|Day three was Wednesday and it started out cloudy with a storm on the way. We headed out as planned to a spot we had hunted the last day of our 2000 hunt. As we casted the first pack, the rains started and so did the wind. We headed up the hill and it didn’t take long for the dogs to start running a hare and this hare ran for quite some time and at times even ran out of hearing range. This hare ran down past the truck and crossed the road to where we just came from. So a couple of guys went back to try and get a shot crossing back on the road. Nick got that hare not a hundred yards from the truck. We worked back up the hill and then came across another. This hare ran the same pattern going across the road a couple of times until Anthony shot him and again we headed up the hill to the cedars and pines. While the pack worked this area, a ten-point buck ran out of the other end of the cedars in front of Tony. His eyes lit up in only a way a deer hunter’s eye would light up. He said, “What a buck! You should have seen it.” Soon after that, the pack started on hare number three. This one looped out and the pack split on two different hare. One hare went back to the cedars. That was this hare’s mistake. He then crossed in front of me and number three was in the bag. All the hounds joined in on the fourth hare and they put a lot of pressure on him. He ran by me but I couldn’t get the shot however, Tony made the shot. With four in the bag and the wind now howling and rain was beginning to come down hard; we decided to call it a day. We headed back and dried our clothes. Tony and Dave headed back home so we said our good byes. One thing we did with our extra time was to take a trip to the local Wal-Mart to purchase some lightweight netted gloves to stop the gnats from eating us alive. So be prepared to fight the bugs on the warmer days out there. Day three ended with four hare in the bag. |
Day four was Thursday. The wind was still a problem but the sun was out. The spot we hunted was a spot Doc and Doug found two years ago. The land was very big and we could hunt it all day. This was a memorable spot two years ago with plenty of hare. We collared five bitches with tracking collars and cut them loose. The first hare was jumped by Doc’s bitch, Kerrie, out of Buck and Ice. Doc had two bitches out of that litter, which were really nice hounds. The chase was on in a really thick stand of cedars and seeing was very difficult. The other bitches in this pack were my Hannah, Kay, Hope and Roxanne. The pack ran this hare for forty-five minutes and at one point ran this hare across a path not ten feet from me but I was behind a log so I couldn’t see it. Patience was needed on this run and ten minutes later he came back and with one shot from my Silma over and under twenty, I ended his run. We had two more outstanding runs from that pack that ended with three hare in the bag so we went back and collared up the next pack: Amber, Pearl, Roxanne, Betty, and Doc’s second Buck bitch. We worked them in another direction but each time the hare would run to the same area we were in earlier. We shot a hare and work across the path where we started the last hare and found another. It would head back to the same bog, which made us get a really good workout. By this time, the wind had really kicked up and hearing the dog was difficult. The dogs had a hard time hearing us, as well. We had shot three more hare and headed toward the trucks. Not far from the trucks we discovered three dogs were missing so out came the tracking collar system that Nick owns. We located the direction and called on our radios to each other to head toward the dogs. Then a stranger called on the radios and told us two hounds had made it to the road. So off I went to get them. They had gone over a hill and couldn’t hear us. The other bitch was found with the tracker not far away. It was a close call but thanks to those fellow hunters who called us and with the work of the tracking collars, all the dogs were safe.
On day five, we ran the three packs in reverse order with more of the same action. One chase, in particular, had two of Doc’s bitches and my bitches Kay, Hope and Hannah running. They ran a hare for two and a half hours and they just didn’t give that hare a break. This hare eluded us and in the end it ran more like a cottontail than a hare zig-zagging around. When I shot it coming back in the direction it just came from. Doc said it was the run of the week and we all agreed. Day five ended with eight hare in the bag.
Day six was the last day of the hunt. It was a cool day with no wind. We went to a spot that we hunted last year. I have to admit that I couldn’t remember this spot but after this day I won’t soon forget it. The running started right away. These hare ran all over the place and before we knew it we found ourselves a half a mile deep in Maine’s thickest cedar woods that you could imagine. It was now eleven o’clock and the action was non-stop with five hare in the bag. We couldn’t catch this pack, which consisted of Nick’s Amber, Roxanne, Froggy, Betty, Pearl, and my Roxanne. The chase on this hare was now one hour long and we had to move in to get a shot. The dogs put so much pressure on this hare; he finally made the mistake of going into the open pines and right past me. I made a quick shot and thought I ended the chase when before we could catch up with the pack, they started again. The hare made a quick circle and Nick made a good shot and we caught the pack and broke out the GPS to find our way back to change packs. After a quick bite, we headed out with a pack of six. We decided to finish out the day with them and not change because it took us too long in the morning to get out. We hunted this pack across the road with a river behind them. This made the action fast and furious with the hare crossing the road back and forth and by afternoon’s end we shot four more hare for a total of eleven hare in the bag. This day was a great end to fantastic hunt, no dogs or hunters injured or lost!
May I suggest a few things before you head into the Maine woods with your favorite dogs? Pack a GPS and two-way radios, a survival pack, two compasses, an emergency first aid for you and your dogs, and a tracking collar system. A tracking system is a must for peace of mind as it is really hard to lose a dog with a reliable system. What you also need to make a hunt complete are good hunting partners, which is what I had! Without that, the week may have turned out terrible. Well, I hope you enjoyed this hunt as much as I did. Until next year, good running!