Outdoors in Maine

  • Crossbow regs: the highlights

    For many years the policymakers at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W) resisted bringing the crossbow into the mix of legal hunting devices. All the while, other states were adopting fairly liberal allowances for the crossbow. The Maine Bowhunters Association long opposed the crossbows, arguing that they did not fit the bow

  • Shot in the dark

    Spontaneity, as a component of daily life, often brings good things, or at least that has been my experience. Whether it is a party or a fishing trip, it is often the last-minute lash-ups with minimal advance planning that are the most fun and the most memorable. Efforts to duplicate spontaneous good times with meticulous

  • The Glowa petitions

    There is probably no other anti-hunting activist in Maine who is more determined, persistent and passionate than John Glowa from China. Founder of the Maine Wolf Coalition, Glowa has been promoting the recovery of gray wolves in Maine since the early 1990s. Glowa also has opposed the hunting of coyotes in Maine at every turn.

  • Funky fly rods

    Fly fishing for trout — any trout, big or small — is my thing. You would think that after more than 50 years of indulging my passion that 1) my gear box would runneth over with top-shelf, big-name fly rods and 2) My casting ability would be up there with the top 10. Not so.

  • Implications of salmon listing

    A coalition of conservation groups, including the Atlantic Salmon Federation, has recently urged the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (MDIF&W) to add the Atlantic salmon to the state’s list of endangered species. The Atlantic salmon has been listed and protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act since 2000. Once the salmon was federally

  • Record doe permits for fall

    These days, good news in Maine is about as plentiful as smooth roads in April. There is some upbeat news, though, especially if you are a Maine deer hunter. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIF&W) has proposed the issuance of a record number of doe (any-deer) permits this fall! You heard right.

  • Green Drake finale

    A Hex, or if your Latin is good, a Hexagenia limbata, is a bomber-size Mayfly that shows up on Maine trout ponds in mid-summer, usually early July. For a trout, they are a turkey dinner with all the fixings — a chance to get the most amount of food for the least amount of effort.

  • Salmon strikes: Go figure

    Salmon strikes: Go figure

    Fish psychology — why fish behave the way they do — holds fascination for just about every serious angler, but especially fly fishermen. Just when you think that you have the fish finally figured out, presto, the fly or lure that was working like a charm gets ignored by the same fish that was slamming

  • Spring ticks

    Spring ticks

    Increasingly, turkey hunters I know are telling me that they are hanging up their turkey hunting gear. The reason: ticks. What a sad thing when all they need to do, to be safe, is to spray their hunting duds well with Permethrin, and remain vigilant. Granted, tick diseases are nothing to fool around with. In

  • 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

  • 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