One week from today marks the close of the Northern Zone big-game season in New York. For those who hunt in the foothills region, as opposed to the interior of the Adirondacks, there’s also a week of muzzleloading through Dec. 15.
Some of the best hunting of the season can take place during its final days. I’ll be out there myself, and when hunting alone, or with one other hunter, I’ll be employing some time-tested still-hunting techniques that I just picked up on a weeklong whitetail hunt in northeastern Maine.
Some of you may recall a few seminars held in this region by Maine Master Guide Randy Flannery of Wilderness Escape Outfitters (www.wilderness-escape.com) in Danforth, Maine. Flannery was a past featured speaker at the Altona Sportsman’s Show as well as the Adirondack Sportsman’s Dinner down in Schroon Lake. He’s regularly featured in Field & Stream magazine and numerous other publications. Whether on the seminar stage or in front of an outdoor writer’s microphone, Flannery drills the concepts of a slow-moving still-hunter in a dense forest such as what exists in both Maine and the Adirondacks.
I first spoke with Flannery back in 2007 when I was assigned to write a profile about him for a regional publication. Our mutual appreciation for lever guns, especially Winchesters, was apparent about five minutes into that conversation. We’ve been friends ever since and he’d been after me to go up to his lodge.
Along with the hospitality of Randy and his wife, Sharon, the “Maine attraction” was the opportunity to hunt for big whitetails. Forget antler points and measurements, up there it’s all about body size. Two-hundred pounds is where things start to get serious and Maine has as many of these heavyweights as anywhere in the Continental United States. Having been lucky enough to get an Adirondack buck that weighed more than 200 pounds, I’d love to get a crack at another.