By Lars Dalseide | February 28 2012 08:44

Registered Maine Guides offer full services hunts at Great American

J & S Guide Services booth at the 2012 NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show
J & S Guide Services' vendor booth from NRA's 2012 Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show at the Frederick Fair Grounds in Maryland.
Frederick, Maryland - J & S Guide Services has been taking hunters in to the great outdoors of Maine for roughly five years now. Headed up by Registered Maine Guides Steve Wood and Jean Nichols, they're the place to go if you're looking to bag yourself a quality moose or bear in the Pine Tree State.

"We've got an 80% success rate on bears and 100% success rates on moose," said Woods. "Pretty good numbers I'd say."

Operating mainly out of central Maine, that's moose hunting districts 14 and 17 to you and me, the two came down to Maryland for the Great American Hunting & Outdoors Show this January to see if they could drum up a little interest from those looking for a northern hunt. After looking at those numbers … who wouldn't be interested?

"Over the last few years, we've had repeat hunters that are taking bears around 175 to 225 pounds," said Woods. "The bull moose run anywhere from a 24 to a 60 inch spread."

Before you get too excited, realize that the first thing you have to do is a get a permit. According to Wood, there's a 1 in 468 chance (1 in 792 for Maine residents) that you can. After that, all it takes is a little time and money.

"What we offer in a five day hunt," started Wood. "For $1350, we take care of everything. Meals, lodging, transportation … even skin the bear for you. Now there's the permit, the tags and whatever you negotiate with the town butcher, but with us there are no hidden fees. No gate fees, land use fees or anything like that."

Getting into the Hunting Game

Those following Steve and Jean ten years ago probably never thought the two would be running a guide service today. Steve was fresh out of a 20 stint in the U.S. Navy while Jean was splitting her time between a law firm and the hospital. A double threat, Jean is both a lawyer and a registered nurse. Not only that … she's also a native of New York City.

"People are surprised when they hear about my background," Jean smiled. "But after Steve took me deer hunting out in the Maine woods – I was hooked. Since then, I've added bear, turkey and moose to my wall."

Jean with a bear cub they found during an outdoor adventure
Jean Nichols with a bear cub found on a J & S outdoor adventure.
Steve's trek is a touch more traditional. Hunting since the age of 11, he took his first bear more than twenty years ago and has been expanding the hunting resume ever since. Now, with everything in place, all that's left to do is keep the customers and wife happy. He seems to be doing well on both fronts.

"We take up to eight out a week. We're small, we're fun and we're family. A few of the groups might wonder why I'm taking Jean out on the trips, not realizing she's a registered guide, until they see her shoot."

The two broke out in laughter and shared a look. Apparently it's a common theme amongst new comers. New comers who's opinion is quickly changed.

"One shot," Jean beamed. "That's usually all it takes."

Find out more about J & S Guide Servicess, both their outdoor adventures and hunting services, on their website at www.jsguides.com.

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