of this coyote for a while now and he (I assume it's a he) is always solo.  He's healthy and makes his rounds in the same area that we do during the season.  And I assume that he is the coyote that I saw while I was sitting in my stand last fall. Coyotes are a part of the woods and I get that but what I don't want to find are dead deer. This is the first time that I have had pictures of the two animals so close together (timewise and location-wise) Usually, I will...

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Hunting in MaineWhitetail Deer

We Need to Stop Feeding The Deer

I just hit a deer, do you want it? My neighbor sent me this text during her morning commute to work.  Had there been room in my freezer, I might have taken her up on it. I had done it before when I watched another driver hit another doe within 50 feet of where my neighbor was. It was the third deer hit that week in the same stretch of road. Why? A landowner is feeding them. A few years ago, I spoke with Maine IF&W’s then deer biologist about the impacts of feeding deer.  We talked about the risk of diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease getting into the herd and spreading so rapidly, because of the unnaturally large population being...

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Stop Feeding the Deer
Wildlife Conservation

Conservation Organizations Need Your Help NOW

As we plan for 2021, we know that we will not be attending sportsman’s shows.  We won’t be able to catch up with fellow hunters, trappers and anglers and we won’t be spending money on all of those raffle tickets. And that is hurting hunting organizations – a lot. Many outfitters and conservation organizations rely on the foot traffic that these shows provide to help get reach more people which helps to draw more donations.  Businesses rely on shoppers to buy the cast iron, jackets, wooden carvings, jerky and more but we will not there to make those purchases next year. And while everyone is still feeling the pinch of the pandemic and a...

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Hunting in MaineWhitetail Deer

From the Heart

The emotions that go along with this are hard for any nonhunter to understand. There is a literal weight of an organ that earlier in the day, beat inside an animal and the figurative weight of choosing to kill an animal to fill your freezer. There is a dedication of always wanting to be better, to be ready for the right shot at the right moment. It’s spending money on gear, clothing and licenses every year. It’s packing up and heading into the woods, when it’s dark and coming out when it’s dark, day after day, hoping to get your chance. It’s appreciating the animal’s sacrifice and having a moment to give thanks before the work begins....

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Wildlife ConservationWomen Who Hunt

Nurturing a Love of Nature

In the past twelve months, I've been a homeschooling teacher (temporarily), figured out how to work from home full-time and maintained a stable supply of toilet paper. We went from being out and about in the community to everyone at home. It was a lot! But one of the things we did from the start was get outside more. I asked people on my Facebook page for a list of items that we could search for in the woods. We had everything from birch bark and 3 types of moss to bones, different shapes of pinecones, mushrooms and beechnuts on our list. We eagerly searched the woods around our house and crossed off items. It was good for everyone’s...

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Whitetail DeerWinters in Maine

Snow and deer hunting: like peanut butter and jelly

I am a sucker for the snow.  If there is a snow storm coming or even the threat of a snow squall, I am in the woods. Two years ago, I stood in a snow storm Dad shot a nice 8 pointer and later that season, I shot my own buck in such a heavy snow squall that we couldn't initially find the buck minutes after I shot him because his tracks were covered in snow. On Wednesday morning, the snow was predicted to arrive between 9am-1pm.  I was not moving from my stand.  Something would be coming out to eat before the storm.  I just had a feeling. The world was quiet when I settled into the Sky Condo. I heard a snap off to my left and while my...

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Whitetail Deer

I got buck blocked

About an hour into my sit, I heard steps coming towards my stand.  It was a beautiful morning and my heart skipped a beat with the idea that a deer might finally be headed my way.  Trail camera photos showed my last remaining target buck during daylight at that stand, so I was hopeful. But as it got closer, I heard purrs, clucks and chirps. The steps turned into one big mass of noise and soon, like a movie, the woods were nothing by black blobs moving towards me. They set up in a shooting lane, eating acorns and moving closer, essentially blocking me in my stand.  The flock would see me move and spook before I would have a chance to move...

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I got buck blocked by turkeys
Whitetail Deer

Nocturnal Northern Borealis

My trail camera sent me a picture of a big, wide 6 pointer that was in the area where I was headed.  I wondered how far he might have traveled between then and when I would be in the woods. It was an off morning.  My son wanted to hunt but was complaining about his extra layers of clothing and how tight it made his boots.  I had on 3 of my 5 layers (remember, I sit for hours and hours!) and was rushing to get him out of the door along with packing all of my stuff.  I knew as soon as I walked outside that I was in trouble.  I was sweaty. I walked to the same stand as I had sat in last week and again, I jumped a deer.  It was dark and I...

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Nocturnal Northern Borealis
Whitetail Deer

Was that a flag?

Week two of rifle season was completely different than week one.  I changed stands and jumped a deer as soon as I got into the woods.  I've been hunting for almost half of my life now and for the first time, as I walked into the woods alone, the sound of something so close that I could not see did not send my heart beating out of my chest.  Instead, I listened to see if I could keep it from running too far away by slowly continuing on to my stand. It was warmer than the week before which meant sitting for 12 hours would be much more bearable. I settled into the stand quieter than I normally do, knowing that the deer was not too far away....

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Wildlife Conservation

Some Shane Mahoney Inspiraton

Yes, this is an older video but the message still rings true; "...they have concluded, in agreement with us, that yes, sportsmen and women and the activity of hunting, done in a sustainable manner operates as a conservation mechanism the world over..."  On this polarizing election day, let's focus on what we can agree on.  Conservation efforts, traditions, and the importance of understanding and working for social and biological carrying capacities for all animals in an effort to maintain the resource for generations to...

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Maine Black Bear

The unlikely bear hunter

Jesse Phillips had no intention of bear hunting.  He was along for the ride with friend and host of Blood Origins, Robbie Kroger, who was on his annaul bear hunt with Grove Hill Outfitters. Being convinced that he should go hunt, Jesse grabbed the 45-10 and headed into a treestand.  He wore his cowboy boots, jeans and flannel, "the only thing I didn't do was put on deoterant" Jesse laughed.  Climbing up into the stand a little before 2pm, he held no expectations for seeing his first bear in the wild.  He was doing this just to apease the guys in camp. At 4:02, a bear appeared. "He was about 40 yards away,"...

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Hunting in MaineWhitetail DeerWinters in Maine

Grateful for the community

I am technically an adult-onset hunter. I started when I was twenty after watching Dad hunt every fall and deciding that I wanted to see what it was all about – and that killing your own meat was not a bad thing. If you had asked me (or dad) to imagine what the next decade and a half would be like, I guarantee you neither of us would have pictured this! As I write this, I have just hung up the phone with Taylor and Mark Drury. Throughout deer season, I will be writing up all of the Drury family hunts that will be featured on DeerCast (make sure you have the app or the website bookmarked!) I am also going to continue interviewing hunters...

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Wildlife Conservation

The Blood Origins Project

"I was looking for a narrative that described who we are as hunters,” my friend Robbie Kroger explained to me, “Essentially looking for an authentic truth about who we are. I couldn't find it. So we built it with Blood Origins.” If you have never heard of Blood Origins, set aside a solid hour and watch the videos on their website or YouTube, featuring some of the most influential people in the hunting world. People like Will Primos, Cuz Strickland and Jim Shockey all share a small piece of their story and the how and why hunting was so important. Robbie has more than 30 unique stories from hunters, nonhunters, men, women, veterans, young...

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