Tag the White-tail Buck of Your Dreams This Season
Opening Day of the rifle season on white-tail deer is a magic time. Weaving your way among the colorful hardwoods, you’ve lugged your shotgun and scouted the land, ostensibly hunting for grouse and woodcock. In reality, however, you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled for sign of bigger game – V-shaped scrapes in the soft earth, and rubs on small trees that start as a way to remove felt from hardening antlers, but which transition to aggression as the bucks prepare to do battle against each other for supremacy of the forest.
The November, 2023 issue of The Maine Sportsman pays tribute to these early days of the deer season, which have become unofficial state holidays. Starting with the cover photo of the handsome 10-pointer emerging into a field from a brilliant maple backdrop, the issue is packed with white-tail material, from Blaine Cardilli’s focus on deer hunting in the Kennebec River corridor (p. 22) and the Big Woods World’s Hal Blood and Lee Shanz column titled “Deer Camp – A Maine Tradition,” to Bill Sheldon’s “Jackman” column (“Trophy Bucks #1 Goal This Month,” p. 43) and Tom Seymour’s Moosehead Region offering, “Big Country; Big Deer” (p. 45).
Matt Breton, The Maine Sportsman’s Vermont columnist, with the buck he tracked through the snow on a late-season hunt – see his story on p. 68 of the November issue.
In addition to venerable maps and compasses, our writers are testing the latest hunting apps to get us into the woods and back out. In his “Big Game Hunting” column (p. 27), Joe Saltalamachia covers the onX Hunt app, an exciting brand of GPS mapping software for smartphones that uses high-resolution satellite photos to analyze tree species, land elevation and even wind patterns – even when there’s no cellphone coverage. And guest columnist Daniel McDonnell tells how he used HuntStand, another GPS mapping and hunting app, to help find a deer that he dropped in an area that was too thick to see more than a few feet in any direction.
This issue also helps us look back over the past summer which, although rainy, produced some fine fishing action, including in Moosehead Lake and in certain Franklin County waters.
It’s almost snowmobile season, and sledders are busy hauling their machines out of the sheds. Steve Carpenteri offers an ode to the hard-working club trail groomers in his special section titled “Trail Maintenance 101” (p. 33).
Our “Saltwater Fishing” writer, Bob Humphrey, does a little rabble-rousing this month with his offering, “Tilting at Windmills” (p. 55), in which he questions the government’s headlong rush to embrace offshore wind power. Likewise, “New Hampshire” columnist Ethan Emerson questions the tradition of celebrating 200-lb bucks and the hunters who tag them, in his “Relax – It’s Just a Number” (p. 67).
All this, plus three pages of Letters to the Editor, an Almanac bursting with interesting information, as well as trophy photos, cartoons, and jokes that will make you text IJBOL (I Just Burst Out Laughing).
Good luck to all our readers getting your deer this season!
Will Lund, Edito
The Maine Sportsman magazine