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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. .

Old-timers are my heroes
By Will Maines

WHERE HAVE YOU gone, Joe DiMaggio? Where have you gone, all you old-timers?
I don’t know, even after watching the movie a bunch of times, whether Dustin Hoffman ever did find Joe DiMaggio, but last Saturday I know I found and enjoyed a visit with one of the true — and few — old-timers left in Sayner.
I stopped by his cabin to razz him a little about two northern pike expeditions he and I shared separately the day before.
I was headed for a favorite pike lake about three o’clock Friday, about to turn into a two-rut road

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:16 AM
Coho salmon the best of all
By Will Maines

I PRIDE MYSELF on being a fair-to-middling chef, especially when it comes to wild game, so it was with anticipation last Sunday that I looked at a pair of wild turkeys on my kitchen counter just waiting for me to get them on the smoker.
Never mind that it was a couple of good friends who each killed their first turkey this spring and had the audacity to bring them to a turkeyless hunter to be smoked; the looks of them on my counter almost made me forget I have no turkey of my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:31 AM
You'll never see my vote changed
By Will Maines

I have never thought of myself as being a politician, but over this past weekend I discovered I might very well be just the type to seek political office.
Technically speaking you could say I am already a politician as a supervisor on the Plum Lake Town Board, but in my town, we hardly qualify that as being a politician.
Quite frankly, the town board is as high as I am ever likely to aspire, although if I want to have really big power, I suppose I could someday run for the — gasp — county board.
As I discovered last weekend, I now believe I possess the one ingredient, the one character trait

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:58 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:02 PM )
Everyone has a bear story
By Will Maines

DO YOU REMEMBER your first bear story?
Chances are, the very first fairy tale was the one about Goldilocks and her three furry buddies, but how about your first real live bear story?
I don’t think I heard a bear story before my first introduction to live bears, so, in essence, my initial meeting with “Blackie,” a tryst shared with many other people parked in cars around the town dump one summer evening, would be my first bear story.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011 1:37 PM
Spring is a pretty good season
By Will Maines

A person could make a case, should the person so wish, that each of the year’s four seasons is the best.
Each has its own special qualities, things about it that are unique to that season, and for every four people one queried, one would likely find a champion for each.
Personally, fall is, always has been and always will be my favorite, primarily because that is the season when the wild ducks and geese fly, when good hunting dogs stand as sentinels at the

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:06 PM
Brook trout make a man rich
By Will Maines

TO SORT of quote an old friend of mine from Alabama, “Beauty is as beauty does.”
To be honest, I never quite understood what Forrest meant with that “Stupid is as stupid does” stuff, and I’m not sure I know what I mean by beauty is as beauty does, but I do know that I know beauty when I see it.
When we’re talking beauty, there simply is nothing more beautiful in this world than a native brook trout.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:55 PM
Kringle has too many calories
By Will Maines

NEVER, I REPEAT, never take a woman fishing.
I don’t care if she is beautiful, has been a close friend for more than 40 years and makes a pecan pie to die for, don’t take her fishing.
All she will do is catch the most fish and the biggest fish, and make you eat way too much raspberry-cream cheese kringle to boot.
On the other hand, kringle tastes pretty good and having a beautiful woman for a fishing partner

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 2:00 PM
There is a reason for tomorrows
By Will Maines

Can you imagine Christmas morning for a 10-year-old boy with no tree, no presents and no Santa Claus? It happened to me.
Oh, there were presents and a tree after Santa stopped by to visit Christmas Eve, but when a kid has chicken pox on Christmas those things were hardly noticed.
But now — worse yet — imagine an old-timer, a guy who hasn’t missed an opening day of fishing since Hector was a pup, and picture him laid out flat in his recliner, each breath sounding like the

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:24 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, May 10, 2011 3:42 PM )
Window opens to sounds of spring
By Will Maines

EACH WINTER, we know a magic day will arrive when we will be able to proclaim spring is here. It might be July 4, or it might be tomorrow, but when it is here, we know it.
There are several rites of spring I follow, sometimes before spring arrives, or so it seems, and during the past week I have observed a few of them.
On one of what have been precious few beautiful springlike days this year, I got my bike out, pumped up the tires, found my helmet, riding gloves and, most importantly, my thickly padded

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 1:48 PM
Illinois turkeys pretty smart, too!
By Will Maines

If anyone tells you that turkey hunting is an easy business, you have my permission to whop them upside the head with the first two-by-four that comes to hand.
Sometimes turkey hunting is easy, but not on a regular basis.
I should know. I just spent parts of two weeks in two states trying to fool just one turkey. Not only did I not fool a single turkey, they pretty much all made a fool out of me.
For week one of Wisconsin’s turkey season, I headed for Eau Claire and a “sure bet.” As you

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:35 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:37 PM )

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