Skip to main content

Finding sheds in the Maine woods

I noticed the black against the white trees, "moose!" I called out to Lee.  Eating along the side of the logging road, she was spooked by our approaching truck and disappeared into thick sapplings before I could take a picture.  I took it as a good omen that today would be productive.

Snow in May is not unheard of in Maine but the few inches that had fallen the night before, would not make shed hunting an easy task this morning.  I was still excited and the break from quarantine life was welcomed.  The fresh Maine air can reset anyone's state of mind.

We walked down old skidder trails and split up to cover more ground.  Snow fell from the higher branches as the sun began to rise.  I had been walking for just a few minutes when Lee came to find me and had me backtrack on to the road that he had been on.

"Walk right down this trail and look inside the tree line" Lee instructed me.  He had already found the first shed of the morning amid two inches of snow and blazing sun. I walked slowly and looked for a piece of what could be an antler.  It was easy to spot.  The entire antler looked like it had been placed up against the side of a tree. It was last year's shed and we were on the board before 8am!


Throughout the morning, we would pick old trails, split up and walk.  The sun grew warmers and the snow continued to melt away.  I continued to look for antlers within the tree line, in the paths and in any smaller trails that broke away from the main trail that I was on. 

A few times, Lee would bring me to a spot that he had scouted and tell me that there was a shed nearby.  After decades of being in the Maine woods as a guide and outdoorsmen, he was a pro at spotting antlers in a piece of thick growth or in marshes.  Luckily, each time he said that there was a shed nearby, I could find it. 

On our way back to the truck before lunch, we walked along a stream.  Mid-sentence, Lee stopped.  He didn't say anything.  I looked around.  In front of us was an unusual green arch.  It was partially in the water and covered with moss.  I dug it out.  The antler was large and a piece of the palm had been snapped off.  "Bears will do that," Lee explained, "just like porcupines and mice, they want to get the minerals that are in the antler."  We added it to our pile.

I tried not to overthink things as I searched.  I looked for white against brown.  On a side trail, something caught my eye.  It was bright white and hidden under some softwoods.  It was not an antler but deer bones that had been bleached by the sun.  I grabbed them and kept looking for sheds. 

The hours passed and we had collected two new sheds, two old moose sheds and one old deer shed. A decent haul for a day in the woods.  And I was able to learn a few tricks and tips as I walk my property looking for deer sheds. 






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Eagles on the trail

Reason number 3,657,935 why my Dad is the best: As we were snowmobiling, we approached a bog and three eagles with about 20 crows took off.  It could only mean one thing in my book - something was dead.  We circled back and walked around in the snow but the birds had left and we couldnt find anything that would resemble a meal.  A part of me thinks that we were in the wrong piece of land and should have been on the other side of the bog but in our snowmobile gear, we were not going to cover a lot of ground.  I was disappointed that we couldn't find what the birds were eating but I was able to get some good pictures of one of the mature eagles and the immature eagle that were flying around.






Where are the women?

This week, my interview with Steve at The Maine Outdoorsman went live. Steve said yesterday 200 people hit his site viewing over 500 pages. That is a lot of people reading about little ole me and hunting. Why? When I think of women who are in the general public's eye and hunt, I can think of 2 - Country singer Miranda Lambert and Sarah Palin. Why only two? Why is the female hunter such a fascinating thing? (I should probably note that I do not have cable so any and all female hunters on the hunting stations are lost to me. I'll keep it to the general public because that's what I am familiar with.) People/media were fascinated by the fact that they could get footage of Palin and her gun, shooting (and gutting) animals but I feel like the nostalgia would be lost if they had the same footage of McCain. Lambert and her hubby Blake Shelton tweet photos of their kills, and comment on what/where they are hunting. I only know this because I follow both. That's it.…

Wanted: Mr. Sportsman

A friend of mine sent me this link and asked what I thought about it.  I had seen it before and was honest when I told him how degrading I felt it was.  Not only was the title of the "Miss Maine Sportsman" application in pink* but the questions were incredibly insulting to those of us that are fighting to be taken seriously among our male counterparts.

Questions like, "Do you clean your own kills/catches?" would never be asked if it were Mr. Maine Sportsman.  It would be assumed that yes, of course men clean what they kill.  Why is that assumption not made of us outdoor women?  Another question, "Do cook [sic] what you catch/kill? If so, what’s your favorite recipe?" would never be asked of men.  

My friend asked me what sort of questions I would ask if it were a Mr. Maine Sportsman pageant.  I came up with a bunch of snarky questions (Do you bait your own hook?) but then I thought about the questions that could have the most impact on the men that would…