Two Saturdays are in the book, and (as some have come to expect) I’m still among the deerless.

This weekend’s foray wasn’t that much different than last, save the fact that during my group’s midday break, we feasted on moose stew instead of sandwiches.

And the weather was warmer. And wetter.

Other than that, it was just another day in my favorite swath of trees, which is a picturesque spot that includes a meandering stream, a sizeable swamp, a few ridges and a series of old logging cuts.

All that, and a marauding herd of red squirrels.

This week, my nemesis was apparently grounded by the wet weather. I heard him squawking in from time to time, but he was a perfect neighbor (insofar as red squirrels can be perfect neighbors): He shuffled around in the leaves, stayed out of the tree I was sitting in, and didn’t make too much of a nuisance of himself.

Later in the day, after our feast, my hunting buddy and I regrouped and decided to try out a new spot.

Apparently, the squirrel that lives near my stand resides in an outpost camp of sorts. On this trip, we found the headquarters of squirrel nation.

After we set up in two likely locations, the squirrel herd let us know exactly what they thought.

Two squirrels chattered angrily. A third joined in. And a fourth. And a sixth. And an eighth.

Before long, the woods were alive with chattering critters.

We were surrounded … and I’m sure all the deer knew it.

Eventually, we skulked back out to our trucks, and left the woods to the inhospitable beasts.

Just another interesting day in the Maine woods.

Some having hunting luck

While my party hasn’t fared too well as of yet, I am beginning to receive a few favorable reports.

I’ll admit, when all you’re doing is arguing with squirrels, it’s pretty easy to consider a report “favorable.”

Still, I think you’ll admit that the story I’m about to share is good enough to inspire us to continue our frequent forays afield.

The e-mail came from Linda Parent of Hermon, whose family has recently enjoyed a couple of top-notch hunts.

Here’s some of what Linda had to say:

“I just had to forward a couple of pictures from this season of deer hunting,” she wrote. “My husband is a lifetime hunter with quite a bit of success, but has yet to get his buck of a lifetime.

“About 15 years ago while living in Millinocket I decided to give it a try, mostly just to share in something my husband loved. Needless to say that after harvesting my first bear I was hooked!” Parent wrote. “We now have two sons, Chris, age 16, and Brian, age 14. They also both have a love of hunting and [have had] some success. This year on opening day Chris shot his first buck, a spike horn”

The Parent family’s success didn’t end there, however.

“On Wednesday, Nov. 5, my husband had to work so I sat in the spot the two of us have been sharing. My husband gave me a hard time because I didn’t get out there before the sun was up, I slept in a little and only got there at about 6:05 a.m.” she wrote.

While Linda Parent wasn’t an early bird, she didn’t have to wait long for good things to happen.

“It was a mild morning and quite foggy. It was my lucky day because at 6:25 a.m. this beautiful 10-point buck stepped out broadside to me at about 60 yards and gave me the picture perfect shot!” she wrote. “I didn’t know how nice he was until I found him lying about 75 yards from where I shot him. When he stepped out I just knew he was a buck because the white of his antlers shone at me so I immediately focused on making my shot. I didn’t really examine his antlers through my scope because I had heard too many stories of buck fever.

“Needless to say when we found him I was very pleasantly surprised at the nice rack he had! He dressed out at 180 pounds.”

So the Parents have two deer down, and the season is just getting started. Linda Parent said her husband is as excited about her buck as she is.

“My other son, Brian has yet to get his deer, but he is the only family member with a doe permit this year. My husband, Andre, is so far just basking in my success, because it really is our success,” she wrote. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but it is totally a family effort — with my husband being the best teacher of all.”

Congratulations to Linda and Chris on their successful efforts … and good luck to Andre and Brian.

Another breakfast to consider

If you’re an avid eater like me, there’s always a breakfast option for Saturdays during deer season.

The folks at the Penobscot County Conservation Association will host a feed on Saturday at the clubhouse on North Main Street in Brewer.

The breakfast will run from 4 a.m. until 9 a.m.

And if you decide to arrive a bit late and head into the woods after sunrise, don’t fret: Just remember the good luck Linda Parent had, and have a second plateful.


Linda Parent of Hermon shows off the 10-point buck she shot last week. The deer dressed out at 180 pounds.

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...