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The December 2016 Issue of The Maine Sportsman

Blackpowder Hunting Extends Whitetail Season Into December

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On the cover of the December issue of The Maine Sportsman, a buck looks out from a snowy backdrop among the fir trees. It’s enough to accelerate the heartbeat of the December hunter who knows the challenge of muzzleloading – traditional or in-line – as well as the rewards of having a layer of tracking snow on the ground.

Our writers understand the excitement of this final stretch of the season, and many of them reveal black powder hunting secrets in their December columns.

Inside the issue, several additional themes emerge, as both King Montgomery (“Sportsman’s Journal”) and Jim Andrews (“Self-propelled Sportsman”) write about the Woods & Waters national monument, while David Van Wie (“Sporting Environment”) and Lou Zambello (“Freshwater Fly Fisherman”) each discuss how historically warm weather is impacting outdoor sports – weather trends that even spark commentary from Bill Graves in his “The County” column.

Two writers cover hunting on public lands – Val Marquez (“Southern Maine”) promotes scoping out WMAs (wildlife management areas) such as Brownfield Bog and Mt. Agamenticus, while Bill Sheldon (“Katahdin Country”) explores hunting opportunities in the 28,000-acre “scientific forest management area” at the north tip of Baxter State Park.

Special sections in the December issue include:

·        Two contributions from fisheries biologist Wes Ashe – an ice-fishing story, and a heartfelt and personal tribute to David Boucher, late of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife;
·        A piece by JP Falzone on how snowmobilers can avoid trouble with wardens and with landowners;
·        A contributed piece on a productive day afield by bird-hunter and State Representative Ralph Tucker (spoiler alert – the title is “Four Grouse; Two Shots”); and
·        Steve Vose’s effort at a Grand Slam, in which he passed on two small bear and then, as he wondered whether he had made the right decision, a monster bruin appeared at his bait site, only a few feet away.

And in a fun read, “New Hampshire” columnist Ethan Emerson steps aside and permits his father – and former Maine Sportsmancolumnist – Brian Emerson to recount the tale of the so-called “Downtown Buck” that led Brian on a merry chase right through a residential area, with the buck going behind houses and through backyards to escape, while Brian – as a passenger in his mother-in-law’s vehicle – followed the big deer’s tracks through town in the snow.

All this, plus great letters from our readers, the monthly ration of jokes, more tales of success by Maine’s youngest hunters and more! So enjoy the last few days of regular firearms hunting, and get your muzzleloader ready for the Monday, November 28 start of the black powder season, which will continue for either one or two weeks, depending on your WMD.

For those with nothing big yet on the game pole – Good luck gettin’ your deer!

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The December 2017 Issue of The Maine Sportsman

Muzzleloaders, Snow Machines, Ice Fishing and Fowler’s Fire Based on the number of “Biggest Buck” patch requests coming in each day’s mail to The Maine Sportsman offices (click here to download a form), it’s clear this has been a banner firearms season for 200-lb. whitetail deer. But for those of you still searching beyond Thanksgiving Week for that bruiser buck, our December issue tells you what you need to know to bring home a trophy using powder, patch, primer, and lead ball or sabot. Bill Graves, in The County, lists prime Aroostook areas for black powder hunters, while Penobscot Bay regional writer Jim Lemieux recommends still-hunting the rural areas of Freedom, Unity and Montville. In his “Sebago to Auburn” column, Tom Roth suggests specific areas in Standish and Sebago for those looking for their “second chance deer,” while William Clunie offers similar helpful “where-to; how to” information in his “Rangeley” column. And finally, our youngest columnist, Alyssa Sansoucy, has timeless advice for muzzleloader hunters – “Make your first shot count!” Colder weather evokes memories of the familiar, unmistakable sounds of snowmobile engines revving, and in one of this month’s featured special sections, Cathy Genthner discusses the Yamaha Sidewinder, Artic Cat’s Thundercat, Polaris’ 800 Rush Pro-X and Ski-Doo’s 850MXZ – machines with powerplants up to 200 horsepower, capable of speeds in excess of 120 mph. These are not your father’s snowmobiles! Ice fishing season is nigh upon us, and Steve Vose reveals the secrets of how to pull 3-foot long northern ...