Maine Hunting


Good Maine Hunting (with apologies to Matt Damon & cast of Good Will Hunting)

As a hunter and outdoor maven, if a hunting trip to Maine isn’t on your Wish, To-Do or Bucket List you need to immediately reassess your priorities! As some dead Roman once wrote (in Latin, no less!), “Tempus fugit.”

Often embarrassingly mispronounced and subsequently misunderstood, it simply means Time Flies. This leads us to another famous Latin profundity: Carpe Diem – Seize the Day. What does all this have to do with Good Maine Hunting?

Well, taking a page from the movie of a similar name, it means you better seize the Day before Time Flies and Good Maine Hunting is just a line on a list and not a boat-load of memories to be cherished – and even re-visited.

While there are many choice parts of America with great scenery, forests, lakes and mountains, and they have something unique to attract and challenge the hunter, Maine truly is “something else!” Internet searches can bring you the eye candy; experiencing a Northern Maine woods hunting adventure borders on Indescribable! 

Tips for your next Maine Hunting Trip

Let’s assume you’re gonna do it for real this time and you’ve already started your preps! Here are a few tips, reminders and observations from someone who has made most of the bone-headed mistakes possible, even for a “seasoned” hunter!

First, the Bad News…

Chances are the Chamber of Commerce didn’t give a big shout-out to the unofficial State Bird (according to Tim Sample): the Maine Black Fly. It even has its own season (Memorial Day – July 4th. Check local listings; your Season may vary depending on location). Unlike mosquitoes, gnats and other No-See-Ums, a single Maine Black Fly carries a Gatling gun, napalm and 500 lb. Kardashian reruns.

So equipped, they can be “challenging” to the best planned hunt. Fortunately, along with long sleeves, pants, hat and bandana, the other one-word solution to stick in your pocket: DEET. Most “insect repellants” have some percentage of DEET. I prefer the 100% full strength Big Boy container, reasonably available on-line from most Army-Navy or “prepper” type vendors. You wouldn’t bring a water balloon to a forest fire, would ya? So bring DEET, the Real Deal. You can thank me for not itching later. Note: as another Latin saying goes: Rego quod adversum (loosely translated: Read the Directions)

On to the Good News…

Hunting in Maine can be summed up in one word: Great and Challenging!

OK – 3 words.

And Variety (4)!

From squirrels and rabbits to America’s most popular Big Game trophies: moose, bear and deer, most all of these big boys grow to bodacious sizes! They have to in order to handle the Maine winters. Even an encounter with the Maine partridge (pronounced “pah-tridge”) will have you thinking “Rodan!”

maine_hunting_bear.jpgA bear spotted last year on one of our Camp Katahdin guide’s cam.

You probably knew all that – but reviewing reminds us of other important things, like Size Matters. From shoes to shotguns, coordinating your clothes and gear should be your top priority. Whether you’re going after a Boone & Crocket trophy or introducing a youngster to their first “Big Time” small game hunt, Appropriate and Comfortable are the two most important By-Words.

Maine Hunting Gear

Some examples:

Clothes/boots: Be sure they’re right for the season and terrain. Remember, in Maine seasons can change several times a week! Bring your best gloves, socks, hat and boots. If you’re gonna buy a new for the occasion, allow time for break-in. Blisters and bunions are right up with Black Flies in the Hassle factor.

The Maine woods are as challenging as they are spectacular. Unlike some of the “park-like” forests out west, terrain is generally “undulating” with a liberal scattering of rocks, ruts, blow-downs and moving water. Even if much of your time to your hunting area/tree stand is via ATV, walking/hiking is a component requiring damn good boots!  By the way, ATV Vacations in Maine are the absolute best. Ever.

Check the season, calendar and weather forecasts. (Review “Black Fly” comments above). Or, Call Nate Humphrey (he can give you the inside skinny on seasonal Maine Hunting). Click here to drop him a note.

If this is your first Maine hunt, check with your guide, lodge or experienced Maine hunters for guidance in firearms and selection. While there is a wide choice of new and old stand-by guns and ammo, being sure you have the “right tool for the job” will prevent the disappointment of an unsuccessful adventure due to inappropriate firepower. Also, be certain you are just as comfortable with your rifle or shotgun as you are with your boots.

Spend time at the shooting range with the ammo you’ll be using in the field. Firing a 110 gr bullet has a distinctly different feel than firing a 220gr; similarly, low brass vs. high brass magnum shotgun shells produce a uniquely different experience!

Bottom line:

Hunting the Maine woods is an experience every hunter should have. Several times! Right now, you still have time to make plans and do your homework for the adventure of a lifetime. The Boy Scouts had the best advice – and it isn’t even in Latin! – Be Prepared – for Good Maine Hunting!

Enjoy! Take pictures! Share with your buds!

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