Muzzleloading, Snowmobiling, Ice Fishing and More!
A handsome 10-point buck poses hoof-deep in the snowy Maine woods on the cover of the December 2015 issue of The Maine Sportsman, reminding readers of the muzzleloading season that runs from November 30 through either December 5 (in Maine’s north and east WMDs) or December 12 (generally south of Lewiston – check DIF&W’s wildlife management district map).
A snowmobiling special section begins with Steve Vose’s exposé of the problems inherent in using 10% or greater ethanol gasoline in small engines, especially high-compression engines on snow machines that must start in cold temperatures and run smoothly through challenging terrain.
William Clunie debuts a new powersports column, titled “The Off-Road Traveler,” and in this issue he describes how to modify and camouflage a snowmobile to convert it from a mild-mannered trail rider to an off-trail, dog-toting, coyote-hunting machine. And Dave Stevens, president of the Maine Snowmobile Association, shares with readers his extensive list of safety items in a piece titled “What in YOUR Snowmobile Survival Kit?”
Letters to the editor provide great information, including the legality of scouting using a drone or quadcopter, as well as bowhunting tips, getting dogs out of furbearer traps and much more. Keep those communications coming!
Several columnists reveal their Christmas wish-list items, including Lou Zambello (a gold-plated bike complete with Swarovski crystals); J.C. Allard (a vintage Ruger .44 magnum carbine); Barry Gibson (Globalstar satellite phone); Tom Seymour (ultralight spin outfit and a supply of L’il Jakes); and Ethan Emerson (multi-antler day while hunting for moose and deer sheds in the New Hampshire woods).
Jim Andrews complains to Santa, telling the jolly red-suited man that he wants better results under the tree this Christmas. All Jim requests is a new fat bike, new backcountry skis, new winter outerwear and a new pack basket. Never hurts to ask!
David Miller discusses the just-released trapping regulations; in fact, they are so new they were not included in the state’s 2015 – 2016 trapping law summary publication.
JP Falzone, in a “shooting sports” special, tells how winning a shotgun at a rod & gun club raffle introduced him to the great sports of upland game hunting and skeet shooting, coached by the acknowledged pro, Brad Varney of Richmond.
This month’s Miss Maine Sportsman finalist, Candace Sabol, does not do things half way. She explains that she has dedicated herself fully to the outdoors, to the extent that 15 years ago she stopped eating farm-raised meats and switched exclusively to animals harvested by herself, her family and friends.
Winter is a time to slow down a bit and reflect on life, which Tom Roth does in a thoughtful piece titled “Solitude Draws Tom to the Woods and Fields.” King Montgomery waxes eloquent and philosophical in “One More Cast.” And publisher Jon Lund opines that “there’s nawthin’ golden” about the golden age of life, when the body protests louder than in youthful years when dealing with cold weather and steep hills.
Thoughts switch to ice fishing this month, and Emily Parker gets us started with her advice on tactics to target specific species. Emily, a 2015 Miss Maine Sportsman finalist, is a true outdoors-lady, previously contributing a story about her successful bear hunt.
Bill Graves describes ice fishing in “The County,” providing riveting prose and a large number of excellent photographs.
Get outside and enjoy what Maine has to offer in December, and when you return to the warmth of the fireplace or woodstove, read your new issue of The Maine Sportsman cover to cover. And tell us what you think, by writing to the editorial staff at Will.Sportster@yahoo.com. We always welcome your feedback.
Will Lund, editor