Outdoors in Maine

  • 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

  • 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