Outdoors in Maine

  • The year in review

    As the saying goes, change is the only constant, and 2019 was no exception. For the outdoor community in Maine, some of the change was good, some not so good. Let’s check out our backtrack. When it comes to state policymakers in Augusta, they do have the power to oversee changes that leave a mark.

  • Nature’s ornery ways

    Whether hunting in Colorado High Country or the Maine North Woods fir forests, you always keep a close eye on the weather. In some cases weather vigilance can make the difference between being comfortable or uncomfortable — or downright miserable, or even in harm’s way. There is a mountain road in western Colorado below the

  • Kids in the deer woods

    This past deer season a 7-year-old deer hunter made the front page of the Bangor Daily News — above the fold! She had a reason to smile. With the help of her grandfather, the young girl had bagged a trophy buck that will earn her the right to wear a Biggest-Bucks-in-Maine patch. It got me

  • 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. A few years ago three night-time snowsledders all perished in one night on Rangeley Lake when they and their machines broke through thin ice.

  • 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 example, my late mother-in-law always had an

  • Evergreens

    John Holyoke, outdoors columnist for the Bangor Daily News for the past 17 years, follows a long succession of the newspaper’s well-known outdoor writers — Bill Geagan, Bud Leavitt and Tom Hennessey. Like some of those before him, Holyoke started out as a sports reporter for the BDN. The Brewer native, a recent guest on

  • Big buck hunters

    There are deer hunters and, then, there are big buck hunters. Which are you? Of course, you say, we are all buck hunters, one way or another. Any Maine deer hunter who does not have a doe tag is a buck hunter, right? True, but there are a few stalwart deer hunters in Maine who

  • Ticks in the deer woods

    Most of us who spend time deer hunting have had encounters with deer ticks, the bad ones, or know someone with Lyme disease. Earlier this fall, University of Maine Professor Jim Dill, a tick expert, appeared as a guest on my Sunday night call-in radio program, “Maine Outdoors.” The phones rang constantly the entire hour

  • Lug nut blues

    As Maine comedian Bob Marley would say, “Looky, looky, lissy, lissy.” If you are an old guy, like me, who likes to drive his pickup on the logging roads in October looking for a bird to shoot, check your lug nuts before you strike out. Let’s say that you are somewhere on the newly graded

  • The long shot artists

    Most of us workaday, run-of-the mill commoners admire folks who are very, very good at what they do. Tom Brady throws a football like no other. Mookie Betts hits baseballs with a skill that brings baseball fans to their feet. Most of these people who shine and stand out from the crowd were born with

  • Young hunters: bringing them along

    Giving talks to rod and gun clubs around the state is enjoyable for me. It’s a good chance to rub elbows with good people who share a common interest. I learn a lot and always come away with new insights and topics to write about. Most of the time, the food is good, too. During

  • Marketing the Maine outdoors

    For years now, from elected Augusta officials of either party, we have heard this song before: “We need to be more aggressive and creative in marketing Maine as a hunting and fishing destination.” Yes, it’s an old, familiar score. But somehow reality always seems to fall short of promises and expectations. Traditionally, the promote Maine