Blog :: 2015

Off Grid in Maine and Loving It!

Some of the most affordable and beautiful properties for sale in Maine don't include power lines! Check out this new off the grid listing in Otis, Maine in the heart of Hancock County.

 

Off Grid Maine Cabin

Off Grid Maine Cabin

 

The cabin has nearly 1,200 square feet of living space with 1 bedroom on the first floor and a large loft to accommodate multiple guests. A fully functional kitchen and full bath/laundry round out a cabin with a large living rooms with cathedral ceilings.

DSC_1220The cabin sets on the western boundary of the property with sunrise views over the hardwood forest. The 52.4 +/- acres has some beautiful hardwood timber with impressive examples of ash and maple trees. There is a lot of game sign on the property from whitetail deer to grouse and other upland birds. The lot has a babbling mountain brook running through the property with slow pools mixed with small waterfalls.

This property is located on a ridgeline between several of Hancock Counties best cold water lakes and Ponds. Beech Hill Pond, Green Lake, Floods Pond, Mountainy Pond and Burnt Pond are all within a short distance of the land.

 

This is a great property for a seasonal vacation spot, hunting cabin or year round home. Located between Bangor and Ellsworth it is a reasonable drive to an international airport and Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

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Are you ready to get back to a more simple lifestyle and relax in the woods of Maine? Maybe you just need a weekend place to get away, no matter your motivation, come see this perfect coastal mountain retreat today.

 

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Aerial View of Beech Hill Pond

 

An Amazing Off Grid Home

 

Eagle Lake Maine Home

 

With over 600 acres of land this 3,600+ square foot quality home has a lot of luxury to offer in an off grid setting. The land consists of 50+- acres of open fields and the balance of the 634+/- acres is a mixture of diverse timberland.

 

One of four fields

 

The open fields surrounding the home would be perfect for organic farming or grazing pastureland for livestock.

From the home the views to the east are of the surrounding hilltops with no other homes in sight.

The property has a lot of sugar maple large enough for tapping.

Two small trout streams run through the property one complete with a beaver pond.

 

The home has a wrap around porch offering panoramic views of the largest field. Moose and deer are regular visitors to this part of the property.  The property sports a large barn with stalls for horses. A tractor barn, tool shed, power supply building and other storage sheds plus a two car garage provides space for all your storage needs.

 

Barn

Barn

 

 

Beaver Pond

Beaver Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electric power is made on the property with a combination of solar, wind and propane generator. Heating is a mixture of wood, oil and gas allowing you to use whatever is most economical in the market place.

 

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

 

 

 

 

 

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The 11 room 3 bedroom 2 bath contemporary farm home has features rarely found in an off grid setting. Ten foot ceilings on the first floor, hardwood flooring throughout, large open kitchen and dining room complete with an antique cook stove.

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This property is priced at an unbelievable $525,000. Hurry and call Rick Theriault at 207-731-9902 today before you miss this rare opportunity to purchase the most amazing home and land combination for sale in Maine today.

 

How To Choose A Logger

Is it time to harvest your timberland in Maine? If so and you do not have the experience, equipment or desire to do it yourself, do you know how to find someone to do the harvesting for you?

Choosing a logger is a very important process in the management of your timber investment. Done properly, harvesting will pay a return on investment with competitive stumpage checks, improve the growth of the remaining trees, protect sensitive areas, provide habitat for game animals, open views and possibly make road improvements. An improper harvest may do just the opposite of the above. So how do you go about finding a logger you ask?

If you have a forest management plan you should start with your Maine professional forester who prepared your plan. He or she should know some reputable loggers who they could refer to you. Once you have a couple of names ask some questions.

  • Ask for references from other land owners that the logger has worked for. Call them and ask how the job turned out.
  • Ask for their certifications. The better loggers in Maine will have been through the Certified Logging Program (CLP) or the Master Logger Certification (MLC). Both of these credentials show that they have some working knowledge of proper forestry and safety techniques.
  • Ask them to show you that they are insured for workers compensation in case of an accident. You do not want an injury on your land to become your problem.
  • If you can, visit a couple of their past jobs sites to see how they left the land.
  • Once you have decided on a contractor get a signed contract for the job. This will give you and your logger have a clear understanding of how the job will be done and what and when you will be paid for your trees.

If you get an unsolicited offer in the mail or over the phone be cautious. That logger may or may not be good at what they do, to be sure use the above questions.

As always I would recommend that your independent forester be part of the process. Their assistance in the process will most likely pay dividends for the future of your forest.

For more information on timberland see http://investintimberland.com/

 

Maine Tree Growth Tax Confusion

If you have been planning to purchase a parcel of land in Maine you have probably heard of tree growth tax status. These are a few common misconceptions about the program that we often hear from potential land buyers and land owners.

"I can't cut any trees if I have the property in tree growth". False

The tree growth tax law was enacted by the Maine legislature to allow land owners to maintain their property as productive woodland to supply Maine's wood industry. Cutting trees is what this tax law was designed for.

"It is too complicated." False

As a new owner you will have a few obligations to get the tax benefit from tree growth but it is a relatively simple process. You need to hire a consulting forester who will help you create a management plan, file some forms and then follow your plan.

"I don't want to give up control of my land." False

While you do need to follow some rules, the rules allow for the owner to make their own decisions in managing the lands as long as they use sound silvicultural practices.

"I can't build on the land if it is in tree growth." Somewhat True

Once a property is enrolled in tree growth tax status you will need to apply for a change of use that will be acceptable to the town but a penalty will be imposed for the change of use. Also, portions of a property can be left out of tree growth at the time of enrollment to allow for penalty free building sites.

For more information on Maine's Tree Growth Tax see:

http://www.maine.gov/revenue/forms/property/pubs/bull19text.htm

Maine Deer Hunting Food Plots and Stand Placement

We had a successful hunting season in Maine for 2015.  Everyone in our hunting party saw deer, had some good naps on stand and just enjoyed being in the Maine woods in Hancock County.  In the post you will see a photo of my 10 year old nephew, Gavin, enjoying a nap on stand. Gavin bagged his first turkey in May and bear in October, but the whitetails were intolerant of the snoring sounds coming from his blind.

 

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Snoozing in the blind

 

Throughout this year we worked on clearing new hiking and ATV trails throughout the northwest section of our family woodlot.  Along these trails we installed two ladder stands on a ridge of mature maple and pine trees overlooking one of the small babbling brooks that meanders through our land.  From our stands we also have a view of Blue Hill Maine and Mount Desert Island and parts of Acadia National Park. Even on the days we don't see deer the views are nice.

The trail work paid off as my brother harvested a nice 8 point buck that dressed out just under 190 pounds.  To make the job of getting the deer out of the woods, our neighbor Nick and his 3 year old son Colby drove their ATV out our new trail and drug the deer out for us and even hoisted the animal onto our truck.  Thank you Nick!

We have found the deer like to use our new trails along with other game animals.  To smooth out some of these trails and remove stumps we plan to have Jeremy Guellette of Ground Perfection Specialists spend a day or two with his grinder cleaning things up for us.  The machines you see clearing the sides of I-95 north of Lincoln is Jeremy's company.

Once cleaned up we will seed down the trails and plant some small food plots.  Our forester also recommended cutting back the 7-10' poplar in areas.  This will cause the poplar to reshoot new seedlings and will be a "natural" food plot.

We enjoy working and improving our woodlot.   Owning land in Maine has many benefits but to me one of the tops is the therapy of doing physical labor and discovering new areas of your Maine land and how to best take advantage of the topography and other features.

A Maine Tiny House For Sale - It's In The Trees!

Tiny homes are all the rage across the nation. I wonder if this is a trend driven by a desire to simplify our lives? No matter the reason a tiny home certainly has some upsides like reduced ownership cost from heating, electric, maintenance and property taxes.095

For those interested in the tiny home concept, we have a newly listed property in Springfield, Maine you need to see. Not only is this home tiny, but it is built as a tree house. The multi-level home is perfect for a simplified primary residence or the ultimate get-away second home or sporting retreat.

 

The 544 square foot tree house is perched in a pine grove on 23 +/- acres fronting for about 1,000 feet on babbling Wrights Mill Brook. The land for sale with this unique home is a mixture of forestland, fields, apple trees and meadows. The home is located on a secondary road and is the last home on the town maintained section of the road. Privacy should not be a problem here.FB_IMG_1444066599213_resized

 

Springfield is located on the edge of large forestlands with lots of game and within a 10 minute drive to the boat launch of the Grand Lake chain of lakes. The lakes include Junior Lake, Sysladobsis Lake, Scraggly Lake, West Grand Lake as well as other lakes and ponds. For the outdoor enthusiast there is no better location. ATV/Snowmobile trails can be reached from the property.

 

 

Call 800-286-6164 and ask for Traci Gauthier for a chance to see this one of a kind tiny home.

 

 

 

Conservation Vs. Production in an Off-Grid Power System

I've produced most of my homes electricity for several years now.  Seven years ago I installed a 10 Kw Bergey wind turbine and three years ago I added an additional 3000 watt solar array with battery storage and inverters.  At peak production with both devices I am producing 13,000 watts of power on a sunny and windy day.  On a monthly basis I have seen as much as 1200 kilowatt hours of production from my turbine and an additional 360 kilowatt hours of power from my solar array.  The average home uses 600 kilowatt hours of power on a monthly basis, so at times I am able to produce more power at my home than two average homes in the U.S. consume. This production ability came at a pretty steep upfront cost.  I have around $60,000 in my turbine and about $20,000 in my solar array with its associated inverters, batteries and top of pole mount.

 

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3 Kilowatt Solar Array

 

I have read in various places studies showing the costs for energy conservation compared to the costs of energy production.  The number that I have seen is on the order of for every $1.00 spent in conservation, it would take about $8.00 spent to produce that amount of energy.  So what does this have to do in real life when thinking about building an alternative energy system?  Well quite simply the less energy you really need to produce to live comfortably, the smaller the investment you need to make to produce that energy.

A well thought out off-grid home is going to be well insulated as well as well positioned to take advantage of passive solar heating, natural lighting and have efficient electrical appliances and lighting.  The lifestyle of the inhabitants of that home will be different as well.  They will turn off lights when not in the room.  If they watch television, they will turn it off when it is not being watched.  Pretty common sense items you would think, but not in reality.  It is amazing the people that I have had as guests in my home that leave the lights on, leave the television playing and just waste electricity.  I guess they either believe since I produce my own, it is free to waste it.  It just takes a second to turn off appliances not being used, and all that conservation adds up pretty fast when you figure it is an eight to one return.

 

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10 KW Wind Turbine

 

The inhabitants of a well designed off-grid home will most likely heat with wood, cook with propane or natural gas, and use efficient LED lighting in the home.  The electrical appliances will be energy star rated and they will decide what is truly important to them.  The home will probably not have a dishwasher, although it could.  It depends on what they consider necessary for their lifestyle.  I have seen some pretty amazing properties that were built off-grid and produce all their own electricity.  I have also seen some pretty modest homes with modest energy production investments with above average energy consumption as well.  Utilizing a conservationists approach to living your life will yield large dividends in money saved and still living comfortably in an off-grid home.  Decide what is important to you, what you could use less of, what you can get by without entirely and have an appropriately sized system installed for your home.  A good friend of mine with hundreds of off-grid system installations under his belt has stated that he never tells anyone that it can't be done, what he says is "how large is your budget?"  Eight to one adds up pretty fast.

Piscataquis Overlook

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The 5.74+- acre lot is situated along Maine's Piscataquis River.  This surveyed parcel has public road access and is just 5 minutes away from I-95, yet is quite private and quiet.  The property has 1200+- feet of river frontage and sits high on a bank overlooking the Piscataquis River.

 

Driveway Entrance

Driveway Entrance

 

 

The lot has been soil tested and there is plenty of room to build a river front home or cottage.  The lot is heavily treed with a mixed growth of softwood and hardwood species.  Tracks of deer, moose and other forest creatures have been seen on outings to the property.

 

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Hard Fighting Smallmouth Bass

 

 

 

 

The lower portion of the property that extends to the river's edge benefits from heavy spring runoff which has deposited nutrient rich soil along the river's edge.  This area in the month of May erupts in green growth of one of Maine's wild delicacies, the fiddlehead.  This fern emerges as temperatures rise and waters recede and are a delicious and nutritious delicacy.  The waters of the river are home to many fish species from brook trout to smallmouth bass.

 

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Matteuccia struthiopteris - aka ostrich fern or fiddlehead

 

The property benefits from being located close to I-95 which makes it very accessible.  It is just 30 minutes from Bangor, ME with its shopping opportunities, world class health care found at Eastern Maine Medical Center and a multitude of dining opportunities.  Bangor International Airport makes travel to far off destinations convenient.  Educational opportunities abound at The University of Maine located just 25 minutes away.

This property is waiting for you to make it your home.  Convenient, quiet and pristine, the Piscataquis Overlook is available for you.  Call today and make this Piscataquis river front lot your new home.

Maine's Unknown Piscataquis River

My childhood home was just off the banks of the Piscataquis River in central Penobscot County where I could often be found wading its shores honing my fly fishing skills. I have many fond memories of exploring this little known river. It was here that I hooked my first Atlantic salmon while fishing for trout.

 

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New Fish bypass Howland, Maine*

Visitors to Maine and locals as well, often bypass this river for the more famous rivers to the north and west. When paddling or fishing this river expect to have a lot of solitude. This is a place where you will see abundant wildlife from whitetail deer and moose to daily sightings of bald eagles, heron and a diversity of waterfowl.

 

The Piscataquis River flows from small creeks and glacial ponds in its headwater just south of Greenville for approximately 65 miles to its confluence with the Penobscot River in Howland.  Along the way small river and stream tributaries increase the Piscataquis River volume.

The headwaters are in a semi-remote section of Piscataquis County. This is an area with a large moose population and wild eastern brook trout. The river flows through the woods until it emerges along Route 6/15 in the village of Abbot. From here the river flows through Abbot, Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft. Paddlers should pay attention along the way for rapids and portages. This section of river is sometimes stocked with brook trout. You will see fisherman above and below the covered bridge in Guilford, just move a half mile up or down stream to avoid any crowd.

 

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Piscataquis River in Howland just above the confluence with the Penobscot River

 

From Dover the river flows through Sebec, Atkinson and Milo adding the waters from the Sebec and Pleasant Rivers along the way. Milo to Howland is a beautifully peaceful canoe trip. Anglers will find this a good place to wet a line with abundant smallmouth bass and possible landlocked salmon and brook trout near the mouths of cold tributaries.

 

Pick up a Delorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer to for more details of the river and to help you find access points and boat landings. Please remember that the river flows through mostly private property, respect the landowners by packing everything out that you bring in.

* "Howland Dam bypass, Maine 1" by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region - Howland Dam bypass, Maine. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howland_Dam_bypass,_Maine_1.jpg#/media/File:Howland_Dam_bypass,_Maine_1.jpg

Alissa Hunts For Bear in Maine

 

A few months ago my wife fielded a call from a young lady from Michigan who inquired about hunting bear with Mountain View Drifter Lodge & Outfitters. She asked a lot of questions, most of which my wife who works closely with me could answer. She also wanted a call back from me for guide specific questions. We had a very pleasant conversation where I talked about the hunt we provide and asked her a few questions as well. She indicated she and her hunting partner both were interested in hunting black bear with archery equipment. I described the stands I use, typical shot distance and spoke a bit about black bears. Alissa decided to book her hunt with us for the first week of the 2015 bear season.

Alissa and her friend drove through the night from Michigan and arrived in Millinocket, ME around 11 a.m. on Sunday. After they and our other guests settled in for the week we served a meal of Maine lobster. After lunch we went over bear behavior, shot placement, and everything a new bear hunter needs to know to possibly have a chance of filling their bear tag. Next we moved onto proficiency with their hunting weapon. Alissa was able to group her arrows pretty well into my 3-D target, even after riding all night from Michigan. She shot well from ground level and from the elevated stand that mimics a hunting situation.

 

Alissa's Archery Equipment

Alissa's Archery Equipment

 

The following day found Alissa shooting at the 3-D target prior to the hunt. It was obvious she is a very dedicated archer. After lunch everyone donned their hunting apparel and gathered their gear as we headed off to the Maine woods in search of black bear. It took a couple of hours to get everyone out to their stands, and Alissa had to endure the long bumpy road to the archery stand I had set up in a swampy area that had a lot of bear activity. We walked into the bait site and I indicated silently where her stand was located. She tied off her gear to the rope and scampered up the tree steps and secured her safety harness to the tree. I then baited the site and slipped away to allow Alissa to sit motionless for the next several hours.

 

Alissas View

Alissa's Tree Stand View

 

 

On this first day of the hunt I had no calls from anyone harvesting a bear. Once all the hunters were gathered up and we were heading back to the lodge I learned that everyone had seen black bears on their bait sites, but had not shot any. In Alissa's case the bear she saw, probably saw her too. It had started to come into the bait site, then turned and headed back the way it came. That's what bears do when they determine something is not quite right in their neighborhood.

 

Bear's View

Success!

 

 

Tuesday began much the same way as Monday. Alissa shot her practice arrows. We had lunch, and we headed back to the woods in search of bear. On the way in to Alissa's stand I reiterated that you need to sit still and allow the bear to fully commit to the bait. Alissa and I headed into the bait site, she climbed into her stand, I baited the bait and slipped away. Later that afternoon I received a text message; "Bear down! Dead 15 yards from tree".   Well that was good news. I responded; "who shot", since there was no name on the text. I received the following,"Me!". Well I sort of knew who shot, but I had to be certain, rather than accidently walk in on the wrong hunter. So I wrote,"name". To which I received,"Alissa". Well now I was off and running. I arrived at the site, Alissa pointed to the bear that had been perfectly shot laying dead just a few yards from her stand. She climbed down and we went to admire her trophy. After some photos Alissa assisted me in carrying the bear through the swamp to the truck. We met up with the other hunters and headed back to the lodge for some well deserved congratulations.

 

Alissa Stieler with guide Rick Theriault

 

 

If you want to be successful in hunting an animal you never hunted before, a qualified guide is a good place to start. But beyond that you need to dedicate yourself to practicing with your hunting weapon. Alissa's months of practice allowed her to even after sitting motionless for several hours to draw her bow, pick her spot on the bear and release her arrow, all undetected and executed perfectly. Congratulations Alissa on your first Maine black bear!

For those of you wondering what Alissa was using for equipment, this is what she shot her bear with:

2015 BowTech Icon (compound bow) 52 lb Draw Weight 25 1/2" Draw Length Approx. 238 FPS Easton Bloodline Arrows (carbon fiber) 100 Grain G5 Montechs (fixed blade) HHA Single Pin Sight QAD Drop Away Rest

You can follow Alissa on her other hunts on Instagram. Her address is IG: archerhuntress