Hunting in MaineMaine OutdoorsUncategorized

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. However, as more fields are tested, there is an impending doom that I will be in a PFAS zone.  And other hunters will be in the same situation.  When and if...

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Adventures in the WoodsMaine HuntersWildlife Conservation

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 Right to Food, which was passed into the Maine Constitution when we voted in November.  It is the first of its kind in the United States and reads...

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine MooseWildlife Conservation

The age of my 2021 Maine bull moose

One of the most interesting things that happens after you shoot a bear or moose, is that you are asked to remove a tooth so that the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife can age the moose shot and collect age and health data. It is a part of a decades long effort to better understand the overall health of wildlife in Maine.  For hunters, it is always interesting to find out how old the animal was.  When I knew it was available, I immediately looked up the age of my 2021 Maine bull moose. 2021's data shows moose shot between the ages of 2.5 years old to 20.5 years old. It is fascinating to think that there are moose in this state...

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine Black BearMaine HuntersMaine MooseWhitetail DeerWomen Who Hunt

Reflecting on my 2021 grand slam

When I was drawn for my moose tag, I set the goal of going for my grand slam. I needed a bear, moose, turkey and deer between September and November.  Now, the hunting season is over and I find myself reflecting on my 2021 grand slam and the people who helped to make it happen. Mom and Hubs managed childcare/school pick ups and drop offs and sometimes full days of babysitting so that I could be in the woods. Jeremy at Fit To Hunt went to work and helped me customize a training program that would get me into shape for walking through the Maine woods to get my moose.  I would load weights into my backpack and walk for miles.  Sometimes...

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Maine OutdoorsWildlife ConservationWomen Who Hunt

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board

Last week, I went in front of the joint committee of the Environment and Natural Resources to provide testimony for my nomination to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund board.  The only other time I had done this was when I testified in favor of Judy becoming Commissioner. This time, the Governor was nominating me. One of her representatives introduced me and then I had the opportunity to say a little about me. You can watch the hearing by clicking here. Joe's introduction of me begins around the 7 minute marker.  My testimony is below. My Testimony Senator Brenner, Representative Tucker and members of the Environment and Natural Resources...

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Hunting in MaineMaine HuntersWhitetail DeerWomen Who Hunt

The buck that completed my grand slam

It was 21 degrees when we headed into the woods. I just needed a deer to complete my grand slam. I had a doe tag and was eager to get into my stand. The leaves were crunchy with frost but the woods were calm.  I climbed into the Sky Condo and waited for the world to awaken.  Almost immediately, animals started moving.  I sat perfectly still, my breath hidden by my green fleece balaclava.  It was almost an hour before I could see well enough into the woods to know if I was hearing deer or squirrels (it was squirrels). A deer blew from the end of the field.  Something must have spooked it.  The neighbor? I knew that if I was going to...

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine HuntersMaine MooseWomen Who Hunt

Redemption during our 2021 Moose Hunt

It had been an emotional start for our 2021 Maine moose hunt.  But we pushed on and had three more days before the season ended.  Wayne was determined to find us a moose somewhere in Zone 2.   Thursday It was rainy and cold when we headed out.  The two bulls from the day before had not been shot so we planned to head back to that area. We met a red truck parked where we had seen the small spike bull.  We drove on to where we had seen the bigger bull.  There was a cow in the clear-cut to our right.  We parked the truck and Pat and I started walking into the woods. Dad and Wayne walked parallel to us in the road.  Moose sign was...

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Hunting in MaineMaine HuntersMaine MooseWomen Who Hunt

My 2021 Maine Moose Hunt

Antlered. September. Zone 2. That is what popped up with my name as I watched the 2021 Moose Lottery.  The excitement was accompanied with an urgency to begin planning.  We would need a guide and possibly more gear. I wanted to plan to go for my grand slam and try for all of Maine's big game animals - a bear, moose, turkey and deer. The following three months flew by and before we knew it, Dad and I were making the 5 hour drive up to the Allagash, Zone 2 and Allagash Adventures to meet our guide Wayne Bernier, for our 2021 Maine moose hunt.   Monday We left at daybreak to begin searching for moose.  As we crested one hill, Wayne...

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Adventures in the WoodsMaine Black BearMaine OutdoorsMaine TrappingWinters in MaineWomen Who Hunt

Bear hunting can be exhausting

I need to start by thanking my friend Staci and her husband for making this happen. They helped to get the bait site up and running.  Staci was as determined as I was to get me a bear. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a hunting partner like her!   The 2021 Bear Hunting Season kicks off! My limited view of the bait site Bear hunting season opened on Monday, August 30th, and trapping season opening on Wednesday, September 1st.  With my trapping license and Staci and John’s help, I planned to initially hunt over bait and try trapping.  The first night with the traps out, we watched as a bear tripped my trap, looked at the cable...

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Hunting in MaineHunting Tips and TricksMaine MooseWomen Who Hunt

Getting Fit to Hunt

If you follow me on social, then you know I have been training with Jeremy Koerber at Fit to Hunt to ensure I am ready to hike into a choppin' miles from a dirt road in search of a moose.  I know that I don't need to do that. I know that there are people who are overweight that get out of the truck and shoot.  That's not the hunt I want - although if the opportunity arises, I will shoot.  A moose is a moose and meat fills the freezer.  But, I don't want to be physically exhausted and sore after one day of carrying a pack and hunting the North Maine Woods. Jeremy created a program specifically for me that involves rucking (hiking with...

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine MooseWomen Who Hunt

Going for my grand slam

  My son’s baseball game ended at 1:30pm.  As soon as we got into the car, I clicked the link to watch  names being read for the 2021 Maine moose lottery.  I had 21 points going into the lottery.  I watched Nate Webb, Director of Wildlife, read my brother in laws’s name.  I recognized more names of people that I knew.  Then, just a few pages into Deputy Commissioner Tim Peabody’s list of names, I saw mine.  At the bottom of the page and before he read it, I saw my name. I was headed to Zone 2 in September to find a bull moose!   It's not time to celebrate Celebratory text messages and social media messages started flooding in....

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Adventures in the WoodsHunting in MaineMaine HuntersMaine OutdoorsTurkey HuntingWomen Who Hunt

Spring Turkey Hunting in Maine

I sprayed my clothes with permethrin and packed my bag.  Staci and I planned a day in the fields hoping to get a shot at a tom or two.  We hadn't been out on an adventures in a while and we needed it. I had turkeys on my trail cameras coming through a certain trail every morning. Staci's husband had seen a flock of them in a field near her home.  We made a plan to start there and then head over to the Sky Condo. For May, it was hot and buggy.  Temps were going to be in the upper 70s.  I had to think about what was worst; sweating while walking, scouting and wearing all of my hunting clothes or black fly bites, ticks and any other crawly...

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Hunting in MaineMaine Hunters

No Change to Sunday Hunting in Maine

Sunday hunting in Maine is probably the single most debated topic for hunters and nonhunters. During the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Committee meeting last week, there was a lot of discussion around why Maine needs to join the growing number of states reversing these old blue laws.  It was clear that Sunday hunting (in the Committee's minds) is really deer hunting in November and that is what they focused on as they discussed the proposed bills.   The Proposed Bills There are three Sunday hunting bills; LD1212, LD1054 and LD1033 currently being discussed in Committee.  LD1212 sets geographical boundaries for where Sunday hunting...

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Turkey HuntingWildlife Conservation

Taking Turkeys to Texas

There are a few less turkeys in Maine to hunt this year. A few months ago, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, captured and released more than 50 birds into East Texas with the hope of rebuilding their population.

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Taking Turkeys to Texas
Hunting Tips and Tricks

Utilizing Technology to Make You More Aware

Staci and I were roaming around the woods on a piece of property that she knew. It was snowing and we were chasing deer tracks to see if we could find some early sheds. It was a perfect day to be out in the woods and we were relaxed and not really paying attention to where we were going. We knew the border of the property and we knew that if we walked long enough we would hit roads or the bog and find our way back. We got to a point where we thought we knew where we were but we were not sure. Staci got out her compass to take a waypoint to make sure we were going in the right direction to get back to the truck. I took out my phone and...

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Utilizing Technology with OnX Hunt
Trail Camera Views

Not what you want to see on the trail cameras

I missed seeing what was happening in the woods so I decided to put a couple of cameras back out to see what was roaming around. I am not a fan of this.  I have had pictures of this coyote for a while now and he (I assume it's a he) is always solo.  He's healthy and makes his rounds in the same area that we do during the season.  And I assume that he is the coyote that I saw while I was sitting in my stand last fall. Coyotes are a part of the woods and I get that but what I don't want to find are dead deer. This is the first time that I have had pictures of the two animals so close together (timewise and location-wise) Usually, I will...

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Hunting in MaineWhitetail Deer

We Need to Stop Feeding The Deer

I just hit a deer, do you want it? My neighbor sent me this text during her morning commute to work.  Had there been room in my freezer, I might have taken her up on it. I had done it before when I watched another driver hit another doe within 50 feet of where my neighbor was. It was the third deer hit that week in the same stretch of road. Why? A landowner is feeding them. A few years ago, I spoke with Maine IF&W’s then deer biologist about the impacts of feeding deer.  We talked about the risk of diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease getting into the herd and spreading so rapidly, because of the unnaturally large population being...

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Stop Feeding the Deer
Wildlife Conservation

Conservation Organizations Need Your Help NOW

As we plan for 2021, we know that we will not be attending sportsman’s shows.  We won’t be able to catch up with fellow hunters, trappers and anglers and we won’t be spending money on all of those raffle tickets. And that is hurting hunting organizations – a lot. Many outfitters and conservation organizations rely on the foot traffic that these shows provide to help get reach more people which helps to draw more donations.  Businesses rely on shoppers to buy the cast iron, jackets, wooden carvings, jerky and more but we will not there to make those purchases next year. And while everyone is still feeling the pinch of the pandemic and a...

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Hunting in MaineWhitetail Deer

From the Heart

The emotions that go along with this are hard for any nonhunter to understand. There is a literal weight of an organ that earlier in the day, beat inside an animal and the figurative weight of choosing to kill an animal to fill your freezer. There is a dedication of always wanting to be better, to be ready for the right shot at the right moment. It’s spending money on gear, clothing and licenses every year. It’s packing up and heading into the woods, when it’s dark and coming out when it’s dark, day after day, hoping to get your chance. It’s appreciating the animal’s sacrifice and having a moment to give thanks before the work begins....

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Wildlife ConservationWomen Who Hunt

Nurturing a Love of Nature

In the past twelve months, I've been a homeschooling teacher (temporarily), figured out how to work from home full-time and maintained a stable supply of toilet paper. We went from being out and about in the community to everyone at home. It was a lot! But one of the things we did from the start was get outside more. I asked people on my Facebook page for a list of items that we could search for in the woods. We had everything from birch bark and 3 types of moss to bones, different shapes of pinecones, mushrooms and beechnuts on our list. We eagerly searched the woods around our house and crossed off items. It was good for everyone’s...

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