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The unlikely bear hunter

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Grateful for the community

I am technically an adult-onset hunter.I started when I was twenty after watching Dad hunt every fall and deciding that I wanted to see what it was all about – and that killing your own meat was not a bad thing. If you had asked me (or dad) to imagine what the next decade and a half would be like, I guarantee you neither of us would have pictured this!As I write this, I have just hung up the phone with Taylor and Mark Drury. Throughout deer season, I will be writing up all of the Drury family hunts that will be featured on DeerCast (make sure you have the app or the website bookmarked!) I am also going to continue interviewing hunters from across the country and Canada that have taken amazing deer. Just like last year when I got to feature Wayne Bernier from Allagash Adventures after he dropped his amazing 200lb, 20 point buck with a 31 inch spread! The fact that I get to do this blows my mind. I get to share a mutual love and excitement over hunting with so many people and no matter w…

The Blood Origins Project

"I was looking for a narrative that described who we are as hunters,” my friend Robbie Kroger explained to me, “Essentially looking for an authentic truth about who we are. I couldn't find it. So we built it with Blood Origins.” If you have never heard of Blood Origins, set aside a solid hour and watch the videos on their website or YouTube, featuring some of the most influential people in the hunting world. People like Will Primos, Cuz Strickland and Jim Shockey all share a small piece of their story and the how and why hunting was so important.

Robbie has more than 30 unique stories from hunters, nonhunters, men, women, veterans, young and old and each one is a personal look into the importance of hunting and conservation. “It is about our community, and conveying the truth around hunting” said Robbie.

The fact that Robbie and I even connected is a testament to the power of the hunting community. As a native South African, American and Mississippian, Robbie was determined to…

Maine's Moose problem

Do we have too many moose?  too few? are hunters killing the correct number to ensure a healthy social and biological carrying capasity? 

These questions are asked every year around the time that hunters have to apply for a permit and when the drawing actually happens.  Maine's moose are iconic and hunters have gone decades applying for a permit without being drawn.  I am currently on year 18 of not being drawn. But the allure of walking through the crisp, fall air and seeing that bull moose step out into a clearing, keeps people applying year after year after year. 
A proposal by Maine's moose biologist, Lee Kanter is seeking to test a small population of moose to see if by lowering the population of moose, the winter tick problem will decrease.  On the surface it makes sense; less anaimals means less disease.  Something has to change if we want to keep the herd healthy and growing.  Winter ticks have been a huge concern for years and now may be a perfect time to see if somethi…

Millinocket Moose

I woke my son up at 1:40 in the morning so that we could be in Millinocket by 4 AM. I have made it a point this year to take advantage of local Maine guides who are struggling because of the cancellations from out-of-state hunters and anglers. Many guides and outfitters have great discounts on trips and as a local, I am happy to take advantage! We had been in quarantine for 12 weeks at that point and it was leading up to my son’s birthday. So at 4am, we met up with Paul Sannicandro of Moose Woods Guide Service to go on a moose safari. 

The weather called for rain but we were determined to find a few moose before the storms rolled in.With bug spray, binoculars, cameras and face masks, we headed out on the Golden Road to find some moose.  We didn’t have to go far before Paul spotted a young bull. Excitedly and quietly, we hiked close to the edge of the pond to get a better view.  The sun was just starting to crest the trees and illuminate the snow on the peak of Katahdin. It was one of t…

Front yard birding

We have known since we bought the house, that there were owls around. I frantically flagged down Hubs when I was on the phone being intereviewed and saw one land on a dead tree across the backyard, so that we could get some pictures. We hear them at night calling to one another and occasioanlly, we hear them in the morning when we take the dog out. There is two, maybe three nearby.

Since we have been at home for weeks, I have found myself going for walks during the naptime. On this particular day, the sun was shining and I was headed towards the mailbox when I heard an owl hoot.  It was close. I spun on my heels, ran inside and grabbed my camera.  I told Hubs to come with me and help me find this owl.


We did.  He spotted it first and I tried to be as quiet as possible (on a bed of dried leaves) to get some photos of the sleeping owl.  Eveneturally he got annoyed by me and flew justa  few trees away.  We didn't follow up but smiled at the fact that we could see him and watch h…

Finding sheds in the Maine woods

I noticed the black against the white trees, "moose!" I called out to Lee.  Eating along the side of the logging road, she was spooked by our approaching truck and disappeared into thick sapplings before I could take a picture.  I took it as a good omen that today would be productive.

Snow in May is not unheard of in Maine but the few inches that had fallen the night before, would not make shed hunting an easy task this morning.  I was still excited and the break from quarantine life was welcomed.  The fresh Maine air can reset anyone's state of mind.

We walked down old skidder trails and split up to cover more ground.  Snow fell from the higher branches as the sun began to rise.  I had been walking for just a few minutes when Lee came to find me and had me backtrack on to the road that he had been on.

"Walk right down this trail and look inside the tree line" Lee instructed me.  He had already found the first shed of the morning amid two inches of snow and bla…