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Showing posts from September, 2015

More exciting trail camera pictures

It is like Christmas every time you check the cameras... will the same buck be around? are there new bucks? what about the coyote? how is the fawn? Then, you get a glimpse into the woodland word. I am surprised that this little ones still has its spots but it is healthy! Look at that belly. We have quite a few pictures of this fawn with its mom.  It is the only baby around and I would love to get a chance to watch them while I am hunting. Look how wide those spikes are! No brow tines on this guy.  When you zoom in on the second picture, this looks like a crotch horn. He has a decent body too, which would provide us with some excellent meat this winter. I usually end up squealing when I see these pictures.  I can't help it.  I have never shot a large deer like this.  Dad has not shot a large deer like this since I started hunting with him but we have seen them on the cameras. They are big for a reason and once the rut kicks in, we have found that they stay nocturnal.  Mayb

I am a trapper! (hopefully)

By the time this post goes 'live' I hope that I can announce that I have passed my trapping education class!  Over the past few years, I have been trying new things in the outdoor world (hello bear hunting) and one of the things that I wanted to know more about was trapping.  I may never actually set a trap myself, but I think that in order for me to write authentically about it, I should know how to do it or have at least tried it. I plan to go out with a few friends this winter and see how they run their trap lines.  I would love to come back with a martin or fisher but I want to know about it first.  As a renewable resource that provides people with income in the winter months, trapping is one of those lost arts that people forget about because it's what our ancestors used to do. But, I don't think it is lost. I really want a fox pelt and maybe I will be able to work up enough courage to try and trap a fox (live, foothold trap) but I am still stuck on havin

A new partnership to help get women outdoors

A recent article in Petersen’sHunting online stated that the percentage of women who are hunting rose from 11% in 2011 to 19% in 2013.  Almost doubling in two years!  Here in Maine, more women are taking to the fields, woods and streams.  It is exciting as an outdoors woman to see this happening and watch as more women feel comfortable going out on an early morning turkey hunt or sitting in that bear blind by themselves.  Yet, there is more that can be done to help women get outside and learn these new skills.  In an effort to help more women and girls get outside and continue the growing trend here in Maine, a group of women have come together to create Women of the Maine Outdoors, a non-profit organization that will help to provide information on educational opportunities and funding possibilities for all fellow Maine women who want to try their hand at any outdoor activity.   Any woman or girl who is interested in camping, ATVing, fishing, trapping, hunting etc. is eligible

Honest Kitchen: Kale chips

Honest Kitchen: Honest, whole food cooked from scratch. Simple, delicious and sometimes from the wild side. Robin and Erin often prepare wild game, mushrooms, berries and other foods they harvest, grow or buy locally. Regardless - come cook with us. Copy this paragraph (please leave the links) into your blog and leave your link in comments each Wednesday so everyone can visit. What has the crunch of a potato chip and is salty like a potato chip but is not a potato chip? A kale chip! I didnt believe it either until a friend of mine made them for me and I was hooked.  They take maybe 10 minutes to make and are incredibly yummy. Here is what you need: Kale EVOO or cooking spray toping: salt, garlic powder... any seasoning that you want! Step 1: Rip the kale into pieces.  You dont need to be fancy, just get them into pieces. Step 2: Space the pieces out on a cookie sheet Step 3: brush with EVOO or spray with cooking spray Step 4: Season.  I used salt

Women's hunting camp

In the Northern Maine woods, down a long dirt road surrounded by a beaver bog and thick, dense forests there was a small cabin without electricity, a phone or any sort of cell service.  In that cabin, five outdoors women sat with their guns ready to kill Maine black bears.  The swollen stream flowed past us at bear camp. The rain would start and stop during my time at camp and we would hold out breathe to find out if we would go out and hunt again or if we would be rained out and the bears that we came to hunt will continue to roam the woods and fields. Five of us were at bear camp and while we lead very different lives, our love of the outdoors and desire to hunt black bear have brought us together for these few days.  Some have been bear hunting for years and for others, this is their first time.  There is something about breaking out of your comfort zone that makes for an exciting time at camp. "I'm terrified of them," Sue says when I ask her if she has enj

No more skulls

I have bad luck with skulls. It started with my bear and will end with my coyote because I have learned which taxidermists (and butchers) are not worth the convenience. I shot a 457lb bear last October and went with my guide to bring it to the butcher.  I had decided that I wanted the skull saved and would have the hide made into a rug.  I didn’t have the room or the desire for a mount.  The butcher got his knives out and began hacking away at the bear.  I watched but didn’t really know what I was looking at.  He hooked the bear by its hind legs, lifting it off the ground and started peeling away the hide.  It seemed to come off quickly and my guide made sure that he kept the paws intact with pads and nails included.  When it came time to cut the head off, it took him a couple of attempts before my guide’s eyes got wide and he stepped in to help get the cut where it needed to be.  By that point, it was too late.  The back of the skull had been cut off and a separate cut had almo

Raising meat for winter

Earlier in the summer, Robin mentioned that she would be raising chickens for meat over the winter.  I know nothing about raising chickens so I asked if she would raise a few for me.  Luckily, she agreed. Now, the plan is to help out with butchering day in October and walk away with about 10 whole chickens (or maybe parts of) for meat over the winter. Growing up, my family raised two pigs each summer and we would enjoy fresh bacon, ham and pork chops over the winter.  There is something comforting about knowing where your food was raised and who was doing the raising.  There is an added appreciation and understanding that comes every time you sit down to eat a meal. This is what the chickens looked like a couple of weeks ago. In a couple more weeks, we will be heading north to Robin's to help with butchering.  It will be an experience that is out of my comfort zone but something that we will need to experience to truly understand the butchering process of raising meat. (c)

I survived my first solo bear hunt

Everything was going just fine until I realized that I had the wrong gun. I had packed everything that I would need and was getting comfortable with the idea of sitting by myself in the tree blind. It was 90 degrees.  The odds of a bear coming in were really not good. Plus, when Steve dropped me off and checked the cameras, there were no pictures and the bait had not been touched.  I was a little more relaxed about it but I was still weirded out about having the wrong gun. Me, my awesome Kryptek Helios top and the wrong 30-06 I'm couldn't believe that it happened. I had assumed that my gun was in my gun bag and switched it with the gun sitting right next to it. The different strap never registered when I grabbed the guns. I didn't think anything of it again until I took the gun out of the case and noticed that the shock pad was sticker than normal.  I assumed that it was due to the heat.  When I reached up to automatically slide the safety back, the safe

Here goes a second season

With these trail camera photos becoming a common occurrence, I am excited and still a little nervous for bear season.  I have developed a very healthy respect for these animals and there is still some caution when I head into the woods to hunt one. Even if I do not get one, these photos are a clear indication that the bear population in Maine is healthy and thriving.  These are not small bears and by the time we head into the woods, they will have had a few more weeks to put on weight.

Honest Kitchen: Blackberry Muffins

Honest Kitchen: Honest, whole food cooked from scratch. Simple, delicious and sometimes from the wild side. Robin and Erin often prepare wild game, mushrooms, berries and other foods they harvest, grow or buy locally. Regardless - come cook with us. Copy this paragraph (please leave the links) into your blog and leave your link in comments each Wednesday so everyone can visit. Fresh blackberries When we were out refilling bear bait sites, we took a few minutes to pick blackberries. They were small and delicious.  I knew that whatever I picked, I wanted to make it into something yummy. First up, blackberry muffins! I tweaked a blueberry muffin recipe and added a few extra ingredients in order to make these awesome muffins. Here is what you will need: 3/4 c. milk 1/4 c. vegetable oil (I used sunflower) 1 egg 2 c. flour (I used whole wheat) 1/2 c. sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 c. fresh blackberries Steps: 1. Preheat oven to 400