It’s a busy time of year for BDN Outdoors editor John Holyoke and I. As winter tapers off (or so we hope), organizations throughout Maine organize outdoor shows to help people through the last snowstorms and look ahead to spring. John and I enjoy being a part of that. This weekend, we’ll be at the Cabin Fever Reliever in Brewer, and the following weekend, we’ll be manning the BDN booth at the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono. I’m scheduled to give presentations about hiking at both (3 p.m. on Feb. 28 in Brewer, and 5 p.m. on March 7 and noon on March 8 in Orono). We’ll also be accepting entries to the 13th annual contest to win a drift boat trip on the East Outlet of the Kennebec River.
— Aislinn Sarnacki
When it comes to wild animals, relationships with humans require delicate balance, and nowhere is that more obvious than at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, which is run by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. BDN reporter Natalie Feulner talks with the staff about maintaining that balance and educating the public about Maine’s wildlife.
The number one question all wildlife photographers are asked is, “Where did you find that?” BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki shares a few tips she’s learned recently about finding Maine wildlife, along with photos she’s taken this winter of snowy owls, northern pintail ducks, purple sandpipers and more.
John talks about the upcoming outdoors shows, the Brewer Cabin Fever Reliever, Feb. 28-29, and the Eastern Maine Sportsman’s Show, March 7-8. The BDN Outdoors will be at both.
Join Aislinn, Derek and their dog, Oreo, as they snowshoe the many trails of Long Ledges, a 318-acre preserve of upland forest filled with glacial erratics and granite outcroppings. This spot is the ultimate snowshoeing location, with well-marked trails, a frozen pond and lots of hills.
“Maine’s had a lot of deer plans over the last 30 years. I’ve got a pile of them, starting in 1996 when I organized the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine’s Deer Task Force … In every plan, lack of wintering habitat was cited as the most important issue.”
On the horizon
John has stalled as long as he can, but the time is upon him: He’s going to join BDN visuals editor Brian Feulner and sleep in a snow shelter on Thursday night. A group of students at Unity College will build the shelter as part of a class assignment, and our duo will document the process. Outdoor education classes across the state have been staging winter camping expeditions for years, but the experience can be intimidating for those who’ve never participated. John and Brian will share their tale next week, and will let you know how it all turns out. Also coming up: It’s not a good time to be an outdoor cat in Orono — one or two have fallen prey to a hungry bobcat in the past week or so. John will let you know what’s going on, what homeowners should know, and tell you about efforts to live-trap the critter and relocate it to a more suitable location.
To receive Word from the Woods, BDN Outdoors’ weekly email newsletter, visit bangordailynews.com/newsletters and select “Outdoors Newsletter.”