First of all, Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels. It’s going to be a snowy one here in the Pine Tree State. And second, good luck to all the deer hunters wrapping up the season. I know BDN Outdoors editor John Holyoke has had a great time listening to readers’ hunting tales this fall and sharing them with you. And based on the many page views of Holyoke’s recent stories, a lot of people enjoy reading about Maine hunters and big bucks. Just this morning, John W. Kerr from Oklahoma sent Holyoke an email in which he wrote: “Dang, you guys cross-breeding those things with cows, moose, or elk? Only mule deer and elk get that big here in Oklahoma.” The following stories will explain why.

-Aislinn Sarnacki

Hunter bags massive 274-pound buck near Jackman

Alfred Bowden Jr. knew the buck he shot back on Nov. 5 was big — he had shot four other deer that weighed more than 200 pounds in his hunting career, after all — but when the deer was hoisted on a scale a Bishop’s General Store in Jackman, he didn’t believe what he saw.

“[The store employee] didn’t think it was right,” Bowden said. “I didn’t think it was right. So he went in and got a second scale…”

Terminally ill Lee man shoots 19-point, 254-pound deer

[Warren Curtis] Curtis was riding toward a deer-hunting spot with his son, James Curtis, on Nov. 15 when the pair spotted the buck of a lifetime in Prentiss Plantation.

“I looked down in the field and there he was,” Warren Curtis said. “The sun was such, it just glowed off those antlers.”

10 family-friendly walks for after the big holiday meal

BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki summarizes 10 family-friendly outdoor strolls ideal for the holidays. Walk off those extra calories and spend some quality time with family and friends in the Maine wilderness.

Blog log

Act Out with Aislinn: Fun ways to help backyard wildlife through winter

“I decided to call up the staff at the Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden to ask them about the best ways to help my neighborhood birds (and inevitably squirrels) through the winter.

Audubon naturalist Holly Twining not only answered my questions about different types of bird seeds and feeders, she also shared a few fun craft projects for making wildlife treats.”

Life as a Warden Wife: Fall, you came and left too quickly

BDN blogger Rianne Ackley, wife of a Maine warden stationed at Clayton Lake, shares some breathtaking photos of Canada lynx and spruce grouse taken near their home this fall. Catch up on what she and her family have been up to out there in the woods.

On the horizon

The Atlantic Salmon Federation recently completed work on three fishways as part of its ongoing Maine Headwaters Project. John will tell you what the ASF is up to, and why it’s important. Also coming up: Aislinn talks to people from the ATVing community about why side-by-side vehicles are gaining popularity as a year-round vehicle for outdoor adventure.

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Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...