John Holyoke


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, …

Youths kick off deer season Saturday

By John Holyoke on Oct. 21, 2011, at 2:35 p.m.
Hundreds of junior hunters will roll out of bed before sunrise on Saturday, pull on their hunter-orange hats and jackets and head into the woods on an age-old quest. They’ll be looking for deer, to be sure: It is, after all, Youth Deer Day, a day set aside for junior …
John Holyoke

Latti back in DIF&W fold

By John Holyoke on Oct. 19, 2011, at 5:14 p.m.
When Mark Latti left the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for a similar post with the state’s Department of Transportation a couple of years back, members of the state’s outdoor media were the big losers: Latti, the official spokesman for the DIF&W for nine years, was a top-notch …

Half marathon quest turns out nearly OK, all things considered

By John Holyoke on Oct. 07, 2011, at 4:37 p.m.
Back in March, having shed a couple dozen pounds of lard (on the way to a nearly 50-pound total weight loss), I asked my brother a question that would have seemed absurd even a month earlier. “They’re holding the Maine Half Marathon on my birthday this year,” I said. “Do …

Former guide’s book shares tales of falling in love with the Maine woods

By John Holyoke on Oct. 05, 2011, at 5:17 p.m.
Paul J. Fournier spent much of his adult life in Maine’s wild places, first as a bush pilot, guide and sporting camp owner, later, for 20 years, as the public information officer for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It’s no surprise, then, that Fournier amassed a sizable …
Blaine Anthony

Maine man’s TV show to showcase bears

By John Holyoke on Sept. 30, 2011, at 5:07 p.m.
When Blaine Anthony got into the outdoor TV biz as host of “Maine Safari” on the Sportsman Channel, he had relatively few peers in the field. “Outdoor television was not humongous,” the Benton man said. “I think I was the 63rd hunting show on television. Compared to right now, seven …

Tread Lightly spreading outdoor ethics message

By John Holyoke on Sept. 30, 2011, at 4 p.m.
Steve Salisbury has presented seminars on low-impact use and outdoor ethics on behalf of Tread Lightly across the state over the past two years. The business manager at a local store that sells ATVs, among other motorized vehicles, Salisbury said the reaction to the sessions has been positive, although it …

Outdoor authors worth a visit during Bangor Book Festival

By John Holyoke on Sept. 28, 2011, at 12:46 p.m.
Book fans from across the region will flock to Bangor this weekend for the fifth annual Bangor Book Festival. Whether you’re a reader, a writer or an aspiring writer, there will be plenty of great speakers who will address a wide range of topics that are sure to inform and …
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