Morgan Whitten was crowned 2015 Miss Maine Sportsman at the recently completed State of Maine Sportsman Show in Augusta.
“I am honored,” she said of the award. “The Maine Sportsman staff did an excellent job. This contest will permit all of the semi-finalists to serve as role models for younger girls, inspiring them to be more involved in outdoor activities.”
Morgan was born in Ellsworth, graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from Husson, and lives in Winter Harbor. She’s working with her family’s construction business and studying to take her Registered Nursing exam.
“I have been hunting and fishing for as long as I can remember,” said Morgan. “I got my hunting license at age ten, and shot my first deer at age eleven. I’ve also gone out on the boat with my father saltwater fishing all my life.”
Proof of Morgan’s outdoor prowess came in 2013, when she earned entry into the Royal Crown Club of Maine for her grand slam.
“I drew a moose permit that season and decided I would try for each of Maine’s big-game animals,” she said. “After many hours of hunting during the different seasons I’d gotten my bear, turkey and moose, so all I had left was to shoot a deer. When I finally shot and killed my buck in November, I was beyond excited that all of my time and hard work had paid off.”
Loves Outdoor Activities
Morgan participates in a wide variety of outdoor sports. “I enjoy going four-wheeling and snowmobiling, with a slight preference for snowmobiling,” she said. “With the amount of snow and ice on the lakes this past winter, there were so many places you could go.” In the summers she enjoys kayaking and whitewater rafting.
“It’s important for all of us to get outdoors,” she continued. “Get out of the house, see the beautiful Maine scenery and explore places you’ve never been before.”
Morgan has experience with hounds. “My father has a blue tick hound we use for hunting,” she said. “We also use him to track game that people have wounded. He’s helped us find many animals that would have been lost if we had not located them.”
Favorite seasons, gear
“My favorite hunting season is deer season, since it takes a lot of time and work to bag a deer,” Morgan said. “I enjoy the chase and the sense of accomplishment when I am successful.” Morgan’s weapon of choice is a Browning BAR .270, that formerly belonged to her grandfather.
She hunts deer from a family camp. “I cherish many family members from events that occurred at our deer-hunting camp, she said. “Over the years I’ve spent a great deal of time there, and I know the land well.”
Saltwater fishing is also near and dear to Morgan’s heart. “I especially enjoy tuna fishing off-shore with my father during the summer,” she said. They sometimes go 20 miles or more offshore in her dad’s Mitchell Cove fishing boat. She uses a Penn International 130 class rod and reel, and also harpoons the fish. Her love of offshore fishing explains one of her favorite television shows, “Wicked Tuna.”
Philosophical about hunting, trapping
Morgan reports that hunting and fishing have taught her a respect for wildlife, as well as the virtues of patience, perseverance, and working hard to achieve a goal.
“I trust and support those who write and enforce Maine fish and wildlife rules and laws,” she said. “It’s important for everyone follow the rules so we can all enjoy hunting and fishing in Maine.”
On gun ownership, she states that “everyone should be taught to own and handle firearms with a great deal of respect. A gun is not a toy, and we should all learn proper gun safety.”
She supports bear-baiting and trapping in Maine, stating that in her experience, “those who are not supporters do not know a lot about bear hunting.”
“Maine’s program works well to control the population of bears, she said. “In addition, many Mainers make a living from doing guided hunts during bear season.” Overall, her message to folks, young and old, is to get outside and stay active. “It’s especially important to encourage kids to participate in outdoor activities,” she said. “Many young people stay inside, focused on electronics and video games. There are so many enjoyable things to do outside in Maine. It’s essential to encourage and promote outdoor opportunities including hunting, fishing and other activities.”