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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. .


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 )
 
Pumpkin pie without whipped cream
By Will Maines

THERE IS something to be said about getting up at 4:30 in the morning. Nothing good, mind you, but still something to be said.
When rising at that time means a hike across a nearby farm field to woods where wild turkeys make their home and, when additionally it is the opening day of wild turkey hunting season, 4:30 a.m. is, however, something almost good.
Two hunters push themselves out of bed and in hushed tones talk of what is soon to come — a

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:31 PM
 
Just look at this country

WE HAD A big birthday bash last Saturday. About 150 people showed up for a party celebrating the 100th birthday of the town of Plum Lake.
There were tables covered with photos dating back to 1911 when the town of Plum Lake was formed, breaking a big chunk off the town of Arbor Vitae.
There was a time capsule with many items ready to be placed in it, to be opened 50 years from now when — unless I am a freak of nature — I will not be around.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:57 PM
 
It's hard work being a genius

Trails & Tails

By Will Maines

IT’S TOUGH being a genius. Take it from me, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Most of the time it’s just hard grunt work, but the way I look at it, someone has to do it.
Hard as it is, even for a relatively minor genius like me, sometimes it can be made to look easy.
I have found, in dealing with fishermen, it is usually easy to appear a genius, even if the fisherman is a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:22 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:27 PM )
 
Every fish is my favorite fish

The other day I was watching a fishing show on one of the outdoor channels while only half-listening to the wild-eyed, wild-voiced host gush about the latest big fish his guide had put him on, and how they would provide memories to last a lifetime.
Flipping back to the basketball game I was watching during commercials, I paid little attention to East Podunk State whipping up on West Siberian University and instead got to thinking about fish that have provided lifetime memories for me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:30 PM
 
Best friends are back early

SPRINGTIME, especially the early springtime of late March and early April, can be a pretty depressing time.
Step outside the door on any given day and you may, as I was last Sunday, get slapped in the face with ice, sleet, rain and snow, all within five minutes of each other.
Walk down the driveway and ice may have you on your butt faster than you can say Jack Frost,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 1:03 PM
 
This stuff is still pretty good

FOR SOMEONE who hadn’t put a line through the ice this winter — actually for the last two winters — I sure made up for it last weekend.
Having gone entirely too long without a fillet of any kind of fresh fish on my plate, I gathered up my one and only jig rod, a couple of small jigs and a tin of waxies Friday afternoon for a seek-and-catch mission for bluegills.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:18 PM
 
Finding beauty in a March day

IF PUT TO a vote, March would probably come out one of the least favorite months of the year, especially here in our north Wisconsin country.
We in this part of the north country may not have to worry about someone literally sticking a knife into us on that infamous March date when Caesar got his, but we often are figuratively stabbed by another famous figure in history, namely Mother Nature.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 2:54 PM
 
The other side of the trail

It’s a little different looking at life from the other side of the trail.
That’s what I found out last Saturday as I spent over six hours “doing” the American Birkebeiner, not as a skier which I have done 17 times, but as a spectator along the trail cheering and supporting the usual cast of characters with whom my wife and I annually share a Birkie adventure.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 2:31 PM
 
The old man and the trout

THE FIRST squadrons of mosquitoes were revving up their engines for a twilight strafing mission when the Old Man pulled his battered pickup truck into the grassy clearing overlooking the east branch of the Ontonagon River.
It had been a short day of chores with grass left to mow and a garden left to tend, as early on the old man decided an evening rise on his favorite trout stream was more important than a

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:02 PM
 
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