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Wild Turkey Cooking Experiment
Part of the hesitation with turkey hunting was that they are notorious for being tough and inedible. But I kept reading and hearing folks here and there saying how delicious wild turkey was, that you must cook it “right”. Have we forgotten how to cook wild game with the proliferation of industrial poultry and meat? 
I did a lot of internet research and formed a plan for cleaning and freezing the first turkey I tagged this spring. I breasted the 17.8 lb tom & also kept the legs. Most folks just breast their turkeys. I was determined to find a way to use the legs, even if just for stock. I double ground one breast, saved the “fingers”, pieced part of the other breast, then made cutlets of the rest. I packed them by type and using the food saver vacuum packed them, then froze each package.
The legs were going to be wild turkey carnitas using this recipe. I was also thinking about how I make pulled pork in the slow cooker so I added the spices per the carnitas recipe but didn’t have the chiles or the juniper berries and I knew I had to cook these legs a long time to get them tender so I just went into pulled pork cooking mode and poured some hard cider (I brewed but didn’t like) over them. I added a little water and turned them on low. For a long time…15 hours. They were then tender & I pulled them, dumped liquid from slow cooker, put pulled turkey back in slow cooker, added some chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cooked on low for a few hours. It was really good! So don’t throw the legs out!
I then made a white bean chili using ground wild turkey using a combination of a few recipes I googled online. So good! Also with the ground turkey I made turkey and black bean burrito/taco filling using this recipe. Again excellent. I have found that the ground wild turkey is really very similar to ground turkey & can be substituted in recipes that call for ground turkey.
Cooking the cutlets and fingers will be tricky. Brining, marinating, and perhaps pounding will be key.  I made grilled marinated wild turkey cutlets using this recipe. It was good, though salty, and I would adjust it in the future. I marinated the cutlets for over 24 hours which just may have been too long.
These turkeys are definitely tasty if attention is paid to prepping and cooking. Can’t wait until the fall turkey season! 
Zoom Info
Wild Turkey Cooking Experiment
Part of the hesitation with turkey hunting was that they are notorious for being tough and inedible. But I kept reading and hearing folks here and there saying how delicious wild turkey was, that you must cook it “right”. Have we forgotten how to cook wild game with the proliferation of industrial poultry and meat? 
I did a lot of internet research and formed a plan for cleaning and freezing the first turkey I tagged this spring. I breasted the 17.8 lb tom & also kept the legs. Most folks just breast their turkeys. I was determined to find a way to use the legs, even if just for stock. I double ground one breast, saved the “fingers”, pieced part of the other breast, then made cutlets of the rest. I packed them by type and using the food saver vacuum packed them, then froze each package.
The legs were going to be wild turkey carnitas using this recipe. I was also thinking about how I make pulled pork in the slow cooker so I added the spices per the carnitas recipe but didn’t have the chiles or the juniper berries and I knew I had to cook these legs a long time to get them tender so I just went into pulled pork cooking mode and poured some hard cider (I brewed but didn’t like) over them. I added a little water and turned them on low. For a long time…15 hours. They were then tender & I pulled them, dumped liquid from slow cooker, put pulled turkey back in slow cooker, added some chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cooked on low for a few hours. It was really good! So don’t throw the legs out!
I then made a white bean chili using ground wild turkey using a combination of a few recipes I googled online. So good! Also with the ground turkey I made turkey and black bean burrito/taco filling using this recipe. Again excellent. I have found that the ground wild turkey is really very similar to ground turkey & can be substituted in recipes that call for ground turkey.
Cooking the cutlets and fingers will be tricky. Brining, marinating, and perhaps pounding will be key.  I made grilled marinated wild turkey cutlets using this recipe. It was good, though salty, and I would adjust it in the future. I marinated the cutlets for over 24 hours which just may have been too long.
These turkeys are definitely tasty if attention is paid to prepping and cooking. Can’t wait until the fall turkey season! 
Zoom Info
Wild Turkey Cooking Experiment
Part of the hesitation with turkey hunting was that they are notorious for being tough and inedible. But I kept reading and hearing folks here and there saying how delicious wild turkey was, that you must cook it “right”. Have we forgotten how to cook wild game with the proliferation of industrial poultry and meat? 
I did a lot of internet research and formed a plan for cleaning and freezing the first turkey I tagged this spring. I breasted the 17.8 lb tom & also kept the legs. Most folks just breast their turkeys. I was determined to find a way to use the legs, even if just for stock. I double ground one breast, saved the “fingers”, pieced part of the other breast, then made cutlets of the rest. I packed them by type and using the food saver vacuum packed them, then froze each package.
The legs were going to be wild turkey carnitas using this recipe. I was also thinking about how I make pulled pork in the slow cooker so I added the spices per the carnitas recipe but didn’t have the chiles or the juniper berries and I knew I had to cook these legs a long time to get them tender so I just went into pulled pork cooking mode and poured some hard cider (I brewed but didn’t like) over them. I added a little water and turned them on low. For a long time…15 hours. They were then tender & I pulled them, dumped liquid from slow cooker, put pulled turkey back in slow cooker, added some chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cooked on low for a few hours. It was really good! So don’t throw the legs out!
I then made a white bean chili using ground wild turkey using a combination of a few recipes I googled online. So good! Also with the ground turkey I made turkey and black bean burrito/taco filling using this recipe. Again excellent. I have found that the ground wild turkey is really very similar to ground turkey & can be substituted in recipes that call for ground turkey.
Cooking the cutlets and fingers will be tricky. Brining, marinating, and perhaps pounding will be key.  I made grilled marinated wild turkey cutlets using this recipe. It was good, though salty, and I would adjust it in the future. I marinated the cutlets for over 24 hours which just may have been too long.
These turkeys are definitely tasty if attention is paid to prepping and cooking. Can’t wait until the fall turkey season! 
Zoom Info
Wild Turkey Cooking Experiment
Part of the hesitation with turkey hunting was that they are notorious for being tough and inedible. But I kept reading and hearing folks here and there saying how delicious wild turkey was, that you must cook it “right”. Have we forgotten how to cook wild game with the proliferation of industrial poultry and meat? 
I did a lot of internet research and formed a plan for cleaning and freezing the first turkey I tagged this spring. I breasted the 17.8 lb tom & also kept the legs. Most folks just breast their turkeys. I was determined to find a way to use the legs, even if just for stock. I double ground one breast, saved the “fingers”, pieced part of the other breast, then made cutlets of the rest. I packed them by type and using the food saver vacuum packed them, then froze each package.
The legs were going to be wild turkey carnitas using this recipe. I was also thinking about how I make pulled pork in the slow cooker so I added the spices per the carnitas recipe but didn’t have the chiles or the juniper berries and I knew I had to cook these legs a long time to get them tender so I just went into pulled pork cooking mode and poured some hard cider (I brewed but didn’t like) over them. I added a little water and turned them on low. For a long time…15 hours. They were then tender & I pulled them, dumped liquid from slow cooker, put pulled turkey back in slow cooker, added some chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cooked on low for a few hours. It was really good! So don’t throw the legs out!
I then made a white bean chili using ground wild turkey using a combination of a few recipes I googled online. So good! Also with the ground turkey I made turkey and black bean burrito/taco filling using this recipe. Again excellent. I have found that the ground wild turkey is really very similar to ground turkey & can be substituted in recipes that call for ground turkey.
Cooking the cutlets and fingers will be tricky. Brining, marinating, and perhaps pounding will be key.  I made grilled marinated wild turkey cutlets using this recipe. It was good, though salty, and I would adjust it in the future. I marinated the cutlets for over 24 hours which just may have been too long.
These turkeys are definitely tasty if attention is paid to prepping and cooking. Can’t wait until the fall turkey season! 
Zoom Info
Wild Turkey Cooking Experiment
Part of the hesitation with turkey hunting was that they are notorious for being tough and inedible. But I kept reading and hearing folks here and there saying how delicious wild turkey was, that you must cook it “right”. Have we forgotten how to cook wild game with the proliferation of industrial poultry and meat? 
I did a lot of internet research and formed a plan for cleaning and freezing the first turkey I tagged this spring. I breasted the 17.8 lb tom & also kept the legs. Most folks just breast their turkeys. I was determined to find a way to use the legs, even if just for stock. I double ground one breast, saved the “fingers”, pieced part of the other breast, then made cutlets of the rest. I packed them by type and using the food saver vacuum packed them, then froze each package.
The legs were going to be wild turkey carnitas using this recipe. I was also thinking about how I make pulled pork in the slow cooker so I added the spices per the carnitas recipe but didn’t have the chiles or the juniper berries and I knew I had to cook these legs a long time to get them tender so I just went into pulled pork cooking mode and poured some hard cider (I brewed but didn’t like) over them. I added a little water and turned them on low. For a long time…15 hours. They were then tender & I pulled them, dumped liquid from slow cooker, put pulled turkey back in slow cooker, added some chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cooked on low for a few hours. It was really good! So don’t throw the legs out!
I then made a white bean chili using ground wild turkey using a combination of a few recipes I googled online. So good! Also with the ground turkey I made turkey and black bean burrito/taco filling using this recipe. Again excellent. I have found that the ground wild turkey is really very similar to ground turkey & can be substituted in recipes that call for ground turkey.
Cooking the cutlets and fingers will be tricky. Brining, marinating, and perhaps pounding will be key.  I made grilled marinated wild turkey cutlets using this recipe. It was good, though salty, and I would adjust it in the future. I marinated the cutlets for over 24 hours which just may have been too long.
These turkeys are definitely tasty if attention is paid to prepping and cooking. Can’t wait until the fall turkey season! 
Zoom Info

Wild Turkey Cooking Experiment

Part of the hesitation with turkey hunting was that they are notorious for being tough and inedible. But I kept reading and hearing folks here and there saying how delicious wild turkey was, that you must cook it “right”. Have we forgotten how to cook wild game with the proliferation of industrial poultry and meat? 

I did a lot of internet research and formed a plan for cleaning and freezing the first turkey I tagged this spring. I breasted the 17.8 lb tom & also kept the legs. Most folks just breast their turkeys. I was determined to find a way to use the legs, even if just for stock. I double ground one breast, saved the “fingers”, pieced part of the other breast, then made cutlets of the rest. I packed them by type and using the food saver vacuum packed them, then froze each package.

The legs were going to be wild turkey carnitas using this recipe. I was also thinking about how I make pulled pork in the slow cooker so I added the spices per the carnitas recipe but didn’t have the chiles or the juniper berries and I knew I had to cook these legs a long time to get them tender so I just went into pulled pork cooking mode and poured some hard cider (I brewed but didn’t like) over them. I added a little water and turned them on low. For a long time…15 hours. They were then tender & I pulled them, dumped liquid from slow cooker, put pulled turkey back in slow cooker, added some chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cooked on low for a few hours. It was really good! So don’t throw the legs out!

I then made a white bean chili using ground wild turkey using a combination of a few recipes I googled online. So good! Also with the ground turkey I made turkey and black bean burrito/taco filling using this recipe. Again excellent. I have found that the ground wild turkey is really very similar to ground turkey & can be substituted in recipes that call for ground turkey.

Cooking the cutlets and fingers will be tricky. Brining, marinating, and perhaps pounding will be key.  I made grilled marinated wild turkey cutlets using this recipe. It was good, though salty, and I would adjust it in the future. I marinated the cutlets for over 24 hours which just may have been too long.

These turkeys are definitely tasty if attention is paid to prepping and cooking. Can’t wait until the fall turkey season! 

Turkey hunting. Not easy. You see the toms fanning to a flock of hens when you drive by on the road and it’s easy to think “Hey piece of cake to bag a turkey”. Umm…no. They are amazingly keen. Any movement out of the ordinary they will see and they can almost sense when something is not quite “right”. Combine that with the little H&R Pardner Compact 20 gauge shotgun I use (with 3” Federal Mag-Shok Heavy Weight turkey load) and it’s a tough hunt. The absolute best thing I did was track them in a late spring snow to find their travel routes which was confirmed in the past two weeks of sitting and watching. I started to anticipate where they were going if I bumped them and could pick up their low “pocks”, “clucks”, and “yelps”. I watched hens 30’ from me cutting and yelping at each other, saw lots of deer, had a big tom walk wicked close then sensed something and “put putted” and veered off, & had a jake come up behind me. It was lots of very, very still sitting. And lots of observing wildlife and listening to the woods. 
Today I ran 8 miles then came home and headed out around 11am. Hunting at daybreak during the week is not possible with getting the kids off to school. I’ve observed turkeys traveling around during the day and even evenings (here in Maine you can hunt all day). On the way out I bumped the tom I shot. He went in the woods above the field corner where I hide and the corner they travel down through to the field. I dropped below him and quickly clipped a new shooting lane from my hiding spot so when he comes out of that corner and clears the brush hiding me my barrel is right on him. I bumped two hens in the corner but that was ok. Figured they would meet up with Mr. Tom and maybe come back to the field. I did some light calling and sat for about 1/2 hour and could hear a low yelp and clucks. I could sense they were around. I also could hear some movement in the leaves. Then the hens appeared and I knew that Mr. Tom wasn’t far off. And he wasn’t. He moved into my lane and I even pulled my mask down quickly so I could get a better shot. He was about 50’ away when I pulled the trigger. The 1/2 mile walk to the house was pretty hard so I knew this bird was a good size.
I rushed up to Libby’s to get him tagged then home to part him out and get the meat cooling. 17.8 pounds with an 8” beard. I packaged up the turkey “fingers”, ground one breast into burger, cutlets from 1/2 of the the other breast, and pieced the rest for marinating for stir fries or burrito night. I’m going to make carnitas in the slow cooker out of the legs/thighs. This is all about healthy, organic, free-range meat so let the wild turkey cooking experiment begin!
Zoom Info
Turkey hunting. Not easy. You see the toms fanning to a flock of hens when you drive by on the road and it’s easy to think “Hey piece of cake to bag a turkey”. Umm…no. They are amazingly keen. Any movement out of the ordinary they will see and they can almost sense when something is not quite “right”. Combine that with the little H&R Pardner Compact 20 gauge shotgun I use (with 3” Federal Mag-Shok Heavy Weight turkey load) and it’s a tough hunt. The absolute best thing I did was track them in a late spring snow to find their travel routes which was confirmed in the past two weeks of sitting and watching. I started to anticipate where they were going if I bumped them and could pick up their low “pocks”, “clucks”, and “yelps”. I watched hens 30’ from me cutting and yelping at each other, saw lots of deer, had a big tom walk wicked close then sensed something and “put putted” and veered off, & had a jake come up behind me. It was lots of very, very still sitting. And lots of observing wildlife and listening to the woods. 
Today I ran 8 miles then came home and headed out around 11am. Hunting at daybreak during the week is not possible with getting the kids off to school. I’ve observed turkeys traveling around during the day and even evenings (here in Maine you can hunt all day). On the way out I bumped the tom I shot. He went in the woods above the field corner where I hide and the corner they travel down through to the field. I dropped below him and quickly clipped a new shooting lane from my hiding spot so when he comes out of that corner and clears the brush hiding me my barrel is right on him. I bumped two hens in the corner but that was ok. Figured they would meet up with Mr. Tom and maybe come back to the field. I did some light calling and sat for about 1/2 hour and could hear a low yelp and clucks. I could sense they were around. I also could hear some movement in the leaves. Then the hens appeared and I knew that Mr. Tom wasn’t far off. And he wasn’t. He moved into my lane and I even pulled my mask down quickly so I could get a better shot. He was about 50’ away when I pulled the trigger. The 1/2 mile walk to the house was pretty hard so I knew this bird was a good size.
I rushed up to Libby’s to get him tagged then home to part him out and get the meat cooling. 17.8 pounds with an 8” beard. I packaged up the turkey “fingers”, ground one breast into burger, cutlets from 1/2 of the the other breast, and pieced the rest for marinating for stir fries or burrito night. I’m going to make carnitas in the slow cooker out of the legs/thighs. This is all about healthy, organic, free-range meat so let the wild turkey cooking experiment begin!
Zoom Info
Turkey hunting. Not easy. You see the toms fanning to a flock of hens when you drive by on the road and it’s easy to think “Hey piece of cake to bag a turkey”. Umm…no. They are amazingly keen. Any movement out of the ordinary they will see and they can almost sense when something is not quite “right”. Combine that with the little H&R Pardner Compact 20 gauge shotgun I use (with 3” Federal Mag-Shok Heavy Weight turkey load) and it’s a tough hunt. The absolute best thing I did was track them in a late spring snow to find their travel routes which was confirmed in the past two weeks of sitting and watching. I started to anticipate where they were going if I bumped them and could pick up their low “pocks”, “clucks”, and “yelps”. I watched hens 30’ from me cutting and yelping at each other, saw lots of deer, had a big tom walk wicked close then sensed something and “put putted” and veered off, & had a jake come up behind me. It was lots of very, very still sitting. And lots of observing wildlife and listening to the woods. 
Today I ran 8 miles then came home and headed out around 11am. Hunting at daybreak during the week is not possible with getting the kids off to school. I’ve observed turkeys traveling around during the day and even evenings (here in Maine you can hunt all day). On the way out I bumped the tom I shot. He went in the woods above the field corner where I hide and the corner they travel down through to the field. I dropped below him and quickly clipped a new shooting lane from my hiding spot so when he comes out of that corner and clears the brush hiding me my barrel is right on him. I bumped two hens in the corner but that was ok. Figured they would meet up with Mr. Tom and maybe come back to the field. I did some light calling and sat for about 1/2 hour and could hear a low yelp and clucks. I could sense they were around. I also could hear some movement in the leaves. Then the hens appeared and I knew that Mr. Tom wasn’t far off. And he wasn’t. He moved into my lane and I even pulled my mask down quickly so I could get a better shot. He was about 50’ away when I pulled the trigger. The 1/2 mile walk to the house was pretty hard so I knew this bird was a good size.
I rushed up to Libby’s to get him tagged then home to part him out and get the meat cooling. 17.8 pounds with an 8” beard. I packaged up the turkey “fingers”, ground one breast into burger, cutlets from 1/2 of the the other breast, and pieced the rest for marinating for stir fries or burrito night. I’m going to make carnitas in the slow cooker out of the legs/thighs. This is all about healthy, organic, free-range meat so let the wild turkey cooking experiment begin!
Zoom Info

Turkey hunting. Not easy. You see the toms fanning to a flock of hens when you drive by on the road and it’s easy to think “Hey piece of cake to bag a turkey”. Umm…no. They are amazingly keen. Any movement out of the ordinary they will see and they can almost sense when something is not quite “right”. Combine that with the little H&R Pardner Compact 20 gauge shotgun I use (with 3” Federal Mag-Shok Heavy Weight turkey load) and it’s a tough hunt. The absolute best thing I did was track them in a late spring snow to find their travel routes which was confirmed in the past two weeks of sitting and watching. I started to anticipate where they were going if I bumped them and could pick up their low “pocks”, “clucks”, and “yelps”. I watched hens 30’ from me cutting and yelping at each other, saw lots of deer, had a big tom walk wicked close then sensed something and “put putted” and veered off, & had a jake come up behind me. It was lots of very, very still sitting. And lots of observing wildlife and listening to the woods. 

Today I ran 8 miles then came home and headed out around 11am. Hunting at daybreak during the week is not possible with getting the kids off to school. I’ve observed turkeys traveling around during the day and even evenings (here in Maine you can hunt all day). On the way out I bumped the tom I shot. He went in the woods above the field corner where I hide and the corner they travel down through to the field. I dropped below him and quickly clipped a new shooting lane from my hiding spot so when he comes out of that corner and clears the brush hiding me my barrel is right on him. I bumped two hens in the corner but that was ok. Figured they would meet up with Mr. Tom and maybe come back to the field. I did some light calling and sat for about 1/2 hour and could hear a low yelp and clucks. I could sense they were around. I also could hear some movement in the leaves. Then the hens appeared and I knew that Mr. Tom wasn’t far off. And he wasn’t. He moved into my lane and I even pulled my mask down quickly so I could get a better shot. He was about 50’ away when I pulled the trigger. The 1/2 mile walk to the house was pretty hard so I knew this bird was a good size.

I rushed up to Libby’s to get him tagged then home to part him out and get the meat cooling. 17.8 pounds with an 8” beard. I packaged up the turkey “fingers”, ground one breast into burger, cutlets from 1/2 of the the other breast, and pieced the rest for marinating for stir fries or burrito night. I’m going to make carnitas in the slow cooker out of the legs/thighs. This is all about healthy, organic, free-range meat so let the wild turkey cooking experiment begin!

fireemt95:

spectrum-approach:

haemophobic-bloodmage:

einherjartilvalhall:

kveldulf:

lionnhheart:

no i’m not crying what are you talking about

Ah, how I wish more people understood this.

I wish I could find a picture of me and blue from when we were young.

;____;

This is the most amazing post!

no stop right now please…This is killing me…

Fuck I miss my dog… :,|

(Source: wewewe-soexcited)

A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info
A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info
A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info
A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info
A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info
A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info
A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.
I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.
The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.
So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.
Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.
Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:
Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Zoom Info

A new addition at Christmas was a Henry Pump Action Octagon .22 rifle. (For full specs click here.) Now that the spring busy season is fading off, I have time for a range report.

I shot five rounds of Remington Golden Bullet at each of three targets at 25 yards and then three separate targets at 50 yards, so 15 rounds per distance. I have lots of Rem Goldens from a sale at Dick’s at Christmas. Good thing as .22 ammo is still hard to find.

The Henry Pump’s action seems a little stiff, but hard to judge as it’s brand new. Maybe 50 rounds total through it. One stumper I just figured out, is the lever just forward of the trigger guard on the right side. This is a release lever to unlock the action and opens it with the hammer fully cocked. Now I don’t think you would ever want to open the action with the hammer fully cocked, but perhaps slowly, gently guide the hammer down with your thumb while pulling the trigger (barrel in safe direction people!) then opening action to remove cartridge from the chamber. So my understanding of this lever forward of the trigger guard is to allow unloading of a loaded chamber.

So how’d it shoot? Pump actions are just real fun. Not as much fun as lever action but pretty close. For just picking up the rifle, I thought it was very accurate. I had never shot this particular gun before and my shots were not bullseye but they grouped up. The pump takes some muscle to pump and I found the gun heavy. Remember, I’m just 5’1” and 106lbs so most folks wouldn’t notice the weight or pump action effort.

Next blog post: Comparing the Browning BL-22 Micro Midas’ performance at the same target/shot distances as the Henry Pump Action Octagon.

Added info on action release lever near trigger lock via TheViking over to Liberal Gun Club Forum:

Every pump action shotgun I’ve shot has a similar lever around the trigger guard somewhere. The action needs to be locked in place so it doesn’t slide open by accident, wouldn’t be good for reliability. 

Most of them have internal hammers than you can’t decock, you just open the action. Without having fondled the Henry I bet that as soon as the action starts opening, the hammer is locked from falling forwards anyway so just use the opening lever.

In my honest opinion, that is safer than trying to guide the hammer forwards first. Doing the latter, it can slip and fire - just opening the action you are safe.
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
Zoom Info
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
Zoom Info
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
Zoom Info
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
Zoom Info
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
Zoom Info
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
Zoom Info
Katahdin
There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.
The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 
I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 
Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.
Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.
The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.
I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)
I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.
Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.
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Katahdin

There are a few “must see” spots in Maine and Baxter State Park is definitely at the top of the list. Our weekend family trip was to overnight Friday at Roaring Brook, try to see some moose at nearby Sandy Stream Pond, then hike up to Chimney Pond and stay in the bunkhouse Saturday then hike out to Roaring Brook Sunday. Just a quick trip and a first for our kids.

The Park’s reservation system is now on a rolling 4 month system with online services now available (AMAZING, as it used to be snail mail only. Really). I made these reservations in February, and Chimney Pond just opened for summer overnight hikers the day we were there, June 1. 

I reserved the bunkhouse at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond as I thought it may be cold and/or lots of black flies. Amazingly, it turned out steamy hot with a very healthy black fly population. 

Sandy Stream Pond did not disappoint. Many moose and our friends had a nice up close encounter with a cow and yearling. The kids swam in the pond with a grand view of the mountain behind them.

Saturday we hiked up to Chimney Pond, which is only 3.3 miles but feels about double that short mileage. Very rocky and steep in places. Katahdin miles are not normal hiking miles, they are LONG. We took our time and took a few water/food breaks. It took us 3 hours to hike from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond.

The view up from Chimney Pond is amazing. With binoculars we could see hikers on the Knife Edge Trail between Chimney Peak and South Peak hunched over and getting on all fours at times. The wind was very strong at Chimney Pond, it must have been whipping furiously at the top of the mountain. Wanting to check out the wind gusts myself, I thought I’d run/hike up the Saddle Trail.

I put on my New Balance 1010 trail shoes and my Nathan running pack with food/water/jacket and trotted out of Chimney Pond and quickly it got way too steep to run. So power hiked it and ran where I could. I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t running into hikers coming down off the mountain making their loop back to Roaring Brook. Then I hit snow in a slide area. Snow carved out underneath by melt and rain flow. And no footprints. SO, maybe this trail is closed. It was a short section that I could skirt in some bushes, which I did, then the trail just went straight up. Like I hope to see-my-kids-again steep. I could see the top, maybe two tenths of a mile away so I just kept going knowing it was going to be scary descending. (And folks, the Saddle Trail is the “easy” way up from Chimney Pond to the top of the mountain. I remember it being much easier when I was 24 also.)

I got to the top and it was windy but not horrible. I did have a bit of tableland ahead of me so probably not full force, still I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the exposed Knife Edge or other peaks that day. I looked around a bit then headed straight back down the Saddle Trail.

Steep, scary, and requiring getting very low and using my hands, I slowly went down the steep part, which included a huge swarm of black flies. Pretty funny actually as I couldn’t swat at them it was so steep. I got back to the snow slide area and I just bushwhacked it again then hit the trail. Eventually I got down far enough to trot back into Chimney Pond campground. About 50 minutes and only 1.9 miles. My NB 1010 shoes were super grippy and performed well with a light pack on. I ran into the campground ranger later and heard him telling campers that all trails up the mountain from Chimney Pond are closed. Oopsy.

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