Big Mountain Outfitters
Guided Maine Moose Hunts
"In 25 years of going on hunts, this was the best of my life!" - Stuart Mierke 2018
Our guided Maine moose hunts consistently produce trophy bulls. In order to harvest mature moose, you have to hunt where they live! That's what we do year after year. In fact, our guides annually spend about 30 days living in a wall tent scouting and hunting moose. We scout and hunt as hard as anyone else that we know of. We spend many hours searching for the best areas Maine can provide.
At Big Mountain Outfitters we pride ourselves on our hard work and dedication to our hunters, which results in our continued success. We have spent many years investing in the best equipment possible for our, and your success.
Maine has added additional moose permits over the last few years, which results in higher pressured animals and a decline in harvest success, in addition grouse hunting season falls within the same dates as the moose hunt. With over 90% of hunting pressure on or near the logging roads, this is beneficial to our hunters because of our style of hunting deeper in the woods.
What stands us apart from other guide services is that our number one primary focus is moose, not bears, birds, or any other species. We spend all of our time in September and October seeking out trophy bulls. We work hard each year honing our skills at giving hunters that once in a lifetime opportunity.
Our focus is quality, not quantity. This is why we only take a small amount of hunters (no more then 5 during a week with each hunting party getting their own guide). We strategically place moose camp into the best remote area possible. We could start hunting moose right from camp if we wanted to. If an area doesn't hold the bulls we are looking for, we will not hunt there, its that simple.
We do not road hunt unless someone were to have a physical limitation. By getting out of the vehicle you open yourself up to much better moose habitat and way less pressure. Our guides are skilled in packing moose, caping, and calling. There are many guides in Maine who have guided for more than 20 years and never quartered a moose up. This severely limits you to the areas that you hunt. The meat or cape could also be ruined if a guide isn't skilled at getting your moose out quickly during warm weather.
September and October are the two bull weeks for Maine. Each one has advantages and disadvantage. September is the peak time for the rut in Maine, if you are looking for extremely vocal bulls that can be called within bow range this is your hunt. We typically see more bulls in October however as they become hungry following the peak rut, they seek food near the recent logging cuts, and the temperatures are usually cooler. Trophy bulls are taken during both September and October and can be called in either season. Of course this can vary from year to year depending on timing of the scheduled hunt, weather, etc.
Here are some things that you should think about when booking a guided moose hunt.
How many hunters are going to be in camp? If the guide services takes a significant amount of hunters just to fill spots, your chances of finding a trophy bull decrease.
What type of hunting does the guide offer? Believe it or not, many guide services drive around in a vehicle each day until they find you a moose. I know this sounds hard to believe, but ask these questions to your guide. Do you want to drive in a pickup truck for 6 days straight?
Has your guide ever packed a moose out? Most will answer this with a "no" and start by saying there's no need to or they are very hesitant. Which for you means, they can only go in as far as their equipment and rope will reach. ATV's and horseback are not allowed in many of the moose hunting zones, so the only other option is to quarter, which we regularly do.
How far do you have to drive to get to your hunting spot? Many guide services have to check their hunters in at a gate each morning, and then drive over 1-1.5 hour in order to reach a good hunting area. This can add as much as 1.5 to 2 hours to your day, increasing fatigue greatly on the guide and hunter. We locate our camp right beside good moose territory to cut down on travel time and crowds. Also our hunters are pre-registered at the gates for the duration of their hunt and will not need to check in each day.
How much experience does the guide have who will take you? Some outfitters will pair you with a guide who has never previously guided a moose hunt. Our guides are all experienced, and have been on plenty of moose hunts, all have caped, quartered, and called moose. If we have a new guide, they will be training with a seasoned guide on several moose hunts before guiding their own hunt.
If you've been dreaming of a Maine moose hunt and have finally been drawn, give us a call. We would love to give you the opportunity you have dreamed of.
Your hunt includes:
Fully guided 6 day hunt for you and sub-permittee with lodging and meals from Sunday at 2 p.m. the day before your hunt is scheduled to begin to the following Sunday morning departing by 8 a.m.
Transportation during your hunt once you have arrived in camp.
Private 12x12 outfitter tent with cots and wood stove. Each guided hunt has their own tent.
Dinner is served in a separate canvas wall tent with wood stove heat, guides and hunters eat meals together typically.
The camp shower is setup with a propane water heater.
Small amount of hunters in camp
three meals per day provided, lunch usually packed to go and snacks (granola bars, chips, fruit, trail mix, non alcoholic beverages etc)
Private landowner permissions, commercial guiding permits and insurances.
Once your moose is down, we will make sure to get it out of the woods and back to camp, whether it be quartered or whole. We will also cape it if you would like to do a mount. From there you will need to take it to the nearest town for tagging and butchering. You are more then welcome to come back to camp to finish out the week, hang out, bird hunt, etc. Although your guide may be assisting other clients once you are tagged out in order to ensure everyones success.
Maine big game hunting license: $26.00 Maine resident 115.00 Non Resident
North Maine Woods visitor pass: $140.00 resident $180.00 Non resident
Moose permit: Resident $52.00 Non Resident $585.00
Butcher: Approximately $750.00-$1,000.00 depending on size, cuts of meat, sausage etc.
Taxidermy: We use award winning North Rhodes Taxidermy
This is an optional service, or you may use your own taxidermist. His 2022 fee for a shoulder mount moose starts at $2750.00
Guide/cook gratuities: highly appreciated with the amount of work that goes into each hunt, the cook and guides work very hard to take care of everyone in camp.
Additional things to consider:
Arrive in camp on Sunday prior to your hunt. If driving we will provide you with driving directions and our Garmin In-reach contact information. If you are unable to drive your vehicle all the way into camp, a guide can arrange to pick you up in the nearest town for an additional $250.00. If flying, we recommend you fly into Presque Isle airport on Saturday prior to your hunt, rent a 4x4 vehicle and stay the night at one of the local motels. The drive is typically 50-70 miles from the nearest town on dirt roads in order to get to moose camp. There is no cell service at camp, we use Garmin In-reach for communication in case of an emergency.
This is not a guaranteed hunt, it is 100% fair chase. However, we do put in countless hours of scouting prior to your hunt in order to give you the highest chance that we can in order to harvest a trophy bull. Our 2021 season we took 4 bull hunts in September and 5 in October, and a late season cow hunt. We had a 100% success rate. We also had the same success in 2020.
The hunt is 6 days long. Please allow yourself a full 6 days of hunting in your schedule in order to make this hunt a success. We have seen hunters before only allow themselves 2 or 3 days because of a work conflict or another event, and this makes the hunt much more difficult, as we can have bad weather or any other number of things. I have seen opening day in September be as cold as 23 degrees, and as warm as 95 degrees. It can vary that much. One of our hunts in September of 2020 came down to the last 3 hours on the last day, we harvested a 10.5 year old bull! Also 2 of our hunts in 2021 came down to the last day, both hunters went home with bulls.
A typical day of hunting with us can vary, and we try to base each hunt on what the individual hunter is capable of and expects. We don't want a hunter to get blisters, sprained ankle, etc. That being said, it can be fairly physical depending on the weather conditions and if the moose are up and moving. We can walk several miles a day or keep it limited to a a short distance. If you are bringing a sub-permittee please remember that we can only hunt as hard as both hunters are capable of. It is very helpful if you start exercising regularly during the summer in order to be in good physical condition when you arrive, also please consider bringing high quality footwear such as hiking boot, and 16-18" waterproof lightweight boot like Lacrosse. We also recommend layering your clothing for all types of weather.
If you harvest your moose early then your guided hunt is done. Our top priority will be to take care of your downed moose, and get it back to camp for you to bring to the registration station. Depending on the time of day you may choose to tag it that same day or the following morning (weather depending). If there are any other remaining moose hunters in camp who have not tagged a moose, your guide will then assist that hunting party. Our goal is for everyone to go home with their moose. You are more than welcome to remain in camp for the remainder of the week if you wish. There are plenty of things to do and explore such as grouse hunting or fishing depending on the season.
You should bring 3-4 medium to large coolers to bring your moose meat home frozen. The butchers have many options available to you on what you would like done with the meat. Anything from steaks, roasts, burger, a number of sausage options, etc. Driving to moose camp is the best option. If you are flying, then you can take some meat home as carry on, and ship the rest or donate it. Some hunters in the past have opted to do their butchering at home by bringing things like chest freezers etc on a trailer filled with jugs of ice or powered by a small generator. This is up to you, and we will be happy to help you quarter your moose up, and cape it. A lot depends on the weather and keeping the meat cool. We have had hunters make the drive from as far away as Georgia. Our number one priority once you harvest your moose is making sure to preserve the meat. If you are planning to do your own processing you should also have a set of game bags to keep the quarters clean.
With all of that being said, this is usually a once in a lifetime tag for the majority of hunters. I don't recommend cutting any corners when it comes to your hunt. Be prepared, make sure to hire a quality outfitter, and ask plenty of questions. I usually contact people 4-5 times prior to their hunt via text, or phone if necessary to make sure they are all set.
When you book a hunt with us, we will provide you with a list of recommended gear items to bring on your hunt. Do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions.
Jerod - 207-323-0726