Deirdre Fleming’s Nov. 5 story about deer hunters who enjoy birding was right on the mark. My wife, Linda, and I started birding 12 years ago, and I wish we’d started much sooner. Birding adds so much to our trips, and we now often travel just to see birds.

Last year, sitting in my deer stand, I had five barred owls fly down and surround me. That was very exciting, particularly when they got excited and started hooting like monkeys. And it isn’t just birds that we deer hunters enjoy.

The first section of my new book, “A Lifetime of Hunting and Fishing,” published in August by North Country Press, is titled “Walking My Woodlot.” I take the reader through my woodlot, telling stories of wonderful things that have happened there while I was hunting.

For example: Once I was sitting on the ground, with my back up against a tree, and an ermine started sprinting back and forth in front of me. It got to within about 10 yards, turned my way and ran right up my leg, stopping on my chest. At that point it decided I wasn’t a tree and it jumped off. Amazing!

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy birding in Maine. And it sure does add a wonderful element to spending time in our great outdoors.

George Smith

Mount Vernon