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William Dorrity William Dorrity
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Out and About in the Maine Wild (2013)

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Adventure! Adventure!

Hunting camp changes over time, memories replace the hunt

Sorry it has been so long since I have shared an article with everyone. The battle with this cancer is taking a toll on me and now day-to-day tasks become monumental efforts.

This past weekend, hunting season began across our beautiful state. We headed to our camp in Weston near Peek-A-Boo Mountain. It is without question that the Native American name translates to 'Million Dollar View.' One can see East Grand and Brackett Lake, Mt. Katahdin and thousands of acres of the most beautiful land in Maine and Canada.

As my wife Carolyn and I drove to camp, I continued to feel the adrenaline pump through my body as we neared camp thinking about opening day of firearms deer season. My condition now keeps me from heading into the woods, but my memories of days gone by are as clear as yesterday. We arrived at camp about 6:30 p.m., fired up the wood stove and grabbed a quick bite to eat at East Grand Variety. We both ordered sandwiches - Carolyn ordered pastrami, and I ordered roast beef, hands down the best we have ever eaten anywhere.

There were other couples joining us for the weekend: Kassie, Brett, Nichole, Matt, Ben and Cindy. They experienced an adventure of a lifetime, making the trip to camp on the back roads of Maine at night looking for the landmark 'East Grand Variety.' We all talked till the wee hours of the morning about life, laughing and finally heading to bed.

Sunup came very early on Nov. 1. Washington County is known as the Sunrise County for a reason. About 5:30 a.m., the morning light shone through the windows of camp. When I came down from the loft, the wood stove was ablaze; coffee was brewed and on the deck Nichole and Matt sat facing East, reading books and admiring the beauty of a view from Peek-A-Boo Mountain.

We cooked the usual camp breakfast: bacon, ham, hash browns, beans, toast and eggs. The smells permeated throughout the camp and floated outside calling everyone that was there. Meals just taste better cooked at camp. As we sat down to eat a shot could be heard in the distance. One shot, sounded like it was a high-powered rifle, clearly well-placed.

The discussion at the table turned to me, and questions were asked about my hunting trips over the years. It was a joy to be able to share some of the moments that I have had to take a deer. Many years ago, winter set in early in Weston, with fresh snow on the ground opening day. What a joy to awake to the view and pure undisturbed snow, the ability to move through the woods without a sound of breaking twigs underfoot exhilarating! I headed out and not an hour passed before I had located a huge Hemlock tree at least 60 feet tall, branches laden with snow. Under that tree I sat.

The mind is different when you're alone in the Maine woods. Sounds are amplified. I could hear the upset red squirrel chattering, a jay in the distance and a chickadee letting everyone know in the forest she was full of berries - or possibly giving away my location.

Minutes seemed like hours, and I had to fight the itch to start walking. Then, in one split second I heard the unmistakable sound of movement down by the swamp. I heard the crack of a branch - then another, then another, then a snort. My heart was racing, my eyes watered up, my breathing was as fast as my heart beat. Always remembering the training from the Maine Hunter Safety Course, I sat listening, waiting as the movement came closer and closer towards me until finally the most beautiful buck emerged from the underbrush.

Looking at his massive antlers, his head battle-scarred from the rut, I raised my Winchester 30/30, took a solid bead on him and fired. In one quick second he fell to the ground: no pain, no misery, no suffering. I completed a quick field dressing and dragged him to camp. 

After breakfast we decided to head down to East Grand Variety. Arriving at the same time were two ladies and they had one beautiful buck in the back of their truck. We admired the animal, wondering if this was the shot we heard in the morning. It was evident how proud the lady was that bagged the deer. The animal was tagged, weighed and everyone went their separate ways.

So although I did not head out into the woods this past weekend, I was able to share and relive a hunting story from seasons gone by.

Remember, when you are out and about in the Maine wild, your safety and the safety of others is the most important. Be safe. Send comments or suggestions for future articles to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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