So, how’s your deer season going?

You may be tired of talking about it, but I’ve just got to ask: How’s your deer season going?

I know, I know. The deer herd’s down. In fact, state biologists have predicted that fewer than 17,000 deer will be tagged by hunters this year. We’ve all heard about the reasons for this: Habitat issues. Harsh winters. Predation.

Still, there are some deer out there. A few hunters that you may have read about in these pages have filled their tags with deer that weighed in at better than 240, 250 and 280 pounds. Others are still waiting to see just a leg, or a tail, or something to prove that we’re not alone in the woods.

I’ll start off. Pitch in if you’d like. And I might work a few of your reactions into a future column.

Here’s my season in a nutshell, thus far: I’ve seen two dead deer (likely poached). Period. The area around my favorite stand shows sign of constant attention from at least one buck — the scrapes are being visited regularly — but I’ve seen no sign of the scraper himself.

Most sobering: I’ve only heard a couple of gunshots (save the fusillade of handgun fire from a nearby gravel pit a couple Saturdays ago) in all my trips afield.

Call me odd, but on those days when things are slow in my stand, I get a bit of a vicarious thrill when I hear someone else’s gunshot in the distance. At least someone’s seeing something, I figure. And that’s a good thing. On Saturday, in fact, I heard a shot close enough that I was sure my friend, Chris, had fired it.

He hadn’t … and he said he’d been sure the shot came from me. Oh, well.

So, tell me a story (shorter’s better than longer … we’ve got a limited amount of space in the printed edition, after all). Let me know what you’ve seen. Tell me how that compares with past years.

These reports will be anecdotal, to be sure, but I suspect they might be enlightening nonetheless. I’m not looking for explanations. I’m not looking to lay blame. I’m just looking to find out what all of you have been seeing … or not seeing.

You can respond below, or send e-mail to

I look forward to hearing from you.





John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.