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JDK

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I'm going to try one of these this year as I have an exciting hunting season planned.;)

8/31/15

First night of bear season found me sitting near my favorite food source. Tons of apples and choke cherries with lots of bear sign. Wind was cranking out of the NW and while warm, the air had a definite fall feel to it. Sat from 6:30 PM to dark and saw a doe and fawn, night hawk, and had a snake slither beside me. Surprisingly I saw no waterfowl even though early goose season opens tomorrow. A great night to sit and it feels good to have a rifle in hand again.
 

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9/1/15

Decided to try a different spot tonight, a place where we have a ton of bear pictures and have seen a lot of animals this summer. Ended up getting a little sidetracked. Walking down a field road though a cut, I spotted 2 does, Not wanting to spook them, I waited for them to feed out of sight. I crossed a brook and up a hill to a secluded field. Standing in the field were 2 bucks, eating clover. One was the 7 pointer that we have gotten a number of pictures of this summer. The second was a true giant 10 pointer. Easily dwarfed the 7 pointer both in body and antler size. I watched them for about an hour when I ran out of light. It always amazes me how beautiful deer are and this is one big deer. Lots of deer sign in this area and I need to spend some time here during archery season. Walking home, I bumped 2 more deer out of the swamp across the street from the house. In the 3 miles I walked, I never cut a moose track. 8 deer in 2 nights is pretty good for northern Maine. Not a bear or moose seen.

All in all a great night.

This is the 7 pointer. He has filled out since August 5th.

 
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9/2/15

Oppressively humid and hot tonight with thunderstorms off to the north. Polar opposite of last night in that nothing moved before dark. No birds, no geese in the river, no big game. I sat until pitch black and fed the mosquitoes and sweated. This weather needs to break.
 
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9/3/15

Clear, cool, with a light NW wind, about 15-18 degrees cooler than last night. A family obligation kept me from leaving home early so I decided to run out back and check the oat fields. The farmer was in the process of harvesting them so I ran back home and hopped in the truck to quickly check another spot. Parked and ran (well let's be fair- huffed and puffed) about 1/2 mile to a knoll where I could see into an bunch of oats, apple trees and other berries. Looking through the binoculars I see a doe and fawn feeding in the corner. Looking around a little more I see a...BEAR. Can't tell what size he is so I hustle downwind to a small hill. He should be just over the backside. Sure enough about 50 yards away, I see black fur. Dropped to prone and crawled to the top of the hill and he is in some brush eating choke cherries. Looking through the binoculars he doesn't seem filled out or very big but I'll admit I have a hard time judging. Cross hair on his shoulder, I slid the safety off, and watched him. After 10 minutes I put the safety back on. Just not what I'm looking for yet. A nice bear but not a great bear, and I know that there are significantly bigger around.

Pretty dark now so I crawled back down the hill and snuck back to the truck. About 1/2 way there, I see a doe with 2 fawns, still with spots. Also 32 geese came out of the river and landed in the cut fields behind the house. Things are happening.

Yet another great night.


9/4/15

Nothing tonight. The oat and barley harvest is going full swing now and the farmers are getting ready to harvest potatoes. More and more geese around also and along with that are the early hunters. While I'm not a field hunter, there is a lot of activity all around right up to and past dark. I'll take a few days off to let things settle down.
 
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9/8/15

Not really a hunt, more like a walk with a rifle. Very warm and humid with no wind. All of the fields are now cut behind the house and the farmer is tilling everything under. I saw a doe and fawn feeding in the clover and flushed a partridge behind the house.


Evening

Back behind the house tonight. Hot, humid, buggy with some showers. Flusjhed the partridge in the same spot. Sat until 6:30 when a SE breeze came up and I had to move. Decided to look around a bit and am surprised what I have seen. Nearly all of the choke cherries, mountain ash and other food sourses in this area are gone. Absolutlely nothing. The farmer even tilled the clover field where I saw the deer this morning. Time to move to another spot.
 
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9/11/15 Morning

Steady rain and cool. Glassed the thicket where I saw the bear last week for about an hour before work. Nothing. On the way home I talked to a couple of guys scouting for moose. They haven't seen any this week. I mentioned that I haven't gotten any pictures on cameras in a long time and haven't seen a track in a while. Weird.
 

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9/14/15

NOT FRIGGEN AGAIN

Headed out after work tonight. Rain, thunderstorms, and hail. Looking into and overgrown field, I see a sow and 2 small cubs. The cubs were playing and rolling around in the grass. I decided to move on and went to a section of uncut oats across a stream. Bear sign everywhere. I sat in the pouring rain and hail until 6:30 when I decided to poke back towards home. Cresting a hill, I see another bear feeding in a field on a farm I don't have permission to hunt. Watched him for a couple of minutes and headed back.

Climbing up out of the swamp, and into the overgrown field, I see a black blob down in the corner. Looking through the binoculars, it doesn't look very big but the wind is right and I decided to have som fun. Sneaking down the edge, I get withing 60 yards and realize that it is laying down in the clover. It stands up and it isn't a bad bear. I drop and crawl to a blow down where I looked him over some more. He'll do. Gun resting across the blowdown, crosshairs steady, BOOM. He staggers into the woods. Less than a minute later I heard MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNN and CRASH. Bear season is over. I drop down to where I shot him, no blood but a beaten down trail. I walked the trail for 50 yards and it is pitch black, thick, and pouring but no bear.

Get back to the truck, grab a flashlight and head back in. Pouring rain, thick, and pitch black. Nothing. I looked for over an hour and not a drop of blood. I said this last year but WTF???!!!!!. He has to be dead in that swamp.

I don't understand. 2 years in a row. I could see if I were an excitable person but I was laying across a log and at 60 yards. My Sako is a tack driver and I shot it yesterday. Dead nuts on at 100 with 3 touching. A long sleepless night in store.


Found her 29 paces from where I shot. 199 dressed female.

 
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9/17/15

Warm and clear. I did something I haven't done in a while. Yanked the 250 Sav. and predator call out of the safe and plunked myself down out back before first light. Called for about 45 minutes and nothing. Seemed dead today as no waterfowl were flying, no birds, nothing. However, I did see my first moose track in a long long time. Looked like a fairly decent sized bull track. Also a fresh doe and fawn track in the dirt and you could see where they went in the dew. Watched the farmers across the river start their day with the potato harvest. Nice to watch the sun come up over the Aroostook River.

Not much time before work.
 
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9/19/15

Warm, humid, and windy. Not a hunt just a scouting trip and grabbing the cameras. Turns out is it the..

REVENGE OF THE CAMERA EATERS.

Both cameras got smoked.






 

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Second Camera




I also got a picture of a nice buck.

The geese have arrived. Saw upwards of 1000 and by the sounds of the shooting they were getting pounded pretty hard. Potato harvest is in full swing and there are a lot of people roaming around. Yanked the cameras and plan to move them to another area this afternoon.
 
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10/1/15

Opening day. I got up this morning at 0 dark thirty. The wind was blowing and there was a skunk under my bedroom window. I crawled back into bed. This afternoon.

10/1/15

First sit ever with a bow. Clear, cool with a strong NE wind. Arrived at 5:30 and at 5:35 5 does walked by out of range. Foliage is still green and thick. Work gets in the way of fun for sure as there is no way I can leave earlier. Also not sure how much I like these hang on stands. Josh's climber is the way to go.

Tons of geese.
 
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10/2/15

Strong NE winds and overcast. Ended up sititng on a run as the winds are wrong for my stands. Tried to find a spot to remain hidden yet still be able to see and draw should a deer happen by. At 6:00, 2 does wandered by and as they passed busted me. I knew that I was in trouble. At 6:15 5 more does went by and fed out to a field. They were about 30 yards away and I'm not sure I could have drawn if I wanted to.

Piles and piles of geese.
 

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10/3/15

My wife and I went bird hunting for the morning around Eagle Lake. Tons of people riding the roads but once off the roads we saw no one. Sadly we also saw very few birds. The foliage is extremely thick and still green. I was able to kill one bird by sheer luck. No moose, no deer, and very quiet in the woods.

10/3/15 PM

Decided to sit behind the house in the swamp. Decent run with a good amount of sign but I have not seen a deer here during the daylight. Wind was dying but blowing out of the NE and switching to the NW. Sat until dark and nothing.
 

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10/4-10/7/15

Our 29 year of bird hunting. Arrived at the campsite early Sunday morning and set up. Felt good to be in the North Maine Woods again and be on the banks of the Allagash River. After setting up camp, we took off on a scouting trip to a spot we hunt deer. Mark wanted to put a camera on a trail and as we walked in we saw a big doe. Not 2 minutes later we flushed a couple of birds. This is looking good. After setting the camper, we made a quick swing through some spots and realized how hard the area was cut. This was not so good. Doesn't matter as we always have a good time.

We hunted Monday through Wednesday and it was tough, as tough as we have ever seen it. The foliage was extremely thick and still relatively green All day Monday. the 2 of us picked up 6 birds. Not sure how far we walked but it was a long way. Tuesday we decided to hit another area that was a decent drive. We noticed as we got close that there were newer and newer roads and fewer and fewer trees. When we arrived to where we wanted to go, we didn't recognize the area at all. It was a moonscape. We scrambled all day long and it was a skunk. Not s single bird seen all day long, a first for us. This morning we hit a few spots close to the campsite and picked up 5 quick birds before calling it a trip. The lowest number of birds we have seen and killed in many many years. Still a great time and good company.

In total, we saw maybe 30 birds, 5 moose, and 2 deer. The foliage was changing but still extremely thick and green in many places. It is a late Fall.




 
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10/7/15 PM

Sat in one of my stands tonight. Thought it would be a perfect evening with winds out of the SW and cool. Light showers but mainly partly cloudy. Sat until dark and saw nothing but a fox that walked under the stand. Overall a frustrating couple of days.
 

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10/9/15

Late getting out of work so I hustled to my stand behind the house. Sat until dark and nothing. Time to pull this stand and move it to another location.
 

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10/10/15- AM

Took a friend and his son bird hunting in the morning towards Portage Lake. In reality IO wanted to look at some spots that I used to hunt 15-20 years ago. They certainly have grown up over the years and most of the time I didn't recognize any landmarks. However in one spot that I looked at, the deer were still using the same trails and the sign was actually pretty impressive.

We walked a lot of trails and hunted until noon. Austin killed a bird and we saw 4 others. Lots of people out scouting for moose and the foliage is still very thick although, the leaves do appear to be about peak color. We ended up seeing 5 birds and 2 deer.

10/10/15-PM

North winds and cool. Sat in a tree until dark. at 3:00 the parade of does started and I saw 8 between 3 and 4. Around 4ish, a very nice buck walked down the trail and stopped at 50 yards. He turned and took a different trail out towards the fields. All in all a great night.
 
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10/12/15-AM

Overcast, warm, humid, and still. I decided to hunt near the near the camp I stay at in November. Really was more of a scouting mission, check on a stand, see what was around. Sat from first light until 9:30. Not a lot of sign near the ladder stand but the deer are using the trail. Tons and tons and tons of squirrels this year and it sounded like a convention all morning long. Hung a camera on the trail just to see what is going on. Also checked out a spot I plan to hunt the last week of October. Far more sign in there and I will move a stand there. I also hung a camera.

10/12/15- PM

Clear, warm, strong south wind. Not a good wind for my stands so I hunted an abandoned orchard. Some sign but nothing to get excited about. Stayed until dark and saw nothing. Based on the earth shattering KABOOMS just before dark, someone either killed or shot at a moose nearby. Also talked to the farmer on the way home. He plans to start tilling all of the clover fields tomorrow morning.
 

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10/17/15

Overcast, light winds, and 2-4 inches of snow. Because of the predicted heavy rain :mad:I bagged archery today and we headed to Oxbow to scout a few places and hopefully pick up a few birds. Snowed most of the day but the bird hunting was decent. Looked for and found some deer sign. We also watched an otter slide down the road in front of us. He would take 3-5 steps then slide in the snow on his belly. Very entertaining. A few very desperate moose hunters floating around but overall not very many people out and about. In total, we saw a marten, otter, dozen turkey, and a dozen birds.
 
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10/19/15 - PM

Strong SW winds with a front coming in. Perfect winds for one of my stands so I climbed in about 4:00. At 4:30 the winds died, shifted and blew hard out of the SE to E. Terrible. Climbed down not really sure what to do so I went back to a spot that would be better in the wind. At 5:15 2 does walked down the farthest trail (about 43-45 yards). At 5:20 a decent buck followed. Overall 15 yards past my comfort zone. I was able to draw on him without being detected so I consider it somewhat of a moral victory. Time to adjust stands yet again.

While I am not a field hunter, I completely underestimated the impact of early goose seasons, moose hunters, and farmers pre-harvest and harvest activities on deer movement. They shifted both timing and locations based on activities in the food sources. Nice to know that I found them again.
 


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