2017 Maine Moose Lottery – Hunt Maine Trophy Moose with Epic Adventures this Fall!!

 

Epic Adventures - Maine's Premier Trophy Moose Outfitter

Well…. it’s that time of year again. The online application process for the 2017 Maine Moose Hunt is now available. You can apply for the 2017 Maine Moose Lottery here.

Each year we get asked what zones should you apply for? Thats a question that you are bound to hear many different answers, depending on who you ask. So much so, that at times the process can seam confusing. The thing to keep in mind is its a true lottery. Yes you can up your odds some by having bonus points built up from years of not drawing or buying more chances, but realistically, its still a lottery. We have known numerous folks who have drawn their very first year ever applying, including non-residents. Tom from Denver got lucky and drew his first year applying in 2016 and then he got even luckier when he harvested this 57.5″ stud with us last October! Read more about that hunt and all of our 2016 hunts here.

Tom’s 2016 57.5″ zone 1 October Maine Trophy Moose. Tom put two rounds right into the boiler room at about 260 yards!

Then we also know some folks, residents and non, that have been waiting to be drawn for thirty years. I tell everybody just start applying and don’t ever skip a year! If you’re wives, husbands, or friends are willing… have them apply too! You gotta get in it to win it!

Our zone preferences stay pretty much the same each year. Sometimes I may prefer one zone over the other based on the number of permits issued that particular year, but pretty much they stay the same. We have guided hunts in many of the moose zones and that is one of the real advantages of hunting out of remote tent camps versus a fixed location lodge each Fall. We can set up one camp or multiple camps and hunt different zones for different seasons. For the most part, unless we have some non-typical weather pattern, our September season is the best season for calling. Bulls typically respond well to calls. The rut is in full swing. Many of the bulls will have cows, which we love, and the ones that don’t are on the move looking for one. September is also your best option if you wanted to attempt an archery hunt on a trophy bull. Really you can’t go wrong with any of the Northern September zones (1-6). They are all good! Our preference in order would be – zone 1,5,6,4,2,3 with my own personal preference of 1 and 5 in any order. Where we typically guide 1 and 5 is remote and it gives what I feel is an excellent overall experience for a Maine moose hunt and a superb chance at harvesting a trophy bull.  Zones 1,2,4,5 are all located inside the gated North Maine Woods and this is a true woods hunt in the working timber land. You won’t see any paved roads or have cell phone reception during the hunt. Our zone 6 hunt takes place outside of the gated North Maine Woods. Instead of a tent camp, one of our guides has a beautiful cabin complete with satellite TV, that we host these hunts out of. During the zone 6 hunt you will have cell phone coverage, be on paved roads occasionally, and only a short ten minute ride to town if needed. This is a really good October zone as well. The woods have been cut differently in our part of zone 6 versus inside the North Maine Woods. That makes for a great October hunt, but be prepared to walk. Last October, Guide Joel, put his zone 6 hunter in front of roughly thirty bulls throughout the week with three bulls spotted measuring over 50″!! They also logged over 40 foot miles during the 6 days, but the hard work was well worth it.

The October season is generally a much harder hunt than September. Although it seems lately even the September hunts have been hard earned hunts, but usually during the October season you can expect to do even more walking than September. Bulls are not responding as well to calls in this later season. Instead of them coming to us, we often have to go to them using a different calling approach than just two weeks prior. Walking 4-7 or more miles a day is not uncommon during October. In the Northern zones the moose have just been hunted and called two weeks prior, so they tend to head deeper in the bush after the hunting pressure. There are bird hunters riding the logging roads in all zones during October and that puts extra pressure that push moose further into areas. That being said, October can still be a great hunt. In 2016 we ran 100% success on our October hunts. We have also harvested a couple of real studs the last two Octobers!!

Jerry’s 2015 52″ 11.5 yr old Zone 1 Maine Trophy Moose! This beast was called into 25 yards during the October Season!

In September we love the Northern Zones, but in October our order of preference starts with the Western Zones. Zones 8, 7, and 9 are stellar October zones. These zones do not have a September season and the bulls have not been hunted yet that year. Overall I would say the numbers of moose is not as high as the Northern Zones, but they tend to respond to calls better in these Western zones than they do in the Northern zones in October. That is the main reason why we prefer to go West in October if we can. Zone 7 and 9 are real sleeper Zones with excellent trophy quality that you don’t hear about as much. Zone 8 is where we got our start guiding and we have been there almost every moose season for the last twelve years. The terrain in these Western Zones is more elevated than the Northern Zones. Some areas are steeper. All of it is logging land, but occasionally you can pick up cell coverage during the hunts and if you need a trip into town its usually never further than twenty miles, versus fifty to ninety miles on our North Maine Woods hunts.

Application Instructions:

-Select as many chances as you want, but we only ever do one.

-Select September and October seasons only

-Select Bull permit only, that you will NOT accept an antlerless permit

-Select that you will accept any zone if your preferences are already filled

-Select zones 1,5,6,8,4,2,7,9,14,3 in that order

-If you would like to have a subpermittee listed on your hunt, you must enter all their information at this time. It can not be entered later. The subpermittee can harvest the moose and carry a weapon during the hunt, but the permit holder MUST be present at all times during the hunt. So if the wife or husband is not planning on being the actual hunter, but instead the subpermittee for an extra chance of having a tag drawn, the non-hunting wife or husband must be present during the hunt and in woods at all times even if they are not going to shoot the moose. You can also list an alternate subpermittee if you’d like, but in the end only up to two people (permittee and subpermittee can carry a weapon on the hunt and harvest 1 moose total) That being said, listing a subpermittee is not required and we actually encourage not listing one, but if you want one listed it must be done at the time of the application. Also to note, if you are applying for a permit in a non-hunting family members or friends name to increase your odds of being drawn with you listed as a subpermitte, the person who drew the permit must be able to obtain a hunting license and have completed a hunter safety course within about a month after the June drawing to purchase the permit.

The drawing will be held on June 17. Applications must be completed online by 11:59pm on May 15. Don’t wait though!! Do it before it slips your mind and it never fails…. if you wait until the last night the website will be so bogged down you may not get your application in. Also of note is no matter what zone you are drawn for, we can always try to get you swapped to a different zone of higher preference once drawn.We have lots of experience with this. The hard part is getting drawn and you should consider yourself extremely lucky if you are! The odds of being drawn are about 2-3%.

Good Luck!!!!

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our Fully Guided Remote Maine Trophy Moose Hunts go ahead and check out our Epic Adventures website at www.EAGUIDES.com

Best Regards,

Brian Donaghy

Registered Maine Guide

Epic Adventures

2017 Maine Moose Lottery Application

ANOTHER GREAT SEASON OF MAINE MOOSE HUNTS WITH EPIC ADVENTURES

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Moose camp night life…

Every year we say it, but we are beyond lucky to be able to go hunt moose the way we do. It was another epic year with great memories, great hunters, great guides and great bulls! We were fortunate enough to share our passion for moose hunting with six hunters this year on our guided Maine remote moose hunts and I am proud to say that five of those hunters took home bulls. We hunted zones 1,2,6 and 8 this year. It was definitely one of the harder years we’ve had for moose hunting. It seems we say that every year lately, but without a doubt… it is getting harder and harder every year to get into trophy moose. Not because of lack of moose by any means, WE HAVE A TON OF MOOSE, but mainly because they are becoming more educated every year. The deciding factor these days, seems to be how hard you are willing to push yourself and how many miles you are willing to go on foot. During the October season our Guides Joel and Mark, both estimated that they had covered about forty-five miles on foot each, with their hunters throughout the week. Their hunters both harvested their bulls on the last day of the six day hunt.

Looks like we have a visitor in our zone 8 moose camp...
Looks like we have a visitor in our zone 8 moose camp…

As usual we hunted away from the logging roads and got back into some excellent trophy moose habitat. We can’t stress how important it is nowadays to hunt away from the roads and away from high pressured areas. Far too many guides in Maine spend the better part of the week driving the logging roads looking for a moose to shoot. For years that was all that was necessary to harvest a moose, but times have changed. There are many guides in Maine who have never packed a moose out of the woods. Instead they rely on hunting close to loggings roads hoping they will be able to winch or pull moose out whole after harvesting. I’m proud to say that all of the guides at Epic Adventures have experience packing moose out and hunt with the intention of having to pack their moose out of the woods each season. Three of the five bulls we harvested this year came out of the woods on pack frames.

Guides Mark and Chris packing one out...
Guides Mark and Chris packing one out…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even rarer than finding guides who are willing to pack moose out each year, is finding guides in Maine who can cape your moose out for taxidermy. Its not rare at Epic Adventures! Marks trophy October guide bull in our exclusive gated zone 8 hunt area.

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Mark had a great September hunt with David and Gail from South Carolina. David and Gail were a pleasure to have in camp. I credited Gail with the quote of the week on the first night in camp. We were discussing the next mornings plans and what time we needed to be leaving camp. Gail explained she can be a little mean that time of morning but simply said to mark… “Just don’t say anything stupid” in the morning and he would be just fine! On the third day of the hunt, Mark came across where two bulls just fought minutes before. There was fresh tracks and scuff marks in the road with the typical piles of moose hair that result from a fight. Mark started racking the brush and grunting and got an instant response from a bull not 50 yards away. The bull turned out to be a nice 49″ bull that came swaying and grunting into under 30 yards. Gail put two quick shots into him and dropped him right in his tracks!! When I arrived back to camp that night with my hunter John, Mark was just finishing hanging Gail’s bull in a tree for the night to start cooling the meat down. We were all standing around celebrating and hearing the story from Gail when Mark said Gail smoked him! I quickly reminded Mark that the moose is hanging in a tree…. obviously Gail smoked him, now don’t say anything stupid!!

Gail's zone 1 bull...
Gail’s zone 1 bull…

My hunter John and I struggled the first few days only seeing one shooter bull we estimated at 50″ or a little bigger and not being able to get a shot at him. We did get that bull responding and coming in after our sighting, but lost daylight that first night. Aside from the first night and another morning where we heard a cow bellowing, we hardly heard any rut activity in our area the first few days of the hunt. This was not typical for a September hunt and was frustrating to say the least. We had a real close encounter with a smasher of a bull on friday night but ran out of daylight. Unfortunately John was not able to hunt the last day and for the first time in my moose hunting career, my hunter did not harvest a moose. Its always tough to go home empty handed, but John was great to have in camp for the week and I enjoyed our time together, the stories exchanged, and the experiences gained. Maybe he will be fortunate enough to draw a tag again someday and we can give it another shot.guided_maine_moose_hunts_zones-11

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Moondog over moose camp...
Moondog over moose camp…
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Home sweet home…

A very hard September season left me hungry for a good bull the second season and my hunters Tom and Jesse headed back to Denver, Colorado with a great 57.5″ bull! We hunted hard all week and still were not seeing much rut activity. The first week with John the weather seamed so perfect, but the second week it was just the opposite. The first morning the wind seemed to be blowing a good twenty miles per hour and I knew it would make for tough calling. I elected to hunt about a mile into a hardwood ridge I had seen a lot of fresh feed sign in and not a single boot print from the first hunting season. As luck would have it, we worked right into a cow and calf the first hour of the hunt. The only downside was they were by themselves with no bull around. We ended up going to a different area mid morning and spotted our first bull of the hunt. He was a spike horn that came in silent to my calling, an easy bull to pass up early in the hunt. For the first three mornings we hunted the area where Gail had harvested her bull the first season. We found an incredible amount of moose sign, but battled 20-30mph winds most of the time and aside from a grunt or two the first night, we never got a vocal response from my calling.

Good friends Tom and Jesse taking in the Allagash sunset...
Good friends Tom and Jesse taking in the Allagash sunset…

On Wednesday afternoon we spotted a small bull out feeding in a new cut about 1100 yards away. We decided to get a closer look at him and were able to stalk into under 200 yards. I was curious to see how that bull would react to my calling since I hadn’t heard much all week. The wind was blowing fairly steady in my direction and the bull never heard me calling until we were about 200 yards away from him, but once he did he started trotting right into a cow call! A great sign!! On friday morning we passed on a bull in the 35-40″ range still wanting to find a good mature bull. Up to then we had seen five bulls and six cows so far in the week. It wasn’t long after we passed on that bull when we decided to head to a different spot and got lucky and ran into a shooter bull. Tom was able to put two great shots into the bull at 245 yards. He turned out to be a beauty at 57.5″!! He had what we estimated to be 2-2.5″ of tine broken off on one side and might have just touched 60″ if he still had that!! We couldn’t of been happier after hunting hard all week!

Tom's trophy zone 1 Maine moose...
Tom’s trophy zone 1 Maine moose…

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Chris guided Gary and Gladys from Pennsylvania to a beautiful bull the third day of their October hunt in Zone 8. Luck would have it, after Gary booked the hunt with us they were also drawn for a Vermont tag this year, so they headed out of camp early after getting their moose to go hunt Vermont. This year some of our usual hunting areas in zone 8 were being timber harvested and it made it tough to hunt anywhere near the area because of the noise pollution from the equipment. It just made it incredibly hard to hear while we were calling. So Chris went and checked on some other areas and found good moose sign and called in this beautiful bull that Gary couldn’t pass up. We can’t blame him! Gary and Gladys turned 70 this year, and it was great to see them still out hunting and enjoying the woods together. A few days later they went to Vermont and Gladys ended up shooting a nice six point bull there…. Fantastic!!!!

Gary with his first Maine bull!
Gary with his first Maine bull!

Joel hit the woods with Frank from Massachusetts. They truly had an epic week of hunting, but they definitely worked hard for it covering about forty-five miles on foot throughout the week. They saw a record thirty bulls and forty-six moose!!! They hunted hard for a 60″ bull that Joel spotted the morning before the hunt, passing up bull after bull each day. They had two close calls with great 50″+ bulls, but were not quite able to get a shot off at either one. The last morning Frank decided to harvest this great bull when it presented a broad side shot at 275 yards. Some celebration and a short 300 yard pack job and that week was truly a week to remember for the guys and we look forward to hunting that area again next Fall!!

Frank's last morning bull...
Frank’s last morning bull…

 

Two young bulls called in by Joel and passed on the first morning of Frank's hunt...
Two young bulls called in by Joel and passed on the first morning of Frank’s hunt…

For Mark the October season brought just the opposite and his hunters harvested the only bull he saw all week on the last morning. He was very fortunate to spend a second October season in a row guiding brothers Tim and Rich from Maine and Pennsylvania. Tim and Rich are no strangers to hunting out of tent camps and no strangers to hunting Moose in Maine. I believe this was their fourth moose hunt they have participated in over the years and probably one of the most rewarding. Just like Frank, Tim did not harvest his bull until the last morning and I think both Tim and Frank would agree that harvesting a bull on the last morning truly gives you a hunt to remember and the whole experience from a moose hunt. You’ll experience highs and lows hunting moose the whole week and not filling the tag until the end. It takes dedication and a mental toughness to stick that out on what could be a tag you may never draw again. Luckily Tim and Rich were great sports and enjoyed putting forth the full effort logging miles each day on foot. On Saturday the area that Mark had intended to hunt was now void of noisy logging equipment and he went right into a classic moose valley where his hunter two years prior killed a beautiful bull. Luck would have it, there was a frost on the ground and not a breath of wind. Mark started calling and it wasn’t long when he got a response. A welcome response after not hearing or seeing a bull all week! That bull came in grunting and raking to Mark’s call and wound up being a dandy… Almost on script!!

Tim's last morning bull in zone 8.
Tim’s last morning bull in zone 8.

 

Lucky to have great hunters that don't mind lending a hand to Mark...
Lucky to have great hunters that don’t mind lending a hand to Mark…

 

Two of the best moose guides in Maine making short work of Tim's bull...
Two of the best moose guides in Maine making short work of Tim’s bull…

 

Last trip out...
Last trip out…

I’d like to say thank you to all the hunters we had in camp this year. We couldn’t have asked for better hunters this year! I’d also like to say a thank you to Mark, Joel, and Chris for the hard work you all put in guiding! If you are interested in our fully guided remote Maine trophy moose hunts, don’t hesitate to contact us and please do check out our website for hunt details at WWW.EAGUIDES.COM

Until next year…

Brian

Love these mornings after...
Love these mornings after…
Love it when hunters leave camp looking like this...
Love it when hunters leave camp looking like this…