Outdoors in Maine

  • The trout lockout

    The sweet of the year started May 17. The week of cold north winds did a 180-degree shift, and a south wind moved in where I live at Branch Lake. Overnight the hardwoods in the higher elevations turned from somber gray to a delightful lime green. The forsythia blossomed. And the first black fly wave

  • May Is for all Maine moms

    May Is for all Maine moms

    Editor’s note: Brooklin author/photographer Richard J. Leighton creates the popular “In the Right Place” posts online about life and nature in Maine. He shares a post the second Thursday of each month in The Ellsworth American. By Richard Leighton May is famous in this country for Mother’s Day. In the larger world, May also is

  • The wild turkey outlook

    If you have never hunted wild turkeys, you are missing a wonderful opportunity, not only to enjoy the spring woods in Maine before bug season, but to hunt a very plentiful game bird. Having hunted them with a shotgun and a bow, I attest to the hunting challenge and mystique of these big birds. The

  • Death on the trails

    Death on the trails

    Snowmobiling is supposed to be fun, a wintertime recreational pursuit accessible to families and people of all ages. It is not supposed to end in death or serious bodily injury. Yet in Maine, the season winding down has been badly marred by one after another of snowmobiling accidents that resulted in death to the operators.

  • New fishing regulations

    Fishing regulations, like any rules or regulations, are not easy to love. Some time ago, as fishing law books got thicker and the water-by-water rules got increasingly complex with multiple S-codes and exceptions to the General Law, a cynic made the observation that a serious law-abiding angler needed two companions with him on the water:

  • Free fishing in April

    April — Maine’s seasonal limbo month — just got a little more interesting. Governor Mills directed Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso to waive the need for a fishing license during the entire month of April. Of course, anglers must still abide by all of the fishing regulations as outlined in the new fishing lawbook,

  • Gun politics in Maine

    Most outdoors people I know would rather take an alder branch in the eye or get thumb-snagged on a rusty hook than spend 10 minutes at a political rally. But sometimes political reality gets close to home, especially for recreational hunters whose heritage is linked inextricably to their right to possess and use firearms in

  • The ultimate lottery

    Since the debut of the Maine moose lottery more than 50 years ago, Lady Luck of Lotteries smiled on me one time. And during that once-in-a-lifetime hunt from a canoe along Ross Stream at opening day, a young bull stepped from the alders into an opening and my moose hunt was over — or, almost

  • The sacred bird

    Our national bird, the American bald eagle, has been getting its fair share of media attention lately. Maine game wardens are still investigating the illegal shooting of one of our national symbols in western Maine. And, in a soon-to-be released story in the April issue of the Northwoods Sporting Journal, columnist and USFWS wildlife biologist

  • “The Man in the Ice”

    Most of us who hunt for wild meat or pick wild berries and mushrooms, and take profound pleasure from the hunter-gatherer act, recognize that there is an ancestral or antediluvian connection. Your caveman lineage is likely to take on a new focus if you spend some time with a book titled “The Man in the

  • Game wardens needed

    For anyone qualified and interested in a fulfilling and challenging career as a Maine game warden, the opportunities over the next few years will never be better. According to Warden Service spokesman Sgt. John MacDonald, there is among the warden ranks a large number of senior wardens who will be eligible for retirement in the

  • ATV recommendations completed

    The Maine ATV Task Force, created last fall by Governor Janet Mills, recently finished its work and sent recommendations to the Governor’s desk. At the outset, the 15-member group was charged with addressing three major areas of concern: how to manage the growth in statewide ATV use, helping the outdoor recreation economy and how best