And A Strong Cup of Coffee

A blog about hunting, fishing, trapping, foraging and taking on new adventures in the woods of Maine.

And A Strong Cup of Coffee

A blog about hunting, fishing, trapping, foraging and taking on new adventures in the woods of Maine.

Most Recent Article

Adventures in the Woods, Eating Wild Game, Hunting in Maine, Wildlife Conservation

A breakthrough in PFAS research?

Last fall, an email hit my inbox alerting me that I might be hunting deer in an area that Inland Fisheries & Wildlife had flagged as a ‘do not eat’ area because of the high levels of PFAS found in the several deer that biologist had killed in the area. I've written before about the severity of PFAS and how devastating it could be. We have not heard much follow up since that time. I wonder if the area that was closed off will continue to be.  Will there be more locations flagged as ‘do not eat’ areas?  I am surprised that there has not been anything published that would give hunters an idea about if they should stick to their home area or try to find a new area to hunt. Maybe the assumption is that they won’t plan to hunt anyway. But, I was hopefully this past week as I heard a...

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in Maine
The stories that stick

The stories that stick

When I started writing for the Northwoods Sporting Journal, I had people reach out and share their stories and experiences in the woods. I would mark the emails and tuck them away to go back to every once in a while.  A couple of those stories have stuck with me since they first popped into my email years ago. Camp in Rangeley The first was following an article about fishing that I had written. I can’t remember if I commented about wanting to own a camp or not, but I received an email from...

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Hunting in MaineMaine OutdoorsUncategorized
PFAS vs CWD: which will be more devastating?

PFAS vs CWD: which will be more devastating?

Social media erupted and my inbox was suddenly flooded with emails about PFAS (Poly-fluoroalkyl substances).  On Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at 5:22 PM, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife issued a “DO NOT eat advisory” for deer shot in my wildlife management zone.  It was 2.5 weeks after I had shot my deer and about two weeks after I had gotten it back from the butcher and started eating it.   PFAS My actual hunting property was outside of the advisory area....

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Adventures in the WoodsMaine HuntersWildlife Conservation
Remembering George Smith

Remembering George Smith

I was trying to think about what to write about for my February article in the Northwoods Sporting Journal. Something that would be timely and start a conversation.  As the topics came and went, something made me think of George Smith.  It has been one year since he has passed and I starting thinking about the topics that would have him riled up and what I have accomplished in the past twelve months. There are two topics that I would love to have heard George’s take on. The first bring the...

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Why The Name?

Because everything is better with a strong cup of coffee – especially going out on a hunt.


If you’ve ever gotten up at 3am to head out in the turkey woods or sat in a tree stand deer hunting in Maine when it’s 4 degrees outside then that strong cup of coffee can be a critical piece of the hunt.

We hope you enjoy And a Strong Cup of Coffee at whatever hour you have time to read, and we hope the coffee is strong. 

Author Erin Merrill

Meet The Author

Erin started deer hunting with her Dad when she was 20 and soon found herself spending as much time as she could in the woods and fields hunting deer, bear, and turkey. 

Erin is a registered Hunters Safety Instructor with Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and has given lectures and been interviewed a number of times on the challenges and opportunities for women in the outdoors. 

In addition to And A Strong Cup of Coffee, Erin is also currently a writing contributor for Northwoods Sporting Journal and a senior writer for Drury Outdoors’ DeerCast. Her work has also been featured in Downeast Magazine

In an effort to get more women and girls outside, Erin co-founded and is the president of Women of the Maine Outdoors

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