ALLAGASH, Maine — While the COVID-19 pandemic kept many people at home throughout the past year, northern Maine wildlife has been busy as ever as captured on game cameras by Tylor Kelly’s Camps in Allagash.
America’s national bird, a bald eagle, recently stopped in on the St. John River to scavenge a roadkill deer carcass Tylor Kelly’s Camps set out to draw coyotes.
The eagle was captured gleaming majestically in the sun on a Kelly’s Camps game camera while taking a break from munching on the iced bait.
Eagle sightings are common on the cameras, according to co-owner Sue Underhill Kelly.
“I am watching four out there this morning,” Underhill Kelly said on Friday. “Last winter was the record — there were 13 at one time.”
The game cameras also attract plenty of other critters, Underhill Kelly said.
A juvenile bald eagle, fisher cat, mink and ravens were among animals recently sighted on the river cam interested in the coyote bait.
Last year the Kelly game cameras captured a video of an eagle and fox battling on the river over a deer carcass. The eagle ultimately stood triumphantly on the meal.
In a more tame vision of northern Maine wildlife game camera activity, an otter scurried across some snow-covered ice on a small brook of a St. John River tributary in February of this year and dove into a stretch of open water.
Tylor Kelly first opened Tylor Kelly’s Camps along with his son Wade Kelly in 1988. Now Wade Kelly and his wife, Underhill Kelly, own and operate the business.
Tylor Kelly’s Camps offer year-round guided hunting and fishing trips, canoe rentals, riverfront lodging and transportation and shuttles for people paddling the Allagash and St. John Rivers.
Business declined a bit during the height of the pandemic, but appears to be on track.
“Last year got off to a slow start and we did have some cancellations but this year we are above average with reservations and the folks are saying they are anxious to get out and go somewhere,” Underhill Kelly said.
Allagash wildlife will clearly be there to meet them.