Tuesday, December 30, 2014


[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog. 

American White Cedar, Viles Arboretum, Augusta Maine

Friday, December 26, 2014

Keeping Maine Wild, one project at a time

The following is my article from the Northwoods Sporting Journal for January 2015.  I wanted to share it with you all since I think Maine's Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is going to be busy and active this year -- and there are ways that we can be involved!

Many of us think we know Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and associate them with our favorite hunting and fishing activities. While we may think we know what they do, there are a ton of projects that are being done to better the lives of Maine’s wildlife and we hunters and fishermen have no idea.  

This year marks the start of the comprehensive 15-year plans for moose, deer, bear and fur bearers like bobcat and fisher.  It will be a lot of multi-organizational work and will be worth it to keep these populations healthy, but what a lot of people, including myself, don’t know about are the programs and research that is being done now and throughout 2015 that will enrich the entire Maine outdoors.  There are 330 different species that need information updated on their habitat, the number of species in the overall population and geographical health across Maine.  From our fisheries and birds to the reptiles and the game and fur-bearers we love to hunt, IF&W has a lot of things happening that few of us know about but will surely impact all of us as outdoorsmen to some level.

Over the next year, I will be writing updates about the following projects (and more) to help shed light on what IF&W is doing behind the scenes for the Maine outdoors.  I will also be posting stories and more photos at my website, www.andastrongcupofcoffee.com.  The following is a quick list of some of the interesting projects happening around the state.

Wood Turtles – This multi-State project looks at the habitat range and the turtle’s dependency on rivers.

Black Bears - Satellite receivers will be put on a handful bears to track their range.

Bald Eagles – Biologist will be studying the impact of wind turbines on the bird’s flight patterns.

Ruffled Grouse – Tracking collars will be put on a few grouse in order to study their behavior and range.

Snowshoe Hare – Another region-wide study that will look at habitat and population numbers of hares.

Brown Trout in the Kennebec – For a second year, radio-tagged brown trout will be stocked in the area around Shawmut/Fairfield.  Using telemetry, fisheries biologists will track the fish to monitor their health and how they travel the river.

Landlocked Salmon – Along the entire stretch of the Crooked River, biologists will be studying and counting active nesting areas for nest health and location. The crooked is a major nursery for Sebago’s landlocked salmon fishery.

Togue – Munsungan Lake will also be using telemetry to monitor the population of togue and locate spawning shoals in order to monitor the number of togue and of salmon and keep the populations balanced and both populations healthy.

Brook Trout – Fisheries biologists at Nesowadnehunk Lake will be removing eggs and milt from native brook trout and bringing them to the hatchery where they will be raised and then released into ponds around Baxter Park.

These are just a handful of the quiet projects that are taking place across Maine in the next few months.  As we spend weekends in the ice shacks and rabbit hunting, biologists will be conducting these research projects to better the quality of wildlife and habitat that we have across the state.

Maine is fortunate to have such dedicated biologists who are eager to get out in the field, study the animals, birds, fish and reptiles that they love to give us a better wildlife experience regardless of if we are taking to the woods to hunt, the lakes to fish or just enjoying the outdoors to sightsee and nature watch.  As a hunter and lover of the outdoors, I can not wait to learn more and see firsthand the impact that these projects will have.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.

My backyard

Monday, December 22, 2014

Best of 2014: My bear

As I was looking through photos of 2014 and printing some out, I couldnt help  but get nostalgic.  I had no intention of bear hunting a year ago.  I had actually told my Dad (a few times) that I had no desire to shoot a bear, didn't think I could like the meat and that it was just not in my wheel house.  Skip ahead a few months and with the invitation of Steve and Lorri, I learned how to prepare and set bait and went hunting.  Then, given the opportunity to hunt with hounds, I took a chance to learn more about it and came home with an incredible story and some delicious meat.

I may look calm but I was freaking out
Look at those scars! I told the taxidermist that I want each one of them to be seen when I get the hide back
Such a great hunt
So big that it took 6 men or a tractor to move him

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A frozen selfie

You do "funny" things when you are a hunter. You willingly wake up at 4am.  You willingly spend hours tracking, sitting and walking and you willingly sit out in 0 degree weather waiting for an animal (coyote) in my case.  Some mornings, it is fun to document my questionable saneness and the last weekend of deer hunting season was one of those cases.  I never did get a coyote but night hunting for them starts this week!

Frozen Selfie

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.


Monday, December 15, 2014

My goals for 2015

In 2015, I have a few goals that I am hoping to finally accomplish.

1. Get a turkey!  I came close last year, but I am hoping that the 3rd time is the charm.
2. Goose hunting.  I had plans last year that fell through so I am hoping to try that this year.
3. Catch a 'keep-able' fish.
4. Go bear hunting again.  I will never beat this year's hunt, but I can try.
5. Get that 8-pointer!
6. Go with biologists to a bear den.
7. Shoot a moose (this will be on my list each year until I do.)
8. Shoot a coyote.
9. Learn about trapping. I don't know if I will actually do it, but I want to go and see how it's done.

What else should I add to my list?

My too-small-to-keep salmon

Turkey hunting

My magnificent bear

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Karma is...

...having a deer bed down next to your tree stand.  This bed was about 15 feet from the bottom of my stand.  When I went out to see where the deer was that Hubby jumped, I noticed this.  The deer were everywhere the guys were, but they just couldn't make a connection. Maybe next year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.

Cattails at Viles Arboretum, Augusta Maine

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.

This is an entrance to the Viles Arboretum, Augusta Maine.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Taking a pause

I do have a few blogs in the hopper that I am working to get out to you.  I was the only one who tagged out during deer season, but I was able to take some cool photos and will share some fun still hunting stories from Dad and Hubby's adventures but I am taking a pause for a minute to get refocused.

This Thanksgiving was the first without my Grandmother who died on September 27 - two months to the day before Thanksgiving.  The is the first grandparent that we have lost and it seemed odd to not have her there with us.  Then, after a short illness and x-rays that showed a tumor in the soft tissue at the base of the nasal cavity, we made the heartbreaking decision to put our dog down. 

Hubby tried to put in the effort, but his heart was just not in hunting after that.   It has been an emotional fall with a lot of loss that we are processing.

But know that I am writing (old school with paper and pen) and getting ready to get all of you caught up on the latest adventures and what I have planned for 2015!

Leah's resting spot - she can watch over the pond that she loved