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Brad Eden

Maine deer seasons have begun...

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Brad Eden

Yesterday/Saturday marked the Opener for the Maine Expanded Archery season. This is a management deer/bow hunt conducted in certain areas or zones in Maine; largely along the coast and coastal islands with some areas around the bigger suburban areas inland. It's a pro active attempt at keeping urban burgeoning deer populations in check and to avoid car accidents, destruction of landscaping and gardens and spread of Lyme. These areas are largely No Firearm discharge zones to begin with. 

 

The Expanded season runs from September 7th to December 14th. I am fortunate to have decent piece of land owned by a good friend and fellow bowhunter in an Expanded zone. It is a 45 minute drive so I have to pick when I can hunt there. I've experienced a modest degree of success bowhunting this piece for the last 12-15 years. My goal is always to shoot a mature doe with bow early, in September, then mainly bird hunt October, bird and Rifle deer hunt November and then back to Expanded bow in December. Two deer, after gifting a lot of meat can usually work for just me and JoAnn.

 

The limit on deer in Expanded hunt/zones is one Any Deer or "buck" tag and unlimited doe tags you can purchase for $12 apiece. This sounds like a slam dunk for multiple deer, but it isn't, hardly. It's still bow hunting in Maine and certainly some bowhunters stack them up in particularly rich zones but it's still hard hunting. It's complicated but outside of the Expanded/Management limits you are allowed only one deer in state wide archery season in October or Firearms and muzzleloader in November and December (That's 1 deer total, not multiple deer from those seasons. 1.) There are a bunch of options including landowner and bonus doe tags allowing more deer and as far as buck or doe depending on a doe permit management lottery system, but that's the general idea.

 

With hurricane Dorian sweeping Maine yesterday with wind and rain on the Expanded Opener I chose to stay at home. I hope to get out tomorrow morning or afternoon, and at least once or twice more this next week. We set a new stand in an area that looks promising and I am anxious to sit in it. I did a test run on my recuperating/arthritic knee on a ladder stand on my property and was able to climb up without too much grimacing or trouble. My jet sled is in my truck, and some planks in case I need to slide the sled with a deer inside into the PU bed solo. So all systems sorta go. Ive come to love bowhunting.

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Birdcountry70

General Archery season started Saturday here in MT. Once again I will be hunting birds instead since much bow practice ( and I'm one that needs lots of repetition to stay accurate) gives my left shoulder fits. After being dislocated twice when I was in my 20's I'm paying for it now with arthritis.  I've been replacing much of what I loved about bow hunting with handgun hunting. I know what you mean though, it's a very addictive sport.  Yesterday my boys and I moved one of my tree stands and built a groundblind. I'm looking forward to general gun season big-time this year. 

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Brad Eden
25 minutes ago, Birdcountry70 said:

General Archery season started Saturday here in MT. Once again I will be hunting birds instead since much bow practice ( and I'm one that needs lots of repetition to stay accurate) gives my left shoulder fits. After being dislocated twice when I was in my 20's I'm paying for it now with arthritis.  .... 

 

Im not far behind you. My right shoulder was toast last fall. I strengthened it all year doing exercises with dumbells, etc. it's still not great but I was able to practice enough preseason that I'm confidant in my shooting. It is actually bugging me right now so I haven't shot bow this week. But it has some pulls left in it so I should be OK. I took a mandatory state game agency crossbow course a month or so ago. So if I need to hang up the compound I can buy a crossbow license etc. ( Although Maine has a bunch of restrictions on CB use unless 65 or older or have disability forms filled out by Doc and approved)

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Birdcountry70
21 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

 

Im not far behind you. My right shoulder was toast last fall. I strengthened it all year doing exercises with dumbells, etc. it's still not great but I was able to practice enough preseason that I'm confidant in my shooting. It is actually bugging me right now so I haven't shot bow this week. But it has some pulls left in it so I should be OK. I took a mandatory state game agency crossbow course a month or so ago. So if I need to hang up the compound I can buy a crossbow license etc. ( Although Maine has a bunch of restrictions on CB use unless 65 or older or have disability forms filled out by Doc and approved)

Here's something I've been thinking about but I don't want to spend the the money.  The newest compound bows are way more advanced than ours (if you are still shooting that older Mathews) , my bow is 15 years old.  A new bow turned down to 60 or so pounds is so much smoother and easier to draw. I pulled back a few hoyts at a bow shop last year and when I asked the shop owner what weight the bows I had just drawn were set at I was amazed that it was 70lbs.  I don't really want to spend the money since my old Hoyt Trykon works just fine but.....

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gaberdeen

Our season opens Saturday in a lot of zones. First deer must be anterless than you can take a buck. Shot my crossbow today with the new lighted nocks and practice broadheads. Dead on to 30 and I will shoot further this week to see how accuracy is. Usually very warm and muggy the first couple of weeks not sure I will go out Saturday or not, have to see what the weather calls for. Looking forward to getting back into deer hunting more than I have in the past few years.

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Brad Eden

I am shooting a 12 year old Mathews at 56-58 pounds. I should try a new bow to see if it's easier on my shoulder. But am too cheap. I would buy a top end bow and all the best components so that's looking like close to a 2k investment. Not in the cards this year.

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mccuha

Our season in the lower part of the state has been open since the middle of August. I just don’t see how anyone could sit in a stand with the temps close to 100. Bow season opens in the upper half of the state I think Saturday.  Still to dang hot to do that. I shot doves this past Monday and if it wouldn’t have been such a good shoot I would have skipped. It was over 95 that day.  Man.  I’m so done with the heat and ready for colder weather 

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Brad Eden

Headed to my Expanded bow spot yesterday morning. Up at 4:15, arrived at my buddy's house in time to gear up and head into the woods as it started to lighten up. He won the coin toss and sat in the new stand and I went to the tried and true "Brad Stand". Cool, no mosquitoes, hardly any wind at all. Perfect. But zero movement. We were set up so we could see anything moving towards either of our stands. (This is urban deer hunting in small sections of woods between roads, highways, developments etc.) He got down at 8:00 and headed back to his house to make some work calls. I got down and transitioned to that new stand so I could get a feel for it since I hadn't even climbed in it yet. Did some ranging with range finder to certain trees, etc, Sat another couple hours so was on stand for over 4 hours. Bad news, no deer. Good news is my bad knee held up the three times I climbed in and out of the ladder stand...I had to go back to my first stand and get a backpack I had left strapped to the seat rail. If I can get some stuff done today I may head back for an afternoon sit, since it's gonna be raining all day tomorrow. Sitting in a treestand may be or seem mindless and boring, and it does get that way. But is also very contemplative and meditative. 

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topdog1961

Ohio’s archery opener is Sept 28, and for some reason I don’t feel excited or motivated, unlike other years. I hope that changes. It just seems it came around so fast and I’m so unprepared. Maybe I’m getting lazy and old, who knows. I’ve only looked at a couple of my stands and with the record rainfall we had in the Midwest this year, they are so overgrown as to be unhuntable without a lot of clearing. And I have plans on being out of town the weekend of the 21st and the opener, so I’m running out of time. Plus the kids are 18 and 19 and don’t spend much time at home anymore, so we don’t cook venison much and I still have lots of meat from last season. Bah Humbug. 

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Birdcountry70
2 hours ago, topdog1961 said:

Ohio’s archery opener is Sept 28, and for some reason I don’t feel excited or motivated, unlike other years. I hope that changes. It just seems it came around so fast and I’m so unprepared. Maybe I’m getting lazy and old, who knows. I’ve only looked at a couple of my stands and with the record rainfall we had in the Midwest this year, they are so overgrown as to be unhuntable without a lot of clearing. And I have plans on being out of town the weekend of the 21st and the opener, so I’m running out of time. Plus the kids are 18 and 19 and don’t spend much time at home anymore, so we don’t cook venison much and I still have lots of meat from last season. Bah Humbug. 

It sounds like you have the same issue I have sometimes with getting excited and motivated for an upcoming season. I like to read a couple of favorite books I have on the subject and also talking to other hunters or reading forums with other people who are jacked up about their upcoming plans helps. The excitement is contagious.  In the end when I finally get out and do it a couple of days I remember why I love it so much and I'm good to go.  Also,I would suggest a big batch of summer sausage, that'll chew through a pile of meat in a hurry.

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Brad Eden

I hate deer hunting. It's mindless and it's boring as chit. No matter how well you set up a ladder stand and saw off any bumps on the tree, your back always starts to ache after an hour on stand. When you sit for almost 4 hours in an afternoon, and don't even see a squirrel, you start to hallucinate. 

 

Maine deer hunting, even urban bow hunting....ain't for the instant gratification types...

 

But it's early....they will come!

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bobman

I like watching everything in the woods even when no deer show up. I even find chipmunks entertaining.  If you are hunting does try squealing on a predator call about three or four times then shut up, they will come in hard if they do, but it makes for some excitement.

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MAArcher
13 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

No matter how well you set up a ladder stand and saw off any bumps on the tree, your back always starts to ache after an hour on stand.

 

Time to get a good stand.  I love the sling seat in my Summit Viper climber.  The second best nap I've ever had in my life was gently swaying in a tree top with the fall sun filtering down thought he leaves.  (1st best nap was on the couch with my newborn son curled up on my chest.  Remember when the kids could fit there?)

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Millriver

All I ever see from my treestand.......

BCC0FFA6-6D24-4C0C-93FF-B6DC8CE7DE06.jpeg

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Brad Eden
On 9/11/2019 at 6:30 AM, Brad Eden said:

I hate deer hunting. It's mindless and it's boring as chit. No matter how well you set up a ladder stand and saw off any bumps on the tree, your back always starts to ache after an hour on stand. When you sit for almost 4 hours in an afternoon, and don't even see a squirrel, you start to hallucinate.

 

On 9/11/2019 at 12:37 PM, bobman said:

I like watching everything in the woods even when no deer show up. I even find chipmunks entertaining.  If you are hunting does try squealing on a predator call about three or four times then shut up, they will come in hard if they do, but it makes for some excitement.

 

On 9/11/2019 at 8:16 PM, MAArcher said:

 

Time to get a good stand.  I love the sling seat in my Summit Viper climber.  The second best nap I've ever had in my life was gently swaying in a tree top with the fall sun filtering down thought he leaves.  (1st best nap was on the couch with my newborn son curled up on my chest.  Remember when the kids could fit there?)

 

IMG_0955.JPG

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