So my hunting buddy and I went on a bear hunt to Maine.
It was a hunt that we would never forget. We got there never hunting bear again and not knowing what to expect. We got in really late/early morning in September. We woke up about 8 and shot our bows and he gave us the run down and introduced us to everyone. There was a dad and son that were there and he was just a cool young man. the son was in a wheelchair. after talking to his dad he had been diagnosed with dwarfism and has been in a wheel chair his whole life. He had taken 3-4 bears before this year so he was a pro compared to us. Well the first day we had 3 cubs come in and that was it. the next day my buddy shot a really nice bear that turned out was shot before and just barely missed his spine. The next day we sat in a spot that no one had sat yet and I was jacked. the bait barrel had been knocked over and strung out.The next day we went out to the same spot and again barrel was knocked over. it wasn't long and I looked to my left and saw this big ol blob of black and knew it was a shooter. it took him about 10 minutes to make it to the barrel and I didn't let him hit the barrel. Mostly cause we seen trail camera videos of this bear and others come in and grab food and leave. So he stepped into the shooting window and quartering await 20 yards and see ya. the tracking job was like no other blood was unreal but the forest got so thick that it was a little Erie feeling. We didn't see him until we were 2 ft from him. 2 years after the hunt the guy we hunted with died of a Brian tumor and the next year the kid died from his disease. it was super hard since then I have hunted with the kids dad every year out here in Colorado
Step #3 of my 2018 “Grand Slam”.
I have been applying for a Maine Moose permit for about 30 years. In 2018 I was finally drawn. I was lucky enough to get drawn for a bull permit in zone 9, which is where our family camp is located. We made several “scouting” trips up to camp in the weeks leading up to the hunt with very few moose sightings and no big ones. The week of the hunt came and we ended up with 16 members of my family at camp to share in the excitement. 4 generations of family! My biggest desire for my hunt was to be close enough to camp to have everybody included in some way. I also really wanted to get off the beaten path and to call a moose out. Sunday, the day before the hunt, my husband John and son Cody went out early to do some last minute scouting and went to checkout a big, hidden chopping we had been looking at on google earth. When they got there, they saw a decent bull about 300 yards up in the chopping. In order to get a better look at him with the binoculars, John made a cow call to get him to turn his head. He turned it alright.... He headed down across the chopping and closed the gap within a minute. They hid in the bushes and got video of him. We decided that was an ideal place to hunt and that’s where we would be for opening morning. We went back mid afternoon and made a make shift, natural blind. We spent the better part of day one and two there in that area. In the blind during a.m. and p.m. prime times, and off on foot, up over the mountain hiking skidder roads during the day. On day 3 we were back there for a.m. prime time. Mid morning on day 3 and still not even one sighting, we decided we needed to change things up. We headed back to camp for a late breakfast and to regroup. It was decided that we would pack up for the rest of the day, and head to an area that was quite a ways away, but had some area that looked like it had good potential. It was exactly what I didn’t want to do. Traveling that far from camp with a big group and 3 little kids was the recipe for a LONG afternoon! When we were nearly packed and ready to go, my sister said she was going to go on ahead because she wanted to take some pictures at a pond that was on the way and she would wait for us to catch up there. She hadn’t been gone for 5 minutes when we could hear her racing back... She said she had just seen a good bull cross the road and go into the woods, less than a mile from camp. John and I jumped into the truck, at the same time, grabbing gear and putting our orange on... We hurried to the place where we could see her tire tracks abruptly stop and we shut the truck off and got out. We listened and listened and heard nothing... John made a couple of cow calls and we immediately heard some bushes breaking in the woods behind us, not very far in. We repositioned and John continued to make a few calls... Silence.... In reality, I’m not sure how long it was. Seemed like a long time, but we heard nothing more. I whispered to John, “try raking the bushes”... He did and then waited a few seconds and did it again. Not knowing exactly where the bull was, I was looking left and right, up and down the road.... I looked one way and when I looked back in the other direction, there he was, standing broadside in the road at about 70 yards, looking at us. I pulled up and fired and he went about 30 yards into the woods and dropped. After I fired, and he ran, a cow came out behind him, looked at us and turned and ran away, down the road. We had no idea there was a cow with him and I don’t think any amount of cow calling was going to call him off her, but when he thought he was being challenged by another bull, that did the trick. He wasn’t the monster bull that I was hoping for, but in the end, the hunt was perfect. I got everything just the way I wanted it. Close to camp and everybody involved. It was the easiest drag out ever! I couldn’t have scripted a better hunt.
I put together a video of my moose hunt and it can be watched on youtube
The 2018 season had me putting in more hours than any season ever before.
I was working on a “Maine Big Game Grand Slam” I had already completed a successful bear, moose and turkey hunt. I had a doe permit, but my plan was to try to hold out for a mature buck. By November 7th, I had already seen 37 deer. Mostly does and lambs and a couple that I couldn’t identify for sure. On November 7th at 2:00 in the afternoon, I climbed into my stand. Before I even had my self situated, something caught my eye and I realized it was a deer. I scurried and got my gun up and discovered it was a decent buck. He was about 70 yards and quartered a little more than than I would have liked. Looking ahead at the direction he was headed, I didn’t think I was going to get a better opportunity, so I pulled the trigger. Although I didn’t really see any reaction from the deer, I felt confident that I had made a good shot. My husband was away at camp for the week on his own deer hunting trip so I called my son Justin. I told him that I just shot a nice one. I waited in my stand for him to drive to where I was. Together we went to look for him. We found no blood and no hair. We did find some running tracks and he appeared to be stumbling a bit. We lost them after about 40 or 50 yards. We spent another 45 minutes or so searching, making loops back and forth. At that point we decided the best thing was to probably call for a tracking dog. At about 5:00 we met the tracker with her dog and another person that assists with her tracks. We spent 2 1/2 hours searching. Nothing. The tracker told me that as much as she hated to say it, she felt that I had completely missed. I was bummed, but I know how good she and her dog are and so I accepted it. I set the alarm for the next morning and headed back to my stand with a bag packed and a plan to stay for the entire day. I did sit for the whole day. 11 hours. I spent most of the day replaying, second guessing and beating myself up for what I did wrong the previous night. In the afternoon, I started to notice that I could hear crows. It crossed my mind and I wondered if there was any chance that it could be because of “my deer”?? I really doubted it and that there were probably no more crows than any other afternoon, but because of the deer it was just wishful thinking on my part. At just before 4:30, I heard a deer walking up directly behind me. I slowly turned and our eyes met. It was a small buck. I ever so slowly turned back and sat as small as I could with a tree in between us. After a minute or two, l heard him walking off. I slowly looked back and he was walking in the direction to my favor. I slowly stood up and turned and he looked at me again. We both froze. He then took two big leaps and stopped and looked back at me again. In that instant I decided to finish off my Grand Slam. (and I immediately regretted it) I called Justin again and told him that I shot at another one and this one was definitely dead. He came and helped me get him out and take care of things. That night when my husband called from camp to check in, I told him about how my day had gone. I mentioned to him about the crows. He encouraged me to take Justin the next morning and go back and check it out. So we did. We got back there and we couldn’t hear any crows. Just like I suspected... Wishful thinking... We decided since we were there and we had plenty of daylight, to just start searching again, where we had lost his tracks 2 nights before. As we were looking around, we heard a crow, and then another and another. We started walking quietly in their direction. About 350 to 400 yards in, we spotted a bald eagle in a tree. For me, that was my first glimmer of hope. We continued on towards the crows and in another 50 yards or so, we could see 3 crows sitting in 3 different trees. At that point we just started searching the ground. Justin looked ahead and there was a brook and a big ole buck laying with one antler buried in the ground. The coyotes had chewed the guts and one hind quarter off and the crows were working on the rest. I was using a 25-06 and my bullet never exited. It was lodged under the skin on the opposite side. It was hard to tell because of the coyote damage, but I believe that I shot him a little further back than I thought. It appears that he ran in a straight line from my stand in the direction I saw him go and collapsed in the brook. Why we lost him with the dog, I have no idea. I called the wardens and they had me cut his head off and meet them at my house with it. They couldn’t give him to me because I had already shot and tagged another deer. They had to write a permit to somebody else, which fortunately made it possible for that person to “gift” him to me. A very strange and twisted end to my Grand Slam... Officially, as far as the state is concerned, the little buck I tagged is my buck for the season.... But for me, technically, this big old 12 pointer is the one that made my Grand Slam complete! He made me work for it!