Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coyote Baiting

Just as a heads up to anyone out there that is planning on baiting coyotes, make sure you check out the new laws released by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  The biggest change to take note of is that before you place a bait, you must have landowner permission and all baits must be labeled.  Check it out at the link below and lets go get some coyotes!
New Laws

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recap of 2011 Deer Season

I just wanted to give everyone a little bit of a recap of the 2011 deer hunting season.  I was discouraged to say the least, as the state of our deer herd is dismal at best.  Between me and some of my friends, we had logged hundreds and hundreds of hours riding the logging roads in the North Maine Woods.  All of our efforts had been rewarded with very few deer sightings.  The sightings that we did have were localized, further hammering home the fact that the residual deer are in small pockets.  This is unfortunate when it comes to looking at hunting impact on the bucks, because even though the area is vast, all of the hunting pressure is localized on where the deer are spotted, and in turn pressure small areas intensely.  One of the other discouraging factors for deer hunting in Maine is the extremely deficient buck to doe ratio.  I have heard estimates ranging all across the board, but a number that seems to make sense to me is in the ball park of 1 buck for every 10 does.  This number is not based on any kind of survey or scientific element, just purely observations over time.  That does not take into account the mature versus immature bucks, but that is a whole other topic. 

            All in all, I went into the season with a dismal approach, but was successful on my mission.  Several of my other friends were also successful, which was the purpose of this post before I started rambling about the state of the deer herd.  Anyway, check out the pictures and associated stories below.

Bud Soucy managed to shoot a whitetail in one of the more interesting stories I have ever heard:

Bud spotted the buck quietly moving through the freshly harvested softwood tops, as it headed towards the nearby pond.  Quickly retrieving his rifle from the pickup, he picked a skid trail which paralleled the last direction he saw the buck headed in.  As he anxiously advanced along, he saw no movement and heard nothing stir.  Finally, he reached the shore of the small pond and started to skirt the edge towards where he guessed the deer would be.  As a neared a point of land that protruded into the pond, he glanced out across the pond, and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the deer’s head and antlers swimming across the pond.  He knew that there would only be a few moments after the deer emerged from the water, before it disappeared into the wall of regenerating trees on the far shore.  Bud settled onto his knee, bracing the rifle, intent on the spot that the deer would be ashore.  As the buck reached dry ground, he stopped for an instant and glanced backwards.  That was all the time Bud needed and he fired.  The deer bolted into the dense growth, and was no longer visible.  Now came the painstakingly slow drive around to the other side of the pond, and the hunt for the blood trail.  After several minutes of intense searching, Bud noticed a small speck of blood, and slowly worked into the cedar stand.  He hadn’t gone far when he noticed the buck in his bed.  A great buck, weighing 165 lbs. and sporting a wide 6 point rack.

A pair of deer harvested by father and son team Ked and Bryce Coffin:

 Details are vague as to the secret location, but it is within the North Maine Woods.  Both deer were the result of a week of hard work and persistence.  Ked’s buck weighed in close to 190lbs. with a beautiful 9 point rack, and Bryce’s deer was around 170lbs. with a 7 point rack.  Well done by both!

Nick Pelletier was so discouraged by the state of the deer herd, he planned a hunt into the Midwest, with a combination deer and elk hunt.  He was unsuccessful with the elk tag, but was completely rejuvenated by the approximately 1200 deer his party saw on their trip.  He had his sights set on a mule deer, and passed on several very nice whitetails to accomplish his goal.  After a two mile stalk and 275 yard shot, his dream was now a reality, with a beautiful 3 X 4 mulie.

Matt Deprey also managed to shoot a whitetail at the end of the season.  It was quite a unique situation, as the buck was making a rub on a small sapling when he saw him.  You can see the sapling in the background.  This was a 150lb. 6 point buck.

All across the board, the deer harvests were way down, with a few very nice bucks being harvested, but the numbers of hunters out there versus the harvested deer was quite poor.  Bud Soucy even managed to win the buck pool at Quigley's Outdoors with his 165 lb. deer, which years of go would have been surpassed for sure.  Until next year the 200+ pound deer will have to be in my dreams!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Moose Hunt 2011 Summary

I received the summaries for the 2011 moose hunting season at Quigley's Outdoors, and it was impressive!  They tagged 392 moose during the three weeks of hunting.  The top ten lists are below:

2011 Moose Top 10 Bull Spread
Hunter's Name Sex of Moose Weight Spread Town State
David Such Bull 885 65" Enfield CT
Dustin Hafford Bull 739 61-1/4" Allagash ME
David Colbath Bull 814 57" New Gloucester ME
James Snyder Bull 959 56" Allagash ME
Rachel Levesque Bull 948 56" St. John Plantation ME
Joseph Gerling Bull  853 56" North Collings NY
Stacey Curtis Bull 846 55" Lamoine ME
Phil Dubois Bull 802 55" Wallagrass ME
Larry Bridges Bull 757 55" Bucksport ME
Ben Bouchard Bull 775 54-1/4" Wallagrass ME

2011 Moose Top 10 Bull Weight
Hunter's Name Sex of Moose Weight Spread Town State
Jeffery Whitney Bull 972 49"  Etna ME
Kristeena Gilbert Bull 965 45" Jewell Ridge VA
Walter Golet Bull 963 52" South Berwick ME
James Snyder Bull 959 56" Allagash ME
Michael Bereza Bull 954 49" Chesterfield MI
Rachel Levesque Bull 948 56" St. John Plantation ME
Galen Brown Bull 944 45" Newport ME
James Flanagan Bull 942 54" Milton NH
Randy Pottle Bull 924 54" Palermo ME
Kevin Ouellette Bull 922 51" Sinclair ME
2011 Moose Top 10 Cow Weight
Hunter's Name Sex of Moose Weight Spread Town State
Chris Bouchard Cow 746 - Caribou ME
Ricky Pelletier Cow 742 - Fort Kent ME
Lawrence White Cow 742 - Lincoln ME
Raymond O'Neil Cow 737 - Littleton MA
Nathan Roberge Cow 734 - Sanford ME
Jose Alonso Cow 719 - Stamford CT
Brian Hjort Cow 707 - Cornville ME
Paul Madore Cow 706 - Fort Fairfield ME
Gregory Sullivan Cow 704 - Old Town ME
Kenneth Gardner Cow 700 - Athens ME

2011 Maine Moose

Happy (Much Belated) Thanksgiving

First off I just wanted to apologize for my lack of blog updates lately, and if there are any readers left out there thanks for your patience!

The day before Thanksgiving, I went on an expedition to harvest a turkey for the Thanksgiving day meal.  I have a couple pictures of the 25lb. tom below.  He was a truly huge bird, as I discovered when I picked him up!

A 25 lb. Tom Turkey

Now for all of you saying this is crazy, he couldn't shoot a 25lb. turkey, nor can you even hunt turkeys in Northern Maine, I have to tell the whole story.  This was a bronze back turkey, raised by Matt and Shelly Deprey.  They were generous enough to humor me and let me have my "hunting expedition" in their backyard!  Thanks Matt and Shelly!