John Holyoke

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 …

85-year-old camper’s tradition is a leap of faith

By John Holyoke on June 15, 2012, at 3:29 p.m.
With summer looming and warm weather here (for now), many Mainers will pack up a pile of grub (don’t forget the marshmallows), a few changes of clothes and a fishing rod or five and head to camp. On a pond, lake or stream, these seasonal retreats are special places where …
Construction vehicles stand ready to remove concrete from the Great Works dam in Bradley as demolition starts to take place Monday, June 11, 2012. The Great Works dam stretches across the Penobscot River from Bradley to Old Town.

Dam removal a milestone for the Penobscot

By John Holyoke on June 12, 2012, at 1:15 p.m.
BRADLEY | Some in the crowd of 300 riverside onlookers were likely disappointed on Monday morning that the dismantling of Great Works Dam began not with a bang or a breach but with the steady rat-tat-tat of heavy machinery that slowly chipped away at an aging fish way. The …

It’s time to think about getting outdoors

By John Holyoke on Feb. 24, 2012, at 2:31 p.m.
Mainers don’t need much of an excuse to go outside and play. To Maine kids, a tree branch is a sword. A puddle is an ocean. A muddy path is a license to get dirty. Really, what else do you need? In truth, not much. Luckily for all of us, …

It’s time to enter Maine’s moose permit lottery

By John Holyoke on Feb. 08, 2012, at 12:51 p.m.
Just last week I received an email from a friend in central Maine who wanted to know when he’d be able to log into the state’s online licensing system and apply for this year’s moose permit lottery. His timing was perfect. A couple days later I received word that he …
Peter Ruksznis (right), Department of Marine Resources fisheries biologist, catches Atlantic salmon eggs in a cup to pour into large, handmade funnels that will let the eggs sink into a hole they made in the bottom of Cove Brook in Winterport.

Biologists plant Atlantic salmon eggs in Winterport’s Cove Brook

By John Holyoke on Feb. 03, 2012, at 1:48 p.m.
A team of fisheries biologists and volunteers tromped along the banks of Cove Brook at the end of January, burdened by hoses and backpacks, funnels and cones and coolers. More than one observer pointed out that the backpack-wearing scientists looked like they were auditioning for a role …

Old Sugarloaf lift led to memorable run

By John Holyoke on Dec. 21, 2011, at 3:51 p.m.
On Saturday, officials at the Sugarloaf resort celebrated the opening of their new Skyline Quad, a four-person chairlift that replaced the Spillway East and West chairs. As you may remember, an accident on Spillway injured several skiers last year. That lift was removed during the off-season. And this bigger, better, …
Virginia Mattson-Tracy, 81, of Hermon shot this six-point buck after spying it through her kitchen window.

81-year-old woman spies deer from kitchen window, fills tag

By John Holyoke on Nov. 25, 2011, at 12:50 p.m.
For years, Virginia Mattson-Tracy enjoyed spending autumn days in the woods in search of whitetail deer. She began target shooting about 70 years ago. She tagged her first deer seven or eight years later. As years passed, the Hermon woman’s passion for hunting didn’t wane, but age did begin to …

Readers answer age-old hunting question

By John Holyoke on Nov. 23, 2011, at 1:05 p.m.
At the end of a day of deer hunting, the question is simple and constant. And whether in front of a blazing wood stove at a remote hunting camp or while leaning on the tailgate of a buddy’s pickup, the day’s not complete until it’s answered. “See anything?” We ask …

Well-known birder takes reins as BDN columnist

By John Holyoke on Nov. 18, 2011, at 1 p.m.
You’ll hear no hunting stories from me today. I’ve yet to have any close encounters of the venison kind this fall (big surprise, eh?), and there are a few important matters to address. First and foremost, I’m excited to announce an addition to our Outdoors pages that I’m confident you’ll …

BDN’s John Holyoke launches ‘Out There’ blog

By John Holyoke on Nov. 11, 2011, at 1:34 p.m.
The newspaper business has changed plenty since I walked into 491 Main some 18 years ago. No longer do writers peck away at their stories and columns, then wait a couple of days to see if anyone responds via mail. Today, a word written at 9 a.m. can be on …

Three shootings in one weekend a black mark against hunters

By John Holyoke on Nov. 09, 2011, at 2:14 p.m.
Come November, I often end up in animated discussions with co-workers who don’t think dressing up like a pumpkin and sitting in a frozen tree for hours sounds like an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. They are nonhunters — not anti-hunters. These work pals don’t think (or have kept …

Penobscot salmon returns among the best in last 30 years

By John Holyoke on Nov. 04, 2011, at 12:52 p.m.
For the past several months folks interested in Atlantic salmon restoration have watched enthusiastically as updated reports showed that this year’s return of adult fish to the Penobscot was among the best ever recorded. On Monday, crews from the Maine Department of Marine Fisheries’ Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat …
Corey Smith of Orrington weighs his 190-pound, 11-point buck at the Kozy Korner store in Orrington on Saturday, October 29, 2011. Smith says he spotted the buck emerging from a cedar swamp in Orrington before he dropped it.

Readers unite in favor of residents-only opening day

By John Holyoke on Nov. 02, 2011, at 12:55 p.m.
On Saturday, I did what we columnists often do: I stuck my neck out. It didn’t take long before readers did what they often do in response: They lopped my head off (fortunately, only figuratively). If you missed the column and the resulting online melee, here’s all you need to …
Corey Smith of Orrington weighs his 190-pound, 11-point buck at the Kozy Korner store in Orrington on Saturday, October 29, 2011. Smith says he spotted the buck emerging from a cedar swamp in Orrington before he dropped it.

Nonresident hunters get short end of opening-day stick

By John Holyoke on Oct. 28, 2011, at 1:34 p.m.
On Saturday, thousands of hunters will rise bright and early, head into the woods and take part in the state’s traditional opening day of the firearms season on deer. Those hunters will have one thing in common: They’ll all be Maine residents. According to Maine law, the first Saturday of …

Father relishes long-awaited opening-day hunt with young son

By John Holyoke on Oct. 26, 2011, at 4:32 p.m.
Some hunters — like me — didn’t grow up immersed in the state’s outdoor traditions. Instead, we discovered hunting later, after years of participation in competitive sports ran their course and the desire to reconnect with nature and spend time in wild places became increasingly attractive. In many other families, …
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