Steve Beckwith - Maine Hunter

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Guns That Shaped The Monster!

My .308 Savage 99C has seen a lifetime of wear, yep both me and the gun and still at my side when I am hunting big game and probably will be until the day I die.  

I been hunting deer since I was 10 and I'm 55 now. I started out with a Winchester 94 in 38-40, it was my Grandfather, Frank Beckwith's gun, whom I am named after. You see I was the youngest son of five so when I turned 10 guess who got the old heavy boat anchor with open sights to lug around the woods!

After two years of using the old Model 94, my older brothers guns, Alan and Jim's they became available from the family gun cabinet as they were off in the military in the Vietnam War, so I started grabbing their guns when I could, they were Savage Model 340 bolts in 30-30 with open sights which I never cared for that much. By 1974, I started using my oldest brother Jerry's gun, he was in college at the time and his Winchester model 100 in .308 was available for a couple years. I threw that gun to the curb for it's constant jamming issues and the loss of an awesome buck. In 1976 my father announced he was all done hunting because Dad's knees, back, gout and heart just wasn't in it anymore and he used my turning 16 and being able to hunt alone now as his ticket out of hunting with his boys. So I decided to give my Dad's Savage 99 a try and at age sixteen fell in love with the balance and feel of it when carried in the woods beating the hillsides as a free spirit unleashed from adult supervision tracking and chasing whitetails on my own. I shot a couple deer with that gun and decided I should look into actually owning my own guns rather than using family guns. I guess I was growing up!

My first gun purchase was a Marlin 335 in 35 Remington at age seventeen and although it was a nice feeling rifle to carry and hold, I didn't care for the hammer firing mechanism of that model and make so it was off to Kittery Trading Post to by a Winchester Model 70 in .270, an old hunting friend swore by his and I needed to give one a try for myself.  It just didn't feel good carrying in the woods tracking deer and it wasn't quick enough for me for follow up shots and one day the bolt caught on some thick thorn bushes and pulled the thorns into my hands and that was the last day with a bolt action for me in Maine woods.

I then inherited my other Grandfather's gun, whom I am also named after, Edwin Pinkham, (Steven Edwin Frank Beckwith, we all share the same Birthday!) which was a Remington 742 Woodmaster in .308, which also faithfully jammed on a regular basis, but I did shoot a few deer with my one shot semi for a couple more years!

It was 1980, I had been hunting for ten years now and off to K.T.P. I went to attempt to find my ultimate hunting gun. I still liked the Savage 99 of my fathers, it was the Featherweight model but the only issue I had with the older 99's was the way they loaded and unloaded with it's rotary magazine design it was a pain in the butt to unload, you have to eject each shell every time you were done using it and chase your bullets underneath all the fall leaves and snow. At K.T.P. I looked at the Browning BLR clip version in .308, a truly sweet gun, but it was way out of my price range.  I then stumbled among the miles of guns at K.T.P. across a Savage Model 99C (clip version) it was a slightly used gun for $150, I had enough money to buy that and a Bushnell 1.5 x 4.5 scope on it! (In 2014 that old Bushnell scope was replaced with another 1x5 variable scope, the focusing barrel threads rusted through and broke in my hands when adjusting it not bad for a cheap scope!)  It's now been 35 years with the same gun in my hands and this makes it hard for this seasoned hunter to make a change to anything else, although I know there are a few great guns others use!

I did buy another great lever action one day from a guy needing some cash, which I hold equal respect for as I do the Savage 99's and that was the Winchester model 88 in .308, it is also a beautiful handling firearm for deer hunting in Maine's woods. But it stayed in the gun cabinet every hunting season and the Savage was what I always grabbed when I headed into the woods, finally one day the poor old Winchester 88 paid some bills for my family as it had increased greatly in value from when I bought it.

I have spent thirty five years with a Savage 99C in my hands it's been through more beatings than most guns will ever see, and it still works and shoots like a dream!  The only non-lever action gun, ever made, that I would consider changing to would be the Remington Model 760 in .308, I have always liked this gun and love the feel of a pump action. It's probably why I love my pump shotguns for turkey hunting, from my Browning to my Mossbergs! So for me, it's a hamerless lever action  or a pump for my big game hunting!

To each his own when it comes to the feel, action, and preference of a hunting rifle, it's not about what is the best caliber, highest quality or the most popular manufacturer of a hunting weapon! It's what carries, shoulders, and fits you as an individual that works consistently without flaws in adverse hunting conditions, that what makes your gun of choice the best gun out there!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

ThermaCELL HeatPacks - Hand & Pocket Warmers

I have given these new devices made by ThermaCELL a field test today and I will have to say I am very impressed with the way they perform and the many options for their use

Although it wasn't a record setting cold day, the temperatures were down to the low thirties today with wind at 20-30 mph and wind gusts hitting 40 plus at times, it was cold enough to know the use of this product aided in my comfort sitting in one place in the woods for four hours and remaining comfortable.

As I sat there and started to cool down from my walk into my stand, I decided to pull out two pocket warmers and turn them onto medium heat setting, I wore a men's double chest pocket long sleeve button up shirt as one of my layers and as I dressed for the hunt, I inserted one Pocket Warmer into each pocket. I zipped up my outer layering and sat back to see how they performed. It wasn't too long when I was so comfortable I forgot about the test for a while, when my mind came back to the pocket warmers being on, I could feel a full warmth throughout underneath my wool jacket and frankly it felt sweet even with the wind whipping across my face, watering my eyes and drafts going down my neck!   

With the cool feeling of drafts going down the back of my neck, I decided to pull out my fleece neck guard from my pocket and put that on to stop the draft, after a few minutes, I had another thought and that was to take a "Hand Warmer" and place it underneath the neck guard on medium and placed that on the back of my neck inside the folds of the fleece neck guard.  This worked out perfect for added comfort as the sun set and the day ended. 

I also tried the Hand Warmer and they worked great in the backs of my gloves, but some sort of pocket to slide them into would be more comfortable and easier than just sliding them inside a glove, with that said I will have to sew in a few pockets in the areas I want to direct heat to my body for added comfort and wearing these great new devices.

I upgraded my boots to a higher insulation value this season and although my ThermaCELL Pro-FlexHeated Insoles were standing ready inside my boots, the weather wasn't cold enough today to activate this warmth, we'll be ready though when cold weather sets in to my hunting area this fall! With this product one must know they are designed to keep your feet "comfortable" (Not Hot) by using slightly warmer temperatures than your natural body heat to create a comfortable inner boot temperature without causing your feet to sweat. The key to this product is understanding these are not designed to "heat" up your feet like their hand warmer products work, this would cause a wet sock inside your boots, not good! As always, I recommend that you read the instructions "before making purchase" of this product to learn proper use and how they keep your feet comfortable. Do not think that these will make your feet feel like they are next to a warm toasty fire that is not how they work to keep your feet comfortable and dry in extreme weather conditions! Read Instructions click here!    

From my experience as a ThermaCELL Field Pro-staffer I would advise users to read the instructions that come with the product and follow the use of it as suggested and their products work flawlessly! All serious outdoors enthusiasts should have ThermaCELL products in their trick bag for a comfortable outdoor experience, from mosquitoes to body warmer devices, if the name ThermaCELL is on the product you can expect solid performance!
As I get older the cold bothers me more and with products like this in my bag of tricks, even on days like today, ThermaCELL made my life outdoors much better!  I simply don't leave home without ThermaCELL and if I do, again because I'm getting older, it reminds me to pack them on my next trip out!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Top 10 reasons you know when to not watch a hunting show.

This is strictly my personal “code” of TV entertainment and not intended to offend anyone that likes, reality TV, media personalities or shows that are made strictly for ratings and entertainment value.

1.   When it plays half of what you already watched after each commercial!
2.   When the show host tries too hard to be a comedian, is always over excited, has an inflated ego, or is primarily using technology to create the show.
3.   When it remotely looks like a reality TV show plot.
4.   When there are more than 15 minutes of commercials during a thirty minute episode, with a commercial break every five minutes.
5.   When the editors use “B” footage or “after shots” to show hunter approaching from angles behind the dead animal with hunter acting excited as if he just saw the animal for the first time on the ground.
6.   When you see fall colors in one part of the hunt and green leaves in the next clip or one second the hunter has camo on and the next has orange or a change of clothing!
7.   When the editors use additional pre-shot footage from other animals and hunts to enhance a particular episode. (Fake additions to the actual hunting episode at hand!) When too much editor flash is being used to enhance excitement.
8.   When girls wear pink camo, revealing clothing, put on make up in bathroom mirrors (other than camo face paint), guys showing off, working out, showing muscles etc.
9.   When hunts are on fenced in ranches and game farms.
10. When it’s all about the trophy, weight or rack of an animal, rather than the wildlife management and actual excitement of the individual hunters experience.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Steve's Outdoor and in The Field Tips

Another in the Outdoors and in the Field Pro tip this time giving good information about effectively controlling mosquitoes and black flies while in the turkey woods! Great product!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Turkey Hunting In Late Season

Here's a few tips about hunting birds once the pressure sets in from hunters. Put some miles on your feet and find that gobbler!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Why are you only on ROKU?

We often are asked.. Why are you only on ROKU, why aren't you on local cable, or the Hunting Channel so we can see your show on our channels?

Here is a break down of TV networks:

Roku is a device you purchase from places like Best Buy, Walmart or online from It costs between $49 and $99 depending upon the model device you purchase, you need Wi-Fi and even a cell phone wi-fi seems to work! It is a one time purchase and there are no other fees to view over 2000 free channels on Roku players for as long as your player lasts, which so far has been years for me. There are many other options for entertainment, such as Hulu Plus and Netflix. But the FREE channels exceed 2000 and we are not the only hunting shows you can watch, there are shows about cooking, cars, racing, hiking, biking, sewing, and just about anything you can think of ! I personally gave up my Road Runner cable and went strictly with Roku for my TV entertainment and have not missed conventional cable at all! I pay for Hi-speed internet and watch TV over that for free!  Find out more about Roku devices and what they offer here:

Maine Hunters TV is on the New England Outback Network channel on Roku Streaming TV, which has over 10 million subscribers and growing daily in the USA (Coast to Coast) and can be watched on demand anytime FREE. Roku gives us and our viewers way more bang for the buck and way more ability to be seen whenever you, the end user, desires to watch our episodes. No need to tune in on 6:30 on a Monday night to see our show! Watch us anytime you want! many big name hunting shows are now on ROKU free as well!      

Local cable channels provide programming at a specific hour IE: 6:30 PM on Tuesday to view a particular episode, it's viewing area is only the towns that the particular cable area supports, which really limits how many people will ever even watch our episodes. Example: York county has 2 or 3 cable companies which offer a public channel, but they do not overlap service areas, so if you live where Metrocast cable exists, only those viewers would see our show, and Road Runner subscribers would never see it just two towns away! In order for us to be seen on cable public channels across the entire New England viewing area it would be cheaper to be on the Hunting or Sportsman's channel! Just one local cable channel is way more expensive for 7 episodes and two re-runs per 3 month quarter of programing, then our expenses monthly on ROKU!

Other options for our show include Dish Network or the larger cable company networks (Metrocast,TWC,Comcast, etc.) with channels like the Hunting Channel, Sportsman's Channel,  Discovery Channel , History Channel or Pursuit. Most of these big name channels don't overlap between cable and satellite companies so the viewing of an episode again is set on specific times and days which limits actual views of the episodes to those that have time available at say 6:30 on Monday night each week to watch, or whatever time slot you purchase! The amount of sponsors needed to pay these high bills for slots on these channels, simply are to high for our content, which is strictly New England hunting! Some of these channels cost from 14K to 30K for a 3 month, 7 episode series with 7 re-runs. Don't get too wild on me folks if I miss a figure here on this, but I think you can understand the expense and how many people that we want to see our episodes here in New England would miss our show, with only two evening slot opportunities to see them.

All the aforementioned channels are still wonderful and each hunting show team that is on an individual network will get a certain amount of viewers each time their show airs. Each channel or network has their own audience and users depending upon how (you) the end user watches TV, all at a very high price. (Exactly why we are on one network.)   We feel that we get the most exposure for our staff and our sponsors being on our own Roku Network, the New England Outback Network. The Roku corporation has sold over 10 Million Roku players in the USA alone, Roku channels can be seen in other countries as well, giving our viewing audience a very wide demographic, USA coast to coast mainly which allows easy access for our New England viewers, who typically enjoy watching our episodes simply because New Englanders can relate to our conditions, success and failures in the areas we film and hunt, New England and Canada.  We cater to New England businesses for sponsorship because "We Hunt New England"!

If you have a New England based team that hunts, fishes, hikes, bikes, climbs, cooks or does things in New England and want to get on our network? It's easy and quite inexpensive to join our network and get your own channel for your show team, contact me for pricing and details to get your team into over 10 million homes!

Maine Hunters TV  "We Hunt New England"  on the New England Outback Network Channel on 10 Million Roku
devices coast to coast!