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Going the other way....

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Unread 08-07-2005, 01:32 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15
Re: Going the other way....

You subject line had me worried for a minute. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

I grew up hunting in New England. I was also fortunate to spend 25 years in the Air Force stationed in some great places. I've lived and hunted in New Hampshire (small mountains & big woods), Upstate New York (Adirondacks = big woods), Maine (more big woods), Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Ohio, and my favorite, 5 years in Alaska (or was I in heaven). So anyway, I have a lot of experience with both Eastern and Western hunting.

You don't mention what part of Maine you'll be hunting, as the terrain is quite varried, but like other folks have mentioned, I would be most concerned with your scope. Your rifle is just fine. Most shots will probably be close range (well under 100 yds). If you are stillhunting/walking, your gonna kick up whitetails like rabbits. They can hold really tight and won't get up until you just about step on them. You'll have a hard time picking them up in your current scope under those cirmcumstances. The good old 30-30 with open sights is still really popular in Maine for just that reason. So anyway, you should consider going with a lower power scope if possible - 3X9 is ok (probably the most popular), lower even better.

If you have the same kind of luck I have, everything will happen completely opposite from what you planned and prepared for. Expect the unexpected. Even though 95% of shots in Maine are under 100 yards, you still could end up with a 400 yard opportunity.

As for your last question, yes, you'll see fewer deer. Unlike the wide open west, where deer will concentrate wherever there is cover, they can be anywhere in the big woods. There are no pastures/feeding plots to draw them out (unless you're in Southern Maine farm country). They don't seem to follow any particular trail through the woods. They can be anywhere at any time. Hunter success rates runs betwen 10% to 20%, and thats including both buck and doe (unlike 60% to 80% success in some western states, like Nebraska). Because of the low success rate, many bucks survive into old age. In high success rate states, few bucks make it past 3 years, so yes, "IF" you see a buck, it could be huge.

One more suggestion. I've found that westerners get lost real easy in the big woods (easterners too). I grew up in these woods and have come close to spending the night there a few times. There are no landmarks for reference, no mountains (there are little ones but they all look the same), no fence lines to follow, and your lucky if you can see 50 yards in any direction. In some places you can go 20 miles and never cross a road. You can't walk in a straight line because of swamps, beaver ponds and other obstructions. So you either hunt within a few hundred yards of a road (like everyone else), or you need something to help you find your way out (compass & map is good - GPS is good, both is best).

Good luck, have fun and don't get lost!
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Unread 08-07-2005, 09:08 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 2,630
Re: Going the other way....

the first unplanned overnight stay in the woods is always the worst.the next few you might even get some sleep.
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Unread 08-07-2005, 03:04 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OK
Posts: 2,133
Re: Going the other way....

Elroy hit the nail on the head, unless you rent a local for the week bring a GPS and extra batteries. I have the same problem in the central Wisconsin forest lands.
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