Last-minute preparations are nearly over, and it’s time to get serious about deer season. If you’re one of those afflicted with that chronic hunting bug, you’ve already hung your deer stands, scouted prime hunting areas, and come up with a game plan.
The only thing you haven’t done is decide where to eat on Maine’s residents-only opening day, Saturday.
Come to think of it, most of us have already finalized those plans, too.
Hunters breakfasts are, after all, a part of our Maine tradition. Rise at 3 o’clock in the morning with a goal of sitting in a tree (perfectly still, of course) for hours on end and you’ve got a perfect excuse to gorge on some good grub.
At least that’s the way I look at it.
If you’re still in the market for an early-morning meal on Saturday, here are a dozen options.
Some are relatively new additions, some have been held for 30 years or more. The one constant: If you leave without filling your belly, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.
And on opening day, it’s nice to know there’s at least one thing you can’t blame on the weather … or on the deer.
Here you go:
. At Eddington, at the Eddington Salmon Club from 4-9 a.m., adults $6, children 12 and under $3.
. At Hartland, the Hartland-St. Albans Lions Club breakfast from 4-8 a.m., $5 per person.
. At Dedham School, from 4-9 a.m., $5 for adults, $3 for children, $12 for a family of four, door prizes and raffles are planned.
. At Pittsfield, held by the St. Agnes School at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Dobson Street from 4-10 a.m., $5 adults, $4 for children under 10.
. At Penobscot, by the Penobscot Fire Department at the firehouse from 4-8 a.m., $6 per person.
. At Dover-Foxcroft, by the Foxcroft Academy Spanish Club, at Foxcroft Academy from 4-10 a.m., $6 per person.
. At Hermon High School, by Project Graduation 2007, from 4-8 a.m., tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 each, $12 for three.
. At West Glenburn Community Club, by the Glenburn Lakeside Riders Snowmobile Club from 4:30-8 a.m., $5 per person.
. At Presque Isle Fish & Game Club, the 58th annual hunters breakfast from 4-8 a.m.
. At Penquis Valley High School in Milo, by the senior class, the 39th annual hunters breakfast from 4:30-8:30 a.m., advance tickets are $4 from any senior class member, $5 at the door.
. At Ralph J. Pollard Masonic Lodge in Orrington, 3:30-9 a.m., $5 for adults, $2.50 for children under 12. Tickets available at the door or by calling 825-3552.
Arsenault wins ASF honor
For years, Atlantic salmon conservationists in Maine have counted on Gary Arsenault for his leadership.
On Oct. 14, the Winterport man was recognized by the Atlantic Salmon Federation when he was presented its Roll of Honor during the Penobscot River Unified Atlantic Salmon Banquet in Eddington.
The ASF presents its Roll of Honor to individuals who show outstanding commitment to salmon conservation at the grassroots level.
In a press release, John Burrows, the ASF Maine Council coordinator, praised Arsenault for his efforts.
“Gary Arsenault has been a part of salmon conservation for many years, including two terms as president of the Maine Council of ASF,” Burrows said. “During that time, he increased participation and membership and raised funds to make the Council financially stable. He also served as an ASF Fish Friends volunteer and is currently an ambassador for the Penobscot River Restoration Project.”
Arsenault has served as the president of the Penobscot Salmon Club and is a director of both the Penobscot and Veazie salmon clubs.
Ralph Keef, another former Maine Council president, said Arsenault was deserving of the honor.
“One of Gary’s greatest contributions has been his success in organizing salmon dinners, raffles, and auctions to raise money for the support of Atlantic salmon causes,” Keef said. “About equally important has been his leadership in organizing breakfasts at the Penobscot club. He has exhibited great energy and enthusiasm in all these undertakings.”
The ASF is an international nonprofit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of wild Atlantic salmon and their environment. It has a network of seven regional councils with a membership of more than 140 river associations and 40,000 volunteers. Those regional councils cover the freshwater range of Atlantic salmon in Canada and the U.S.
John Holyoke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 990-8214 or 1-800-310-8600.