John Holyoke

Outdoors Editor

Randy Cross, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, looks over a black bear's teeth during a study of wild bears near Ashland in this February 2013 file photo.

As tagging stations report solid bait season, biologists say bears will head to dens soon

By John Holyoke on Sept. 20, 2014, at 5:53 a.m.
As what could be the final bear hunting with bait season comes to a close Saturday, representatives at tagging stations across the state say that it’s been a solid four-week hunt and they’ve seen some large bears. The general bear hunting season began on Aug. 25 and continues until Nov. …
Two bull moose are profiled against the rising sun in Fort Kent in this October 2013 photo.

1,050 moose hunters begin their season on Monday

By John Holyoke on Sept. 19, 2014, at 8:17 a.m.
The first wave of moose hunters will head into the woods on Monday in what has become one of the state’s most popular hunts. In all, 1,050 permit holders — along with their designated “subpermittees,” or co-hunters — are permitted to hunt during the first six-day session of the season. …
OUT THERE (blog)

Can you top this: Fort Kent angler catches trout with a Slim Jim wrapper on an Air Force base

on Sept. 19, 2014, at 8:11 a.m.
We asked. You answered. In what may be one of the most epic fish tales I’ve ever heard, I’m happy to share the story that Mike Jacksson of Fort Kent passed along. First, the short backstory: A few weeks ago, after David Baker caught a bass while using a Bangor …
Brittany King holds a ruffed grouse before it's measured, tagged and fitted with a radio collar on Sept. 10 at the midcoast Maine survey site.

Word from the Woods: State seeking more grouse data

By John Holyoke on Sept. 17, 2014, at 11:29 a.m.
Come the first of October, many Maine hunters will turn their attention to ruffed grouse — or, as many call ’em, “partridge.” Interesting fact: Maine hasn’t done a whole lot of research on the iconic game bird, focusing instead on species that are less plentiful, and in more jeopardy. That’s …
OUT THERE (blog)

Lincoln photographer’s fox book perfect for kids

on Sept. 17, 2014, at 9:35 a.m.
Thanks to that viral internet video, we all now know what the fox says. What we might not have known (until now) is “What do Baby Foxes Do?” Luckily, a Lincoln photographer can help us with that: That’s the title of a children’s book he recently published, and it’s full …
Gerald "Red" Briggs sits in a school bus before leaving the parking lot to pick up students in Hampden.

Red’s wild ride: Meet the oldest bus driver in North America

By John Holyoke on Sept. 12, 2014, at 12:24 p.m.
ORRINGTON, Maine — People often are surprised when they learn Gerald “Red” Briggs’ age. His eye doctor tells him he has 70-year-old eyes, he said. His many “girlfriends” — he’s always looking for more, he’ll tell you, just before he breaks into a high-pitched giggle — might think he’s even …
Brittany King holds a ruffed grouse before it's measured, tagged and fitted with a radio collar on Wednesday at the midcoast Maine survey site.

State, UMaine biologists embark on ambitious grouse research project

By John Holyoke on Sept. 11, 2014, at 7:13 p.m.
MIDCOAST — At a semi-secret site deep in the woods, wildlife biologist Kelsey Sullivan spent Wednesday evening helping to gather data he expects will eventually provide the first clear picture of the life, death and breeding habits of one of state’s iconic game birds, the ruffed grouse. The Maine Department …
A screen shot of the live audience at the television town hall debate on the upcoming bear baiting referendum on Sept. 4, an event co-sponsored by the BDN and CBS13, WGME, in Portland.

Word from the Woods: Battle about bears picks up steam

By John Holyoke on Sept. 10, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
Over the next two months, you’ll surely hear more about Maine’s bear hunting practices than you ever have before. After all, the state is poised to vote on a referendum question — for the second time in a decade — that would outlaw hunting bears over bait, with traps or …
OUT THERE (blog)

Forest rangers invite public to help landowners, clean up illegal dumping sites

on Sept. 10, 2014, at 9:41 a.m.
Most of the state’s outdoor enthusiasts spend at least a portion of their time afield on private land, thanks to the landowners who allow access to their acreage. Some parcels of land are large, others small. But wherever people recreate in Maine, there is a common problem that threatens future …
OUT THERE (blog)

Did you get your any-deer permit? Check here to find out

on Sept. 09, 2014, at 3:52 p.m.
Call it what you will — “doe permit,” “doe tag,” or the state-preferred “any-deer permit” — but one thing is certain: Many deer hunters enter each season hoping they’ll receive one. If you’ve received one, you’re allowed to take an antlerless deer when the season begins. If not? Well, you’ll …
Marc Payne (left) of Avian Haven and Brent Bibles of Unity College release two eaglets on Friday in Augusta. The birds were rescued from their Bangor nest after their parents fell ill in May.

Bangor eaglets released in Augusta

By John Holyoke on Sept. 05, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA — Biologists and representatives from a bird rehabilitation facility successfully released two eaglets on Friday into the wild near the Kennebec River. In May, the two eaglets were rescued from their nest in Bangor after their parent eagles fell ill. The male adult was electrocuted after flying into a …
OUT THERE (blog)

Bear referendum debate highs and lows: One man’s view from the front row

on Sept. 05, 2014, at 1:04 p.m.
On Thursday evening, more than 60 interested spectators took their seats in a WGME studio for a town hall debate on Question 1, which would ban the use of bait, hounds or traps while hunting bears. The BDN was a media partner in the event, which was live-streamed across the …
OUT THERE (blog)

(Nearly) new dog passes her first water test

on Sept. 04, 2014, at 9:19 a.m.
A year ago, after a summer of mourning the loss of our dog, Pudge, I said the magic words my stepchildren had been waiting for. “You know,” I told my wife, “I think it might be time to think about getting another dog.”‘ At least, I’m sure I said “think …

BDN to stream bear referendum debate Thursday

By John Holyoke on Sept. 03, 2014, at 2:10 p.m.
A town-hall-style debate is planned for Thursday evening that will explore bear hunting methods, the topic of Question 1 on November’s ballot. The Bangor Daily News and WGME CBS13 in Portland are teaming up to host the debate, which will be filmed at CBS13’s studio. The debate will be shown …
Will Caron (center), 9, gets some help from Capt. Pete Douvarjo (left) while driving his boat as sister Paige Caron (right), 6, watches during a fishing trip Aug. 26.

Word from the Woods: It’s all about the fish

By John Holyoke on Sept. 03, 2014, at 10:35 a.m.
Over the weekend I shared a neat package with readers that I’d love for you to check out. In short, I took my boss fishing. Or, more accurately, Capt. Pete Douvarjo of Eggemoggin Guide Service took my boss fishing. The result: A feature story on the day, a column about …
OUT THERE (blog)

Eaglets rescued from Bangor nest to be released Friday

on Sept. 03, 2014, at 10 a.m.
Back in May, a family of eagles caught the attention of Bangor residents and bird watchers across the state when two adults fell ill and two eaglets were rescued from their nest. The male adult was electrocuted after flying into a power line, while the female adult was treated at …
OUT THERE (blog)

Reader uses BDN novelty key chain to land a bass

on Sept. 02, 2014, at 10:23 a.m.
A few years ago, in preparation for the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show and other events we’d be staffing, a member of our promotions staff found a cool novelty item that we’d give to folks when they visited our booth. Officially, they were key chains with the BDN logo emblazoned on …
A couple of plump mackerel, after being pickled, are placed on the grill. The tinfoil holds damp wood chips that will provide the smoke.

Pickled, smoked mackerel is a fishy feast

By John Holyoke on Aug. 28, 2014, at 1:34 p.m.
After spending a day on the high seas with Capt. Pete Douvarjo of Eggemoggin Guide Service, I returned to Bangor with a few fish and some advice from the good captain. Pickle the mackerel overnight, he said. Use vinegar and whatever pickling spices you like, then smoke them up the …
Will Caron (center), 9, gets some help from Capt. Pete Douvarjo (left) while driving his boat as sister, Paige Caron (right), 6, watches during a fishing trip Tuesday in Sedgwick.

Health scare inspires Maine man to captain fun family fishing voyages

By John Holyoke on Aug. 28, 2014, at 1:34 p.m.
SEDGWICK, Maine — On a sunny Tuesday afternoon before a bumpy boat ride, and the fishing and catching that followed, Captain Pete Douvarjo cast a friendly eye at the two young passengers joining him on his 21-foot Parker boat, “Reel Life.” Captain Pete fitted the duo with life vests, telling …
OUT THERE (blog)

Another guarantee to the boss: I can find you a fish … honest

on Aug. 28, 2014, at 12:50 p.m.
A few weeks back, I boldly headed into the woods, new boss in tow, to show her exactly how smart her outdoors editor was. She learned. Boy, did she learn. Our quest that day: Find a real, live Maine moose. New boss, Sarah Walker Caron, had never seen one, and …
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