At first light, on the morning of November 15th, while on route to my regular hunting grounds, I came across the track of a large Maine buck. The track led me into unknown territory, and tough to navigate terrain. I had to fight my way through tightly packed snow covered pine boughs, crawl through dense brush, climb over blow downs, slide down steep ridges, and cross a wet snow covered cedar bog. Exhausted, and in need of a break, I stopped and pulled up the area’s satellite imagery on my GPS. The track was heading towards an old partially grown-in logging cut.  I decided to circle in towards the cut via an old skidder trail. At this point I was mentally and physically drained. I had been hunting nonstop for weeks, and had recently made the 36 hour drive home from Wyoming, following a 10 day public land deer hunt. I remember thinking to myself “I need this big buck to make a mistake. I need him to walk down this trail and give me a break, why can’t it be that easy?” It was at that exact moment when I caught a glimpse of movement on the trail ahead of me. Read More

How to Make a European Mount.

Taxidermy can be a bit pricey and with very few taxidermists in rural Maine customers are often asked to patiently wait up to a year or more for their mounts to be ready. I have found that the DIY European mount is a perfect solution for those of us who are anxious for a finished product and don’t want to fork up the cash for a professional head mount. A DIY European mount costs very little and only takes about 4 days to complete (3 of which is allowing the skull to soak). The process is simple and takes very few materials to execute.

Simply follow these steps and soon you will be admiring your very own DIY European mount!

Start by gathering these materials: Gerber scalpel or sharp knife, Kelly clamps/forceps or needle nose pliers, peroxide, soda ash or dawn dish soap, electrical tape or saran wrap, rag, scissors, plastic container, large pot, and a butter knife.

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In the fall of 2015, having recently moved to Rangeley, I was looking forward to learning how to hunt the big woods of Maine. I grew up hunting small plots of private land and was not yet accustomed to hunting what felt like limitless boundaries. This season would mark my second year hunting among Maine’s Western Mountains.

During my first season the mountains were consistently blanketed with fresh snow. This allowed me to try my hand at tracking. One afternoon I cut a fresh buck track. He lead me up a mountain past fresh scrapes, rubs and a few does feeding in an old cut. I never did catch up to that buck. Instead I spent the next twelve months imagining what he might have looked like. I longed for the opportunity to venture back and try again. The fall of 2015 brought that opportunity.

Buck Track.

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As hunters we are often asked why we hunt? Because, truth be told, in today’s world it is a choice. One can easily go to the grocery store and acquire meat or choose to hike a mountain without the goal of stalking an animal. As an avid hunter, I am baffled by my ability to feel so passionate about hunting yet be unable to fully articulate how I feel. When I ask myself, why do I hunt, the words often escape me. Read More

Although I didn’t tag out myself during the 2017 Maine deer season, this season was one of the most exciting deer seasons I have ever experienced. Scouting began in September as I stepped back into the woods to lay eyes on previous years’ hunting areas and to check trail cams placed at the end of the 2016 season. When approaching the first GPS marker I realized my camera was no longer on the tree. Instead I found scratches in the bark where the camera had been placed. I searched the area and found the camera mangled on the ground a few feet away. The camera had a puncture hole in one of the sensor caps and scratches that peeled away at the exterior. A black bear had torn the camera off the tree and left me with only 4 out of focus shots. One shows a chest of a bear with 2 white patches, another the black nose and a rounded ear. No whitetails to be found. Read More