Spaniel Journal

Many towns are similar to the one I live in. In the 1800s they were thriving with people and businesses. However, suffering losses during the Civil War coupled with the lure of jobs in the cities, caused drastic population drops - halving the censuses in some towns. That left hundreds of farms abandoned and hundreds of miles of roads reduced to dotted lines on the map.

Hunting Maine's Woodlands

Quite a bit of the land is unposted. Much of the land that is posted is accessible to bird hunters who ask permission. I have found that approaching land owners for permission while accompanied by a well-behaved Springer usually brings back some fond memories of hunting with gun dogs and gets me a "sure, you're welcome to hunt here anytime."

Additionally, much of the northern half of the state is owned by the paper companies which allow every imaginable kind of outdoor activity including: hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, and boating. This is the woods of trophy moose and black bear. The grouse hunting can be exceptional as well.

Combine a Spaniel or two with the ideal upland cover of abandoned farmland, a variety of woodland species and ages, a multitude of lakes, ponds, beaver flowages, broad slow-moving streams, and a rocky coastline - and the opportunity exists for not only memorable grouse hunting, but a chance at woodcock, snowshoe hare, and a variety of waterfowl, including seaducks.

I find the best way to locate new places to hunt is to research topo maps and old aerial photos, then just get out and walk the land in the late summer or early fall with my dogs. If that is impractical, there are a number of fine upland guides, some of whom guide with Springers, who can take you into the glorious autumn woods and back in time to the days of prime Maine grouse hunting where you can create reminiscences and stories of your own.

Maine Grouse Hunting Resources

Three spaniel people Ellen highly recommend as guides are:

  • Jo-Anne Moody of Brooks, ME, tel: 207-722-3664, e-mail: She is an independent woman with a lot of character and a great sense of humor. She is a native Mainer and knows the central Maine grouse covers better than anyone. She hunts with lovely home raised Springers.
  • Bob Foshay, RR1 Box 4173 of Camden, ME 04843, tel: 207-236-0832. He operates as Pathfinder Guide Service and used to have Cockers but now just has pointers. At any rate, he understands spaniels and the type of cover spaniel people like to hunt.
  • Also with Talefeathers Cockers is Cary Haupt, P.O. Box 303, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860, tel: 207-372-6746, e-mail

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