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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why I love being a hunter

* The meat! There is nothing better than butchering and eating meat from an animal that you killed

* Sitting in the woods for hours with no technology The sun, the honking geese in the fields, the eff'n squirrels... and no office walls.

* Watching wildlife in their natural habitat I love watching does and fawns playing when they have no idea that I am in the tree nearby. Only well-behaved squirrels can hang out with me in the tree though.

* Spending time with my Dad =)

* Breaking the stereotypes of what a hunter looks like Yes, those are 4 inch heels that I am wearing

* Breaking the stereotypes of how a hunter acts Go bear hunting then listen to Alec Baldwin host the New York Philharmonic, yes please!

* Meeting and connecting with other great hunters There are a lot of awesome people in Maine and around the US who are passionate about hunting and are sharing their experiences.

* The meat! Worth being mentioned twice!  On a cold snowy day having a nice bear or deer roast in the crockpot is heaven... yum!







Monday, October 27, 2014

Sportswoman's Alliance

Nov 2014 Downeast Magazine
A few months ago, I was asked to write an article for Downeast Magazine about what it means to be a woman who hunts.  I was excited about the opportunity and eagerly sat down to write what I knew would be the widest seen piece of my career.  It took me a month to come up with the article, edit it and edit it again but it was submitted and I felt good about it.
Then, I was asked to do a photo shoot for the article that would be me and a few friends in the city.  It was a perfect depiction of what hunters look like compared to the perception that non-hunters (and maybe a few hunters) view as a hunter.

My friends Lorri, Jenn and Melissa agreed to be in the shoot with me. 


Seeing the finished photo and my article in print and to be able to hold it is surreal!  I am excited to hear what people think about it.  If you can, please go out and get a copy.  There are great stories about hunting heritage, traditions and explanations (including some great financial stats) about how hunting impacts Maine. 

The published photo





Thursday, October 23, 2014

New photos show deer in the rut

This could be the best season ever when it comes to trail cam photos of the deer around the Sky Condo.  Hunter or not, how can you not love and respect these great animals?!  I can not wait until deer season starts.






Monday, October 20, 2014

In search of the iconic Maine moose

It rained.  Rained hard and the wind blew.  It was anything but ideal for finding moose in the Maine woods.  But Brian, Jenn and I knew that the weather was going to be clear and with some rain gear, we were off for an adventures.  Last year, I was spoiled; beautiful calm weather and moose first thing in the morning.  This year, our normal 4:30am start was pushed back to 10am.

About an hour after we left, we were winding down dirt roads heading further into the woods. We pulled into an old skidder road, grabbed our cameras and were off.  The sun had finally come out but the wind was still whipping through the trees and causing bursts of leaves to drop from their branches. 
Brian calling for moose
We walked along the trail, stopping every once in a while to call and attempt to listen between gusts of wind.  It was turning out to be a beautiful fall day and we had high hopes for seeing some wildlife.  The first chopping that we came to was beautiful - the photo does not do it justice - with Black Spruce below us, hardwoods to our left, swamp to our right.  If the day had started off nicer, this would be prime moose territory.


Brian called a few times and we listened hard to hear grunts or bellows when the wind would die down but it was apparent that no moose were coming in to see what was going on.  We headed back to the main roadway and continued on into some boggier areas.


Three years ago when Dad was drawn for a moose permit and we were searching for our moose, he would take me down these paths and down some even thicker and I was sure he was out of his mind.  Spaces that deer seemed too big for, would have great moose sign.  It still amazes me how animals with huge antlers can get through places like this without getting stuck. 

Brian began pointing out places on the trees that had been rubbed by moose.  Similar to deer, moose will make rubs to leave scent, get velvet off or to relieve some frustration.  The tree had this great rub at the bottom and several smaller nicks all the way to the top that were probably made by the tines further out on the antlers.
Jenn and I checking out the moose rub
We walked and walked and walked looking for moose and hoping to hear a call back in response to one of Brian's but nothing came.  We headed back to the truck for lunch and to move on to a new spot. 

As the afternoon wore on, we tried a couple different spots and could not get a moose to call back to us.  Brian wanted to try one specific clearing before we called it a night and headed home.  The temperature was steadily dropping and the sun was beginning to set.  The moon was high and bright and the wind was finally gone.

We stopped along the edge of the clearing and sat down on a couple of stumps.  Brian started calling.  We listened and kept scanning the tree line for movement.  When he called a few minutes later, Brian heard the first response.  He started pointing behind us and Jenn and I moved to get out of the open.  Brian called again and this time, I heard the muffled grunt.  I looked off to my left and saw the antlers coming through the trees, along the same path we had taken to come in.

It was a young bull and he came within 30 feet of us.  He was not scared but seemed more curious as to what was making the noises of a moose but didnt look like a moose.  Jenn and I snapped frantically trying to get the best shots.  In the end, Brian was the one who snapped these great photos.


We stood there for about 30 minutes with this young bull as he checked us out, moved away from us, came back to check on us and eventually headed off into the woods below the ridge we were on.

It was exciting to have one so close and the payoff, after hours of hearing nothing, was great!  Brian came through with a wonderful adventure in the woods and great photos of this young bull moose.  You never know what kind of adventure you will have in the Maine woods!