The Northwoods Sporting Journal, in its August issue, published for the first time anywhere a complete listing of Maine’s Legendary Maine Guides, starting with the honorific’s namesake, Wiggie Robinson, who received the title posthumously in 2009. The article also contained photos of most of these legendary guides.
The Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award is presented annually at the Maine Professional Guides Association’s annual banquet. Winners must have been a Registered Maine Guide for 20 years and been an active guide for at least 10 of those years. Along with guiding, winners must be active in the local or outdoor community, or active on boards or committees that enhance and promote the importance of Maine’s outdoor resources.
Working Maine Guides are a special breed, with or without the title of Legendary Maine Guide. The ones who make a living guiding hunters, fishermen and outdoor recreationalists of every stripe are accomplished woodsmen and women who wouldn’t be doing what they are doing if they did not have an abiding passion for the Maine outdoors, as well as the attendant ability to do their jobs well.
All of these hardworking, licensed entrepreneurs deserve our respect and even admiration. For this reason, it is disappointing that over the years the Legendary Maine Guide award has not gotten the primacy and public visibility it deserves from either the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which selects the recipients, nor the Maine Professional Guide’s Association, which represents our professional licensed guides. In a couple instances over the years, the presentation of the award was lost in the shuffle or simply not followed up by appropriate press releases and photos to the state media.
This fundamental dereliction does a disservice, not only to the stature of the award but to the memory of the late Wiggie Robinson and those still-living Legendary Guides who have followed Wiggie’s sterling example.
There is an easy way to patch this void. We suggest that both MDIF&W and the MPGA simply publish on their respective websites and annually maintain this complete standing list of Legendary Maine Guides. These legendary guides, after all, are the best of the best, and they represent our state’s outdoor heritage and legacy. Their names are part of this history and ought not to get lost in the daily shuffle.
The group includes: Wilmot “Wiggie” Robinson (posthumously), 2009; Gil Gilpatrick, 2010; Gary Corson, 2011; Gardner DeFoe, 2012; Matthew P. Libby, 2013; Don Dudley, 2014; Danny Legere, 2015; Richard Scribner, 2016; Donald E. Helstrom Jr., 2017; Lance Wheaton, 2018; Bonnie Holding, 2019; Carroll Ware, 2020; Polly Mahoney 2022.
The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. His email address is [email protected].