Outdoors in Maine

  • Nonresident hunters: The kiss-off

    When it comes to cultivating one of its last remaining industries, tourism, it seems that Maine is its own worst enemy. Take hunting for example. In 2002, there were 41,538 nonresident hunters who bought a Maine big game hunting license. Less than a decade later, in 2010, that number fell to 27,898! Think about that.

  • Search and rescue

    Search and rescue

    Search and rescue. Just the term itself rings with urgency. Finding lost persons in the woods of Maine is one of the key missions of the Maine Warden Service. Often overlooked, or taken for granted by the average citizen, search and rescue operations run the gamut, from locating a lost hunter or an overdue snowmobiler

  • Chamberlain Chowder

    Chamberlain Chowder

    Although I don’t ice fish any more (hard to find safe ice in the Florida Keys), I was once a diehard ice fisherman and I have seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. The good days on the ice were almost always in mid-March when the afternoon sun warmed things up, the

  • Obama’s gun measures

    While “Rome burns,” President Obama has begun his last year in office with a series of executive actions that he believes will reduce gun-related violence in this country. His critics contend that this is another cynical attempt to distract Americans from his foreign policy failures. Even if this is not the case, even if the

  • Ice: Is it safe?

    Each year about this time, the Maine Warden Service urges us to use extreme caution before venturing out onto any ice that may be covering Maine’s waterways. This is timely advice. Two winters ago, three nighttime snowsledders all perished in one night on Rangeley Lake when they and their machines broke through thin ice. This

  • The spruce budworm returns

    Unless you are in your 40s you probably have no recollection of Maine’s last spruce budworm infestation. The budworm, which can chew its way through acres and acres of coniferous forest and kill spruce and balsam fir, left its destructive mark on Maine’s softwood stands in the mid-1970s. I remember it well. By the early

  • The sportsmen’s year

    Before we bid farewell to another year, here is a selective review of outdoor highlights from 2015. A lot happened this year that will have an ongoing impact on most of us who hunt and fish and recreate in the Maine outdoors. On the political front, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced

  • Gift ideas for sportsmen

      Sportsmen love their toys. Of course, they prefer to consider these toys as indispensable tools for the outdoors. Sometimes the best gift one can give to an outdoorsman is a tool or device that he might not either think to buy for himself or feel comfortable buying. For that favorite sportsman or sportswoman on

  • Reflections at Thanksgiving

    For family reasons, my deer hunt had to end earlier than usual. An incorrigible deer hunter, my quest for a Maine whitetail generally drags on until the last gun is fired: a clear-the-barrel shot from a .45-caliber muzzleloader on the last day of the black powder season in December. No matter. My deer hunt started

  • The Texas example

    Recently, in a sweeping, breathtakingly cavalier — if not bizarre — editorial, the Bangor Daily News called for the Maine State Legislature to “eliminate once and for all” the practice of trapping bears or hunting them with hounds. Apparently the newspaper was moved to take its bold position by an announcement made this fall by