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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. .


Trusted companions made the hunt
By Will Maines

GUESS WHAT time of year it is? If you said autumn, give yourself one point. If you said the beginning of deer season, give yourself three points and a solid attaboy.
Yes, folks, come Saturday morning at 6:33 a.m. local time, Wisconsin’s gun deer season, without question this state’s most revered hunting season, will officially begin.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 7:34 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 23, 2011 2:09 PM )
 
Trail work an exercise in joy
By Will Maines

WHO WOULD have thought days of weather generally associated more closely with September than November would continue so long into the fall season?
Though there is little about northern Wisconsin weather that truly surprises me after 62 years of experience with it, I am nonetheless very agreeable with sunshine and temperatures approaching or even into the 50s at this time of year.
I can guarantee one thing — I am not about to waste such weather.
Last weekend was one of those that simply demanded a person get off their backside and do

Tuesday, November 08, 2011 8:27 PM
 
A time and place for everything
By Will Maines

There is a time and place for everything, and Saturday it was ordained that the time for this old duck hunter was midafternoon, and the place, a duck blind on Rice Lake.
It was gray and a bit gloomy when I loaded up the implements of the trade and wheeled the red truck northward from my house, shifting into second gear while tossing a cheerful, “See you later with a brace of ducks in each hand,” at the lady of the house, to which she murmured a less than enthusiastic response, “Yeah, sure, if you say so.”
Truth is, I knew the odds of returning with so much as a single duck were stacked heavily against me, but old duck hunters don’t think about something so piddling as the kill on a late October hunt

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 2:51 PM
 
Young dogs can teach new tricks
By Will Maines

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but no one ever said a young dog can’t teach an old hunter new tricks.
It’s a good thing there is no such saying, because a couple weekends ago, this old hunter learned a couple of new tricks while hunting behind a young dog named Gabby.
Gabby is a German shorthaired pointer, and she is very, very proficient at what she does, which is hunting up and pointing ruffed grouse — partridge — and woodcock.
Gabby and her boss, Bruce Drew, met me for a Sunday morning hunt which was far different than any partridge hunting expedition I’ve ever been on before.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2:58 PM
 
A good dog is a wondrous thing
By Will Maines

A good dog is a wondrous thing.
Hunting behind a good dog is a wonderful experience.
I have been fortunate over the past 50-plus years to have hunted behind a number of good dogs, heck, excellent dogs.
It all started with Ike, a Chesapeake retriever who taught me much of what I know about duck and ruffed grouse — partridge — hunting, beginning when I was 12 years old.
Ike came into my life at age 7, and so it was that my dad had five years of proper training and

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:42 AM
 
No better time to be outdoors
By Will Maines

THERE COULD NOT be a better time to be an outdoorsman. Anyone who has lived in this north Wisconsin country of ours for long knows that fall offers more for the outdoors people among us than any other time of year.
We know that 80 degrees for the second weekend of October is almost unheard of and yet, here we were, most of the last week with nothing but sunshine and temperatures up to at least the mid-70s every day, or as was the case Saturday, breaking 80.
It would be a crime not to take advantage of such days and, since I am a law-abiding citizen at all

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:44 PM
 
My wife was right one time

MY LOVELY WIFE may be Norwegian, but there are times when she is right.
At the worst time possible, last Thursday as I was loading the last decoy in my   truck for the long haul to North Dakota and the opening day of duck season on the Dakota prairie, I came down with a nasty, nasty head cold, sore throat to boot.
Come opening day on Saturday and I was in full-blown remedy mode, trying decongestant, Ibuprofen, honey and hot water and

Tuesday, October 04, 2011 12:30 PM
 
There's only one thing to think about
By Will Maines

IF IT SEEMS like all I think and write about in September and October is duck hunting and ducks, that’s because, well, that pretty much is all I think and write about during these two glorious months of fall.
Last weekend was the opening of another duck season and, yes, I was out there for the opening bell again, though that is not the most important thing here.
It was important that I spent part of it with Nate, my new young hunting partner. We were sitting in a blind on one of my favorite lakes north of Star Lake well before the appointed opening morning

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:43 PM
 
A new fire has been kindled
By Will Maines

You strike a match, touch it carefully to neatly arranged tinder and soon you have a fire to last the ages.
Put together a bundle of cattails, a half-dozen decoys, a cool autumn morning, add a touch of 12-year-old mixed with a 20-gauge shotgun, and before you know it you have a duck hunter fever burning in the breast of a boy.
Long before I reached the age of 12, I knew that more than anything in the world, I wanted to be a duck hunter. From the first time I brushed toddler fingers over the breast feathers of a mallard

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:46 AM
 
A weekend to go 'Hollywood'
By Will Maines

OH SUMMER, we hardly knew ye.
It was only yesterday, wasn’t it, that we laid plans for camping trips, cookouts, hiking expeditions and countless fishing outings, and now yesterday is gone.
Next thing you know, we will be watching leaves fall, cutting extra firewood and getting our snow shovels ready.
But before any of that happens, before any of that could happen, my wife and I managed to get in one beautiful summer fling in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) last weekend.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:24 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:25 PM )
 
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