December 6, 2022

Tricking a Gorby May Prove Fatal

The Bangor Daily News carried a piece by Bob Duchesne who wondered if it was possible to train a Gorby (Canada Jay) to kill and eat winter ticks off the back of moose: “…could gray jays be trained to eat ticks? In a controlled experiment where jays were given the choice between eating bread or a fat, juicy, engorged tick, the jays chose the tick every time. What would happen if you brought a stuffed moose into the woods, sprinkled some bread and engorged ticks on the haunches, and called in the jays? Would they learn to eat ticks off moose, and teach others to do it?”

It all sounds a bit romantic…perhaps a bit ludicrous. You see, not everyone knows that there is more to a Gorby than wondering whether or not you can train one to eat ticks off a moose’s back.

A Gorby can develop trust in a man. If a man betrays that trust, according to Maine humorist Joe Perham, terrible things can happen. In the story told by Perham, a lumberjack of years gone by betrayed the trust of a Gorby and come morning, his hair and teeth fell out.

To “trick” a Gorby into believing a stuffed moose with transplanted ticks devised as a training mechanism, might be a violation of trust and thus there is no telling what might become of someone who tried.

Purchase this CD.


R.I.P.: Joe Perham, Dear Friend, Maine Humorist


So sad was the news I received yesterday that long-time friend and hunting companion, Joe Perham, passed away. He was 80-years old.

For those interested, the Sun Journal provides a well written article about some of Joe’s past. Please feel free to read it.

The photo above reminds me often of the story Joe always told of when his lifelong friend, Milt Inman, and he, traveled and fished in Alaska. One day Milton caught a 54-pound king salmon on his fly rod, spending considerable time and energy to get the fish landed. It was a fete few could accomplish. Just about the time Milton was able to net the fish, Joe showed. He had been upstream fishing for dolly varden and had successfully landed two of them.

When Joe asked Milt if he had had any luck, Milt showed him his prize 54-pound king and Joe said, “All you caught was one?”

The stories are endless as will be the memories. For many years I was fortunate to have shared the same hunting camp with Joe, and other goods times, but more importantly my life was blessed to have known the man. Memories and the echos of his voice are forever etched in my mind.

For several years now, I have developed and maintained a website for Joe, where people can visit and buy his Maine humor CDs and storytelling.

In memory of Joe Perham, please listen to a few of his hunting and fishing tales.

Two Minutes Later


Bear Proof


Brown Trout


Chased the Deer

My Uncle Was a Trapper

“X” on Boat

Indian and the Warden