Browseline's 15 days in Maine. 2021

Browseline

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3 of us in camp this year. We hunted the first 5 days for non-residents and then came back on the 17th of November and hunted the rest of the season. Not much happened the first 5 days. A couple days of rain with quiet going and a couple days of frozen leaves and crunchy, None of us saw a deer and tracks in the mud and leaves were even hard to find. 2 of us did quite a bit of walking and couldn't jump a deer. None of us saw a deer the first 5 days. I did have a little excitement when I nearly walked into a medium sized bull moose in the dark. Each day I was in the woods about an hour before daylight to get to spots that I would set for an hour or 2 in the morning. One windy morning I rounded a corner in a skid road and about 20 ft away in the headlamp I could see the moose looking at me. I told him to get out of the way and he did in a hurry. Lucky for me as I had no where to go and an unloaded rifle. Also about Wed or Thurs I was stopped in some hardwood with some ground cover trying to figure out where to go next when I heard some thumping. A big snowshoe hare went bounding by me maybe 15 ft away, talking big leaps on the bare ground. I thought" I wonder what got him going" as I was standing still. I looked at his backtrack and could see something coming. It was a pine Marten. He went up a 12 or so inch beech tree about 15 ft in front of me and stopped when 8 or 10 feet up it and peered around the side looking in the direction the rabbit went. I could still see the rabbit hopping maybe 40 or 50 yards away. The Marten saw it too and shot back down the tree and made a straight line toward it. The rabbit had made a circular route to get to where it was so the Marten saved itself some time climbing the tree and looking. It never occurred to me that a Marten might do this or a fisher or other tree climbing predator for that matter.

We came back on the 17th of Nov (2 of us) and started hunting on the 18th. It was a nice day but very noisy. I sat nearly 10 hours in one spot the first day back. About 8 hours into the sit I heard hooves thumping in back of me. It sounded like whatever it was was getting closer to me and would run by to my left so I didn't move. After about 3 or 4 seconds I realized the noise was going away so jumped up and spun around. I could still hear it running but couldn't see it as it was in the thick stuff. It blew 3 or 4 times and was gone. It probably smelled me as the wind was generally in that direction. Later when I looked at the tracks I could see that it wasn't a very big deer. Nothing happen on the 19th worth talking about. On the 20th I walked in in the dark and found a place to sit until it got to be daylight. I also wanted to cool down some. Just as I could see good about 20 minutes after legal time I got up to go up the hill some more. 4 or 5 steps and a deer ran and blew a few times. I blew back at it and started walking up the hill. I noticed a fresh scrape about 75 ft up the hill. There was a flat faced rock off to the side about 50 ft so I went over and scraped out a place to sit. The deer was up hill from me so I thought it a good place to hide. Meanwhile I am grunting, kicking the ground and turned over the bleat can a few times. Nothing for 10 minutes or so. So I grunted again and a couple minutes later I heard something coming. I rested the rifle on the rock while on my knees and waited. I could see antlers coming first and then the deer. As best I can tell he had 8 points or so, maybe 14 inches wide with the g-2's maybe 5 inches long. He didn't look very big and the more I looked the smaller he seemed. He stood looking for a good 2 minutes and slowly walked away. It took him another minute to go back out of sight. I had the safety off and my finger on the trigger, debating whether to shoot or not. I didn't. When I later went up to look at the tracks I'm glad I didn't. He might have gone 140 lbs and I had all next week to hunt. I have more to write in a minute but want to post this before I lose it.
 

Browseline

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On the 21st, Sunday, we went over to NH to hunt. Neither of us saw any deer, there was a little snow but only a couple small tracks. I did watch an ermine hunting for nearly 20 minutes. It kept going up and down dead trees and looking in the ledges. It was very through. It was about 30 ft from me at times. I tried to squeak like a mouse but it was not interested so guess I didn't do a very good job. Monday and Tuesday we had rain and high winds and I might as well have stayed in camp. Didn't see anything. Wednesday 2 harvesters and an excavator moved into the area where I saw the buck earlier so I couldn't go back in there the rest of the season. I expect the trees will be all gone next year. Thursday we had a little snow on the mountain I was on. When coming out just before dark I noticed tracks that were heading down the road. No one had been up the road that day except me. It was a big, old, flat footed buck that walked 100 ft down the road. There was about a half inch of snow or less, the ground was frozen gritty gravel so it wasn't slippery. Every step he took the hooves were splayed out like in the picture. He was just walking, not in a hurry. My .308 magazine is in the pictures. It was thick spruce on both sides of the road for a long ways. I came in that morning 45 minutes before daylight so my guess is that he made the tracks in the dark although he could have made them in the daylight. He stepped in my tire tracks a few times. I wish I had taken more pictures of the tracks down the road but I didn't. I went back the next day but couldn't figure out what direction he went in after leaving the road. He didn't cross any of the other roads either. It is good to know that there are still a few big ones around. We had pretty good snow for Saturday but the wind was brutal. We only saw a couple of dimples in the snow and no tracks crossing roads. As usual we had a good time with less deer sightings this year and less sign than any year we can recall. One of the guys was there the same amount of time as me and saw one small doe all season. The other guy was there 5 days less and didn't see a deer. As I have said before I am thankful that I can still climb all those mountains pretty good at 70 years old and look forward to spring in Maine when I can go looking for some moose antlers. It is beautiful, wild country.
 

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longbow

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Nice hunt Ted. At least you laid eyes on a buck.

Big old flat footed buck you found there. Reminds me of a similar track I saw on the road years ago. Buck was walking on his dew claws.
 

NoDeerHere

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Very good report. You certainly put in your time and it is too bad there are not more deer in the area.
 

WetWool

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Browse still gets my vote for captain of Maine page, deer or no deer!
 
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Davey

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Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun, thanks for the report.
 

Gwlambo

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Love the trip report Browse. Weird year from all reports up north. I like that track on the road with the Yote - but am curious what caliber you are hunting with form the clip?
 

Browseline

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Love the trip report Browse. Weird year from all reports up north. I like that track on the road with the Yote - but am curious what caliber you are hunting with form the clip?
.308 The magazine is a little over 3" long.
 




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