Wall Hangers: Maine

Central

Deer aren't abundant in Maine's deep, big woods. Because the terrain is so vast, rugged, and remote, though, it harbors bucks that grow to tremendous sizes by eluding hunters every season. "Statewide, 20 percent of the antlered-buck harvest is 41/2 years or older," says state wildlife biologist Gerald Lavigne, "but the central counties are among the best."

Gerald Murray took the third-largest typical ever in the state-a net 1862/8 Boone and Crockett buck that would have been Maine's No. 1 typical were it not for an extra tine-by hunting a cranberry bog 18 miles from the nearest paved road and another mile hike in from that. Although Murray got that deer nearly two decades ago, massive bucks continue to come from this remote region every year. In 1996 Christian Oberholser Jr. shot a 2384/8 nontypical 18-pointer in Piscataquis County, and in 2001 David Morrison killed a 176 typical in Penobscot County.

Lavigne recommends deer management districts 7, 8, 11, 12, and 15, where hardwoods, white pines, and hemlocks thrive. Try stand or still-hunting during the rut in early November near rivers, secluded bogs, and clear-cuts.

Nonresident license: $85
207-287-8000; www.state.me.us/ifw