Maine Deer Hunt Report

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Thanks to our friend Kevin McKenna for submitting this field report from Maine, which I consider to be one of the hardest places in North America to shoot a big whitetail:

Hey Mike: So a little update from our deer hunt in Maine back on Nov 10-19th 2017.

We had some decent weather this year, a little warm in the afternoons in the 30s but mornings were in the teens to 20 degrees. Not as cold as we like and deer seemed to be moving mostly at night but an improvement from last year.

We found some good buck sign in one spot and so-so sign in the other. One big buck we were after last year had another rub and scrape line this year, so he made it through last winter and was our target buck.

On Monday my friend Dave rattled what we think was that buck in to 35 yards but no shot, just a glimpse of a huge body. Dave saw 2 does besides that buck for the week.

My encounters consisted of 1 doe, glimpse of 2 deer unidentified and 1 grunting buck with no sighting of him. In the big woods of Maine, I’ll take that for the week.

Friend Dan, who got the nice buck last year, didn’t see a deer all week. He was around deer, but just never saw one. That’s how Northern Maine humbles a man. All in all it was a great trip with friends.

Attached is a pic Dave took of a Lynx. The cat was sunning himself on the side of the logging road that we parked on. Dave was on his way back to the truck at noon for lunch and had to walk by him. What a great encounter. I saw this cat the next day; he walked by me at 25 yards. A big cat… probably not good for the deer but cool to see.

Hope you’re having a great season and maybe I’ll see you sometime in the “Big Woods of Maine.” Best, Kevin

Note: I have hunted the great state of Maine exactly once and was humbled. We covered hundreds of miles and explored the magical big woods for a week and saw two moose but not a single deer, not even a doe. We traveled around and filmed everything we saw and everybody we met, and put together a TV show of which I was and am proud. It was a hit, and the episode remains one of the most popular we have ever produced for Big Deer TV.

And last November, hunter Gene Doughty shot a Maine mountain buck that scored 188 inches–I consider Gene’s giant to be one of the top bucks shot in North America in 2017. Click here to see it.

 

America’s Oldest Hunter Bags 3 More Deer

va clyde robertsw 104Last year I blogged, Still hunting strong at 103 years young, Mr. Clyde Roberts shot his biggest buck ever during our state’s 2016 muzzleloader season.

Mr. Roberts continues to hunt and amaze.

From the Roanoke (VA) Times: Clyde Roberts already had killed two does in Bedford County during the 2017 deer season, now he was perched 20-feet high in a tree stand looking for a bear.

Bear were forgotten when a couple does walked into the field that Roberts watched. He has killed 10 deer since he turned 100, all but four taken with a .50-caliber muzzleloader. (But) on this hunt he cradled a .270.

An 8-pointer crossed the field and began chasing the does. Mr. Clyde squeezed the trigger, and the buck cartwheeled. Three deer for the 2017 season!

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, only 6 percent of the state’s hunters kill three deer in a single season. Only one is 104 years young.

“When people ask me about the secret to my longevity, I tell them it was all about hard work and living for the Lord,” Roberts told the Roanoke Times.

Postscript: Mr. Clyde Roberts was not always a hunter. He started hunting after he retired some 40 years ago at the urging of his son. “I bought him a rifle when he retired to keep him busy,” said Mike Roberts, who believes his dad to be the oldest active hunter in America.

This story makes me proud to be a Virginian, a Christian and a deer hunter. Mr. Clyde Roberts, you are a great man and an inspiration to all of us. Hunt on, sir!

Photo: Texas Base-Mass Buck!

texas bone massThis picture was first posted on Texas Bone Hunters Facebook and has been circulating all over social ever since. I picked it up and it has become the most popular post on BIG DEER Instagram with this popular comment: How would you score that thing?

The bases are fused together into one huge mass, with splits and stickers for yet more character. A cool deer and a true freak!

Answer to the question: Official scorers say the odd wild, unusual rack is not scorable, and might be one. But what a splendid mount it will be on the lucky hunter’s wall.

Merry Christmas From BIG DEER

xmas tree 2013Special thanks to South Dakota hunter Kelly Kirsch for this awesome picture. Several years ago Kelly told me he’d come up with an idea for his shed collection, and his antler tree blew me away. Ever since it’s been the official Christmas tree of BIG DEER!

Thanks to all you bloggers for making 2017 a great traffic year for BIG DEER. I truly appreciate your support, and look forward to 2018 (we’re working on some cool new stuff). And thanks for watching BIG DEER TV on the Sportsman Channel. We’re wrapping up filming of Season 7, with new episodes coming next summer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless you and your family…if you’re still hunting a buck, good luck.—M.H.

North Carolina: 8-Year-Old Warrior Buck

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From our good friend Zane Keen:

Mike: Thought I’d drop a line and say hello. I retired from the Army last year after 28 years of service. Still living here near Ft. Bragg, NC. 

Last few years I haven’t been able to get into the woods much, but I’ve been able to hunt a few times this season and have a cool story for you. 

I was lucky enough to harvest one of the oldest deer the Ft. Bragg biologists can remember recording. They aged him at 8 1/2 years old. His rack was in significant decline: 19-inch inside spread with only 3 score-able points. His back molars were completely ground to the gums, and he had no lower teeth. His ears were that of a warrior, cut, mangled and scarred from years of fighting. His scalp at the base of his antlers was torn away from the skull…looked like the wounds were several weeks old. Just a monarch of a deer, I had tremendous reverence for the old bull! 

I love watching your show. And incredibly honored to see the combat flag on your wall! That was a week of hunting memories that I talk about often and will cherish.  Thank you again for that amazing opportunity to hunt with you. Sincerely, Zane

No Zane, thank you for your service and for your friendship. That combat flag you gave me—it flew over the hospital in Iraq where Zane served—is one of my most prized possessions, it hangs in my office proudly between two of my largest buck mounts. And that episode we filmed with you way back in Season 1 of Big Deer TV remains one of the highest rated in the history of our series. Thanks brother!

va zane me flag 2011