Thursday, October 4, 2012

Matt's September Bull Moose Hunt

Matt's September Bull Moose Hunt

My son Matthew flew out from Montana to participate in hunting a bull moose in northern Maine. In preparation, I had to beef up my landscape trailer with a manual winch to allow us to pull the bull into the trailer. I was grateful for my experience running a metal fabrication shop as it taught me many skills.
In addition to the trailer, we would need a moose call. In the past I had purchased a commercial moose call, however despite my best efforts, it sounded like a dying moose in my hands. So I elected to make an old fashion Maine Moose Call from the bark of a birch tree.
After selecting the tree and carving out the bark I fashioned it into the call, which in effect is a megaphone to broadcast the moose call deeper into the woods. I elected to use camo duct tape in place of using leather traps to sew it together.
The day came and after 12 hours of travel, Matthew arrived in Portland. Sunday morning we got an early start and drove the 5 1/2 hours to Oxbow Lodge, Oxbow, Maine. I can't say enough about Chad and Jodi and their staff, the accommodations and food were outstanding.
When we arrived, our hunting buddies, Jim and Bob, were already there and anxious to get into the woods to do some scouting. We chose scout south of the lodge as this doesn't take you into the North Maine Woods. The North Maine Woods is a organization of private land owners and they don't allow any ATV's or Tractors to extract the moose, so one must call one close to a traveled logging road or pack it out. Our journey south didn't look promising so the next morning at 4 am we headed through gate 6 onto the Pinkham road. We pulled up just before legal shooting, which is one half hour before daylight. I began calling and Matt was slowing walking up the road. He didn't get 50 yds from the truck when I noticed him waving me on. When I got to him he said he had jumped at least two moose out of their beds. I continued calling. At 6am, five minutes into legal hunting, two cows crossed the logging road silhouetted by the sky. Then the bull started across, I tried calling to get him to stop, but he didn't until he hit the tree line. Matt thought he had turned and was facing him head on but in fact, he was still broadside with his head turned. Matt dropped the cross hairs of the scope on his Knight 50 caliber black powder and fired, the bullet went right under the moose's head, a clean miss. We waited until daylight to check for blood and fanned out in the area. I heard some crunching while I was calling and thought it might be Matt circling back, I was surprised to see yet another bull moose coming to my call, he stopped 30 feet from me!! Then I looked to my right and saw but another bull 40 yards away!! Where was Matt? I finally added MOOOOOOSE to my call and that got Matt's attention, however by the time he arrived on the scene, the bulls had departed. Within the first 45 minutes of legal hunting I had called in 5 moose, wow, what a morning. We traveled and called all day but didn't see another moose until the evening. Our hunting buddies had one walk by their truck as they were playing blue grass music and playing cribbage!!!
The next morning all of us were feeling ill, the Norovirus had been going through camp and we later found out we had a full blown case of it. We traveled back to our first encounter the day before and our plan was to walk that road and call for moose. As Matt and I approached the end of the logging road, both of us were deathly ill, Matt dropped off into the brush, I continued on to the landing at the end still calling but very ill. Matt came out of the brush, just as I was vomiting, oh what a morning!!! He motioned to me to look into the far corner of the landing, I continued my calling and over a ridge came a bull moose. Matt chose to harvest him and lowered his 50 Cal and fired. The moose turned as if to go back into the woods and Matt gave me the go ahead to back him up so I fired my 30.06 with a shot to the neck. The moose still stood there so I fired again at his spine and he dropped. I had a tree between me and his vitals so I had to choose my shot locations accordingly. I had called the moose to within 90 feet of where we could drive the truck, an easy extraction.
 After getting back to the lodge, the four of us spent the next 16 hours in bed suffering with all the symptoms of the Norovirus. All in all, what a great hunt with many memories that will be embellished through the years.
Since we ended our hunt early in the week, it left us time to fly fish on of the most difficult ponds in the area. It was a great week, one that Matt and I will cherish for a life time.
If you have a moose tag, give me a call, I would love the opportunity to call one in for you. If you didn't get one, apply for one next year!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Loss of my best friend

I apologize for being remiss in my ramblings, however August 8th brought sadness to our family as we lost Cody, our oldest lab. Mountain Kait and I both remember bringing him home from the airport in Rhode Island in March of 2000. You see, Cody was born at Tiger Mountain Kennels in Ellensburg, Washington. Tiger Mountain kennels specializes in pointing Labrador retrievers. I have had several hunting companions over the years, but Cody was by far the best I have ever had the pleasure of hunting with. Cody was all heart, for example, when we found Daisy our youngest lab, Cody wouldn't eat his dinner until Daisy was served, he was a gentleman in many ways. He had a nose like no other dog I have ever seen and that got him in trouble more times than I can count. He would put his nose in the air and off he went, he could be gone for hours at a time, and in fact, the day he died he went on his last romp, just before expiring.

I remember one rainy night when he was quite young, I found him under a bush trying to stay dry at 2 AM. When I got him in the house I could smell skunk, "Cody", I said, "be quiet and lay on your bed in the bedroom and maybe mom won't wake up." Well, he didn't get pass the doorway and Lynn suggested I get in the shower with him and the skunk recipe and give him a shampoo.
Or the day I was taking him out for his morning walk and he went on point at a bush next to the front door. He wouldn't break so I gave him the command to flush, with that a big cock pheasant flew out from under the bush and directly into the side of the house next door, breaking his neck. Well, later that morning when my neighbor Don was up and moving around, I brought the bird over to him and said good hunting Don, here is your supper, you and Cody had a good morning. Did he laugh when he heard the story and they both enjoyed pheasant that evening.
We have too many fond memories with Cody to express here, we got him the year we were married so he was our son and he went everywhere with us. He will be terribly missed, however we have Daisy to fill the void, and now she has become the Queen of Moose Look Lodge.
On a brighter note, I have been preparing for our moose hunt at the end of the month. We are hunting out of Oxbow Lodge, They are on face book as well with recent bear harvest pictures. Chad has assured me their are some monster bulls in the area and we should have a great hunt. Mountain Matt, my son is traveling from Montana to participate in the hunt, so his absence leaves me with all the preparation logistics. The equipment list is endless, chainsaw with gas and oil, block and tackle, rope, lots and lots of rope, waders, trailer with winch and the list goes on and on. We are hunting on our own, but I have been pre-scouting and agree with Chad. I have two friends that want to come along for the ride and we welcome their help in getting our moose out of the woods.
The area we are hunting is in the Maine North Woods that is a group of private land owners. They do not allow any form of retrieval equipment to be used to get the moose out of the woods, so if you can't get your truck in near the moose, you have to quarter the animal and pack it out. The only other alternative is if they are logging in the area and there is a skidder operator willing to take the time to help you out.
All reports on bear hunting have been positive, bears are large and plentiful throughout the state. Reports of sows with two and three cubs on trail cams are common.
I hope to blog again soon to give you an update on our moose preparations.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Moose Lottery and Uncle Rene

Saturday was a very special day. You see, I was in Rhode Island for my wife's family gathering and took some time to go see my Uncle Rene. Uncle Rene and I have a long deep history of hunting and fly fishing together. He used to have a camp in Vermont where it was a ritual to be there on the opening day of deer season with the likes of Fred and Zeke. We have many fond memories together, like the time we had an early snow storm that dumped two feet of snow in the mountains. We were stranded in the cabin for two days before the snowmobiles came through and created a path to walk on. I was in my twenties then and cabin fever took over, I suited up grabbed my rifle and took off into the mountains. After an hour or so, I spotted three deer and as I trudged up the mountain in the deep snow chasing them when I ran across the hunter that jumped them from their beds. He was wore out from the deep snow and told me to give it a try. Well, three hours later, totally spent physically and with darkness setting in I began my long hike back. At times I would stumble over dead trees and tumble end over end in the snow. It was like I was watching a movie about a mountain man becoming stranded in the mountains in a major storm. Well, except for the mountain man part, it was early in my career, I was in a dangerous place. By the time I hit the snowmobile trail, I could hardly stand up. We didn't have Gortex in those days, only rubber rain gear, so I had sweat through all of my clothes. I persevered by putting one foot in front of the other until I could see the flood lights on our cabin. By the time I reached the bottom of the stairs, I collapsed, banging the butt of my rifle on the wooden stairs to alert Rene. He came out joking saying, "where's the deer?" He quickly realized I wasn't joking around and need help getting in the camp. He quickly undressed me and gave me some dry clothes, hydrated me with plenty of water and then poured a glass of bourbon, listening intently as I told him the whole story.

Then there was the time we went camping with a group of friends fly fishing in the Allagash Wilderness in Northern Maine, 50 miles north of Ripogenus Gorge. It rained for 5 days and the zipper on our tent broke preventing us from closing the fly. It rained so hard we joked the river was flowing through out sleeping bags. We never dried out the whole time there but we caught fish and enjoyed the camaraderie around the camp fire.

Rene's wife of 62 years is in a nursing home and she isn't doing very well. Rene faithfully drives there twice a day to visit her which consumes most of his day. When he isn't at the nursing home, he sits on top of an old tube 19 inch TV and watches TV until he falls asleep. So Saturday was going to be a special day, I took Uncle Rene out and bought him a new 32 inch flat screen TV only he thought I was buying it for myself. Not until I carried it in his house did he understand that it was a gift for him. He was so happy he cried, and so did I.

Now, you are probably asking yourself, what does all this have to do with the 2012 Maine Moose Lottery? Well the lottery was held on that same special day with Uncle Rene, Saturday in Oquossoc, a small town in Rangeley that is between Mooselookmuguntic lake and Rangely lake. 54,338 people applied for the permit opportunity in the lottery. 14,657 of them were from "away", in other words, from all over the world, and 39,681 were from Maine. I have been applying since they started the lottery in 1980 and have had the good fortune of being selected in 2004. I harvested a large bull that year with a 59 1/2 inch spread tip to tip on his antlers. He is hanging over our wood stove and Lynn fondly named him Henry.

Maine Fish and Game didn't post the results of the lottery until 8PM that evening, I was on the computer at my father-in law's at 8:01. I checked all my friends names first as I went through the alphabet, no one I know got lucky. Then came the W's....I couldn't believe my eyes, I was picked again and it was for a bull moose, zone 5, September hunt. What a perfect ending on a special day spent with my 85 year old hunting and fishing partner of so many years. I hope Uncle Rene can be there with us when I harvest another bull moose to make yet another special day.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Floating the Androscogin River

Floating the Androscogin river in Kayaks in the summer is one of my favorite pastimes. This past Saturday was a perfect day with temperatures in the low seventies and a slight breeze to keep us cool, we were off. Our friends from Rhode Island, Bob, Linda, Jim and Nancy rented kayaks and joined Lynn and I for a 12 mile float from Gilead to Bethel. The river was still high and flowing faster than usual shaving approximately a half hour off of our trip. Along the way we met the Maine Warden for the area checking everyone for life preservers. It is rare to see a warden on the river as the water is usually too low to support a power boat. In any event, he told us we might see a small moose grazing on the banks if it didn't get spooked, unfortunately we had a group in front of us and by the time we floated by it was gone.

We stopped for lunch along the way on a rocky shore and took a break from the paddling.
All in all it was a perfect day on the river. But wait there is more. Upon arriving home, Nancy prepared appetizers for all and the entire crew took out an assortment of firearms and laid some lead in the backyard. The girls had a contest that was easily won by Lynn, however, Nancy is now hooked on shooting and suggested Jim buy her a rifle of her own. After our target practicing, Bob prepared a wonderful steak dinner to cap off the perfect day. Once again, it was another day in paradise.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Western Maine Rain

Rain rain go away and come back another God we are getting pounded with rain in the Western mountains of Maine. Since Saturday we have recorded in excess of 8 1/2 inches at Moose Look Lodge. Rivers and streams have over flowed their banks closing roads and creating havoc. Now our concern has become the effects on the turkey and partridge broods. Up until now it was going to be a good spring for the birds. The water levels are playing havoc with fishing as well, Today started out beautiful and by the time Daisy and I got home it was pouring, in fact, I had to pull over to the side of the road to take her out of the bed of the pickup and put her in the back seat to keep her dry. The weather man tells us this the weekend will bring us sunshine and fair weather. Just in time to get the lawn mower out and cut the grass before it becomes a hay field. 

The other big news here in the mountains is the new Oxford Casino has opened. This is a full gaming casino opened 24 hours a day seven days a week. For more information before coming up visit their site at

Joe and Liz have informed me that they have built a new laundry facility to accommodate their guest at Parlin Lake Lodge and Cabins. Please visit their site at Joe and Liz have transformed this facility into the nicest resort in Western Maine. The cabins and lodge are brand new and very well constructed, located only feet from the waters edge. If you are planing a family vacation to Maine, put them on your list, I promise, you will have the time of your life and will not want to leave. The fishing is fabulous and moose spotting's are common.

Well, I hope to report better weather on my next posting, and I will have some news on the new casino as we are going to visit there this weekend. Until then, stay dry where ever you are.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First turkey

Spring turkey season is coming to an end, and although I have not harvested a bird, I have had some fun with them despite my hip injury. My severe pain ended a week ago allowing me to enter the woods, although not too far due to the healing process and still being tender. I have a new set of decoys, hen and tom made by Carry-Lite decoys that have given me fabulous results. I called in several birds, however non that I would harvest. Two were Jake's, the third was a larger but not worthy of harvesting in my opinion. In any event, there is a story of a young man named Caleb who is 15 years old and was out hunting with his dad Troy. Troy tells me he was doing the calling from several hundred yards away when he heard the shot and Caleb's yell of joy.
There is one excited young hunter, proud of his first turkey. Dad's chest was a bit blown up as well. Congratulations to a father son duo on a successful turkey hunt.

Last Saturday Lynn and I took our daughter Mountain Kait out for a fishing excursion on her last day home from Wyoming. Our plan was to get out on Mooselookmeguntic Lake, one of my favorite wilderness places to fish and just plan hang out. Unfortunately we didn't have a big boat, I will leave that to another post perhaps, however we had our trusty Old Town square stern with a 4 hp Suzuki motor to troll with. We drove up to the boat ramp only to find the lake wind swept and 2-3 foot seas and white caps. Far too dangerous to attempt a day on the lake. We back tracked to lower Richardson hoping the wind wouldn't be so bad, but no such luck. However on the drive back, we had the good fortune to see a black bear as he ran down the road looking to cross it. We had, what I would consider, a long look at him before he disappeared in to the thick cover. Bear spottings are rare in Maine due to the thick foliage, I have only seen 3 while driving the back roads in my entire life, Mountain Kait saw her first. In any event, we came back to Howard Pond where the wind was not as stiff and enjoyed several hours in the sun trolling for salmon and trout.

All in all, a great day in the woods was had by all. Once again, if you see Caleb on the street, slap his back and say congratulations.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Truthful Facts

I must be honest, despite my excitement for turkey hunting I have only been out one day. This was due to a severe injury to my right hip that has kept me idle for 3 1/2 weeks. It was only in the past couple days that I have been able to walk without severe pain. I managed to get this injury by rushing my training for my up-coming big game hunt in Montana this fall. Fortunately I don't need surgery to correct the tear, but it has slowed me down considerably.

On a positive note, there is always something to do in Maine. This past week my daughter Mountain Kait flew in from Laramie, WY where she is in a graduate program, and ran in the Surgarloaf marathon held on Sunday. We drove up on Saturday for the registration, drive the course and order a pre-race carb loaded dinner at a local restaurant.

Race day arrived with some big drama, Kait's Garmin watch failed to turn on, of all days for equipment failure. She was in a panic having been training for 14 weeks at high altitudes, this was a disaster. We stopped at a gas station to inquire if they had a digital watch and although they didn't, we were told to check the store next to the start of the road race in Eustis. Fortunately, they had one Timex on the shelf and the battery still had life in it. When I delivered the watch, well, her eyes were the size of silver dollars. The race was back on for Kait. 

 The race began at 7AM with the air temperature at 72 F. Too warm but this was only the start, it got worse. midway through the race the temperature rose to 78F and we began meeting Kait every mile to ensure she had enough water to keep going. Water stations were every two miles but the heat was crushing with no relief from shade.

At mile 24 Kait told us she would see us at the finish line. She would overcome the excessive heat that now was at 86F.

So although I haven't had the joy of turkey hunting to date, there are never any dull moments in Maine. Our family is proud of Kait's determination and resolve and we look forward to the next adventure.

Stay tuned, my next post will include some turkey hunting stories that have been heard about town.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tuesday morning I caught a glimpse of this hawk sitting on our solar clothes dryer before I opened the door to let out the pups. Ironically, he let me walk out on the porch to take his picture, but as soon as I attempted to walk down the stairs to get a closer look, well, he took off. Just the same, I continue catching a glimpse of him as he seems comfortable around our cabin and I assume is eating well.

This week I was notified that I was drawn in the mule deer lottery in Montana. I was so excited since the area I drew is in my son's back yard. As part of my physical training for my big game hunt this fall, (Elk, Mule and Whitetail Deer) I took off last Sunday on a 5 1/2 mile hike with a twenty five pound back pack. The wind was gusting to 30 mph and it was cold. During my trek, I had the good fortune to see a mature bald eagle that flew so close to me I could see his eyeballs. What a beautiful sight. Now grant you I just didn't go off on this excursion out of the blue,  I have been training by steadily increasing my pack weight and distance as well as my usual weight training. It isn't unusual out west to hike 10 miles a day looking for game. By mile 5 I was questioning  my sanity, perhaps 4 miles would have been enough. In any event, I complete my hike in one piece. However, I did manage to strain the soft tissues in my right hip, so much so that I have had to curtail my walking as the pain has been significant. This has also curtailed my turkey hunting, not that it would make any difference as all the birds I had seen have disappeared.  The rain hasn't helped either, I came back soaked one morning and sat by the wood stove for an hour sipping hot tea to shake the cold.

I will be taking the weekend off from hunting as I have to attend a graduation out of state. But I will be back at it next week and hope to have a new post of my excursion.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When it rains it pours....after weeks of no rain and extremely dry conditions, we have had 4 1/2 inches of rain as of early this morning. It has continued raining hard here in the mountains. However, it has done little to raise the level of my fishing grounds. The river on the other hand has filled up nicely. So much for low water conditions, but I don't think it will last for long if we don't get a continued blessing of water.

I attended the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) fundraiser in Lewiston this past weekend. What a wonderful evening and very well attended. The Maine chapter raised $400,000.00 this year, one of the largest of all the chapters and we don't have any Elk....yet. The foundation has protected seven million acres for wildlife habitat throughout the United States for big game management. The elk herds in Kentucky and Missouri are doing extremely well, with the Missouri herd calving 5 this year. Next month two dozen elk will be released in Virginia.

Several firearms were raffled away during the evening, and although I was not the recipient of any of them, I did win one raffle. It consisted of two new cleaning kits for long guns, a new padded gun case and the complete Scent-A-Way control kit. This will come in handy during my Montana big game hunt this fall. I was also the high bidder on a pair of HD video sun glasses, these will allow me to film my hunt as if through my own eyes.

As turkey season creeps up on us, not many Tom's have been seen in the fields, mostly in the woods, which makes it difficult to locate them. However, I did spot one the other day and have been watching closely to see if it is his hangout. Stayed tuned for more information in the western Maine mountains.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

It is a beautiful morning here at Moose Look Lodge. We had a frost last night and the morning air is cool and crisp. I was lying in bed having my tea and catching up on the local news when I heard a familiar sound. I opened the window to confirm what I was hearing and ran down to the basement to get my turkey call. I tucked myself in the corner of the screened in porch and began my serenade and mister Tom answered back, to say he was excited wouldn't begin to describe it. His gobble sounded like a freight train. We continued our banter back and forth for about ten minutes when all of a sudden he came running into our back yard looking for me. He fanned his tail feathers and strutted around the garden showing off. His two female friends didn't look to impressed but boy was he trying his best to get me to join his harem. Finally, after about another ten minutes of giving me his best, he gave up and wandered off into the woods.

Our spring turkey season begins April 30 and runs until June 2nd. Two toms are allowed. This morning episode got my blood flowing as I expect it will be a great hunting season with the mild winter we had.

Stay tuned for more Spring news from Moose Look.


Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16th and we continue to get unseasonably warm weather. Today temperatures are going to reach 86 degrees, at least 20 degrees above normal. As of this morning, Mooselookmeguntic lake in Rangeley is being fished however the Cupsuptic lake side is still iced in. It won't be for long. I have fished these lakes under similar circumstances with my friends Bob and Stan and we literally watched the ice go out in Cupsuptic every time we made a pass through from Mooselookmeguntic. Rangeley Lake is still iced in and can't be fished yet.

If you are wondering, at one time these were two lakes, but they became one when upper dam was built on the southeastern end of Mooselookmeguntic.

Mooselookmeguntic Lake receives water from several sources. The Cupsuptic River flows into Cupsuptic Lake, which is directly connected with the northern part of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The Rangeley River and Kennebago River both flow into northeastern Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The lake is just a few miles from the Appalachian Trail.
The lake's waters flow out to the southeast, into Upper Richardson Lake. There is a dam between the two lakes called "Upper Dam". The dam raised the level of Mooselookmeguntic Lake about 14 feet, causing it to become joined to Cupsuptic Lake forming a reservoir. The two lakes had been separate before the dam was built.
Mooselookmeguntic Lake's maximum depth is 132 feet (40 m) and its surface area is 25.5 square miles (66 km2).[1] It is the fourth largest lake in Maine. Mooselookmeguntic Lake's elevation is 1,467 feet (447 meters) above sea level.

This warm weather will bring water temperatures into the ideal range earlier this year. I like to see surface temperatures in the 50-55 degree range for surface trolling. As the surface temperatures warm up I normally go deeper with lead core fly line. I am not a fan of down riggers, however, I will admit, there have been times when I wish I was using them.

The next few weeks will bring ideal fishing to the Rangeley area. Stay tuned for more updates.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

What a difference a day makes. I had the good fortune to talk to two of my guide friends who were on the river yesterday. The water levels have dropped to levels usually not seen until June. The warm weather is creating a hatch and the fish are responding. Today the weather will be in the sixty's and Monday we are expecting, gulp....80's....this is unheard of for this time of year. The water temperatures are almost perfect for trout and Salmon. I will be checking the ice out conditions in Rangeley today and will report back to you tomorrow.

Tonight we will attend the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's fund raiser in Lewiston. This promises to be a fun night full of auctions and raffles. I will keep my fingers crossed hoping to win the elk hunt in Idaho.

More tomorrow.


Friday, April 13, 2012

It has been very quiet here at Moose Look Lodge as the little snow we had melted and gave way to daffodils. Unfortunately, it is dangerously dry here in the Western Mountains. The above picture taken today is of one of my favorite land locked salmon and trout lakes. The water is still a couple of hundred feet from shore making it difficult to get a square stern canoe and motor in the water without risking limb. This pond is 110 feet deep and 106 acres in size. Usually by this time it is full, we will have to be patient.

On a brighter note, a fellow guide and friend Joanne tells me she is seeing fish but she can't get them to take a fly yet. The water levels in the river are still high even with the water shortage, it is very difficult to read all the different waterways this year due to the unusual weather. It is still early in the season and the fishing will get better soon.

We are looking to acquire a new boat this year, unfortunately we had a bad experience with a dealer in Windham who sold a Lund boat out from under us last night after I thought we had a deal. In any event, we are aggressively looking to purchase a well equipped Lund with a four stroke outboard to accommodate our guest in quiet comfort while trolling the big lakes.

So stay tuned for my next update on the fishing scene.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Needless to say, the sapping has been quite slow here at Moose Look Lodge this year. The weather has not contributed to the flow of sap from our maple trees. We tapped 31 trees on February 14th, Valentines Day and only had two days that delivered a total of 22 gallons of sap over a three week period. This is not considered good. But we began to boil down the sap, like I said before, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, so our 22 gallons should give us a tad over a half gallon of prime maple syrup. We boiled down the sap for two days and were down to the last couple of gallons of sap when I went into the house for a fresh cup of tea.....never leave your sap house when the boiling is down to the finish line....when I came out a few minutes later, smoke was billowing from the garage. I lost the whole batch of syrup, ruined the small pot I had transferred the sap to and wanted to sit on that black bucket and cry. But the smoke was so thick and smelled like burned candy that I couldn't hang around long and had to open all the doors to air it out. As my good friend Curtis, who saps every year from over 100 trees told me, "if you are sapping and never had a fire, you are not sapping....the good news is you didn't burn down your garage like most do..." That didn't make me feel that much better but I did get back into the process that afternoon after cleaning up the mess. The result two days later was our first half gallon of grade A dark amber syrup. To date we have made a half gallon of syrup, we don't know how much more we will get as the temperature here at Moose Look Lodge was 94 degrees yesterday, the first day of Spring, and may get higher today. Although the sap was still running from some of the trees, it has slowed down considerably. The weather is turning colder this weekend and night time temperatures should be below freezing, we hope that will bring the sap back for one more run.

There is never a dull moment here at Moose Look, unseasonable warm temperatures have melted the snow and brought the deer to the feeder. But don't think for a minute that old man winter isn't going to sneak back in for another run, it is still early in the spring and he doesn't give up easy.

Now is the time to begin planning your adventure in Maine and using a Professional Registered Maine Guide to make in memorable. Don't forget to call Joe and Liz at Lake Parlin Lodge and Cabins for a reservation at the finest cabins in Maine. You can visit their site at

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Jeff and Lynn

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Roar like a lion

March 1st roared in like a lion with 15 inches of fresh powder, making it the biggest storm this year. The skiing was the best we have had all season and Sunday River left the powder ungroomed for the skiers. The snowmobiler's  have been pounding the trails since Thursday. The ridding has been excellent all the way north. Joe Kruse,  President of the Jackman Snowmobiler's club and owner of Lake Parlin Lodge and Cabins,, tells me that the trails have plenty of snow and are groomed daily. Friday was a beautiful day here in Hanover, so my brother in law Bob and I took off Friday and ran the trail from the Bear River Store at Newry corner to Andover. Along the way you pass the memorial for the KC-97 stratotanker refueling plane the crashed on Jonathan Smith Mountain on June 27th, 1960 taking the lives of all five service men on the aircraft. The debris field covers 5 acres.

Unfortunately, our sugaring project took a back seat to the weather as the sap stopped flowing. However, today I hear the pinging of the sap hitting the metal buckets which is seasonal music in the western mountains. I anticipate the sap will be flowing heavy towards the end of the week as the temperatures should be up in the 40's. Our flock of wild turkeys have found the deer feeder and we counted 20 gorging themselves early this morning. The spring gobbler season starts on April 2nd and is shaping up to be a very good one with the mild winter. Once again, it is a great time to visit the Western mountains of Maine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here it is February 15th, 42 degrees at Moose Look Lodge, hunting is slowing down, fishing hasn't started but the sap is running. The cold nights and warm days starts the sap flowing and it will run for approximately 5-6 weeks. Today we put out 30 taps around our lodge. It is a fun project, Daisy likes to help as she gets the left over blueberry pancakes....Our thirty taps will generate approximately 30-40 gallons of sap a day when it really starts to flow. It takes 40 gallons of sap to cook down to one gallon of maple syrup. (now you know why it is expensive) There is nothing like real organic maple syrup from Maine. It is a healthy alternative to sugar, full of minerals and vitamins. We use it to sweeten our tea, coffee drench our pancakes and french toast. It is also wonderful on Gifford's old fashion vanilla ice cream!!

For you folks looking to treat your Valentine, Sunday River Resort opens their North Peak Lodge for fine dinning. Take the gondola ride to the peak and it is a short walk to the lodge. Reservations are needed and seating starts at 7 and runs to 8:30.  Fireworks start a 8:30 and can be view from both North Peak and South ridge lodge. For more information go to

In closing, you can see there is never a dull moment in the Western mountains of Maine.

Jeff and Lynn

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What a wonderful weekend in the Western Mountains, clear blue skies, we only wish we had the snow Colorado is getting. But we have enough to enjoy the outdoors. Sunday River Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation are sponsors of a three day event for all our veterans and active duty personnel with physical disabilities at no cost and provides family activities as well. We hope you can help by stopping by and supporting our troops.