Kittery Trading Post

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I hit one of my favorite outdoor retail stores earlier this week – Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, ME.  This fine Southern Maine retailer has been serving the needs of New England’s outdoor sports enthusiasts for over 75 years and they’re still going strong today.

Kittery Trading Post, otherwise known as KTP, has something for everyone.  When I say they’ve got it all, they’ve got it all.  Hunting gear, guns, ammo, reloading supplies, archery gear and accessories, camping gear, casual clothing, shoes & boots, skis and winter weather apparel, fishing gear, and the list goes on.  KTP has a department to serve anything you’re looking to do outdoors and these guys definitely have it all.

I can spend hours poking around KTP, and on this particular day I did just that.  I enjoyed checking out the latest bows from the many manufacturers that KTP carries.  Always appreciated by this lefty archer is that there are several different left-handed bows always in stock at KTP.  I perused the gun inventory, both new and used, and fantasized about the autoloading shotgun that I will someday acquire.  I spent a good amount of time in the fishing section checking out all the newest fly fishing gear and I also looked at their vast array of knives, turkey calls, tree stands and ammunition.

Any visit to KTP is a success as it stimulates the senses with many thoughts of outdoor adventure.  On this particular day I’m proud to say that I kept my expense in check and I only purchased four items:  A Quaker Boy box turkey call, a pack of Thingamamobber strike indicators, a Simms wader bag and a Silva Huntsman compass.

If you are ever driving through Southern Maine, a visit to KTP is a definite must-stop destination.  Enjoy!

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International Bowhunter Education Program

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Last Saturday I attended a full-day bowhunter education course that was administered by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.  Now I’ve had a bow in my hands for 27 of my 44 years on this earth; with that much experience what do I need with a bowhunter education course?

The primary answer boils down to this: Thus far in my bowhunting career I have hunted in only three states – Michigan, Massachusetts and Colorado.  None of these states require a dedicated bowhunter education course in order to obtain an archery hunting license.  By contrast, any person who wishes to bow hunt in the following states is required to have a bowhunter education certificate: Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont.  Additionally, the Canadian Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec have similar requirements.

The course I attended was the International Bowhunter Education Program.  This curriculum is recognized in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, 3 Northwest Territories, Mexico and 13 additional foreign countries.  The class was administered by volunteer instructors from the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, with primary points of emphasis as follows:

  • Wildlife conservation
  • Safe and responsible bowhunting techniques
  • Equipment knowledge and maintenance
  • Proper shot placement and game recovery techniques
  • Outdoor preparedness

Despite entering the class with mixed expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  It’s always nice to have an opportunity to gather with people who share a passion for the outdoors, and from my perspective it’s even better when it’s focused on archery and bowhunting.  The only piece of anxiety was the test at the end of the day; I can’t remember the last time I actually had to take a test!  I passed with flying colors and I’ll receive my certification card in about two weeks.  After that I’ll begin wondering when and where I’ll plan a hunt with my newly-expanded bowhunting options.  Will it be whitetail deer in upstate New York?  Maybe black bear in New Brunswick?  Perhaps moose in New Hampshire or Maine?  How about all of the above?!?!?!