On Saturday, a buddy and I loaded way as well significantly gear into his truck, set far as well handful of actual targets, and headed for Greenville and points west in search of birds, or trout, or moose.
See what I imply about targets? We didn’t even actually know what we had been seeking for.
In theory, the multifaceted journey produced fantastic sense. Perhaps we wouldn’t catch any fish. But we’d certainly see some ruffed grouse on the opening day of hunting season for these rapid-flying (and tasty) birds. Or possibly we wouldn’t fill our limit on birds, but we’d certainly discover a handful of moose to speak to. Suitable?
Perhaps not. But we’re having a bit ahead of ourselves.
To actually have an understanding of what Chris Lander and I had been carrying out on Saturday, you have to step back 13 years, to the fall of 2006, when Chris was the sub-permittee on my 1st moose hunt. I was the 1st in our group to be drawn for a permit, and 5 of us converged on Wildlife Management District four for what was surely the hunt of a lifetime.
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Suitable immediately after that hunt ended on a grassy winter road in northern Maine, the 5 of us produced a pact that has stood to this day. If any of us had been fortunate adequate to be drawn for a permit once again, we would reunite, head back into the woods and have yet another good moose hunt.
Or, in other words, we’d get the band back collectively.
That is precisely what occurred in 2008, when Chris was drawn for a permit. And once again in 2017, when my name popped out of the laptop or computer once again. This year, immediately after 39 years of fruitless entry in the permit lottery, Chris’ brother Billy Lander’s persistence ultimately paid off, and he won a permit for the October season in WMD eight.
And that is why Chris and I had been in the woods Saturday, half-seeking for moose, half-seeking for birds and half-arranging to fish a nearby river. I know, I know: That is 3 halves. Math was under no circumstances my powerful suit. But nonetheless, it was a 3-pronged adventure we hoped would also support Billy bag a moose when we head back to these very same woods in mid-October.
Ahead of we headed onto the maze of gravel roads that extend to the west of Moosehead Lake, and exactly where we had been positive we would discover all 3 of our target species, Chris and I stopped by the town dock in Rockwood to get a small video and some nonetheless images, figuring out that Mount Kineo would be in particular spectacular on a fall day when the leaves had been just starting to modify.
Then we headed out Route 15 to verify some spots we’ve come to know very properly more than the years.
“Bird!” Chris exclaimed, spotting a ruffed grouse that I under no circumstances even saw.
“Where?” I asked.
“Side of the road,” Chris mentioned. “Right on the pavement. Subsequent to that driveway.”
We laughed at the bird’s unmitigated gall and figured it was a constructive omen. That grouse was merely the welcoming committee. There would be lots a lot more.
Of course, that is not the way turned out. We didn’t see yet another grouse all day.
No matter. We had been there to fish, as well. Suitable?
Effectively, that was component of the initial strategy. Then it began to sprinkle. Then it rained tougher. Neither of us had paid specific focus to the Greenville-location forecast (which, we later discovered, referred to as for afternoon showers). Alternatively, we would checked Bangor’s climate, which was supposed to be clear.
Regrettably for us, our rain gear was back in dry-as-a-bone Bangor.
Undeterred, but unwilling to get soggy in order to attempt to fool a wayward trout or salmon, we forgot about fishing and turned our focus to scouting for Billy’s moose hunt. And, of course, we kept seeking for birds.
For about an hour, we had the roads to ourselves, and we wondered how numerous bird hunters even realized that the season’s opening day for grouse had been moved up 3 days from the regular Oct. 1.
No sooner had we described it, even so, and we started encountering other hunting parties. Initially, we caught up with yet another truck that was slow-riding down the road, a positive sign that we had discovered other bird hunters. And for the rest of the day, we saw lots of other website traffic on the way to our top rated secret haunts.
Oh, properly. Moose it was.
I’d really like to be capable to inform you that we encountered Bullwinkle, his brother and 3 of his antlered cousins, and that we know precisely exactly where we’ll go for the duration of Billy’s moose hunt. Regrettably, that wasn’t the case.
We did, even so, discover indicators of moose activity. Bushes had been torn up by territorial bulls in a couple of spots. A properly-worn game path showed proof that moose had been by way of in yet another familiar place we had visited for the duration of my hunt two years ago.
When we ultimately referred to as it a day, Chris and I decided that on a fishless, birdless day afield, the mere hint of moose activity was purpose to really feel optimistic.
And in a couple of weeks, we’ll head back, hoping to place yet another productive moose hunt in the books.
John Holyoke can be reached at [email protected] or 207-990-8214. Comply with him on Twitter: @JohnHolyoke. His 1st book, “Evergreens,” will be released by Islandport Press in October.