As we're getting ready (stacking up books, unfolding chairs, baking autumn treats), we're also firmly embedded in November's biggest calendar call for northern Vermont: deer season, or, more specifically, rifle hunting season for deer. It opens this Saturday, lasts for two weeks, and was preceded last weekend by a great state tradition, Youth Hunting Weekend.
Paul Doiron is a Registered Maine Guide (as well as editor-in-chief of Down East -- the magazine, the book publisher, the website), and for him, "deer season" began a week and a half ago, as Maine's calendar works differently from Vermont's. But the issues are much the same: How much room is there for traditional live-off-the-land activities as the region becomes more heavily populated with people whose goals revolve more closely around high-speed Internet access or rescue of vulnerable species than around tracking wildlife? (Me, I like best the way some people are able to combine all of these into a range of personal passions. Reminder, no matter what your interest: Wear orange in the woods during deer season. It's only fair, and wise.)
Doiron's blog this week includes commentary on the hunting-related injuries and death in Maine this season, and the effect of news coverage and images related to those. It's worth reading.
And Dave and I hope you'll mark your own calendar to come meet this author on the 19th. Not only do the books -- TRESPASSER and THE POACHER'S SON -- draw on Doiron's life in and around the Maine woods, but they tap deep emotional conflicts between father and son ... and spin a taut, tense narrative of crime and consequences.