CARIBOU, Maine — For Hancock County native John Karst, Aroostook County was a really perfect vacation spot for big-game searching and fishing and getting away from on a regular basis life.
That’s why, after relocating to Caribou, Karst, 58, determined to open the area’s solely retailer absolutely devoted to searching and out of doors gear for individuals and their canine.
Karst opened Emery’s Outpost simply two weeks in the past, in a small area connected to his residence on Plante Street. Positioned on the agricultural outskirts of Caribou, Karst’s enterprise is the one certainly one of its form in central Aroostook because the closing of Ben’s Buying and selling Publish in Presque Isle two years in the past. Different searching and sporting items shops are situated within the St. John Valley and southern Maine.
Although big-box and comfort shops usually embody sections for fishing and different out of doors gear, Karst hopes that Emery’s hunting-lodge vibe and specialty gadgets will assist lure in hunters.
“I don’t need this place to be like everyone else’s,” Karst stated.
Since opening two weeks in the past, Karst has primarily been promoting searching and filet knives, knife sharpeners with numerous sized grits, meat cleavers and canine merchandise that embody distant coaching collars, custom-made tags, bowls and medical kits.
A local of Lamoine, only a boat journey away from Mount Desert Island, Karst ran his household’s blueberry farm for 37 years earlier than making the transfer to Caribou in 2021. He found most of The County as an grownup whereas on searching journeys along with his brother and associates.
As a teen, Karst hunted yearly for deer, rabbits and partridge along with his father, the late Robert Emery Karst. The pair traveled all around the state, together with to extra northern areas like Greenville and Houlton. Karst’s father was chosen in Maine’s moose allow lottery twice.
“He was my finest good friend and searching buddy,” Karst stated of his father. “He raised rabbit hounds and was a well-educated deer hunter, rather a lot higher than I used to be.”
All the pieces about Emery’s Outpost comes from the reminiscence and spirit of Karst’s father, who died in 2002.
Robert Emery Karst owned a camp in Surry. On the entrance of that camp stood an indication that learn “The Outpost Karst.” The shop’s identify Emery’s Outpost is a mix of Robert’s center identify, that driveway signal and his love of small outpost shops scattered all through Maine.
Karst remembers the life classes he discovered on searching journeys along with his father much more than the wildlife they witnessed.
“If I discovered something, it was to respect my elders, to speak with individuals and be sincere and to provide a tough day’s work,” Karst stated.
Karst has not hunted in a number of years for medical causes. Lately he lives a quiet life along with his 1-year-old canine Cassie, a pit bull and border collie combine. The pair usually spot moose and bears lingering within the subject throughout the street.
With Emery’s Outpost new to the world, native searching fanatics are nonetheless studying concerning the enterprise. Jesse Cote, proprietor of Backwoods Information Service based mostly in Connor Township, stated that Emery’s might add a much-needed supply for searching gear.
“There actually hasn’t been any native place between Houlton and Fort Kent since Ben’s [Trading Post] closed,” Cote stated.
If something, his middle-of-nowhere outpost will give individuals an opportunity to expertise the most effective of The County, Karst stated.
“Aroostook County is exclusive. It’s form of the tip of the path, the final place the place you may go on a mud street, drive all day and by no means see different vehicles,” Karst stated. “Individuals nonetheless need locations to go searching and fishing and get away from the grind of 9-to-5 work.”