Outdoors in Maine

  • The pemmican perspective

    Long-distance hikers and backpackers looking for that elusive silver bullet in selecting a highly nutritional trail food might want to take a closer look at pemmican, long known historically as the ultimate survival food. Insofar as I know, you can’t buy traditional pemmican from trail food manufacturers, but you can make it yourself like your

  • The longest paddle

    The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) winds from Old Forge, N.Y., to Fort Kent, Maine. Established in 2000, it is the longest mapped inland paddling route in the country: 740 miles. How would you like to paddle that? No thanks. The NFCT is the canoeist’s version of the Appalachian Trail, another intimidating outdoor challenge that

  • Grassroots fish management

    Managing Maine’s incredible sport fishery — and its associated  regulations — is complex and always subject to second guessing by armchair fisheries “biologists,” who may sincerely believe that they know how better to manage the fish in their favorite angling waters. Dennis Smith of Otter Creek is one of those impassioned anglers who never tires

  • 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