Thinking about bird hunting!? Hunt Ruffed Grouse in Maine

While the state of Maine is most incredible for many reasons, many hunters regard it as one of the greatest places in the country to hunt for ruffed grouse. These little birds are one of the most sought-after upland bird species in the country, and many wing shooters will travel to the best hunting locations every year to find them. One of these includes the state of Maine! 

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The Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed grouse are one of the most plentiful and widely distributed game birds on the continent. They are on the smaller size when it comes to most grouse species, and range in weight from 16 to 25 ounces. They are beautiful birds that have many markings and colors in their feathers that help them to better blend in with their preferred habitat. Unlike other bird species, ruffed grouse are monomorphic. This means that both genders, male and female that have lost their juvenile plumage and colors, look alike. 

Ruffed grouse eat a variety of different things, including leaves, fruits, and insects. During the winter when snow is on the ground, they will eat things such as flower buds and catkins. Ruffed grouse will live an average of 3 years, although some birds can live up to 7 years. During the spring, male ruffed grouse will become more territorial of their area and start to “drum.” This is a display that helps them to ward off other males and attract females. 

Habitat and Locations

Ruffed grouse can be found throughout almost all of the state of Maine, although in various densities. The highest densities tend to be found in transition areas where thick forests and developed fields and farmlands meet. Cleared land and fires can create excellent grouse habitat, as it provides mixed-age aspen (a favorite of ruffed grouse). These types of areas provide everything that the grouse need to live, including food, shelter, and enough space to drum. Because ruffed grouse have such a small home range, all of these requirements should be found within a small area of around 30 acres or less. This can provide key clues to finding grouse while out hunting. 

Equipment and Gear

Hunter aiming rifle while hunting birds with Irish Red Setter dog In woods

The great thing about hunting ruffed grouse is that you do not need a ton of new or expensive gear to have a successful day in the woods. In fact, a good day of grouse hunting should only require things like a blaze orange vest, extra food and water, a navigation device (GPS), a shotgun, tough pants, long sleeve shirt, and some waterproof boots. A jacket and thicker clothing might also be a good idea if the weather is cold. 

Almost any shotgun you already own is probably more than adequate for grouse hunting. The most popular 20 and 12-gauge shotguns are some of the most widely seen, but even the 28 gauge and 410 can be used. Pair this with an open or improved choke as grouse shots are usually at close range, and size #6 or #7 shells are a great option. 

Many ruffed grouse hunters will often choose to hunt with a dog. But, unlike other bird species such as pheasants, ruffed grouse hunting can be achieved very successfully without a dog if you don’t have one. While almost any breed of dog can be taught and trained to hunt for grouse, most any sporting breed or pointers make for the best grouse dogs and provide excellent companionship while out in the woods. 

Maine Ruffed Grouse Season and Limits

The ruffed grouse season generally runs from the third week of September until December 31st of every year. There is a bag limit of four birds per day, with the possession of eight birds at any time. You will need to purchase a hunting license before you are able to hunt ruffed grouse in Maine, and this can be done either at a hunting license dealer found around the state, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife office, or online at their website (

Tips and Tricks

In order to best hunt ruffed grouse, you will first need to locate the best cover and food sources that the birds are using. This will ensure that there are birds nearby to hunt. From there, your job is to now flush the birds out in order to get a clear shot at them. Here are a few simple tips to help to get you started when it comes to hunting ruffed grouse! 

Hunt early/late – Ruffed grouse tend to be very inactive during the middle of the day. The best time to hunt for them is the early morning and late into the afternoons. This is when they will move around to look for food, and when they are the most vulnerable. 

Cover more ground – Although ruffed grouse live in relatively small areas, you may still need to cover plenty of ground in order to find them. Lace-up a comfortable pair of boots and don’t be afraid of covering plenty of ground! 

Be ready and quick – When ruffed grouse get flushed, they are quick and explosive. Always have your gun at the ready and try to be as quick as possible when you see or hear them. You may not get another opportunity after you flush them so always be ready and move as quick as possible to get a shot. 

Final Thoughts

Young hunter boy sit with his father in a truck tailgate.

The ruffed grouse is a favorite animal to hunt in Maine for many people, and it’s easy to see why. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of these amazing little birds and know where to find them and how to better hunt them. With the abundance of habitat and their excellent numbers, there are few things as enjoyable as a ruffed grouse hunt in this amazing state! 



Ruffed grouse have been known to excite hunters and foodies alike, so it’s not surprising that you may be wondering how to cook Ruffed grouse after your successful hunt this fall. With their delicious taste and firm texture, these birds are perfect for the winter holidays! From grilling to roasting, here are some delicious recipes you can use as inspiration when cooking Ruffed grouse. Be sure to share them with your friends and family members when they ask how to cook Ruffed grouse at home!

Ruffed grouse, also known as partridge, are one of the most popular game birds in North America, and many people who live on the east coast have at least tried one of these mouth-watering treats. However, cooking Ruffed grouse can be a tricky feat, and this article will teach you how to do it perfectly so that you can impress any guests with your culinary skills!

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What Is Grouse?

Grouse is a game bird that belongs to the pheasant family. It’s characterized by its small size, plump body, and dark feathers. The most popular type of grouse is the red grouse, which is found in Europe and Asia. The bird is considered a delicacy and is often served roasted or grilled.

If you’re lucky enough to come across a Ruffed grouse , you should know how to cook it properly! All too often people overcook their grouse, resulting in an unappetizing grey bird with a rubbery texture. To avoid this unfortunate fate, it’s important to cook your birds at the correct temperature for their size.

Here Is The Best Way Of Cooking Ruffed Grouse

Cut It Up

1. Start by cutting up your grouse into smaller pieces. This will help it cook evenly and prevent it from drying out.

2. Season the grouse with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Place the grouse in a baking dish and cover it with foil or a lid.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the grouse is cooked through.

6. Remove the bird from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before carving and serving.

Salt It

The first step is to salt your grouse. This will help to tenderize the meat and also give it a little flavor. You can either use a dry rub or a wet brine. If you are using a dry rub, simply sprinkle the salt over the bird and massage it in. If you are using a wet brine, mix together 1 cup of salt with 1 gallon of water and submerge the grouse in it. Let it sit for at least 2 hours, up to 12 hours. Remove from the brine, rinse off any remaining residue. Prepare your cooking vessel: Your vessel needs to be deep enough that the grouse can lay flat without touching any part of it while cooking. A Dutch oven works well because there is an open top on one side so you can baste with butter or oil while cooking.

Pat It Dry

Ruffed grouse are a type of game bird that is popular in Europe and North America. The meat is dark and has a strong flavor, making it perfect for those who enjoy gamey meats. The best way to cook Ruffed grouse is to first pat it dry with a paper towel. This will help prevent the skin from becoming soggy during cooking. Then, season the bird with salt and pepper. Next, heat a pan over medium-high heat and add some oil. Once the pan is hot, place the grouse in the pan and cook for about 8 minutes per side, or until the skin is crispy and the meat is cooked through. Serve immediately with your favorite sides.

Rub It In Butter

Rubbing the grouse in butter before cooking helps to keep it moist and flavorful. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, take a stick of butter and rub it all over the outside of the bird. Next, place the grouse in a baking dish and bake it for about 45 minutes. When it’s finished cooking, let it rest for a few minutes before carving and serving. Enjoy!

Don’t have time to make gravy? No problem! Carve up some potatoes and throw them into your turkey roaster with some liquid seasoning, then roast them for about an hour alongside your grouse. Voilà—gravy without having to make a fuss or worry about being burned by boiling hot drippings from your roast. Don’t have time to make gravy? No problem! Carve up some potatoes and throw them into your turkey roaster with some liquid seasoning, then roast them for about an hour alongside your grouse. Voilà—gravy without having to make a fuss or worry about being burned by boiling hot drippings from your roast.

Finish It Off

Ruffed grouse is a delicious and relatively easy bird to cook. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get it right.

1. Start by trussing the bird. This will help it cook evenly.

2. Season the grouse inside and out with salt and pepper.

3. Place the grouse in a roasting pan breast side up.

4. Roast the grouse at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Remove the grouse from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Cooked Grouse
Roasted Grouse
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Cooking With Fresh Vs Frozen Ingredients

If you’re lucky enough to have fresh grouse, the cooking process is simple. Just season the bird with salt and pepper, stuff it with some herbs, and roast it in a hot oven until the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. The challenge for most cooks will be to successfully prepare grouse that has been frozen. With this type of grouse, the cooking time will vary depending on whether or not it was first thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water. It’s important to remember that freezing does not kill any bacteria; if your frozen grouse has been thawed in water, then it must be refrigerated within two hours of preparation time or thrown away. When preparing the bird, start by patting it dry with paper towels before seasoning and roasting as described above. To determine if your grouse is done, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast without touching bone. Cooked grouse should reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius). A small amount of the breast may still appear pink when done, but that’s fine—the juices should run clear when pierced with a knife. Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes before carving so all the delicious juices can stay inside! For a tasty gravy, mix pan drippings with beef broth and heavy cream over medium heat until thickened. Grouse also makes excellent sandwiches if thinly sliced and served on whole wheat bread with horseradish sauce or cranberry sauce.

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The Importance Of The Right Equipment

If you want to cook a Ruffed grouse, you need the right equipment. Without the proper tools, you’ll be at a disadvantage from the start. Invest in a good quality skillet and cooking utensils, and make sure you have all the ingredients on hand before you begin. With the right tools and ingredients, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your dinner guests with your culinary skills. The next step is knowing how to prepare the bird. For that, we recommend starting by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, cut off both of the wings of the bird and remove any visible fat or connective tissue that might prevent it from browning properly in the pan (don’t worry about removing its legs – they will eventually fall off during cooking). Once you’ve done this, season it liberally with salt and pepper on both sides before adding 1 tablespoon of oil to a heated pan over medium-high heat. Place the grouse skin side down in the pan and allow it to cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip it over so that the other side can cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to deglaze the pan, then add 4 chopped carrots, 6 thinly sliced shallots, 2 cups dry white wine, 1 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring everything to a boil before turning down the heat so that everything simmers for 15 minutes. Place some aluminum foil around the edges of the skillet so that moisture doesn’t seep out while you’re simmering and flip occasionally so both sides get cooked evenly. Remove from heat when done simmering; set aside until ready to serve!

Tips For Cooking In Large Quantities

  • If you’re cooking for a large group, make sure you have enough pots and pans to accommodate all the food you’ll be preparing.
  • Preheat your oven before beginning to cook, so that everything will be cooked evenly.
  • When cooking meat, make sure it is cooked all the way through before serving. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat.
  • If you’re making a dish that requires chopped vegetables, consider using a food processor to save time.
  • When boiling pasta or potatoes, add salt to the water to help give them flavor.
  • When making a sauce, taste it as you go along and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

How Does Grouse Taste?

Grouse is a wild game bird with a white, lean meat. When cooked properly, it is both tender and juicy. Grouse has a unique flavor that some describe as similar to chicken or turkey. Others say it tastes more like venison. Either way, grouse is a flavorful and versatile game meat that can be used in a variety of recipes. You may also see grouse being called rock ptarmigan because the species is found across North America and Eurasia.

This delicious meat packs about six times more protein than the same amount of beef, three times more than pork, and two times more than lamb (source). But how does this translate into actual calories? A 3-ounce serving of cooked roast grouse contains 187 calories.

Cooking Techniques & Variations

If you want to cook a Ruffed grouse, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. Make sure you clean the bird thoroughly before cooking.
  2. Decide what kind of flavor you want your grouse to have.
  3. Determine how you want to cook your grouse – grilled, roasted, or baked?
  4. Don’t forget to truss the bird before cooking to ensure even cooking.
  5. When grilling or baking your grouse, be sure to baste it regularly with its own juices or butter for extra flavor.
  6. Don’t overcook your grouse – it should be cooked through but still juicy. Finally, let the bird rest for a few minutes before carving and serving. Remember that meat continues to cook after being removed from heat, so don’t overdo it!
Curious grouse, tetrastes bonasia, watching attentively in green woodland.

How To Store Ruffed Grouse

To store your grouse, first make sure you pluck and clean the bird. Next, you’ll want to rinse the inside and outside of the bird with cold water. Once it’s clean, pat the grouse dry with paper towels. Place the grouse in a sealable bag and store it in the fridge for up to two days. When you’re ready to cook, remove the grouse from the bag and let it come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the grouse for about 30 minutes.

How To Preserving Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed grouse are a type of game bird that can be found in North America. These birds are usually hunted for their meat, which is considered to be a delicacy. If you’re lucky enough to bag one of these birds, you’ll want to know how to properly preserve the meat. Here are six tips for preserving your Ruffed grouse

  1.  Use a dry rub or wet brine to flavor the meat before cooking it – both will help season and keep your food moist during cooking. Dry rubs are typically made from spices, herbs and other ingredients while wet brines include salt and sugar or honey as well as vinegar or soy sauce.
  2.  Cook at low temperatures for long periods of time; this will not only seal in all the juices but also provide you with more flavorful results than cooking at high temperatures.
  3. Remove any skin before cooking; this will make it easier to serve and eat without having to chew through tough skin.
  4. Sear each side of the bird on high heat before continuing with low-temperature cooking; this will give you an extra crispy outside layer.
  5.  Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes after being removed from the oven; this helps keep all those tasty juices inside.
  6.  Don’t forget about vegetables! You don’t have to just roast potatoes every time you have a whole turkey, try roasting some root vegetables alongside your Ruffed grouse. Some ideas would be carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, turnips and celery.

The key to good roasting vegetables is getting them cut up into uniform sizes so they cook evenly. Place your vegetables around the edges of the pan and nestle the Ruffed grouse in the center. Add butter (or bacon fat), salt, pepper and garlic powder (or minced garlic) to the pan before placing it in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until done. Check periodically to ensure nothing burns too much or gets too dark!

Grouse breast

Benefit Of Eating Grouse Meat

If you’re looking for a delicious, healthy way to add some variety to your diet, look no further than grouse meat. This game bird is not only lean and nutritious, but it’s also versatile and easy to cook. Here are just a few of the benefits of eating grouse

  • Grouse meat is an excellent source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids needed by the human body.
  • It is also low in fat and cholesterol, making it a healthy option for those looking to improve their heart health.
  • Grouse meat is rich in iron, zinc, and phosphorus, all essential minerals for human health.
  • Eating grouse meat can help provide relief from fatigue and weakness caused by deficiencies in these vitamins.
  • It’s loaded with B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid which are important for energy production within cells as well as red blood cell formation.
  • A fun fact about grouse is that they produce twice as much natural omega-3 fatty acids as other game birds such as pheasant or quail do.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are very important because they can reduce inflammation throughout the body which helps with arthritis pain and may even be beneficial against some cancers!
  • They contain vitamin A which contributes to eye health while helping maintain healthy skin tissue too! Grouse meat has more selenium than beef, chicken, pork, or turkey. Selenium plays a key role in the development of muscle tissues and strengthening the immune system.
  • -Grouse meat is high in protein and low in fat (only 2% fat)
  • -This game bird contains more vitamins A, B12, D, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin (B3), folate (B9), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), biotin (B7) than other poultry sources
  • -The levels of these nutrients vary depending on how the animal was raised: those that are pasture-raised have higher levels because they eat more grasses and insects which contain these nutrients. Wild grouse will have lower levels because they eat bugs such as beetles or ants that don’t contain these nutrients.


There you have it! A simple guide on how to cook a Ruffed grouse. By following these steps, you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. And who knows, maybe this will be the start of a new hobby for you. So go out there, get yourself a grouse, and give it a try! You can always make some classic sides or desserts to accompany your main dish.

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Fly Fishing for Beginners in Maine

Fly fishing can seem a little confusing for beginners, as it is very different from other methods of traditional fishing. Luckily the state of Maine has plenty of great places to go in order to practice and catch a lot of fish. If you are just starting out or want to experience some of the best fly fishing waters in Maine, then you have come to the right place! 

Fly fishing in the river

One of the first things you will need to do is gather up all of the right equipment to get started on your fly fishing adventure. A good pair of waders, a fly rod, fly line, a catch net, a tool kit, and of course, some flies and lures. Once you have the basics covered, you can start to assemble your gear kit and start familiarizing yourself with everything. This will also give you a good opportunity to get some practice in before heading out! 

Learning to tie some basic knots will also go a long way to help you catch fish. Some popular knots that are important to know include the surgeon’s knot, clinch, and the improved clinch knot. You should also learn the difference between these knots and what each one works best for. 

Once you have assembled and prepared your gear, you are probably ready to hit the water! Maine is a beautiful state with many places to fish. There are excellent lakes, rivers, and streams in nearly every corner of the state that you could head to, but there are a few that seem to stand out when it comes to fly fishing. These are all great options, especially when it comes to beginners! 

The first is the Kennebec River. This river is a fly fishing hotspot thanks to its very consistent flows and the many dams across the state. You will find almost 170 miles of water along this river, but the upper portion tends to be the best for fly fishing. In this river, you can find some amazing brook trout fishing, as well as salmon, rainbow trout, and brown trout. For a real treat, head to the Moosehead Lake area. Not only is it beautiful and a great place for beginner fly anglers to fish, but you will find big landlocked salmon, brook trout, and lake trout. 

Another great area is the Penobscot River. This is Maine’s largest river and runs about 370 miles long. In these waters, fly anglers can expect to find brook trout, salmon, warm water species like bass, and even some stripers. While it can be a difficult river to wade in if you have a kayak or a boat you can be in some of the best fishing waters in the state. Finding the deeper pools and holes will lead you to bigger fish, and generally less competition from other anglers as well. 

If you are looking for a river with a little more access and easier wading, then the Roach River is also a great choice. This river starts at First Roach Pond and flows into Spencer Bay on Moosehead Lake. The 6.5-mile stretch is fly fishing only, making it a great place for anglers of any skill level. You will find plenty of salmon and brook trout, and beginner fly anglers should have no problem increasing their skills in this river. 

Once you find where you want to go fishing, you must then find the right locations to start throwing your line. Specific locations on the river will be home to certain types and sizes of fish. Where and how you cast will determine your success while fly fishing, so some care must be taken to your approach. Walk slowly and quietly along the river while searching for potential areas, so as to not spook the fish.

Rear View Of Man Fly Fishing At River Against Rock Formations

Look for different riffles and rapids in the water. Fish will often be in groups in areas just below these sped-up sections of water as they lie in wait for the water to bring them food. You should also look for rocks, logs, and other obstructions in the water, especially if they are surrounded by fast-moving currents. Fish will hide behind these objects to stay out of the faster water and conserve their energy while still waiting for the currents to bring them food as it drifts down. Lastly, deep pools can also be productive, especially in warmer weather. 

Finding the right fishing spot is only half of the battle, however. Choosing the right fly or streamer can make or break your fishing trip. As a general rule of thumb, try to match your fly to whatever food sources you are seeing in the area. This method of “matching the hatch” will imitate the fish’s natural food and will increase your odds of getting a good strike. Cast these flies upstream of where you suspect the fish are hiding, and allow them to gently float down to the fish that are waiting. If you do not get a strike, try again at a slightly different angle. 

Caucasian Men in His 30s Fly Fishing in a River in Sunny Summer Day.

As you fish, remember to remain aware of your surroundings. It is easy to get lost in the amazing beauty of the outdoors or caught up in the excitement of catching a fish. Safety is always a priority when in the outdoors. The last thing that you want to do is slip and fall in slippery conditions or be caught in fluctuating water levels. Remain cautious of the river or water where you are fishing and remind yourself to stay aware of your surroundings. But, when all is said and done, just remember to have fun and be patient with yourself. 

Fly fishing can be a little challenging at first, but with enough practice and patience, anyone can become a pro. Maine is an amazing state with so many great opportunities to go fly fishing. Even as a beginner, you are sure to have some success and at the very least will enjoy your time while out in the outdoors! 

Rainbow trout
Turkeys feeding in the morning

Turkey Hunting: The Hidden Gem of Hunts

Turkeys feeding in the morning
Turkeys feeding the the morning

Many of us hunters try to get out into the woods as often as possible. Talk to any serious hunter and you will no doubt hear how much they enjoy deer or elk hunting. These are by far two of the most popular and widely hunting species on the continent, but there is one particular hunt that is often overlooked by most outdoorsmen. This hunt is most often underrated by many hunters and it doesn’t even conflict with the most popular hunts out there: turkey hunting.

Mostly done in the spring, turkey hunting is truly one of the most underrated hunts out there. Here are a few benefits and advantages to planning a spring turkey hunt this year, and why you need to make room for it on your calendar! 

Turkeys Are Everywhere

One of the first benefits of planning a turkey hunt is that they can be found just about anywhere. No matter where you live in the United States, you will either live in or near some quality turkey hunting areas. In fact, Alaska is the only state in the country that does not have any wild turkeys. Every other state (even Hawaii) has at least one of the many subspecies of wild turkeys that you can go out and hunt. 

Even if you do not have any turkeys near you, there are most likely some huntable populations just a short drive from you. Unlike elk and sometimes deer, turkeys do not require as much traveling in order to hunt and are generally very easy to find. Maybe this is another reason why many hunters will ignore turkey hunting, but although they are generally plentiful that does not mean, however, they are extremely easy to kill. You may see a lot of turkeys in one day, but it will still be a fun and exciting challenge to harvest one! 

Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

Cost Benefits

Comparing turkeys to deer and elk again, you also get the benefits of saving a lot of money while hunting them. Not only are tags cheaper, but you most likely have less traveling and less equipment to purchase in order to go turkey hunting. In fact, the same bow you hunt deer with or the same shotgun you use for waterfowl can be used for turkey hunting! 

Turkey hunting does not take a whole lot of equipment to get started. First, you will need some basic camouflage. These birds have excellent eyesight so it pays to stay as hidden as possible. This includes camo pants, shirt, hat, face mask, and a good pair of hunting boots. In addition to the weapon, you will also need some turkey calls. These are very inexpensive and there are many different types out there. Lastly, some additional items that can help increase success (but are not vital) include things like decoys, ground blinds, and binoculars. With some very basic gear, many of which you probably already own, you can go out and successfully hunt turkeys. 

One of the biggest arguments that hunters have against turkey hunting is that turkeys are small and you do not get much meat when you kill one. While it is true that a deer or elk will give much more meat, turkeys are a great way to help supplement the freezer. Not only are they more cost-effective, but their main hunting season does not conflict with deer or elk season either! 

Turkey Hunting in Montana
Turkey Hunting Montana

Spring Time Hunting and Practice

One of the biggest advantages of turkey hunting is that the core turkey season takes place in the spring. This is when their breeding season is, and when they are the most vocal and easiest to hunt. During this time of year, you can utilize your turkey calls to lure the birds right to you. Luckily, there are not a whole lot of other hunts going on during this time period for it to conflict with anything either. So while many hunters pursue deer in the fall and winter, they can roll right into spring with some turkey tags in their pockets and keep on hunting. Many often will compare spring turkey hunting to fall elk hunting, as many of the same tactics are used for both species. 

This also means you get to keep hunting for longer and keep your hunting skills sharp. There is nothing worse than taking an extended period of time away from hunting, only to return to the woods a little rusty. Turkeys have exceptional eyesight and hearing, making them a very worthy adversary in the woods. By lengthening your hunting season, not only will you get to enjoy the outdoors more but you will continue to sharpen and hone all of your hunting skills for future hunts. 

This is also why turkey hunting is the perfect hunt for beginners or youth. Not only are turkeys plentiful and the action is sure to be exciting, but they are much smaller and less intimidating for a beginner hunter who is just learning the ins and outs of the outdoors. It can be done in much more controlled environments, the weather tends to be much better in the spring, and turkeys are relatively easy to kill (at least compared to giant bucks or bulls). This is the perfect recipe for a hunt that is great for teaching and introducing others to the hunting lifestyle. 

Final Thoughts

Although turkeys can be found in just about every state in the country, many hunters still do not take full advantage of the turkey hunting opportunities around them. From extending your hunting season to getting more practice in, turkey hunting can be a great way to enjoy some added benefits and even put a little more meat in the freezer. And when it comes to sharing the outdoors with others, there is truly no better hunt out there than the hidden gem of a springtime turkey hunt! 

Why you should vacation at Moosehead Lake

Take an adventure to a deep, cold water lake, which is the largest mountain lake in the eastern United States. Moosehead Lake is the second largest lake in New England, situated in the Longfellow Mountains in Northwestern Maine, sitting at an elevation of 1,029 feet. Surrounded by wilderness, solitude, and more moose than people, this lake region is the perfect vacation for adventurers looking for peace in the untouched nature.

Moose outnumber people 3 to 1 in the Moosehead Lake Region, and with so much to do outside, you’re bound to see one of the beautiful creatures that the lake is named after. The lake is filled with year-round activities, including camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. The lake itself is 75,000 acres and 40 miles long, and 12 miles wide! 

Moosehead Lake is a popular destination in Maine that welcomes thousands of visitors to the region annually. Several towns in the area feature restaurants, accommodations, and recreational activities, including Rockwood, Greenville, Okoadjo, Lily Bay, Beaver Cove, Monson, and Abbot.

With so much to do here during all four seasons, outdoor lovers are in for a treat while visiting. You can’t go wrong with choosing Moosehead Lake and connected state parks for your next adventure.

Mount Kineo

This 800-foot mountain is located in the middle of Moosehead Lake. Once used as a Native American destination to acquire rhyolite rock to make arrowheads, Henry David Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt even visited due to their interest in the areas history. 

In order to reach the area, you need to take a boat to get to the trailhead. If you don’t have a boat of your own, you can take a shuttle from the Rockwood town boat launch. The shuttle is operated by the Mount Kineo Golf Course, which operates on the island, which is the second oldest in New England.  If you’re interested in golfing, 9 hopes start at $32.

The 3.4-mile loop at Mount Kineo includes four different trails that all lead to a fire tower that used to be used by the Maine Forest Service. The face of Mount Kineo features 700-foot cliffs but has gentle slopes on the northwest and a steep southeast. It was initially formed by a mile-thick ice sheet that moved across the region. The four trails that Mount Kineo features are as follows:

  • Indian Trail (.9 miles, moderate): The shortest trail to the tower, but it climbs steeply. This trail provides the best view!
  • Bridle Trail (1.1 miles, easy): This is the original fire warden trail and is much less steep. It begins along the carriage trail, walks along maple and birch trees, and meets with the Indian Trail right before the summit.
  • Carriage Trail (2.2 miles, easy): This trail walks parallel with the peninsula’s western shore and follows the water to Hardscrabble point.
  • North Trail (1.9 miles, moderate): This trail offers a view of the eastern peninsula and rises steeply up the southeastern cliffs.

All of the hikes offer fantastic views of Moosehead Lake and provide unbelievable access to nature as it walks through maple, birch, and other hardwood forests.

Lily Bay State Park MAINE

Maine road in fall
Autumn road in Maine, USA.

Lily Bay State Park is located 9 miles north of Greenville, Maine, and features an abundance of year-round activities for your next vacation. This state park is located directly on Moosehead Lake and features 925 acres of protected land. Animals throughout the park include birds, deer, ducks, moose, foxes, eagles, loons, otters, and more. Recreational activities and camping are the main draw to the State Park.


Moosehead Lake is actually a prime birding location with nearly every type of warbler of the north woods found here. Even more rare birds like the black-backed woodpecker, spruce grouse, boreal chickadee, gray jack, and white-winged crossbill can be seen in the woods. Bring your canoe or kayak to look for birds in the sky from the lake!

Boating and Camping

Lake outdoor Maine
Boating on Lake Recreational Place. Scenic Lake and the Boat.

Boating on Moosehead Lake is a very popular adventure activity at Lily Bay State Park, and boat launches are available at Dunn Point and Roswell Cove. Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed to launch off from here.

In addition to a boat launch, Lily Bay State Park has an abundance of camping sites available, split between two campgrounds – Dunn Point and Rowell Cove. Both campgrounds feature showers, boat launches, recycling, showers, playgrounds, restrooms, and firewood available. 

In terms of camping, there are 90 walk-in camping sites and reservable campsites that can accommodate campers ranging from small, pop-up campers to a greater than 35′ trailer for those looking to vacation here. There is no electrical service available at any campsites, making it the perfect excuse to reconnect with nature and remain off-grid. Several of the campsites are located on the waterfront of Moosehead Lake.


Lily Bay State Park which connects to Moosehead Lake, also features a trail system that allows visitors to enjoy a peaceful walk along the lake’s edge. The 1.3 mile Dunn Point Trail is an easy, flat trail along the shore that features wildlife spotting and mixed growth forest that hikers can enjoy year-round. In the winter, this trail is used by cross-country skiers.

In addition to the Dunn Point Trail, the .8 mile Rowell Cove Trail offers an alternative destination. This trail offers several spots to sit on the shore of Moosehead Lake to enjoy the view and relax. There are also several geological formations to view along this trail.

In addition to enjoying the scenery, many visitors have reported seeing wildlife such as fox, white-tailed deer, and moose while on their journey. Make sure to bring your camera!


Lily Bay State Park is the best area at Moosehead Lake to swim in the water. The State Park offers a beach for visitors to swim at, though this activity should undoubtedly be saved for the warmer months when the water is warm.

Fishing & Ice Fishing

Fishing man at the lake. Fishing from a boat,

Whether you take the boat launch from Lily Bay State Park and fish in Moosehead Lake or take a boat from the Moose River in the village of Rockwood, Flyfishing is a popular spring and summer activity in the Moosehead Lake Region. There are several pools, pocket waters, and rapids to fly fish at where you can find Brook Trout, Landlocked Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass. Shallow water fishing is also available in Lily Bay and Spencer Bay throughout the summer.

Moosehead Lake is also a popular vacation destination in the winter for Ice Fishing. Fishermen flock to the area to seek brook trout, cusk, salmon, and togue under the frozen water of Moosehead Lake. The area behind Mount Kineo is a popular location for rough weather ice fishing during the winter. This is also where the deepest water in Moosehead Lake is located. Don’t forget to bring a portable ice shack before you arrive as the weather and the winds are unpredictable. Please note that before February 15th, all salmon caught on Moosehead Lake must be released without removing them from the water. Also, make sure that you have your up-to-date fishing license and fishing regulation book.


Hunting outdoor
Hunters with hunting equipment going away through rural forest at sunrise

For those that are looking for some extra outdoor adventure, the Moosehead Lake area features many hunting opportunities. With much of the seasons taking place in the fall and spring, visitors can hunt for deer, bear, moose, wild turkey, migratory birds, and other species. Specific rules and permits apply.

ATV Trails

Riding ATV outdoor
Two atv riders race in forest, front view.

A group of local ATV trail volunteers maintains well-marked trails through the region that allow for people to have a full-day adventure exploring the region on trails. Several local businesses also rent ATV’s to visitors. You can ride the trails from Greenville to The Forks, Rockwood and on to Kokadjo if you’d like. Make sure you stay on the marked trails while riding. Keep your eyes open as you might spot a moose or two while you’re riding!


Woman in a motor sled race

There is a lengthy snowmobiling trail called the Moosehead Trail that offers 160 miles of scenic riding. The trail combines with the Main Interconnected Trail System for frequent riders who want to continue through the state or go further into to Canada. The Moosehead Trail features several stops for coffee, food, and gas along your journey. Make sure you stay safe and check the Main Snowmobile Association website, which maintains trail condition reports so snowmobilers are aware of the safety of ice on ponds and lakes.

In Closing

Moosehead Lake sunset

Moosehead Lake has so much to offer visitors when it comes to outdoor adventures for their next vacation. Whether you are hoping for a laid-back camping holiday with swimming and a hike, or you want to ice fish and snowmobile, this area has that to offer and more. Visitors could spend a week or more at this fantastic location and fill each day with a different activity or a different hike and still find more exploring to do. Don’t forget to look for moose while you’re here! You could even join a moose safari in town if that’s of interest.

Must-Have Ice Fishing Gear in 2022

Ice fishing is one of the most thrilling and exciting winter activities, and for the best possible experience, you should have the must-have ice fishing gear.

Ice fishing isn’t as simple as open water fishing. A lot more safety measures and fishing techniques are required. It would help if you had the right ice fishing gear and the perfect ice fishing tackle to penetrate the ice and quickly catch the fish.

Being an angler, you may find it very challenging to choose the best ice fishing gear. So, this article will be a useful guide for you.

Is Ice Fishing Gear Necessary?

Although winter fishing may be slightly more complicated than fishing in summer, it still is a simple concept. You have to cut a hole in the ice, drop in your ice fishing tackle, and pull fish to the surface. The only effort you need to make is to acquire the right ice fishing gear.

Ice fishing gear is necessary because if you don’t have the right ice fishing gear, you may be exposed to many inconveniences.

For example, if you don’t have a proper ice fishing tackle, it will significantly reduce your fish catch. You won’t feel the nibbles properly, thus missing many catches.

Similarly, consider not having the appropriate apparel. In this case, you may find yourself shivering and freezing in the middle of a lake. Would you want to spoil your trip by catching a cold instead of a fish? That’d be terrible.

Must-Have Ice Fishing Gear in 2021

When you start something new, you want to be perfect at it; that’s the case with everyone. To do something correctly, you need all the tools required to do the job, just as in ice fishing.

Here is some serious must-have ice fishing gear that will make you look cool and professional upfront. Let’s start with your attire.

Ice Fishing Clothing

Cold wind repeatedly hitting you while you’re trying to enjoy would be a huge bummer. When going for ice fishing, proper attire is one of the most important factors to be considered.

You need to prepare yourself as if you’re going ten feet beneath the ice. The good part is that you can always remove a layer if you get hot.

It might be a little expensive, but the investment will be worth it. It’s going to complete your ice fishing gear for 2021, after all.

Dress in Layers

For the bottom layers, choose a material that will keep you warm. DO NOT use cotton. If you start sweating during the hot hours, it will be tough for your clothes to dry up.

On the other hand, go for waterproof for the upper layers.

To be specific, you should wear bib snow pants for your legs. At some point, your knees will touch the ice, and thus, they need to be water-resistant.

For the upper-body, you can wear any fabric (other than cotton) as a bottom layer. Polypropylene, for example, will help keep you dry. For the upper layer, a jacket would do best.

Try Covering 80% Of Your Body

Source: Pixabay

Your face, neck, hands, head, and feet are still uncovered. Make sure to take heavy boots, thick socks, scarves, gloves, and hats with you to keep yourself warm. Health comes first.

Ice Fishing Equipment

Having the right equipment in your ice fishing gear is extremely important. It is only then that you will be able to catch a good number of fishes.

Here are some suggestions for what you need to add to your ice fishing gear list this year:

An Ice Auger

Red bobber and fishing line in an ice fishing hole

If you’re planning to dig only a few ice holes, a manual ice auger will suit you best.  You’ll be able to cut off the expenses and transportation. Plus, you will be free from the restriction of having to charge batteries. 

But you may have to face this drawback: manual augers are hard to operate in thick ice.

In this case, power augers are an excellent option. Along with making a larger ice hole, it will save you from gas/oil mixing and engine maintenance. Additionally, it is a cleaner option – no exhaust fumes and no gas smell.

However, it may be very costly.

Ice Fishing Tackle

The selection here depends upon the species you’re after. Ultra-light rods are suited for panfish, light rods for perch, and medium rods for whitefish.

Then, you need to consider the rod blank materials. Graphite is expensive but more sensitive. It’ll make it possible to feel every nibble.

Likewise, choose between a longer and shorter rod. A longer rod will provide more leverage while fighting fish. In comparison, shorter rods are more comfortable to use in closed quarters.

FAQs About Ice Fishing Must-Haves

The essentials and non-essentials in an ice fishing gear may get tricky. So, here’s a FAQ section to compensate for anything missed out in the article earlier.

What gear do you need for ice fishing?

An ice fishing gear for beginners is pretty much the same for any experienced angler. But what either of you needs to know is how to make the perfect ice fishing gear list. Some of the essential things you need are:

Can you ice fish with a regular rod?

You can ice fish with a regular rod, but using a specific ice fishing rod can be a game-changer. Being shorter, it allows you to fish in a confined space. It will enable you to sit closer to your ice hole and grab fish with your hand.

Is ice fishing better than regular fishing?

The type of fishing depends on what you like better, but I prefer ice fishing. It’s more calming and teaches you patience. It’s an excellent angling activity that you can do with your family. And yes, it’s also cheaper.

Last but not least, do the summer heat, and roughness bother you? If yes, you should consider ice fishing.


Ice fishing is a fun activity, but you need everything in the must-have ice fishing gear. But remember only to carry everything necessary. You will, no doubt, get to enjoy your trip to the fullest if you do so.

By the way, don’t forget that ice fishing gear storage is vital once the winter season ends. Ample storage will help you enjoy it all over again next year!