If a tree falls in Regina, will the Wolverine hear it?
You bet your chainsaw.
Veteran CFL fullback and special teams standout Mike Maurer has decided to branch out into a new line of work -- tree falling.
Maurer announced he's retiring from football after an 11-year CFL career, the last three with the Edmonton Eskimos.
"I've been talking to Danny (Maciocia) about it for the last month or two," said Maurer. "It has been a tough decision."
In 2006, Maurer led the Eskimos in special teams tackles and was the team's nominee for the CFL's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.
Last year, Maurer, 32, tied for the team lead with 20 special teams tackles and scored a touchdown on one of his two catches.
Maurer cited family reasons as a major factor in his decision. He has two young children in Regina -- Karmyn, 6, and Ryan, 5. His wife Hayley is now a principal at a Regina school.
"The kids are at an age now when they need me around home more," said Maurer, who played the first four years of his CFL career in Regina.
"I've been away from them for seven seasons."
And while he'll be able to spend more time with his family, he's leaving the game with two Grey Cup rings (B.C. in 2000 and Edmonton in 2005).
"The locker-room cameraderie is the No. 1 thing I'll miss the most," said Maurer. "It's tough to walk away."
Maurer will have no trouble filling in his time this summer. Last spring, he and his brother Shaun started up Wolverine Tree Felling in Regina.
"It was surprising to me how quick it took off," said Maurer. "I enjoyed it. It's tough physical work and sometimes the logs get heavy, but it did help get me in shape for football season.
"I've got 'er going again this year. There's been plenty of word of mouth and we've been busy."
And while he's put his football career behind him, Maurer -- known as the Wolverine in mixed martial arts circles -- would like to keep his fight career going.
"I'm not through with it yet," said Maurer. "It's still there."
First things first, though.
"Tree season runs about the same time as football season," said Maurer. "I'll start training again in the fall and there's a chance I could be back in the ring next spring."
In the meantime, the only ring Maurer will cast his eye on will be in the trees he fells.
EXTRA POINTS ...
Calgary signed former Tennessee Titans third-rounder WR Tyrone Calico ... Winnipeg re-signed WRs Terrence Edwards and Derick Armstrong ... Veteran LB Mike O'Shea re-signed with the Toronto for one year