Maine Deer Hunting: 200 to 270 Bucks (Dressed Weight)

I was talking to my friend Jim, a police officer and guide from Maine, about how cool it is that hunters in his state (and Massachusetts, Vermont, etc.) still judge their bucks by body weight. How big was he? 200...220…230 dressed... Antler score is secondary and an afterthought in most instances.

I find that refreshing after traveling around the country and listening to guys go on about the 150- to 170-inch bucks (racks) they have killed or hope to soon kill. Of course that is how we talk in most places these days. I use that B&C jargon too, probably too much.

Jim sent these pictures of two huge bucks killed in his camp near Shirley last November. He wrote: Good father/son combo on nice North Maine-woods bucks. Meat-pole buck dressed out 248 lbs. and the 8-pt. went 224 lbs. Seeing a dad and his son with two in the truck was sweet! As afterthought Jim tossed in, They both had nice heavy racks.

Jim also sent a copy of The Maine Sportsman, which featured a story “Top Biggest Bucks of 2010." The list was comprised of some 300 bucks that tipped the scales from 200 to 270.8 pounds (the meat-pole buck was # 9 overall). There was not one mention of rack score. 

All this gives me more incentive to head up to the dark, cold, snowy Maine woods this fall with a camera crew to still-hunt for a 200-plus buck (dressed that is).

 

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Comments
Silverback's Gravatar 200+ lbs dressed. I'm sure that bragging rights come from actually not dying of a heart attack getting it out of the woods. I'll pass. I'm sure dragging and eating both suck. I'd rather shoot 3 - 80lb does.
# Posted By Silverback | 3/4/11 12:28 PM
Dan D.'s Gravatar Have any idea what part of Maine you're gonna hunt in Mike? I wouldn't count on the snow much eaither. We hunt the week before Thanksgiving in Northwestern Maine (Somerset County) and we haven't had trackable snow since 2002! Good luck!
# Posted By Dan D. | 3/4/11 2:05 PM
Big Daddy's Gravatar Mike: It might be the truest testament to your skill as a deer hunter yet should you track down a big ole northwoods buck and hang him on the meat pole. I often wonder how many of the "TV hunters" would fair on those big bucks from the midwest and Canada if they had to rely on their own skills to find them versus hiring someone else to place them in a blind to do the shooting. Good Luck we'll all be watching your show for the results.
# Posted By Big Daddy | 3/4/11 2:22 PM
hanback's Gravatar BD, that is a fair comment, I look forward to the challenge and will put it on TV even if I
don't kill one (but I will :)
# Posted By hanback | 3/4/11 3:09 PM
Flatlander from Texas's Gravatar Mike - I sure wish our harvests were more focused on the dressed weight than the antler size. On our ranch (low fenced and free range) we hunt for mature deer and as a result sometimes we get both! Any chance the TV community will swing the pendulum and get back to the good old days? Thanks for what you do, the hits and the misses. Keep it up.
# Posted By Flatlander from Texas | 3/4/11 3:15 PM
hanback's Gravatar still big racks will be emphasizesd, but yes I do see it swinging back some to just good old deer
hunting for bucks. it seems to me that average hunters are pushing back some from all the monsters
and coments like "gotta let him walk he'll be bigger next year" when the bucks would go 200 pounds
plus and score 160 plus right now. that is not realistic for 99% of people. i try to keep my show realistic
last year I got lucky and killed the 209, but I also shot bucks 130 to 140 and had a ball doing it for
TV!

you the same flatlander from IL, or a new one?? what's up with that??
# Posted By hanback | 3/4/11 3:50 PM
Big Daddy's Gravatar Mike: I've been hunting those Maine mossbacks for several years myself. Mostly I hunt in western Maine near Sugarloaf Ski Mountain outside of New Portalnd I will attest to the challenge of finding them. I am looking forward to the show an have oft wondered why no other shows film these bucks. I did see a show on Sportsman's channel (if memory serves me correctly) called Northwoods Safari ,the original one that filmed around Maine and it was a good show while it lasted, Tyhe Best of Bull Run is out of NS and is entertaining as well.
# Posted By Big Daddy | 3/4/11 5:51 PM
Jerad's Gravatar "still big racks will be emphasizesd, but yes I do see it swinging back some to just good old deer
hunting for bucks. it seems to me that average hunters are pushing back some from all the monsters
and coments like "gotta let him walk he'll be bigger next year" when the bucks would go 200 pounds
plus and score 160 plus right now. that is not realistic for 99% of people. i try to keep my show realistic
last year I got lucky and killed the 209, but I also shot bucks 130 to 140 and had a ball doing it for
TV!" - Mike Hanback

Thanks for being real on that comment Mike.

To me hunting is about adjustment to the area a lot. If its cool in Maine to kill 200 pounders or big racks, I think thats awesome, honestly. People go for what they can attain, IMO.
We are kinda like that up in Douglas County, WI, I like hunting mature deer, and if I don't shoot a mature Buck by the end of 9 for gun season, or all of archery season, guess what?? I nail the biggest Doe I see. 250 pound old 8 pointer scoring 140 or a 3.5 year old 180 pound 170'' its all what you like and are given in your neck of the woods. This blog sometimes just makes me wish it was November every month Mike, lol
# Posted By Jerad | 3/4/11 6:23 PM
Flatlander from Texas's Gravatar Nope Mike, I'm from the Texas Panhandle. I sent you the family photos last week with my buck. I'll change my name to TX Flatlander to avoid the confusion. BTW the deer in my pics gave up 100 lbs. of meat (bones and head not included). Freezer is full!
# Posted By Flatlander from Texas | 3/4/11 7:53 PM
David in NC's Gravatar And here, I didn't even weigh the bruiser I shot out west this year.

It wan't that I didn't want to, but we didn't have the scales to do it. He was the biggest deer I have seen in person to date, so I'm gonna guess at least 250 on the hoof.
# Posted By David in NC | 3/4/11 11:31 PM
Clint in MN's Gravatar My dream is to one day take one of the 200lbs brutes we have roaming our lease.
Every year my dad, a varying number of relatives, and I do a hunt on a military preserve in central MN. The bucks that get taken are all weighed on their way out of the hunt area. All the hunters gather round and see what the biggest ones tip the scales at. It's a pretty cool vibe and the prestige definitely surrounds body size rather than rack size. I've seen bucks as big as 260 dressed come out of that place. It's fricken crazy. Can't wait for the Maine episode, Mike! That'll be awesome. Even if you don't get a crack at one.
# Posted By Clint in MN | 3/6/11 9:54 PM
Aaron's Gravatar Mike just watched you show the other night about you hunting in Maine and just want to say thanks.. I have lived in Maine all my life a grew up hunting with my father we have had great success hunting in Maine and he has always told
me if you can harvest a buck year after year in Maine you can do it anywhere.. Your show was very real that is what it is like hunting in here in Maine it will test your will. I have hunted from Alberta Illinois and eastern Canada and every
deer that I have shot regarless of size never feels the same as getting a Maine Buck because of the work you have to put in to get one. I have never shot a buck in maine from a tree stand they have all been still hunting in my opinion it
is the most rewarding.. There are giant deer here there just not behind every tree and there are alot if trees..lol hope you come back and try again and good luck to you if you do..You dont have to kill a deer to make a great show
thanks again.
Aaron J.
# Posted By Aaron | 9/28/12 12:14 PM