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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. .

Fishing with Dan and Ellie
By Will Maines

AS A CERTIFIED?old curmudgeon I?am not one to suffer fools nor, for the most part, small children. As a matter of fact, I’ve always kind of subscribed to the theory that all small children left unattended for more than two hours at my house should be sentenced to 20 years’ hard labor.
That labor would include fetching a well-mixed Crown Royal highball from time to time, mowing my lawn on command, bringing my slippers and newspaper with regularity and handing me the TV?remote with alacrity whenever requested.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:11 PM
Time to enter our ‘golden’ years
By Will Maines

GOOD GOLLY, MISS Molly, what in the world is going on here?
Last week, as some of you may remember, I wrote about all the dogs which have been a part of my life. We lost our last one, Snuffy the Golden Wonder, a little over three years ago, and ever since have been contemplating if we would ever replace him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:14 PM
They were my best friends
By Will Maines

“THEY”?SAY?THAT dogs are man’s best friend, and “they” are right.
I have been fortunate in my life to have lived with several dogs, all of them my best friend for as long as they lived.
It started with Pup, a Springer spaniel who was my first dog. Actually, I’m not sure which one of us came first, but I do know that early on Pup was my best friend.
As a matter of fact there is still a picture floating around?—?my wife probably has it filed away somewhere?—?of Pup and me sharing quarters in the brand-new doghouse my dad had just made for him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 2:46 PM
The bullets went in the campfire
By Will Maines

THERE IS A LAKE I like to visit which, for today’s purposes, shall be referred to simply as “The Lake.”
When I sit along its shores I can see, if not literally, at least quite clearly in my mind, a lifetime of good memories.
I have been coming to The Lake for a long, long time, upwards of 60 years, and each time I visit I can look back to a host of good times, a milestone achievement or two and a lot of good, plain juvenile fun, even if some of that juvenile fun occurred decades after I passed through my juvenile years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 2:54 PM
Don’t miss calls of the wild
By Will Maines

WHEN YOU LIVE in the North Country, you don’t have to stray far from home to hear the call of the wild.
Just exactly what is the call of the wild is open for debate, but for me it is all the wonderful sounds of nature you can hear; wind through the pines, red-winged blackbirds trilling in the cattails or whatever other wild sound strikes your fancy.
I know that many people —  the risk of sounding stereotypical, mostly tree huggers — will claim the howling of a timber wolf is the true sound of the wild. Me, I’m not much for timber wolves.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 2:52 PM
It’s always good to get a U.P. fix
By Will Maines

EVERYTHING IS good with the world today. I have had my Upper Peninsula (U.P.) “fix,” and I am now ready to face the world once again.
OK, so it’s nothing as dramatic as that, but then again, a fix of the U.P. is always good no matter what ails you, even if nothing at all ails you.
No matter where a person lives, it’s always a good thing to occasionally wander afield to see something different. The North Dakota prairie pothole hunter needs to hunt the flooded timbers of Arkansas every now and then; the Montana mountain man likes to see what the Louisiana bayou looks like now and then; and yes, the guy who’s lucky enough to live in the great North Woods of Wisconsin needs to spend a little time in the U.P. every now and then.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 2:18 PM
Life is a smorgasbord of fishing
By Will Maines

LIFE IS A smorgasbord of fishing. If a fisherman spent his entire life looking, I do not believe he could find a place offering more variety and better quality of fishing and fishing lakes than what we have right here in the north country of Wisconsin.
As Exhibit A I present last weekend, a weekend I enjoyed to the fullest with expeditions on three different bodies of water fishing for three different species of fish.
I began my weekend of fishing with an outing Friday afternoon on a small lake somewhere up in the Manitowish Waters country looking for largemouth bass.   I slid the Old Town into breeze-rippled water several miles from the middle of nowhere and spent the next two hours serenely drifting from one end to the other of a small lake mostly surrounded by pines.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 1:51 PM
The path to glory and girls
By Will Maines

WHEN?I?WAS a little kid living in the boonies of the North Woods, there were only two means of transportation.
You could walk a mile to your nearest neighbor’s house, which in my case was Uncle Neal’s house, but once you attained a certain age it wasn’t very cool to walk.
To be cool you had to have a bicycle to get from one place to the other, preferably a bike which could and did jump stumps, rocks and trees, with varying degrees of success.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 2:41 PM
These five are tops with me
By Will Maines

READERS OF THE Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports section have a unique opportunity to participate in a fun survey each week in which they get to pick a top five of all time in one sports-related topic or another.
Recently the topic was all-time greatest female athletes. My top-five list, interestingly enough, differed by only one woman from the list chosen to be printed by the editors. Mine included gymnast Mary Lou Retton, basketball player Cheryl Miller, speed skater Bonnie Blair, sprinter Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith-Joyner and the woman I consider the greatest of the greatest, Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012 2:22 PM
We will never forget our heroes
By Will Maines

THE MILWAUKEE Brewers played a baseball game Sunday. I watched a few innings as they lost — again. Big deal.
Indy cars roared around the famous brickyard in Indianapolis at 220 mph Sunday and stock cars ran around a track in North Carolina at 200 mph Sunday evening. Someone won both races. Big deal.
On Monday, at communities all over the United States, people gathered at cemeteries and monuments to honor the servicemen and -women who sacrificed everything, including their lives, to give us the freedom to enjoy watching baseball players and race car drivers do their thing. That is a really big deal!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 6:25 PM

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