Bow season opened for area archers on Tuesday, Pennsylvania bow season opened Saturday.
But area archers and gunners successful at drawing tags in Maine came home with nice trophy and meat harvests during September hunts.
Jim Monteleone booked an archery moose and bear hunt with Huntley Brooks Guide Service in Princeton, Maine. “The rut was just starting to heat up … and bears are depleting natural foods,” Monteleone wrote of conditions in the area he hunted.
He credits the great calling skills of guide George Sabattus Jr., a combination of cow calls, bull grunts and the right raking of brush. A bull moved in at about 6 p.m. on Sept. 16 for a shot at 37 yards.
With much help “included three bigger and younger men than I,” he said the carcass hauling went until midnight that night.
Two evenings later three bears moved close to his 10-foot ladder stand and he took a 16-yard shot at 6:20 p.m. to fill his bear tag. Monteleone kept the moose rack but donated all the processed meat to the nearby Passamaquoddy Indian tribe.
The Gerling family of Collins Center and Langford have been entering draws for moose tags in the Allagash wilderness area of Northern Maine. Dad, Joseph “Hoot Sr.” Gerling, drew a tag two years ago. Son Chris “Hoot” Gerling drew a bull tag for two hunters and two companions this year. It took Hoot nine tries before he drew the one group tag for Zone 1 in the Allagash.
The group began scouting on Sept. 21 for the Monday opener. By then the rut was heated up now and calling worked well on opening morning.
“This was a self hunt and we did our own calling and hauling,” Hoot said of dad and partners Glen Gawron of Eden and John Hagerty of West Valley.
Gawron and Hagerty made calls that interested a bull; that moose began calling from a half mile away.
“It took an hour and a half of calling to finally bring him within range,” Hoot said of a male with an outside antler spread of 55 inches. Hoot Sr. used a .300 Win Mag for a 20-yard clean kill at 9:30 that morning.
It took the four guys and an electric winch to haul the moose to a certified scale where it weighed, dressed out, 957 pounds. “We’re going to have a full shoulder mount done,” Hoot said of his dad’s trophy moose.
Hoot, an involved trapper as well as hunter, is holding off on archery deer hunts until temperatures drop and area deer begin making more moves.