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.

Bangor hunter bags 261-pound monster buck — 313 pounds ‘on the hoof’

Nathan Ryan of Bangor took this big North Woods buck on Nov. 14 while hunting off the Golden Road near Millinocket. It weighed 261 pounds, field dressed, and sported a nine-point rack. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Ryan)

Nathan Ryan of Bangor checked in a few days ago, curious to see if our BDN Biggest Bucks contest was still taking entries. Unfortunately, we weren’t — the deadline had passed. But fortunately, the 41-year-old hunter was willing to share his story with us anyway. And the deer he took on Nov. 14 was pretty […]

Here are the BDN’s Biggest Bucks for 2016

Tom Kittrick poses with the 250-pound, 7-point buck he shot while hunting near Millinocket on Nov. 3. (Photo courtesy of Tom Kittrick)

At the beginning of this year’s firearms hunting season for deer, we unveiled a contest designed to allow hunters to share their success stories with others. Today, it’s time to unveil the winners of our first BDN Biggest Bucks contest: Tom Kittrick of Millinocket topped all entries in the “heaviest deer” category at 250 pounds, […]

Haul your 15-pointer in the trunk of a Camry? (It can be done)

Amy Prenier shows off her first buck, a 220-pounder that she shot in Cooper. The buck had a 15-point rack. (Photo courtesy of Amy Prenier)

For the past four weeks, we’ve been eagerly awaiting new entrants in our first BDN Biggest Bucks contest. The final “feature deer” of this year’s contest comes from Amy Prenier, who filled her tag with a beautiful 15-pointer while hunting on Nov. 19 in Cooper. And as you’ve likely guessed after reading the headline, Prenier’s […]

Allagash adventure: A 267-pound buck, and a five-hour drag

Kip Paules of Bowdoinham, Maine, with the 267-pound buck he shot while hunting in the Allagash on Nov. 19. (Thom Thomas photo)

One of the great things about Maine it’s easy to find special places off the beaten path to enjoy outdoor pursuits. And when the best-laid plans come together, you end up with memories that will last forever. A couple weeks back, a group of hunting buddies embarked on just such an adventure, heading to the […]

Hunter’s first buck a massive 15-pointer

Amy Prenier shows off her first buck, a 220-pounder that she shot in Cooper. The buck had a 15-point rack. (Photo courtesy of Amy Prenier)

Happy Monday! While we’re busy shaking off our turkey comas from last week (and while some of us are still licking our wounds after completing another firearms season on deer without filling our tag), let’s celebrate a great buck. This week’s feature deer in the BDN Biggest Bucks contest comes to us from Amy Prenier, […]

First big buck, and ‘My dad was there in spirit’

Judy Mathiau of Vassalboro poses with the 10-point buck she shot on Nov. 5. The deer weighed 190 pounds, and Mathiau says her dad was with her, in spirit, on the hunt. (Photo courtesy of Judy Mathiau)

Judy Mathiau has been hunting for quite a few years now, and remembers her first jaunts through the deer woods on the family’s Vassalboro land. She was just a young teenager, and didn’t even carry a gun back then. But the walks she shared with her dad, Harlan Glidden, were special. “I just walked with […]

A special 10-point buck: ‘Dad was there in spirit’

Judy Mathiau of Vassalboro poses with the 10-point buck she shot on Nov. 5. The deer weighed 190 pounds, and Mathiau says her dad was with her, in spirit, on the hunt. (Photo courtesy of Judy Mathiau)

Over the past three weeks, we’ve shared a few great deer-hunting stories as part of our BDN’s Biggest Bucks contest. And while this week’s featured deer might not be the biggest, nor sport the largest rack, Judy Mathiau of Vassalboro proves that we’re suckers for a touching tale. The subject line of Mathiau’s entry: “My […]

22-point buck taken in Carrabassett Valley … but not by a hunter

This 22-point buck was hit by a vehicle in Carrabassett Valley last week. (Bonnie Holding photo)

So, this isn’t a hunting story. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. It is, however, a deer story, and it features a buck with an enormous rack of antlers. Therefore, I knew many BDN readers would want to get a look at a deer that was a victim of a […]

‘Not a wicked exciting hunt’ ends with 250-pound buck

Tom Kittrick (center) poses with his daughter, Jaimyn Kittrick, son Dvin Kittrick and the 250-pound, 7-point buck he shot while hunting near Millinocket on Nov. 3. (Photo courtesy of Tom Kittrick)

Ideally, all of our hunts would go as planned. In a perfect world, when we finally catch up with that buck of a lifetime, it’ll be a combination of our planning, tactics and woods knowledge that turn the tide in our favor. Of course, not all hunts turn out that way. And sometimes, things still […]