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Will Maines

Trails & Tales

Will Maines is a native of the North Woods and an avid outdoorsman.
He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The birth of a goose hunter
By Will Maines

THE?CANOE?SLIPPED through quiet water on an early autumn afternoon. Maple trees along the shoreline were just starting to fill out in their briefly worn coats of fire red.
In the front seat of the canoe was a young lad, small for his age, a venerable Winchester pump 20-gauge propped against the bow piece. The stern paddle was handled by his father, an identical Winchester except in 12-gauge crossways in front of him.
A cream-colored Chesapeake retriever watched with bright, alert eyes as the pair paddled the canoe toward a blunt point covered with cattails on the far side of the lake.
Nothing escaped the eye of the retriever, a veteran almost as experienced as his master in the matters of duck and goose hunting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:10 PM
Ducks and geese take planning
By Will Maines

MY LOVELY wife is a planner.
Let’s say, for instance, she is on a baby shower committee and has three weeks to plan the event. She will spend two weeks, six days, 23 hours and 59 minutes doing that planning down to the tiniest detail. Want to know who will sit next to whom for the baby names game? She’ll have a seating chart, and she’ll have a different seating chart for the name-your-least-favorite baby-food game.
She’ll have someone in charge of writing down who gave what as a gift, someone else in charge of deciding whether it’ll be Hi-C fruit punch or Very Berry punch and yet another gal in charge of writing out invitations — cursive or block letters.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:55 PM
So begins The Molly Chronicles

By Will Maines

I DOUBT THERE are many men over the age of 60 who haven’t dreamed at least a little bit about having a fling with a 21-year-old beautiful young woman.
Personally I have never harbored even the tiniest thought of doing such a thing, which makes the fact that I have spent the last month sleeping with a beautiful 21-year-old redhead that much harder to believe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:02 PM
The mystery is, Who done it?
By Will Maines

DURING A LIFETIME of probing the mysteries of the universe I?have found many which have resisted my best and most persistent efforts to unravel.
For instance, I often wonder why Earth evolved as a planet suitable for human habitation while Saturn, for instance, did not.
I wonder, too, why the sky is blue and the grass is green. Scientists would undoubtedly tell me it has to do with pigmentations and natural processes and such, but for every scientist who tells me the sky is blue for this reason or that, I?ask why.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 5:50 PM
Fishing with Dan and Ellie
By Will Maines

AS A CERTIFIED?old curmudgeon I?am not one to suffer fools nor, for the most part, small children. As a matter of fact, I’ve always kind of subscribed to the theory that all small children left unattended for more than two hours at my house should be sentenced to 20 years’ hard labor.
That labor would include fetching a well-mixed Crown Royal highball from time to time, mowing my lawn on command, bringing my slippers and newspaper with regularity and handing me the TV?remote with alacrity whenever requested.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:11 PM
Time to enter our ‘golden’ years
By Will Maines

GOOD GOLLY, MISS Molly, what in the world is going on here?
Last week, as some of you may remember, I wrote about all the dogs which have been a part of my life. We lost our last one, Snuffy the Golden Wonder, a little over three years ago, and ever since have been contemplating if we would ever replace him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:14 PM
They were my best friends
By Will Maines

“THEY”?SAY?THAT dogs are man’s best friend, and “they” are right.
I have been fortunate in my life to have lived with several dogs, all of them my best friend for as long as they lived.
It started with Pup, a Springer spaniel who was my first dog. Actually, I’m not sure which one of us came first, but I do know that early on Pup was my best friend.
As a matter of fact there is still a picture floating around?—?my wife probably has it filed away somewhere?—?of Pup and me sharing quarters in the brand-new doghouse my dad had just made for him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 2:46 PM
The bullets went in the campfire
By Will Maines

THERE IS A LAKE I like to visit which, for today’s purposes, shall be referred to simply as “The Lake.”
When I sit along its shores I can see, if not literally, at least quite clearly in my mind, a lifetime of good memories.
I have been coming to The Lake for a long, long time, upwards of 60 years, and each time I visit I can look back to a host of good times, a milestone achievement or two and a lot of good, plain juvenile fun, even if some of that juvenile fun occurred decades after I passed through my juvenile years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 2:54 PM
Don’t miss calls of the wild
By Will Maines

WHEN YOU LIVE in the North Country, you don’t have to stray far from home to hear the call of the wild.
Just exactly what is the call of the wild is open for debate, but for me it is all the wonderful sounds of nature you can hear; wind through the pines, red-winged blackbirds trilling in the cattails or whatever other wild sound strikes your fancy.
I know that many people —  the risk of sounding stereotypical, mostly tree huggers — will claim the howling of a timber wolf is the true sound of the wild. Me, I’m not much for timber wolves.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 2:52 PM
It’s always good to get a U.P. fix
By Will Maines

EVERYTHING IS good with the world today. I have had my Upper Peninsula (U.P.) “fix,” and I am now ready to face the world once again.
OK, so it’s nothing as dramatic as that, but then again, a fix of the U.P. is always good no matter what ails you, even if nothing at all ails you.
No matter where a person lives, it’s always a good thing to occasionally wander afield to see something different. The North Dakota prairie pothole hunter needs to hunt the flooded timbers of Arkansas every now and then; the Montana mountain man likes to see what the Louisiana bayou looks like now and then; and yes, the guy who’s lucky enough to live in the great North Woods of Wisconsin needs to spend a little time in the U.P. every now and then.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 2:18 PM

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