Welcome to The Maine Sportsman
Guiding Format Continues for Four Decades
When The Maine Sportsman first hit newsstands four decades ago, we had no columns, just articles and an occasional short story, and the writers, editor and publisher aimed at a guiding format right from day one. Outdoor sports offer participants fun and more fun, and the finished product should capture that joy, while touching upon where-to-go, localized how-to, outdoors politics, current trends and more sandwiched between short, crisp images that put the readers there to feel the excitement. In the mid-1970s, this publication began publishing more and more columns and less free-lance articles, but we continued with the same plan that has carried on until this day.
Here’s a bit from our November 2014 issue:
November reigns as Deer Month in Maine!
November reigns as deer month in Maine, because the ever-so-popular regular firearms hunt runs much of the month. Nonresidents and residents may hunt for four weeks, and the season always ends the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Residents have an extra day to themselves – the Saturday before the 4-week hunt begins – while Saturday October 25 is Youth Deer Day.
Because of the popularity of whitetail hunting, our columnists cover deer hunting heavily in the November issue. In his “Western Maine Mountains” column, William Clunie describes dense deer populations in settlements along the Androscoggin River compared to much sparser numbers in remote mountains above the settled valley. He tells readers how to hunt both areas. This avid deer hunter also covers hunting in the Rangeley mountains in his “Rangeley Region” column.
Jim Lemieux and Tom Roth both cover the joys of an any-deer permit, in their Greater Penobscot Bay and Sebago-to-Auburn columns, while Shawn Simpson evaluates the odds of deer-hunting success in the mid-Kennebec Valley region.
Cathy Genthner interviews DIF&W biologists to learn the Southern Maine hotspots. And in the latest instalment in the Miss Maine Sportsman Finalist series, Cathy features Linda Mercer, who once struggled hard to haul a 197-pound buck out of the woods near her home in Harrison.
Want to attract and feed whitetails? Learn how to create a food plot, in Steve Vose’s “Washington County” report. Want to shoot a classic-looking deer gun? Read JC Allard’s descriptions of the introduction of new Winchesters based on old designs.
In “The Self-propelled Sportsman,” Jim Andrews talks about an intriguing Maine topic. In this modern era, the still-hunting (sneaking through the woods in pursuit of deer) tradition is slowly declining, but old timers continue the dance, and teach young hunters who want to listen.
William Sheldon covers big-woods deer hunting, where the herd spreads into thin populations. As he explains in his “Jackman Region” column, the rewards for persistence near the Canadian border are huge deer with heavy beams. In “Katahdin Country,” Bill advises whitetail hunters to float waterways in a canoe, a tactic he has used for successful sport.
Speaking of northern Maine, Don Eno in his “The Allagash” effort talks about a truth that savvy deer hunters know. Pockets in the North Country hold heavy deer populations and heavy-shouldered bucks. And in “Northern New Hampshire,” Brian Emerson offers information, telling hunters where they can find trophy bucks – worth the price of admission.
Joe Saltalamachia’s “Big Game” covers deer and delves into mental preparation, right gear and courage – crucial for all-day stands in the Maine woods. This article covers the long days it often takes to shoot a deer. Most magazine deer articles talk about the successful conclusion with the downed prize – not the potential pain it takes in getting there.
George Smith’s “Capitol Report” focuses on the politics behind the application for an “incidental take” permit on Canadian lynx, while Tom Seymour covers fall trout fishing in the midcoast, and in “Trout Fishing” describes the byzantine process whereby DIF&W creates a new cold-water fishery.
Will Lund’s “Sporting Environment” recommends that hunters should try “preserved” lands that many people mistakenly think “those environ-mentalists” have closed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jon Lund’s “Jottings” outlines the New Jersey’s bear problems since the season closed years ago before opening again. Statistics in this piece will pop eyes open.
Chris Johnson’s “Bowhunting in Maine” gets into crossbow hunting, in recognition of the fact that whether you like it or not, crossbows are here to stay. Chris knows about the sport and offers information that enlightened this editor. Meanwhile, Tom Roth in “Sebago to Auburn” gives us his take on the deer season in that region.
The November issue also covers waterfowling, as Bill Grave’s “The County” captures the excitement of Canada geese hunting as well as of – you guessed it – deer hunting. Lou Zambello tells us how to combine birding and biking in the Biddeford area, which provides good scenery and great exercise.
…Tired of hunting? Capt. Barry Gibson covers the politics of saltwater fishing right now and talks about striped bass. This writer is on top of Maine’s salty scene. Ken Allen’s “Common-sense Fly Fishing” hits a topic with a “common-sense” philosophy. If fly rodders travel south in the winter and catch 100-pound and more tarpon or 300-pound sharks in shallow water, a 5-pound brookie or 8-pound salmon is less intimidating.
In the opposite direction from fishing, David Miller, a superb addition to our staff, writes about muskrat trapping and making sets – good stuff. Ken Allen’s “Upcountry Journal” talks about a side of hunting we often see little about. Hunting and fishing teach us concepts that help us deal with life, because the principles that work in these sports help solve problems in the real world. He uses still hunting vs. taking a stand for deer hunting, and shows how the idea behind his decision works for when deciding what’s best for the economy – capitalism vs. socialism. Here’s a hint: Both.