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One Maine's finest sporting camps. 6hrs from Boston in the North Maine Woods

One Maine’s finest sporting camps. 6hrs from Boston in the North Maine Woods

Roughing it is for suckers. I know of that, now.

I’m not used to nice accommodations, and on past hunting trips I’ve curled up with my Pointers to stay warm, eaten Beefaroni out of the can, and gagged while using outhouses ranker than rest-area porta pottys.

This year I wanted something better. So I headed Chandler Lake Camps in the North Maine Woods.

Chandler's: A 5-Pointer experience

Chandler’s: A 5-Pointer experience

The North Maine Woods are 4-6 hours from Boston, 3Xs the size of Rhode Island, and more populated with moose than people. Once you’re in them, a dirt-road empire rolls out before you in every which way.. It’s lorded over by logging trucks, crisscrossed with brook trout streams, and spotted everywhere with grouse and woodcock cover.

Some success after after a few days at Chandler's

Some success after after a few days at Chandler’s

Chandler Lake Camps is an outpost of comfort and graciousness amongst all of this. Built in 1902, it was an abandoned family retreat when current owners Jason and Sherry Bouchard bought in the ’90s. With hard work and grit, they rescued it from decades of neglect and turned it into one of Maine’s finest sporting camps.

For uplanders, Chandlers is a place to get into lots of birds, whether you do it by hiring one of the camp’s Registered Maine Guides or by grabbing a Delorme map book and asking Jason to highlight some likely looking spots like I did.

Lexi, Sky and I averaged 2-3 birds an hour — solid numbers considering it was our first time in the area. We hunted overgrown logging roads and shot into the woods to explore deep pockets of birdy-looking cover and the furthest cover we hit was only 15 miles away from the camp.

Guest cabin at Chandler

Guest cabin at Chandler

On top of great bird hunting, Chandler Lake Camps also has great accommodations. Guests are treated to their own hand-peeled, spruce log cabins, each with a wood stove, electric lights, complete indoor facilities and charging outlets for things like remote collars and GPSs.

Meals are served in the main lodge, and everyone eats together around a large, wooden table. Breakfast is to order, lunches packed for you, and dinner family style. There’s a different menu each night, and everything is homemade in the lodge’s kitchen–even the bread and bagels.

And while Chandler Lake Camps is far away from civilization, it does have internet connection to the outside world. So anyone who needs to stay in touch with home or work can check in.

Located southwest of Ashland, ME,

Located southwest of Ashland, ME,

An access point to the North Maine Woods. Dirt roads, moose & grouse cover lie ahead.

An access point to the North Maine Woods. Dirt roads, moose & grouse cover lie ahead.

Sunset at Chandler Lake Camps

Sunset at Chandler Lake Camps

Sky's first grouse of 2017, at Chandler Lake Camps

Sky’s first grouse of 2017, at Chandler Lake Camps

View from the front porch at Chandler Lake Camps

View from the front porch at Chandler Lake Camps

Guest cabin at Chandler

Guest cabin at Chandler

Classic wood cabins at Chandler

Classic wood cabins at Chandler

Classic wood cabins at Chandler

Classic wood cabins at Chandler

Boathouse at Chandler Lake Camps

Boathouse at Chandler Lake Camps

Deck off main lodge at Chandler Lake Camps

Deck off main lodge at Chandler Lake Camps

Classic wood cabins at Chandler

Classic wood cabins at Chandler

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