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How sportsmen pay the way for wildlife management

When Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Regional Biologist Mark Caron pulled into my dooryard, I was processing the front quarters of the buck I had taken a few days earlier. As he got out of his truck and grabbed his gear, I jokingly remarked that it sure took him long enough. I ribbed him because the last time he was here I didn’t even have the deer out of the truck and hanging on the gambrel before he showed up to take a tooth sample. He must have stopped at the tagging station to check the registrations right after I left…

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Flying with Firearms

As sit down to write this month’s column, I find myself sitting in a hotel room in the Lone Star state, 2195 miles from my home in northeast Maine; the opening of the small game and partridge seasons well under way. I was trapping for bear and my fall turkey tag has yet to be filled. It is the second week of October and when I left Maine, the foliage was a riot of reds, oranges and yellows. Here in southern Texas it’s just hot.

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The Big Miss

The time we have all been waiting for is finally here. All of our early scouting is complete. Rub lines, scrapes and bedding areas have been identified and a hunt plan is in place. Tree stands are up and blinds are popped. Our rifles are cleaned and oiled, ready for the 2017 deer firearm season debut. A few of us put some rounds on paper to check our zero, many of us have not. We figured it this way; the rifle has been in the cabinet, protected since last year. It hasn’t been dropped or knocked about and we know we are a darned good shot, right? Why bother? Let me relate a story to you about a hunter in bear camp this year and the biggest bear he never shot.

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Want to bag a big buck on opening day? Hunt like an owl.


For many hunters, taking a mature 200 pound plus whitetail buck is a lifetime achievement. Big mature bucks are wily and love to prove it to you all season long. If you know there is a bruiser cruising the woods near your stand but can never put eyes on him, take a few tips from one of the fiercest hunters in the woods – the Great Horned Owl.

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3 things you should never enter the Maine woods without


When I first began studying in earnest to become a Registered Maine Guide, my mentor probed my knowledge of the outdoors and experience level. He knew I was an Army veteran with a lot of time logged in the field but noted that guiding clients in the big woods of Maine had its own set of rules and norms. The most important question he had for me was, “What are the three things a guide should always carry?” Here are the answers and why.

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Gunning for Grouse

This month bird hunters are making their way into the logging roads and field edges in pursuit of that ever elusive, fighter jet of a game bird – the ruffed grouse. Getting back to these basics will help you put more birds in your bag.

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Bear Gun Chest Rigs

We talk a lot about the most effective gun choices when it comes to hunting the Maine black bear. We also talk a lot about calibers and specific rifle action types. The hardiest of us talk about pistols and revolvers best equipped to match the black ghost of the Maine woods. One thing we don’t often hear about is handgun holster choice when hunting bear. Whether you are a guide that has the misfortune of surprising an angry sow with cubs during a bait refill run or a hound hunter slogging through bog after bog, having the right holster and the ability to ‘clear leather’ quickly and neatly is important.

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2017-2018 Hunting Laws Released

The 2017-2018 Summary of Hunting Laws has just been released by IFW.

There is also a new Quick Reference Guide available that includes license & permit needs, legal shooting hours chart and the hunting seasons/limit chart. Migratory Game Bird info is included.

The Summary of Trapping Laws will be released at a later date.

Good Bears Are Coming In

I ran the bait line today and refreshed hit baits and pulled the cards on the trail cameras. This year is shaping up to be a great hunt for our sports coming up to Tucker Ridge…

So far, all the bears hitting the baits are shooters. We haven’t seen any sows with cubs unlike last year when we had a sow and cubs take over a bait. We let them have it and it’s paying dividends this year. I have those yearlings and the now dry sow on camera; they look pretty good!

Here are some highlight photos of what you are going to be hunting this fall…As the weather starts to cool in coming weeks, these bruins should start feeding more frequently, and in daylight.

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Bear Baits Are Hitting

Just finished today’s bait run and am happy to say we have two sites getting hit so far. The first has two different good bear and the other a decent yearling. Here are some cam pics…

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