John Holyoke

Outdoors Editor


Hogged stones, hacks, and icy tumbles: A novice curler’s diary

on March 05, 2015, at 11:48 a.m.
Many years ago, I fashioned myself as a pretty serious athlete (if, that is, you define “serious” as “getting mad whenever you lose”). It didn’t take long before I realized, however, that my chances of making it to the Olympics were pretty slim (If, that is, you define “slim” as …
John Holyoke

Come join us at the 77th Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show this weekend

By John Holyoke on March 04, 2015, at 3:48 p.m.
Signs of spring have been in short supply in these parts lately — I nearly started cheering when I drove through an actual puddle on one of our recent 30-degree days — but a real harbinger of that season is approaching quickly. This weekend thousands of outdoor enthusiasts will flock …
Light beams from candles lit inside a quinzhee, a type of snow shelter, that Unity College students built as part of a winter ecology class.

Word from the Woods: Remember the time we slept in a snowbank?

By John Holyoke on March 04, 2015, at 11:05 a.m.
After weeks of waffling (I like to call it “rescheduling”), BDN visuals editor Brian Feulner and I finally headed to Unity College to sleep in a snow cave late last week. The results: Both of us emerged from our snowy abode on Friday morning, a bit chilled, but relatively unscathed. …
Bangor Daily News Outdoors Editor John Holyoke packs up his gear after spending the night in a quinzhee that Unity College students built as part of a winter ecology class.

How we survived a subzero night in a snow shelter

By John Holyoke on March 03, 2015, at 5:53 a.m.
UNITY | Our night in a snow cave hadn’t even begun — heck, the cave itself hadn’t yet been shoveled out — when the first potential snag became apparent. “The snow is so fluffy, it’s got me a little worried,” adjunct instructor Dianne Kopec told me and my BDN …

They’re not just for ice fishing any more: Orrington pack basket company takes off

By John Holyoke on March 02, 2015, at 11:35 a.m.
When Kurt and Kathy Cressey began manufacturing pack baskets in the small general store they owned in the middle of the Maine woods, they faced a couple of pretty significant obstacles. The first came before the first basket was ever crafted about 16 years ago. Neither of them knew what …
This bobcat has been seen around several houses in Orono and has killed at least one house cat. A Maine game warden says residents should keep their pets inside as much as possible and avoid leaving food that may attract the bobcat.

Officials trying to trap, relocate cat-eating Orono bobcat

By John Holyoke on Feb. 26, 2015, at 11 a.m.
A hungry bobcat that’s eaten at least one neighborhood pet has drawn the attention of state wildlife officials, who are trying to trap and relocate it to a more suitable location. Maine Game Warden Jim Fahey said he heard reports of a bobcat in the area of …

Follow our quinzhee adventure as it happens: #BDNsnowcave

on Feb. 26, 2015, at 10:56 a.m.
Later today, BDN visuals editor Brian Feulner and I are heading to Unity College, where we’ll try to avoid freezing to death while sleeping in a snowbank. Actually, our adventure isn’t quite that death-defying: We’re going to help build a snow shelter — a quinzhee — with Unity College students. …
A snowy owl lies on a snowbank in Hermon on Feb. 13, 2015.

Word from the Woods: Fight cabin fever with us

By John Holyoke on Feb. 25, 2015, at 12:39 p.m.
It’s a busy time of year for BDN Outdoors editor John Holyoke and I. As winter tapers off (or so we hope), organizations throughout Maine organize outdoor shows to help people through the last snowstorms and look ahead to spring. John and I enjoy being a part of that. This …

Show season is back! Come visit us in Brewer this weekend

on Feb. 24, 2015, at 2:19 p.m.
It was nearly 20 degrees below zero in Bangor this morning, and my lawn is covered with thigh-deep snow. Tonight, meteorologists tell us, we’ll add a few more inches to our frigid winter blanket. And on Thursday, I’m going to sleep in a snowbank. Ignore the fact that I might …

Farewell to 491 Main St.

on Feb. 20, 2015, at 11:16 a.m.
For more than two decades, I’ve been working side-by-side with talented, committed journalists who have called 491 Main St. home. Starting Monday, the home headquarters of the BDN will change: As you’ve likely heard, we’re moving downtown. So long, Paul Bunyan. Adios, Buck Street. Hello, One Merchants Plaza. Already, some …
Chocolate-covered crickets by Don Bugito, an edible insect street food project based in San Francisco.

Word from the Woods: Mmm. Crickets. Tasty

By John Holyoke on Feb. 18, 2015, at 12:45 p.m.
Some days, a cheeseburger just doesn’t hit the spot. A salad won’t suffice. A cookie or piece of cake? Not appealing. On days like that (or on days when you want to be much more adventurous, it’s time to reach for a handful of … crickets. Yes, I said crickets. …

Herd of 25 deer surrounds Jeep in snowy Eastport

on Feb. 17, 2015, at 10:41 a.m.
With yet another winter storm approaching, Dan Daley and his wife, Shannon, woke up Saturday and decided to hit the road for a day trip. “My wife and I love taking rides in the Jeep,” he explained. “Some people forget to be tourists in their own backyard. Eastport is just …
Ben Willard, 87, of Cambridge, Maine served in three wars: World War ll, the Korean War and Vietnam.

Three wars and a lasting love story: Cambridge couple’s romance endures

By John Holyoke on Feb. 14, 2015, at 6:08 a.m.
Ben Willard gazes at a photo more than a half century old, smiles, and shakes his head. “She was gorgeous,” he says, softly, describing the picture that accompanies the newspaper wedding announcement of Dorothea Pratt. “Just gorgeous.” Nearby, the girl in the photo — now Dottie Willard, …

A winter wonderland just outside the door … but the first step is the toughest

on Feb. 13, 2015, at 11:40 a.m.
It’s been quite a winter thus far, and cities and towns across the region have piled up feet of snow. Luckily, we’re Mainers and we’re tough. Or foolish. Or too darned stubborn to move to Florida. Fact is, there are plenty of things to do outside when the weather turns …
John Holyoke and his wife, Karen, exchange vows on the Bangor Waterfront.

Computer dating love: A case of momentarily mistaken identity

By John Holyoke on Feb. 12, 2015, at 5:28 a.m.
My wife is a newspaper reader. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. Most of the time that’s a great thing because I write for a newspaper. But there was one time, at the very beginning of our courtship, when her appreciation of the craft didn’t …

Holden store prepping for bigger, better ice fishing derby

on Feb. 11, 2015, at 1:30 p.m.
At some point next Sunday, Greg Hawes may find time to curse his ice fishing buddies. It was that group, after all, that helped hatch the plan that spawned the G&M Family Market Hancock County Ice Fishing Derby several years ago. And it’s that derby, which Hawes stages and runs …
Maine Winter Sports Center leads a ski lesson in December 2011 at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.

Word from the Woods: Help on the way for Maine Winter Sports Center

By John Holyoke on Feb. 11, 2015, at 11:56 a.m.
A couple of months back, officials from the Maine Winter Sports Center announced that they were launching a major funding drive, in collaboration with an attempt to more clearly define their mission. That effort is now underway, and earlier this week the group announced that a key donor had pitched …

Biologists propose reduction to 2,815 moose permits for this year in Maine

on Feb. 06, 2015, at 10:47 a.m.
Moose permit levels in most of the state’s Wildlife Management Districts will remain static this year, but slight tinkering in other districts will result in an overall decrease in permits, according to a plan being considered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Biologists have proposed an allotment …

Readers respond with winter camping hints

on Feb. 04, 2015, at 2:06 p.m.
A week ago, I may have hinted (or begged) for help from BDN readers. If you missed that column, here’s the short version: My bosses decided that they were going to send me out into the cold, cruel world, and expected me to sleep in a snow shelter that I’d …
Team Tea Boggans slides down the chute at Camden Snow Bowl along with hundreds of spectators and toboggan racers during the 24th Annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships in Camden on Feb. 8, 2014.

Word from the Woods: Grab your toboggan! The races are on!

By John Holyoke on Feb. 04, 2015, at 11:48 a.m.
Again this year, the BDN will be sending two teams the U.S. National Toboggan Championships in Camden this weekend. I’m the captain of the four-person “News Ninjas” team, and yes, we will be dressed as ninjas — with weapons constructed out of newspaper. BDN photographer Troy Bennett is leading the …
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