Outdoors in Maine

  • The tale of the compensatory deer

    ELLSWORTH — Isn’t it funny how things always seem to have a way of working out, if you’re patient enough? Earlier this fall, Diane and I made the long, costly drive to western Colorado to hunt elk with our boys. Not our first elk hunt. Although we planned this adventure down to the nth degree,

  • Old diehard hunters

    Sooner or later in our lives, most of us contemplate our own mortality. Those of us who really love the deer woods tend to use the number of deer seasons left as a yardstick of our days. It is said, though, that most deer hunters go through stages, and tend to lose their ardor for

  • Elections matter

    As a rule my editors prefer that the Maine outdoor beat steer clear of politics. And they are right, most of the time. But when the body politic begins trifling with our Second Amendment rights, should an outdoor writer just walk away? Tough to do because gun rights and taking a gun to the woods

  • Maine’s carry law

    When it comes to the legality of openly carrying a handgun in Maine, or concealing that handgun, questions abound. When is it legal to carry a loaded, concealed handgun? Is a permit required? Is there a legal distinction between so-called open carry and concealed carry? How do you get a permit? What if you are

  • Getting the moose out

    The biggest eye-opener for most first-time moose hunters is after the animal is down. This is when the real work begins. As we all know, moose are large critters, very large, and getting a 1,000-pound carcass out of a tangled clear cut to the nearest accessible road can be a tall order. During the first

  • Maine’s crossbow laws

    Although crossbows have never held a lot of appeal for me, I have hunted with a borrowed crossbow in the deer-rich state of Maryland. For me, it just seems awkward to carry while still hunting, and it doesn’t have the visual appeal of conventional longbows, recurves or compound bows. As a hunting device it is

  • Maine’s blood trackers

    Most big game hunters are mindful of the fact that there is an ethic associated with the kind of shots taken in the harvesting of wild animals. In general, running shots, head or neck shots are low-percentage shots that push the bounds of ethical choices by the hunter. The odds of wounding an animal with

  • “Behind the Cast” a real gem

    It seems like everybody is writing a book these days. And there is nothing wrong with that — especially if you like to read. Fact is that most mature human beings who have lived life, shared adventures or just a canoe or a campfire have tales worthy of ink. The trick, of course, is knowing

  • The deer stewards: struggle for clarity

    The deer stewards: struggle for clarity

    Every 15 years the Maine Fish and Wildlife Department commits itself to a big game management plan. The idea, as with any plan, is to establish an organized approach toward achieving goals and objectives. The 15-year plan that existed before the new 15-year plan was adopted this spring was clear and straightforward with respect to

  • Purple mountains’ majesty

    Banff, that fabled alpine village in the midsection of the Canadian Rockies, has been on my wife Diane’s bucket list for many years. Flying to Salt Lake City, we rented a car and drove to Butte and Great Falls, Mont., on up to Calgary, Alberta, and then west into Banff National Park. This was not