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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive been fascinated by the idea of hunting the big woods up there ever since being up in Jackman for the first time 11 years ago. I would love to spend a week hunting in the mountains up there but don't really have anyone who would take the trip with me since most of the people I hunt with around here are either to old or fat and lazy to do that type of hunting so for now ill just keep dreaming until I can make it happen. For those of you who hunted up there, do you hunt paper co and state land or private and whats the pressure up there like. Feel free to add some stories and pics of hunts up there.
 

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I have a cabin in jackman, like others will say you can walk for days and not see anyone, deer numbers are low but if you're lucky enough to see a big north woods buck it'll blow your mind how big they get. I hunt paper company land all around jackman, no gate fees until you get up into the golden road which is a bit away
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a cabin in jackman, like others will say you can walk for days and not see anyone, deer numbers are low but if you're lucky enough to see a big north woods buck it'll blow your mind how big they get. I hunt paper company land all around jackman, no gate fees until you get up into the golden road which is a bit away
Plum creek land?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure of a lot of the names but I've been all around Brassau lake (sp?) We use to have a guy who would let us basically diy bear hunt on a few stands he had hung around the demo rd right past long pond.
 

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its not a hunt for the faint of heart. bitter cold and little deer. you need snow and tracking skills. if you go through Jackman you can hit the kelly dam road and take that out to Maine preserve land. you pay a fee. its funny they even have a like a toll pay booth in the middle of nowhere. i always thought there were more deer around town in the back yards and feeders. it seems alot of the plum creek lands are in the grow stage waiting for the next cuts. if you can find where they are harvesting trees and find the skidders the deer will be nearby but still its not gonna be alot of deer. most of the deer hunts up there are cheap for a reason and mostly do it yourself. i admire anyone who does that hunt. i wont be goin anytime soon. best of luck!
 

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I was up there in November for a week. Hunted hard day and night, saw nothing but the ass end of a doe at last light on the last day. Very very hard hunting, but as others have stated, when I passed some camps with deer hanging up outside, I thought they were horses with antlers lol. Truly incredible to see, and I will be going back in the future.
 

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From my own experience, it sure ain't jersey! Like everyone else said, I didn't see many deer up there but the ones I did see were HUGE!
 
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I saw a TV show with Mike Hanback. He hunted Maine for a week with an outfitter and never saw a deer.
 

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Seriously though, I think what is good about hunting the big woods of Maine is that you can drive there in a reasonable amount of time, there are limitless acres of land to hunt, few hunters, beautiful mountains, swamps and ridges, and the chance for a really big mature buck without breaking the bank. You can also bring your buck back whole and let him dwarf our NJ bucks. lol For me it is a "do it yourself hunt", no guides. You just roam the mountains and swamps looking for deer. Each year you will find new spots and learn more about your area. You can track a buck if you have snow and not have to worry about property lines. You may find an active area where you can take a stand also. Be prepared for some tough country to navigate. Always know where the heck you are by say, 2pm. So you can get out by 400. At 430 it gets pretty dark in the Maine woods. You can be 20 yards from the dirt road in most places and not be able to see it. When I first started hunting up there I used to walk thru about anything, now I have learned that there are some places you just stay out of. (spruce side hills with blow downs you have to crawl through and over and under). If you encounter a place like this on your route out in the afternoon you may be in overnight! lol Have a map compass and GPS, and carry matches, food etc. in case you get stuck overnight in the woods. It's really an adventure up there and a lot of fun. Someday, when you knock one of those big swamp or ridge runner bucks down, you will be on top of the world and really have earned your trophy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks a lot, that's the kind of info I was fishing for by starting this thread. I know there's little deer numbers up there and know it's going to be tough. Like I said before, I camped in the mountains on plum creek land for bear season about 5 or 6 times but that was always in late August and have seen some big deer and moose up there. A friend of mine deer hunted up there a few times and took a beautiful 9 pointer that dressed over 200 near the Forks so I'm hoping to convince him to go up with me soon.
 

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First decide if you want a fully guided, semi-guided or a do-it-yourself hunt.
Next, determine what area of Maine you would like to hunt.
I know you mentioned the Jackman area. Lots of mountainous areas around there and some good deer hunting. The biggest buck killed so far for the 2014 season was killed in Jackman, dressed out at 274#'s. Jackman is an area that has gotten a lot of notoriety is the past 10 years because of a very talented deer tracker by the name of Hal Blood who lives, guides and hunts there.
Those western mountains also tend to get some of the first tracking snow in early November.
I've never done a guided or semi-guided deer hunt in Maine, always do-it-yourself, trial & error, learn as you go.
It is very rewarding and not about killing the deer, it is about outsmarting the deer on his turf,his terms.
The best place to start, if going the D.I.Y. route, buy the newest version of the Maine Delorme topo maps. Excellent detail, shows all header logging roads and skid trails. What I like to look for is the transition points from hardwoods to softwoods and natural pinch points and funnels around small ponds, beaver ponds and where creeks meet these areas.
Powerlines, always look for powerlines. They are consistently overlooked by the locals. Find the toughest terrain on the lines and put on some miles on them, YOU WILL FIND DEER. The key is hunting where the faint of heart won't, the extra effort pays big dividends not just for this year but years to come.
Stop at local general stores, gas stations, etc. and strike up conversations with some of the locals. Some of those couple minute chats can lead to some great deer areas.
If you do a D.I.Y. hunt, don't push your limits, set small goals for yourself.
Go into the woods a half mile then gradually increase your distances over time.
Use a quality GPS and carry a compass. Gain a comfort level in your abilities in the big woods but don't loose respect for it, things can change fast out there.
Deer numbers, have realistic expectations. The deer in most of Maine are found in "pockets".
You can drive for miles on a logging road and not encounter on deer track, zero, zip.
Keep it simple, find the sign, find the deer. Many guys tend to over think it, big woods bucks are a different type of deer but at the end of the day they are just deer.
Finding others to accompany you on big woods hunts is a tough sell. Most want to see deer every day, multiple deer, like here in N.J. . Can it happen, yes. The likelihood of it happening, slim. 95% of the time I hunt by myself, just don't like to have a set itinerary for the day, I like to roam in new territory and catalog the sign I find in my head and GPS.
Having an extra set of hands to drag a buck out though is sometimes priceless.
I could go on for hours. Like I said, keep it simple, don't over think it, study the maps, make a plan and execute it. You might not be successful the first year or maybe the first five years but the knowledge and confidence you will gain will make you a better hunter and the success will come. Nothing like walking up to those smart, older class bucks on the ground, a feeling you never forget!
There are a few guys here on NJH that hunt or have hunted Maine who truly understand the love and desire to hunt those big woods deer, its an awesome feeling!
You can message me if you would like some detailed info on some areas I prefer to hunt, I will save you a ton of time and leg work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, if I do make it up there it will probably be around the Jackman area just because I am pretty familiar with it and also know a handful of locals there who could help me out. It will also be 100% DIY so I'm not worried about finding an outfitter. I know enough logging roads to get started I think and don't mind sleeping on top of the Northland, although when I get more serious about going up there I will def pm you and pick your brain a little.
 

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First decide if you want a fully guided, semi-guided or a do-it-yourself hunt.
Next, determine what area of Maine you would like to hunt.
Jackman is an area that has gotten a lot of notoriety is the past 10 years because of a very talented deer tracker by the name of Hal Blood who lives, guides and hunts there.
nope! he sold the business and got out of dodge. i hunted with him once.i believe he writes for one of the state or local magazines.
 
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