As an avid hunter and outdoors woman for nearly four decades, becoming a Registered Maine Guide seemed like a far fetched goal, even though my best friend Julie had been after me for years to get my Guide’s license, like she did.
The process to become a Registered Maine Guide is a rigorous process. The applicant must pass a written exam, as well as an oral exam, including being proficient with map and compass. This is a very intimidating exam, even for an experienced outdoorsman.
The Women of the Maine Outdoors began offering scholarships to take a Registered Maine Guide course. I put in an application and I won a scholarship! I immediately signed up to take a course offered through Carroll & Lila Ware. Their course was very thorough and covered every possible aspect of the testing process. This gave me the confidence needed to request a test date, and in September of 2016, I became a Registered Maine Guide!
By the Fall of 2017, I was guiding my own bear hunters and was hired to guide a couple moose hunters from New York. My friend Julie and her husband live an hour north of me, but we have decided to start Maine’s Four Season Guide Service together
This bear season, Julie and I will be guiding a couple of groups of women on a “ladies only” bear hunt; thus bringing the Women of the Maine Outdoors goal of getting more women into the woods to full circle!
I was able to attend a class to build my own fly rod with the help of a WoMO scholarship. After attending a weekend with Casting for Recovery for breast cancer survivors I became interested in fly fishing and wanted to continue fishing. The opportunity arose to attend a class to build my own fly rod and I applied for a scholarship. The experience has given me a great feeling of accomplishment fishing with a rod I made myself. Since it is bright pink and purple it stands out as unique as I am. Age does not matter when you seek to grow in your knowledge and develop new interest. I thank WoMO again for the opportunity to learn and enjoy nature.
My story is a bit different than most. I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. I worked in Corporate America for 25 years. Even though I’m an avid runner, my exposure to the “real” outdoors started when I began hunting in 2009. I started hunting so I could spend more time with my dad. In 2010, my son and I traveled to Maine for a bear hunt. That’s when I met my future husband, Troy. He started our guiding business 30 years ago. I enjoyed my new responsibilities of managing the website, advertising, all paperwork, and baiting. But now, it was time for me to expand my duties by obtaining my Guide’s license. The idea was overwhelming to me. I could make an Excel spreadsheet that rivals an accountant’s but could I learn to use a compass at 49 years old? Katherine Malicky, a Women of the Maine Outdoors board member, encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to attend Guide’s school. I was awarded a scholarship and attended the course with Carroll & Lila Ware. The course was thorough and gave me the confidence to sign up for the Guide’s test. Between the course, my hands-on experience, and knowledge gained from my husband, I passed the test to become a Registered Maine Guide!
Our business, Mid Maine Outfitters, has seen an increase in youth and women hunters over the past few years. I’m so thankful for the scholarship from the Women of the Maine Outdoors so I can be part of this growing trend.
One of the proudest moments for me was when I caught my six-year-old daughter studying the state book on “How to Survive in the Maine Woods”. When I asked her what she was doing, she said studying for her Guide’s test! I can’t think of a better way to be a role model!