Radio show focuses on how hunting has changed in Maine

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Maine Calling, a popular radio call-in show hosted by Jennifer Rooks on Maine Public Radio, focused on hunting yesterday. It was my privilege to participate along with other guests Bill Vail, former Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Deirdre Fleming, outdoor writer for the Portland Press Herald.

Bill and I focused on how hunting has changed in our lifetimes, while Deirdre conveyed her excitement about her first-ever deer hunt. We also talked about a lot of other hunting issues. Jennifer does a superb job of keeping the discussion moving forward, and selecting questions from the many listeners who call or email to participate in the discussion and ask questions.

You can listen to the program here.

PHOTO: Deirdre Fleming on her first-ever deer hunt. 

Beaver and moose lasagna was a big hit at Harvest Festival

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 It didn’t last long. When Kate Krukowski Gooding finished her stage show at the Maine Harvest Festival in Bangor, she put out two trays of lasagna featuring wild game meat and boy, did it go fast, with a lot of oohing and ahhing from folks who stood in line for a helping. I got a taste of the BBQ lasagna with chopped beaver meat and moose sausage, cooked with Cellar Door’s red wine and yes, it was delicious. It was also spicy, thanks to a sauce from Dana Masters of Beast Feast Maine, who joined Kate on stage for the show. The other lasagna featured ground bear meat and venison.

Muzzleloading hunting memories are the best

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 I love hunting deer with a one-shot muzzleloader. As soon as that season was authorized, I purchased a modern in-line muzzleloader and took to the woods, where we often have snow, and I rarely see another hunter (unless he’s hunting with me).

My good friend Ed Pineau and I actually try not to shoot deer in November now, so we’ll have the chance to hunt in December.

Today is the opening day of the muzzleloading season, so I will share with you some of my best muzzleloading memories. And yes, my mistakes have been especially memorable!

Eight Deer

I sat on a stone wall, on the higher ground, while Ed worked his way through the bog below me. This is one of our favorite strategies: one of us still hunting through an area, the other up ahead where the deer are apt to run.

Celebrating Farm Fresh in Bangor

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                 The Maine Harvest Festival is an amazing event – and mouthwatering too! In just its third year, Judy Perkins of Garden Ridge Farm and her staff have turned this into a major statewide event, featuring more than 150 farmers and other creative people who filled the entire Bangor Auditorium.

                I spent a good part of the day eating my way from booth to booth. The Festival features great presentations on three stages, my favorite being Kate Krukowski Gooding’s presentation on cooking wild game. Her cookbooks are favorites of mine. At the festival Kate served an awesome lasagna with moose sausage and beaver meat. Dana Masters of Beast Feast Maine, a Maine Guide who invented the “Sportsman’s Blend Sauce,” supplied the sauce for the lasagna. We purchased Dana’s maple BBQ sauce and I can tell you it is very flavorful!

Children’s Christmas books can brighten Black Friday

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 Children’s Christmas books can brighten Black Friday

Lighting up a child’s Christmas with a wonderful book is a great experience. As one of my favorite Maine authors, Monica Wood, said recently, “When you receive a book, more than any other gift you feel chosen. If it’s a gift to a child, the children’s book becomes a continuum between lives and generations.”

I have just finished reading a bunch of Christmas story books for kids, some of which will be found under the Christmas tree for our grandchildren. Here are the books I can recommend to you. Not only are the stories wonderful in each of these books, but the illustrations are awesome. And yes, they will help establish that continuum between lives and generations.



Maine outdoor writer pens great story of her first-ever hunt

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It was my privilege to introduce Maine Today Media outdoor writer Deirdre Fleming to hunting, accompanying her on her first-ever deer hunt the first week of November. I’m now calling her DEERdre. Her story of our hunt, published on the front page of the Maine Sunday Telegram yesterday, was exceptionally good. You can read it here.

Today, I’m going to tell you the rest of the story. Well, some of the rest of the story. Let’s start with a correction. Deirdre cleaned up my act a bit when she wrote that when those small deer stepped out into the field, I whispered “deer.” Actually, I loudly whispered, “Shoot! Shoot!”

Swimming for the big buck

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 Another in my series: Game Mistakes    

                This mistake had a happy ending.

                For years I had a favorite spot in woods near the far corner of a small local pond. I could sit inside a rock formation and the deer had only a narrow pathway to go past me along the shore. There were always buck scrapes there, a sure sign that a buck will be along.

                It was late November and very cold. I spotted the buck quite a ways up in the woods, and sure enough, he came right to a scrape and straddled it. He was facing me, so I waited until he turned and continued on his way to take my best shot.

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