John Holyoke

Outdoors Editor


The 5 Maine deer hunting stories readers have loved most

on Sept. 27, 2016, at 1:22 p.m.
Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to tell all kinds of hunting stories, and to share the successes of Mainers who have enjoyed memorable days in the woods. At certain times of the year, the hunting stories have become so common — and our readers have been …
People look at a moose that was brought in to be tagged and weighed at the Gateway Variety store in Ashland Monday on the first day of moose hunting in 2016. This moose shot by Kenneth Hunt of Phippsburg weighed 965 pounds.

A happy birthday hunt pays off on Maine moose hunt opening day

By John Holyoke on Sept. 26, 2016, at 3:17 p.m.
Monday marked the opening day of the first session of this year’s moose hunt in Maine, with 72 bull permits allocated in eight Wildlife Management Districts in the northern part of the state.

No moose permit? You can still have moose season fun

on Sept. 22, 2016, at 11:21 a.m.
Bright and early Monday morning, 720 lucky moose hunters — along with assorted relatives and friends — will head into the woods of northern Maine to embark upon adventures that some have been looking forward to for years. You? Me? The rest of us unlucky folks? Well, our names didn’t …
Spectators watch as moose are brought to the Ashland tagging station on the first day of the 2015 Maine moose hunting season.

Moose on the loose: Hunters to kick off season in Maine

By John Holyoke on Sept. 21, 2016, at 4:01 p.m.
Bright and early Monday morning, this year’s first group of moose hunters will head into the woods hoping for the best.

Have a hunting tale to tell? Send us your photos and story

on Sept. 19, 2016, at 12:37 p.m.
It’s that time of year again: Hunters are out and about. And when they return, some skilled or lucky hunters will have tales to tell … and photos to share. Photos like the one above, which shows the amazing rack on the deer Ben Thibodeau took in 2015. Thibodeau counted …

Maine guide, trapper honored for 65 years in the woods

on Sept. 15, 2016, at 10:49 a.m.
When Jim Martin of Bangor was honored over the weekend for a lifetime lived outdoors, he stopped to ponder how much time he’d spent in the woods pursuing one of his favorite activities, trapping. “I figured it out the other day,” the 77-year-old said. “I’ve trapped [at least one] beaver …
Bill Braniff a 71-year-old Vietnam War veteran tries fly fishing for the first time on a small pond on the grounds of the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor. Project Healing Waters teaches veterans how to fish and takes them on trips to enjoy the outdoors.

Healing Waters: Veterans enjoy fishing outing on reclaimed Bangor pond

By John Holyoke on Sept. 15, 2016, at 8:29 a.m.
The national program’s goal, according to its website, is the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing, activities and outings.

Landowner appreciation cleanup set for Sept. 18

on Sept. 12, 2016, at 4 p.m.
In Maine, we’re fortunate to have vast swaths of forest land that landowners graciously allow others to access for various recreational activities. Want to hike, or bike, or hunt or fish? Chances are good that when you head afield to take part in those activities, you’re spending time on someone …
Spectators watch as seaplanes take off during the 43rd International Seaplane Fly-In on Friday at Moosehead Lake in Greenville.

Greenville gears up for 43rd International Seaplane Fly-In

By John Holyoke on Sept. 09, 2016, at 3:32 p.m.
Saturday is the main day of activities, with spot landing, taxiing, and takeoff competitions on tap. Meals and banquets are scheduled throughout the weekend.

Biologist expects bears to start hitting bait sites soon

on Sept. 08, 2016, at 12:15 p.m.
Back in 2005, as many of the bear hunters at Tylor Kelly’s Camps in Allagash opted to stay dry, a lone truckload of men — including me — dutifully headed to their stands, hoping for the weather to break. There was a method to our madness (or, at least, we …
Eagle Mountain Guide Service's JR Mabee (left) laughs with Matthew Cornman as Cornman fills out his paperwork for a bear he killed in Township 24 on Tuesday.

Camaraderie, teamwork marks Maine bear camp experience

By John Holyoke on Sept. 08, 2016, at 12:04 p.m.
“Bear hunting and the success of bear hunting is exciting. But relationships you build and the friendships you make, especially when they come back? I love it,” Matt Whitegiver said.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaks during  a public celebration and dedication ceremony for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at New England Outdoor Center on Sunday.

US official: Community will play key role in North Woods monument’s development

By John Holyoke on Sept. 01, 2016, at 2:37 p.m.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell helped celebrate the formation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Wood piled up, ready for winter at Hardscrabble Lodge.

Bush pilot recalls ‘Hardscrabble’ life at sporting camp in new book

By John Holyoke on Sept. 01, 2016, at 11:40 a.m.
Called “Hardscrabble Lodge: True Maine Bush Flying Stories,” the 170-page paperback provides plenty of backwoods adventure tales for Mainers who have grown up hearing similar tales about the state’s vast north woods.
Jeff Russell shows off some old family DeLorme Gazetteers at his office in Bangor, Feb. 16, 2016.

Rest easy, Maine: Garmin to continue making of DeLorme gazetteer maps

By John Holyoke on Aug. 30, 2016, at 11:21 a.m.
Garmin will continue to produce the popular series in all 50 states and will continue to market them under the DeLorme name.
Wildlife biologist Randy Cross (left) and BDN outdoors editor John Holyoke pose with "Big John," a 364-pound black bear that was snared on June 14, 2010.

Bear hunters head into the woods on opening day

By John Holyoke on Aug. 29, 2016, at 2:14 p.m.
Bear season actually started (for some lucky hunters) on Saturday, which was set aside for youths, who were required to be hunting with an adult.

Monumental visit: Secretary of the Interior tours Katahdin Woods and Waters

on Aug. 27, 2016, at 3:54 p.m.
Before U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell got down to the serious business of enjoying herself on a pair of outings in the newly formed Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, she smiled after fielding a decidedly off-beat question. “Are you going to call a moose?” I asked. “I …

Snowmobiling, hunting allowed on parts of new monument

on Aug. 26, 2016, at 1:02 a.m.
Those interested in visiting the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument might be wondering what kind of activities will, and won’t, be allowed on its 87,563 acres.

A new era begins: National monument open for business

on Aug. 25, 2016, at 3:27 p.m.
It was a quiet day on the lazy main drag of Millinocket on Thursday. An occasional car or truck drove past, slowly. A few diners sat down to eat at the Appalachian Trail Cafe. And along a strip of vacant storefronts, an occasional pedestrian peered into the open door of …
The East Branch of the Penobscot River runs through parts of the area of Elliotsville Plantation Inc.

What we know about access to North Woods national monument land

By John Holyoke and Nick McCrea on Aug. 24, 2016, at 5:43 p.m.
Those interested in visiting the new attraction might be wondering what kind of activities will, and won’t, be allowed on its 87,563 acres.

New monument a gift to the nation, worth the wait

on Aug. 24, 2016, at 12:09 p.m.
Twenty-two years ago, many Mainers — most Mainers, I’d wager — were shocked to hear that a Massachusetts-based group had cast an eye northward and decided to save us from ourselves. For many who grew up here, RESTORE: The North Woods was cast as evil; the mere fact that the …