Bowhunting the NMW

bearblade

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Curiosity ? here...I mostly bowhunt. I live in Michigan and the closest thing we have to Maine is the Upper Peninsula. I've given it a try w a bow and in the big woods areas I wonder how in the heck anyone pulls it off! It's hard enough with a rifle! Are there any Benoit types with the bow out there in Maine? Greg Miller from Wisconsin (Bowhunting Big Woods Bucks) got me interested years ago but I have to say it seems between crazy hard and almost nuts. I know my habitat but with deer #'s so low and country so vast it seems luck a winning lottery ticket might happen first! Anyone out there in northern Maine that can pull that stuff off in late October/November rut consistently? Happy New Year too!
 

JDK

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Not saying there aren’t as I have no idea. Just to give you an example, the shop that tags the most deer up here tagged one in 2019 taken with archery gear
 

shawn_in_MA

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I have never bowhunted up there and would find it daunting to do so...my best guess would be hunting funnels or the back corners of cut off areas
 

JDK

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I may have misinterpreted what was being asked. When I saw the Benoit style comment and late October/November is was thinking along the lines of stillhunting and tracking. There actually are a number of bowhunters up here.
 

Kingman Cruncher

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I think you would need some really good scouting and find some funnels, high peak saddles early season. During the rut, a good scrape line or annual rub. Likely the same strategy as anywhere else I guess but you could be waiting a very very long time for one!
 

Big D

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You would have to do some serious scouting and might end up w/ some really long walks to your stand. Like you said it's hard enough w/ a rifle.
 

bearblade

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I may have misinterpreted what was being asked. When I saw the Benoit style comment and late October/November is was thinking along the lines of stillhunting and tracking. There actually are a number of bowhunters up here.
Yes. Sorry about that. I used the Benoit name meaning hardcore dedicated.
 

Gwlambo

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Check out Tom Blais (google) - he used to film and hunt with the benoits. He has some good videos and a book I believe on his website. He is an avid bow hunter from what I recall.
 

JDK

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I was thinking about this while snowblowing the driveway. Of the archers that I know personally up here there seems to be 3 schools of thought:

With Maine being a one deer state, many choose not to end their deer season in October by shooting a doe. When archery season ends and rifle starts they pick up a rifle.

Those that have no issue shooting a doe typically head to central and southern Maine where there are a lot more deer..

then there are people like me. I’m a half assed archer who wouldn’t shoot a doe in October, has a spouse that likes to eat partridge, and doesn’t have a lot of time to split between the two. I go when I can around the house before and after work. A month slips by quickly

and finally, a friend’s step brother shoots a buck every year down in the Patten area. While technically not the NMW, his preferred tactic is hunting older clear cuts.
 

bearblade

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Thank you all for the responses. I love October weather and dont have a big truck for deep Nov snow, so will keep dreaming that one October day it may come together. I do dream of a rifle hunt in Maine but don't know how I'd get around with deep snow there or here. Happy New Year to you all!
 

ahmoore

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Idea wise, flying into Boston saves good money and then the option of renting a 4WD truck/SUV. Lived/worked in MI years back and flew home every year to hunt ME or NH w/ fam. When I moved back to east coast (D.C.) and was within a reasonable day's drive, I did that a couple times w/ my truck, however switched back to flying given dirt cheap Spirit Airlines tics and being more far more efficient given only a week's vaca time to work with.

Speaking of MI, when I lived there I squeezed in a little bow/rifle hunting up in the L.P. (Higgins Lake and Cheboygan areas). Years later, moved to Duluth, MN for work and made the trek across the entire U.P. multiple times. Looking back, northern L.P. hunting was decent, but would venture to say MI U.P. ( and especially, northern MN) have vast/remote areas w/ big bucks that rival ME/NH. I know you mentioned more bowhunting, but believe the U.P. is a hidden gem in your backyard, especially firearms wise. From what I saw, def some hardcore stand hunters up there though very little to no deer tracking competition. And no shortage of snow in the U.P.!! Btw, what part of MI do you live?
 

bearblade

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I sure agree with you on the UP. Great area, just tough to scout living where I do. I live @ 25 miles N of Grand Rapids. Funny you mention the Higgins Lake area. I've had a couple work related projects up there recently. I hunted Maine back in the early and mid 80's and have great memories. I know it's changed like everything does but I hunt less for the meat now anyway and more the experience. Your suggestions are good ones and beat driving out.
 
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