Maryella Rawnsley, 74, is not your typical grandmother. She loves to bird hunt, fly fish, bass fish, and fish for trout on and around Moxie Lake.
Rawnsley is not only an avid outdoorswoman, she is the matriarch who holds the sprawling Humphrey family traditions of hunting and fishing together. When her twin granddaughters, Brittany and Danielle Humphrey, now 22, were just 10 years old, Rawnsley started sleepover hunting parties that included siblings, cousins and friends. A typical party included a hearty hunter breakfast after the morning sit, and big afternoon dinners with lots of fun and laughter.
Rawnsley’s love for the outdoors has touched three generations of the Humphrey family.
Lonnie and Pam Humphrey, parents of Brittany and Danielle and their 21-year-old brother Cody, have hunted and fished in Maine since childhood. Lonnie Humphrey owns and operates a hotdog vending stand in Gray. He speaks fondly of his first Johnson fishing pole and Daisy BB gun, and is proud of his family and their deep roots in the outdoors.
Pam Humphrey, 49, is an education technician at Gray/New Gloucester schools and enjoys brook trout fishing and has shot many deer as well as a 907 pound bull moose.
The twins are apples that have not fallen far from the family tree. They both love to hunt deer while balancing professional careers. The sisters graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle where they were multi-sport athletes excelling in soccer and softball.
Brittany Humphrey is employed at Bates College, and her sister works as a physical education teacher at Medomak Valley Middle School in Waldoboro. Brittany Humphrey has shot 11 deer and a bull moose, while Danielle Humphrey has taken nine deer — one a buck sporting 10 points and weighing 235 pounds. She also bagged a nice bull moose when she was 11 years old.
Cody Humphrey is a junior at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where he is a Mitchell Scholar and works as the assistant director at the YMCA Otter Pond Camp. He has some catching up to do if he wants to compete with the hunting prowess of his two older sisters, but he’s working on it between classes. He has harvested four turkeys and nine deer, including a buck that he shot last year.
The hunting bug also has caught on with the Humphrey children’s significant others. Danielle Humphrey’s boyfriend, Tyler, shot his first deer, an eight-pointer, while hunting with the family. Her sister’s boyfriend, Joe, is taking the hunter safety course this year so he can hunt with the family. Cody Humphrey’s girlfriend, Emily, also hunts and fishes with the group.
The traditions of hunting and fishing have deep roots in the family’s three generations starting with Rawnsley, a grandmother from Cumberland, who can take much of the credit for the countless hours of enjoyment that her family has experienced in the outdoors.