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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. .

In the end, revenge is sweet

By Will Maines

IF THIS STORY were a novel, it would have all the elements of a real potboiler.

There would be ecstasy, despair, elder abuse, revenge, redemption and even a few high jinks thrown in for good measure.

However, since it is a simple story I am forced to tell it as succinctly as possible while trying to include as many of the best highlights as possible.

The story begins with this reporter

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 2:16 PM
Something new, blue or old

By Will Maines

FISHERMEN FACE A never-ending question.

Do you go with the tried and true, or do you set sail for uncharted territory in hopes the reward will be much greater than the risk?

Hoping to strike it rich, they might be inclined to head out for the great unknown in search of greener pastures, or bluer lakes as it were, searching for the new honey hole that will fill their creels and stringers with fish beyond their wildest imagination.

Or, maybe not. When

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:25 PM
It’s all music, just different


By Will Maines

MY WIFE AND I do not always make good traveling partners on road trips.

We both enjoy listening to music, which is a good thing, but it is also the source of our traveling battles. In much the same way as we approach our walks in the woods, we enjoy our music differently, and that is where the problem sometimes comes in.

When it comes to walks, I prefer to mosey along slowly, seeing with my ears as much as with my eyes. While I may see a ruffed grouse sitting in a tree with my eyes, I oftentimes see it first when it tells me with a few alarm peeps that it is there.

My wife, hopelessly gregarious,

Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:14 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:36 PM )
Let the obsession continue

By Will Maines

I HAVEN’T BEEN this excited in a long, long time. I haven’t been this excited since, well, last September when I was counting down the days until I could head for North Dakota and my annual date with duck camp.

Shoot, six months qualifies as a long, long time, doesn’t it?

Regardless of your thoughts on that, there is good reason for me being excited. No, it’s not time for duck camp again, nor even spring snow goose hunt camp, but it is time for turkey camp, and that is always reason enough for excitement.

This year, as I may have sorta mentioned off-handedly a time

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 2:09 PM
Yes, spring is nosing around

By Will Maines

DON’T LOOK NOW but spring is trying to stick its insidious nose into the business of winter even as we speak.

It may not look like it when you see 30 inches of snow stacked up in the woods, icicles eight feet long hanging from your eaves and a thermometer perpetually stuck somewhere below 30, but believe me, it is happening.

No surer sign was ever seen than the one that darted in front of me last Friday as I groomed Razorback Ridges ski trails for one last time. The sign, a tiny striped critter, jumped off a snow bank, skittered across the trail and

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 3:01 PM
In three weeks we’ll find out

By Will Maines

THIS IS ONE of those times, pardon the lack of grammar, that I am glad I done what I done.

When it came time to put in my Wisconsin spring turkey permit application last November I considered, then passed, wisely as it turns out, applying for a first season tag.

Given that there is now roughly 30 inches of snow on the ground, with more forecast this week, and given that Wisconsin’s first turkey hunt season this year begins April 10, I am quite happy I received a permit for the fifth season which begins May 8.

As I contemplated what

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:21 PM
Spring migration on its way

By Will Maines

ONE WOULDN’T KNOW it by looking outside this week, but spring isn’t too far away.

That’s a good thing, because when it arrives in as few as three weeks and maybe as many as six — arriving being defined by when the ice on area lakes goes out — I will be in heaven.

Ice out, especially on those shallow, muck-bottomed lakes of the North Woods which are the preferred habit of wild ducks and geese, means that I will be spending a lot of time huddled among the branches of low-growing black spruce and remnants of old duck blinds watching

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 3:43 PM
Nothing beats a good walk

By Will Maines

THERE IS NEVER a bad time to take a walk in the North Woods.

Whether for exercise, for you or the dog, for relief from cabin fever, to look for wildlife or simply to breathe in some clean, fresh air, nothing beats a walk in the woods.

Unfortunately during this time of year, walking options are somewhat limited unless you want to strap on snowshoes and wade through knee deep snow, which I don’t.

For the most part my walks during winter, especially

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 6:02 PM
We came, saw and conquered

By Will Maines

WE CAME, we saw, we conquered — sort of. For the boys of Beach View Condo, it was a different kind of American Birkebeiner this year.

After skiing twenty-one full Birkies, the Eichmann brothers, Mitch and Tony, switched to the Kortelopet this year, as did this reporter who switched after 18 Birkies.

We were joined by Korte rookie Jim Gulcynski of Thorp, Mitch’s neighbor, who decided it was time to take the plunge.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:45 PM
Camping and trout go together

By Will Maines

I KNOW THERE’S a lot of winter left, but seeing the calendar ready to hit March 1, just over a week from now, tells me that it’s okay to start thinking spring.

The initial indication of spring fever hitting me came last week when I perused the first garden catalog to come in the mail this year. With a yard full of flower beds, I am a sucker for the pretty pictures and alluring descriptions of the many-colored flowers gracing the slick pages of such catalogs.

I don’t actually buy anything,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3:57 PM

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