There are always a few bad apples in every bushel. Hunters are no different, and though they’re by far the minority, the unsavory element typically gets most of the attention. They’re just as disconcerting to hunters, perhaps more so because in addition to misrepresenting us to the non-hunting public, their actions can also negatively impact the efforts of ethical hunters.

Examples run the gamut from driving deer and night hunting to thievery. Among the most common items pilfered from the woods are treestands and trail cameras. It can be mighty discouraging after weeks of scouting an area to discover your camera has been taken or to arrive at your destination on opening day only to find your stand is missing. But every once in a while you hear a story that restores your faith in the nature of humans and hunters.

Erik Frigon, a registered Maine guide, was in the process of helping a moose hunter fulfill his goal of bagging Maine’s largest member of the deer family when things took a turn for the worse. The hunting party had seen several small bulls but none that offered a clear shot. As the setting sun marked the end of another unsuccessful day, Frigon was putting away his gear when he discovered, much to his dismay, that his Rhino GPS unit was missing. Mild panic set in as he meticulously went through his pack, then his truck, all to no avail. By the time he was done it was fully dark. Retracing their steps would be of little purpose.

Priority one the following day was locating a moose, with finding the missing GPS a close second. The hunting party spent much of the morning covering the same ground, eventually making their way back to where Frigon suspected he may have lost the unit. The group scoured the area where they had parked, again to no avail.

It was several hours later and, by Frigon’s estimate, a good seven miles from where he thought he’d lost the unit when something caught his attention.

“We were driving along when my eye just happened to catch a survey stake on the side of the road with an orange ribbon on it,” he recalled. It’s not an uncommon sight in the north woods and most folks would simply drive by, but for some reason Frigon decided to back up and have a closer look.

Frigon was astonished when he saw his GPS unit attached to the stake. Someone, a complete stranger and most likely another moose hunter, had found the unit and posted it on the roadside presuming its owner would come looking for it. Equally surprising was that no one else who happened by on a fairly well-traveled road had taken it. Frigon left his card with a note attached to the stake thanking whomever had recovered his GPS.

The overwhelming majority of hunters are good, honest and ethical folks. Frigon’s recent experience provides a prime example.

“I thought people should know about it,” he said. “With all the bad stuff you hear, people stealing treestands and messing up other people’s hunts, I thought this guy deserved to be acknowledged, whoever he is.”

So to the person who found Frigon’s GPS and all the responsible, ethical hunters out there: thanks.

Bob Humphrey is a freelance writer and registered Maine guide who lives in Pownal. He can be reached at:

[email protected]

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