Thoughts from a Maine moose-tagging station

People look at a moose that was brought in to be tagged and weighed at the Gateway Varety store in Ashland Monday on the first day of moose hunting in 2016. This moose shot by Kenneth Hunt of Phippsburg weighed 965 pounds. Gabor Degre |BDN

On Monday, I headed to Ashland on what has become a yearly pilgrimage. Come the first week of moose-hunting season, the parking lot at Gateway Variety fills up and a steady parade of trucks and hunters return to town to tag their moose.   But the crowd didn’t consist entirely of those participating in this […]

The 5 Maine deer hunting stories readers have loved most

Lucas Clark, 15, of Northport poses with the 20-point deer he shot while hunting in Northport on Nov. 13, 2010. (Photo courtesy Lucas Clark)

Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to tell all kinds of hunting stories, and to share the successes of Mainers who have enjoyed memorable days in the woods. At certain times of the year, the hunting stories have become so common — and our readers have been so helpful in passing along […]

No moose permit? You can still have moose season fun

The second moose to arrive at Gate Way Variety, the Ashland tagging station, in 2015 weighed in at 830 pounds. Shot by 16-year-old Jaxson Marston of Harrington, the bull had a 19-point rack with a 42.5-inch spread. Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

Bright and early Monday morning, 720 lucky moose hunters — along with assorted relatives and friends — will head into the woods of northern Maine to embark upon adventures that some have been looking forward to for years. You? Me? The rest of us unlucky folks? Well, our names didn’t pop out of the computer-hopper […]

Have a hunting tale to tell? Send us your photos and story

The deer shot by Ben Thibodeau in Bucksport on the opening day of the hunting season in 2015. He said he did not hunt growing up and this is the first deer he shot since taking up the activity three years ago. Gabor Degre | BDN

It’s that time of year again: Hunters are out and about. And when they return, some skilled or lucky hunters will have tales to tell … and photos to share. Photos like the one above, which shows the amazing rack on the deer Ben Thibodeau took in 2015. Thibodeau counted 19 points, but was calling […]

Maine guide, trapper honored for 65 years in the woods

When Jim Martin of Bangor was honored over the weekend for a lifetime lived outdoors, he stopped to ponder how much time he’d spent in the woods pursuing one of his favorite activities, trapping. “I figured it out the other day,” the 77-year-old said. “I’ve trapped [at least one] beaver for 62 winters. I trapped […]

Landowner appreciation cleanup set for Sept. 18

In Maine, we’re fortunate to have vast swaths of forest land that landowners graciously allow others to access for various recreational activities. Want to hike, or bike, or hunt or fish? Chances are good that when you head afield to take part in those activities, you’re spending time on someone else’s land. Spend a bit […]

Biologist expects bears to start hitting bait sites soon

Wildlife biologist Randy Cross, leader of the field crew for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's 40-year bear study, poses with "Big John," a 432-pound black bear that was snared, weighed and released in Washington County on June 17, 2014. Cross first caught "Big John" four years earlier, in the exact same place. (John Wood photo/Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife)

Back in 2005, as many of the bear hunters at Tylor Kelly’s Camps in Allagash opted to stay dry, a lone truckload of men — including me — dutifully headed to their stands, hoping for the weather to break. There was a method to our madness (or, at least, we rationalized our decision that way): […]

Monumental visit: Secretary of the Interior tours Katahdin Woods and Waters

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (left) and Elliotsville Plantation Inc. president Lucas St. Clair listen as Matthew Polstein chats with them before a canoe trip in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (John Holyoke | BDN)

Before U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell got down to the serious business of enjoying herself on a pair of outings in the newly formed Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, she smiled after fielding a decidedly off-beat question. “Are you going to call a moose?” I asked. “I will if you teach me,” […]

A new era begins: National monument open for business

Christina Marts, community planner for the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument National Park Service office in Millinocket, stamps a map of the monument lands for visitor Jane Andrews, 71, of Belfast, during the office's first day open on Thursday. It was the first time the stamp, which is generally used for National Park "passports", was ever used. Micky Bedell | BDN

It was a quiet day on the lazy main drag of Millinocket on Thursday. An occasional car or truck drove past, slowly. A few diners sat down to eat at the Appalachian Trail Cafe. And along a strip of vacant storefronts, an occasional pedestrian peered into the open door of a newly occupied space. A […]

New monument a gift to the nation, worth the wait

The East Branch of the Penobscot River runs through parts of the area that President Barack Obama designated as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (BDN file photo)

Twenty-two years ago, many Mainers — most Mainers, I’d wager — were shocked to hear that a Massachusetts-based group had cast an eye northward and decided to save us from ourselves. For many who grew up here, RESTORE: The North Woods was cast as evil; the mere fact that the group’s name suggested that our […]