I own a 1,050-acre forest in Milford called “Wells Forest.” My husband and I live in Old Town, but we go to our forest a lot. I encourage University of Maine students to go there, and have had a lot of students conduct research in our forest. Some have tagged ruffed-grouse. Some have done crayfish research in the stream. Some have cored white pines to see how old they are, as well as the balsam stand. I also had a few College of the Atlantic students come for several years to find salamanders, frogs and toads.
In 2014, my husband, Bryan, had a video camera on the property that showed a bobcat going through the area. We had a warden who threw an old roadkill deer carcass in that area, and the bobcat was going for it. So I decided to put up a blind to see if I could photograph the bobcat from the blind.
It was in March and somewhat cold. While I could text my husband, I couldn’t call him due to poor reception. So he dropped me off at the gate and I sat in the blind, every day, for about four weeks.
One day, I heard a car close to the gate, then students started walking up our road. The boy wanted to teach his girlfriend how to use a gun. Ironically, he put a target not too far from where my blind was. I knew they couldn’t see my blind. The problem was, they were shooting close to my blind. So I laid down under some tree roots and texted my husband.
Bryan came fast and when he saw the students, he said “You’re shooting close to my wife.” The students said, “She’s on the other side of the road.” Bryan said, “No — [she’s] where you are target shooting.”
They were so scared. Bryan asked me to crawl out. And then they were really scared. I decided that, instead of calling the warden, I’d make them walk all around my forest. They needed to know how much I love my forest. They had to walk about two hours and they were wearing shorts. Yup. It was a funny day indeed.
A week later, I got pictures of the bobcat. I was in the blind. The bobcat heard my camera and looked at my blind. It sat down and hung out for about 10 minutes and then it left.
Pam Wells from Old Town, Maine
This story is a part of an ongoing series in which photographers share their favorite stories about photographing Maine wildlife. Stories and photos can be submitted to Act Out editor Aislinn Sarnacki at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, include your full name and town of residence, as well as the written story and photos you wish to be considered for publication.