This Sunday is Maine Maple Sunday! In 2011, Maine produced 360,000 gallons of maple syrup. In order to get 1 gallon of syrup, you need an average of anywhere between 34-42 gallons of sap depending on the concentration of sugar. For Hubby's birthday, we headed to a friend's house where he has about 5 taps going during the season. This is his set up - metal taps, plastic hoses into 5 gallon buckets. We then headed to Brian's nephew's sugar house. This place was built in 1954 and there is a small camp right next to the sugar house where they use to sleep while collecting the sap all spring. Brian's nephew has 700 taps. I tried to get a good picture of the web of tubes but with the sun, none of them came out great. Hopefully you can see the spider-web like set up he has. The sugar house is downhill from all of the trees so gravity helps to keep the sap running. If they need to, they also hook up a generator that creates a suction through the entire system to he
This weekend, Hubby got his first real hunting gun. Its a Winchester 270 with a Bushnell 9 power scope. Last year, he was hunting with a borrowed 12-guage. So, with the weather being incredibly nice, and it being DAD's bday(!!!) we headed to the back yard to start sighting in the gun. First Hubby shot. He took two shots into an empty plastic jug that was propped up on the wood pile at about 60 yards. One shot was a little high and to the left. The other was about 2 inches to the right. Then Dad decided he needed to try and turned to hubby and said "Lets see if it's the gun or you" and chuckled as he took two shots. Dad's a cool lefty!!! And he was about an inch off the target. Apparently, the trigger pulls hard so Dad gave Hubby a tip on moving his finger in more, letting the first knuckle pull the trigger instead of the finger tip. With one last shot, and taking Dad's advice into consideration, Hubby sighted in on another target and shot. In the d
This past week, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife released the numbers for the 2011 deer season. It is a perfect pick up point for the rest of my interview with Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of IFW. How were the deer & moose numbers compared to 2010? Overall, about average. The numbers are down a bit but I think that is because of the animals adapting. You can't hunt moose from your truck anymore and expect to be successful. You need to actually get out and hunt; move around a little bit. Animals adapt and somehow they know when the seasons is so they travel. If you are not there when they are moving, you will miss them. The deer numbers are about 20,000 deer. We usually harvest 10% or 11% each year and have about 200,000 hunting licenses out there. I noticed that this year, the moose lottery is a little bit different. Why? We did a lot of changes for moose permits. First, we increased the cost from $7 a try to $15. And you can put in only once. The average tha
Chandler Woodcock was sworn in as Commissioner as Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W)a little over a year ago. I sat down with him last week and talked about his life as an outdoorsman and what he hopes to bring to IFW in the years to come. This is the first part of our conversation: How did you get into hunting/fishing? My grandfather. He was an outdoorsman. My father was not a big fan of the outdoors, so I looked to my grandfather. I started fishing when I was probably 3 years old. I think I started hunting when I was 8. It becomes a part of you; being outside in the woods. It’s a way to relax and unwind and it sticks with you. Folks that hunt and fish get that. Do your kids hunt/fish? Everyone fishes (he has 3 daughters, 1 son and 10 grandkids). My son hunts but it’s a family requirement to fish. We do have a rule that you have to be at least 2 to begin fishing because of the hook. I remember taking my son out once and we saw a nice deer, 8 or 10 points. I
Perfect timing. As I am writing up Mr. Woodcock's answer to my question about the mild winter, I see this link pop up on my Twitter feed about exactly that topic. Lets consider this a little homework for those of you who are going to read my interview with the Commissioner. Part 2 will be posted maybe Sunday (hubby's birthday) or Monday.
There is nothing better than swapping hunting stories with another hunter. It’s a part of the Maine (and hunting) culture that connects one generation to another. A story can bond people, no matter how diverse their backgrounds are. I don’t know of any other culture in which I could strike up a conversation with someone twice my age from the backwoods of Maine and the next day compare riffles with a business owner who travels around the world. I am under 30 and female. And because I hunt, I am a part of a tradition that transcends sociopolitical, economic and physical boundaries. I belong to a club that lets anyone join and listens enthusiastically to everyone’s stories. I revamped this blog because I was interviewed by the Rabid Outdoorsman back in October about being a woman who hunts and writes about it. Since then, I have thought about what interests me and how to keep those of you who read this blog more often than others, entertained. In a blog post from January, I set
I am interviewing Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife tomorrow!!! Last chance if there is a question you want me to ask him! I will break the interview into 3 blogs throughout the next week or so. So stay tuned and let me know if you have a topic you want me to address. Thanks everyone!
This past week, it was made official. I was elected to the board of Hardy Girls Healthy Woman . Its an organization that works to empower girls. The organization creates successful programs that we spin out for other partner groups to use across the country and world. I have only attended one meeting (and it was online because of the massive snowstorm we got last week) but I am super excited to be working with this organization. My parents never said I couldn't do something. They asked how I was going to do it. They made me think, work hard and prove that I could accomplish anything that I set out to do. If I can do that for other girls, then I will be happy. One program that HGHW offers is called Adventure Girls (perfect, right?!?!). Adventure Girls is described as: An interactive program for girls in grades 2-6, Adventure Girls gives girls the opportunity to meet once a month with women who are defying gender stereotypes and challenging notions of what a girl or woma
I priced out having someone else mount my antlers for me and decided that Dad and I can handle it. We are independent like that. So on Saturday, we cut off the antlers to my deer to begin making the mount for them. Leah had no idea what this was, but she was willing to go nose to nose with it. Then, Dad moved it and she took off running. Silly dog. Dad's telling me to stop taking pictures and help hold the head. You can see my tree seat on the left. Action shot. One handed! and taken 3 months to the day that I shot him. We each held up our antlers, mine from last year (we remeasured and they have a 13.25 inch spread) and Dad's from the 6-pointer the year before. He joked (I think) that the gloves are coming off next season and its every (wo)man for themselves. Hubby suggested we take a fighting photo. Don't we look mean?? I now need to figure out what step 2 is. I know I need to get the hair off the top of the scull, I just don't know how. Research