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Showing posts from March, 2016

Spring turkey distraction

As I was frantically trying to get myself and O ready for the day and out the door, I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of these birds at my feeder, just 10 yards away (I know this because of my set up shooting my bow.)  There was 12 of them, just picking at the bird seed that was on the ground. A few times, my movement would spook one of them and they could take a step or two back and then go back to pecking. I didn't see any beards and I have not seen this flock since, but I spent an extra 15 minutes taking photos and watching them.  In my dream world, I could get up, make coffee, grab my bow and go sit on the porch waiting for them to come back.  But, if my pattern holds, my turkey tag will remain unfilled and I will continue with my hatred for these birds.  What about all of you?  Seeing turkey around? Any toms strutting?




Aging a bear by its skull

When you kill a bear in Maine, you are legally required to submit a tooth to IF&W so that the bear can be aged and logged into the records.  Each tooth is cut, like a tree, and the rings are counted. Biologists can learn about the health of the bear and it's age. Assuming that the tooth gets to where it needs to be.

Typically, it takes a year for the data to be published.  The link to the information is usually posted all over social media and eager hunters share how old their bear was.  I couldn't wait to find out how old this guy was. The popular vote was about 8 years old.

When the data was posted, I searched.  I looked up my name.  I looked up my guide's name. I looked up the tagging station and the date.  I knew a few numbers in my tag and couldn't even find that. My bear was not listed!

I sit on the Black Bear subcommittee for the Big Game Species planning process and see Jen Vashon and Randy Cross almost monthly.  So, I asked Jen about my bear's missing …

To hunt a huge buck, you need to think like one

That is our mentality as we drag that target outside each weekend and measure out distance in the snow.

For three years, I have been after this huge buck and he has stayed nocturnal.  After this past rifle season ended and Dad stayed in the woods with his muzzle loader, he saw the deer pattern back to their pre-rifle ways. They were back to traveling the paths that we assumed they used and they were coming out earlier and earlier. Dad didn't shoot a deer but he saw the small buck that we had around and a few does.

For the first time, it was blatantly obvious that rifle hunters were moving these deer around.  While we had been toying with it, it was clear that we needed to get into archery to try and get the upper hand on those deer.

Hubby is WAY better than I am right now and he can pretty much call his shot and hit it.  He is working on his distance now. I am back at the start, trying to figure out how to get my sights just right and work on arm strength.  That is my biggest hur…

Shed hunting: a day late and a shed short

This is what the owner of the property found the day before we arrived to shed hunt.  He wasn't out looking for sheds, just walking around the property.  As bummed as we were to see this, the fact that they now had two years worth of matching sheds for the same deer is pretty awesome.

The set on the bottom is from 2015 and the set on top is from 2016.




Shed hunting in Maine

Staci and I found a great place to shed hunt.  We knew that there were deer all around and that we would be in the right spot to find something.  It had started to snow when we got there but the forecast called for heavier snow in the late afternoon.  As outdoors women, we figured that we would be fine.



We just started following tracks to figure out where the deer were traveling from.  We headed through a field and towards the woods, looking for beds, feeding areas or yards where the antlers may have fallen off.  Our plan was to walk the perimeter of the property to see what we could find.


It is always a good sign when you see a rub almost immediately.  We have seen the sheds that have been found nearby so we knew that there were decent sized bucks around and that the odds were in our favor.


Highways of deer tracks ran through the woods and crossed a stream in two distinct spots.  Staci and I followed different trails looking for bedding areas and any sheds that may be poking out of t…

One year later: what happened to the cubs?

Remember this guy?  I was fortunate enough to meet him last March when he was a brand new black bear.

I knew that our awesome bear biologist were out checking dens and sent a message to one of them asking if they had gone to King's den yet and if the cubs were there with her.  My timing could not have been more perfect; they were heading to her den the next day!

Using the same technology as they did the year before, they found King under a network of cedar blowdowns.  She weighed in at 156lbs - four pounds heavier than she was the year before, and looked totally healthy.

Last year, King had given birth to a male and female cub.  Only the male cub was in the den with her this year. While the female cub could have denned up near by, odds are that it died from an illness, maybe it got hit by a vehicle, another bear could have killed it... there is no way to know. The male cub broke (to date) the 2016 yearling weight scale by coming in at 67 pounds!   The average cub weight so far t…