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Hunting in Maine
Hunting in Maine

Monitoring Maine’s deer

You could ask any deer hunter how the herd is in their area and get a different answer every time.  We all want the best habitat, doe to buck ratio and a very limited number of predators in our area. What I didn’t know, is that like moose here in Maine, we have deer that are collared and monitored in order to help biologists understand the true health of the deer herd. I sat down with Maine’s deer biologist Kyle Ravana to ask him about the collaring program and what he (and IFW) hope to learn from it.    Where are the deer that are being collared? And why those WMDs? Right now, we have deer collared in WMD 17 and 6 and want to expand into either WMD 8 or 1.  17 is good because there is usually a good mix of snow...

Keep Reading

Really! Stop feeding the deer

It's that time of year when deer are yarded up and surviving the harsh winter weather.  I've been fortunate enough to see lots of healthy looking deer while walking through the woods.  In talking with friends about the deer herd in their area, they have mentioned that they want to start feeding the deer to help them make it through the winter.  I quickly respond with NO! Don't feed the deer! It is fun to see deer come out of the woods and munch on grain or corn, but what a lot of people don't realize is that feeding deer these foods during the winter months could have dire consequences and could actually kill the deer that they are trying to help.  Here are the primary reason why you should not feed deer during the winter: Biological...

Keep Reading

Just shoot a doe

There were signs of deer everywhere! Tracks, rubs and fresh scrapes but for some reason, I was not seeing them.  Dad, on the other hand, was seeing deer everywhere he looked. One morning, he watched a spike horn chase a doe and fawn through the woods.  He walked out of the woods behind a doe and fawn another night.  He was seeing multiple does every time he sat or walked through the woods but instead of using that doe tag, he wanted that big, illusive buck that we knew was still hanging around. I hung out in my stands and watched a lot of squirrels.  How could we be spending so much time in the woods and not come across a deer yet? It helped that Hubs had filled the freezer but we knew that there were deer all...

Keep Reading

Sitting is safer

On Veteran's Day, the wind was so bad that I climbed down from the Sky Condo to sit in the ground blind that we had not removed since turkey season.  I am usually all for rocking in the trees but there was just enough extra creeks happening that I felt better on the ground. It sleeted, the wind blew and nothing moved. Saturday was different.  I started off the same way as the weekend before; Sky Condo to tree seat.  I left the Sky Condo a little earlier than I had the week before hoping to see more deer than just the two does.  There were fresh rubs that were a little bigger than the ones the week before, but it wasn't from a large buck. The leaves were somewhat crunchy and I took my time getting to the stand. ...

Keep Reading

Back into the woods

We had to revamp our hunting plan since we were now one hunter down, but Dad and I stuck with what he knew would work and where we thought the deer were. I started the morning in the Sky Condo and when it was clear that nothing was moving through, I headed to a tree seat not far away.  There were fresh rubs along the path that I used and although they were made by small deer, it gave me hope that the deer would be moving through. I left my pack at the bottom of the tree and climbed the 16 feet up to the seat.  I think I am more comfortable in treeseats than the bigger stands.  I can't move when I am up there because every part of me is exposed to unseen deer but there is something about being so much more present with...

Keep Reading

It’s finally deer season!

We've waited all year for this!  Deer season was back.  Hubs, Dad and I had a rough idea of where we were going to sit to start the morning, when and where we would move to next and the basic game plan for the morning hunt. But then, I looked at the trail camera pictures. The 10 pointer that we had had on the camera last year had shown himself for the first time two days before at T3. Up until that point, we had only smaller bucks on the cameras.  But this one... we've been watching him for at least 4 years and he was beautiful.  I declared that I would start the season sitting in T3. Hubs was bumped to the Sky Condo and Dad would still hunt. It was a perfect morning - quiet and calm.  I got into T3 and settled...

Keep Reading

What makes hunting in Maine so great

Hunting in Maine is unique.  Our landscape is different than most states, our predators are a lot more abundant (hello 36,000 black bear roaming the woods) and we have a shorter season that most.  Recently, I highlighted these challenges for the National Deer Alliance and wrote about why they makes Maine such a great place to hunt. Click here to read my article for the National Deer Alliance.

Keep Reading

In the woods: learning from what’s left behind

You can learn a lot by what animals leave behind.  In this case, a bear was able to get a nice chunk of venison.  The size and the amount of hair (you can see the white and tan hairs closest to my foot) tells you that this bear took more than just a nibble at the deer.   Bear are one of the biggest predators of deer; especially deer fawns in the spring.  Clearly there is one less deer in this area then there was before winter started!

Keep Reading

In the woods: Spring means ducks

Each year, a pair of Mallard ducks land in the pond. Most of the time, they leave after a week or so but this year, they seem to be staying around.  We are hoping for some ducklings later on this spring. Female Mallard sits on a potential nest while the male looks on Male and female Mallard Male Mallard...

Keep Reading

Monitoring Maine’s deer

You could ask any deer hunter how the herd is in their area and get a different answer every time.  We all want the best habitat, doe to buck ratio and a very limited number of predators in our area. What I didn’t know, is that like moose here in Maine, we have deer that are collared and monitored in order to help biologists understand the true health of the deer herd. I sat down with Maine’s deer biologist Kyle Ravana to ask him about the collaring program and what he (and IFW) hope to learn from it.    Where are the deer that are being collared? And why those WMDs? Right now, we have deer collared in WMD 17 and 6 and want to expand into either WMD 8 or 1.  17 is good because there is usually a good mix of snow...

Keep Reading

Really! Stop feeding the deer

It's that time of year when deer are yarded up and surviving the harsh winter weather.  I've been fortunate enough to see lots of healthy looking deer while walking through the woods.  In talking with friends about the deer herd in their area, they have mentioned that they want to start feeding the deer to help them make it through the winter.  I quickly respond with NO! Don't feed the deer! It is fun to see deer come out of the woods and munch on grain or corn, but what a lot of people don't realize is that feeding deer these foods during the winter months could have dire consequences and could actually kill the deer that they are trying to help.  Here are the primary reason why you should not feed deer during the winter: Biological...

Keep Reading

Just shoot a doe

There were signs of deer everywhere! Tracks, rubs and fresh scrapes but for some reason, I was not seeing them.  Dad, on the other hand, was seeing deer everywhere he looked. One morning, he watched a spike horn chase a doe and fawn through the woods.  He walked out of the woods behind a doe and fawn another night.  He was seeing multiple does every time he sat or walked through the woods but instead of using that doe tag, he wanted that big, illusive buck that we knew was still hanging around. I hung out in my stands and watched a lot of squirrels.  How could we be spending so much time in the woods and not come across a deer yet? It helped that Hubs had filled the freezer but we knew that there were deer all...

Keep Reading

Sitting is safer

On Veteran's Day, the wind was so bad that I climbed down from the Sky Condo to sit in the ground blind that we had not removed since turkey season.  I am usually all for rocking in the trees but there was just enough extra creeks happening that I felt better on the ground. It sleeted, the wind blew and nothing moved. Saturday was different.  I started off the same way as the weekend before; Sky Condo to tree seat.  I left the Sky Condo a little earlier than I had the week before hoping to see more deer than just the two does.  There were fresh rubs that were a little bigger than the ones the week before, but it wasn't from a large buck. The leaves were somewhat crunchy and I took my time getting to the stand. ...

Keep Reading

Back into the woods

We had to revamp our hunting plan since we were now one hunter down, but Dad and I stuck with what he knew would work and where we thought the deer were. I started the morning in the Sky Condo and when it was clear that nothing was moving through, I headed to a tree seat not far away.  There were fresh rubs along the path that I used and although they were made by small deer, it gave me hope that the deer would be moving through. I left my pack at the bottom of the tree and climbed the 16 feet up to the seat.  I think I am more comfortable in treeseats than the bigger stands.  I can't move when I am up there because every part of me is exposed to unseen deer but there is something about being so much more present with...

Keep Reading

It’s finally deer season!

We've waited all year for this!  Deer season was back.  Hubs, Dad and I had a rough idea of where we were going to sit to start the morning, when and where we would move to next and the basic game plan for the morning hunt. But then, I looked at the trail camera pictures. The 10 pointer that we had had on the camera last year had shown himself for the first time two days before at T3. Up until that point, we had only smaller bucks on the cameras.  But this one... we've been watching him for at least 4 years and he was beautiful.  I declared that I would start the season sitting in T3. Hubs was bumped to the Sky Condo and Dad would still hunt. It was a perfect morning - quiet and calm.  I got into T3 and settled...

Keep Reading

What makes hunting in Maine so great

Hunting in Maine is unique.  Our landscape is different than most states, our predators are a lot more abundant (hello 36,000 black bear roaming the woods) and we have a shorter season that most.  Recently, I highlighted these challenges for the National Deer Alliance and wrote about why they makes Maine such a great place to hunt. Click here to read my article for the National Deer Alliance.

Keep Reading

In the woods: learning from what’s left behind

You can learn a lot by what animals leave behind.  In this case, a bear was able to get a nice chunk of venison.  The size and the amount of hair (you can see the white and tan hairs closest to my foot) tells you that this bear took more than just a nibble at the deer.   Bear are one of the biggest predators of deer; especially deer fawns in the spring.  Clearly there is one less deer in this area then there was before winter started!

Keep Reading

In the woods: Spring means ducks

Each year, a pair of Mallard ducks land in the pond. Most of the time, they leave after a week or so but this year, they seem to be staying around.  We are hoping for some ducklings later on this spring. Female Mallard sits on a potential nest while the male looks on Male and female Mallard Male Mallard...

Keep Reading

Enjoy these Hunting in Maine articles

Monitoring Maine’s deer

You could ask any deer hunter how the herd is in their area and get a different answer every time.  We all want the best habitat, doe to buck ratio and a very limited number of predators in our area. What I didn’t know, is that like moose here in Maine, we have deer that are collared and monitored in order to help biologists understand the true health of the deer herd. I sat down with Maine’s deer biologist Kyle Ravana to ask him about the collaring program and what he (and IFW) hope to learn from it.    Where are the deer that are being collared? And why those WMDs? Right now, we have deer collared in WMD 17 and 6 and want to expand into either WMD 8 or 1.  17 is good because there is usually a good mix of snow...

Keep Reading

Really! Stop feeding the deer

It's that time of year when deer are yarded up and surviving the harsh winter weather.  I've been fortunate enough to see lots of healthy looking deer while walking through the woods.  In talking with friends about the deer herd in their area, they have mentioned that they want to start feeding the deer to help them make it through the winter.  I quickly respond with NO! Don't feed the deer! It is fun to see deer come out of the woods and munch on grain or corn, but what a lot of people don't realize is that feeding deer these foods during the winter months could have dire consequences and could actually kill the deer that they are trying to help.  Here are the primary reason why you should not feed deer during the winter: Biological...

Keep Reading

Stop feeding deer in Maine

Just shoot a doe

There were signs of deer everywhere! Tracks, rubs and fresh scrapes but for some reason, I was not seeing them.  Dad, on the other hand, was seeing deer everywhere he looked. One morning, he watched a spike horn chase a doe and fawn through the woods.  He walked out of the woods behind a doe and fawn another night.  He was seeing multiple does every time he sat or walked through the woods but instead of using that doe tag, he wanted that big, illusive buck that we knew was still hanging around. I hung out in my stands and watched a lot of squirrels.  How could we be spending so much time in the woods and not come across a deer yet? It helped that Hubs had filled the freezer but we knew that there were deer all...

Keep Reading

Sitting is safer

On Veteran's Day, the wind was so bad that I climbed down from the Sky Condo to sit in the ground blind that we had not removed since turkey season.  I am usually all for rocking in the trees but there was just enough extra creeks happening that I felt better on the ground. It sleeted, the wind blew and nothing moved. Saturday was different.  I started off the same way as the weekend before; Sky Condo to tree seat.  I left the Sky Condo a little earlier than I had the week before hoping to see more deer than just the two does.  There were fresh rubs that were a little bigger than the ones the week before, but it wasn't from a large buck. The leaves were somewhat crunchy and I took my time getting to the stand. ...

Keep Reading

Back into the woods

We had to revamp our hunting plan since we were now one hunter down, but Dad and I stuck with what he knew would work and where we thought the deer were. I started the morning in the Sky Condo and when it was clear that nothing was moving through, I headed to a tree seat not far away.  There were fresh rubs along the path that I used and although they were made by small deer, it gave me hope that the deer would be moving through. I left my pack at the bottom of the tree and climbed the 16 feet up to the seat.  I think I am more comfortable in treeseats than the bigger stands.  I can't move when I am up there because every part of me is exposed to unseen deer but there is something about being so much more present with...

Keep Reading

It’s finally deer season!

We've waited all year for this!  Deer season was back.  Hubs, Dad and I had a rough idea of where we were going to sit to start the morning, when and where we would move to next and the basic game plan for the morning hunt. But then, I looked at the trail camera pictures. The 10 pointer that we had had on the camera last year had shown himself for the first time two days before at T3. Up until that point, we had only smaller bucks on the cameras.  But this one... we've been watching him for at least 4 years and he was beautiful.  I declared that I would start the season sitting in T3. Hubs was bumped to the Sky Condo and Dad would still hunt. It was a perfect morning - quiet and calm.  I got into T3 and settled...

Keep Reading

What makes hunting in Maine so great

Hunting in Maine is unique.  Our landscape is different than most states, our predators are a lot more abundant (hello 36,000 black bear roaming the woods) and we have a shorter season that most.  Recently, I highlighted these challenges for the National Deer Alliance and wrote about why they makes Maine such a great place to hunt. Click here to read my article for the National Deer Alliance.

Keep Reading

Erin Merrill Hunting Blogger

In the woods: learning from what’s left behind

You can learn a lot by what animals leave behind.  In this case, a bear was able to get a nice chunk of venison.  The size and the amount of hair (you can see the white and tan hairs closest to my foot) tells you that this bear took more than just a nibble at the deer.   Bear are one of the biggest predators of deer; especially deer fawns in the spring.  Clearly there is one less deer in this area then there was before winter started!

Keep Reading

In the woods: Spring means ducks

Each year, a pair of Mallard ducks land in the pond. Most of the time, they leave after a week or so but this year, they seem to be staying around.  We are hoping for some ducklings later on this spring. Female Mallard sits on a potential nest while the male looks on Male and female Mallard Male Mallard...

Keep Reading