Snowmobiles and Ice Fishing Highlight the New Year!
Snowmobiling is big business here in Maine – big for riders, as well as for sporting camps, restaurants, sled dealers and maintenance shops frequented by those riders.
The Maine Sportsman’s January, 2019 issue pays tribute to this all-important winter activity, starting with a stunning cover photograph of two riders pausing to gaze upward at the imposing peaks and ridges of Mt. Katahdin, from their vantage point on the snow-covered ice of Millinocket Lake.
Inside our pages the snowmobile theme continues. Shane Brown of Bangor Motorsports offers a special feature on “youth sleds,” from the entry-level 120-class (for ages 4 – 6) to the newer 200 class, designed for 7-, 8- and 9-year old riders.
And our “Off-Road Traveler” columnist, William Clunie, contributes a piece titled “Purchase a Used Snowmobile with Confidence,” in which he offers great advice, such as instructing a seller not to start up a sled before you come look at it, since a prospective buyer needs to know whether the engine will start cold.
Many Mainers use their snowmobiles to transport anglers, traps, ice augers and refreshments to their spot on the ice, or to their ice-fishing shack. In this issue, Maine Sportsman publisher and lifetime ice-angler Jon Lund provides instruction and inspiration for those who enjoy the sport and want to teach youngsters how to fish, in his special section, “Take Some Kids Ice Fishing.” His writing brings back great memories of when someone yells “Flag Up!” and the race to the sprung trap begins.
Meanwhile, Tom Roth (“Sebago to Auburn”), Tom Seymour (“Trout Fishing”) and Bill Graves (“The County”) offer additional insights into ice fishing techniques and skills, while Ethan Emerson provides the view from our neighboring state, in his piece, “Three NH Ice Derbies You Don’t Want to Miss.”
Our Letters to the Editor this month include a cautionary tale – at least for muzzleloader hunters. Melvin Heath of Poland, Maine describes what happened to him in December when somehow two AA batteries loose in the front pocket of his wool hunting pants came in contact with an unused primer (percussion cap), causing it to fire right into his thigh! The moral of the story – keep batteries and primers separated, in order to avoid pain and expensive medical bills.
This month’s “Almanac” contains several great features, including the first in our series of introductions to the newest Maine Game Wardens. What we learn about the featured Warden, Megan Miller, is that like many others in the Service, her education and career included conservation – a degree from Unity – and law enforcement – stints with the Wells Police Department, and then both basic and advanced training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
As a way of “warming up” for next month’s “Biggest Bucks in Maine” features, the January issue includes photos of you – our readers – and some of your recent successes in the fields and woods. Big moose, big deer, big turkeys and big bear, taken with rifles, muzzleloaders, bows and even crossbows, by hunters as young as 9 and 10 and as old as – well, much older than 9 or 10.
Speaking of turkeys, our newest columnist, Ed Pineau, says there are too many. They are vermin, he declares in his “Outdoor Chronicle,” and the bag limits and hunting seasons should be increased and lengthened to maximize hunting opportunities and minimize the sizes of these marauding flocks.
All this and more – a venison tenderloin dish from our world-famous chef, Kate Krukowski (who will be back at the 3-day State of Maine Sportsman’s Show March 29 – 31 in Augusta); rabbit hunting with Bill Sheldon in the “Jackman Region”; coyote control with the fearsome Vose Family Hunters, as described in the “Central Maine” column; Jim Andrews propelling himself through the wintery woods on snowshoes and micro-spikes; and Joe Saltalamachia, in his “Big Game” column, displaying what may be the effects of too much time alone in the deer stand. Joe describes letting several medium-size bucks wander by his position unscathed, which he attributes to his “evolving approach to deer hunting.” He asks readers to weigh in on whether this is normal, or whether it’s time for an intervention.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as our columnists and editorial staff enjoyed assembling it.
If you’ve got something to say, write us a short letter to the editor (providing photos, if you’ve got them), and email everything to Will@MaineSportsman.com.
Give us a call at 207-622-4242, and talk with office manager Linda Lapointe. Subscribe or renew your subscription, either on the phone or using the “Subscribe” link at our website,www.MaineSportsman.com. Keep in touch as a Facebook friend.
And thanks once again this month to our informed readers, to our many distribution outlets and to our loyal advertisers.
Will Lund, editor