Thursday, November 6, 2008

2008 Deer Season Update . . .

Before getting to deep in this post, I have to explain something to you and it is the fact that I consider any deer a trophy. Deer hunting in Maine is difficult to say the least and many hunters will undoubtedly go an entire season or more without even seeing a deer much less getting a chance at a shot opportunity. This combined with the fact that we are coming off one of the worst winter snow falls on recent record and any hunter filling his tag this season is an anomaly.

It was a fast deer season for me this year with completion coming on the third day of the season but it is still one that I certainly will cherish years from now. This momentous season was marked by the harvesting of deer number 10 over a course of 8 consecutive years. So far this sportsman has managed to through luck and skill (mostly luck) to keep the freezer fully stocked with venison for close to a decade.

The Story - with the light dying I could hear a deer making its way slowly up the edge of the swamp. With the southerly wind, I could fell my chances diminishing as I was in precisely the wrong position. I thought about the night before and the through washing I had given my hunting clothes in no scent soap and how I had made sure to pack them in a garbage bag filled with pine boughs. It must have given me a slight advantage because the doe crossed my shooting lane at about 100 yards. I braced my shooting arm against the tree where my climbing stand was situated and let out a fawn bleat to stop the walking doe. The deer didn't stop so I let out another MUCH louder bleat . . . still the doe didn't stop. Finally as the deer reached the outer edge of the shooting lane I took a walking shot with my 30-06 Browning BAR loaded with a deadly load of 180 grain Remingtons and the deer dropped instantly.

I always say that after the shot the hardest work remains and in this case that is so truthful it hurt. I was hunting a remote part of the property and I knew from previous years that I had at lest an hour and a half drag ahead of me. I settled into the work I had created for myself and managed to contact a neighbor with an ATV to bail me out for the final ½ hour of the drag. I arrived at the house exhausted and starving and hit a new low by eating fried chicken in the whirlpool tub . . . thus taking care of two issues at once (an aching back and rumbling tummy!).

I had planned to let the deer hang a few days but noted early the next morning that flies were buzzing and the November sun especially bright. I took the deer in to tag and at the same time ran it over to the butchers. Thus far the property has managed to produce my 125 lb. doe and the included photographed 8 point buck (missing it's left side horns) shot by my neighbor. (His story is another post all to itself!) With most of the season ahead of us I am curious to see if my old man can manage at least one more whitetail . . . time will tell.


  1. Nice deer. Ya know I'm glad you posted how difficult it is to get a deer In Maine. Here in IA You can pull several tags, and if you don't fill them you are being picky.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more that each deer is a trophy. No matter how you cook ‘em you can’t eat antlers. Congratulations!!!

  3. Most of the deer I shoot are does. Food in the freezer is my #1 with 6 mouths ta feed, and it's usually a doe that I get a chance at first.
    After the freezer is taken care of, it's nice to have an extra tag for fun huntin them big bucks.
    Sides, we all know does are so much tastier...

  4. Barnislavia, thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. Always great to see new posters!

    Was curious if you have ever hunted in Maine? Hearing your success rate in IA I think I need to plan a visit.

    I had my bow out early deer season and saw a deer but no shot opportunity went out 6 other times and saw nothing. Here in Maine often if you don't take or are unfortunate enough to miss that first shot your chances can evaporate very quickly.

  5. NM, had the tenderloins last night on the grill with a little bit of salt and pepper. They were delicious and you could cut them with a fork .

    I completely agree you can't eat antlers!

  6. Rabid,
    I am from Iowa too and this year I had shot opportunites on 7 deer during the first 2 hours of opening day. Last year at deer camp we filled 15 tags among 7 guys in three days.

  7. Great story - and I love your mention of any deer being a trophy. I've never chased after the biggest buck in the world, but I don't mind those that do - just so they don't criticize my tasty little forky! :) Of course I'd like to shoot a big boy someday, but doggone if I don't just love the taste of fried venison steak - with onions. And mashed taters and white country gravy. Excuse me - it's time for me to take a lunch break.

  8. BM, six mouths to feed! I will never again complain about my families grocery bill! :) If you get really, really desperate this winter drop me a line and I will priority mail you a box of eider jerky! LOL!

  9. NM, that kind of hunting is so different than what we see here in Maine. The winters are harsh, the food scarce, predators many and the deer yards decimated by wood harvesting. As a kid and young man in the 10 years I was "eligible" to attend deer camp a group comprised of 15-20 hunters shot one deer.

  10. TS, deer steak is my all time favorite so I prefer to fill my tag asap and let other chase after the "trophy" animals!

    Currently sitting here at duck camp 2008 and preparing to fry up tenderloins from my doe and 8 lbs of lobsters we just drove down to the pier and purchased. So, glad the foolishness of deer season is over . . . now I can concentrate on the important stuff . . . duck hunting!

  11. RO, I have never even been to Maine let alone hunted there. I have heard that you have some great areas to canoe.

  12. Congrats on the deer!

    T's been out 3 mornings now and still nothing. Though I did think he had it this morning when I heard a shot behind the house. Alas, it was someone else.

    He took next Monday off and he has the Friday off after Thanksgiving. Those are the only chances left this year for him...

  13. good story, hope we can link up.

  14. Congrats, 3rd day that is great.
    I would have been some happy. John usually gets one with a bow and one with a riffle and he does not have one yet. He has only seen a few on our land, the deer count is definitely down this year as a result of last winter. I pray he doesn't get skunked....I'd have to get him a muzzle loader :(

  15. The Scent free products work great. I had three does behind me and one popped out 5 feet to my left, wish i had that doe permit! Remember i was on the ground and just had a smoke! Good luck to all


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