JDK's 2015

JDK

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10/21/15- PM

Strong N-NE winds and clear. Got out of work early and decided to sit for the evening. Winds were again wrong for where I planned so I did something I don't normally do and sat overlooking a field. Lots of beaten down trails. At 5:30, I see 5 does come out of the woods and walk along the trail where I normally sit. They are about 200 yards away and I'm up 25 feet in a spruce tree. Suddenly the last doe, stops and looks directly at me. She is on high alert. She stomps, blows and wags her tail. Now all 5 are on pins and needles. I haven't moved a muscle and the wind is directly from them to me. For 20 minutes they never moved and never took their eyes off of me. Finally they stepped off into the woods. I have no idea what they saw, or how they knew I was there but I'm in trouble if they are that jumpy and I'm being seen from that far away.
 

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10/24/15

Clear cold and light winds. Decided to let the youths have their shot at the local deer so MGK and I moved some stands, checked some cameras, and bird hunted. We drove over to my November deer camp area to check the cameras. 2 week set and not a single deer picture, not a set of tracks, nothing. Very disappointing. Matt killed a bird on the way in and we saw a few more. Moved a ladder stand to a winter migration trail while I have the help. Moving on, we looked at another piece of property that I recently received permission to hunt. It has been cut over about 10-15 years ago and there are a number of apple trees. There was some sign and it looks like I may spend an evening or 2 there this coming week. After that we hunted birds in the Portage area. Very disappointed in the amount of deer sign we saw but we ended up seeing 15 birds. Far better than past weekends.

Off next week and plan to fire a meat missile at something.
 

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10/26/15- AM

Apparently the youths of Caribou didn't make a big dent in my local herd.

In the stand at 5:30. Strong NW winds and cold (20ish). Perfect conditions for this stand. At 7:10 I see a deer coming towards me so I stand and get ready. At 40ish yards I see a set of antlers and recognize him as the shorter tined deer I have a number of pictures of. He walks behind some brush at 24 yards and stops. A couple more steps and I can shoot. He turns (quartering away) and stays in some brushy cover. He then walks out into the field and away from me. Never had a shot. Sat until 9:15 and was completely frozen so I headed to look at another spot. As I climbed the hill to the field, I see ears. A doe is bedded on the edge of the field. I stood there for about 10 minutes when she senses something and stood up...along with 4 of her friends. Same family group I have been seeing most every night. While I don't believe they knew what I was, they were nervous and wandered down into the swamp. I have been looking for a place to hang a stand in this area and can't find one. Good morning.
 

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10/27/15-AM

Cold with a W-SW wind. Moon as big as a pumpkin. Sat until 9:00 and nothing. Woods were dead, with no birds, squirrels, or chipmunks.. Geese didn't even start flying until 8:30.


10/27/15-PM

Cool, partly cloudy, and strong W-SW winds. Hunted a new spot I had only been in 2 times before. Decent amount of sign but again, cut over with very few places to put a tree stand. I found a spot on a run and was able to get up about 12 feet. not high enough. At 2:30, a medium doe walks up from behind me and stops 10 yards broadside from the stand. I stand up and draw on her and ...nope, not killing a doe in October. At 3:15, 4 partridge walk under the stand and then begin feeding on buds. They stuck around all afternoon and made the time on stand go by quicker. At 5:00 I catch movement off to the south and see a big doe coming down the trail. She walks to within 5 yards of the tree and starts feeding. I could hear her eating and actually see the food go down her throat. For 10 minutes she feeds around me and at one point stopped at 8 yards, slightly quartering away, head down. I stood, drew, found the pin, and ...nope. I had her dead to rights. She finally wandered off and at 5:30 a skipper came from the north. He/she also wandered around the stand for 10 minutes or so and would have been very easy to shoot at. The sun finally set and I walked back to the truck. I may not kill a deer with a bow in 2015 but I consider my first season a success already.
 
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JDK

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10/28/15-AM

Truck issues kept me at home this morning so I did a quick walk out back. Nothing. Today should be a killing day.:mad:


10/28/15-PM

SE winds and overcast. Sat from 2:30 to dark and nothing. Woods were dead. Surprising.
 
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10/29/15-AM

Heavy rain and strong winds kept me from sitting in a tree. Decided to check some cameras that have been sitting for about 3 weeks. Disappointing to say the least. A picture of me walking out, a doe, and me walking in.

10/29/15-PM

Weather broke a little after mid day and it is overcast but with no wind. Decided to hunt close to home. Climbed into the stand at 2:00 and immediately began counting geese flying overhead. Stopped counting at 250 at 2:45. Based on the sounds coming from the surrounding fields, the goose hunters were having a field day. At 5:20, I looked to the west and saw the front coming and knew I was going to get soaked. At the same time, I hear HUFF, HUFF, HUFF coming towards me. A doe and 2 fawns running just as fast as they can. Not sure what is going on as the wind is right and I hadn't moved a muscle. They stopped directly under my stand and began looking the way the came. I figure something good was about to happen. For 20 minutes they fed within 25 yards of me and wandered off. It was dark and I had to go. Just at dark, the skies opened up and I was soaked.
 
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10/30/15- AM

Last day of bow season. Strong NW-W and overcast. I sat until 9:30 and saw noting. No geese, no squirrels, nothing. I scouted the area and found 8-10 scrapes that hadn't been there earlier this week and a new spot to try.

10/30/15- PM

Winds to 40 out of the NW with intermittent snow showers.. Sat from 1:00 to 5:50 and saw absolutely noting. Froze my arse off and several times I wondered what I was doing there. Oh well, it was a great bow season. Time to grab the 308 and kill something. I really like the climber I got from Russel Bros. No way I could have sat there for that long in a hang-on.

Tomorrow off to Allagash.
 

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10/31/15- All day

Cool, clear, and light W winds. First light found me high on a ridge north of Allagash. This is a spot where we had seen a deer during bird season and a place we gravitate to on opening day for the last 3-4 years. No where near the amount of sign as in years past but just enough to keep it interesting. I'm poking along the green top when a deer blows at me from the bench below. I see just a flash of movement and then nothing. Sat there for about 40 minutes and moved along. At noon, I bumped into my buddy and we chatted for a few minutes. We both remarked that there wasn't much sign and, as if on cue, a deer blows and bounds out of the beech whips about 50 yards away. Mark decides to follow to see and I made a swing back towards the truck. We met back at the truck, grabbed a quick bite and I decided to poke along to the north between the cut and the swamp. Mark hunted a different ridge. There was enough sign to keep you going but certainly not a lot. I saw 2 partridge for the afternoon. Mark jumped a doe and skipper up on the ridge and walked up on a bull moose bedded down. The deer certainly seem to be high right now but there were no beech nuts that we could see.

Lots of shooting today all around. Overall a great day in the north woods.
 

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11/3/15- AM

Light E winds with freezing rain. Sat from 5:30 to 7 without a sighting. Just a raw morning. Lots of geese but I'm still amazed that in as many days as I have hunted this area I still have not seen a moose.
 

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11/7/15- AM

MGK and I tried out his new to him truck today. Decided to look an area over that a friend told us had a lot of deer. We had never been there before so it was a scouting mission. Matt walked up one trail and I went down a newly made winter road. There was a nice track in the road that was heading in MGK's direction. I walked maybe a mile and came to a decent game trail at the edge of a swamp. Sat there for a while and made a circle towards the road. Area was extremely thick and flat. Not my style of hunting. When I got back tot he truck , Matt said that he had seen a doe and fawn in a cut. There was some sign but certainly nothing I'd get excited about. Matt said the area he was in had better sign.

11/7/15- PM

I missed a very nice buck this afternoon. 150ish yard shot off hand with no rest. Stupid shot to take. Full racked 190-200 pounder. stupid, stupid stupid..
 
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11/11/15 - PM

Moderate E winds and overcast. Sat from 2 to 4:30. 3 partridge, a squirrel, and a moose (they do exist). No shooting and everything seemed dead this afternoon.

By all reports, the morning was pretty good but I was working.
 

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11/13/15- PM

Light SW winds with rain that ranged from light to torrential. Only had an hour and a half to hunt so I poked through a swamp. Nearly all of the sign I saw was old and overall it was dead tonight. I only saw a chickadee. Not even a squirrel.

I did see a number of bucks in trucks this morning so that tells me it was OK.
 

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11/14/15 - AM

Strong NW winds and snow showers. A dusting in spots in the higher elevations. Grabbed the 7600 and left the front door of the house and headed east. Poked along through the woodlots and swamps. Lots of trails with absolutely no sign at all. Stillhunted until 10ish and made a quick big swing to on of my cameras. Yanked it when there was not a single picture. Deer patterns have certainly changed. Tons of geese and a dozen partridge.
 

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11/15/15

Truck is packed and I head to camp in an hour.
 

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Camp Week 2015

Headed into camp on Sunday. One road in and it is in terrible condition. Real ball buster. Guys that stayed the week before (10 days actually) saw exactly 0 deer. UH OH. This area can be fantastic in the right conditions (snow) as it is on a migration route to a major yard. Without snow it is a long week. Hard to get into and you can't walk far enough in a day to find deer. I made a quick 3 mile loop through the area and found absolutely nothing. UH OH. Oh well, it is camp and it will be fun.

Monday found me out west of the "parking lot" at the end of the Maynard Road. Decided to head north and at 9:30 I was poking along a series of hemlock knolls when I see a flicker of movement and a doe and 2 skippers are working their way towards me. They worked to within 50 feet of me and the doe went to the north of me and the skippers to the south. As they got down wind, they started to blow and stamp and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a big bodied deer bound out in front of me. At 12:30 I bumped a doe out of a swamp. That was it for the day. Very Little sign but 5 deer today is a great day. At 10:10 I heard a shot off in the distance and thought one of the group scored. Sadly, back at camp that night, Dave said that ne missed a big bedded buck. Things were certainly looking up.

Tuesday found me in the same are but I decided to head south. No deer sightings at all and 1-2 tracks. No buck sign at all.

Wednesday I drove out to Slippery Hill and wanted to hunt an area where I have a ladder stand. The stand is located near a major trail that the deer migrate to yard so I didn’t expect much. Surprisingly, there was a decent amount of sign on the trail so I sat in the stand for the morning. At 10:15, a doe and 2 skippers wandered by. Sat until 12:30 and made a small loop in the area. I did find 4-5 old scrapes and rubs but very little additional sign. Sat in the stand until dark and nada.







Thursday I went back to the end of the Maynard Road. Working the same knolls as Monday, I saw what I believe to be the same doe and skippers. Found a spot and plunked my behind down for the day. One additional moose sighting and that was it.

Family obligations on Friday made it necessary to head to town. Rain most of the day. On the way out a doe and fawn stood in the road. As we watched them, we heard 2 quick shots to the south. We knew that it was no one from our camp as the geezers were still there. Rounding a corner, we bumped into an old guy that said he missed a small buck at 25 feet. OK??? We got out and helped him look for about an hour and found no blood or hair. Maybe he did miss.

Back into camp just before noon, a quick bite and off to the blue line for the afternoon. Poked along for a while until I was back at the hemlock knolls. Sat there for about an hour, got thoroughly soaked, and saw nothing.

Saturday morning is camp close down time so we winterized and shut everything down. Not a bad week I guess as I saw 14 deer (same group of 3 twice). Couldn’t put an antler on anything but enough to be encouraged. Only saw the 1 moose which is very odd.

Highlight of the week was getting a picture of the endangered northern Maine Red Squirrel.

 
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11/23/15- AM

3 INCHES OF SNOW and I'm headed to work.:mad:
 

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11/25/15- PM

Today at 1:00 starts my last push of rifle season. I had initially taken 6 weeks off between October 1 and November 28th. Sadly with lay offs and closings here at work, I really had to come in more than I wanted to or expected but still had a great time tramping around. Over 100 deer seen in the 2 months with over a dozen opportunities with the bow and a very nice buck missed with the rifle.:duck: Outstanding for northern Maine. In reality, my favorite 3 days are coming up anyway and there is still time.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

11/25/15 - PM

Got home about 1:30, dressed, and headed out. Poked my way into the cedar swamp and found a place to sit until dark. Dark in that hellhole is about 45 minutes earlier than anywhere else. At 3:30 I heard something walking off to the north but I couldn't see it. Walked about 40-50 yards away (maybe a little more) but I just couldn't lay eyes on it. Then it got dark. Poked my way back out towards the field and had a deer blow at me 2-3 times. Again, never saw it. It is so thick in there it is awful. Arrived back at the field in time to watch the full moon rise. Beautiful.
 
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11/26/15 - AM

Out before light. Windy (SE) and cold. Decided to poke my way in where MGK saw the buck earlier this week. OH MY GOD is there sign in there. Some of the biggest tracks I have seen in a long, long time. Worked my way through the brush and cuts and found a trail 2 feet wide and beaten to dirt. Worked west towards the stream when I realized that I recognized a couple of trees as the place where I had sat last Saturday. Sign was unreal but I only saw one scrape. Sat until 10:30 and had to work my way back towards the truck. How I did not see a deer or bear is beyond me.

The entire time I sat, I could hear trucks and 4 wheelers in the fields around me. Odd as the farmer doesn't allow them on his land and it is heavily posted. Got out to the field road and there was a truck stuck in the mud. I asked if he had permission to be there and he said it "wasn't posted." Of course, no matter how he got there he had to drive by posted signs. I wanted no part of that. I also found a young couple ...er...having relations. He obviously had a better morning than I.

As much as I love the late season, I don't love it in the Caribou area.
 

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11/27/15

Overcast and warm. Decided to try a new spot and poked around for a couple of hours. Lots of old sign and some very impressive rubs. Made a circle through a swamp and found nothing of interest so I went back to the old reliable. Poked through the woodlot and the sign that I saw was old. Lots of people out and about and a lot of shooting. Never saw a deer but did see 5 partridge.
 

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11/28/15

Last day of the 2015 rifle season. I awoke to an inch of fresh snow, grabbed the 7600 and headed east from the house. In roughly 6 hours I made it a 1/2 mile through the woodlot that has held a lot of deer all season. Not a single track. The "open" area of the woodlot.




I made it to the stream and thought to myself, this is crazy. I know there are a pile of deer in the area but where did they go? So I really picked up the pace and continued on through some very steep country. I found this.







10 hours of stillhunting and I never cut a fresh track. Discouraging. But I did see this.


 
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