Big Mountain Outfitters
Guided Maine Moose Hunts
"In 25 years of going on hunts, this was the best of my life!" - Stuart Mierke
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 hunting pressure and a decline in harvest success. In addition to the added moose permits, grouse hunting season falls within the same dates as the moose hunt also disrupting moose patterns. Over 90% of this hunting pressure is 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. While each party has their own guide, all of our guides work as a team to ensure everyone has the best hunt possible. We strategically place moose camp into the best remote area possible. We could start hunting moose right from camp if we wanted to.
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.
September and October are the two bull weeks for Maine. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. September is the peak time for the rut in Maine, if you are looking for 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 mature 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 hours in order to reach a good hunting area. This can add a significant amount of time 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 do not need to check in at the gates each day.
Do you have 6 full days to dedicate to your hunt? We have had hunters before contact us who do not have 6 days to hunt. This can limit our abilities to put a moose in front of you. Everything is very dependent on conditions. If you do not have the full time, please let us know in advance so we can maybe swap your permit to another week in order to accomidate your schedule.
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 in wall tents and meals.
Arrive Sunday at 2 p.m. Depart the following Sunday prior to 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.
Breakfast and Dinner is served in our large canvas dining wall tent with wood stove heat, guides and hunters eat meals together typically.
The camp shower is setup with a propane water heater.
3 meals per day provided. Breakfast is served prior to leaving camp each morning, lunch is usually packed to go and dinner is served shortly after arriving back in camp for the evening.
We have all necessary commercial guiding permits and insurance needed.
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 than 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 everyone has 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 $850.00-$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. Fee for a shoulder mount is approximately $3000.00
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. We are often asked how much a tip should be. There is no set amount, as a lot is based on your guided experience. On Average it is around 15-20% of the overall cost of the hunt to your guide, and 5% to the cook.
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 $300.00. 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. During the last 3 seasons (2020,21,22) We have had 100% success on 30 moose hunts, while the overall state average has been around 60%.
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, 2022 was much of the same with a couple hunts coming down to Saturday, and both of those tags were filled. In many ways this hunt is more of a mental grind than a physical one.
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, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa. 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