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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. .

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 )
Don't need no stinking calendar
By Will Maines

I will be the first to admit that every year the day I get home from North Dakota duck camp I start planning for the next year’s trip.
The time of year doesn’t matter from that day forward — be it January, April or July, my dreams each night are of North Dakota ducks and geese.
I may have to look at the calendar to find out, for instance, when my daughter’s birthday is or the day when my wife and I celebrate our anniversary, but I don’t need no stinking calendar to tell me when it’s the first of September.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 1:51 PM
It only took 62 years to find
By Will Maines

It’s funny how you can live in a place all your life and yet take 62 years to finally find and explore a new place that has been right under your nose all those years.
I figure that in my day I have explored — or at least casually looked at — a good share of Vilas County, although I must admit there are a great many superb fishing lakes which I have never even sampled.
Within 25 miles of my house, there are storied lakes like North and Big Twin, Big Arbor Vitae,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 10:22 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:01 AM )
Watch out for the bear traps
By Will Maines

THERE IS an old saying concerning idle hands. It’s so old, in fact, that I cannot recall the exact saying, but giving it my best guess, I would say it probably has something to do with lazy people and idle hands not being a good combination.
I am unabashedly lazy and all to willing to go through a day with extremely idle hands, so at this time, lacking the ambition to do so, I have not gotten around to looking up the exact quotation, nor do I expect to find the ambition to do so anytime soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 12:57 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 23, 2011 1:34 PM )
It's just six weeks away
By Will Maines

IT’S POP QUIZ time. Quick, can anyone tell me what is six weeks away?
I’ll give you a few hints. First, it is essentially a large rectangle. How large? It is a rectangle containing 70,665 square miles. You may want to quibble on a tenth of a mile or so, but it is roughly 360 miles wide and 230 miles high.
Lewis and Clark passed through it at one time, as did Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Verendrye. The former you are probably familiar with, the latter quite likely not, although there is a provincial park in Quebec which bears his name.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:38 PM
Checking out the other half
By Will Maines

I HAVE never been much of one for wondering how the “other half” lives because, essentially, I’ve always been pretty happy with the way I live.
Last weekend, though, I got to look into the lives of the other half — twice.
It began Saturday morning with Greg Harmston — he who was the lousy turkey guide this spring — and Case Harmston who, at age 8, is a budding orator and professional fisherman.
As you all know, almost all of my fishing time is spent working quiet waters with my Old Town

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 1:42 PM

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