First and foremost, I have absolutely zero problem with hunting. It's as old a Maine tradition as baked beans on Saturday nights. So I think it's great that families take advantage of Maine's abundance of game to help sustain their families, as well as enjoy time in the great outdoors.

And that brings me to my next point.... Enjoying the great outdoors. I also understand that sometimes, people just want to be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors with no fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So I found a BDN article that listed all sorts of great spots you could check out, that have no hunters.

There are some obvious places where there is no hunting that offer all kinds of trails, like Baxter, or Acadia. Or even our newly minted Katahdin Woods & Waters. But what about some places right around Bangor?

Of course, right at the front of the list is the Bangor City Forest. There's miles of trails to check out, and even get a bit lost in, but it's well posted and no hunters to be found. You could also head to the Northeast Penjajwoc Preserve, off Of Stillwater Avenue on Kitteredge Road. And for that matter, off of Essex Street, there's another section of the Penjajwoc as well.

If you get just our town a bit, there's also the Fields Pond Audubon Center In Holden. It's a big 200+ acre wildlife sanctuary that also has five miles of trails winding through it. A bit further down the road in Hancock, there's the Salt Marsh Preserve, a small spot maintained by the Frenchman Bay Preserve.

And this is really just a handful that are all within a 45-60 minute radius of Bangor, with some being pretty much in your backyard. And all these spots are exempt from hunting. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't take some basic precautions. IT can't be a bad idea to wear some blaze orange.

Lord knows that sadly, there have been hunting accidents in this state. Sometimes hunters don't know how close they are to off-limits areas. And worse, there are some out there who give all the others a bad name, and go places they aren't supposed to. So a little preventive maintenance can't be a bad thing.

But otherwise, get out and enjoy some of these beautiful spots. Who cares if the snow flies! Grab some poles, and throw on the snow shoes or cross-country skis and have it at it, my friends!!