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MadGolfer's SURVIVAL GUIDE to playin' golf "up Noth..."


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#1 MadGolfer76

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:52 PM

For those of you who are thinking about traveling north (aka "Noth") to see the foliage and haven't been acquainted with playing in the northeast wooded regions or just playing "forest golf" overall, here is my advice regarding interacting with woodland creatures. Don't ask about the timing of this post...just don't (re: least favorite animal encounter and someone I know...heh, I am still lol'ing even after he called me around dinner).

In any case, there have been a few posts about wildlife lately, so I thought I would add to this topic from a North-Maine perspective.

My order of severity in regards to outdoor animal encounters (from least to greatest):

1. Angry squirrel - those things have some nuts, but that is about it. (Sorry, that was bad). They just make a bunch of noise and occasionally throw down a pine cone at an inopportune time, but so long as you don't try to pick it up and let it bite you (they prefer not, besides), the problem disappears when you walk away from its tree. Kind of like your own little heckler who mistook you for poor Kevin Na.

2. Solo bee, wasp, hornet - no big deal mano a mano, but sometimes they get lucky. Carry a pen if you are allergic. Remember to tell someone in your group what your deal is too, because there are a variety of reasons why people pass out on golf courses up here and not all of them are life-threatening. Some are actually fun from time to time.

3. Pack of PO'ed ravens - all talk...but once in a while they like to divebomb you for no good reason (don't like being shoo'ed off of perches, come to find out). I also had one nip me when I went to throw out a can in a garbage barrel on the 13th tee, and it happened to be sitting in it searching for a snack. I might have peed a little when it happened...which is never good with golf pants. That is why I place it ahead of a potential life-threatening allergy attack. lol

4. Coyote - nature's coward. (side note: find one with enough mange and it might look like a chupacabra - kinda creepy...and gross). Funny, because I hear tourists here say, "Yeah, we saw a WOLF out there." Ha, ha...no. That was a coyote, but for twenty bucks and a round of drinks I will tell your tourist buddies you did see one.  

5. Fox - might steal your ball or want a snack, but that is about it. Members often throw them food, which is never good, because sometimes they get rabid and will approach you just the same as if they were looking for their usual handout. Surprise! Now you get to have rabies shots. Hang your sign on the wall of "Epic Fail."

6. Grass snake - not poisonous in these parts (northern New England) but plenty bitey...and stingy.

7. Random dog - Bigger the better, those little ankle biters are a pain. You can reason with the big ones, the little ones won't shut up long enough.

8. Growling raccoon - if it follows you, it is rabid. Grab your most accurate club (luckily for WRX'ers, that probably means the short stick is out and the big stick is in hand), but the priority is leaving it alone and walking away - preferably riding away. You don't see these quite so often as you might think, because they seem to prefer nighttime over a quick brunch in the garbage near your cart garage, but it happens. They can carry a lot of nasty things, so don't stand around throwing food, thinking they are cute. The ones that aren't sick with something tend to run away quick, but even a bite or scratch from a healthy one might have consequences.

9. Swarm of mosquitos or black flies - Let me put this out there...DEET does not work. DEET is what we tell the tourists will "work" so that they don't get scared off from coming to Maine and spending all their nice money in our otherwise pathetically poor State. Insect repellent, bug zapper lantern, mesh screen...none of it works. Come to Maine in late Spring or late Summer, and expect to leave a few ounces lighter. Also been a few cases of West Nile virus in mosquitos here in the last year or two...so...you can get "third world vacation" without having to pay for a passport. If that is your thing, anyway.

10. Cornered deer - not doing stupid things helps here tremendously. You would be surprised how many tourists I have seen actually approach a deer thinking it would be funny in a pic. You have all seen the video of some redneck fighting a buck in his back yard? Pretty much what happens in your average best case scenario. The difference is that redneck probably has years of experience in doing stupid things with wildlife (that sounds bad, not my intention :)  ) - your average city visitor does not. For those who haven't tried it - the deer always wins.

Btw, some of my best friends are rednecks. They would tell you the same thing^. lol

11. Wolf Spider - Looking for a ball at the base of a tree, near a hole (ie: den) and one of these big, furry things comes racing out and up my hand a little. I don't need a $4 Titleist that bad, or the reputation of being able to hit the same high notes as a ten year old girl. Creepy little buggers. At least my girlish scream frightened it off before it bit me, I think.

12. Bee hive or hornet's/wasp's nest - Beehives are easy to avoid because they let you know where they are, but one wrong step sometimes while looking for a ball and you PO a nest of ground wasps and then a trip to the doc's office is in your future. If you are allergic, you might end up with some idiot trying to figure out how to use your epi-pen. I seriously saw some guy trying to give his buddy a shot in the a** after said friend got suddenly stung by something, not knowing a nice dart in the leg is usually the appreciated means of delivery.

13. Bear - the first time you get charged by a bear is always a little scary. The good news is...well, there isn't any - it is a freaking BEAR. Those things will eat your face. Best thing to do is keep trees (big ones) between it and you and back away slowly. If you hear them start to snap their jaws shut fast, they are protecting something or trying to drive you away (depending on the time of year there might be a female around too, so look both ways before fleeing like a scared wombat). Doesn't mean they won't go after you, though. "Curl up in a ball" is not something I have had to do (had a nice cart handy - eat it bear!), but I suppose it will at least cover the "essential" areas. "Curling" is the traditional logic, but use what you think is best for the situation.

14. Moose - yes, worse than bear - especially during rutting season. The only upside is they won't eat your dead corpse like a bear will. Those of you who haven't seen a moose close up - as I have when I drove my old Nissan Sentra right UNDER one going 50 mph on a dark road about 7 years ago - they are even bigger than you think. With the antlers they get up to around 7-8 feet tall and weigh half to 3/4 tons. The bigger they get, the dumber they get, and the quicker they are to PO. You can try "curling" like with a bear, but the locals around here will tell you a moose won't stop gore'ing you until there are a few pieces of you lying around and you aren't moving anymore. A bear stands a small chance of getting bored and walking away. Super rare that would ever happen, but it has, and makes me feel cool for sharing it with you. lol

15. My all time least favorite animal encounter on the course...(or so my friend says)...


...skunk.

'nuff said.


Feel free to add to the list. I know others have encountered worse than this, so please...don't spare the gory details. We need to be entertained...and then feel sympathetic...and then be entertained again with a mild twinge of guilt.

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#2 Mulligan26

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:36 AM

I've lived in Maine my whole life (as discussed in my Hawaii thread) but I've only seen two moose. One was a alive, when I was in the county and the other was dead after running into a car on 95N right after the York tolls.

I hate deer, if I had any motivation to sit in the dark freezing woods in November I would hunt them.

#3 driverwedge

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:52 AM

Awesome list. Accurate too. As a New Hampshire guy, I can relate. Stupid skunks.
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#4 Mulligan26

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:54 AM

Skunks are terrifying... My dog has been sprayed twice

#5 Sean2

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:19 AM

I played in Maine a couple of weeks ago in a Pro-Am. Fortunately I had no such encounters.


ps: I was charged by a small herd of buffalo in Wyoming, and I was simply minding my own business. They are bigger in person then I thought.

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#6 TJCDAS

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

In Minnesota it is necessary for carry ball warmers in the fall.  We had the courses starting late due to frost last week.

Just take your typical hand warmer and place it in the athletic supporter and you are good for 18 holes.  

Cold balls effect your game more than you think.

You can even put one in your pocket to keep you golf ball warm.

Edited by TJCDAS, 08 October 2012 - 09:45 AM.


#7 MadGolfer76

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:46 PM

View PostMulligan26, on 08 October 2012 - 07:36 AM, said:

I've lived in Maine my whole life (as discussed in my Hawaii thread) but I've only seen two moose. One was a alive, when I was in the county and the other was dead after running into a car on 95N right after the York tolls.

I hate deer, if I had any motivation to sit in the dark freezing woods in November I would hunt them.

Moose are a menace. I drove to work from New Sweden to Fort Kent every day for two years, and there is a straightaway stretch through the woods referred to as "Moose Alley." I am not kidding you when I say I saw moose there 3-4 times per week either coming or going. I hit one with my car, but managed to dodge enough of it so I only caught it in the rear with my passenger side mirror.

The first day when I drove up to sign my work contract, two motorcycles hit a moose in the morning fog. One guy lived, at least. Not the best way to start a new job. Heh, also on the way back, the price of gas jumped a full dollar. Should have told me something right then and there.
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#8 MadGolfer76

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

View PostSean2, on 08 October 2012 - 08:19 AM, said:

I played in Maine a couple of weeks ago in a Pro-Am. Fortunately I had no such encounters.


ps: I was charged by a small herd of buffalo in Wyoming, and I was simply minding my own business. They are bigger in person then I thought.

Former Marine vs buffalo? Would make for a good YouTube vid! My money is on the Marine!
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#9 rustyputterguy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:58 PM

The preceding has NOT been brought to you by the Maine Tourism Council.
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#10 Mulligan26

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:02 PM

^Maine isn't that great... There are a few courses here that are awesome, but other than that its booooorrring here


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#11 Splitter

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:05 PM

Always in season is the dreaded "cheetah".  Found throughout N/A with a pencil, well used eraser and "ball marks" on the kicking toe of his predominant foot.

Edited by Splitter, 08 October 2012 - 05:54 PM.


#12 MtlJeff

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

i've never seen a black bear in southern Quebec though they are supposed to be here. Have seen most of the rest.

I still wouldn't trade what we have for having to deal with Gators or eastern diamondbacks!

I had a close encounter with a gator once....
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#13 MadGolfer76

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:47 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 08 October 2012 - 03:25 PM, said:

i've never seen a black bear in southern Quebec though they are supposed to be here. Have seen most of the rest.

I still wouldn't trade what we have for having to deal with Gators or eastern diamondbacks!

I had a close encounter with a gator once....

I did once too, while I was living in Tallahassee. It was during the FSU/U. of Florida game. Didn't end well.
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#14 MadGolfer76

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:49 PM

View Postrustyputterguy, on 08 October 2012 - 02:58 PM, said:

The preceding has NOT been brought to you by the Maine Tourism Council.

Ha!

Definitely not. No one comes up to northern Maine anyway, so I can get away with it.
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#15 Sean2

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:51 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 08 October 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

View PostSean2, on 08 October 2012 - 08:19 AM, said:

I played in Maine a couple of weeks ago in a Pro-Am. Fortunately I had no such encounters.


ps: I was charged by a small herd of buffalo in Wyoming, and I was simply minding my own business. They are bigger in person then I thought.

Former Marine vs buffalo? Would make for a good YouTube vid! My money is on the Marine!
We came to an agreement. :-)

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#16 MadGolfer76

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:52 PM

Mods, thanks for the move. Didn't know where to put this. lol
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#17 MtlJeff

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

haha, courses and travel? You are basically in witness protection. This thread= dead
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#18 MadGolfer76

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:07 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 08 October 2012 - 07:04 PM, said:

haha, courses and travel? You are basically in witness protection. This thread= dead

I know... :)
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#19 DoYouKnowTheMuffinMan

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:32 AM

View PostTJCDAS, on 08 October 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:

In Minnesota it is necessary for carry ball warmers in the fall.  We had the courses starting late due to frost last week.

Just take your typical hand warmer and place it in the athletic supporter and you are good for 18 holes.  

Cold balls effect your game more than you think.

You can even put one in your pocket to keep you golf ball warm.
A kid on my high school team got DQ'd for putting his ball in the same pocket as the hand warmer. Im still unsure what the actual ruling should be but i avoid it at all costs
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#20 MadGolfer76

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

Kind of a lonely place over here in "Courses, Membership, and Travel." :shout:

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#21 MtlJeff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 06:01 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 11 October 2012 - 02:43 PM, said:

Kind of a lonely place over here in "Courses, Membership, and Travel." :shout:

haha i told you. This section is basically the mods breaking into your house, black bagging you, and dragging you off to an undisclosed location. Rumor has it Joe Pistone's whereabouts are hidden in a thread here
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#22 MadGolfer76

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 06:10 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 11 October 2012 - 06:01 PM, said:

View PostMadGolfer76, on 11 October 2012 - 02:43 PM, said:

Kind of a lonely place over here in "Courses, Membership, and Travel." :shout:

haha i told you. This section is basically the mods breaking into your house, black bagging you, and dragging you off to an undisclosed location. Rumor has it Joe Pistone's whereabouts are hidden in a thread here

Hey, maybe it is Beruo doing some thread-sniping?
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#23 MtlJeff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 06:15 PM

we can say whatever we want here. Heck damn crap! Fudge! Poo poo pi pi!

We can even talk politics or religion

I heart Jesus!
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#24 TJCDAS

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 06:28 PM

View PostDoYouKnowTheMuffinMan, on 10 October 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

View PostTJCDAS, on 08 October 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:

In Minnesota it is necessary for carry ball warmers in the fall.  We had the courses starting late due to frost last week.

Just take your typical hand warmer and place it in the athletic supporter and you are good for 18 holes.  

Cold balls effect your game more than you think.

You can even put one in your pocket to keep you golf ball warm.
A kid on my high school team got DQ'd for putting his ball in the same pocket as the hand warmer. Im still unsure what the actual ruling should be but i avoid it at all costs

At least he was not suspended for having is hands where the other balls warmer is,

#25 MadGolfer76

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 07:02 PM

View PostTJCDAS, on 11 October 2012 - 06:28 PM, said:

View PostDoYouKnowTheMuffinMan, on 10 October 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

View PostTJCDAS, on 08 October 2012 - 09:44 AM, said:

In Minnesota it is necessary for carry ball warmers in the fall.  We had the courses starting late due to frost last week.

Just take your typical hand warmer and place it in the athletic supporter and you are good for 18 holes.  

Cold balls effect your game more than you think.

You can even put one in your pocket to keep you golf ball warm.
A kid on my high school team got DQ'd for putting his ball in the same pocket as the hand warmer. Im still unsure what the actual ruling should be but i avoid it at all costs

At least he was not suspended for having is hands where the other balls warmer is,

This thread IS totally dead. :russian_roulette:

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#26 Mulligan26

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:51 PM

It was a good idea though buddy, it's good to inform the tourists of what to expect up here (even further up for you)

#27 MadGolfer76

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:26 PM

View PostMulligan26, on 12 October 2012 - 08:51 PM, said:

It was a good idea though buddy, it's good to inform the tourists of what to expect up here (even further up for you)

Well, thanks for saying so!

I think more likely that I have scared them off! It is probably okay, because the only people who vacation in northern Maine are people from southern Maine, trying to get away from the Connecticut/Boston crowd who vacation in southern Maine. lol

Edited by MadGolfer76, 12 October 2012 - 09:26 PM.

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#28 Mulligan26

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:25 PM

This is true, we have a house on Sebago that we go to every year, although that's hardly north. But I try avoid rt 1 through kittery/York like the plague in the summer too many French Canadians an Bostonians driving like its an f1 race

#29 MadGolfer76

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:31 PM

View PostMulligan26, on 13 October 2012 - 01:25 PM, said:

This is true, we have a house on Sebago that we go to every year, although that's hardly north. But I try avoid rt 1 through kittery/York like the plague in the summer too many French Canadians an Bostonians driving like its an f1 race

+1 on that. I saw a dude from MA drive through one of those toll plazas going like 60 mph, and threw something out the window at the lady in the booth. Got up in the same lane and the guy had folded some bills into a ball (with a rock in the middle, stuck to some chewing gum - I saw her unfold it) and fired them through her window on the way by. It was pretty impressive that he got the cash in her hands at all at that speed. People down there drive like they are playing Grand Theft Auto (Portland, ME). lol
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#30 sirukuma

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:29 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 08 October 2012 - 04:49 PM, said:

View Postrustyputterguy, on 08 October 2012 - 02:58 PM, said:

The preceding has NOT been brought to you by the Maine Tourism Council.

Ha!

Definitely not. No one comes up to northern Maine anyway, so I can get away with it.

I believe the official motto of the Maine Tourism Council is "Maine,  it's not the end of the world - but you can see it from there!"
As someone who was born and raised there, I remember that often felt that way.


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