Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What makes hunting in Maine so great

Hunting in Maine is unique.  Our landscape is different than most states, our predators are a lot more abundant (hello 36,000 black bear roaming the woods) and we have a shorter season that most.  Recently, I highlighted these challenges for the National Deer Alliance and wrote about why they makes Maine such a great place to hunt.

Click here to read my article for the National Deer Alliance.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Must have clothing for outdoor women

I did a radio interview recently and was asked about women's hunting apparel and if it is getting better. I ecstatically answered Yes!  Thanks to my involvement with EvoOutdoors, I have been fortunate enough to learn what you really need to be wearing when you are in the woods during bear season, deer season, coyote etc. With the holidays coming up, here are my MUST HAVEs for any outdoorwoman or man.

First Lite: I sit while I hunt and I was always getting sweaty on my way in or out of the woods. I layer so that I can stay warmer longer but it would also take me a while to regulate my body temperature after I got warm walking into my stand. I can only imagine how much more comfortable my hunts would have been had I learned about this company and actually worn their products years ago. Here are my must haves: start with the Lupine Crew as your base layer and follow that up with the Artemis Hoody and depending on the temps, I will add the Halstead Tech Fleece on top of that. These layers are so warm and breathable… I actually wore my Artemis fishing in 80+ degree weather (to cut the morning chill and reduce sun exposure) and I stayed dry and cool the entire time.  I also wear the Corrugate Guide Pants which are perfect for bear baiting when it is hot out and you want to limit the amount of exposure you have to ticks, mosquitoes etc.

Kryptek Helios kept me cool in the 90 degree heat

Kryptek: The very first time I sat by myself to bear hunt, it was 90 degrees and I had the wrong gun with me (see blog for compete story.) My must have is the Kryptek Helios ¼ zip top.  I was camo'd, dry and comfortable. It was incredible. I stayed scent free and was ready when that hunt turned exciting.

Prois: Kristie and Katherine have created a line for women that covers all kinds of hunts, locations and conditions. These ladies are hysterical on social media and are incredibly easy to contact and talk to about their gear if you have questions. So many of their pieces are must haves! Last fall, when deer season was too warm and I didn’t need a lot of layers, I wore my Prois Reversible Sherpa Vest with the blaze orange on the outside along with a Lupine crew and I was all set. This spring while Dad and I were scouting for turkey, I wore my Generation X Jacket.  We got caught in a downpour and when we made it back to the house, my jacket was almost completely dry! The rain rolled right off the jacket and I was dry. 

Prois Reversible Sherpa Vest and beanie

All three of these companies have extensive catalogues of gear and if you are wondering what to get the outdoorswoman or man in your life, check these places out.  Hunting gear is not cheap, we all know that, but I can promise you that upping the quality of your gear will pay off tremendously and the more comfortable you are while hunting, the longer you can stay and the more alert you will be. 

* I do not receive any benefits from these companies to write about their gear.  These are my opinions based on my experiences with their clothing.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September starts ‘go-time’!

Check your batteries, clean up the SD cards and get those cameras ready for deer season to begin.  September really kicks off ‘go-time’ for deer hunting.  The trail cameras need to be in the best possible spots, the treeseats go into the trees, blinds get any last tweaks and the amount of food available is telling; is it a good apple year? acorns? Or will the deer be moving into the cornfields and competing with the turkeys and bear?

We have lucked out and had some pretty lean winters over the past couple of years. The deer on our property are quite healthy and have the body mass to prove it.  We have also been fortunate to have pictures of a fawn on the camera this year.  That marks two years in a row that we have had fawns born on the property! Hopefully this one is buck and we can watch those little buttons grow.

Deer season is also when I unwind.  If you have ever sat for hours on end, you know what I am talking about.  You melt into the landscape.  You hear the geese and squirrels and probably a few turkey. You can put away the cell phone (I make a point of doing it) and just process everything without worrying about Facebook notification, how many re-tweets you got or likes on Instagram.  It is a break from all of it and a chance to refocus on what is important. For me, it is like meditation, 12 feet off the ground.  I love it.  I look forward to it. 

Each weekend, it is exciting to plan our strategy and figure out who will move to which treestands and when. We share stories from our time in the woods and (I) become obsessed about trail camera pictures, rubs and new scrapes.  I can’t wait to see if I will get to watch this new fawn walk under my stand like last year’s fawn did. And I love being able to hunt with Dad and the comfort that comes from seeing his orange hat appear from the thick woods when it’s time to head in for lunch.
We will scout and plan and work hard this upcoming season to bring home meat.  But really, is there ever a bad day to be in the woods hunting?

As cliché as it is, hunting season is about so much more than killing a deer.  In this crazy world, hunting brings us back to our roots.  It allows us to reconnect with our families and enjoy being outside as the seasons change. I look forward to it every year and then find myself waking up on Sunday in late November and wondering where the time went.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

In the woods: Water birds

While Staci and I were out paddling, we had the chance to get pretty close to female Mallards and a Blue Heron as it fished.