Bats, loons, and moose stories at camp

This column is more wildlife stories featuring bats, loons, and moose, at camp. Let’s start with my bat story.

I was fishing one evening in our boat and casting my fly from the back of the boat when a bat flew up and picked my fly right out of the air, hooking itself. I pulled back on the line and the bat dropped into the water.

I carefully reeled it in and lifted it into the boat, and was pleased that the bat did not move while I carefully removed the hook, after which the bat took off. It was certainly my most unusual catch, although one other time I caught a duck.

My loon story is a good one too. Again, I was fishing from the boat when I caught a small brook trout. A loon quickly swam up and grabbed the trout. I gave the line a quick tug and pulled the trout out of the loon’s mouth and reeled it quickly to the boat, lifting it into the boat while the loon swam up and tried to grab it.

When the loon figured out the trout was gone, he swam around the boat, flapping his wings and screeching. That went on for quite a time. Another unforgettable fishing experience.

The moose story involves my 6-year-old granddaughter Ada who was three at the time. Ada had never seen a moose, and when one appeared in our small pond down the hill in front of our camp, another camp owner ran up the hill to tell us.

We all ran down to see the moose, and the other camp owner asked Ada, “Is that a horse?” And Ada shouted, “No, that’s a moose!”


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.