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.

Have a successful hunting season? Why not donate some meat to Hunters for the Hungry?

At some point Thursday, most of us will gather with family or friends to share a meal and give thanks for any number of blessings. Some, however, just aren’t that fortunate. Getting enough food to put on the table can be a problem year-round, and many of our neighbors struggle in silence. On Monday, I […]

Maine hunters: What do you think about the U.S. ban on elephant trophy imports?

Late last week, the Trump administration announced its intention to begin allowing the importation of “trophies” taken from African elephants, a practice that had been banned in 2014. Over the weekend, that decision became more muddied, as the president tweeted his intention to study the matter more fully before any ban was lifted. Today, the […]

4-year-old’s first ‘hunt’: Dad bags a 15-point buck

Braylynn Mitchell has been eager to accompany her dad, Jason Mitchell, on past hunting trips, but her mom wouldn’t allow it … until this year. “I was always hesitant,” admitted her mom, Kendra Wilder of Bradley. “This was her first hunting trip.” When the opening day for Maine residents rolled around on Oct. 28, Wilder […]

Retired Maine game warden pilot receives top FAA award

Retired Maine game warden pilot Gary Dumond on Monday received the Federal Aviation Administration’s most prestigious honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, according to a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife press release. Dumond, who lives in Eagle Lake with his wife, Pauline, was a game warden pilot from 1972 until 1992, but […]

8-year-old describes first successful deer hunt in a letter

In one of my favorite traditions, Maine deer hunters are usually pretty eager to tell their local outdoor writer their tales from the field. And as those stories continue to make their way to my desk, I’m happy to share them with BDN readers. Today’s tale is especially cool, as you’ll see. Hunting is not […]

Youth Deer Day success: Orono boy bags 8-pointer, scores a touchdown

Brock Parks has been heading into the woods with his father during hunting season for years. Now 12, Brock can tell you about sitting in blinds and treestands, riding in a backpack as his father crept slowly through the forest, and the time he was nearly pelted by the geese that his dad and a […]

Glenburn 9-year-old’s reaction to first deer is priceless

Youth hunters from around the state celebrated their successes on Saturday, as many finished their Youth Deer Day adventures by recounting their stories at tagging stations. Facebook feeds were packed with awesome photos and cool videos, and the excitement of many of those youths was palpable. Among my favorites: A video passed along to me […]

Relive some of our best deer tales ever

It’s that time of year again — deer season is nearly upon us, and if you’re like me, you’re ready to start living vicariously through the hunting tales that you hear from others. Luckily, when you’re in this line of work, a lot of cool deer stories cross my desk. Here’s hoping that you find […]

After two shooting incidents, it’s time to refocus on hunter safety

When hunting season for upland birds began on Monday, many of us began making plans to head afield — maybe with a loyal bird dog — and enjoy one of our favorite times of the year. For others, bird season means slowly riding the dirt roads, watching for the tell-tale silhouette of a ruffed grouse. […]

Biologist expects average grouse season, fewer woodcock

As the first week of moose season reaches its conclusion, here’s hoping that Mother Nature blesses us with some more seasonal weather. I enjoy beach weather as much as the next guy, but it’s not beach season any longer. In fact, beginning Monday, it’s bird season — a time of year (typically) marked by crisp […]