Page 1






4 Tales from Maine’s Mighty Katahdin


Maine’s great mountain pulls many back.

9 A Baxter Legacy Lives On

Memories of Kidney Pond Camps resonate with former visitors.

12 Cruise to an Offshore Lighthouse

Connect with Maine’s maritime history by visiiting one.

26 In Search of Wild Trout

Great fishing may well be a short hike away.

30 Camping with Kids? Play with Your Food! The joys (and tastes) of campfire cooking.



10 22 23 25

ATVers ride where railroad trains once rumbled Introducing children to the joys of fishing Defining the inconic Maine Moose Fit to float: finding the right life jacket





SUMMER 2012 3




he Bangor Daily News is pleased to present the second edition of its newest custom publication, BDN Maine Outdoors, where you’ll find updates for outdoors enthusiasts, ideas of what to do in the great outdoors, and where to go explore Maine’s beauty, whether alone or with family and friends. A unique partnership fueled the creation of BDN Maine Outdoors. Advertising supplements are nothing new. This publication is, in large part because it turns the typical formula for similar publications on its ear. Leaf through the pages and you’ll likely notice three distinct sources of information. That was intentional. First (and last), you’ll see entirely independent stories written by BDN Outdoors staffers. Closer to the center of the publication, on each side of a

four-page center package, you’ll find tales produced or commissioned by BDN advertising’s Custom Publications division. And the content in the center package was generated and paid for by our anchor sponsor, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. In this second edition, we’ve put a large focus on Maine’s largest, most majestic peak — Mount Katahdin. You’ll also find fish tales, some great places to visit while exploring Maine’s coast, and tips to make the most of your hiking and camping experiences. And don’t forget, bear hunting season isn’t far away and we’ve got a look at how things are shaping up for the 2012 season. The next of this year’s four scheduled BDN Maine Outdoors publications are set to come out in September and December. Each will have timely informa-

tion to keep you snowshoeing, hiking, ATVing, and paddling through the seasons as you hunt, fish, birdwatch, tromp through the woods, or simply pass the time watching the waves roll in along the rocky coast. No matter how you found us — in your mailbox, on a newsstand, at the Maine Moose Lottery Festival in Rangely, or at a Welcome Center along I-95 — we’re glad you’ve got a copy of BDN Maine Outdoors in your hands and hope you’ll let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see us write about in future editions. Also, don’t forget to check in online at bangordailynews. com/outdoors regularly for updates on what’s going on outside your door. Happy hunting, hiking, fishing, exploring — in other words, go enjoy the Maine outdoors.




■ INSIDE Publisher Richard J. Warren BDN Maine Outdoors Editor Aimee Thibodeau Graphics Editor Eric Zelz Writers John Holyoke Aislinn Sarnacki Photographers John Clarke Russ Linda O’Kresik Gabor Degre Robert Bukaty Contributing Photographer Dave Small BDN Maine Outdoors Extra Special Adverstising Section Editor Brian Swartz Contributing Writers Frank Frost Sheila Grant Gerry Lavigne Advertising Director Steve Martin Advertising Sales Jeff Orcutt Creative Services Bridgit Cayer Faith Burgos John Koladish Michele Prentice To advertise in our next edition, please call Jeff Orcutt at 207-990-8036 Toll-free in Maine 1-800-432-7964 ext. 8036 or email ©2012 Bangor Daily News. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent. Requests for permission to copy, reprint, or duplicate any content should be directed to 491 Main Street, Bangor, Maine 04401 To subscribe call 207-990-8040 or toll-free in Maine 1-800-432-7964. About the cover A day hiker takes in the view on the slopes of Mount Katahdin, elevation 5,270, the tallest mountain in Maine. Katahdin Lake is seen in the distance. PHOTO BY ROBERT F. BUKATY

The Pamola peak of Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine’s Baxter State Park.

I Tales from


was 17 when I first hiked to Maine’s tallest summit, Baxter Peak on Mount Katahdin, and time has wrapped the memory in a cloudy husk. Bits and pieces remain clear – the taste of peanuts and chocolate, the unrelenting summer sun, the milehigh summit of rosy, lichenencrusted granite. Since then, Maine’s great mountain has pulled me back many times. It’s a tradition. Each summer, my mother’s side of the family, along with friends that might as well be family, rent an entire campground in Baxter State Park and erect a village of tents. I single out my first ascent, because therein lies the making of a tradition. None of the merry group feels obligated to hike, we do so with a thirst for adventure and challenge that gnaws at us year round.

Summer 2005

Early mornings breed short sentences. With stiff joints and skin sodden with dew, we crawled from our tents in the glow of sunrise and assembled under a canvas canopy to force down breakfast and stuff our daypacks in near silence. My uncle Bruce Jordan


checked supplies and steered us to the vehicles. The Baxter trip tradition began with his family of four in 1998, when my cousin Eben Jordan was just 6 years old, my cousin Eve Jordan, 8. Since then, the tradition has branched outward, finally snagging up my mother, Joyce, and myself.

Maine’s great mountain has pulled me back many times. A bumpy ride in a truck bed rattled me fully awake before being dropped off with our impressive group (10-15 people) at Roaring Brook Campground. We embarked on Chimney Pond Trail, a gradual climb more than 3.3 miles to Chimney Pond, a pristine tarn cradled in the arms of a mountain range. I remember watching the hiker in front of me – muddy boots navigating an increasingly steep route. I remember thinking, “This is harder than basketball,” and that perhaps I had gotten in over my head. Then I experienced the strange propul-






George Eisworth (from left), Derek Whited, Eben Jordan, Elyse DeNeige, Sam Clapp, Eben Roubichaud, Eve Jordan, Aislinn Sarnacki and Derek Runnells sit on a rock near the entrance of Baxter State Park in August 2011 after hiking Mount Katahdin during their annual camping trip. sion – family and friends ahead and behind, an energy pushing me ever higher. A granola bar and swig of water later, we were on Helon Taylor, a narrow wooded trail that climbs gradually to Pamola Peak, which at 4,919 feet above sea level, guards the eastern end of the Great Basin. Some peaks are meant for brief visits only — a triumphant whoop, a camera flash and a wave farewell. Pamola is one of those peaks. I’ve always felt that Pamola has a strange aura about it — as if the peak is merely tolerating your presence, and if you overstay your welcome, something otherworldly might befall you. After a “no-horsing-around” lecture from Uncle Bruce, we stepped onto Knife Edge, a narrow 1.1-mile ridge that connects Pamola with its big brother, Baxter. My mother hiked behind me. Every once in a while, she’d call out in the strained voice of a worried parent, reminding me to hike slower, keep a hand on the rocks, “stop jumping about like a gazelle.” For good reason – Knife Edge narrows at some points to just a yard in width, the sides plunging down for thousands of feet. I remember being scared and thrilled at the same time, my heart beating fast but my legs steady. We crept carefully to Baxter Peak, which has always seemed the friendlier of the two peaks. At 5,226 feet, it is the summit of the great moun-

Stewards of Maine’s Environment Since 1845 Poland Spring’s respect for the environment, our stewardship of water sources and the land Bruce and Kerry Jordan of Veazie ordered custom long-sleeve T-shirts for their group of family and friends that camp and hike at Baxter State Park each year. The camping tradition began in 1998, and the group has grown from four to about 25 people. tain, marked by an enormous stone cairn and a sign that rangers swap out every 10 years before the chiseled lettering becomes unreadable from relentless wind and hikers compelled to leave their mark on Maine’s highest point. This is where we snack and rest, huddled in nooks between jagged rocks. The Tableland, a flat, boulder-strewn plain, carpeted with stunted growth, led us to the Saddle Trail, where we descended, scrambling down scree. My toes jammed painfully against the tips of my running shoes (not having hiking boots so early in my outdoor endeavors). I paused several

times to tighten the laces, but it was no use. I cried silently as we traversed 5.5 miles to the end. My toenails would later turn purple and fall off. Back at camp, the sore feet and insect bites didn’t matter. I took out my custom long-sleeve T-shirt, courtesy of my Aunt Kerry and Uncle Bruce. On the front of the shirt were two hiking boots and the slogan “Not all those who wander are lost.” On the back, several destinations within Baxter State Park, and beside each, a box to check off. With a magic marker, I checked off “Pamola Peak,” “Knife Edge” and “Baxter Peak” before pulling it on over PAGE 6 ►

around them, and our commitment to being a good employer and a good neighbor, are all part of our heritage as a Maine company. We’re proud to turn a rapidly renewable natural resource into nearly 800 full time and seasonal good jobs for Maine people.

Poland Spring • Hollis • Kingfield





Sandy Sabaka summits Mount Katahdin, finishing her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail on Oct. 13, 2002. She celebrates at the summit sign on Baxter Peak. Mount Katahdin as seen from from Caverly Pond. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SANDY SABAKA ◄ PAGE 5

my head. By the smoking fire, dead weight in a flimsy camp chair, I laughed and ate burnt marshmallows, knowing I’d return the following year, and the next, and the next.

Sandy Sabaka of Hope submitted an abridged version of her journal entry from the last day of her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2002.


ct. 13, 2002 — Friends had gathered and come by on their way up, sure I would be zooming past them shortly. But in the end, I caught up to no one and was only caught by C. He helped me up some of the long reaches in the boulders above treeline. I cried with frustration at one point when I couldn’t see a way up ‘I’ll be the only thru-hiker to not summit Katahdin because it’s too hard.’ My brother had stopped before the Tableland to wait for us. The three of us continued across that rocky, flat stretch. The day was clear up there, brilliant, and we were able to see people on the summit. I had wanted the last hike to last forever, but now I wanted the celebration to start. I left them behind as I hurried toward the top. I thought I had it under control until I saw the Aframed sign, the stuff my dreams had been filled with for months. Clint was just coming down and caught me sobbing. He gave me a hug — “It’s up there, waiting for you.” I nodded and continued up. The crowd started cheering, I cried harder. It was really done. The sign was mine; I had to touch it. Pictures were taken; I had

missed the group thru-hiker picture in my non-haste to get there. Others were on their way down. I fumbled with my Springer stones and tucked them into the cairn with a blessing. Champagne was uncorked; I tried to eat something. Strong hiker friends were telling me they were proud of me. Any one of them could do this or outdo me any day. I had just chosen to make this my year, finally. Slowly, people left the summit. It was a beautiful day, but they had been waiting for a while. I knew I had to get down, and there was weather coming in, so with one last look at the sign, I turned my back on it and for once, hiked South on the AT, following the white blazes for 5 more miles. Sabaka plans to be married at Katahdin Stream Campground September 2012, “in the shadow of the mountain.” Her fiancé is a Baxter State Park ranger who Sabaki met during one of the summers she worked as a ridge runner on the AT out of Baxter State Park. Read more of her thru-hike journal at

Jay Robinson of South Woodville remembers hiking Katahdin in 2003 with his 81-year-old father, Wilmot “Wiggie” Robinson.


’ve climbed Katahdin 12 times now in my 56 years. But two most memorable hikes, one in 2003 and another in 2007, will forever be etched as foremost in my memory. The first hike I mention, in 2003, I had the honor of hiking the mountain with my 81 years young dad, Wilmot “Wiggie” Rob-

inson. To so many, he was a friend and well known personality in the outdoor arena of Maine, but to me, he was just my dad. Dad was in a party of hikers including Bill Irwin, the noted blind hiker who had previously completed the entire Appalachian Trail with his guide dog, Orient, in 1990, and then later documented it in his book “Blind Courage.” Bill’s new dog, Colby, nobly served his master. Their chosen route up was the 5.2 mile Hunt Trail, also known as the final leg of the Appalachian Trail. For my ascent, I would be climbing up via the Abol Trail and then onward along the Tableland to the peak. By 10:30 a.m. I had arrived a couple of hours before they did, but from several hikers who had met and passed his party, I was receiving a steady stream of ongoing reports of their whereabouts. Finally, along the open expanse of the Tableland, perhaps 200 yards away, I could make out their slow but steady progress with Bill and his dog, Colby, leading the entourage. As they approached, with each stride words alone here cannot express the sheer emotion welling up inside me. I watched with pride as my smiling 81-year-old Dear Ol’ Dad drew closer until finally that memorable moment when we embraced atop mighty Katahdin amid a ringing applause from perhaps 50 people gathered at the peak. Of all the many memories we had shared over the years in the great outdoors surrounding Katahdin’s shadow, this would certainly rank among the top! When it finally became time to

leave, my dad and I, together with his friend and faithful companion Ray Boland began our descent down Abol Trail. Along the way, on that glorious, sunsplashed, late August day with hopes held high, my dad made a vow to attempt another climb up Katahdin in four years, in his 85th year of life on this earth. In that moment, I never doubted him in his will and determination to succeed with that goal. It would have been the three of us — my 14-year-old son Michael, myself and Dad. What a memorable trip that certainly would have been! But, sadly, it was not to be, as my dad passed on from this earth of a heart attack shortly after his 85th birthday on June 29, 2007. The early summer day had a beautiful, blue sky. He was at his beloved camp with my mom tending to gardening chores when God called him home, in full view of the mountain he cherished so much. In 2007, my son Michael and his friend Zack made plans to honor that commitment despite the sad circumstances. In a larger sense, Michael and I both knew that Grampy would still be along with us in spirit on our journey. For one so dear, that person’s memory is never too far away. Tucked in my pack that day, in a very personal matter, I carried along a portion of my dad’s ashes in a small container. I planned to scatter to the wind those contents, in his memory, to the mountain he so loved and played a role in his life in Katahdin Country. But as I climbed that day with each moment closer toward the top, my emotions

grew. Finally atop the mountain, I reached for the small container tucked away in my backpack. As I closed my eyes and listened to the wind, I held it in my hands for the longest moment and whispered a silent prayer. I couldn’t do it. I just wasn’t ready to let go. Once again, my Dad and I made the trip back down our mountain.

Michael Brown, originally from Hampden and now living in Boston, relates his trip to Chimney Pond on February 2011.


e were skiing into Chimney Pond last February a day behind three of our good buddies. Arriving at dusk after hauling our sleds the requisite 16 miles to the base of the mountain, we headed into the Ranger’s cabin to check in and settle our sleeping arrangements in a nearby lean-to. He was having what seemed to be a very serious phone conversation with a search and rescue crew. When he hung up he said, “Glad you guys could make it, we might need your help hauling a dead body or two off Pamola.” “Nice to meet you, too,” was the thought in my head. Immediately we thought of our three friends who were attempting to summit that day via Pamola’s Fury. We quickly cleared up that it was not our friends, but rather a group of students from the University of Maine who had summated via Helon Taylor from the Roaring Brook campsite. The mountain was pretty socked in with 70-mph winds and high avalanche danger, not the best day to be summiting anything. It turned






Michael Brown (from left) stands beside August Longino at Baxter Peak of Mount Katahdin on Feb. 21, 2011. They hiked to the summit together with their friend Jed Palmer.

out that the last of the four hikers was blown off the trail. The next day we summited Hamlin peak while watching a helicopter, airplane, and ground crews work to find the missing hiker. Arriving back at the campsite in the early afternoon the Ranger remarked, “If we don’t find him by tonight then he won’t make it.” The temperatures were expected to reach well below 20 degrees with the wind chill. Luckily, they found him that afternoon and air-lifted him to the hospital. There were a few major mistakes that the group made that led to their accident but none bigger than forgetting to thank the search and rescue crew who saved his life. In his interview after the fact, he recounted the survival tactics he learned from watching Bear Grylls on television as the reasons for why he survived. What he didn’t say was that had there not serendipitously been a search and rescue training group already in Baxter State Park that day, he would be dead right now.

Mike Flynn of Ripley has hiked to the summit of Katahdin 81 times in the past 35 years. He relates some of his amusing Katahdin experiences.


ne day, I was resting on top when I noticed a rainsquall heading this way from Chesuncook. My friend and I packed up and headed down the Hunt Trail. We were almost at the edge of the Tableland when the rain started. There was an 18-inch opening at the bottom of a ledge with a small chamber. We crawled

in, hauled our packs in and waited for the squall to pass. We were eating gorp [“good old raisins and peanuts”] and conversing, when some hikers passed by outside of the crack. They could hear our voices but couldn’t see anybody. One of them remarked that Pamola must be talking to them. When we crawled out of the hole, we thanked Pamola for providing us with the shelter. Hoping for an early start, we were sleeping in the back of my truck at the gravel pit outside the park. We had an unusual wake up alarm. We awoke to the sound of tapping on the hood of my truck. After a couple of minutes listening to the tapping, I looked out the window. Standing in front of my truck was a cow and calf moose. It was blackfly season and when the calf wagged its tail, it tapped on my hood. A unique alarm, indeed. The rugged grandeur of the mountain, with its towering cliffs, clear, cold running streams and host of animals inhabiting its slopes, makes Mt. Katahdin one of my favorite hiking destinations.

Dale Murray of Windham has never hiked Katahdin, but it has long been a part of his life.


can’t remember when Katahdin entered my life. I have never climbed it, never hunted or fished its flanks. I have never even entered Baxter State Park. The mountain was simply always there, ethereal, just beyond true comprehension. It was and remains mystic, spiritual. In the 1950s, Katahdin was a


Susan Hopp (left) and Donna Davidge pose on Baxter Peak, the summit of Mount Katahdin in October 2010.

vague concept to me, but I knew it was important. A mile high! That in itself impressed a preteen, especially after Dad pointed out that laid on its side it would stretch from the high school to Breton’s Store. Back then few from Greenville climbed the mountain so there was little lore for guidance. As a Boy Scout with a troop associated with the Katahdin Area Council, I didn’t connect. Katahdin had nothing to do with my scouting adventures around Moosehead. Its meaning was as shrouded in mist as Katahdin itself often is. I first saw Katahdin when my parents decided to visit the Tweedie family at Rip Dam. The drive to the dam was quite different from today, though it is more similar since GNP stopped maintaining the roads. The rutted ride from Kokadjo and the endless tree line bored me. Then, something magical occurred. Out of nowhere appeared a paved road, right smack dab in the middle of the forest! Elated, I perked up. Still, I was unprepared for what lay ahead. We rounded the corner that descends to river level, and the mystic became real. I was awestruck. Still am every time I see it. Since that first time, I have contemplated the mountain from all directions. I often join my brother in Fort Kent for fishing trips and have explored every northbound route. I have viewed the mountain’s backside from the Telos Road and marveled at its majestic southwestern vista from the Golden Road where it virtually looms overhead. I have embraced the majesty of its east-

ern panoply from the farm at the Stacyville corner on Route 11, the northeastern vantage from the turnout off I-95 near Sherman and the stunning view from the hill that descends into Sherman Station. Always, to this day, I’ve marveled at its magnificence. It remains a mystical, spiritual monolith.

Mary Margaret Colman, who teaches in the Music Department at Rowan University in New Jersey, plans to retire in Maine in two years, and she has memories of doing trailwork on Katahdin.


y fondest memory of Mount Katahdin is back in the ‘90s when I used to do annual volunteer work with Lester Kenway. He was the hardest worker and most caring person and experienced in every way when it came to reconstructing the rugged trails of Mount Katahdin. In the mid‘90s, a team of volunteers cut huge rocks on the Hunt Trail and built up the two sets of rock steps that exist there today. About one mile in on the Hunt Trail, there was one particular rock that they hammered out to create 38 new rock steps on the Hunt Trail. We worked in damp, cloudy, rainy weather for three days in a row and stayed in volunteer cabins at Katahdin Stream Campground. When Lester was about to place one huge “heart rock” in place about 1-2 miles in on the Hunt Trail, we all gathered around in a circle and watched

him place it. It stopped raining at that moment, and we all clapped when it fell into place. I told him I had a collection of over 500 heart rocks that I collected over the years, and he thought that was grand. I can still “spot” that rock today on the Hunt Trail that has “two sets” of rock steps. I believe the first set has 60 steps, and the second set of rock steps (about 2 miles in on the trail) has 63 rock steps that Lester built over a three-year period with many volunteers. It was grand to watch the progress. And my most scary moment was when I had to cross Katahdin Stream about 3 miles in on the Hunt Trail to get batteries for Lester, who spoke with the volunteers across the stream with walkie talkies as we hoisted the rocks up from where we were digging to carry them in the hoisted boxes across the stream to the Hunt Trail. Hikers walking on the Appalachian Trail would never know that so much work has gone into these steps as they hurry to finish their last few miles of their spiritual hike from Springer Mountain in Georgia to the top of Mt. Katahdin. I will never forget Lester’s yellow boots. We called him “The Rubber Duckie.” I worked with two friends, Marjorie Stratton (town manager of Vinalhaven, Maine) and Mary Knowlton (retired from University of Maine Human Resources). PAGE 8 ►



SUMMER 2012 ◄ PAGE 7

Donna Sewall Davidge of IslandFalls relates what the natural beauty and history of Katahdin means to her and her family.


We have cabins or acreage with year round or seasonal access, waterfront cabins & lots available. Recreational activities in the immediate area include 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, canoeing, fishing, hunting & more.

Lakeville - Private 4.3+/- acres with remarkable frontage on Horseshoe Lake,

septic, dug well. This camp shell with daylight walk-out foundation has walls studded, just needs finishing. Exterior has vinyl siding & huge deck providing great views. Low taxes! $129,000 For complete information packages on all our properties go to or call, write or e-mail for a complete list.

CWA & Lake St. Real Estate, P.O. Box 66, Lincoln, ME 04457 (207)794-2460,

ount Katahdin means the “Great One,” as the Indians called it. It rises majestically as you view it from the scenic overlook on I-95 or from various points in Island Falls, where Theodore Roosevelt started when he climbed it. It means wilderness and wildlife and, thanks to the vision of Mr. Baxter, it meant preserving it for Maine and its people. When Theodore Roosevelt climbed it, he was with my great grandfather William Sewall. It means a lot to me to keep the tradition alive — of friendship that can be made in nature, which doesn’t judge you for what you have or who you know. Nature treats all equally. Involved in the battle to keep the wind turbines from harming our wildlife and hilltops viewed from Mount Katahdin, I never thought the day would come that the area is so jeopardized. Even if [natural landscape] is ruined nearby (if a miracle happens, the people of Maine may wake up and rise up and say, “Please do not change the way of life we

Mt. Katahdin means the “Great One,” as the Indians called it. It rises majestically as you view it from the scenic overlook on I-95.

have known all these years.”) the mountain will remain unchanged, even as everything around it does not remain the same. If [Katahdin] had a voice it might cry out, “What are you doing to the brothers and sisters I look out at every day? What is the blasting and the machines as high as skyscrapers? What purpose will they make? How will they serve my beautiful land and woods?” I climbed Katahdin 1999 and again in 2010. The second time, I was with a guest who returned to my great-grandfather’s home in Island Falls, where we host people as he did. She was determined to climb Katahdin. She had climbed mountains as far away as Ecuador and lived in California. I always say Susan Hopp made me go to the top. It was a glorious October day. I so hope and pray the next time she returns we will have the same views, free of industrial wind turbines that would ruin our experience of nature.






Legacy Memories of Kidney Pond Camps resonate with former visitors

Lives On



hy would Harold Colt, heir to the Colt Firearms legacy and fortune, with the world at his feet, chose to spend his entire summers at one haunt in the Maine woods? Why did governors, senators, world-famous physicians, military leaders, and a host of other dignitaries choose the same destination for their retreats? And why did Percival Baxter, in his late years and in compromised health, go there too for the last of his outings in his namesake park? Those who know can’t get the answer out fast enough: Kidney Pond Camps. To learn why such an honor roll of patrons would put their beloved, backwoods sanctum in the Pantheon of Maine’s great sporting camps of the 20th century requires talking to those who knew it best. “My father gave a free week as a wedding present to the son or daughter of any patron,” said Steve Norris, explaining some of the camp traditions that created lifelong guests. “You also got a free week for catching the largest brook trout of the season.” The rustic, enchanting, wilderness outpost, known affectionately as KPC to generations of visitors, was the last “private concession” in Baxter to be closed by the state, in 1987. For decades, its clientele and its legend had grown under the management of Charlie and Ruth Norris, of Dixfield, Maine, and then Steve and Nancy Norris of Orrington. Stephen Anderson of South

Portland recalled being brought there by his aunt in 1954. “We did not get to go all the way by car. We were stopped by a stream and were taken by horse-drawn wagon into the camps.” As an adult, Anderson returned with his own family in the 1980s. “Life at Kidney Pond Camps was one of grace, quiet, extraordinary food, company, and fly fishing,” he reminisced. “The clientele included people of national and international prominence.” Like most KPC clients, Anderson fondly remembered Colt. “His off season travels took him to the far reaches of the world. He would share his slides from the Cairo Museum or describe how hieroglyphs were painted in dark caves, or take the group on a tour of the Maldives … great stuff by generator in the middle of nowhere.” In the early 1980’s, Jim and Jan Fowler of Easton, Mass., took their two boys, aged 9 and 11, to Kidney Pond. “Moose were seen in and around the camp almost every day, and the jays and chipmunks would eat from, and sometimes sit on your hand,” Fowler mused. We fished a different pond every day, and the trout were most accommodating. It is clear now that these early life experiences had a lasting and lifemolding effect on the lives of my children.” Steve Norris, who met his future wife, Nancy when she waitressed for the camps, ran them with her after his father contracted Alzheimer’s. “There were 10 trout ponds within hiking distance, each one outfitted with

Camp Laura was one of several at Kidney Pond Camps, a privately run sporting camp in Baxter State Park. Operated for years by the Norris family, Kidney Pond Camps closed in 1987, leaving generations of loyal visitors with just their vivid memories of the special place in the Maine woods. would not renew the concession lease, letters from generations of Kidney Pond clientele flooded park authority mail boxes. Luckily, sad chapters don’t always come last. The model and spirit of Kidney Pond a canoe,” he recalled. “Each eveCamps was carried forward by ning, since I was a kid, Dad would Steve and Nancy Norris when sign you up for your choice of they opened The Pines Lodge on ponds the next day, and you usuSysladobsis Lake in Penobscot ally had it to yourself. Everyone County in 1992. Many from the compared catches and stories in KPC honor roll followed them the evening.” there to hear the echo of former While the rest of the sprawling times. They were not disappark was accessible to the hale pointed. and able for hiking and sleeping “[The Pines] continues a numout, Kidney Pond also accommober of the same elements of Baxdated guests, like Baxter himself, ter,” Jim Fowler says. “Like Baxwho needed only a convenience ter, many of the guests return the or two to be able to enjoy roughsame weeks each year, so friending it. The closing of KPC as a ships become very close.” commercial lease was, for many, a Stephen Anderson brought a sad chapter in Baxter history. van load of buddies to The Pines When it became evident the state the first year it opened. “We had

the benefit of a warm welcome and the reunification with a few of the old KPC guests!” he said. He added that it was a special moment the first time he heard the dinner bell ringing from the porch of The Pines. He recognized the tone, and later discovered it was the bell from Kidney Pond. “Nothing can replace KPC,” Norris reflected. “But we derived all we know about running a camp from Kidney Pond. It served us well.” Randy Spencer’s “Where Cool Waters Flow: Four Seasons with a Master Maine Guide” won the New England Outdoor Writers Association 2010 Book of the Year Award. He is a working guide, musician, and author. Contact Randy at





ATVersridewhererailroadtrainsoncerumbled BY BRIAN SWARTZ, ADVERTISING STAFF EDITOR


ith the snip of a yellow ribbon on Sept. 21, 2010, outdoor recreationists gained full access to the 87-mile Down East Sunrise Trail — and ATVers now ride where trains once rumbled. Owned by the Maine Department of Transportation and maintained by the Maine Department of Conservation, the DEST extends from Washington Junction in Hancock to Ayers Junction on Route 214 in Pembroke. The trail takes ATVers across inland and coastal landscapes that reflect Maine’s natural beauty, from the Schoodic Bog to the Narraguagus River to the Machias River to Big Meadow.

The countryside’s so beautiful, ATVers must see it to believe it. And many do. Open to outdoor recreationists of all types, the DEST features a hard-packed gravel surface, redecked bridges, and sufficient signs to steer ATVers in the right direction. The trail intersects critical local trails, including several that access interior Washington County. A four-wheeling excursion on the DEST can encompass inland waterways, thick spruce-fit forests, tidal waterways (along the East Machias and Machias rivers), wide meadows, and the inevitable beaver lodge rising from a trailside flowage. Watch for wildlife; birds

abound, and signs identify turtle nesting habitat near particular streams. Deer, moose, black bear, and the occasional otter sometimes appear on or near the trail. Although the DEST crosses

tick off the miles from Washington Junction (just shy of Mile 2) to Ayers Junction (about 3/8-mile beyond Mile 87). The reason that Washington Junction is not Mile 0 is that the Department of Conservation wants to extend the

Two ATVs can pass carefully side by side on the DEST except on the bridges. Be careful when approaching an oncoming ATVer or bicyclist where the trail crosses a wetland, as on the Schoodic Bog: One bump, and somebody’s in the drink. Route 1 only once, multiple road crossings — public and private — exist along its length. Obey the stop signs: Traffic appears quickly around nearby curves. Stay to the right on the trail. Thick woods obscure some curves; straying too far left could be dangerous. Two ATVs can pass carefully side by side on the DEST except on the bridges. Be careful when approaching an oncoming ATVer or bicyclist where the trail crosses a wetland, as on the Schoodic Bog: One bump, and somebody’s in the drink. For folks wondering just where they are when riding the trail, signs identify municipal boundaries, and “mile markers”

DEST two miles west to High Street in Ellsworth. Trail access is easy. For ATVers needing to park a truck and trailer, adequate trailheads exist at: • Washington Junction, located about midway between High Street in Ellsworth and Route 1 in Hancock. This trailhead can accommodate many vehicles and has a portable toilet; • Route 182, just west of the Franklin Trading Post in Franklin; • Route 183 in East Sullivan. This small trailhead lies beneath a short, steep downslope, so be careful when entering or exiting; • Route 193 in Cherryfield, just north of the Willey District Road intersection; • Tibbettstown Road in

Columbia Falls, just north of the Route 1 intersection. This lot can hold three trucks, perhaps. Be careful when entering or exiting; • Station Road in Jonesboro. Although isolated, this trailhead provides good east-west access to the DEST’s central section; • Route 1 just east of the Machias Dike. Located across the highway from Dunkin Donuts, this trailhead is popular with bicyclists and hikers; • Station Road in East Machias, just east of the Machiasport bridge; • On Willow Street in East Machias, just behind Archibald’s Store; • At Route 191 about 6½ miles north of East Machias; • Just off the Milwaukee Road in Dennysville. This trailhead lies west of Route 86 and north of the Denny Rivers bridge; • Ayers Junction, located on Route 214 about 4 miles from Pembroke. There is a portable toilet here. For much of its length, the Down East Sunrise Trail runs far from population centers; services are spotty, so plan accordingly. Headed east from Washington Junction, ATVers can obtain services at: • The Franklin Trading Post (food and fuel), just off Mile Marker 11. The rear parking lot was expanded last year to handle trail traffic; • North Street Café in Cherryfield (food), located beside

Bangor Hydro Electric Company (207) 947-2414 | 1-800-499-6600

Bangor Hydro is improving the electric system of the Downeast region through the Downeast Reliability Project. This new 115 kV transmission line will enhance reliability and increase capacity to the Downeast coastal area, and will benefit the region for many years. A portion of the new line has been built along the Down East Sunrise Trail in a previously existing transmission corridor. Extensive construction work was conducted last summer and fall, and the project is now more than 70 percent complete. A small section of work along the trail in Columbia is expected to be completed this summer. Bangor Hydro and 3Phase Line Construction would like to thank the Down East Sunrise Trail Coalition, the Maine Department of Conservation, and all the users of the trail for working so cooperatively with us to get this work done. The residents of coastal Hancock and Washington Counties will benefit from this new line by the end of 2012.


Headed eastbound near Mile Marker 70 on the Down East Sunrise Trail in East Machias, an ATVer rides ahead of two bicyclists.



Two ATVers riding on a “2-up” ATV head east on the Down East Sunrise Trail where it crosses the Schoodic Bog beneath Schoodic Mountain.

the trail about halfway between Mile Markers 29 and 30. Watch for the sign and arrow; • The Circle K (food and fuel) on Route 1 in Harrington. A sign on the DEST directs ATVers onto a local trail leading to this business; • Main Street in Machias (food, fuel, and overnight accommodations);

• Archibald’s Store (food and fuel), near Mile Marker 62 in East Machias; • At the Dodge Road stop sign in Dennysville, signs direct ATVers to the Cobscook Bay Café (food), 6.5 miles away on Route 1 in Dennysville; the Whiting Store (food and fuel), 14 miles away on Route 1 in Whiting; or McLeod’s

Variety (food and fuel), 27 miles away on Route 9 in Baileyville; • A bit farther east, a sign directs ATVers to a local business with overnight cottages; • From Ayers Junction, a local club trail will bring ATVers to a Route 1 store in Pembroke. Cross the road and follow the old railroad bed east.

SomeimportantlawstobeawareofwhileATVinginMaine: • A person under age 10 may not operate an ATV. • Those older than 10 but younger than 16 may not operate an ATV on a public trail unless they have successfully completed a training course approved by the state. After completion of the course, those riders must still be accompanied by an adult. Those who are older than 10 and younger than 16 may operate an ATV without taking a training course if their operation takes place on land where they live, or which is owned or leased by that person’s parent, or is at a training site approved by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. • A person may not operate an ATV or any other motor vehicle other than a snowmobile on a snowmobile trail that is financed in whole or in part by the Snowmobile Trail Fund, unless that use has been authorized by the landowner, or unless that use is necessitated by an emergency. • There are no reciprocal registration privileges. A nonresident is required to register an ATV in Maine in order to operate it here. • A person may not operate an ATV upon a

• • •

• •

private road after having been forbidden to do so by the owner’s agent or a municipal official, either personally or by appropriately displayed notices. A person must bring an ATV to a complete stop before entering a public way. A person may not operate an ATV except at a reasonable and prudent speed for the conditions. Persons operating ATVs upon the land of another shall stop and identify themselves upon the request of the landowner or the landowner’s authorized representative. Notwithstanding Title 29-A, section 2083, a person under 18 years old may not operate an ATV unless wearing protective headgear. Notwithstanding Title 29-A, section 2083, a person may not carry a passenger under age 18 on an ATV unless the passenger is wearing protective headgear.

For a complete summary of Maine ATV laws, go to


SUMMER 2012 11







onnect with Maine’s maritime history by visiting an offshore lighthouse this summer. And leave the driving — or rather, “skippering” — to an experienced tour boat crew. Like eider ducks swimming along a rock-bound shore, lighthouses often “cluster” along the Maine coast, particularly near ports. For example, six lighthouses once guarded the Portland Harbor approaches: Two Lights (with the West Tower deactivated in 1924) and Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse near Cushing Island, and Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse and Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light) in South Portland. Other lighthouse clusters exist offshore — and on a fine Maine summer day, no better pastime exists than cruising the coast to see different lighthouses. From Kittery to Lubec, tour operators offer the perfect lighthouse cruise itinerary. Prices vary with the cruise. Plan on paying $20-$25 per person for shorter cruises and more per person for longer cruises. Always bring a jacket when sailing in Maine’s cool coastal waters. • Kittery/Portsmouth: Board an Isles of Shoals Steamship Company cruise and sail past Portsmouth Harbor Light in New Castle, N.H.; Whaleback Ledge Light in Kittery;

Little River Lighthouse in Cutler

and White Island Lighthouse in the Isles of Shoals. Maine and New Hampshire split these islands, which are scenic rocky outcrops scattered across the sea 9 miles offshore. For information, call (800) 441-4620 or (603) 431-5500 visit • York: Bigger ‘n Better Sport Fishing offers a cruise that encompasses remote Boone Island Light (the tallest Maine lighthouse), Cape Neddick Light in York, Whaleback Ledge Light, and White Island Light. For information, call (800) 526-8172 or (774) 200-3020 or visit • Ogunquit: Finestkind Sea Cruises sails from Perkins Cove and offers, among other cruises, an excursion past Cape Neddick Lighthouse (aka Nubble Light) in York. For information, call 6465227 or visit • Portland: Several companies based on the Portland waterfront offer harbor cruises that take passengers past Bug Light and Spring Point Ledge Light, and a few cruises add a Portland Head Light “sail by.” On a sunny day, all three lighthouses are best viewed in the morning or late afternoon. For information, visit http://directory. • Bath: Located downriver from Bath Iron Works, the Maine Maritime Museum runs cruises along the Kennebec River. Passengers will

often see six lighthouses: delightful Doubling Point Light, Kennebec River Range Light, Squirrel Point Light, Perkins Island Light, and Pond Island Light and the allegedly haunted Seguin Island Light, both located near the river’s entrance. Doubling Point Light and Squirrel Point Light are also accessible

On a fine Maine summer day, no better pastime exists than cruising the coast to see different lighthouses. by land. For information, call 4431316 or visit • Boothbay Harbor: Lighthouses abound in local waters, and Cap’n Fish’s Boat Trips tailors several cruises for lighthouse aficionados. Typical cruises include nearby Burnt Island Light or Ram Island Light (best viewed from noon to early evening on sunny days). The three-hour Kennebec River Lighthouse Cruise sails past Burnt Island Light, Cuckolds Light off Southport, Seguin Island Light (some distance away), Pond Island

Light, Perkins Island Light, Squirrel Point Light, Kennebec River Range Light, and Doubling Point Light. For information, call (207) 633-6605 or visit • New Harbor: From this picturesque village in Bristol, Hardy Boat Cruises runs a one-hour roundtrip cruise to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, which is also accessible via Route 130. Hardy Boat Cruises also offers a Puffin Cruise to Eastern Egg Rock in Muscongus Bay; on a clear day, passengers can see Franklin Island Lighthouse to the north. For information, call (800) 278-3346 or (207) 677-2026 or (800) 278-3346 or visit hardyboat. com. • Port Clyde: This quintessential Maine fishing village lies at the tip of the St. George Peninsula. The Monhegan Boat Co. offers an interesting cruise that encompasses Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Tenants Harbor Lighthouse (owned by artist Jamie Wyeth) off Tenants Harbor, Whitehead Island Lighthouse at the southern entrance to the Mussel Ridge Channel, and Two Bush Island Lighthouse, a remote Penobscot Bay outpost. En route to completing the eastern leg of his crosscountry run in “Forrest Gump,” actor Tom Hanks — or a reasonable facsimile — trotted onto the walkway connecting the shore with

the 31-foot lighthouse at Marshall Point. At Tenants Harbor Light, a resident occasionally fires a cannon — with a blank, of course — at the passing tour boat. For information, call (207) 372-8848 or visit • Camden: Every vessel approaching or departing Camden Harbor must pass Curtis Island Lighthouse. Several windjammers and power boats offer cruises from this scenic harbor backdropped by Mount Battie; the Betselma takes passengers past Curtis Island Light and privately owned Indian Island Light, located off Rockport. For information, visit or • Lincolnville: Catch the ferry Margaret Chase Smith and cross West Penobscot Bay to visit Grindle Point Lighthouse on Islesboro. Easily photographed as the ferry approaches its terminal, the lighthouse houses the Sailor’s Memorial Museum and stands adjacent to the terminal. For information about Islesboro ferry service, call (207) 789-5611 or visit islesboro.htm. • Deer Isle: Old Quarry Ocean Adventures offers a seven-hour cruise that passes six lighthouses and stops at North Haven for lunch. The six lighthouses are: Robinson Point Light on Isle au


Haut, Saddleback Ledge Light, Brown’s Head Light on Vinalhaven, Goose Rocks Light in the Fox Island Thorofare, Heron Neck Light, and Mark Island Light, a white-painted tower guarding the western approaches to the Deer Island Thorofare. For information, visit, call (207) 3678977, or email info@oldquarry. com. • Bar Harbor: The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. offers four lighthouse-related trips that sail from the company’s pier on West Street. A 2¾-hour cruise sails daily from late June to late October. This tour provides unique views of Sand Beach and Thunder Hole and passes the Little Cranberry Island Lifesaving Station and five lighthouses: Baker Island, Bear Island, Egg Rock, Great Duck Island, and Winter Harbor. A four-hour cruise takes passengers to explore Baker Island and its remote lighthouse. A 3½-4-hour cruise combines a visit to Petit Manan Island Lighthouse with an offshore whale watch. The second-tallest lighthouse on the Maine coast, Petit Manan Island Light guards a birdbreeding colony frequented by nesting puffins. A 2-hour nature cruise explores Frenchman Bay and takes passengers close to Egg Rock Lighthouse. For information, call (207) 2882386 or (888) 942-5374 or visit • Bar Harbor: Sea Venture Custom Boat Tours offers customized tours to such lighthouses as Baker Island Light, Bass Harbor Head Light, Bear Island Light, Blue Hill Bay Light, Burnt Coat Harbor Light (Swans Island), Egg Rock Light, Great Duck Island Light



SUMMER 2012 13


(near Frenchboro), Mark Island Light, Petit Main Island Light, Pond Island Light, Prospect Harbor Light, and Pumpkin Island Light (Little Deer Isle). For information, call (207) 288-3355 or visit • Milbridge: Robertson Sea Tours offer cruises that visit Pond Island Light in Narraguagus Bay, Nash Island Light in Pleasant Bay, and Petit Manan Island Light. For information, call (207) 483-6110 or (207) 461-7439 (cell), email, or visit • Cutler: Sailing from this scenic Washington County fishing village, the Bold Coast Charter Company offers cruises to Machias Seal Island, home to nesting puffins and a Canadian lighthouse. Every cruise passes Little River Lighthouse, which guards the Cutler Harbor approaches. For information, call (207) 259-4484, email, or visit • Lubec: Located in Lubec are the sparkplug-shaped Lubec Channel Light and West Quoddy Head Light with its distinctive barberpole paint scheme. Nearby on Campobello Island are Mulholland Point Light (deactivated) and East Quoddy Head Light. All but the Lubec Channel Light are accessible by land, but visitors can reach East Quoddy Head Light only at low tide. Cruise operators in Lubec and on Campobello Island offer daily or customized tours that can visit local lighthouses. For tourist information, call (207) 733-2997 or (888) 347-9302, email, or visit or www.lubecme.





ThreegenerationsofMaine outdoorenthusiasts BY DAVID TRAHAN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER Maryella Rawnsley, 74, is not your typical grandmother. She loves to bird hunt, fly fish, bass fish, and fish for trout on and around Moxie Lake. Rawnsley is not only an avid outdoorswoman, she is the matriarch who holds the sprawling Humphrey family traditions of hunting and fishing together. When her twin granddaughters, Brittany and Danielle Humphrey, now 22, were just 10 years old, Rawnsley started sleepover hunting parties that included siblings, cousins and friends. A typical party included a hearty hunter breakfast after the morning sit, and big afternoon dinners with lots of fun and laughter. Rawnsley’s love for the outdoors has touched three generations of the Humphrey family. Lonnie and Pam Humphrey, parents of Brittany and Danielle and their 21-year-old brother Cody, have hunted and fished in Maine since childhood. Lonnie


Three generations of the Humphrey family, tied by matriarch Maryella Rawnsley, 74, are bound by family traditions of hunting and fishing together.

Humphrey owns and operates a hotdog vending stand in Gray. He speaks fondly of his first Johnson fishing pole and Daisy BB gun, and is proud of his family and their

deep roots in the outdoors. Pam Humphrey, 49, is an education technician at Gray/New Gloucester schools and enjoys


WardenServiceofferstips forstayingsafewhenlostinthe Mainewoods

BY BRIAN SWARTZ, ADVERTISING STAFF EDITOR The next time you decide to get lost in the Maine woods, let someone know where you plan to do so. That way, searchers will have a good PLS — Place Last Seen — when they start looking for you. “We average 485 searches a year” said Lt. Kevin Adam, head of Maine Warden Service Region D in Strong. He also is the coordinator for the Incident Management Team, which oversees many search missions across the state. According to Adam, searches range from the high profile — such as the recent successful search for 12-year-old Micah Thomas in Dresden — to a missing hunter to an overdue boater to an elderly person who wandered away from home. Many searches end positively; some do not. Staffed by some 15 members drawn from all over the state, the Incident Management Team gives structure to managing situations

that range from searches to natural disasters, Adam said. Assigned to different sections — logistics, planning, operations, etc. — team members coordi- LT. KEVIN ADAM nate the activities necessary for resolving incidents that can be very large or very small, he said. The Incident Management Team handles 15-20 searches a year. “We direct the resources where to search,” he said. “We’re like the football coach; we call the play, and they execute the play.” Various factors affect when the IMT responds to a missing-person report. “The local police department could be called if it’s a missing person,” Adam explained. “If the per-

son is clearly in the woods, we [Maine Warden Service] are called right away.” He may immediately call out a partial or full Incident Management Team for searches involving a missing child or elderly person, or if there’s bad weather that endangers the missing person’s life. The Incident Management Team supports the local wardens and depends on other teams within the Warden Service to assist in the search, Adam said, referring to the canine team, which he oversees. A search can involve many disciplines, including the IMT, local police, wardens, divers, and dogs and their handlers, he said. Depending on the weather conditions, aircraft, ATVs, boats, and helicopters also may be used. According to Adam, IMT members utilize a vast database to determine where to search. The starting



Good things are happening at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Goo

By David Trahan, Executive Director In less than six months our membership has increased by nearly 1,000 people, and the good will we have earned with our new emphasis on youth and family has earned us a new look from many sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. Over the last month, Becky Morrell, SAM office manager, her husband Duncan, and their two children, Kelsey and Duncan Jr., have joined me at sportsman shows in Orono, Presque Isle, and Augusta, and the reception has been one of warmth and high hopes for our organization. During the shows we signed up 250 new members and raised nearly $10,000 from raffles and merchandise sales. None of this would have been possible without the many SAM volunteers that took precious time from their families and manned our booth. Thank you to all! Unexpected visitors We were surprised by two highprofile visitors at the State of Maine Sportsman’s Show: Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, longtime friend of SAM who is seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, and former governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Angus

King. He was the last governor to make a serious financial commitment to the DIF&W, and his support of sportsmen always was appreciated. New Tenant at the SAM Conference Center We are excited to announce that the Maine Snowmobile Association has signed a longterm rental lease at our SAM Conference Center. SAM and the MSA have had a long and close relationship on issues such as public access, Roxanne Quimby’s national park proposal, and many other issues. We are elated that they will now share our building and look forward to them being a few steps down the hall. Deer Management Network In January, we held our first deer management network fundraiser and game supper. It was a terrific success. One of the network’s first projects was developing a responsible education program for feeding deer. Education materials appeared in 18 Agway stores, thanks to Nutrena representative Don Bibeau. The information also appeared in several outdoor publications and on our website. Next year’s goal is to have the

information in all stores in Maine that sell deer feed. Gerry Lavigne, retired state deer biologist, has been busy developing several more pieces of the network. One exciting piece is a responsible approach to managing predation. He has been busy researching how other states manage coyotes and bear predation. By fall we should be ready to unveil several new initiatives we think will be very popular with sportsmen. Stay tuned! Partnership update We have renewed our partnership with the law firm Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios. Longtime friend and partner of SAM, Robbins Lumber Co. of Searsmont donated 2,000 board feet of lumber for an outbuilding that we are now constructing on our Augusta property. The Kittery Trading Post has donated another round of items for our raffle, and we offer a special thanks to them for their commitment. Another new partner, Dick’s Sporting Goods, has provided us with online coupons and discounts for our members. Visit and print all you want.

Board member moves on We are sad to see that longtime board member Bob Engelhardt has decided not to seek reappointment to the SAM board. Bob has long advocated for issues important to sportsmen, and his voice of reason will be missed. We wish him well. June 13 Tribute to Service fishing tournament scheduled SAM, the International Brotherhood of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and Pine Grove Lodge are partnering on a Tribute to Service fishing tournament on Messalonskee Lake in Belgrade on June 13. Twenty-five boats and guides will take veterans and active duty servicemen and women for a day on the lake. The private catch-and-release tournament is free, and trophies will be awarded on an honor system. We are looking for veterans to fish in our boats as well as volunteers. If you’re interested, please call Becky at 622-5503. Electronic news Providing SAM News electronically will save SAM money on postage. If you would like to receive the SAM News by email, please, contact Becky Morrell:






Successful SAM Legislative Agenda Two very important SAM bills were unanimously passed by the Maine Legislature. LD 1747, “An Act to Prohibit Municipalities from Imposing Fees on Ice-Fishing Shacks,” sponsored by Rep. Mike Shaw, D-Standish, passed without opposition and was signed by the governor. This ill-conceived tax had the potential to establish a precedent that paved the way for towns to establish fees on virtually any outdoor activity. Through the hard work of Rep. Shaw and Rep. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, we banned such fees and also learned that Maine Department of Conservation was about to implement a similar fee. SAM initiated an amendment to ban state agencies from charging a fee on shacks, and it also was adopted. LD 1653, “An Act to Make Fisheries and Wildlife Projects Eligible for Tax Increment Financing,” is also a SAM bill and was sponsored by Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry. It also passed without opposition. This legislation was one of several that I have personally initiated as a legislator or as the SAM executive director that will help the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fund critical fisheries and wildlife projects. The legislation is meant to empower individuals and community groups to fund investments in wildlife habitat, hatcheries, and other similar projects when local tax breaks are negotiated for energy and business development. For example, when a community proposes a project such as a wind farm, state law allows towns to negotiate longterm financial support for community projects, including water and sewer in lieu of property taxes. LD 1653 clarifies that fisheries and wildlife projects are eligible for long-term investment. This is great news for towns wanting to invest in deer and brook trout habitat. This legislation is one of four important changes in state law that recently have occurred. The other three are: • A new law that allows DIF&W to recoup costs associated with reviewing environmental permits. As our state develops alternative energy sources, agencies such as DIF&W and Marine Resources have provided countless hours of municipal permit review without reimbursement. That means that sportsman’s license fees have paid for

State of Maine Sportsman’s Show prize winners

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine board member Cheryl Timberlake congratulates Alexis Moon of Jefferson for winning one of the eight fishing poles from Dick’s Sporting Goods raffled at the SAM booth during the March 30-April 1 State of Maine Sportsman’s Show.

expenses that should have been paid for by private business. We initiated legislation to change the law, and it was successful. • The second change was legislation creating tax credits for investment in fisheries and wildlife projects. This new tax credit is designed to spur privatepublic partnerships in projects such as fish hatcheries and boat launches. • Last year, legislation was passed establishing deer wintering habitat as a priority when purchasing or easing land under the Land for Maine’s Future Program. These four changes are good news for sportsman, but two more important items still need to be addressed: • A new bond package for Land for Maine’s Future. At press deadline, the Legislature was still considering bonds, and we will report on progress in the next SAM News. • Long-term funding for DIF&W. For decades SAM has tried to address the nearly $5 million sportsman subsidies of general fund programs. During this session the problem was again passed to the next Legislature. I had good discussions with Gov. Paul LePage and feel fairly comfortable we will see some help in the next session. Let’s hope I don’t regret that statement!

George Sodergren of Jefferson won the Windham Weaponry .223 that was raffled during the March 30-April 1 State of Maine Sportsman’s Show. Warren Dyke and Windham Weaponry generously donated the rifle for the raffle.

Several bills passed the Legislature and are still waiting for funding from the Appropriations Committee. These laws will only become effective if they are funded, and given the difficult budget times the odds that all these bills receive funding is highly unlikely. These bills are: • LD 213: “An Act to Provide Funding for the Fish Stocking Program,” $500,000. • LD 372: “An Act to Reduce Deer Predation.” This bill would allocate $100,000 for the next five years to control predation of deer on public and private lands. • LD 637: “An Act to Increase the Amount Tagging Agents Receive for Tagging Game.” Currently it costs $5 to tag a bear, deer, moose, or wild turkey, and agents can keep $1 for their effort. With the passage of this bill, agents can keep $2; the remainder is sent to DIF&W. Other bills passed by the Legislature • LD 1242: “An Act to Restore the Deer Herd in Certain Wildlife Management Districts in Maine” This bill allows the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to prohibit the feeding of deer if chronic wasting disease or the feeding of deer is causing a safety hazard for the public or the deer. It also directs the advisory council to convene a

stakeholders’ meeting annually in areas of the state where the herd need to be enhanced. Ideas will be shared with the department. Finally, the law calls for a voluntary $2 check-off on the hunting license, with the money used for deerpredation or deer-habitat improvement. • LD 1613: “An Act to Strengthen the Relationship between Land Users and Landowners” This bill repeals the super-sport certificate and replaces it with a broader and more inclusive landowner relations program. • LD 1785: “An Act to Repeal the Requirement that Canadian Big Game or Wild Turkey Hunters be Accompanied by Guides Licensed in the State and to clarify the Laws Concerning the Civil Violation of Trespass by Motor Vehicle” The title of this bill is self-explanatory, but was amended to stiffen the penalties for blocking a road to access and also creates a process to better track border use of hunting shacks. • LD 1849: “An Act to Protect Landlocked Salmon Fisheries in Schoodic and Seboeis Lakes from Invasive Species” This bill prohibits the construction of a fish way or fish bypass at the outlets of Schoodic and Seboeis Lakes to stop the progression of pike in the Penobscot watershed.



SUMMER 2012 17


New SAM Saltwater Committee formed By: Barry Gibson

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Executive Director David Trahan has decided to create a Saltwater Fishing Committee to address issues facing Maine’s coastal anglers. He has asked me to head up the committee. Currently we are forming a group of perhaps five initial members, and expect to meet regularly and on an asneeded basis. Our mission is to enhance the recreational saltwater fishing experience in Maine. We will work to increase the health of our game and food fish stocks, to eliminate angling restrictions that have little or no conservation benefit, and to ensure a fair and equitable regulatory process that will include input from sport fishermen. We also will promote recreational fishing in order to maximize its social and economic benefits. Maine’s saltwater fishermen are facing several key challenges. One is a virtual closure of the cod fishery in 2013. Gulf of Maine cod have been overfished for decades, but tight regulations implemented five years ago appeared to be doing the job

State of Maine Sportsman’s Show Volunteers

Among the volunteers staffing the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine booth at the March 30-April 1 State of Maine Sportsman’s Show were David and Kim Sullivan. David is an officer with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. SAM wants to thank Local 6 for assisting with the Sportsman’s Show and to thank Kim Sullivan for working with the children who stopped by the SAM booth.

by allowing the population to rebuild. A new assessment, however, indicates that cod are severely overfished, and that a 90 percent reduction in catch is needed. The SFC will work with regulators and encourage them to reassess using updated methodologies and assumptions. A cutback of this magnitude would be disastrous to Maine’s offshore party and charter boat industry and would impact coastal tourism, so we need real confidence in the science. The recreational catch of winter flounder has been slowly improving in Maine’s nearshore waters during the past few years, yet a 2008 assessment by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission indicated that the overall stock needed to be reduced by 11 percent. The result was a reduction in the length of Maine’s recreational flounder season to three months, July through September. Now, however, a 2011 survey indicates that winter flounder are actually in good shape, so the entire allowable quota has been doubled for 2012. Maine’s recreational

season should therefore be extended, something that has not yet taken place but that the SFC will be working to implement. Striped bass, Maine’s most popular inshore game fish, have been dwindling in numbers for the past few years, especially in the northern reaches of their migration range east of Casco Bay. Although the striper population coast-wide is said to be healthy, the catch in Maine has dropped from 4 million fish in 2006 to 142,000 fish in 2011. The SFC will stay on top of this issue and encourage regulators in states where commercial striper fishing is permitted to curtail the well-known illegal and wasteful practices that are impacting the health of the overall striped bass stock. The SFC will work towards eliminating angling restrictions that have little or no conservation benefit. For years, Maine’s Department of Marine Resources has layered on regulations that have stifled the growth of saltwater recreational fishing. Do we need a 24-inch minimum size on cod in state waters, the same as in federal waters? Do 29 species of fish need to be

prohibited in Sheepscot Bay in the spring? Do we need to have a recreational-fishing “spawning ban” on the possession of 14 species in May and June in all state waters? Does a ban on fishing with bait-and-circle hooks really do much to protect striped bass where flies and lures are permitted? The SFC will compile biological and catch data to answer these questions and justify its requests for appropriate, science-based public access to our marine resources. We’ll also attempt to determine the economic benefit of improving access and angling success. We intend to be watchdogs for the fishing public and to use SAM’s clout to ensure that anglers enjoy the best possible saltwater fishing experience here in Maine. Barry Gibson, chairman of the SAM Saltwater Fishing Committee, currently serves as the New England Director for the Recreational Fishing Alliance, as chairman of the NEFMC’s Recreational Advisory Panel, and as vice president of the Northeast Charterboat Captains Association.

SAM President named to Land for Maine’s Future Board SAM President Jim Gorman Jr. was among three of Gov. Paul LePage’s nominees to the Land for Maine’s Future Board of Directors. The other nominees were former legislator Don Marean, and Bill Vail, former commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. The legislature unanimously endorsed all three nominees. Marean, current LMF Board chair, was renominated for another term. He is anchored to the land as a horse farmer, and that’s an important attribute for an LMF member. He’s also a very thoughtful leader and works well with others — and it’s always helpful to have the perspective of a former legislator on this important board. Vail was an exceptional DIF&W commissioner. He distinguished himself from all other commissioners when he resigned that position because he could not support his governor’s attempt to take $1 million from his department. That’s the kind of integrity Vail will bring to the LMF Board. Gorman is L.L. Bean’s great-grandson, and of course, he’s an avid hunter and angler. He works at his family’s business. Gorman has served on SAM’s Board of Directors for 20 years, including two

lengthy stints as president. He is currently SAM’s president and is one of only two Directors to have served for the 18 years that I worked for the JIM GORMAN organization. While I grabbed the limelight, Gorman always was there in the background providing excellent advice, displaying strong leadership of the board, and forging a collaborative relationship that allowed all of us to work together. We achieved a lot, and he deserves much of the credit. Maine has led the nation in land conservation, and the LMF program is one key reason. Since it was created in 1987, LMF has conserved 550,000 acres, using an average of $4.78 million annually in state funding, for an average cost of just $113 per acre. A recent economic analysis by The Trust for Public Land found that every $1 invested in land conservation through LMF returned an astonishing $11 in natural goods and services to the Maine economy — a that return increases every year.

Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine 205 Church Hill Road Augusta, Maine 04330 Telephone: (207) 622-5503 Fax: (207) 622-5596 EMAIL:


Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine


President – Jim Gorman Vice President Clerk– Jim Hilly Treasurer – Paul Davis Directors Doug Alexander Nick Archer Cheryl Timberlake Jim Tobin Matt Dunlap Erik Hart Gerry Lavigne


David Trahan – Executive Director Becky Morrell – Operations Manager The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) is a non-profit corporation founded in 1975 to promote conservation of Maine’s wildlife resources and to be an advocate for hunters, anglers, trappers and gun owners throughout the state.




SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION SAM’s Kittery Trading Post Rifle Raffle

Kittery Trading Post

SAM’s Kittery Trading Post Rifle Raffle

Kittery Trading Post

SAM’s Kittery Trading Post Rifle Raffle

Kittery Trading Post

270 Remington Rifle Name ________________________________________ Address______________________________________ ______________________________________________ Cost: Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 Phone ________________________________________ Drawing at the SAM Banquet - Saturday, September 15, 2012 Email ________________________________________ Keep this portion for your records. Return this portion of ticket with donation to SAM, Winner responsible for any taxes. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330

270 Remington Rifle Name ________________________________________ Address______________________________________ ______________________________________________ Cost: Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 Phone ________________________________________ Drawing at the SAM Banquet - Saturday, September 15, 2012 Email ________________________________________ Keep this portion for your records. Return this portion of ticket with donation to SAM, Winner responsible for any taxes. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330

270 Remington Rifle Name ________________________________________ Address______________________________________ ______________________________________________ Cost: Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 Phone ________________________________________ Drawing at the SAM Banquet - Saturday, September 15, 2012 Email ________________________________________ Keep this portion for your records. Return this portion of ticket with donation to SAM, Winner responsible for any taxes. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330

SAM’s Kittery Trading Post Rifle Raffle

Kittery Trading Post

SAM’s Kittery Trading Post Rifle Raffle

Kittery Trading Post

SAM’s Kittery Trading Post Rifle Raffle

Kittery Trading Post

270 Remington Rifle Name ________________________________________ Address______________________________________ ______________________________________________ Cost: Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 Phone ________________________________________ Drawing at the SAM Banquet - Saturday, September 15, 2012 Email ________________________________________ Keep this portion for your records. Return this portion of ticket with donation to SAM, Winner responsible for any taxes. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330

270 Remington Rifle Name ________________________________________ Address______________________________________ ______________________________________________ Cost: Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 Phone ________________________________________ Drawing at the SAM Banquet - Saturday, September 15, 2012 Email ________________________________________ Keep this portion for your records. Return this portion of ticket with donation to SAM, Winner responsible for any taxes. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330

270 Remington Rifle Name ________________________________________ Address______________________________________ ______________________________________________ Cost: Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 Phone ________________________________________ Drawing at the SAM Banquet - Saturday, September 15, 2012 Email ________________________________________ Keep this portion for your records. Return this portion of ticket with donation to SAM, Winner responsible for any taxes. 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330

Order More Tickets! Yes, I want more tickets for this great raffle.

I’m sending you the 6 tickets above, and I need an additional _________ tickets. ($5 each, 3 for $10, 6 for $20) I’ve enclosed a total of $________.


Maine’s Largest Online Hunting Resource




SUMMER 2012 19


Reports from the field By: George Smith

New DIF&W Fisheries Groups Three new fisheries groups have been chosen to provide Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and his staff with advice — another signal that Woodcock is making fisheries a strong focus of his tenure. Each group consists of activists who have had a lot to say in the past about fish and wildlife issues and programs. Members of SAM’s Fishing Initiative Committee will serve on two of the three groups. The brook trout group includes: Gary Corson of New Sharon, John Whalen of Canaan, Matt Libby of Ashland, Ted Koffman of Falmouth, Dan Tarkinson of Portland, Dave Allen of T8R11, and Bonnie Holding. The previous brook trout working group has been disbanded. Corson is a longtime member of the Fishing Initiative Committee of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the principal advocate for year-round fishing. Whalen is a retired game warden who operates a smelt hatchery. Libby and his wife Ellen own the Orvis-endorsed Libby Camps on Millinocket Lake and is a former member of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council. The landlocked salmon group includes: Dennis Smith of Mount Desert Island, Larry Farrington of Greenville, Larry Fiori of Kennebunk, Bruce Steeves of Raymond, Dennis Bolduc of Oakland, Tenley Bennett of Eagle Lake, and John Ouellette of Madawaska. Smith is a longtime member of SAM’s Fishing Initiative Committee and former member of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council. Farrington is the president of the Moosehead Lakes Fisheries Coalition. Fiori is a longtime member of SAM’s Fishing Initiative Committee and leader of the Quality Salmon Program, a partnership between SAM and DIF&W. The bass group includes: Andy Wess of Augusta, William Schwartz of Windham, Don Kleiner of Union, Carl Bois of Lovell, J.R. Mabee of Grand Lake Stream, and Ken Hoehlein of Trenton. Dilly of an attack Charging that Maine legislators were, “spending our time making it easier for people to become vigilantes,” Sen. Cynthia Dill, D-Cape Elizabeth, a candidate for the U.S. Senate this year, recently put gun owners and the National Rifle Association right in her sights. In the process, Dill sharply criticized one

of her Democratic primary opponents, Matt Dunlap, who was a friend of Maine sportsmen and gun owners during his tenure in the Maine House of Representatives. Most recently Dunlap served as Maine’s secretary of state and even spent a brief time as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine in 2011. He is currently a member of SAM’s Board of Directors. In a March 30 Democratic candidate debate, Dill challenged Dunlap about his support for and membership in the National Rifle Association. In an April 4 press release, she continued to challenge Dunlap, quoting his March 30 response to her challenge, in which he said, “I would accept the financial support of the National Rifle Association.” “The prevalence of guns — particularly the type that are modified to fire multiple rounds and outgun local law enforcement — is a problem in many areas of our country and is fair game for reasonable regulation,” Dill said in her April 4 statement. “The NRA… is a divisive group out of step even with pro-gun Mainers. My campaign will not seek nor accept their support,” she trumpeted. Deer feeding discouraged Are you feeding deer? Stop it! That’s what Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife would like you to do. The department contends that many deer feeders do more harm than good by providing food that’s not nutritious or placing the feed where deer must cross busy highways to get to it. Some deer feeding stations also draw coyotes for a feeding frenzy of their own. DIF&W has had no authority to stop people from feeding deer, but it will have shortly. The Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee gave its unanimous endorsement to a deer bill, LD 1242, sponsored by Washington County’s Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting. This bill gives the DIF&W authority to enact rules that prohibit the feeding of deer at any location if there is documented evidence of chronic wasting disease in the state. The agency’s new rules may also prohibit or limit the feeding of deer when the department has reason to believe that the type or location of feed is creating a public safety hazard or having a detrimental impact on the deer. SAM also has teamed up with retailers

who sell deer feed, including Agway, to provide point-of-sale information with deer feeding guidelines. Those guidelines are also available on SAM’s website. DIF&W reorganizes Same number of positions. No new money. But the reorganization plan for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is a thoughtful restructuring that reflects the priorities of the agency’s new leadership: Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and Deputy Commissioner Andrea Erskine. The reorganization leaves the agency with the same number of positions, a few of which have been redefined: some tasks added, some eliminated. Among the most interesting changes, the agency will now have three biologists, each focused specifically on deer, moose and bear. Lee Kantar, the agency’s deer biologist, “assumed responsibility for moose as a favor to the department,” said Woodcock, who also announced that he offered Kantar his choice of species, and he took moose. A new deer biologist soon will be chosen. DIF&W also will dedicate a fisheries biologist to focus on cold water species: a brook trout and landlocked salmon specialist. John Boland had a large role the reorganization and appears to have given a lot of thought to a better way to perform and supervise various fish and wildlife projects and functions.

Maine’s got 75,000 moose Maine has a lot more moose than we thought. Based on his new sampling techniques using Maine Forest Service helicopters and pilots and a “double counting” system, Maine’s top moose biologist Lee Kantar estimates the state’s moose population to be an astonishing 75,000. That’s 45,000 higher than the estimates reported by the DIF&W up until 2007, when the department’s longtime moose biologist, Karen Morris, upped her estimate as she approached retirement. Morris stunned a 2007 moose working group when she reported we might have as many as 60,000 moose, begging the question: Why aren’t we issuing more moose permits? Today, given Kantar’s new estimate, that question is sure to be raised again. In fact, Dr. Vaughn Anthony, a retired national marine biologist from Boothbay and SAM’s representative on the 2007 working group, already has raised the question. Anthony notes that DIF&W will issue 3,800 moose hunting permits this year, representing 5 percent of the 75,000 moose in the woods. He says a population of 75,000 moose should allow an annual harvest of 8,000 to 14,000 animals. In 2010, DIF&W substantially increased the number of moose permits, from 3,140 to 3,862. Unfortunately, that did not win back the many hunters who have given up on the moose lottery over the years.

For more on these stories, visit and look for “SAM News Stories.”

AMY ALWARD INSURANCE AGENCY 95 Ocean Street So. Portland, ME 04106 Office: (207) 767-3334 Fax: (207) 767-6514 Toll Free: (800) 662-6705

Sleds as LOW AS $75.00 per year!



You’re in good hands.





Maine’s newest deer hunter By: Gerry Lavigne

The arrival of the eastern coyote in the Northeastern United States and Maritime Canada has had a profound impact on the wildlife ecology of the region. For 30 years (1975-2005), I served as the deer management and research biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. During that tenure, we struggled to maintain viable populations of white-tailed deer in the face of major habitat changes and the presence of a new deer predator, the eastern coyote. After gray wolves died out during the late 1800s in the Northeast, Maine lacked a canine predator that could efficiently kill white-tailed deer. Wherever hunter access was good, deer populations could be held in check with our either-sex (buck or doe) hunting seasons. Where hunting access was poor, as in the big woods of northern and eastern Maine prior to the 1970s, deer populations were more difficult to manage. Between the 1880s and early 1960s, deer in the northern half of Maine experienced several cycles of extreme abundance, followed by crashes to low numbers caused by over-browsing and subsequent starvation during severe winters. Since the 1960s, deer populations in the northern half of Maine have been steadily declining, due to two additional mortality factors not present earlier: predation by coyotes and degradation of wintering habitat. Even in the more deer-friendly central and southern parts of Maine, deer mortality increased with the arrival of the coyote. Coyotes are not native to Maine or to the Northeast. Into the vacuum created by the disappearance of gray wolves, coyotes began to migrate across the northern tier of Midwestern states and adjacent parts of Canada. Along the way they evidently interbred with remnant populations of wolves. Hence, eastern coyotes are mostly coyote but also part wolf, genetically, physically, and behaviorally. At 25 to 50 pounds, eastern coyotes are larger than their western cousins, their family groups tend to stay together longer during the year, and they are more efficient deer predators. Mainers began encountering coyotes in the 1950s, and coyotes existed statewide at peak numbers by the late 1970s. Southeastern Quebec got coyotes slightly earlier, while New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were colonized somewhat later.

Unlike the much larger gray wolf, coyotes thrive on smaller prey during part of the year in Maine. Being a mid-sized carnivore gives them a distinct survival advantage. They can efficiently prey on mice, songbirds, turkeys, snowshoe hares, raccoons, beaver, fawn and adult deer, and pet cats and dogs if the opportunity arises. They also dine on fruits and carrion. Such flexibility in acquiring its groceries enables the coyote to thrive almost anywhere in Maine. During the past 40 years, coyote predation on deer has been researched extensively by state, provincial, and federal fish and wildlife agencies, as well as universities, here in the Northeast. There are two excellent reviews of coyote/deer research available. One is “Eastern Coyote: The Story of Its Success,” a 1995 book by Canadian wildlife biologist Gerry Parker. A 2008 scientific report (CFRU Research Report RR-08-02) was produced by wildlife biologists Pete Pekins and Matt Tarr for the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit at the University of Maine. It is a critical analysis of the winter ecology of deer in northern Maine deer wintering areas. It has been widely stated that coyotes only kill old, weak, or sick deer, thus culling the herd of unfit animals that would soon die anyway. Eastern coyotes do take any unfit deer they encounter, but research has shown conclusively that they are also very capable of killing healthy deer under several, sometimes common, conditions. Coyotes can prey on any deer in deep snow. A deer chased into two feet or more of snow soon flounders, and becomes dinner for coyotes regardless of its physical condition. Snow depths exceeding two feet are the norm in northern Maine for weeks on end. In central and southern Maine, deep snow occurs less frequently and for shorter duration, but it still enables coyotes to readily kill deer. Glare ice on lakes, ponds, and streams also helps coyotes kill deer regardless of physical condition. Deer hooves offer little traction on glare ice; coyote claws do. Deer fall, cannot get back up, and become easy prey. Since nearly all Maine deer wintering areas occur along waterways, these conditions can be commonplace. The quality of deer wintering habitat also influences coyote predation. Deer seek out dense, tall, mature evergreen forests in winter because the thick

overhead canopy shelters them from the wind, provides food, and reduces the snow depth underneath so efficiently that it is typically half that in open areas or hardwood forests. Widespread tracts of mature evergreen forest allow wintering deer to create an extensive trail system that aids in both finding food and escaping predators. Disturbances that fragment these forests, reduce their size, or excessively thin the canopy, result in deeper snow, reduced foraging ability, and higher losses to coyote predation and malnutrition. During the past 40 years, northern and eastern Maine conifer forests have been extensively altered by spruce budworm infestations and by logging. Many forests that once sheltered deer can no longer do so. Others forests remain, but in less than optimum condition. A few forests still provide high quality deer yard habitat, but coyotes can kill some deer even here. Coyotes can hold deer numbers below what any habitat can sustain. Severe winters also greatly affect deer survival. Long winters with prolonged cold and deep snow take their toll. Too often deer are losing a race against time. All winter they subsist on poor quality foods and continually lose weight. Deep snow that restricts them to trails makes finding adequate food difficult. After 10 to 12 weeks of severe nutritional deprivation, death by malnutrition becomes evident. Fawns and mature bucks are usually the first to die; mature does are the most resilient. Losses to both malnutrition and coyote predation inevitably increase during severe winters. Because coyotes can prey on healthy deer in deep snow, winter deer losses are typically higher when coyotes are present. In other words, deer losses to coyotes don’t merely replace starvation losses; to some degree they add to them. Coyotes also sometimes kill adult deer during snow-free months. Some of this predation occurs in spring, when winter-weakened deer are moving onto summer range. Other

losses occur during summer and fall, when most deer should be in good physical condition. It is probable that cooperative hunting by two or more coyotes, another wolf-like trait, tips the scales in the coyotes’ favor. Eastern coyotes also target newborn deer fawns, which are relatively defenseless and often occur in predictable habitats. Coyotes, along with black bears, bobcats, red fox, fishers, and feral dogs, may collectively have a profound negative impact on fawn survival. Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department does not routinely estimate how many deer are lost annually to coyotes in Maine. That number undoubtedly varies, yet the addition of this new predator has definitely added to herd losses, not merely replaced others. In a 1995 report to the Maine Legislature, I estimated that the statewide deer herd numbered about 200,000, and roughly 22,000 were lost to coyotes. Whenever a single mortality factor approaches 10 percent of the deer population, given all the other mortality that deer experience, deer managers need to take notice. Gerry Lavigne, SAM board member, is a retired deer biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.



SUMMER 2012 21


brook trout fishing and has shot many deer as well as a 907-pound bull moose. The twins are apples that have not fallen far from the family tree. They both love to hunt deer while balancing professional careers. The sisters graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle where they were multi-sport athletes excelling in soccer and softball. Brittany Humphrey is employed at Bates College, and her sister works as a physical education teacher at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro. Brittany

Humphrey has shot 11 deer and a bull moose, while Danielle Humphrey has taken nine deer — one a buck sporting 10 points and weighing 235 pounds. She also bagged a nice bull moose when she was 11 years old. Cody Humphrey is a junior at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where he is a Mitchell Scholar and works as the assistant director at the YMCA Otter Pond Camp. He has some catching up to do if he wants to compete with the hunting prowess of his two older sisters, but he’s working on it

between classes. He has harvested four turkeys and nine deer, including a buck that he shot last year. The hunting bug also has caught on with the Humphrey children’s significant others. Danielle Humphrey’s boyfriend, Tyler, shot his first deer, an eight-pointer, while hunting with the family. Her sister’s boyfriend, Joe, is taking the hunter safety course this year so he can hunt with the family. Cody Humphrey’s girlfriend, Emily, also hunts and fishes with the group. The traditions of hunting and fishing have deep roots in the fam-

siasts can take to help searchers: • Let a friend or relative know where you are going, what you plan to do, and when you plan to return. “Have a plan and stick to it, even if you’re fishing,” Adam said. “Call if you change your plans. Make sure someone knows where you’re going to be.” • Be prepared for the unexpected. “Carry some light food, a space blanket, matches,” he said. • Don’t overdo it. “Don’t [try to] do more than what you can physically do,” Adam said. • Think safety. Adam noted that hikers shouldn’t take shortcuts. • “Wear a life jacket when you’re in a boat,” he said. “It only takes a

second, a rough wave hitting the boat, and someone is tossed overboard. A life jacket will keep you afloat.” • Carry a whistle. “It’s a great sound attractant. You can hear it a long ways,” Adam said. • “If you think you’re lost, find as open a space as you can, build a shelter, and stay put,” he stressed. “We will come looking for you. Make our work easier by staying in one place.” • If lost, call 9-1-1. “People don’t. They call a family member first,” Adam said. “If you don’t know where you are, call 9-1-1. It may require only a warden with your [cell phone-provided] GPS coordinates to walk in and find you.”

ily’s three generations starting with Rawnsley, a grandmother from Cumberland, who can take much

of the credit for the countless hours of enjoyment that her family has experienced in the outdoors.


point is the Place Last Seen, the site where the missing individual was last seen alive. “We look at the terrain, come up with a plan, segment the terrain, and assign search teams,” Adam said. The search teams, which belong to the Maine Association of Search and Rescue, consist of professional volunteers who are certified and trained in search-and-rescue techniques, he said. Wardens enter the search information on a search team’s GPS. After the team completes a grid search, they download the data into their mapping software. Incident Management Team members use this data to map the progress of a search. A grid search involves 10-12 people, lined up shoulder to shoulder about 5 yards apart to search GPS-defined grids in quarter-mile increments. Searchers run a compass bearing and stay aligned while looking for the missing person or for clues as to which direction that person might have traveled. Such clues include footprints, tobacco products, and abandoned food and clothing items. If searchers have a good PLS, there’s an increased chance of finding the missing person sooner, Adam said. “Any time we have a search where we don’t have a good PLS, we aren’t certain as to where we should start looking,” he said. Today, elderly people are often healthier than in the past and go walking further, Adam noted. Someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia may wander from a normal route. “At that point, it’s tough to find that turn-out point where the person left a trail or a road,” Adam said. The use of cell phones also helps in finding many people who suddenly realize they are lost, he said. A cell phone provider can conduct a Phase 2 hit to place the location of a caller close to where that person is standing. Some steps that outdoor enthu-


CAMPGROUND Hot Showers • Camp Store • Open & Ho Hot Wooded W oo ood oo ode • Tent & RV Sites • Pull-Thru Sites 50 amps • Wi-Fi • Mobile Sewer Pump Truck

(207) 695-2210

312 Moosehead Lake Road (Route 15),

Greenville, ME 04441-0307








Teaching a child to fish and teaching a child to love fishing are not always the same thing. Young anglers must learn to bait a hook, cast, successfully hook a fish, and bring it to shore. But to really love fishing, a child first has to learn to love the outdoors by having fun during fishing forays. “Fishing with children is not the same as fishing with your buddies,” said Emily MacCabe, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Hooked on Fishing coordinator. “The trip needs to be completely about them. Leave your fishing equipment at home so you can focus solely on assisting them with their own.” It’s best to stick to basics with fishing gear for young anglers, she said. “I look for light-action rods that are four-and-a-half to five feet in length and have a small, closed-face, push-button reel, as these are more accommodating for small hands

and less likely to tangle,” said MacCabe. “Open-faced reels are a good option for a more experienced youth angler. My favorite setup for a beginner in the 8-to-16 age range is the Zebco 22. It has a metal reel instead of plastic. They are reasonably priced, easy to find, and will last a long time,” she said. A first tackle box should include bobbers, non-lead weights, plainshank barbless hooks in sizes 6 and 8, and live bait, such as worms. “This setup is great for fishing for cold and warmwater species, but I highly recommend starting out with warmwater [fish] because they usually provide a lot of action and can withstand a little more handling when releasing, which is common for beginner anglers,” MacCabe said. “If they want to take a break, let them,” said MacCabe. “Chase butterflies and tadpoles, or splash in the water. If they’re having fun in the outdoors, then the trip is a success.”


Stanley Gomm, coordinator of Hooked on Fishing for the Bangor, Lincoln and Newport areas, helps Jamie Knowles, 8, of Brewer get started for his day of angling at Mud Pond near Old Town.

Be sure to allow young anglers to do as much of the work as they are willing or able to do themselves so they learn the skills to eventually fish independently. “Teach them how to put the worm on the hook, how to cast properly and accurately, and even how to handle their fish,” she said. “If they aren’t game right away, make sure you explain what you’re doing while they watch.” Be sure to teach young anglers to look around before each cast and to

always know where their hook is, she said, noting that it’s a good idea for child and parent to wear eye protection (sunglasses will do) and a hat with a visor as additional safety precautions. It’s also advisable to have youngsters who are not strong swimmers wear a lifejacket while standing on shore. Several waters statewide are managed specifically for young anglers, open for fishing only to those age 15 and younger. Most youth-only waters are very accessible, and many

are stocked with trout. For a list of youth-only fishing waters, visit and select “Fishing,” then “Hooked on Fishing,” and finally, the “Youth Fishing Ponds” link. Several organizations offer youthonly or family-friendly fishing events each year. Check with regional MDIFW offices, local gun and rod clubs, and with the Maine Youth Fish and Game Association ( for scheduled events.


Unless otherwise stated, the following waters are only open to fishing by those under the age of 16:

Androscoggin County

• Pettingill Park Pond, Auburn

Aroostook County

• Aroostook River: From the Caribou Dam, in Caribou, downstream to and including Otter Brook, including all tributaries in this section upstream to the first highway bridge intersecting each tributary: Children 12 years of age or younger may fish from shore with a single-baited hook and line. • Aroostook River: From Hockenhull Brook in Fort Fairfield downstream to and including Pattee Brook, including all tributaries in this section upstream to the first highway bridge intersecting the tributary: Children 12 years of age or younger may fish from shore with a single-baited hook and line. Note: All salmon caught in any flowing water of the Aroostook River Watershed must be released alive at once. • Hannington Pond, Reed Plantation • Mantle Lake, Presque Isle • Pearce Brook, Houlton • Rock Crusher Pond, Island Falls

Cumberland County

• Aldens Pond, Gorham • Coffin Pond, Brunswick • Hinckley Pond, Lower, South Portland • Stevens Brook, sometimes called Cemetery Brook, New Gloucester, From Church Rd. downstream to Gloucester Hill Road.

Franklin County

• Carrabassett River. From its confluence with the West Branch of the Carrabassett River to Rt. 146 crossing. • Haley Pond Outlet, Rangeley • Mill Pond on Muddy Brook, Industry. From the dam on the outlet of Clearwater Pond to the next dam located below Route 43. • Pinnacle Pond, Kingfield • Toothaker Pond, Phillips • Wilson Stream, Wilton: From the first bridge downstream of Wilson Lake, including the canal, to the third (Route 156) bridge downstream of Wilson Lake.

Hancock County

• Pickerel Pond, T32 MD

Lincoln County

• Quarry Pond, Waldoboro

Oxford County

• Mill Stream (outlet of Little Wassookeag Lake), Dexter. From the dam on Little Wassookeag to the downstream side of the Liberty Street Bridge • O’Roake Pond, Sherman. • Penobscot County Conservation Association Pond, Brewer • Rocky Brook, Lincoln • Round Pond, Little, Lincoln

• Abbott Brook, Mexico • Aunt Hannah Brook, Dixfield: From Rt. 142 downstream to the confluence with Webb River • Billy Brook, Brownfield: From confluence with Shepherd’s River upstream to the first bridge. • Magalloway River (many special regulations apply) • Pennesseewasee (Norway) Lake Outlet, Norway. From the dam at Main Street (Route 117) downstream to the dam at Route 26

• Drummond Pond, Abbot • Dunham Brook (including Kiwanis Park Pond), Dover-Foxcroft • Harris Pond (Milo Farm Pond), Milo

Penobscot County

Sagadahoc County

• Cold Stream, Enfield: From the highway bridge on State Route 188 in Enfield to the red markers by the old hatchery fishway. • Giles Pond, Patten. • Jerry Pond and tributaries and outlet to barrier dam, Millinocket • Johnny Mack Brook, Orono • Lincoln Kids Pond, Lincoln • Mattagodus Stream, south of Route 6

Piscataquis County

• Stephen E. Powell (Swan Island) Wildlife Management Area, Richmond

Somerset County

• Hight Pond, Skowhegan Kennebec River: From the confluence of Austin Stream to the Route 16 bridge, Bingham/Concord Township. Persons under 16 years of age may use

worms as bait. Mill Stream, Embden, from the Embden Pond outlet to the Cross Town Road bridge (minus the 200 foot zone from the hatchery). • Tibbetts Pond, Concord

Washington County

• Foxhole Pond on headwaters of Great Falls Branch Brook, Deblois Meyers Pond, North and South, Columbia • Middle River, Marshfield, Machias. Below the bridge on the Marshfield Road downstream to the mouth of Smelt Brook

York County

• Leavitt Brook, Limerick, from the F.R. Carroll facility access road (Dole Ridge Road) to the first downstream dam. • Round Pond, Lyman • Wilcox Pond, Biddeford For more in-depth rules and regulations that govern these waters, go to http:// seasons/kidsonlywaters.htm



SUMMER 2012 23




’ve seen moose in odd places. High on Sunday River Whitecap a bull moose looked down at me from bog boards across a granite bulge among stunted spruce. Viewed from Mt. Katahdin’s Knife Edge, a cow moose stood in a shallow pond, high on the mountain’s shoulder, surrounded by miles of impenetrable spruce. One afternoon, a cow moose stood in the yard of a Bradford dairy farm, watching the cars go by on Route 221. There are an estimated 75,000 moose in the state; despite seeing moose in unusual places, what has surprised me is how often I’ve hiked or paddled through good moose habitat without seeing any. Bull moose, in general, spend the summer at higher elevations than cows. Food may be harder to find up on a mountain — especially aquatic vegetation — but it’s often cooler and less buggy. The moose I saw on Sunday River Whitecap was probably more

interested in staying cool than in finding something to eat. Cows generally stay lower in the summer because calves can’t wander far, and cow moose prefer denser vegetation for easy foraging and as cover. Nearly every baby moose I’ve seen was standing in water. This may be because in the summer about half a moose’s diet consists of aquatic plants. These aren’t particularly nutritious, but are the animals’ primary source of sodium. Logically, then, the best summer habitat for cows and calves are low elevation areas with good hardwood browse, lots of aquatic vegetation, and dense cover for hiding from predators. Bulls, of course, need the salt in aquatic vegetation, but don’t need cover and can wander more to find what they need. Moose tend to winter on south-facing slopes, especially among regenerating hardwoods. They also like to be near large

softwood stands, which they use as refuge from deep snow. Also, with little else available, moose eat balsam fir. Good winter habitat acts like a moose magnet. For example, the Appalachian Trail across Gulf Hagas Mountain winds through brambles and low, bushy hardwoods and is covered by several inches of moose scat from winter. Downslope in the Pleasant River valley are numerous cutover areas with good browse. Moose are willing to travel several miles from their core range for salt, but their winter and summer ranges are generally near each other. One of the “moosiest” places I’ve paddled is the south end of Lobster Lake, in a large, aldercrowded bog. On the shoulder of Big Spencer Mountain, just to the south, I regularly find evidence of moose:

• Day beds near the old caretaker’s cabin; • Scat in the stream below the steep climb to the summit; • Prints in the game trail that leaves the hiking trail and slabs around the mountain. I suspect that Lobster Lake and Big Spencer Mountain are popular with moose because their proximity offers both summer and winter habitats. Most moose I’ve seen were on or near roads. Evidently, moose would rather follow a road or hiking trail than find their way through the woods. Also, moose seek out salt, and roads are a good source, especially in the months when aquatic plants aren’t available. Seeing a moose along a road just isn’t the same as seeing one while paddling or hiking.

We carry around an iconic image of moose in our heads: a bull moose lifting its head out of a pond, vegetation hanging from his antlers as water drips from his face and ears. There is a pond along the Golden Road with a view of Katahdin. On any summer morning there will be several photographers with their tripods set up, waiting to capture just that image. A moose is no less a moose wandering down a logging road than when feeding in a pond with a spectacular view of Katahdin. I try to value each moose for its unique moose-ness. If we spend all our time holding out for the ideal, the iconic, we miss a great deal that the north woods has to offer.





FiveprimemooseviewingareasinMaine BY BRIAN SWARTZ, ADVERTISING STAFF EDITOR Although moose live almost everywhere in Maine, five particular regions represent prime mooseencounter country: • The Rangeley Lakes: A moose could appear anywhere in this region. Take the Dallas Hill Road to Saddleback Ski Area, Route 16 toward Stratton, or the South Shore Road to Rangeley Lake State Park, or venture onto the local woods roads. • The Carrabassett Valley: Folks bound for Carrabassett (canoeing and kayaking), Stratton (fishing on the Dead River and Flagstaff Lake), and Sugarloaf (great golfing) should watch for moose any time of day. Big bulls occasionally wander the Sugarloaf roads; be extremely careful when driving on Route 27 after dark. • Moosehead Lake: Sometime during the day, a moose will likely appear at the moose wallow that lies between Route 15 and the Maine Department of Transportation maintenance facility in Shirley, 6 miles south of downtown Greenville. If vehicles are parked on the west side of the highway,

pull over to see what the excitement’s all about. To see moose elsewhere in the Moosehead Lake region, either drive along the local roads — do get a detailed road map at the Route 15 visitors’ center — or join an official moose safari. • The Golden Road and Baxter State Park: While cruising along the Golden Road toward Abol Bridge, watch for moose at Compass Road (east) and River Pond (west) about 5 miles beyond the narrows between Ambajejus and Millinocket Lakes. Popular moose-watching sites in Baxter State Park include Elbow Pond and Tracy Pond (accessed by the same trail) and Sandy Stream Pond. Local outfitters offer moose safaris by boat or vehicle. • Aroostook County’s Route 11 corridor: From Patten north to Fort Kent, forest-management practices have created an ideal environment for moose. Ask the local residents at stores and restaurants where the best moose haunts are located.


A young moose crosses a dirt road north of St. Croix Lake near Smyrna Mills, Maine.






How to stay tick-free

“In the wild, ticks have a behavior called ‘questing.’ They get on a blade of grass and hold onto it with their back six legs, and their two front legs are out there, waving, looking for something fuzzy to grab onto,” said James Dill, University of Maine Cooperative Extension pest management specialist. Dill says that ticks were high in population last year, and they’re even worse this year, due to a mild winter and a number of other factors. “The real problem started in 2010 when we had an explosion of white-footed mouse, one of the hosts in the deer tick two-year cycle,” he said. “Then in 2011, the nuts crop wasn’t very good so a lot of mice died off and ticks were looking for other hosts.” Deer ticks carry Lyme disease, which they can pass on to their host. Each year, 40,000 cases of the disease are documented in the U.S. alone, and the Maine Center for Disease Control predicts 2012 will be the worst year yet for Lyme disease. If you want to get a good idea of how many ticks are on your back lawn, drag a white blanket over the grass, especially where the lawn meets the woods. Ticks will cling to the blanket. Insect repellent with 20-30 percent DEET can help repel ticks, Dill said. But the most effective way of avoiding ticks is to wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt when outdoors, especially when in the woods or fields. “You can tuck your pants inside your socks,” said Dill. “Don’t give them a chance to get directly onto your skin.” He also suggests wearing light-colored clothing so clinging ticks are easier to see. And always check your body for ticks after spending time outdoors. If you do have a tick embedded in your skin, grab it with tweezers close to your skin and slowly pull it out. “If you give it a yank, you might leave mouthparts behind that can give you an infection,” Dill said. “And never use nail polish or a hot match or cigarette or something like that. They might regurgitate.” If you do find a tick on your body, it’s always a good idea to call your doctor. You may need antibiotics.

For information about ticks, visit publications/5047e.

Fit to float Getting your kid into the right lifejacket is simple


ot too long ago — within many of our lifetimes — many folks geared up for boat rides by hauling out lifejackets with two distinctive features: They were bright orange. And they were uncomfortable. Nowadays, a modern lifejacket — personal flotation device, or PFD is the en vogue term — need not be orange. It need not be uncomfortable. And with a few helpful tips in mind, it’s easy to fit your youngster (and yourself) with a jacket that you’ll barely notice … until it saves your life. According to Maine law, all youngsters age 10 or younger must wear an approved personal flotation device any time they board a boat. Brad Ryder, the owner of Epic Sports in Bangor, said it’s a great practice for everyone older than 10 to emulate. “I like to say, if they start out at a young age wearing a life jacket, then they’ll carry right on through until they’re an adult,” Ryder said. “That’s kind of the message that we try convey, as a retailer as well as with our paddle-safety program: Wear your lifejacket.” So, you need a lifejacket for your child. How do you make sure it fits well? Ryder can help. First, figure out how much your little tyke weighs. If your 8-year-old weighs 60 pounds, and your 12-year-old also weighs 60 pounds, they’ll generally wear the same size PFD. Weight is the key determinant.


The MTI Allagash personal flotation device is state-ofthe art, with hidden pockets for stowing items and adjustable shoulders with reflective tape and dual side straps assuring an appropriate fit.

‘You start out with an infant [PFD], which goes from zero [pounds] up to, typically, 30 pounds,” Ryder said. “And quite honestly, we sell a few of those, but for the babies, unless the [parents] are determined to be on the water, they’re staying on shore.” The two other sizes of youth lifejackets, however, are hot sellers at Epic Sports. Larger PFDs fit either 30- to 50-pound kids, or 50- to 90-pounders. If a child weighs more than 90 pounds, they’ll usually need an adult jacket.


Tools for bug-free outdoor living • Amazon Lights Garden Incense Sticks are a natural solution for keeping insects at bay. These 12 two-foot incense sticks is a highly concentrated mixture of citronella, Andiroba, rosemary and thyme. Each stick has up to 2.5 hours of bug-free burn time. Cost: $19.50. • ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Lanterns repels mos-

quitoes, black flies and no-seeums. The lantern has a classic look. Each unit comes with 12 hours of protection, repelling insects within a 225 square-foot area, and can be refilled. The lantern, which runs on four AA batteries, produces an ambient light that adds a nice glow to the area. Heat vaporizes the repellent, allowing it to rise into

Ryder said many of the 30- to 50-pound jackets have an important feature to consider: A “crotch strap” stretches from the back of the jacket and clips in the front, assuring that the PFD doesn’t ride up when the child is in the water. All youth jackets also feature straps and buckles that are adjustable, so that a PFD can be refitted over the years to accommodate growing children. “With kids jackets, there is some adjustability, so that when they grow, the jacket can grow with them,” Ryder said. And how do you fit a PFD? It’s quite simple, really. “Put it on [the child] and cinch it up,” Ryder said. “Snug is good, tight is uncomfortable. But it should be snug. Then lift up on the shoulder straps, and [the jacket] shouldn’t move very much. Just slight movement is fine.” If the jacket slides up too far, a child in the water might not benefit from the full flotation of the vest. Tighten straps and buckles, and tug the shoulder straps again. If you still have too much slack after tightening as much as you can, you may have to move down a size. Another key consideration comes long after you’ve bought the PFD, Ryder said. “Something that people ask us is, ‘Do lifejackets last indefinitely,” Ryder said. The answer, of course, is “no.” Ryder said to keep an eye on the fabric that covers a PFD. If the dye starts to fade, that proba-

the air. The repellent is allethrin, a copy of a repellent that naturally occurs in chrysanthemum flowers. For information about the lanterns and personal repellent devices, visit thermacell. com. Lantern cost: $29.99. Refill cost: $6.99. • REPEL Citronella Candle is a traditional, inexpensive way to repel insects from your campground. The candle burns up to 20 hours. Cost: $ 6.75. • Coghlan’s Mosquito Coils

bly means the jacket has seen some wear. That’s not necessarily a big concern, Ryder said, but does signal that the jacket’s effectiveness may become an issue in the future. “”If this is starting to fade, it’s probably showing some signs of not being as durable as it was when it was new,” he said. “And of course, if you have any tears or rips [in the fabric], you should just replace it. it’s really a pretty inexpensive way to have safety for your kids.” And when outfitting your children, it might not hurt to consider your furry, four-legged “kids,” too. “We sell a surprising number of PFDs for dogs,” Ryder said. “It seemed natural for the little dogs, but we started carrying the bigger sizes and we sell as many for the big dogs as for the little dogs.” Ryder said even water-loving breeds like Labrador retrievers have been fitted for PFDs. The reasoning: It’s hard to haul a large, soggy dog over the transom. Adding a handy handle or strap to a PFD makes that job much easier. Ryder said one customer convinced him that outfitting a big dog made good sense. “[The customer said] ‘I don’t have a handle to grab onto. I could grab him around the neck or maybe the tail, but having that lifejacket on him gives me another handle to haul him over the side of the boat.’”

burn like incense but are made with allethrin to repel mosquitos and other flying insects. Each coil burns for 6 hours or more. The stand for the coils is included. This solution only weighs 4.23 ounces. Cost: $2.50. • Coleman Citronella Candle Lantern burns and repels insects for up to 40 hours and with a U-shaped metal handle, it is great for hanging or toting around the campground. Cost: $11.





fishing In search of wild trout: Great May well be The Baxter experience a short hike away



eff Reardon won’t tell you exactly where he goes to catch trout in Baxter State Park — anglers are famously secretive about their favorite spots — but the man who serves as the director of Trout Unlimited’s Maine Brook Trout Project will let you in on a fact that’s never been much of a secret. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to target wild or native fish, you’re going to the right place. “If you look at the chunks of public land in Maine that have native and wild brook trout ponds on them … nothing else comes

“It’s a lot of water. It’s almost all good trout water.” JEFF REARDON close to Baxter,” Reardon said. In Reardon’s world, the terms “wild” and “native” are not interchangeable. Those words refer to the most special, sought-after fish: Those that are relatively unsullied by years of hatchery influence in the state. A pond with “native” fish has never been stocked. A pond with “wild” fish has not been stocked in more than 25 years. Maine, as you may have heard, has more waters possessing wild and native brook trout than any state in the lower 48. In fact, it has been listed as the last real bastion of those prized denizens of clear, cool water. And for more than three decades, Reardon has made a point of rediscovering the ponds and streams of Baxter State Park on a yearly trip from his home in southern Maine. “I think we started going in ‘77 and I’ve spent at least a four-day trip, most years a week, in the park almost every year since,” Reardon said. “We really try to focus on going [at a specific time of year], and it’s just one of those annual events for me: Hexes and Baxter in late June or early July.” The hex hatch is a near-constant in the waters of Baxter State Park, according to Reardon.

He said that regardless of the weather that has prevailed through the spring and into early summer, the monstrous mayflies hatch sometime between May 26 and July 7. And Reardon will be there to take advantage of that predictability. “When it’s good, both the number of the insects and their size is just like nothing else in Maine,” Reardon said. “And because there are so many [hexes] and because they’re a big cheeseburger for the trout, it tends to bring pretty big fish to the surface where you can catch them on dry flies.” But hexes aren’t the only game in town when you’re talking about Baxter State Park. There are, after all, 23 ponds in the park that hold native brook trout. Another 13 hold wild fish. And if

Fishing the ponds in Baxter State Park can be a breathtaking experience, as anglers cast flies to native or wild brook trout with mountains looming in the background.

you’re willing to do a little bit of trekking, you can have yourself a pretty amazing vacation without ever stepping foot on the state’s most famous mountain. “It’s a lot of water. It’s almost all good trout water. And with the exception of Matagamon [Lake], there are almost no competing species introduced anywhere inside the park,” Reardon said. “So it’s not just one or two good trout ponds. It’s a whole big chunk of trout ponds that are very much like they were when — take your pick — Thoreau, Per-

cival Baxter, whoever of our ancestors, fished up in that area.” Reardon said that some of the ponds qualify as relatively wellknown, and relatively easy to access. He has no qualms about mentioning those sites by name:

Kidney, Daicey and South Branch ponds, for instance, are home to campgrounds and provide some fine fishing. But deeper in the woods are the special gems that Reardon won’t name. Others know of




them, park rangers will likely discuss them with curious anglers, and park canoes are available at many. Not surprisingly, the harder you’re willing to work to get to a pond, the more apt you are to have yourself a special day of fishing … if, that is, you can entice the finned residents to participate. “There’s a handful of ponds that you can drive to, but most of the ponds that I fish are accessible with like a mile- to a 2-, 2½-mile walk, which is enough walk to discourage the crowds, but not so much that it’s not still an easy day trip,” Reardon said. “The other nice thing is the park keeps canoes on most of those ponds, so you’re not having to hump a float tube or drag a canoe in.” The system works like this: Sign up with a warden to reserve the canoe, get a key to unlock it when you get there, and carry your own paddle and life jacket to fishing nirvana. Again, Reardon won’t share any secrets here, but he said that in most cases you won’t need any. “The main thing is, just go,” he said. “A lot of those ponds, the fishing is actually pretty easy. Go in late May, early June, if you can stand the black flies, because then the fishing is really easy. The fish will be up on the surface, you’ll see them rise. Just cover them with a half-decent fly and you’ll probably take ‘em.” Reardon says hornbergs, muddler minnows and grasshoppers have produced for him in the past, and when the water warms and the fish huddle in the cooler depths, they can often be caught by Alvin Theriault’s maple syrup fly, among others. And while the fishing will slow in July and August, Reardon said September can also produce great fishing. “There’s an awful lot of good water [in Baxter State Park],” Reardon said. “If what you want to do is catch trout, there’s not many better places to do it.” And if what you want to do is catch trout in a beautiful place, Baxter’s still the place to go, he said. “The nice thing is, on a lot of those trails, you’re not just walking to a canoe in the woods,” Reardon said. “You’re going along waterfalls. If you want to hike anything from little, low mountains with good views of Katahdin to climbing Katahdin itself while you’re in there, you can do all that. “There’s no question it’s a special place,” he concluded. “Percival Baxter got it right.”






BLACK BEAR NECESSITIES Bear hunting a key component in management plan



andy Cross has spent much of his working life around bears. He has hauled them — tranquilized, if they’re big enough — out of their dens. He has fitted them with radio collars, tattooed identifying numbers on their inner lips, and tucked them back in their cozy winter quarters. Still, the longtime Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist, who oversees the field crew during its ongoing bear research, says that all those experiences don’t make any difference when he sits in a blind and hunts the elusive ghosts of the woods. “It’s like there’s something very primal that’s tapped into,” Cross said. “I put my hands on a lot of bears, and to see a freeranging bear walking close to me shouldn’t be that big of a thrill to me. I should be getting bored of that. I’ve been doing it for 30 years.” Except, for Cross, not to mention thousands of other lessexperienced bear hunters, close encounters with those free-ranging bears is nothing but routine. “The amount of adrenaline that goes through my veins is not under my control when I’m out hunting,” Cross said. “It’s really hard to explain to people who don’t hunt … there is a thrill there, and it’s a basic instinct, I think.” And though some Mainers argue against either the bearhunting tactics that are used here — baiting, trapping and hounds are all lawfully utilized at time — biologists say that culling bears from the population each year is an essential part of a management directive that they did not set. “As a department, we don’t choose a target of how many bears we want in the state,” Cross pointed out. Instead, public working groups of various interested parties — some pro-

hunting, others against the practice — to determine an optimum number of bears. “Once that’s been sort of decided, or they come to some sort of agreement, [biologists are] trained to accomplish that population goal set by that public working group,” Cross said. Cross said that population goal is always less than the state could hold, if every single habitable space had bears in it. That’s because the public wouldn’t stand for such a high number of bears. “If you have enough of a nuisance problem, there is a limit to how much the public is willing to tolerate,” Cross said. “Somewhere below [the maximum biological holding capacity], we come to a figure, and in order to stay at that figure, it does require some rate of harvest. For us right now, it’s about 3,000 [bears harvested per year], probably a little bit more than that, to stabilize the population.” Cross said hunters didn’t reach that goal in 2011, and that the bear population has increased slightly each year for the past five or six years. He said he and other biologists estimate the state’s bear population at about 30,000. That’s the highest level since the state started trying to estimate the bear population, he said, and much higher than the level that existed when land-clearing farmers saw the bears as a threat to their very existence in the late 1800s. The largest black bear taken by a hunter in Maine weighed 680 pounds, and many others heavier than 400 pounds have been taken. Females tend to live longer than males, primarily because hunters try to avoid shooting a sow with cubs, and sows have cubs every other year beginning when they’re 4 or 5 years old. Cross said the oldest bear that has been fitted with a radio collar and monitored by the DIF&W


After being trapped by DIF&W biologists, a 246-pound female looks towards human visitors, June 14, 2010 in Township 36. died just short of her 31st birthday. Cross estimated that in a busy year of hunting, about 3,000 bears are harvested when hunters use bait to lure them close to a blind or stand. In addition, about 350 bears per year are taken by hunters with hounds. In recent years, about 75 more bears are taken by trappers. And during deer season, opportunistic hunters are also allowed to shoot bears. Cross said that number peaked at 500600 bears in a year, but in recent years peaks at about 150. “Last year’s [overall] harvest was low, maybe the lowest harvest we’ve seen in several years now, somewhere close to 2,400 bears,” Cross said. “That alone could mean that … the hunters fell about 1,000 bears short of the number of cubs entering the population.” One of the reasons that the harvest was so low: Natural foods were abundant, which led to bears being less susceptible to being baited. Cross said some of those food sources can’t produce high-yield crops in consecutive years, which would lead to them denning — and preparing themselves for hibernation by gorging themselves — earlier. That could work to hunters’ advantages. “That puts the bait hunt right in the center of their increased [feeding], their almost crazy feeding schedules,” Cross said. “ And for hunters, that would be a welcome change from a year ago.


Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Randy Cross poses with “Tank,” a 342pound black bear that was sedated and released unharmed as part of the state’s ongoing research project on black bears.







Baxter abounds with activities for children, families

eaching the summit of majestic Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak, is a great accomplishment, but many people would rather enjoy the wilderness closer to sea level, especially if they have small children in tow. Baxter State Park staff help families enjoy water and woods within the park through programs and cheap or free rental gear. Baxter State Park is home to more than 200 miles of trails, and many of these footpaths are much easier than the steep routes up the ridges of Katahdin. “Some of the favorite hikes tend to be the nature trails at Daicey Pond Campground, South Branch Pond Campground and Roaring Brook Campground,” Marcia Williamson, the park’s interpretive specialist, wrote in an email interview. “Also, the hike to Big and Little Niagara Falls along the Appalachian Trail out of Daicey Pond Campground is a great little hike for all ages. The terrain is gentle with opportunities to see views of Doubletop Mountain, the two waterfalls and an old Toll Dam from the logging era, not to mention the smell of mayflowers in the spring.” Several easy hikes lead to remote ponds, some of which have canoes to be rented, along with life jackets and paddles, for $1 per hour. For adventurous families looking for a mountain view, Williamson suggests Sentinel Mountain from Kidney Pond, a moderate

hike that takes about 5 hours. Horse Mountain “In addition, many trails heading out from Trout Brook Farm in the northern end of the park are very accessible for families with young children,” she said. To make exploring nature in the park easier, park naturalist Jean Hoekwater created Naturalist Adventure Packs containing binoculars, books for identifying animals and plants, dipping nets and bug boxes for families to rent for free. The packs are available at the park visitor center, Matagamon Gate and all roadside ranger stations within the park, thanks to donations made by Friends of Baxter State Park, an independent citizen group that helps support the park. For those interested in fishing, Maine residents under 16 years of age and nonresidents under 12 can fish without a license within the park. Make sure to ask the rangers which ponds and streams are fly fishing only or for spin casting rods. The use of live bait is prohibited in the park. Some favorite swimming spots are at Abol Pond, Daicey Pond, South Branch Pond, Matagamon Landing and Ledge Falls, a natural water slide on the Nesowadnehunk Stream north of Kidney Pond Campground. Hoekwater, the park’s naturalist for more than 20 years, was instrumental in putting together an array of park summer programs for groups enjoying the park.

There are programs Wednesday evenings for all ages that range from a talk with chief ranger Ben Woodard to a star magic program with a local amateur astronomer. And on Saturday mornings, children’s programs (usually for ages 4-12) are typically held at Daicey Pond Campground, Kidney Pond Campground or South Branch Pond Campground. These activities -- ranging from pond explorations with dip nets to learning about trees through bark rubbing -are planned by Wilderness Educator Interns, who work with the information and education division of the park. The 2012 schedule of these programs will be posted on the park website, baxterstateparkauthority. com, by the second week in June, and will be available at park headquarters in Millinocket, the visitor center, gatehouses and on bulletin boards at each campground. Registration is not required to attend programs. “Children can also become a Baxter State Park Junior Ranger by completing the Junior Ranger booklet activities, learning about Governor Baxter’s gift of the park,” said Williamson. “Once they show a Ranger their completed booklet, they earn their badge and can then help us protect and preserve Baxter State Park and all the animals and plants that live in the park.” Baxter State Park Director Jensen Bissell contributed to this article, along with Hoekwater and Williamson.







Camping with kids? Play with your food!


Ava O’Kresik, 6, cooks marshmallows to perfection with her dad Daryl O’Kresik while camping along the East Outlet north of Greenville in early May.


few years ago, as a family camping trip loomed, my (now) wife and I began to panic. We figured her three young kids would have fun most of the time. We also figured that at other times, one or two might end up bleeding, or arguing, or creating a general nuisance that might get us evicted, tent and all, from our state park campsite. They are, after all, kids. But our biggest fear had nothing to do with conduct, or eviction, or even ravenous packs of blood-thirsty raccoons (which we may or may not have threatened to unleash upon the kids, should they misbehave). No, our fear was much more mundane: How were we going to get three semi-picky eaters to

enjoy the suppers we’d prepare over a campfire or Coleman stove? We needn’t have worried. After a few quick searches on the Internet, Karen and I ended up with plenty of good ideas. And after the kids ate like hogs for the entire trip (even the most picky, birdlike eater of the bunch), we realized an important fact. The kids ate enthusiastically because they played important roles in each evening’s meal. (It’s hard, apparently, to sit down and say, “I don’t care for this,� when YOU were the one who decided what you were going to eat). Don’t want your kid too close to the campfire? Don’t think they know the first thing about cooking? Don’t worry. Here are a few

*$.("+ $&"3 (.$.*/ .$/$+0/



1() )$ (+

  $*  -.&  ** $* &   (+"'$/0$.  (+"'$/0$.  (+"'$/0$.

323 1() )$ %,. ! #,2+ !  *,+0' , (+0$.$/0 ,. /$.1("$ %$$/






The campfire cooking classic, the s’more.

sure-fire ideas that you can tinker with to meet your children’s preferences when you’re far away from a kitchen or pizza joint. A quick disclaimer: None of these ideas is original. All are available in many forms on the Internet. All ill-fated attempts at humor, however, can be blamed on me.

Foil-wrap meals a hit

OK. Here’s the deal. Even if you’re a bozo when it comes to cooking outdoors, you can succeed on a grand scale. The first key to your future success: Buy a roll of tinfoil. Better yet, buy several. Then build a campfire. Reduce it to cooking coals and get ready for the magic to start. If you’ve camped at all, you may have cooked foil-wrapped meals. If you have, you’ll surely vouch for this magical meal-in-apouch. It’s quick. It’s easy. And (best of all, as I may have mentioned already) if the kids hate what they’re eating, it’s THEIR fault. They picked the ingredients. They filled their own pouches. And you? All you did was cut up ingredients, handle the cooking chores, and (hopefully) pull each packet out of the coals before the contents were piles of smoldering ashes. According to “Art of Manliness,” a blog on all manly things, foil-pack cooking is remarkably easy. The basic theory: Cut up some meat, some veggies, or other key ingredients (along with some favorite dry spices), wrap them up securely in tinfoil, and get cooking! Among the tips offered at that website: Use heavy duty foil, or double-wrap your meals. Spray

some cooking spray on the cooking side of the foil. Put the meat on the bottom of the package. Raw, hard veggies take a long time to cook, plan accordingly. Cook too long rather than too short. Flip. Flip. Flip again. Check progress once in awhile by opening your packet. Then eat. We’ve done ground beef with mushrooms, onions and potatoes, but that’s just a start. “The Art of Manliness” offers suggestions from Hamburger Veg-All, to Sausage and Eggs, Muffins in an Orange Shell, Apricot-glaze Pork Chops and Thanksgiving Dinner. All sound easy. All will work. And all you’ve got to rely on is your ability to copy instructions off the Internet … or, if you want to have more fun, your imagination.

Who doesn’t like octopus?

When we were planning our trip, Karen happened upon a recipe online that we thought was cool. And no, it did not really involve cooking an octopus. Instead, it called for creating octopi out of hot dogs. Simple. Cool. With one problem. None of her kids like hot dogs. The question: Would they like hot dogs if they didn’t look like hot dogs? If, per chance, they looked like octopi … or spiders … or whatever creepy-crawly we decided they looked like? They did. Again, this is a common campfire food. has this recipe (if you can call a hot dog on a stick a recipe), as well as several other great suggestions that will keep the kids happy. Your instructions: Find a suitable hot dog stick. Score the hot

dog twice (or more, if you’re adventurous … the more strips you make, the more legs your octopi gets) from one end, stopping about two-thirds of the way down the dog. Put the hot dog on the stick, inserting it into the unsliced third. Find campfire. Roast weenie. Laugh hysterically as your hot dog’s “legs” curl during cooking. Then plop the hot dog octopus (or spider) onto a plate, where it will sit, staring at you. Add condiments. Eat. Laugh. Enjoy. (Then, much later, realize that you don’t really like hot dogs).

More s’mores

I know, I know. Everybody knows how to make s’mores. Toast a marshmallow. Add a chocolate bar and some graham crackers. Combine into a sandwich. Eat until you’re ready to burst. Then have one more, for good measure. Easy. But the folks who put together the Joy of Camping website have come up with a number of ways to spice up the old reliable s’more. Some of their suggestions: Use Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies instead of graham crackers. The Hershey bar is no longer needed. Chow down on what they call a “cookie s’more.” Spread peanut butter on a tortilla, sprinkle with chocolate chips and an untoasted marshmallow. Roll up the tortilla, wrap it in tinfoil, and cook on a grill grate for five minutes. You’ve just made a Mexican s’more. Or build a “banana boat s’more,” by slicing a banana — still in the peel — lengthwise (but not all the way through). Sprinkle in some chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, wrap it in foil, and heat over the fire.

Quality Products & Service Since 1947

Call Today for More Information


BDN Maine Outdoors, Summer 2012  

Summer's here and it's time to get outdoors. Let our BDN staffers give you advice, assistance and inspiration for having a healthy, safe, an...