Timber sports come alive at the Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Lumberjack Mark Bouquin participates in the disc stacking competition during The Great Maine Lumberjack Show. Competitors aim to cut as many discs out of a log with a chainsaw without having any fall to the ground. PHOTO BY LILY CUSACK

“Everyone give me a great, big lumberjack yo-ho!” Tina Scheer, widely known as “Timber Tina,” bellowed to an enthusiastic crowd on a warm summer evening.

In a clearing framed by white pine trees, Scheer brings alive 1870s lumberjacking nightly through her Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton.

Wood chips start flying at 7 p.m. daily from June to September and the show’s cast of award-winning lumberjacks and jills vie in events such as logrolling, two-man crosscut sawing and ax throwing.

Mark Bouquin and his family travel in an RV from New York every year for a week just to compete here.

Lumberjack competitor Eric Good removes his axe from the target during the axe throwing competition of The Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton. Four lumberjacks and jills compete for a crowd every night in a variety of traditional lumberjack events.

Bouquin met Scheer five years ago while they were both working for her brother at the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in the southeastern city of Ketchikan. He has been coming to Maine for three years.

“We got to be buds,” Scheer said fondly of Bouquin. “Now he and his wife come up and make an annual trek up here to come hang out, go out on the water and work at the lumberjack show.”

Bouquin started competing on the collegiate woodsmen team at Paul Smith’s College in New York. After graduating in 2012, he went on to compete in shows in Alaska, Tennessee and Texas. Last year, he won Fox Channel’s “American Grit” reality TV series.

Besides lumberjacking, Bouquin has achieved milestones in a variety of outdoor endeavors. One of his biggest accomplishments was hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2009 in just under 100 days.

“You smell deodorant like two miles away, and it’s like someone’s here for the day,” Bouquin said with a laugh.

Bouquin opened his own forestry business just south of Buffalo, N.Y., this past year. Tom

Willa Fox, 13, and Nettie Fox, 11, logroll against each other before The Great Maine Lumberjack Show while their dad, lumberjack Tom Fox, supervises. The girls are following in their dad’s footsteps by starting to compete in axe throwing and log rolling for the show.

Fox, another competitor at the Great Maine Lumberjack Show, has been a great influence on Bouquin.

“Everything he’s done is like what I’m trying to do,” Bouquin said, addressing Fox. “You’re me 15 years from now.”

Fox and Bouquin have similar backgrounds in timber sports. Fox was on the woodsmen team at Paul Smith’s College as well.

“To be a woodsman at the college level is a wild time,” Fox reminisced. “For some of us, it just follows you your whole life.”

Fox was drafted by Scheer out of college when she opened the Great Maine Lumberjack Show in 1996.

He owns and operates Fox Forestry in Ellsworth when he’s not competing.

“Now we basically just do this for fun,” Fox said.

Originally from Hayward, Wis., Scheer started logrolling at the tender age of 7 with her family. Soon, the Scheers were hired for shows around the country.

Tina Scheer, or “Timber Tina,” speaks to a full crowd of spectators at the start of The Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton. Scheer began the show in 1996 after competing in lumberjack events growing up in Wisconsin.

“Next thing you know, we’re traveling around the Midwest like the little Von Trapp family of logrollers,” Scheer recalled.

The family opened a lumberjack show in Wisconsin, but she branched off to Maine to start her own show. She has since been featured on ESPN, “Survivor” and in National Geographic, among other shows and media.

Scheer still stresses the importance of that familial spirit she began with. She makes her show family-friendly for the audience and her competitors.

Fox’s daughters, Nettie and Willa, are learning how to follow in their father’s footsteps.

“These girls are starting,” Fox said lovingly of his daughters. “It’s a family affair.”


For more info, call 266-5486 and visit visit www.mainelumberjack.com.