How to Hunt Woodcock?

No country State offers better hunting for woodcock than Maine. The birds are found in all the counties along the coast, in the central section, and somewhat in the north. In addition to the thousands of woodcocks in our birch and alder thickets that breed and raise families, all New Brunswick and Nova Scotia birds cross Maine on their fall migration to the southern wintering grounds.

The highest woodcock concentrations are undoubtedly found in Washington County’s vast coverings in the eastern part of the state. Native birds are found at almost every birch and alder stand in the early part of October. The Hancock County coastal part also provides excellent shooting. In that section of the state, there are many large coverings; areas so wide that a hunter can spend the better part of a day in one cover.

The hunting, for the most part, will be in smaller sections in the central and west parts of Maine. Lincoln, Knox, Waldo and parts of Kennebec County also provide excellent shooting, mostly in covers at the beginning of the season keeping from four to a dozen birds; more when the flight is under way. Many of these are large enough to accommodate a four-man hunting party; two men will best hunt the others.

The first week of the open season (usually October 1st) may be the safest time in Maine to find an abundance of woodcock. One is certain to find native birds in both the coastal and central areas.

As every veteran woodcock hunter knows, we can not predict the flight movements; weather conditions pretty much guide the migrations. However, usually the strong migration is about mid or last October.

During the Maine season, hunters who have their own dogs and who know the woodcock cover when they see them will have no difficulty finding good shoot. Since the hunting duration is set by the Federal authorities, the dates in this book can not be given by me. However, in the last few years, the time was in October.