Steve Beckwith - Maine Hunter

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Deer Hunting 101 in Maine - Pressured Deer Tips

Deer are under pressure this time of year from the pounding of hunter traffic in their forest over the first 3-4 weeks of hunting here in New England!  Especially when you are breaking out muzzle loaders for the last two weeks of hunting here in Maine, pressure is at it's peak and deer go very nocturnal!

But here is a little tip that often works well for me. Deer are always heading for thickets, swamp and cover early morning as the sun is rising this time of year, sometimes they move right at a 1/2 hour before sunrise, and sometimes even earlier, and yes..sometimes you get lucky and they drag their feet and move between sunrise and 9 AM, they are feeding in the hardwoods right now on acorns during the night hours, because of hunting pressure, so when hunters start crunching into the woods in the morning this time of year the deer head for the thickets, the thickest stuff known to mankind for the day! Set up in the morning with the wind in your face or at least pushing your scent behind your setup, with open oak feeding areas on your right or left and your back towards the least likely approaching direction! Hang one or two doe estrus scent wicks around your stand about 18 inches off the ground, use a doe grunt call and make very soft doe grunts every 5-10 minutes! You will not only call does and young bucks to this call, but bucks will often show up to check out a vocal doe, so watch the thickets as well as the runs coming from the hardwoods. You can also reverse this setup during the last 2 hours of hunting each day too! 

Bucks will be following close behind and often during muzzle loader season, I call in bucks with that soft doe grunt as they cruise the thickets, wispy saplings or hemlock and swamp bogs they are still listening for does early daylight hours hoping for that last encounter before taking their hiatus to the thickets for the day!They get big for a reason..They know how to hide!

The other key is to get in at least 15 minutes to your set up before legal shooting, 1/2 hour is best, dress warm, and as scent free as you can, use the wind to keep your scent away from a deers nose, use doe estrus on wicks to help disguise your cent and attract bucks, it puts them at ease when they hear a doe grunt and approach quickly when they come in! Staying at this every morning that you can until it all comes together will make you more successful, as this setup is not a guaranty, but it works for me over and over again throughout my life as a still hunter!  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles Field Review at 6-7 Degrees in Snow!

Reading instructions and using ThermaCELL heated insoles as instructed is the key to using this product effectively for up to 5 hours!
In the event that you may have received a defective pair, contact and they wll take care of your problem they have great customer service!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I will be posting tips, tricks and live action hunting reviews via my "smart phone" when service is available.

Today I started filming live from the wilds my new video tip segments!  I will be posting tips, tricks and live action hunting reviews via my "smart phone" when service is available. Hope you all like this little added tidbit and hopefully it will help another hunter out in his or her quest for hunting and outdoor knowledge!  Thanks for watching! Steve 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Don't Be Fooled Maine Does Produce Monster Bucks! (Hunting Tip)

Steve's 11/12/2014 Southern Maine Rack Mass

Time and time again I hear the same story when I attend sportsman shows across New England! People are saying that Maine's deer population is down, that all they see on their hunting trips to Maine are trees and more trees! When the fact is that Maine has monster bucks that are flooding my news feed pages on Facebook for the past three years. From the NH border where I live in North Berwick, Maine to Allagash, Maine, we have monster deer and it is Maine's best kept secret!
My great friend and Vermont Master Tracker - Lane Benoit, calls monster bucks "smasher bucks", for a reason and Maine has plenty of smasher bucks!

I am not sure if I should keep this my own little secret or scream it at the top of a mountain to encourage all you mid western deer chasers to come to Maine and higher myself as a guide or one of the other very capable Maine guides in this State to put you on the most challenging whitetail hunt you've ever experienced!  With that said, Maine has plenty of public land where you can test your own skills and hunt down one of Maine's elusive monster bucks! Frankly.. that's where most hunters that come to Maine go wrong, they attempt to do it all themselves and fail because most hunters that come to Maine on a deer hunt think they have all the skills needed to locate, read deer sign and shoot a big buck, so why hire a Maine guide?

Maine is part of  New England it has vast wilderness and even in the more rural areas of the state locating pinch points and funnels where a buck travels are not the same as locating these in say, Ohio, or Illinois. There are few agriculture crops here or planted food plots. Maine has natural crops like beech, oak, clear cut saplings and hemlock and in most buck areas in Maine a pinch point is where one forest type edge meets another and a 50 yard growth of hemlock borders between beech, oak or pine thickets that lead to the nastiest swap you've ever seen, one that no man walks through without a month of 10 below zero weather so it is frozen like a lake below! These perfect pinch point locations are not easy to detect, or get to quietly, because there are so many forest edges in the vast continuous acreage that not all forest edges I just described produce monster bucks! It seems simple, but many hunters forget or get caught dreaming of a big buck wherever they hunt, but big bucks are only located where big bucks actually are or live! Many hunters waste an entire week or more of their hunting trip just scouting and sitting near deer sign, a buck scrape line, or rub in Maine finding these clues do not mean that a monster buck lives there, it just means a buck lives there! Reading all the other sign in the area to determine if a old buck resides there comes with many years of local area woods knowledge and practice here in the Maine woods!  This is where a good Maine guide will put odds in your favor and helps take a little luck out of your one week hunting trip here in Maine! Guides like myself have been walking these forests for over 40 years.

Getting that monster Maine buck is an achievement that many professional TV show deer hunters actually avoid, and I won't name names, but if you ask them why they have never hunted in Maine their answers will always be, "I don't have the time to learn the woods, and skills necessary to hunt monster Maine whitetail"! I've seen articles where these famous whitetail hunters that hunt big racked bucks in the western USA to Quebec are quoted as saying, "credit must be given to the skills of a New England guide/hunters because there is a superior skill and knowledge which is found in very few places in the world that can compare to hunting whitetail deer in New England."

We have bucks with frequent weights from 175 lbs to 290 lbs. here in Maine.  We have massive mature racked deer that will turn any hunters heads and they are all 100% natural, no corn feeders, no high fences, no massive food plots and agricultural farmlands. Many deer found along Maine's coastal areas sport drop tines and 120 to 180 class typical racked bucks and actually the bucks anywhere in Maine sport these stats!

There are so many factors in locating and harvesting a mature Maine whitetail buck that a book would have to be written, not an article like this, in order to achieve the skills necessary to effectively hunt Maine's monster bucks. One either has to hunt with their grandfather and father here in New England for 10-50 years or hire a Maine Hunting Guide, I myself am a Maine Licensed Specialized Hunting Guide, there are many great guides in Maine some are multiple licensed guides and cater to recreation activities, ATV's, snowmobiles, hiking, hunting, camping, fly fishing, trolling, ice fishing, salt water tide fishing, sea kayaking and lodging activities.  So when it comes to hiring a "hunting guide" make sure they are avid hunters themselves! For example: I don't have a lodge and kitchen to maintain therefore I don't exhaust my time repairing roofs, clearing walkways of snow, cleaning cabins, making beds and doing dishes. Most of my hunts are about hunting, not the accommodations and food. I offer several options for super lodging and food services that work quite well at some of the best lodges across northern Maine for moose hunters. For southern Maine hunts what most of my clients prefer is staying at a hotel and fixing their own meals to save a few dollars on a quality guided hunting trip without traveling another six plus hours to northern Maine when southern Maine has great monster bucks, a doe management program, super archery season opportunities with one buck tag and unlimited over the counter antlerless tags,  the best turkey hunting areas in Maine with two spring bearded birds and two fall either sex birds on same tag and small game and predator hunting opportunities too!

Deer hunting in Maine is the ultimate challenge to any deer hunter, we have plenty of deer and monster bucks too! One can be lucky and stroll into a piece of woods and stumble upon a nice buck in the rut, odds are slim but it does happen to a few weekend warriors here in Maine every year, but in order to be successful in New England it takes time and years of woods knowledge to increase your odds and find that monster Maine buck! The key is to hire a good hunting guide if you are only coming here for a short period of time.

For more information about planing a hunting trip to Maine contact me! Follow this link to my website and use my contact form at:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Coyotes in Maine are an "Invasive Species" - (Steve's Viewpoint)

Time and time again we read the same old statement put out there by anti-hunters claiming to be experts on coyotes,coy-wolves,coy-dogs,and wolves, that is "compensatory reproduction"! This is nothing more then a theory that is not a "proven" theory. It is a suggested theory in many scientific research papers that is put forth to protect predator species like the wolf and coyote from human control. These organizations love to play the game called, a "play on words"!

The fact of this matter is, if coyotes are reduced by hunting pressure...coyotes are in fact reduced, they're dead folks! They do not miraculously trigger faster reproduction or larger litters to re-populate their species because they were shot by a hunter. (Compensatory reproduction occurs when a specie is eradicated to near extinction! ) If they did as these so called scientist (Or quacks with a college degree) imply, then killing coyotes would only increase populations and the tree hugging puppy lovers of the world should be basking in their glory every time a coyote gets harvested, because the surviving females would all have an increased litter size from 6-8 to their suggested 14-18 pups! If their suggested theory were true you would look out your window and see a coyote every five minutes in Maine!  
Any person (anti-hunter, sportsmen, woman, child, teacher or educator)  should be able to read between the lines here to figure out that this simply is not even a valid argument in the case against Maine DIFW's biologists current laws for reducing the coyote population in Maine. Set up to help the animals like deer, moose, turkey, rabbits, grouse, racoons, and all non-game species such as song birds, and ground animals to thrive and populate naturally.

Coyotes are not native to Maine, they are an "invasive species" that simply does not belong in Maine, much like that of animals like the Nutria of Florida, that are destroying Florida's canals and waterways, eroding peoples front lawns so much they fall into the rivers and are lost forever. The sportsmen and State DIFW,  do not want to eradicate the coyote (Coy-Wolf) species that is here in Maine, the sportsmen and State only wish to control the species and keep it in check with other species that live here in Maine. Humans can not allow one species of animal to dominate and take over hundreds of other species. Humans have protected and brought back many species from extinction, coyotes and wolves will eradicate species that we will never get back if they are left to run rampant destroying all the lesser species on the food chain, then the ferocious predator the Coyote in Maine which is known to attack adult humans, house pets, children and farm animals! Coyotes prey on healthy large animals they are able to pack and take down a large bull moose, healthy deer, turkeys and their young are destroyed with a fierce vigor each spring slowly wiping out other less dominant species that are "native" inhabitants of the great State of Maine!   

Organizations like, Project Coyote, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, The Humane Society of the United States, The Maine Wolf Coalition, and the Wild Dog Foundation are quick to flap their jaws, spend their non-profit monies to oppose any harvest of predator species. Their attitude that predators should not be harvested by sportsmen or managed by State wildlife agencies is simply put, radical and reckless behavior! It is one thing to form a group to protect a species that is wavering on extinction but to create or use an existing  group to oppose the controlling of predators in a geographical region that they really do not belong in is just plain idiotic and needs to be stopped! Especially when here in Maine coyotes are simply being controlled for the benefit of other wildlife that naturally lives here! No one wants to see coyotes become extinct!

Because coyotes have been left uncontrolled for many years by sportsmen here in Maine, mainly because they have no food value to sportsmen, coyotes have increased to unhealthy numbers for Maine's native animals and we humans that live here. Coyotes are like weeds if left to grow they will choke out all other animals here in Maine. It is our human right and our duty as stewards of the land to reduce the coyote population for the benefit of all species. These organizations that oppose the harvest of their cute puppy dog like creatures are easily mislead and simply because they have a college degree or "claim" to be an expert does not give them any rights to impose on the way Maine's DIFW and Maine sportsman chooses to protect our heritage.

In 2014 the coyote population in many areas of the State have been reduced to acceptable levels and are maintainable, but there are still many problematic areas where hunters and trappers have not been able to effectively control the over population of coyotes!  More hunting and trapping is the key to reducing these problematic predators and Maine hunters are learning ways to outsmart the Maine coyote, but expense is the issue for these problematic areas because of the remoteness involved! It's just another obstacle for the Maine hunter to overcome and why Maine hunting of any animal is known for the challenge!