Outdoors in Maine

  • Those running shots

    To shoot or not to shoot, at a running deer, that is the question. Every deer hunter, no doubt, has a different take on this question. As a younger deer hunter, taking a snapshot at a running whitetail was well within the parameters of my fair chase playbook. Today, not so much. My reflexes and

  • Maine leads the way on hunting rights

    Like so many voters who try to stay informed, articles about the pro and con of the high-profile CMP corridor referendum monopolized most of my attention. Pulling the curtain behind me at the polls, I was prepared — or, at least, so I thought. Referendum Question 2, money for highways and bridges, was a shoe-in.

  • Back-road buggies

    Just about anyone who travels the big woods back country has a different idea about what is the perfect four-wheel drive, back-road vehicle. The city slickers from Madison Avenue, many of whom have never driven “off-road” in their lives, dream up television commercials for folks like us who want a tough truck for the back

  • Grizzly bears

    Grizzly bears

    Like the proverbial mountain lion question in Maine, folks who live near the high country in western Colorado are asking: “Are the grizzlies back?” As with the mountain lion in Maine, wildlife officials in Colorado insist that the grizzly bear was officially ruled to be extinct in that state as of 1953. However, a grizzly

  • Grace in the deer woods

    My experience is that hunters all harbor different values or perceptions when it comes to respect for other hunters. Bow hunting this fall, I was hunkered down in my blind on opening day on a deer trail awaiting the magic hour. About a half-hour before final light, a big critter came tromping along 10 feet

  • Drones in the woods

    Drones have been in the news a lot lately. The U.S. military’s ill-fated attempt to take out suspected terrorists with a Hellfire missile launched from a drone over Afghanistan wound up killing innocent civilians. Fox News used a drone over Del Rio, Texas, to show us video of the 10,000 illegal migrants amassed near the

  • Any-deer lottery: the overhaul

    For many years now, Maine’s deer herd management system has relied on issuing any-deer permits to hunters as a way to oversee the buck-doe ratio in any given WMD ( wildlife management district). There is one problem, though — it does not seem to be getting the job done, especially the last few years. There

  • The fastest gun in Maine

    The Wild West had its collection of fast guns that are part of legend: Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Pat Garrett, to name a few. What about back East, where lobsters, caulk-booted loggers and rugged coastline comprise our lore more than lean, steely-eyed hombres with Hog Legs on their hips? Believe it or not, we

  • Onions outdoors

    Onions outdoors

    Now there are onions, and then there are onions. Some people love onions. Others hate ’em. Sweet onions cooked in butter, and even caramelized with mushrooms, are the cat’s meow. Raw red onions? Not on my plate. Onions have quite a storied history. It’s believed that the wild ones began to be cultivated either in

  • Getting the moose out

    Getting the moose out

    The biggest eye-opener for most first-time moose hunters is after the animal is down. This is when the real work begins. As we all know, moose are large critters, very large, and getting a 1,000-pound carcass out of a tangled clear cut to the nearest accessible road can be a tall order. During the first

  • Hunting license revocations

    In Michigan last fall, a guided elk hunter holding a cow tag accidentally shot a bull elk. Upon discovering the mistake, the hunter and his guide immediately notified a state conservation officer. After a thorough investigation, it was concluded that, indeed, it was an “honest mistake.” The hunter did not have his rifle confiscated or

  • Geezers and gadgetry

    Many moons ago, when I was a young, eager deer hunter, my woods’ gear consisted of a rifle, a compass, a knife and some waterproof matches. Maybe a candy bar if a whole day in the woods was planned. I wore olive-colored gum-rubber boots, dark green wool trousers and a black and red checkered wool