Deer Hunting in Maine is More than Bagging a Big Buck

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Deer Hunting in Maine!  You pack your stuff and drive all the way up to Northern Maine. You’re surrounded by millions of acres of forest (literally). Every day you’re treated to some of the most magnificent forest-covered mountain scenery this country has to offer. And to top it all off, you wake up every morning in a luxury lodge before spending the day chasing America’s favorite big game animal – white-tailed deer.


Does it get any better? 

Well, maybe if you bagged a wall-worthy monster buck. That would be better.

Or maybe not.


When deer hunting in Maine, what is success?

Now let me ask you this: What is your definition of a “successful” hunting trip? 

Obviously, if you bring home a trophy Maine whitetail, that would be a successful trip. But then it begs the question, what’s your definition of a “trophy” deer? Is it one worthy of the official record books? Or is it just one that tops your current personal best? 

The answer, I suspect, is different for everyone. Deer hunting isn’t easy. Especially in places you’ve never hunted before. If you put forth all the effort to travel to a new place, learn the landscape, get within range and make the shot then I say you’ve earned the right to call whatever you end up with a trophy – whether you end up hanging it on the wall or not.  By the way, have you read our last article, Maine Deer Hunting: Tips for Bagging a Brute?

So when it comes to whitetails, does size really matter?

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Why are you hunting in Maine anyway?

Here’s how I see it:

One, you can’t eat antlers.

And two, what if you don’t get a chance at a wall hanger? Are you going to let that spoil the whole experience? Why are you hunting in Maine anyway? There’s so much more to this place than just the game it offers. 

Like the old saying goes, don’t miss the forest for the…deer. Or something like that.

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Let me share some perspective…

I’ve gone both ways in past hunting trips I’ve taken. A number of years ago some friends and I took a trip to hunt pheasants in Kansas. Having heard how successful others had been on similar trips, I went with the sole objective of filling game bags with roosters. It was a guys’ trip with some good friends and it should have been a blast regardless of bird numbers.

It wasn’t. Not for me at least.

I had put so much stock in shooting birds that when it turned out bird numbers sucked in the area we hunted, I let it ruin my entire trip. I was so pissed by the end of the hunt that I drank myself stupid the night before we headed for home. And as if I hadn’t already rained on everyone’s parade enought, I spend the whole ride back throwing up into a bucket in the back seat.

Real classy.

On the flip side, I remember fondly once joining some friends at their deer camp in Missouri. They followed an unwritten rule that nobody shot any deer that they wouldn’t want to put on a wall. That was fine by me because, unlike my Kansas trip, I went into this hunt less for the trophy and more for the overall experience. I knew it was going to be a blast hunting and hanging out with these guys at camp. And you know what? 

I was right. 

I ended up going home empty handed (after passing on what was probably a worthy buck), but I loved every minute of that trip.


Hunt for the experience, not just the harvest

It was only in retrospect that I realized how differently I had approached those two hunting trips. And in the 20/20 vision of hindsight, I learned a valuable lesson. 

Go for the experience, not just the harvest.

There was nothing I could do about bird numbers in Kansas. I had little control over what deer I saw on a property in Missouri I had never been to before. But I could control my attitude, my expectations, and my definition of a “successful” hunting trip.

So these days, whether I’m hunting near home or in places far away, I’ve come to be less interested in the harvest and more interested in the overall experience. And in doing so, I almost always enjoy myself. 

In other words, for me, it’s not the size of the trophy that matters. Or the numbers of game harvested. What matters is the pursuit of that game, the places I get to see, and the people I share the journey with. Don’t get me wrong, if I have a chance at a wall hanger, I’ll take it. If I get the chance to fill game bags with roosters, I’m more than happy to do so. But if it turns out I don’t get that chance, I’m still going to enjoy the experience.

How about you? Ever been on a hunt that was more memorable than fruitful?


Maine Deer Hunting Lodge

Camp Katahdin is a luxury hunting retreat in Northern Maine.  Our 15 person Hunting Lodge is set in the most beautiful hunting grounds in the Katahdin area.  Step out the door and walk, ATV, or snowmobile to prime hunting locations.  

Then, come back and rest easy in our new lodge. We offer independent and guided hunts for all seasons, whitetail deer is one of our favorites. We are also commercially zoned for Pheasant hunting – that means, no license needed, 7 days a week hunts.  If the lodge is too big for your group, we have two other rental properties on our land.

Find out more, check dates & rates by clicking here: