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Wildlife Conservation

A decade of hunting bears

As the 2024 hunting season kicks off, I can not believe that it has been a decade of hunting bears in Maine! I remember planning the initial meeting at Cabela’s and inviting every hunter I knew in the greater Portland area.  I wanted to prove that there were plenty of people who were passionate about bear hunting in Southern Maine. If I remember correctly, the room was close to packed when James Cote started talking about the bear referendum and what the plan was to win at the ballot box.  I look back now and cannot believe it was 10 years ago! I had never hunted a bear.  I knew how to talk about the various methods but I had not experienced a hunt.  When that meeting ended, a bear hunter named Steve offered to teach me how to bear...

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Trail cameras bring early season excitement

I leave my trail cameras out all year long.  Photos of coyotes, deer, porcupines and racoons show up on my phone. But in the spring, those first trail camera photos of babies, cast off yearlings and bucks bring early season excitement to all of us.  There is a fun uncertainty of what animals will show up in the photos.  You don't have to be a hunter to enjoy getting a sneak peak into the woods around us. I think we can all enjoy the start of new life and new adventures.    

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Will constitutional amendments protect hunting?

When the International Order of Theodore Roosevelt met this spring in Arizona, they spoke about the need for constitutional amendments to help protect our hunting rights. They were focused on Florida and a few other states. I thought of New Jersey and their on again, off again bear hunt.  And I thought of a conversation that I was a part of following Maine’s win in the 2014 election to save our bear hunting methods. We wondered if a constitutional amendment would make sense to ensure we didn’t have to continually fight ballot initiatives.  The answer we were told was no. A no because it would be too expensive and it wouldn’t actually protect anything. A constitutional right to hunting and fishing means just that; we can participate in...

Keep Reading

Should trail cameras be illegal?

Seven trail cameras with my name on them are strategically placed on our property. Most I keep out year round to track which animals are moving through.  Once deer hunting season gets closer, Dad puts his cameras up and we have a pretty good idea of which animals are around and who thinks they can trespass on our land and not get caught. But in recent months, more states have banned the use of trail cameras questioning their use and wondering if trail cameras should be illegal? The cameras have helped us know which animals are around but, they have not helped me shoot an animal. It doesn’t guarantee me a successful hunt. It can be more frustrating knowing which deer are around that I am not seeing. However, in some states, the use of...

Keep Reading

What you want to know but are afraid to ask your guide

When I was drawn for my moose permit, I hired a guide to help. My friend John Floyd is a Registered Maine Guide and the owner of Tucker Ridge Outdoors in Webster Plantation, Maine. After talking about what I wish I had known and what he wished his clients knew, we decided to publishour conversation. Here we discuss thoughts, questions and concerns about hiring a guide. EM: A moose hunt can be an expensive hunt. There are a lot of things that can factor into the week you spend in the woods.  I didn’t realize how much the entire hunt would be. Do you think a lot of hunters understand the costs? JF: Winning a Maine moose permit for most is a once in a lifetime experience, most hunters do not understand the costs and situations that arise...

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What to bring on a moose hunt

Congratulations! You won a moose permit.  Now, the work begins. Assume you are going to spend six days in the woods and choppings of Maine.  Those hours away from camp are spent searching and walking and driving.  It might not sound as exhausting as it was but…you are toast at the end of the day. In order to be as parepared as possible, here are the things that I packed for my hunt: Too many clothes. I packed every piece of hunting clothing I owned. I packed more socks than I could ever wear over the course of 6 days. The weather was sunny and beautiful, cold and breezy and we had a full day of rain. Moose move in all weather. You need to be where the moose are so make sure you are dressed for everything the Maine outdoors could throw...

Keep Reading

The awe of a fawn

Last August, I had the opportunity to get a fawn that had been hit by a car. I called the warden, got a tag and it was off to the taxidermist. Maybe a little morbid, but unless you are willing to use a tag to shoot a fawn, there are few ways to aquire the young deer. This week, I brought it home to my office. The woman who did the taxiermy work did an incredible job on the fine details. The fawn's eyes, lashes, ear hair and whiskers are exact. It is amazing to look at the small body and the characteristis and then look at the buck above it and the changes and simularlities. The fawn was about two months old and his pedicals were just beginning to form.  The skull is close to the same size as my coyote's skull but a bit more rounded on...

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I am done shooting small bucks

It was an emotional rollercoaster of a season.  All I wanted was an eight point buck.  I will save the story for another time, but it didn’t happen. But what did happen changed my whole perspective on deer hunting. After twenty years of hunting, I am done shooting small bucks. I shot my doe in the first hour of rifle season, so having the ability to shoot a doe AND a buck gave me the opportunity to keep hunting and looking for that big buck.  I could sit and watch more of the does and fawns at different spots on the property.  One morning, I watched a fisher running around my stand.  I enjoyed being in the woods, knowing that I had a specific buck that I was after and that I had already put meat in the freezer. This season was more of...

Keep Reading

A decade of hunting bears

As the 2024 hunting season kicks off, I can not believe that it has been a decade of hunting bears in Maine! I remember planning the initial meeting at Cabela’s and inviting every hunter I knew in the greater Portland area.  I wanted to prove that there were plenty of people who were passionate about bear hunting in Southern Maine. If I remember correctly, the room was close to packed when James Cote started talking about the bear referendum and what the plan was to win at the ballot box.  I look back now and cannot believe it was 10 years ago! I had never hunted a bear.  I knew how to talk about the various methods but I had not experienced a hunt.  When that meeting ended, a bear hunter named Steve offered to teach me how to bear...

Keep Reading

Trail cameras bring early season excitement

I leave my trail cameras out all year long.  Photos of coyotes, deer, porcupines and racoons show up on my phone. But in the spring, those first trail camera photos of babies, cast off yearlings and bucks bring early season excitement to all of us.  There is a fun uncertainty of what animals will show up in the photos.  You don't have to be a hunter to enjoy getting a sneak peak into the woods around us. I think we can all enjoy the start of new life and new adventures.    

Keep Reading

Will constitutional amendments protect hunting?

When the International Order of Theodore Roosevelt met this spring in Arizona, they spoke about the need for constitutional amendments to help protect our hunting rights. They were focused on Florida and a few other states. I thought of New Jersey and their on again, off again bear hunt.  And I thought of a conversation that I was a part of following Maine’s win in the 2014 election to save our bear hunting methods. We wondered if a constitutional amendment would make sense to ensure we didn’t have to continually fight ballot initiatives.  The answer we were told was no. A no because it would be too expensive and it wouldn’t actually protect anything. A constitutional right to hunting and fishing means just that; we can participate in...

Keep Reading

Should trail cameras be illegal?

Seven trail cameras with my name on them are strategically placed on our property. Most I keep out year round to track which animals are moving through.  Once deer hunting season gets closer, Dad puts his cameras up and we have a pretty good idea of which animals are around and who thinks they can trespass on our land and not get caught. But in recent months, more states have banned the use of trail cameras questioning their use and wondering if trail cameras should be illegal? The cameras have helped us know which animals are around but, they have not helped me shoot an animal. It doesn’t guarantee me a successful hunt. It can be more frustrating knowing which deer are around that I am not seeing. However, in some states, the use of...

Keep Reading

What you want to know but are afraid to ask your guide

When I was drawn for my moose permit, I hired a guide to help. My friend John Floyd is a Registered Maine Guide and the owner of Tucker Ridge Outdoors in Webster Plantation, Maine. After talking about what I wish I had known and what he wished his clients knew, we decided to publishour conversation. Here we discuss thoughts, questions and concerns about hiring a guide. EM: A moose hunt can be an expensive hunt. There are a lot of things that can factor into the week you spend in the woods.  I didn’t realize how much the entire hunt would be. Do you think a lot of hunters understand the costs? JF: Winning a Maine moose permit for most is a once in a lifetime experience, most hunters do not understand the costs and situations that arise...

Keep Reading

What to bring on a moose hunt

Congratulations! You won a moose permit.  Now, the work begins. Assume you are going to spend six days in the woods and choppings of Maine.  Those hours away from camp are spent searching and walking and driving.  It might not sound as exhausting as it was but…you are toast at the end of the day. In order to be as parepared as possible, here are the things that I packed for my hunt: Too many clothes. I packed every piece of hunting clothing I owned. I packed more socks than I could ever wear over the course of 6 days. The weather was sunny and beautiful, cold and breezy and we had a full day of rain. Moose move in all weather. You need to be where the moose are so make sure you are dressed for everything the Maine outdoors could throw...

Keep Reading

The awe of a fawn

Last August, I had the opportunity to get a fawn that had been hit by a car. I called the warden, got a tag and it was off to the taxidermist. Maybe a little morbid, but unless you are willing to use a tag to shoot a fawn, there are few ways to aquire the young deer. This week, I brought it home to my office. The woman who did the taxiermy work did an incredible job on the fine details. The fawn's eyes, lashes, ear hair and whiskers are exact. It is amazing to look at the small body and the characteristis and then look at the buck above it and the changes and simularlities. The fawn was about two months old and his pedicals were just beginning to form.  The skull is close to the same size as my coyote's skull but a bit more rounded on...

Keep Reading

I am done shooting small bucks

It was an emotional rollercoaster of a season.  All I wanted was an eight point buck.  I will save the story for another time, but it didn’t happen. But what did happen changed my whole perspective on deer hunting. After twenty years of hunting, I am done shooting small bucks. I shot my doe in the first hour of rifle season, so having the ability to shoot a doe AND a buck gave me the opportunity to keep hunting and looking for that big buck.  I could sit and watch more of the does and fawns at different spots on the property.  One morning, I watched a fisher running around my stand.  I enjoyed being in the woods, knowing that I had a specific buck that I was after and that I had already put meat in the freezer. This season was more of...

Keep Reading

Enjoy these Wildlife Conservation articles

A decade of hunting bears

As the 2024 hunting season kicks off, I can not believe that it has been a decade of hunting bears in Maine! I remember planning the initial meeting at Cabela’s and inviting every hunter I knew in the greater Portland area.  I wanted to prove that there were plenty of people who were passionate about bear hunting in Southern Maine. If I remember correctly, the room was close to packed when James Cote started talking about the bear referendum and what the plan was to win at the ballot box.  I look back now and cannot believe it was 10 years ago! I had never hunted a bear.  I knew how to talk about the various methods but I had not experienced a hunt.  When that meeting ended, a bear hunter named Steve offered to teach me how to bear...

Keep Reading

Trail cameras bring early season excitement

I leave my trail cameras out all year long.  Photos of coyotes, deer, porcupines and racoons show up on my phone. But in the spring, those first trail camera photos of babies, cast off yearlings and bucks bring early season excitement to all of us.  There is a fun uncertainty of what animals will show up in the photos.  You don't have to be a hunter to enjoy getting a sneak peak into the woods around us. I think we can all enjoy the start of new life and new adventures.    

Keep Reading

Will constitutional amendments protect hunting?

When the International Order of Theodore Roosevelt met this spring in Arizona, they spoke about the need for constitutional amendments to help protect our hunting rights. They were focused on Florida and a few other states. I thought of New Jersey and their on again, off again bear hunt.  And I thought of a conversation that I was a part of following Maine’s win in the 2014 election to save our bear hunting methods. We wondered if a constitutional amendment would make sense to ensure we didn’t have to continually fight ballot initiatives.  The answer we were told was no. A no because it would be too expensive and it wouldn’t actually protect anything. A constitutional right to hunting and fishing means just that; we can participate in...

Keep Reading

Should trail cameras be illegal?

Seven trail cameras with my name on them are strategically placed on our property. Most I keep out year round to track which animals are moving through.  Once deer hunting season gets closer, Dad puts his cameras up and we have a pretty good idea of which animals are around and who thinks they can trespass on our land and not get caught. But in recent months, more states have banned the use of trail cameras questioning their use and wondering if trail cameras should be illegal? The cameras have helped us know which animals are around but, they have not helped me shoot an animal. It doesn’t guarantee me a successful hunt. It can be more frustrating knowing which deer are around that I am not seeing. However, in some states, the use of...

Keep Reading

Checking trail cameras

What you want to know but are afraid to ask your guide

When I was drawn for my moose permit, I hired a guide to help. My friend John Floyd is a Registered Maine Guide and the owner of Tucker Ridge Outdoors in Webster Plantation, Maine. After talking about what I wish I had known and what he wished his clients knew, we decided to publishour conversation. Here we discuss thoughts, questions and concerns about hiring a guide. EM: A moose hunt can be an expensive hunt. There are a lot of things that can factor into the week you spend in the woods.  I didn’t realize how much the entire hunt would be. Do you think a lot of hunters understand the costs? JF: Winning a Maine moose permit for most is a once in a lifetime experience, most hunters do not understand the costs and situations that arise...

Keep Reading

What to bring on a moose hunt

Congratulations! You won a moose permit.  Now, the work begins. Assume you are going to spend six days in the woods and choppings of Maine.  Those hours away from camp are spent searching and walking and driving.  It might not sound as exhausting as it was but…you are toast at the end of the day. In order to be as parepared as possible, here are the things that I packed for my hunt: Too many clothes. I packed every piece of hunting clothing I owned. I packed more socks than I could ever wear over the course of 6 days. The weather was sunny and beautiful, cold and breezy and we had a full day of rain. Moose move in all weather. You need to be where the moose are so make sure you are dressed for everything the Maine outdoors could throw...

Keep Reading

The awe of a fawn

Last August, I had the opportunity to get a fawn that had been hit by a car. I called the warden, got a tag and it was off to the taxidermist. Maybe a little morbid, but unless you are willing to use a tag to shoot a fawn, there are few ways to aquire the young deer. This week, I brought it home to my office. The woman who did the taxiermy work did an incredible job on the fine details. The fawn's eyes, lashes, ear hair and whiskers are exact. It is amazing to look at the small body and the characteristis and then look at the buck above it and the changes and simularlities. The fawn was about two months old and his pedicals were just beginning to form.  The skull is close to the same size as my coyote's skull but a bit more rounded on...

Keep Reading

I am done shooting small bucks

It was an emotional rollercoaster of a season.  All I wanted was an eight point buck.  I will save the story for another time, but it didn’t happen. But what did happen changed my whole perspective on deer hunting. After twenty years of hunting, I am done shooting small bucks. I shot my doe in the first hour of rifle season, so having the ability to shoot a doe AND a buck gave me the opportunity to keep hunting and looking for that big buck.  I could sit and watch more of the does and fawns at different spots on the property.  One morning, I watched a fisher running around my stand.  I enjoyed being in the woods, knowing that I had a specific buck that I was after and that I had already put meat in the freezer. This season was more of...

Keep Reading