Guides Entry, March ‘09
183 inches of snow and counting; 31 sub-zero nights, the coldest a frosty minus 37, and more inclement weather in the forecast. We’re certainly happy that it is now spring here in northern Maine and that the effects of Global Warming have taken hold!
A warm hello to all from The Oxbow Lodge and, yes, we’re accustomed to real winter in this country but this one has been a challenge for all of us. It most certainly has been a challenge for wildlife, the deer in particular. So how have the whitetails fared and what are the prospects for the upcoming season? By early December it was already apparent that this could be an old fashioned winter, one with prodigious amounts of snow and cold temperatures. So we undertook an aggressive winter feeding program at the onset and believe that our efforts will pay off. As of this date we have approximately 100 deer here in Oxbow making the rounds to our feeders on a regular basis. And the good news is that they appear to be in remarkably healthy condition as a result of our efforts, combined with some favorable snow pack. Favorable snow pack occurs when a strong supportive crust is present enabling the deer to reach browse that would otherwise be unavailable. So as long as we have a gradual melting of the snow cover, and the long range forecast suggests that this will likely be the case, we believe that our whitetails will come out of this winter better than previously anticipated. Coyote number s are definitely down and can be attributed to the fact that Tom and others in town trapped or otherwise reduced the population by over 40 animals last winter. Will there be winter deer kill? Yes, we always have winter mortality here in the North Country and losses this year may be somewhat greater than normal but not, in our opinion, catastrophic.
Here is something to get both our past and future deer hunting clients excited about the prospects for the coming season. We have 6 large bucks coming to our feeding stations regularly and they have been doing so all winter. I got a good look at several of them before they shed their headgear and I can tell you they are some impressive animals. One is an 11 point with kickers and a split brow tine and I would estimate him to be 150-160 Boone and Crockett. Another is a nice heavy 8 point that will certainly be even better this coming fall. We have two other bucks that we estimate are 250 pounds or more live weight right now (despite the tough winter) and while we did not see them until after they had shed antlers, there is no doubt that they have the size and age to develop impressive racks over the course of the coming spring and summer. We have photos and video of these deer and hope to have them available for you to see on our website in the near future.
That’s a brief summary from one man’s perspective. Life is short. Book that hunt with Oxbow Lodge soon and we guarantee a good, honest effort, a first class experience and a good time!
Registered Maine Guide