2019 Maine Trip

Mountain Hunter

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I left for Maine on Friday, November 22nd. We had a scheduling conflict with our normal cabin that we rent, so we drove further north and stayed at the Moose River Lodge in Jackman. This would allow us to hunt Jackman on Saturday. After that, we could move into our cabin on Sunday.

Saturday, November 23rd:

We started the day driving around looking for fresh tracks. We went into an area that had great sign last year. We found very little this year. We decided to take off on foot. The conditions were very loud and crunchy. Two of us didn't cut a track all day. My hunting buddy, Travis, cut a track early, and followed it most of the day. His buck was cruising, and he never caught up with him.

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Sunday we moved into our cabin for the week. We did a little scouting in the afternoon.

Monday, November 25th:

We woke up to a few inches of fresh snow. We drove up to our hunting grounds and right off, we cut a nice buck track and a doe track heading into a smaller patch of woods. We decided to keep driving since it was still dark. We drove down a dead end log road later on, and on the way back out there was a fresh buck track crossing our tire tracks on the way in. Travis and I coin flipped and I lost, so he took the track. My uncle was going to bring me back to the buck and the doe track. On the way there we cut the same buck Travis was on. He had already crossed the road. Travis told me to jump on it to save time, so I did. The buck took me around the end of a ridge and into an area where a buck had chased a doe around that morning. He then took me to a barnyard of tracks and I couldn't make heads or tails of which way he went. So, I struck back to the truck, and we decided to go after the buck and doe track we saw that morning.

Travis and I got dropped off at the track. We headed in and found the buck had chased the doe all over this section of woods. I circled the mess of tracks they left behind and cut his track heading out. I followed it a ways and then it started bounding. I was beginning to think we had pushed him when my suspicions were confirmed. He took me to the road and walked right across our tire tracks from a half hour earlier.

I stayed on him. He took me up the side of a big ridge. Once we crested the top he took me into a nice mix of softwoods and hardwoods. He was zigzagging so I decided to lightly grunt while I walked. I followed him until 4:15. I decided to walk my boot tracks back to the road. I was quite surprised when I found a nice buck track following my boot tracks. I must have had one come in while I was grunting, and I never even noticed. He must have winded me. I could see where he spun around and took off bounding.

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Mountain Hunter

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Tuesday November 26th:

We drove around a bit in the morning and only found one fresh buck track from the night before, but it was an absolute giant! We coin flipped and I lost again, so Travis took the track. I ended up still hunting an area most of the day, but I never found a good track. Later in the day, I met up with Travis and we double teamed the giant track until dark. This buck was cruising and neither of us saw him all day.
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Wednesday, November 27th:

I decided to hunt the area where the nice buck took me on Monday afternoon. I was walking up my boot tracks from Monday, when I spotted a deer heading down my boot tracks. I leaned against a tree and watched the deer come down in my scope. It ended up being a little 4 pointer. He came to 20 yards before spotting me. After a little internal debate, I decided to give him a pass. I saw one more deer today, and lots of sign. The deer were hitting the old man's beard really hard.

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Mountain Hunter

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Thanksgiving Day:

We woke up to 5" of fresh snow and high winds. The deer weren't moving. We drove around until 10:30, and finally found two old tracks on a log road. One was fresher than the other. Travis told me to take the fresher track since I had lost all the coin flips so far.
I took off on his track, and he fed almost immediately. 100 yards later, he fed again. All told he fed 4 times. He rubbed a tree after the 4th feeding and then started zigzagging.
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I slowed way down. The buck took me another 1/2 a mile, zigzagging through so many places that I thought he would be bedded, but he was never there. He broke into an old cutting and cruised down a log road for a bit. He broke off the log road and made a half circle through a bunch of 3' tall softwood trees. I rounded the half circle and I stopped. 25' ahead of me was a thick clump of softwoods. It was very dark in there, but I could see a horizontal line. I pulled up my BLR and looked at the line in the scope. It looked like a deers back. I cranked up the scope and spotted an eyeball. The deer had its head turned and down by its side. Unfortunately, I couldn't see horns from my position. A small softwood tree was blocking that view. So, I took a small step to the left. I pulled up again, and now the deer was staring at me. All I could see through the brush was one ear, and a main beam. All I knew was that he was a buck, and he was RIGHT in front of me. I was too afraid to move at this point, so I settled the crosshairs where I thought his neck would be, and touched off my 308. My heart sank when I heard the deer take off, crashing through the cuttings. Here is a picture with a red circle where I could see the ear and antler.
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Mountain Hunter

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I followed the buck's track into the softwood clump, confirming it was the buck I had been tracking. I got down on my knees in his bed, and found a little bit of hair in the snow. I stepped out of the softwoods and there was a ditch plowed through the snow. It went out of sight, but there were softwood trees that were bent right over in its path. I started following it, and I started finding blood. A little at first, and then a lot. The ditch went around a corner. I walked around the corner and I was greeted with the most beautiful deer I've ever laid eyes on.
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I had hit the buck right in the front of his neck. Somehow, he got up and plowed 50 yards before hitting a skidder rut that stopped him. I didn't know what he was when I pulled the trigger, but I was shocked when I walked up to him. He was a beautiful 10 pointer with a big body to match!

I called the boys, gave them GPS coordinates and stood there and admired my first successful tracking deer. When the guys showed up, we snapped many pictures, and then dragged him out.
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We found a reporting station that was open, so I was able to weigh him that evening. He tipped the scales at 212 pounds, fully dressed.
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Mountain Hunter

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The next day, I packed up and headed home. My wife and children were super excited about my buck. My wife took this picture when I got home.
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The rest of my crew is still in Maine for another week. If they have any luck, I'll add pictures to this thread.

Also, here is a short video of the ditch the buck plowed through the snow. Enjoy!

 
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Big D

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Awesome job. Congratulations. Thanksgiving would have been a tough day as it dumped about a foot over my way and I had to head out. Figured tracks would be hard to come by. Nice work.
 

Mountain Hunter

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Thanks guys! I can't even explain how happy I am. I've had so many things go wrong tracking that lead to a hard lesson. It feels great to have one swing in my favor.
 
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802-603hunter

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Thanks guys! I can't even explain how happy I am. I've had so many things go wrong tracking that lead to a hard lesson. It feels great to have one swing in my favor.
Don’t worry, there will be more hard lessons to come, guaranteed!😉
If it were easy, it wouldn’t be as fun!
 

Mikejd

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Thanks guys! I can't even explain how happy I am. I've had so many things go wrong tracking that lead to a hard lesson. It feels great to have one swing in my favor.
Congrats what a great buck. You made this one swing in your favor. How many would have busted that buck out. Great job.
 

Mountain Hunter

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Congrats what a great buck. You made this one swing in your favor. How many would have busted that buck out. Great job.
I think he was sleeping when I noticed him. Maybe he was hoping I would walk by without noticing him? I'm not exaggerating, he was 25' away at the most. On 7 power, I could see the whiskers around his eye in my scope. It was the perfect hunt!
 

Snowed

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Great buck and great hunt! You should feel very proud. You hunted hard and kept grinding. Great job and congratulations!
 

amclimber

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Nice heavy racked buck! 212 on thanksgiving...imagine what he would have been in the beginning of November. Congrats on the buck and being able to put it all together tracking.
 


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