Maine Guides Journal -

Conklins Lodge and Camps

My buddy Rick over at tails and trails has a scheduled visit with Conklins Lodge & Camp this upcoming November.  Rick is a self described whitetail hunting fanatic.  He has set up a hunt for the week after Thanksgiving.  Rick’s choice of weapon, the muzzleloader.  Rick has chatted with guide and owner Lester.  From checking around the area with locals and other guides, everyone has had promising reviews of Lester’s outfit.

I’m sure as time grows closer Rick will be covering in detail his preparation and hunt in his blog, tails and trails.

Posted on 25th May 2007 by Norm
Under: General | 1 Comment »

Junior Guide Program

Maine has some great opportunities for our youth to gather information about the great outdoors and all the activities that go along with it. If you have a child between the ages of 9 and 18 you may want to introduce them to the Junior Maine Guiding Program.

JMG’s goal is to foster enjoyable, safe and healthy outdoor living experiences for campers ages 9 to 18. These efforts have also resulted in the valuable training and certification of licensed trip leaders in Maine.
The Junior Maine Guide Program is a uniquely Maine activity, with its reference to the legendary Maine Guides, and its emphasis on the State’s magnificent forests, lakes, rivers and mountains.

You will find different curriculums and age-appropriate skills being taught in three different divisions.
The first of these being the Junior Maine Woodsman. Here youth ages 9 to 12 will participate in a variety of activities and skills. The main curriculum is:

Modules & Areas of Evaluation: tool craft, canoeing, individual shelter, map & compass, map of Maine, trip equipment, first aid wilderness and first aid, cooking, group encampement, Maine issues and environmental concerns, fire building, trees, hiking & backpacking, Leave no trace camping, and outdoor living skills (general knowledge).

These can be completed throughout one summer or over several summers. Once the child has mastered this level they will move on to stage II, Maine Woodsman.
Maine Woodsman stage is focused on youth ages 12 through 14. The curriculum for the Maine Woodsman is the same as Junior Maine Woodsman as far as topics. There will be more indepth learning and teaching of these skills however.

Once a child has mastered stage II he moves onto the third stage, Junior Maine Guide. This is open to kids ages 14 to 18. Participants must have completed the two prior stages prior to being admitted to the Junior Maine Program. Candidates will attend a 5-day encampment with their camps and be tested on the JMG modules. These skills will consists of:

Areas of Evaluation



1. Axemanship 1. Maine Issues
2. Canoeing 2. Wet Day Fire
3. Individual Shelter 3. Trees
4. Individual Fireplace 4. Hiking/Backing
5. Topographic Map 5. Equipment Knowledge
6. Map of Area 6. Environment Concerns
7. Map of Maine 7. Minimum Impact Camping
8. Trip Equipment 8. Wilderness Regulations
9. First Aid 9. General Knowledge
10 Cooking  
11 Group Encampment

If your kids love the outdoors and all the activities that go along with it, then maybe one or all of these programs are appropriate for them. I will be excited about getting my son involved when he is of age. If your child is young as mine is don’t get discouraged and feeling like you have to wait until they are 9 to involve them. My son is two years old and the most important thing at this point in his life is to have fun. So we take a daily walk through the woods and make it fun. However, when we do this I take the time to teach him in a fun way.

What a great opportunity for our kids to gain respect for others, themselves, and the outdoors.

Posted on 10th May 2007 by Norm
Under: General | 2 Comments »

Howard Bros. Guide Service

My friend Shawn who heads up Howard Bros. Guide  Service recently wrote an article about what hunting means to him.  What a bond that it brings between him, family, and friends.  Here is what Shawn has to share with us.

      A Way of Life

As a tagging agent in central Maine I get the opportunity to see what the area is offering for hunting and trapping success.  I also get to meet many hunters from around Maine and from far away that come to enjoy what Maine has to offer. Some faces I see every November to tag their deer, and many return with just as big a smile to watch their hunting partner tag their trophy animal.  Hunting season creates lifelong friendships, and brings family members together.  Time spent in the outdoors offers quality time with loved ones away from the pressures of every day life.

Since I was 14 years old I have looked forward to deer camp, not only for the thrill of the hunt but also to spend time with my older brother Heath.  Six years my senior, my brother spent much of our childhood testing by ability to withstand severe beatings and daily humiliations like only an older brother can provide.  Throughout the early years I envisioned that one day the beatings would subside but what I didn’t envision is that my brother and I would share a common obsession for the outdoors. 

Hunting season allows us to spend time together and share moments that we normally cannot seem to make time for.  Sometimes it’s not easy for a grown man to turn to another and say, “ hey, I really care for you brother” but a high five and embrace after a successful shot from a ladder stand on a buck that you have been dogging for the last two weeks, says the same thing.  Among hunters there is a universal language.  The smiles and congratulatory high fives when someone returns to camp with a successful harvest, says, “Good job, we’re proud of you”. Just as a pat on the back and a shrug of the shoulders after a miss says “nice try, maybe next time friend”.

I am grateful that hunting brought my brother and I together, we will forever share a special bond in the outdoors.  Today my brother passes his love for hunting on to his son Hunter and soon to his daughter Hannah.  They will share special moments together and form a special bond with their father.  I look forward to doing the same with my two sons Dalton and Bryson.  Recently, I became a Registered Maine Guide.  I want to share with others what my brother and I have experienced through hunting.  It is not about the kill, it is about the experience.  It’s about spending time with family and friends in an environment that somehow seems to bring people together like nothing else can.  Hunting is an obsession, but a good one.  Hunting is a way of life that many of us chose because it is a tool not only for game management but also for life management.

I hope that the tradition of hunting in Maine stays strong and that my sons will share the same bond that my brother and I share.  Hunting is a way of life that only those who have experienced it can truly understand it. 

            •       Shawn P. Howard

            Howard Bros. Guide Service    

If you are looking for someone who is passionate about hunting, fishing, and the outdoors then give Shawn a call and set up a trip of a lifetime.

Posted on 9th May 2007 by Norm
Under: General | 1 Comment »

Becoming A Registered Maine Guide

For many years it has been a dream of mine to become a registered Maine guide.  For most of these years it was just that a thought and dream.  For the past two years it has become more and more a stronger desire.  So I have been looking into different ways to make this happen.  I have checked with receiving material to do a home study, talked with guides to pick their brains, and looked into every guide school in the area.  A few months back I decided to go the school route.  I feel this is hands on experience with people that not only know the guide business but they have proven themselves to be able to help others learn the potential within themselves.

I have recently been in contact with one of these schools and will be finishing up final details this week in securing my spot for a class in July.  I have been in contact with the owners and teachers as well as past students to hear about their personal experience while attending a recent school.

I am excited about the opportunities that this will allow me.  I look forward to the challenge of becoming part of this elite group.  The challenge of this extremely difficult test in certain areas motivates me.

Why do I want to be a guide?  I honestly sitting here this morning can tell you my intentions are not to have a lodge somewhere in the state.  My intentions are not even to work full time for a guide.  There are opportunities in my area to use guiding in a variety of options that I am researching.  My passion is to introduce kids and new people to what the outdoor has to offer.  Whether this be hunting, fishing, biking, canoeing, kayaking, or any other activity that instills character in us.  To introduce and help these people learn a new skill is priceless to me.  To watch a kid transform, build character, self esteem, and pride in themselves from beginning to end of one of these activities is an amazing experience for me.  Of course this may lead me down different paths, I never close off options.  Always looking for ways to expand and stretch myself in order to improve myself as well.

Come July I will be attending Fins and  Furs Guide School in order to have great experienced, been there guides help me pull out the potential that is within me.  Then off to take the test.  I will keep people posted through this new adventure.

Posted on 8th May 2007 by Norm
Under: General | No Comments »

Who Was the First Maine Guide?



Cornilia Thurza Crosby

On March 19, 1897, The Maine legislature passed a bill requiring hunting guides to register with the state. Maine registered 1316 guides in that Ist year. The honor of receiving the first Maine guiding license went to Cornilia Thurza Crosby, or “Fly Rod”, as she was affectionately known to friends across the country.

Crosby first discovered her love for the wilderness when, on the advice of her doctor, she left her job in a bank to seek “a large dose of the outdoors”. This prescription brought her to Rangeley, Maine, where she found work housekeeping in some of the large hotels in the area. She became friends with the local guides, and from them she learned the lore of the woods and the pleasures of camping, hunting, and fishing.

In 1886 a friend presented Cornilia with a five-ounce bamboo rod. She became so adept at fly-fishing that she once landed 200 trout in one day. She began to write up accounts of her fishing adventures and submitted them, under the name “Fly Rod”, to O.M. Moore, editor of the Phillips Phonograph. “That’s mighty good stuff!” responded Moore. “Send some more right away” “Fly Rod’s Notebook” became a widely syndicated column appearing in newspapers in New York, Boston, and Chicago, and the new name stuck.

Although she shot the last legal caribou buck in the state of Maine, “Fly Rod” Crosby’s most remarkable and enduring contribution to her native state happened far from the North Woods. In addition to being its first licensed guide, she was Maine’s first public-relations genius. She arranged an elaborate hunting display at the First Annual Sportsmen’s Show in New York’s Madison Square Garden, starring herself, rifle in hand and wearing a daring, knee-length doeskin skirt.

Her sensational appearance at the Sportsmen’s Show, together with the popularity of her column, helped to attract thousands of eager would-be outdoorsmen–and women–to the woods and streams of Maine.

100 years later, the MPGA is carrying on “Fly Rod’s” love of the wilderness by promoting conservation, education, and the traditions. The MPGA sponsors conservation camps for children, landowner relations and legislation to protect our heritage.

Click here to purchase Fly Rod Crosby: The Woman Who Marketed Maine

Posted on 7th May 2007 by Steve
Under: General | 1 Comment »

Verify Password

Friday was a special treat for me as a Guide. It was the first guide trip this year on the Penobscot River near Howland and what made it special was the company I had with me in the boat!

Al & Mary Agnew   from  MO Flew to Maine for a vacation on the Maine coast and ventured out from there. They fish with William Clunie over in Dixfield on Wednesday then fished with me on Friday. Al is an accomplished angler and can use a baitcasting rod & reel as well or better than anyone I have seen. Backhanded under-side casts that seemed to zig-zag thruogh the branches of trees hanging into the high water and then pulling out some pretty impressive smallmouth bass! Mary was no slouch with the baitcaster either, topping Al’s 17 1/2 incher with her own 18 3/4 inch smallie!

Even with the high water starting to receed, the fish finally started coming to the boat more as the day went on. We had to fish where the ‘old bank’ was before the water rose, and in deeper pools below what used to be riffles. Everything came back to me again and it wasn’t long before I was back to telling stories of the last 15 years guiding on this beautiful river.

Eagles were everywhere, and we saw some muskrats working along the shoreline. Oh, and we had the oppurtunity to watch a waterspout (wet tornado) zip around the river for a minute. That is something you don’t get to see everyday!

All in all, it was simply a super day on the water and these two caght between 35 & 40 smallmouth bass. And they’re already talking about a return trip this fall to see the foilage while catching another batch of smallmouth in Maine.

Posted on 16th June 2006 by MadJack
Under: General | 2 Comments »

Hunt Report: Red Stag in Maine

In All’s Well that Ends Well, Shakespeare wrote, “Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises.” I am pleased to report that, notwithstanding high expectations on my part, my hunting last weekend with Mark Luce at his Hindsite Hunt Preserve in Newport, Maine met and exceeded my hopes.

hindsite red deer
The Road to Hindsite

The backstory to this hunt is pretty simple: In November 2005 I began investigating opportunities for introducing my son (who turned 10 in January of this year) to hunting. While he had been to the rifle range with me a number of times, he had not yet been in the field. I was looking for a controlled environment where there would be a high likelihood of success in bagging (I hate the use of the word “harvesting” as applied to hunting) a good looking trophy. While searching old issues of The Hunting Report (a newsletter to which I subscribe and which I heartily recommend) for articles on Maine moose hunting, I came across a 2004 review of Hindsite. The hunter who had been there remarked very favorably on Mark’s operation. Being a big fan of the Maine woods (every autumn for the last 6 or 7 years I have hunted grouse and woodcock in Eustis, Maine at the King & Bartlett Fish and Game Club, also a great spot) and of red stags as trophy animals, I clicked over to Mark’s Internet home at It’s a terrific site, with a number of photos and testimonials.

From there I used Google to pursue Mark and Hindsite across the web. Mark is a savvy Internet marketer: He has a presence on a number of forums (fora?), including the Maine Hunting Forums, Total Sportsman, and Women Hunters. In May 2004 the Bangor News published this interesting, and favorable, profile of Mark and Hindsite which included this tidbit, “One of last season’s hunters, Ray Christian of Kansas, a construction company owner, has been hunting for 20 years. He called his experience ‘the hunt of a lifetime.’ ‘The thick timber of Maine makes it a very challenging hunt,’ he said recently. ‘You never feel you are on a preserve.’ Christian took down a 398 pound, 12-point stag.”

Nowhere among this mass of online data did I find anything negative or even equivocal about hunters’ experiences with Mark and Hindsite. It seemed that everyone who went had a good time, took a beautiful animal, and expressed a desire to return. Knowing that my son’s school calendar provided us with an opportunity to get to Maine over the President’s Day holiday, I emailed Mark in November and inquired about availability. Mark got back to me very quickly, said he had an opening, and soon we were locked in for a February red stag hunt.

The Hunt

Who knew in November that President’s Day weekend would bring the coldest days of what to that point had been an unseasonably mild winter? My son and I woke this past Saturday to temperatures of 15 and windchills approaching 0. As I knew from the outset that my son would be along on this trip, I had purchased a variety of cold weather gear, including a battery powered handwarmer. On the the ten minute ride from Lovely’s Motel in downtown Newport to Hindsite, the temperature dropped as our elevation above sea level rose.

Standing in Mark’s driveway we met Matt and Tom, the two fellows who would be assisting Mark on the hunt. Mark told us that we could follow him in our car as he drove himself and his two colleagues to a location closer to the preserve’s entrance. Off we went down a nearby dirt road, parking close to a frozen-over trout pond. When we exited our vehicles Mark explained that the preserve is in a small valley, and the wind would be noticeably weaker than it had been at his home on top of the hill. In addition, Mark had chosen to start us out in an elevated box blind, and the walls of our enclosure would serve to further block the breeze.

Mark, Tom and Matt all grabbed gear, and off we went on foot toward the fenced-in preserve. When I said, on seeing the gates, that it looked like we were about to enter Jurassic Park, Mark told me I wasn’t the first hunter to make that observation. Through the entrance we went, and within five minutes were at our stand. After the guys helped us get our gear situated in the blind, Mark gave us a brief overview of the geography (showing us what direction we were facing), and left us with a walkie-talkie. “If you need anything, just call me. Otherwise I’ll be back in a few hours.” Then off he went. It was now about 8 am, the sun fighting with the clouds, but shedding precious little heat even when it shone brightly.

Towards the end of our first hour we noted movement to our southeast. But the color was black, not red, and the size was all wrong. It was a flock of turkeys, moving slowly towards us. Knowing how sensitive the birds are, I decided to use their presence as an experiment to see how silent we could be in the blind. I figured that if the turkeys didn’t know we were around, the stags wouldn’t either. The birds wandered ever closer, eventually passing within 30 yards of us before settling down for what appeared to be a midmorning siesta about 50 yards to our northeast. They would be our companions for the duration of the hunt. When I informed Mark of their presence afterwards, he said that it was a good thing, as the birds help settle down the skittish stags.

Shortly into our second hour, we had deer-size action in the woods. It was two does off to the northwest. At about 9:30, the walkie-talkie vibrated. It was Mark: “There’s a bunch of bulls moving towards you from the north.” My son and I focused our attention in that direction, but for 10, 20, 30 minutes, we saw nothing. Then they appeared: A group of three big bulls, wandering slowly but steadily by about 100 yards away. I raised my rifle, but didn’t have a clear shot. There was simply too much brush and moving deer meat between me and the animals. Somehow the bulls managed to arrange themselves so that each of their target areas was covered, either by a tree or by the butt-end of another bull. After a brief stop they wandered on into the trees and disappeared from sight.

Within a few minutes another small bachelor herd of 3 showed in the same spot. These guys were moving much more quickly than the first group. Included in their number was a distinctive looking spike horn. This time I didn’t even have time to get my scope on them. They, too, simply melted into the woods.

By this time my son was furious. “Why didn’t you shoot?!” I tried to tell him that I didn’t have a shot at anything in the first group, and that the second bunch was moving too fast. He wasn’t buying it. And, frankly, as the minutes continued to click by and we saw no more bulls, I began to question myself. Maybe I could have made that shot. My doubts grew as another half-hour passed with nothing in our piece of woods except us and the turkeys.

Then it happened. To the east, out of what was the front window of our blind, we saw a pair of stags. One was the spiker we had seen before. The other was the trophy animal we had come for. They wandered toward us, never getting very far apart. I raised my rifle, clicked off the safety, and filled my scope with deer. In they came, 100 yards, then 80, then closer. But the spike horn insisted on staying between me and the big bull. I kept my scope on them. Finally, the deer arranged themselves so that I had an opening to shoot past the face of the spiker and into the chest of the trophy. Whispering to the bulls “Don’t move”, I pulled the trigger.

Between the recoil, the smoke, and my concern at jacking another round into the chamber, I didn’t see the big one fall or the spiker jump away. But when I got my scope back on the trophy, he was down. He tried to lift his head once, and then once more, and then he lay still. As I lowered my rifle and my son screamed with delight, the walkie-talkie buzzed. Mark had heard the shot, and wanted to know what had happened. “We got a good one!” And so we did:

Hindsite Red Deer
The shot turned out to be 58 yards. I used a Browning A-Bolt White Gold Medallion in .30/06 shooting a 165 grain Federal Fusion round. While the rifle absolutely loved the Fusion ammo at the range, I had never used one on game before. The bullet performed beautifully, and did not exit. On dressing out the stag we discovered that while I had missed the heart, I got both lungs. Death was very quick.

The Bottom Line

I unreservedly recommend Mark Luce and Hindsite. Mark understood exactly what I was trying to accomplish, and went out of his way to make sure that my son had a safe, productive and fun initiation into hunting. Growing up I watched a television show called The A Team, starring George Peppard and Mr. T. Peppard’s signature line in that series was, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Thanks to Mark (as well as Matt and Tom), the plan for my son and I worked exactly as I had hoped.

Posted on 23rd February 2006 by Hindsite
Under: Exotics, Hunting | 1 Comment »

More pics..

Jacks Camera 020.jpg
November Bass
Fly in

Posted on 16th February 2006 by MadJack
Under: Fishing | 1 Comment »

River Smallmouth Bass in Maine

Here are a few notable fish from 2005 season.

Jacks Camera 026.jpg

Jacks Camera 045.jpg

Posted on 16th February 2006 by MadJack
Under: Fishing | 1 Comment »

Norco California hunter Bill Sanders trecks East to Maine to hunt a Red Stag with a “Flintlock”!

Bill Sanders and his wife Linda flew into Bangor International Airport and met Master Maine Guide Bob Applebee. Bob would escort Bill and Linda to a lake side camp in Newport Maine. Bobs works for Hindsite Hunt preserve as a guide within the preserve and takes clients out into the wilds of Maine for whitetail, moose and turkey.

Bill and Linda settled in after a long flight to Maine. They found the camp to be just what they needed after the trip.

 Bob met Bill early bthe next morning and he was dressed and ready to go. He was dressed in clothing that might have been seen 200 years ago in the Maine woods. He carried a 50 caliber custom made flintlock that was over 6′ in length…………We stepped back in time that day as we were able to take quite a few pictures of Bills pursuit of a red stag. Here are a few.

Published Traditional Muzzle loading author Bill Sanders and his 20 point stag he harvested on 10/28/05.
The first one is his first shot from a brush blind………….. Behind that smoke is a stag at 40 yards.Bill made a good forequarter shot that took out one lung. The stag went down hard but was up and gone in an instant.

First shot
The second is his re-load……….We blood trailed the stag until he disappeared into a thick jack fir thicket. We figured that he was likely to cross a nearby tote-road.

The Third is his second shot from the tote road……We backed off and repositioned ourselves on that tote road when the stag broke cover and began to run straight away from us. Bill took aim and made a dificult neck shot on his trophy. I was lucky to get this picture and was pleased to see how well the billow of smoke came out

[Tote road shot

The Forth is where the stag went down.

Where the stag went down
Bill had a great time in Maine and vows to return. Bill sent these words to us after the hunt:

After hunting at Hindsite Preserve with my flint lock for Red Stag, I can say that I reccomend this hunt to any Black Powder hunter who wants a thrilling time , with a top notch outfitter in beautiful surroundings. The Qaulity of the Animals I saw and the one I bagged speaks for itself. The cabin on the lake was specatacular and the service by the guide .Bob and Mark was first rate. Do yourself a favor and book this hunt !

Bill Sanders

We look forward to another interesting hunt such as Bill provided us. The flint lock and Bills attention to detail made this hunt very special.Thanks Bill and Linda.

From the woods of Maine,
Mark Luce



Posted on 1st February 2006 by Hindsite
Under: General | 6 Comments »

Posted on 31st January 2006 by MadJack
Under: General | No Comments »

How many Guides are here?

So, How many Guides are here?

  • What does everybody do?
    I'm also trying to figure out what all this stuff above this box does...
  • Posted on 31st January 2006 by MadJack
    Under: General | 7 Comments »

    Vote: To Blog or Not to Blog

    Ok here it is. If you are a Maine Guide or not a Maine Guide please vote on the issue. Would you like to see a blog here at Maine Hunting Today completely devoted to Maine Guides. This would mean that all Guides in Maine would have the ability to post original content such as stories, articles, photography, links, and other information that could help benefit their services. Comments would be open to all of the public.

    Maine Hunting Today would contribute in Promoting and Marketing your blog. We here at Maine Hunting Today would provide business cards (only if you wanted) and add the blog to future paraphenalia such as brochures, etc…

    This would provide a place for those interested in coming to Maine for hunting and fishing excursions to learn more about who we are and what types of services we provide.

    Please take the time to vote at the following link if you like this idea…

    Vote here

    Steven Remington
    Maine Hunting Today

    Posted on 29th January 2006 by Steve
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Posting a Picture

    You can also post pictures here. This is an example post. Here is a picture of some friends who were successful…

    Nice Buck!

    Posted on 28th January 2006 by Steve
    Under: General | No Comments »