It was a great fishing season, as well as hunting season in 2015. The ice went off the lake in the normal time frame, despite the huge snowy winter we had in the northeast. Many people were expecting a later ice out, but it was about average for our records, May 5. The wind blew hard all day from the SW, and we could see the ice going out. I was ready with outboards on the dock, so I could install them on the boats the following day. By that time the wind died, then swung to the NW and blew again, this time moving the ice for good. The only problem was it came against my docks and tilted them, dumping the outboards in the lake... ugh! Oh well, they needed a bath anyway! After a little tinkering they were ready to go. Those Honda 8hp motors have proven to be quite bombproof! And thrifty.
Ice out fishing was as always very good - mostly salmon. As usual it slowed down for a about a week following. Most fish early on were caught near Chase and Bluffer. After about May 10 the fish spread throughout the lake, and many more lake trout began being caught. Our Munsungan Lake now has a confirmed overpopulation of Lakers, and we will be actively harvesting to get ahead of that in the next few years to come. Check out the new Salmon and Lake Trout rules below! Quite a change from our previous laws!!!
It looks like the smoker will be busy again this year!
We had a very successful bear hunt this year, and three very exciting moose hunts, and a great bird season in October.
Our two weeks of bear hunting resulted in 14 black bear taken for 27 hunters. We have always hit about 50% with our tagging rate. Some years we have taken 100%. Many of our hunters now are looking for the monster, and many bear are seen, but passed up for a bigger one. The population in Maine is definitely growing in our area, and the primary bear population management tool in Maine is through hunting.
Our three moose hunts were a fantastic success, and full of exciting stories. I guided Kelly and Henry Moree from South Carolina. On our first morning out I called in a small bull first thing, and he followed us down the road and into the woods for almost an hour. For a long while he was within 20 feet of us: a small spike bull which we did not want to shoot, but it would not leave us alone! I grunted and challenged it with various moose calls, but he with his wild looking eyes was steadfast and ready for a brawl. I then hollered "YOU GO AWAY!" That seemed to do it at least for a while. 20 minutes later he was back on our trail in the woods, and again twenty feet away. It was quite the adrenaline rush! The following morning on Tuesday Kelly had her chance up on Norway Bluff. I called in the bull from about a mile away, conditions were perfect for calling and we had a favorable wind. We heard him coming for a good twenty minutes before we saw him, and he marched right out to us, within 60 feet. Kelly's shot was perfect, right through the heart, and the bull went down a few dozen yards away.
Bill Russell and Sean Miller had a great hunt with guide Lewis Hewes also. Lewis had things all planned out for them, and day one, pretty early on they saw their trophy, right where Lewis said he would be. As it was Bill's tag, with Sean along for back up, Bill made the right shot and the moose went down. They were the fist ones back in camp with a great story. And they had the rest of the week to relax and enjoy Bradford Camps without having to have breakfast at 3 am like the rest of us!!
Our other moose hunter group was Preston Bruenn and Ed Bueti guided by Josh Collins. These guys worked hard at their hunt, and had numerous near-opportunities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Twice they had the right bull within shooting distance, but no clear shot. It was exciting and indeed sometimes frustrating as hunting will be. But patience persevered for all three, and they were rewarded on Thursday afternoon. A huge bull with a heavy 53 inch rack stepped out alone offering a brief opportunity for a good shot. The bull went down, well off the road, and all hands went to help get the bull into the truck. Our pulp loader was a team player I might add.....
That's all, just buy it!!
(Or if you really like spending face time with Igor,
then don't buy it and I will fill one out for you when you get to camp!)
Great Northern Paper bought the railroad from Lacroix before it was put into operation. On June 1, 1927, the train made its first successful trip over the 13-mile railroad. The Eagle Lake and West Branch Railroad was in business.
Two large conveyors were used to fill the train cars on the Eagle Lake end of the line. The cars were built with a 12-inch tilt in the floor so that when they drove out onto the unloading trestle at the Umbazooksus end — where the tracks were tilted six more inches — an operator would knock loose the bottom pins holding the side wall of the pulp car, the side would swing out on the top hinges and most of the load would tumble out into the water.
Trains of 12 cars each ran both night and day stopping only 10 minutes between runs to service the steam engine. While this happened, the Plymouth switching engines at each end of the line shifted empty cars around the yard.
The most significant structure of the railroad was the 1,500-foot trestle, which had to be sturdy enough to carry both the train and its heavy cargo across the north end of Chamberlain Lake where Allagash Stream enters the lake. The remains of the trestle are still visible today. Great Northern Paper extended the line 5 miles to Chesuncook Lake at a later date, to facilitate the large amount of supplies and fuel that were required to operate the railroad. About 6,500 cords of pulpwood per week was transported over the line, enabling Great Northern Paper to manufacture approximately 20 percent of the United States annual paper production.
Demand for paper declined during the Great Depression, essentially shutting down the railroad after it had carried nearly one million cords of pulpwood. The locomotives were parked in the shed at the tramway, never to be moved again.
One of the locomotives began leaning to the point where it was in danger of toppling over. In 1996, the Bureau of Parks and Lands and volunteers from the Allagash Alliance worked together to jack up the train, rebuild the railroad tracks under the locomotive, and set it back down on level rails. The project took more than three years to complete. This included the moving of 5,200, five-gallon buckets of crushed stone onto the site by snowmobile.
The trains are most easily reached during the winter, by snowmobile from Chamberlain Bridge. However, many snowmobilers make an all-day expedition to the trains from the Greenville, Millinocket, and Patten areas.
PLAN A HIKING TRIP TO THE LOCOMOTIVES AND TRAMWAY THIS SUMMER!! Its about a one hour drive, then a one hour hike through the woods - through the time machine to one hundred years ago..
WELL? Whacha tink? We are glad to hear suggestions. The old website outgrew itself, and did not keep up with the mobile device thingy. This new website is SUPPOSED to be an improvement... WELL?? IS IT?? IS IT? Let us know!
And let us know how we could make it (or anything we do) better too!
Click and believe! This was filmed by Burt and Joe last May
click here or below
This moose jerky Is delicious and extremely easy to make!
12oz Worcestershire sauce
12oz Teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
4-6 pounds of moose meat sliced into 1/4" strips (easier to cut when still mostly frozen)
Marinate for 24 hours
Dry for 6-9 hours in dehydrator
The lakes and rivers of this great state were once the highways that delivered logs and pulpwood to the mills. These mills, in turn, produced the lumber and paper that fueled development of a prosperous nation.
The railroad was the solution to a watershed problem. Thousands of cords of pulpwood were required to keep the Great Northern Paper Co. mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket running. There was a vast quantity of pulpwood within easy hauling distance of Churchill and Eagle Lakes but these lakes flowed north to the St. John River. The pulpwood was needed to the south, at the Great Northern mills on the West Branch of the Penobscot. Necessity being the mother of invention, the idea of building a railroad in the middle of the Maine woods was born.
Reed Pond was fished fairly heavily this past summer. The brook trout have very successfully filled in and are exhibiting perfervid spawning (thank you Russell for that word!). So half of the story is a success at this point. We are waiting with baited (bated...) breath now for the realization of the primary dream and effort: the re-establishment of the blueback char. We have evidence that they spawned in the fall, and we know there are at least ten, because they were caught and tagged with radio chips (like last year's lake trout tagging on Munsungun). The recovery of the blueback is taking a lot longer than I had hoped, and there is some worry that the success of the brook trout is outweighing the efforts of the blueback to survive. For this reason the laws for taking of brook trout have been loosened this year, to have more success in thinning out the brookies. So I guess its time to get the frying pan out, right?
Closed to ice fishing
Artificial flies and lures
Daily bag limit on brook trout: 2 fish. All Arctic char must be released alive at once
Closed to the taking of live baitfish.
GREETINGS! Welcome to 2016! Ok, it's late for that, nearly 1/4 of the way through the year. Karen and I have been very busy this winter building a new kitchen and installing exterior siding on our southern Maine home. Rest assured we are also answering all your emails, and preparing the camps for a great season ahead. It promises to be busy and fun for everyone.
Our loyal, hard working and dedicated staff will all be back with us, almost... We are very sad to share with you Moxie's passing, last November. She was twelve and was afflicted with an internal malady that would not have gotten better. We cherished the last few days with her at Munsungan. It was after the camps had closed, and we three were alone together for a short while in the place that we all love. She was special, sensitive, quirky, aloof, alert, and part of our family.
The rest of our loyal hard working staff will be returning and we are very happy for that. Tiffany has spent to winter in the Dry Tortugas cooking for a crew of men rebuilding Fort Jefferson. Callie and Chad have been busy in Maine working on Chad's family dairy farm. They are planning a trip to Florida before the start of the season. Mallow is looking forward to the trip also! And meatloaf, aka little guy, aka bear bait, aka meatball (the cat) is also looking forward to another summer of roaming free in the Bradford Yard. Our guides Pete Drummond, Josh Collins, Terry Hunter, Thomas Freedman will all be returning to share their time and knowledge with you through the spring, summer and fall.
EYE CANDY ALERT! Summer 2015 flight video over Allagash
click to view
Here we go again! However this year we have already filled up that quickly. The dates are July 7, 8, 9 just in case there is a cancellation. if interest is big enough.
Please give a call if interested!
LINK TO AOPA Article from last year
NOW.... If you actually HAVE read this far, you will likely have done so IN EXASPERATED DESPERATION to hear about
what happened at ice cutting!!!!!
Well, despair no longer and worry no more, mes amis, you will be rewarded with some lovely scenes on our set-to-music slideshow.
And now, for the scientists, here's the data:
12" thick, all good ice with 1" of snow ice on top. Temps 25 degrees, 486 blocks at 48 pounds each, that's once again 12 tons.
Attendee/victims: Tom, Larry, Chas, Pete, Richard, Andy, Igor, Brooks, Glen, Ryan
Just edit this element to add your own HTML.
You need this! Or at least you know someone who does..... ! Its amazing, and fun, and delicious. I know some of you have had the pleasure of fresh baked breads and cookies on the trail with me. It really works. And, yes, you can make one out of cardboard and tin foil, but the design and ruggedness of this unit will prove itself to you. Available at CAMPFIRECOOKWARE.COM. Made in Maine
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