MAINE SNOWSHOE HARE, COYOTE, AND TURKEY HUNTS
One of the most popular hunts here at Pine
Grove Lodge in Bingham, Maine is our
rabbit and hare hunting. We
have more than a dozen beagles here that run every day and are
skilled at being able to sniff out this particular game. What
makes rabbit and hare hunting
so great is the fact that itís a fun sport that is great for all
ages. Unlike Pine Grove hunts for bigger game like a bobcat or a
moose, your children would be perfectly fine accompanying you.
Kids even get a discount of $85 per day!
Groups of all sizes are
welcome for these daily hunting trips so no one has to be left
out. Each trip includes the hounds, a Maine Guide, snowmobiles,
transportation, 3 meals, 1 night lodging, and snowshoes. All of
this for just $175 per day, and $35 per person for an extra
night of lodging only! The season lasts from October 1st
to March 31st so get your group together and make the
If youíre looking for a little bit more of a
challenge but are not quite ready to tackle a moose, consider
coyote hunting with us! These hunts are offered either by
sitting on an active bait, running with the hounds or by
calling. For more information on coyote hunting and the season,
give us a call today. Itís a very trilling hunt to be a part of
Ė especially wait sitting on a bait at night during a full moon!
For more information on these hunts and
pictures from previous trips, feel free to scroll through the
rest of this page. We can also give you a little bit of
information on other opportunities such as upland game bird
hunting for those who are interested! We look forward to hunting
with you here at Pine Grove Lodge this upcoming season!
Our coyote hunts are offered by sitting on an active bait, running with hounds, or calling. There is a season also for coyote hunting at night which is fun to do while sitting on a bait, especially during a full moon. We have new shooting shacks for protection from the elements and for extra camouflage effect. The following is an article written by a gentleman who came on a coyote hunt last winter.
HOT JANUARY COYOTE HUNTING
In the middle of January, David Giampetruzzi, a good friend, invited me to go coyote hunting at Pine Grove Lodge in Bingham, Maine. I had mixed emotions. The hunt part excited me, but sitting in January cold did not. He assured me that I would be comfortable.
I arrived at Pine Grove Lodge in the dark at about 5:15 PM. David greeted me at the door and I met our hosts, Bob and Andrea Howe, in their kitchen. After a leisurely home style meal, we retired to the “trophy” room. Bob’s low key and engaging style quickly produced a lively conversation among the three of us. His fountain of knowledge flowed freely and David and I drank deeply. He even listened attentively to my two previous coyote kills, stories he must have heard a thousand times before.
The morning of the hunt, snow was falling steadily, with several inches having already accumulated. Bob was going to drive me to the hut. As I moved outside to enter the snow encrusted vehicle, winter seemed to envelope us. The storm had whitewashed the landscape and depth perception nearly vanished in the dim light. I found this surreal setting unsettling.
Bob was taking me to a hut a few miles down the road from the lodge. We stopped alongside a four-foot snow bank on Highway 16. Bob pointed to an opening in the woods and indicated that the hut was just up the hill to the left, about 40 yards in. As I exited the Suburban with rifle in one hand and small heater in the other, I felt like the Michelin Man. Several layers of clothes and heavy boots proved cumbersome as I climbed the snow bank. Sinking knee deep with every step made me wonder if I could manage to get up if I fell. I quickly dashed this disquieting thought and moved on.
After a brief climb, I arrived at my new home, for a few hours at least. This six-foot high structure contained 20 square feet, being four feet wide and five-foot long. Camouflage decorated the exterior walls. For light, window slits, about 8 inches high, were placed on two sides, at eye level, when sitting. The seat, an office chair, proved comfortable.
Upon going inside, the first order of business was to get some heat. The outside temperature was 13 degrees and it felt colder inside. The little propane heater started right up and my mind began to ease.
Next, I grabbed the Remington Model 722 from the corner and proceeded to acquaint myself with it. I had borrowed it from David. After a few fumbles due to the gloves, I succeeded in chambering one 222 cartridge.
I opened one of the Plexiglas slits and looked outside. The opening in the woods in front of me looked roughly like a triangle. The ground sloped gently upward to the apex where the bait was supposed to be. The hut sat off of one of the corners of the triangle. Many small trees and bushes, consisting of a good mix of hardwoods and evergreens, formed the sides of the area. Some medium sized oak tress cut across the middle of the triangle.
Bob had instructed me that two large oak trees would frame the direction of the placement of the bait. At least, that was what I though I had heard. Up at the apex, I could see two white mounds, with two oak trees framing each one. It mattered little, as both mounds were close together.
Some practice to ensure proper gun mount seemed appropriate at this point. The Plexiglas window opened inward, so to bring the gun up silently required swiveling around to the right and carefully pushing the barrel through the small opening. All the clothing and headgear complicated things. The first couple of tries felt so contorted and awkward that I had little confidence that I would hit anything at 100 yards. Actually, the bait was supposed to be at 96 yards according to a sign on the wall of the hut. Ok, four yards closer…. as if that would make a difference.
With all preparations made, I started to feel downright comfortable. The little heater purred away, snow gently fell and the woods looked beautiful with its new mantle of white.
As time passed, I started to ruminate about what Bob had said earlier. He told us that “sports” invariability are tempted to visit the bait. This was not good. Coyotes pick up a foreign scent and are scared off. While visiting the bait seemed silly to me at the time, now I could easily fathom the reason to do so. How do I know those two white mounds out there contain anything but snow? No animals have visited either one in the last hour!
The twin questions of bait and placement were shortly answered. Three raucous ravens arrived on the scene. Two immediately descended to the bait pile, while a sentry remained in a nearby tree. The ravens provided some welcomed entertainment. Due to the upward slope of the hill and front-end height of the bait pile, I caught only glimpses of the birds; the tip of a wing, a head popping up, or an occasional jump of a raven to the top of the bait pile for a look around. After a half hour, the sentry joined the group. The joy of a good meal kept the ravens uncharacteristically quiet.
In the company of the ravens, I relaxed even more and felt a little sleepy. I knew the ravens would sound an alarm should a Canis latrans approach. I was getting so cocky that I even thought of the Latin name for these critters.
In passing time, I mused about another of Bob’s statements on the way out here. He indicated that earlier this week one of his clients had gotten a coyote at this spot around 11 o’clock. With this statement was he suggesting that a similar event would happen again? Sounded like the old fishing story that we killed them yesterday. Why give such a precise time? He must have sized me up as one of the real gullible sports.
About 10:30, it started to feel chilly. The propane gas for the heater had run out. Not to worry, Bob had provided a spare tank. In the process of changing tanks, I dropped the heater base on the floor, making a loud noise. One of the ravens popped to the top of the bait pile and cast a baleful look in my direction. Detecting no threat, he rejoined the others in their feast.
As 11 o’clock approached, the three ravens remained at center stage. All of a sudden, the ravens started squawking and exited to the left. Something is coming! I felt a surge of adrenalin and increased heart beat as I reached for my gun. A lone coyote entered from the right, cautiously moving toward the bait pile. Bob, I thought, “you magnificent wizard of the woods”!
In the moment of bringing up the gun, I lost sight of the coyote. Upon further search through the scope, I could make out what looked like part of its back, with the rest of the dog hidden behind the bait pile. In the next moment, the dog’s head and neck rose above the pile. With my cross-hairs centered on its neck, the coyote peered down towards the hut to see if anyone was home. I gave him the welcoming sign with the squeeze of my trigger.
I must remember to remain on the scope! As the shot rang out, I moved away from the gun and looked to see the results. All was still! Nothing! I dropped down on the gun’s scope. A sweep to one side and then the other produced nothing but snow, bushes and the bait pile. Could I have missed? This has happened before…more so in recent years. Seconds ticked by and a deepening sense of the dreaded miss started to set in. Then, a tail started to rotate. Just glimpsing the top of every rotation, I started to count; one, two, three…….ten. He was waving goodbye and I knew that the dog was down! I exhaled and sat quietly to center myself.
Upon Bob and David picking me up, I congratulated Bob on his precise prediction of the coyote’s arrival. He smiled broadly and knowingly. His reaction reminded me of my own response to when my son would say “Dad, I don’t know if you are lucky or good?” to something he believed to be way beyond my abilities. I would smile and say, “Maybe a combination of both”. And, that is what I believed Bob to be thinking then.
We returned down Highway 16, but instead of heading to the lodge, the Suburban turned towards downtown Bingham. We stopped at the liquor store. A little early to celebrate I thought, but why not? Bob then announced that I had won a prize. The area was having a coyote derby in an attempt to reduce the predation that was decimating the deer herd. So, at the liquor store, my kill was tagged and I was given $10 and a number 20, which if pulled could win me a host of different prizes.
What a hot hunt! A scripted scenario and a prize to boot!
WILD TURKEY HUNTING
We are now offering guided or semi-guided wild woods turkey hunts. Our population of turkeys has increased tremendously in past years and the hunting pressure is minimal! Come on up and put your turkey hunting knowledge to work! Thousands of acres of farmlands to hunt on (guided only), or try your luck in the woods near the lodge, we see them daily.