We usually have hunters arrive after 5:00 PM the day before your hunt. You can unpack and settle into camp, meet the guides and dogs, and we'll have dinner for you. Do you have any soda, beer and liquor preferences? Let us know if there's anything in particular, you'd like for food. We usually do steaks, roast chickens, salmon, wood fired pizza, etc. with dessert of course. Coffee and tea always, and a good scotch, wine or mixed drink after dinner if you like.
You will hunt with the owners and trusted guides. We do not subcontract our hunts. The owners you spoke to will be with you in the woods on the hunt.
We'll send you a copy of our waiver form...we will review this with you on the first night as well as other info you should know about the facilities, hunts, etc. When you book, we will send you a sample menu, gear list, receipt and directions (print these out or snapshot on your phone, because you may not be able to pull them with the limited reception up close to camp).
We STRONGLY encourage a break action shotgun for safety...doubles are great. We have some at camp if you need. We do not hunt our own dogs under anything but a break-action. Preferred shot would be 6 or 7 ½ in lead, or 7 in non-toxic shot. 12 gauge is fine, but 20 gauge is adequate and makes for a lighter gun to carry all day. 16 or 28 are also fine choices.
Our camp is off-grid and in the heart of the covers and trout ponds. Birds, moose and bears regularly wander around our buildings. The Enchanted Pond Wilderness is remote indeed. A male black bear has marked our light post as his own, and comes back every year to re-stake his claim. There is no power company here. Everything is run off of a generator. That being said, you’ll probably never know it. Accommodations (maineupland.com) It has most of the comforts of home. We have a cell booster on the desk upstairs where you can boost your signal in this remote area to make calls home, check email, etc. It works off of your phone’s cell signal and data, it is not a wifi. We have hot showers and all towels and bedding provided. If you need to launder something, we can help you out with that as well.
If there's gear that you need, we may have extras. We recommend good waterproof hiking boots, although sometimes due to rainy weather and/or high-water years, muck boots/waterproof boots are also required. Raingear is recommended, as well as good shooting gloves and a warm orange hat. Brush pants or good Carhart pants work well. We recommend that you stay away from cotton and use good quality synthetics or wool. We’ll include a gear list but call us if there are any questions we can answer. Be prepared for rain or snow as well as freezing or summertime temps... sometimes all in the same day! Bugs are not usually an issue during bird season, but it never hurts to pack a bottle just in case we have an unusually warm spell. Ticks are a non-issue here. We have yet to see one in this part of Maine.
We usually walk quite a bit every day, depending on your preferences. More boot leather = more birds! We drive cover-to-cover and hunt different locations every time. We may revisit one if it was especially good!
FYI! This is a hunting trip, not a killing trip. If numbers are your only goal, this may not be the camp for you! In good years, you’ll see 50 flushes a day. In bad years, you’ll see 10 per day. Several factors contribute to hunter success…weather, hunter fitness and game numbers and movement on any given day. We hunt for the joy of hunting, watching the dogs work, the camaraderie, and obtaining game for the table. These birds are not stocked! If you choose to do a ruffed grouse hunt with us, you’ve chosen the purest wild hunt there is. These birds are a challenge and harvesting them is truly a trophy.
The hunts usually begin after breakfast and coffee (6:30-7:30AM) until lunch, then an afternoon/evening hunt which goes 2:30 or 3:00PM to dark. There may still be some woodcock around, but grouse is the primary interaction by far. Colors should be good. We'll hunt close to camp with very little drive time and go cover-to-cover throughout the day. We usually head back to camp for lunch.
Dogs in camp will be Reese, Islay, Cam, Finley, Lincoln, and Rooster...our GSP and Brittany teams. They live for this season!
We welcome well-behaved, trained (or in training) bird dogs into our camp. They must get along with other dogs, and we’ll need to know if any females are in heat for obvious reasons. Because there are at least 4 dogs in camp at any time, we try to keep them out of the main camp unless they’re in a crate. After a long day of bird hunting, they’re all usually happy to relax in a dog box anyway and do not mind the quiet time. We have a new kennel building (insulated, heated kennels) where our dogs relax after a long day of hunting, and yours are welcome to join them. Our dogs are our livelihood, and they receive the best food, medical care, and affection we can give them!
There is usually plenty of water available (streams, lakes, roadside ditches, etc) for your dog to cool off in or get a drink, so you will not have to carry much water for your dogs each day. Your guides will have some on-hand as well.
To lock in your dates, we require a 50% deposit for your trip. We'll send you a receipt. We do like to point out that due to the short season and high demand, this is a non-refundable deposit. Final payment is due at the conclusion of the hunt. FYI, tips are appreciated!
Of course, we love a good glass of spirits or a beer, but only after the hunt. After the hunt, we’ll sit and have conversation by the woodstove with a glass and recount the day’s events. We have a strict policy that there is no alcohol consumption until after the guns are put away for the day…no exceptions. No intoxication tolerated at camp during any part of the day. Feel free to bring any alcohol you may want to consume in moderation.
Any health concerns, allergies, physical limitations, etc...please let us know so we can prepare and give you the best trip possible. We want you to enjoy this trip and be safe and healthy too. We also need to know if you're up for walking a lot or want a more relaxed trip. We want you give you the trip that YOU want.
The website has photos of our camp, hunts, food, etc. www.maineupland.com
You can find your resident hunting license at IFW Hunting & Fishing Licenses | Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (informe.org)
Non-residents can find a 3 day small game license on IFW Hunting & Fishing Licenses | Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (informe.org)
Whether you’re a novice or seasoned outdoors person, here a few more things to remember during the trip:
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING YOU AND SHARING OUR BEST SEASON WITH YOU!