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Whitetail Deer
Whitetail Deer

Chronic Wasting Disease in Maine

If you had asked everyone in the room to vote right then and there, I would bet that supplemental feeding of deer would have been made illegal. The room was packed with people at the Augusta Civic Center, listening to a presentation by Dr. Krysten L. Schuler, Wildlife Disease Ecologist at Cornell Wildlife Health Lab about her research on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and what is being done in the 26 states currently impacted. CWD is caused by a mutated protein that are found in prions. Deer shed prions through bodily fluids and once in the soil, CWD can stay there for months if not years.  The worst spreaders of the prions are those big, adult bucks that we all covet. CWD is fatal and in the same family as Mad Cow Disease. The...

Keep Reading

Dropping antlers

The plan was to shoot does from the property.  The only out was the big buck that we had been tracking.  Hubs was the first who successfully shot a doe in the afternoon of opening day of rifle season.  Having sat through almost all types of weather conditions and some single digit temps, I shot a doe minutes before legal time at the end of the season. Dad decided to muzzle hunt since the woods would be quieter and maybe that buck would be lulled into a false sense of security.  For two weeks, Dad walked through the woods and finally, in the same the spot that I had shot my deer, he saw a big, healthy looking doe.  As the afternoon light was fading, he made his way over to the deer. There was some relief as he...

Keep Reading

Wrapping up my big buck hunt

The 4th weekend of deer season was a bust as I had to take my kiddo to a birthday party for a classmate.  I (half) jokingly told him that from now on, when he meets a new friend, he needs to ask them when their birthday is and if it is during hunting season, he can't be friends with them. Week 5 had me in the woods for up to 5 days.  I headed in on Tuesday afternoon and sat but nothing was moving. The big buck had started showing up only at 10:30pm or 3am on the cameras.  He had not been seen during the day since the third week of the season. On Wednesday, Dad and I planned to be in the woods for the full day.  We packed sandwiches and snacks and headed into the woods.  We had a strategic plan for which areas...

Keep Reading

Opening day in the woods

Welcome back! Saturday kicked off Maine's rifle season for deer hunting and I made a point of sitting in my stand for the whole day.  I packed a lunch, some water and snacks and climbed up at 6am.  It was a perfect day to be in the woods.  The sun was warm, the breeze was at a minim About an hour after legal time, this spike horn walked down the path that I had walked down.  He smelled the wind but either couldn't smell me or couldn't figure out what I was.  He wasn't spooked and he stayed around for a few minutes before continuing on his way. I basked in the sun and kept my eyes peeled for any mid-day movement. I had three large does skirt the treeline in front of me but I let them pass so that I could...

Keep Reading

Aging a buck

I am beginning to learn how to age a buck on the hoof.  It can be hard in the woods with branches and bushes blocking pieces of the animals but I want to work on it and see if it will help my patience as I wait for the bigger bucks.   I have gotten pretty good at aging does based on their face structure and the size of their features.  I have not had the opportunity to harvest a doe, so I can't say for sure if my calculations match the actual age of the deer but I am working on it.  I have a nice, healthy heard of deer living around my house and it’s not uncommon to see an older doe with some yearlings or even fawns throughout the summer.  Their longer features means an older animal and if you are patent enough...

Keep Reading

I couldn’t wait for the big one

I threw the car into park and ran inside, peeling off layers as I went.  I traded my heels for wool pants, boots and blaze orange.  I grabbed the gun and left.  There was less than two hours of daylight remaining and a snow squall predicted for the next hour as a cold front moved in. It was 3pm when I walked into the woods and climbed into the Sky Condo.  The big buck's tracks ran along the ridge to my right, so I turned my body to face in that direction.  I was hoping that I would catch him as he did his loop.  It seemed like a perfect night to have deer move. I looked to my left, scanning in front of the Sky Condo.  I was startled to see three deer walking at me.  The snow on the ground made...

Keep Reading

2018 recap

No doubt that I have dropped the ball on posting my adventures here, but I have had a lot of fun happenings this year!  Here is my quick recap: * Beaver trapping - with my uncle and friend Staci. * Honored as Sportsman of the Year from the New England Outdoor Writers Association. * Turkey hunting. * The Maine Moose lottery held in my hometown and my friend Bryan performed. * Mushroom foraging with Staci. * Going to the ribbon cutting of the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation area to honor my friend George. * Bear hunting with Staci and then going out with Bill Dereszewski and having Robin comes with us. * Deer hunting with Dad and Hubs. * Taking O out for his first sit in the new deer stand. * Seeing lots and lots of wildlife...

Keep Reading

Representing hunters on the side of the road

I didn’t see the fawn but I watched in slow motion as the doe hit the corner of the oncoming jeep and disappeared into the tall grass. I hoped that it was just a brush with the bumper and that she would be OK. The driver pulled over and began to walk along the edge of the road to see if the deer was OK. I pulled over on the opposite shoulder and asked if he was OK. We saw the doe struggling to get up and she made a horrific noise.  I assumed that she had a broken leg so I asked my mom to leave me on the side of the road with the driver and go to my house to get the gun. I placed a call to dispatch was put in touch with a warden. He asked if I was able to dispatch the deer and if I wanted to. The last thing I wanted was for this...

Keep Reading

Tagged out!

Dad assured us that deer move in the wind.  He was confident that if we were in the woods, we would see something.  He could be as confident as he needed to; he had tagged out and could stay warm. The wind was howling and with the Sky Condo breaking apart, I didn't waste much time getting into my tree seat in the woods.  It had taken me a handful of years to be comfortable enough swaying in a tree during a windy sit, but I was ready. It was so cold that I had on my snowmobile boots with toe warmers, my ski gloves with hand warmers and a blanket over my legs to help keep the wind from hitting the backs of my legs.  I had on so many layers! It was too windy to hear anything move so I just kept scanning from one side...

Keep Reading

Chronic Wasting Disease in Maine

If you had asked everyone in the room to vote right then and there, I would bet that supplemental feeding of deer would have been made illegal. The room was packed with people at the Augusta Civic Center, listening to a presentation by Dr. Krysten L. Schuler, Wildlife Disease Ecologist at Cornell Wildlife Health Lab about her research on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and what is being done in the 26 states currently impacted. CWD is caused by a mutated protein that are found in prions. Deer shed prions through bodily fluids and once in the soil, CWD can stay there for months if not years.  The worst spreaders of the prions are those big, adult bucks that we all covet. CWD is fatal and in the same family as Mad Cow Disease. The...

Keep Reading

Dropping antlers

The plan was to shoot does from the property.  The only out was the big buck that we had been tracking.  Hubs was the first who successfully shot a doe in the afternoon of opening day of rifle season.  Having sat through almost all types of weather conditions and some single digit temps, I shot a doe minutes before legal time at the end of the season. Dad decided to muzzle hunt since the woods would be quieter and maybe that buck would be lulled into a false sense of security.  For two weeks, Dad walked through the woods and finally, in the same the spot that I had shot my deer, he saw a big, healthy looking doe.  As the afternoon light was fading, he made his way over to the deer. There was some relief as he...

Keep Reading

Wrapping up my big buck hunt

The 4th weekend of deer season was a bust as I had to take my kiddo to a birthday party for a classmate.  I (half) jokingly told him that from now on, when he meets a new friend, he needs to ask them when their birthday is and if it is during hunting season, he can't be friends with them. Week 5 had me in the woods for up to 5 days.  I headed in on Tuesday afternoon and sat but nothing was moving. The big buck had started showing up only at 10:30pm or 3am on the cameras.  He had not been seen during the day since the third week of the season. On Wednesday, Dad and I planned to be in the woods for the full day.  We packed sandwiches and snacks and headed into the woods.  We had a strategic plan for which areas...

Keep Reading

Opening day in the woods

Welcome back! Saturday kicked off Maine's rifle season for deer hunting and I made a point of sitting in my stand for the whole day.  I packed a lunch, some water and snacks and climbed up at 6am.  It was a perfect day to be in the woods.  The sun was warm, the breeze was at a minim About an hour after legal time, this spike horn walked down the path that I had walked down.  He smelled the wind but either couldn't smell me or couldn't figure out what I was.  He wasn't spooked and he stayed around for a few minutes before continuing on his way. I basked in the sun and kept my eyes peeled for any mid-day movement. I had three large does skirt the treeline in front of me but I let them pass so that I could...

Keep Reading

Aging a buck

I am beginning to learn how to age a buck on the hoof.  It can be hard in the woods with branches and bushes blocking pieces of the animals but I want to work on it and see if it will help my patience as I wait for the bigger bucks.   I have gotten pretty good at aging does based on their face structure and the size of their features.  I have not had the opportunity to harvest a doe, so I can't say for sure if my calculations match the actual age of the deer but I am working on it.  I have a nice, healthy heard of deer living around my house and it’s not uncommon to see an older doe with some yearlings or even fawns throughout the summer.  Their longer features means an older animal and if you are patent enough...

Keep Reading

I couldn’t wait for the big one

I threw the car into park and ran inside, peeling off layers as I went.  I traded my heels for wool pants, boots and blaze orange.  I grabbed the gun and left.  There was less than two hours of daylight remaining and a snow squall predicted for the next hour as a cold front moved in. It was 3pm when I walked into the woods and climbed into the Sky Condo.  The big buck's tracks ran along the ridge to my right, so I turned my body to face in that direction.  I was hoping that I would catch him as he did his loop.  It seemed like a perfect night to have deer move. I looked to my left, scanning in front of the Sky Condo.  I was startled to see three deer walking at me.  The snow on the ground made...

Keep Reading

2018 recap

No doubt that I have dropped the ball on posting my adventures here, but I have had a lot of fun happenings this year!  Here is my quick recap: * Beaver trapping - with my uncle and friend Staci. * Honored as Sportsman of the Year from the New England Outdoor Writers Association. * Turkey hunting. * The Maine Moose lottery held in my hometown and my friend Bryan performed. * Mushroom foraging with Staci. * Going to the ribbon cutting of the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation area to honor my friend George. * Bear hunting with Staci and then going out with Bill Dereszewski and having Robin comes with us. * Deer hunting with Dad and Hubs. * Taking O out for his first sit in the new deer stand. * Seeing lots and lots of wildlife...

Keep Reading

Representing hunters on the side of the road

I didn’t see the fawn but I watched in slow motion as the doe hit the corner of the oncoming jeep and disappeared into the tall grass. I hoped that it was just a brush with the bumper and that she would be OK. The driver pulled over and began to walk along the edge of the road to see if the deer was OK. I pulled over on the opposite shoulder and asked if he was OK. We saw the doe struggling to get up and she made a horrific noise.  I assumed that she had a broken leg so I asked my mom to leave me on the side of the road with the driver and go to my house to get the gun. I placed a call to dispatch was put in touch with a warden. He asked if I was able to dispatch the deer and if I wanted to. The last thing I wanted was for this...

Keep Reading

Tagged out!

Dad assured us that deer move in the wind.  He was confident that if we were in the woods, we would see something.  He could be as confident as he needed to; he had tagged out and could stay warm. The wind was howling and with the Sky Condo breaking apart, I didn't waste much time getting into my tree seat in the woods.  It had taken me a handful of years to be comfortable enough swaying in a tree during a windy sit, but I was ready. It was so cold that I had on my snowmobile boots with toe warmers, my ski gloves with hand warmers and a blanket over my legs to help keep the wind from hitting the backs of my legs.  I had on so many layers! It was too windy to hear anything move so I just kept scanning from one side...

Keep Reading

Enjoy these Whitetail Deer articles

Chronic Wasting Disease in Maine

If you had asked everyone in the room to vote right then and there, I would bet that supplemental feeding of deer would have been made illegal. The room was packed with people at the Augusta Civic Center, listening to a presentation by Dr. Krysten L. Schuler, Wildlife Disease Ecologist at Cornell Wildlife Health Lab about her research on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and what is being done in the 26 states currently impacted. CWD is caused by a mutated protein that are found in prions. Deer shed prions through bodily fluids and once in the soil, CWD can stay there for months if not years.  The worst spreaders of the prions are those big, adult bucks that we all covet. CWD is fatal and in the same family as Mad Cow Disease. The...

Keep Reading

Dropping antlers

The plan was to shoot does from the property.  The only out was the big buck that we had been tracking.  Hubs was the first who successfully shot a doe in the afternoon of opening day of rifle season.  Having sat through almost all types of weather conditions and some single digit temps, I shot a doe minutes before legal time at the end of the season. Dad decided to muzzle hunt since the woods would be quieter and maybe that buck would be lulled into a false sense of security.  For two weeks, Dad walked through the woods and finally, in the same the spot that I had shot my deer, he saw a big, healthy looking doe.  As the afternoon light was fading, he made his way over to the deer. There was some relief as he...

Keep Reading

Wrapping up my big buck hunt

The 4th weekend of deer season was a bust as I had to take my kiddo to a birthday party for a classmate.  I (half) jokingly told him that from now on, when he meets a new friend, he needs to ask them when their birthday is and if it is during hunting season, he can't be friends with them. Week 5 had me in the woods for up to 5 days.  I headed in on Tuesday afternoon and sat but nothing was moving. The big buck had started showing up only at 10:30pm or 3am on the cameras.  He had not been seen during the day since the third week of the season. On Wednesday, Dad and I planned to be in the woods for the full day.  We packed sandwiches and snacks and headed into the woods.  We had a strategic plan for which areas...

Keep Reading

Opening day in the woods

Welcome back! Saturday kicked off Maine's rifle season for deer hunting and I made a point of sitting in my stand for the whole day.  I packed a lunch, some water and snacks and climbed up at 6am.  It was a perfect day to be in the woods.  The sun was warm, the breeze was at a minim About an hour after legal time, this spike horn walked down the path that I had walked down.  He smelled the wind but either couldn't smell me or couldn't figure out what I was.  He wasn't spooked and he stayed around for a few minutes before continuing on his way. I basked in the sun and kept my eyes peeled for any mid-day movement. I had three large does skirt the treeline in front of me but I let them pass so that I could...

Keep Reading

Aging a buck

I am beginning to learn how to age a buck on the hoof.  It can be hard in the woods with branches and bushes blocking pieces of the animals but I want to work on it and see if it will help my patience as I wait for the bigger bucks.   I have gotten pretty good at aging does based on their face structure and the size of their features.  I have not had the opportunity to harvest a doe, so I can't say for sure if my calculations match the actual age of the deer but I am working on it.  I have a nice, healthy heard of deer living around my house and it’s not uncommon to see an older doe with some yearlings or even fawns throughout the summer.  Their longer features means an older animal and if you are patent enough...

Keep Reading

I couldn’t wait for the big one

I threw the car into park and ran inside, peeling off layers as I went.  I traded my heels for wool pants, boots and blaze orange.  I grabbed the gun and left.  There was less than two hours of daylight remaining and a snow squall predicted for the next hour as a cold front moved in. It was 3pm when I walked into the woods and climbed into the Sky Condo.  The big buck's tracks ran along the ridge to my right, so I turned my body to face in that direction.  I was hoping that I would catch him as he did his loop.  It seemed like a perfect night to have deer move. I looked to my left, scanning in front of the Sky Condo.  I was startled to see three deer walking at me.  The snow on the ground made...

Keep Reading

2018 recap

No doubt that I have dropped the ball on posting my adventures here, but I have had a lot of fun happenings this year!  Here is my quick recap: * Beaver trapping - with my uncle and friend Staci. * Honored as Sportsman of the Year from the New England Outdoor Writers Association. * Turkey hunting. * The Maine Moose lottery held in my hometown and my friend Bryan performed. * Mushroom foraging with Staci. * Going to the ribbon cutting of the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation area to honor my friend George. * Bear hunting with Staci and then going out with Bill Dereszewski and having Robin comes with us. * Deer hunting with Dad and Hubs. * Taking O out for his first sit in the new deer stand. * Seeing lots and lots of wildlife...

Keep Reading

Representing hunters on the side of the road

I didn’t see the fawn but I watched in slow motion as the doe hit the corner of the oncoming jeep and disappeared into the tall grass. I hoped that it was just a brush with the bumper and that she would be OK. The driver pulled over and began to walk along the edge of the road to see if the deer was OK. I pulled over on the opposite shoulder and asked if he was OK. We saw the doe struggling to get up and she made a horrific noise.  I assumed that she had a broken leg so I asked my mom to leave me on the side of the road with the driver and go to my house to get the gun. I placed a call to dispatch was put in touch with a warden. He asked if I was able to dispatch the deer and if I wanted to. The last thing I wanted was for this...

Keep Reading

Tagged out!

Dad assured us that deer move in the wind.  He was confident that if we were in the woods, we would see something.  He could be as confident as he needed to; he had tagged out and could stay warm. The wind was howling and with the Sky Condo breaking apart, I didn't waste much time getting into my tree seat in the woods.  It had taken me a handful of years to be comfortable enough swaying in a tree during a windy sit, but I was ready. It was so cold that I had on my snowmobile boots with toe warmers, my ski gloves with hand warmers and a blanket over my legs to help keep the wind from hitting the backs of my legs.  I had on so many layers! It was too windy to hear anything move so I just kept scanning from one side...

Keep Reading