Outdoors in Maine

  • Wardens issue ice warnings

    With prolonged cold spells and bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures, the ice this year on Maine lakes and ponds is solid and safe for people and snowsleds, right? Wrong. During mid-January over one 24-hour period, no less than nine snowmobile operators and riders broke through thin ice with their sleds into icy waters. Miracles of miracles, all

  • The Moosehead Lake Togue Derby

    Cabin fever? An iced fishing derby can bring your temperature down. There are a number of popular derbies that take place annually throughout Maine. Fishing and fellowship, the hallmark of these winter events, mixed with friendly competition to snag the biggest fish — and the biggest prize — make for a fun time. One notable

  • The old Ski-Doo

    There was a day when Ski-Doo was simply a generic name for a snowmobile. Early on, as I recall, Ski-Doo was the only game in town. In the early 1960s, you went “Ski-Dooing,” not snowmobiling. The machines were the invention of Canadian Joseph-Armand Bombardier. Although the inventor worked many years trying to come up with

  • Checking the backtrack

    The slate is clean as we start another year anew. Nobody knows what lies ahead, even as friends and family offer seasonal salutations that wish us well. As we look ahead with hopeful expectations, it doesn’t hurt to check the backtrack. For the Maine sportsmen and women, 2017 was, like most years, marked by some

  • 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 baitfish bugaboo

    The tired old joke goes like this: “How can you tell the difference between a partridge and a grouse?” You know the answer, right? If it’s shot on the ground, it’s a partridge; if it is shot on the wing, it is a grouse. Well, now there is a new twist along the language line

  • Quebec caribou hunts closed down

    Starting the first of next year, the sport hunting of migratory caribou will be indefinitely suspended in Quebec and Labrador. This measure was announced by Quebec’s minister of forests, who cited “sustainability of the species” as the reason for the hunt closure. Sport hunting of the George River herd was closed in 2012 due to

  • A success story

    When it comes to the quality of the sport fishery, once-fabled fishing lakes like Branch Lake, Green Lake and Beech Hill Pond have had their ups and downs. When I was a kid, Branch Lake was a red hot game fishery. Beech Hill gave up a record lake trout that has never been bested. In

  • 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