Swamp donkeys 2, hunters 0

The next time you’re frustrated by high broccoli prices you may want to blame a Maine moose rather than your grocer. Today we saw where America’s largest member of the deer family have been helping themselves to hundreds of broccoli crowns at the farmer’s expense.

I also learned something today – some schools in northern Maine take a two week vacation so kids can help with the potato harvest.

The yellow leaves of white-barked aspen trees are part of the colorful foliage in the woods of northern Maine.

The yellow leaves of white-barked aspen trees are part of the colorful foliage in the woods of northern Maine.

No bull moose for us today, though we did see two cows while driving from one spot to another. Comparing them to a Kansas whitetail is like comparing my big Lab, Hank, to my wife’s little miniature dachshund, Ruby Tuesday. Seriously.

We hunted in pouring rain most of the morning. There’s more moose sign where we’ve been hunting than any kind of animal sign I’ve seen in one area in my life. Our guide says some local areas have up to 20 moose per square mile. Few places in Kansas have 20 deer per square mile.

It’s amazing, almost to the point of being funny, that we can’t find the moose.

Others have, though. One of seven hunters in camp shot a nice bull this evening. It’ll be well after midnight before they get the 1,000 pound moose quartered and carried to the road.

Also, word’s being passed around about a local truck that struck a cow moose on a popular highway. It killed the cow but the bull she was with crossed the road. One of the passengers in the smashed truck had a bull tag and his rifle. He followed the bull into the woods, gave a few lonesome cow calls and was soon putting his permit on a bull with antlers 52-inches wide.

Plenty of birds to enjoy while hunting. We’re seeing a lot of ruffed grouse and some woodcock. Yesterday I got a wide-open look at a pileated woodpecker on a hollow tree. This afternoon two different American bitterns entertained us with their unique call.