John Holyoke

Kevin Smith of Carmel sets a beaver trap with his stepson Micah Shamlian, 11, on a frozen bog in Newburgh.

Trapping in Maine: For love more than profit

By John Holyoke on Jan. 23, 2015, at 6:19 a.m.
Brian Coghill has been around wild animals since he was 5 years old living in Massachusetts. For years, he says he even served as a surrogate mother to dozens of critters. “My father and I used to take raccoons out of chimneys for people,” Coghill explained. “I’d raise the pups …
Louis Cataldo of Grand Lake Stream poses with a replica mount of the "Hill Gould Buck," a 31-point deer that was shot by his grandfather, Hill Gould, in 1910. The real mount is now owned by Bass Pro Shops and is displayed in its "King of Bucks" collection. The Hill Gould Buck still holds the Maine state record for non-typical deer antlers.

‘That ain’t a moose’: 104 years later, Hill Gould’s 31-point buck still the Maine standard

By John Holyoke on Dec. 12, 2014, at 5:40 a.m.
Late last month, BDN readers proved (again) that photos of big animals taken by hunters are still incredibly popular: A pair of stories — one on a 19-point deer, another on a 274-pounder — generated more than a quarter of a million page views on the newspaper’s website and were …
Members of the Tracy family, including Sasha Tracy (middle row, green coat), gather on opening day of deer season. A similar Thanksgiving deer hunt is among the family's traditions.

For some Maine families, hunting is part of the Thanksgiving tradition

By John Holyoke on Nov. 21, 2014, at 9:09 a.m.
For most, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends. It’s a gathering, and a feast, and it sometimes culminates with a few lazy hours of watching football on the television. For many, there’s another traditional component that makes Thanksgiving Day special. Thanksgiving is the one day some …
Earle Hannigan sits on a bench at his camp on Brassua Lake.

Hunting camp traditions: Memories remain even after the camp door closes

By John Holyoke on Oct. 16, 2014, at 4:09 p.m.
TAUNTON AND RAYNHAM ACADEMY GRANT | Do what you will to the rustic camp Earle Hannigan has shared with his brother for the past 44 years — that’s what he tells the next generation. Make improvements. Get rid of the outhouse. Put in running water, if you feel you …
Wildlife biologist Randy Cross, leader of the field crew for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's 40-year bear study, poses with "Big John," a 432-pound black bear that was snared, weighed and released in Washington County on June 17, 2014. Cross first caught "Big John" four years earlier, in the exact same place.

What’s really at stake with the Bear referendum

By John Holyoke on Oct. 10, 2014, at 5:31 a.m.
In less than a month, Maine voters will decide whether they want people to hunt the state’s bears or not. That’s not what the referendum question actually reads, of course. But it’s time to clear the air a bit, and to start calling ‘em like I see ‘em. Officially, Question …

Biologist says hunters may have productive early bear season

By John Holyoke on Aug. 27, 2014, at 11:38 a.m.
Hundreds of hunters headed into the woods Monday for the opening day of the state’s bear season. The season stretches through Nov. 29, with different methods allowed during different sessions. Hunters are allowed to still hunt or stalk bears from now through Nov. 29. Other seasons: — Aug. 25-Sept. 20: …
Dean Grass of Searsport poses with the nine-point, 237-pound buck that he shot on Youth Deer Day, Oct. 20, 2012, while hunting in Belmont with his father, Jeffrey Grass.

Youth Deer Day tradition growing

By John Holyoke on Oct. 25, 2013, at 7:37 a.m.
Bright and early Saturday morning, young hunters across the state will roll out of bed, gather up their gear, and head into the woods for their own special opening day of deer season. Called “Youth Deer Day,” the tradition of giving junior hunters a special day of their own is …
A cow and a calf moose walk along a roadway on 40,000 acres of land that Elliotsville Plantation Inc. has opened to hunting and other recreational use.

Readers sound off on Elliotsville land plan

By John Holyoke on Sept. 20, 2013, at 11:44 a.m.
Last week the BDN covered the latest plans of Elliotsville Plantation Inc., the company that manages Roxanne Quimby’s lands in Maine. After the stories ran, I asked readers to let us know what they thought of the continued effort to turn some of that land into a national park, and …

The bird-hunting adventures of a short-haired American moosehound

By John Holyoke on Sept. 03, 2013, at 12:25 p.m.
We Mainers have discovered that there are plenty of ways to hunt for birds.   Some us are lazy. OK. At the risk of offending anybody (especially anyone who’s lazy) I take that back. Some us are … well … efficient. Yes. That’s better. Efficient.   For those efficiency experts, …
 Lisa Bates, assistant project coordinator for Unity College bear studies, recounts a helicopter crash she and her pilot survived while looking for bears that occurred on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Bear researcher looking toward future after helicopter crash

By John Holyoke on July 12, 2013, at 12:14 p.m.
Ask Lisa Bates to describe herself and she uses words like “stubborn,” “strong-willed” and “driven.” Ask her if she’s a thrill-seeker, and she’ll say she’s not, even though she regularly crawls into bear dens as part of her job as a black bear researcher. “I don’t even like to go …
Cassidy Burns, 13, of Corinth, poses with the two turkeys she shot on Youth Turkey Day, April 27, 2013. One turkey weighed 21 pounds, had a 10-inch beard, and one-inch spurs. The other weighed 18.5 pounds, had an 8.5-inch beard, and had 3/4-inch spurs.

Young hunters filling their turkey tags

By John Holyoke on May 10, 2013, at 12:18 p.m.
Ever since the state’s wild turkey season kicked off, it seems, every day has dawned as a turkey hunter’s dream. It has been sunny. It has been warm. And according to readers, the turkeys have been cooperative. This morning I’ll share a few tales that readers have passed along. The …

Bucksport angler wins drift boat trip contest

By John Holyoke on April 03, 2013, at 4:38 p.m.
Some people are lucky. Others, not so lucky. And some formerly unlucky folks who learn that the tide has changed, that their ship (or drift boat) has finally come in, simply are unwilling to believe their good fortune. That was the case Tuesday, when I informed the winner of BDN …

Moose-permit lottery accepting applications

By John Holyoke on March 15, 2013, at 1:35 p.m.
If you have hopes of participating in this year’s various moose-hunting seasons, it’s not too early to take the first step toward the hunt of a lifetime. In fact, if you’re among those who still send in a paper application — most applications are completed online — your deadline is …
A bull moose stands in an open area of Maine's Wildlife Management District 19. Lee Kantar, a wildlife biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, performed a moose survey by helicopter Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, 2013.

Helicopter surveys bolster moose research effort

By John Holyoke on Jan. 31, 2013, at 3:20 p.m.
IN THE AIR OVER TOWNSHIP 40 MD | Atop the list of things you might not want your helicopter pilot to say when you’re on your first-ever flight, and his high-powered Bell 407 chopper is midway through a catch-your-breath corkscrew turn so that he — and you — can …
Ed Hendrickson of Brewer made several runs at the Hermon Mountain Ski Area on Wednesday. Hendrickson is 92-years-old and said he intends to ski as long as he is able.

92-year-old skier still heeds the need for speed

By John Holyoke on Jan. 17, 2013, at 6:03 p.m.
HERMON | Ed Hendrickson will tell you that he has slowed down a bit over the years. He doesn’t like his slopes quite as steep. He doesn’t like the snow quite so deep. At least that’s what the friendly Brewer man will tell you. Then watch him in action, …
Chairs on the Snubber lift show the signs of a snowstorm that dropped nearly 30 inches of snow on parts of Sugarloaf over the past two days.

Looking for snow? Head north, or to the mountains

By John Holyoke on Dec. 19, 2012, at 2:48 p.m.
Around these parts — these parts meaning downtown Bangor — this latest “snow event” has been, well, disappointing. Sometimes it has been a rain event. Sometimes it has been a slush event. And most of the time, it has been a nonevent. Obviously, that hasn’t been the case in other …
Among the birds a group of birders identified recently: The red-necked grebe.

Boring Bob auditions for birding reality series

By Bob Duchesne on Dec. 14, 2012, at 12:56 p.m.
It’s not every day you get a call from a Los Angeles television producer. In fact, I don’t recall it ever happening to me before. Then a month ago, I got a call from Fred Greenlee. Greenlee is a producer who does a lot of advance work on reality shows. …
In this July 2011 photo, a moose picks its head up from eating grass from Pierce Pond in North New Portland, Maine. The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, that a winter aerial moose population survey shows Maine has about 76,000 moose.

Hunters heading afield in search of moose

By John Holyoke on Sept. 21, 2012, at 2:27 p.m.
When hunters head out on Monday for the opening day of moose-hunting season, biologist Lee Kantar says they’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a hunt they’ll never forget. “[The first week of the season], it doesn’t get any better than that for moose hunting, anywhere that you want to go,” …
A black bear scratches his neck on a plant in his enclosure in the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray in May 2012.

Active bears have caught DIF&W’s eye

By John Holyoke on July 06, 2012, at 11:56 a.m.
Several months ago — about the time bears crawled out of their dens and started looking for some tasty grub — the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued a few guidelines that would help us avoid close encounters with the hungry bruins. Alas, many of us paid no …
John Holyoke

More readers share their camp memories

By John Holyoke on July 04, 2012, at 5:38 p.m.
With no true “holiday weekend” in store for us this year due to a midweek Independence Day, here’s hoping that many of you have been able to string a few days together to enjoy one of Maine’s most festive times. And here’s hoping that you were able to do that …
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