Outdoors in Maine

  • The wild turkey outlook

    The wild turkey outlook

    When it comes to Maine sportsmen and wild turkeys, there are two distinct groups: those who hunt ’em and those who hate ’em. Count me among the former. Having hunted them with a shotgun and a bow, it’s beyond me why anyone who loves to hunt is not enjoying this spring opportunity. There is a

  • Changing of the guard

    Changing of the guard

    Back in the ’90s, when I worked as information officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIF&W), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) conducted a Northeast Conference for state information officers like myself. It was booked as an opportunity to share information and promote working relationships between state and federal fish

  • A gatherer’s dilemma

    A gatherer’s dilemma

    The gathering of wild things for home consumption has always been regarded by my family as one of life’s most basic pleasures. Whether it’s picking fiddlehead greens along a stream bed in late April, picking fall mushrooms to accompany the anticipated November venison back straps or plucking big, fat, juicy black raspberries in late August,

  • On the water with Capt’n Neat

    On the water with Capt’n Neat

    My tackle box is a neat person’s nightmare. It is a tangle of treble hooks, rusted lures and rat’s nests of used monofilament. My wife says that my tackle box is disgusting. Each year about this time, at least three of our fishing writers for the Northwoods Sporting Journal write an article about how important

  • Drones in the woods

    Drones in the woods

    There was a day in the life of a deer hunter when his technological aids were limited to a functional deer rifle, a hunting knife, a good compass and, perhaps, a topo map. That all changed with the dawning of satellite technology and all of the gizmo spinoffs that have followed. Hunters today have choices

  • New tick removal system

    New tick removal system

    It may seem early to be discussing ticks. After all, what self-respecting parasite would be caught flitting about amid ice-covered fields and sub-zero temperatures, right? But the tick season in Maine will be here before you know it. And, ticks, and the Lyme disease that they can cause, are becoming an ever-increasing welfare concern for

  • Death on the trail

    Death on the trail

    The needless, accidental death of a young, healthy person in the prime of life is profoundly tragic. Over the years, we have all seen teenage drivers who thought that they were immortal die on our highways. Seat belts, mandatory driver education and stiffer age requirements have helped some to stem the tide of youthful deaths

  • Wildlife restoration projects: Part I

    When it comes to the restoration or reintroduction of wild species into areas where they once existed — before man overharvested them or put up a parking lot in their habitat — the well-intentioned projects have borne mixed results. Massachusetts, I have been told, has reintroduced timber rattlesnakes, which once were indigenous to the Commonwealth.

  • Big game planning

    For wildlife management purposes, Maine recognizes four species: deer, bear, moose and wild turkeys. In order for state wildlife biologists and Augusta policymakers to make decisions about how best to manage our important big game animals, there must be a plan. This plan directs wildlife managers on how best to do this in a way