Longbows Maine Adventure.

longbow

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My long time hunting partner, son and I traveled to the North Maine Woods for our annual deer hunt on November 23rd. This would be my 16 year olds son's first Maine deer hunt. We usually pass thru at odd hours so we made the traditional stop at LLBeans. Did some scouting on Sunday, but didn't find too much sign in our usual spots. There was about 12 inches of snow on the ground when we arrived.
 

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longbow

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Hunted hard the first 4 days in our usual areas, but the deer had vacated sometime prior to our arrival. We found some rubs, but no tracks in the snow that had been there for a few days. Got a few more inches on Sunday night and another 5 inches on Wednesday, so walking was really tough. We decided to move to check some other spots we knew of. On Friday afternoon we found an area pretty much loaded with deer. Some great mature timber, mixed with some old and new cuttings. We didn't have much time left but tried to make the most of it. My son was doing the best he could struggling with a sore throat and bad cough. He actually missed several mornings of hunting, because I wanted him to rest and not develop something serious.
 

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longbow

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On Saturday morning we were still hunting through the area that was loaded with sign, when we came upon a bunch of fresh tracks. After following for a short distance, I believed we were following a buck that was chasing a doe. You could see where the doe would run, stop and abruptly change directions, where the bucks was swinging arcs around her. When we approached some old cuts, with whips growing up, I told my son that they could be in that thick stuff. Right about then I see a large body moving right to left and antlers at 60 yards. I told my son to shoot if he could get a shot, but it was much to thick and the buck was moving fast. He came back again a little further out still in the thick stuff. I knew I had to get a better look down there so we repositioned about 10 yards and as we did, kicked the doe out. When she ran he followed never offering a shot. Darn it! Last thing I wanted to do is chase the doe out! We sorted the track out for about 10 minutes and began to follow again, when we heard 3 shots not too far off. Turned out to be about 550 yards away.

Turns out the buck ran past my friend as he was sitting up on a spruce slope and looking down into the hardwoods. He was only sitting there for a couple of minutes and was planning on getting up when he caught the movement. 3 shots and he had him. Of course we were disappointed at our failure, but I was happy for my friend and that is exactly why we hunt relatively close to one another. About 4 years ago I bagged a buck when he kicked it by me.

The buck was 197 pounds dressed on November 30. An older deer with huge antler bases and some character.

My son had quite a good time on his first Maine deer hunt. We had a lot of laughs and worked hard on our hunt. A hunt we will always remember. He said he wants to go again next year, so I am already thinking forward to that.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Glad your son was able to go up with you this year, hope he enjoyed it. And congrats on your friends buck ! That wasn't posted when I initially replied. Great buck !
 
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mowbizz

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Thanks for sharing the story and congrats to your friend for shooting your buck! ;) At least you had some late action!
 

Snowed

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That’s a great week a vey nice buck. You don’t have to fire your gun to have a successful hunt. Hanging a deer at camp is icing on the cake. I have a feeling that your sun will be in your truck headed to deer camp next fall. Congratulations and thank you for sharing.
 

Big D

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Sounds like a good trip. Cool that your son made it up with you. Glad you had some success, like mb said 1 for 3 ain't bad at all.
 

Grandkid

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Awesome buck that you guys got. Congratulation on being in the game.

Roger-
 

RussellBro2

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Love to see a high school aged kid have a great first Maine hunt like that! Thick horned buck your friend got! Thanks for sharing all the dets. Thoughts on 4th week vs 3rd?
 

longbow

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Love to see a high school aged kid have a great first Maine hunt like that! Thick horned buck your friend got! Thanks for sharing all the dets. Thoughts on 4th week vs 3rd?
I think the 4th week is better. Less hunters where I am, better chance of snow, rut in full swing. Plus the later it gets the more deer are coming into my area. The last two years the problem has been too much snow. Up to my knees in the cuts, hard to cover a lot of ground to find a track, or track. Only downside is that the deer are lighter if you are looking for max weight. My friends #197 would probably have been 200+ a few days prior. I did shoot a 230# the day before Thanksgiving in 2008, so there are some still some good weight possible. Wife would probably say 3rd week is better. :) I invited her to come and be the camp cook but she declined.
 

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Mountain Hunter

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I agree on the 4th week. Most of the big bucks shot by the crew I hunt with have been 4th week.

Having said that, we never have even tried the first two weeks. Perhaps we are missing out?
 


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