All posts by John Holyoke

John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.

Bobcat enters home through pet door, sticks around for snacks

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Early last week, after a successful evening of bobcat-rustling, Maine game warden Jim Fahey admitted that the tale of the critter he live-trapped wasn’t even the best bobcat story he’d heard in recent weeks. Fahey’s cat had a taste for chicken, you may recall, and ended up killing one of WLBZ TV meteorologist Steve McKay’s […]

Beginner or expert, Souadabscook has a race for you this weekend

Paddlers are in for an adventure this weekend, as water levels rise in advance of the Souadabscook Stream Canoe Race in Hampden. Or, maybe they’re not. That’s up to the individual paddler, said Renee O’Donald, who directs the race with her husband, Rick. This year, the Souadabscook will feature two options. One course — the […]

Our Maine Heritage: On the porch at the Penobscot Salmon Club, 1947

Bangor Daily News photographer Danny Maher caught Walter Crossman, Jack Savage, Guy Lobley and George McMahon swapping yarns on the porch overlooking the Bangor Salmon Pool in a Friday the 13th photo taken in June 1947.  (BANGOR DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Over the years, plenty of fish stories have been shared on the porch of the Penobscot Salmon Club in Brewer. The club, just downstream from the former site of the Bangor Dam, was formed in 1887 and is the oldest such club in North America. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. […]

Seal on ice: Visitor heads up the Penobscot, finds rough sledding

Brian Feulner | BDN

BANGOR, Maine — While many Mainers are lamenting the late arrival of spring, at least one resident has apparently had enough. On Thursday, a seal made its way up the Penobscot River as far as Sea Dog Brewing Company, where it ran into winter, head-on. The seal — nicknamed “Sam,” according to one Sea Dog […]

Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race postponed until April 25

Extended cold weather and icy conditions in Kenduskeag Stream have forced the postponement of this year’s Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, according to race director Tracy Willette, director of Bangor Parks and Recreation. In a phone message Friday morning, Willette said the race, which was scheduled for Saturday, April 18, will instead be held on April […]

Winter took a toll on grouse in study, but biologists unfazed

Brittany King holds a ruffed grouse before it's measured, tagged and fitted with a radio collar on Wednesday at the midcoast Maine survey site in September 2014. Brian Feulner| BD

Late last summer, biologists teamed up with a University of Maine professor to begin a project that will provide a clearer picture of the state’s ruffed grouse population. Using radio tags, the researchers are monitoring those birds and compiling data on their survival rates and breeding success. A glimpse at the data collected so far […]

Spring at last: St. George, Passy races set for this weekend

After two weeks of postponements due to ice, on Wednesday Dale Cross was finally able to say the words that canoeists and kayakers have been waiting to hear all spring. “The races are on,” the longtime race director of the first two canoe races on the Maine schedule each spring. “I can tell you the […]

Forget disco duck: This woodcock does the funky chicken

A woodcock performs a mating dance in Brewer recently. (BDN photo by Travis Gass)

Mother nature is full of surprises. And when our woodland critters start to get a little amorous, you never know what you’ll see. Here at the BDN, we’ve got dozens of wildlife-watchers on staff. When your winters last six or eight months, like ours do, it doesn’t take much to spice up our days. Sometimes, […]

Maine Youth Fish and Game Association dinner, auction set

T.J. Schaefer (kneeling, left) and Susan Best (center) brought their kids Ethan (far left) Lauren (right) and Christian (second from right)  to the Maine Youth Fish and Game Association's Annual Family Ice Fishing Day on Pickerel Pond in Township 32 in 2012. BDN file photo by Gabor Degre

For the past 14 years, the Maine Youth Fish and Game Association has been delivering traditional outdoor programming to students in the Old Town area. And every so often, the group asks for help so that they can continue to carry out its mission. This is one of those times: Their annual dinner and benefit […]

Our Maine Heritage: Opening day of fishing season, 1958

On Wednesday, some of us April Fools went fishing … just like our brethren have been doing for generations. It was, after all, the traditional opening day of open-water fishing season, and after a being cooped up all winter, even a chilly day of fishing was better than none. Back in 1958 — in a […]