Outdoor News

August 2015
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

Late summer offers many options in the Maine outdoors. It is also a time to prepare for the coming season. What's available to us now, coupled with the anticipation of what follows in the fall, will keep us very busy if we're to be part of it.

The July Hex hatch is a fading memory. Dog days of August lull us into lazy reverie. We lounge on the porch, waiting until evening to go out on the lake for a bucketful of perch, or to fish past sunset for smallmouth bass. Tomorrow, maybe a daybreak troll for salmon and togue. Sure. Thereís plenty of fishing left. But itís not too early to sight in a deer rifle or spend some time on the skeet range to get the cobwebs out of our shooting skills.

The anticipation of fall is tinged with a growing sense of urgency. The first August night that you need another blanket snaps you to attention. You drew a moose permit this year? Have you started scouting where you'll hunt? Are you hunting bears? Is your bait supply rounded up? Are your stands in order? Still going to practice with the bow, before deer season, like you promised yourself last year?

When the September rains come, brookies and landlocks that have sulked in deep water will show up in feeder streams as they migrate to spawn. Then, like their fall spawning colors, they'll be gone. There are fall hatches of small olive mayflies to anticipate, and the woodcock often arrive when the autumn trout fishing is at its peak. How about a New England "Cast 'n Blast" with a partridge hunt in the morning and rising trout in the afternoon?.

You didn't fix that leak in your waders yet? Better get to it. The water's gonna get cold again! Time to oil the guns, maybe tie a few flies, too. But don't take out the hunting vest yet. The dog will go nuts!

CAPTION FOR PHOTO ABOVE: Chris Bassingthwaite and his bear that he got this year up to Taxis River Outfitters in New Brunswick

Club News

If your club or outdoor organization has news or photos that warrant publication in the Northwoods Sporting Journal, send them to: Club News, NWSJ, P.O. Box 195, W. Enfield, ME 04493, or e-mail news to: paul@sportingjournal.com

Maine - Changes to Registered Maine Guide Testing Process

Beginning this July, individuals applying to become a Registered Maine Guide should be aware that changes have been made to the existing testing process.

Currently, applicants must successfully complete both a written examination as well as an oral examination that includes map and compass, a catastrophic event scenario and a question and answer portion. The new testing process will now include a practical examination that will require a greater hands-on demonstration of skills.

The Maine Guide Advisory Board pulled together a working group that has been meeting over the past two years to develop these changes. The group recently held three days of trial testing with Maine Game Wardens, Maine Marine Patrol Officers and experienced Registered Maine Guides who provided feedback to the working group after completing the trial test.

The updated testing process will apply to the hunting, fishing, recreation and sea kayaking specializations.

ďChanges to the guide testing process are being implemented to ensure that we continue to license only the most qualified and experienced individuals,Ē said Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. ďRegistered Maine Guides are known for their knowledge and skills in the woods and on the water and play an important role in our economy as they work to introduce others to outdoor experiences that Maine has to offer.Ē

This is the first time since 2003 that changes have been made to the guide testing process.

Guides first began being licensed in Maine in 1887, although a standardized testing process was not implemented until 1975. Today, there are approximately 5,000 licensed guides in Maine.

For more information about becoming a Maine Guide visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/guide.htm or contact Maryann Foye at (207) 287-3614

Maine - Concealed Carry Law Passes

Recently, Constitutional/Permitless Carry legislation, Legislative Document 652, was enacted by the state Senate by a vote of 23-12. This critical legislation will now go to Governor Paul LePage for his expected signature.

As previously reported, LD 652, sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin), would allow all residents of Maine who are not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm the right to carry concealed without obtaining a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). LD 652 would also leave the current carry permitting system intact for those who wish to participate in reciprocal concealed carry permit agreements when traveling to other states.

The final version of LD 652 would prohibit a person under 21 years of age from carrying a concealed weapon without a permit unless the individual is active military between 18-21 years old and would require an individual carrying a concealed handgun who is stopped by law enforcement officers to immediately inform the officer of that concealed handgun.

Please take a moment to thank your legislators who supported this critical pro-gun legislation.News from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Phone: (603) 271-3211
Email: info@wildlife.nh.gov
For information and online licenses, visit http://www.wildnh.com

Maine - Doe Permits Available

Applications for 2015 any-deer (antlerless) permit lottery are now available online from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Online applications are due by 11:59 P.M. on August 17, 2015. Paper applications may be submitted in person or by mail no later than 5 P.M. on July 27, 2015. To apply online, visit www.mefishwildlife.com. The Department no longer mails paper applications.

It is free to apply for the any-deer permit lottery. The drawing will be held on September 9, 2015 and results will be posted on the Departmentís website.

The department uses the any-deer permit system to manage the white-tailed deer population in the state. By controlling the harvest of female deer in the 29 regional wildlife management districts throughout the state, biologists can manage population trends.

A total of 28,770 any-deer permits will be issued in 15 of the stateís 29 wildlife management districts. This is a decrease from last year when there were 37,185 permits available to hunters. The permit allocation is: 13,980 for residents; 7,196 for landowners; 7,196 for juniors; and 398 for Superpack holders.

This past winter was of above-average severity in some parts of the state, which may have resulted in increased winter mortality rates for our over-wintering deer. Therefore, IFW wildlife biologists have recommended decreasing the number of any-deer permits in much of the state.

The 15 wildlife management districts where any-deer (antlerless) permits will be issued are 3, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 29. This year, permits have been allocated to districts 3, 6, 14, and 18 as biological data collected and field observations by staff suggest that these WMDís have experienced population growth.

Deer hunting season (firearms) begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Youth may take a buck statewide or an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management districts where any-deer permits will be issued this fall.

This year, Maine Residents Only Day is on Saturday, October 31, 2015, and regular firearms season for deer runs November 2 through November 28, 2015.

For more information, visit www.mefishwildlife.com

New Hampshire - Moose Auction Open

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire announces the launch of the 2015 NH Moose Permit Auction, its primary fundraiser to support the programs of the N.H. Fish and Game Department. Official bid guidelines and documents can be found on the Foundation's website at http://www.nhwildlifeheritage.org or call 603-496-2778. Sealed bids are due by August 6, 2015.

2015 marks the seventh annual auction run by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire. For the second year in a row, the Foundation is authorized to auction only two permits, due to the impact of ticks on the moose population and Fish and Game's reduction in the number of moose hunt permits.

The two highest bidders in the auction will receive 2015 N.H. hunting licenses, as well as 2015 N.H. moose hunting licenses. In case of a tying bid, the earliest postmarked signed bid will prevail. Successful bidders in the 2015 auction will be able to harvest one moose of either sex in a Wildlife Management Unit of their choice.

Proceeds from the auction help support critical fish and wildlife conservation initiatives and education programs of the N.H. Fish and Game Department, such as Barry Conservation Camp, Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, Law Enforcement's Canine Unit and Dive Team, the Great Bay Discovery Center, Operation Game Thief, Karner blue butterfly restoration, aerial stocking of remote ponds, Operation Land Share, Wildlife Recreation Access Program, and Wildlife Management Area signs and kiosks.

Foundation Chairman Steve White states, "Every year, the auction provides the Foundation with a way to support Fish and Game programs. For the youth of New Hampshire, who are the future stewards of our natural environment, it is critical we find ways to sustain wildlife conservation, education and outreach programs."

Last year, the auction garnered seven bids from five states, with the highest bid at $12,000. Winners came from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin and Washington. "Receiving bids from five states continues to speak to how hunters view the quality of the hunting experience here in New Hampshire," said White.

A portion of a winning bid may be tax deductible as a charitable donation; potential bidders should check with their tax advisors to determine eligibility. Individuals who received a permit in the 2015 New Hampshire moose hunt lottery are subject to the rules of the lottery, and are not eligible to participate in the auction.

Additional information on moose hunting in New Hampshire, including rules, licenses and a gallery of photos from successful N.H. hunts, can be found at http://www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose.html.

Since its establishment in 2006, the Wildlife Foundation of New Hampshire has supported many Fish and Game projects through grants, donations and sponsorships. The Foundation accepts tax-deductible donations throughout the year from individuals as well as institutions. To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help preserve New Hampshire's outdoor gifts, visit http://www.nhwildlifeheritage.org or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wildlifeheritagenh.

New Hampshire - Doe Permits Available

Hunters who want the chance to take additional antlerless deer in Wildlife Management Units L and M in southeastern New Hampshire during the fall hunting seasons will soon be able to buy special permits from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Special permits for Units L and M will be available online and at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord after 9:00 a.m. on July 1, 2015.

Again this year, a total of up to 4,000 hunters will be allowed to purchase Special Antlerless Deer Permits for Unit M. All Unit M permits will come with 2 deer tags at a cost of $26. This change was made last year in an attempt to increase harvest rates in WMU M without increasing hunter density and potential safety concerns.

A total of up to 500 hunters will also be allowed to purchase Special Antlerless Deer Permits for Unit L. These permits will all come with 1 deer tag at a cost of $13.

After 9:00 a.m. on July 1, interested hunters can purchase permits:

Or call 603-271-3422 to request permit applications by mail.

Hunters can purchase either an L or M permit or both. Both permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis and cost $26 for an M permit (2 tags) or $13 for an L permit (1 tag). Applicants also must hold a current New Hampshire hunting or archery license. Note that there is an additional transaction charge of $2 for Unit M and/or Unit L permit purchases at Fish and Game headquarters, or $3 for online purchases.

Archery, muzzleloader and firearms hunters may use these special permits on any day during those seasons for which they are legally licensed. Youth hunters are eligible to buy Unit L and/or M permits.

Special Unit M permits have been issued in New Hampshire since 1997. This will be the second year Special Unit L permits have been made available. These permits reflect a long-term objective, outlined in the state's Big Game Management Plan, to reduce deer numbers in southeastern New Hampshire in order to sustain regional herd health and to minimize deer-human conflicts, such as vehicle collisions and destructive browsing of agricultural and ornamental plants. High human densities and associated levels of development in southeastern New Hampshire result in greater potential for deer-human conflicts and complicate deer population control efforts.

Links to more information about Unit M and L permits, and other deer hunting opportunities in New Hampshire, can be found at http://www.huntnh.com/hunting/deer.html.

New Hampshire - Drowning Victims Recovered

State officials today confirmed the victims' names and details of the recovery operation for the father and son who drowned while swimming in the Merrimack River.

On the evening of June 24, 2015, rescue crews responded to the Merrimack River in Boscowen for a report of two people swept away by the river. A family of four had been recreating at a popular swimming hole near the Route 4 Bridge. Their 10-year-old boy had problems in the water, and the father went in to try to rescue him; subsequently they both disappeared.

The father and son were recovered by the N.H. Fish and Game Department Dive Team after a nine-hour dive mission. At 8:19 a.m. on June 25, divers recovered the body of Javier Gonzalez, age 10, in about 25 feet of water, very near the point where he had last been seen. Divers continued to search throughout the day, and at 4:43 p.m. recovered the body of Jibril Mohamed, age 34, approximately one-half mile down river from the swimming hole, in about ten feet of water. They were residents of Concord, N.H.

Prior to search efforts resuming on June 25, the Army Corps of Engineers was able to restrict the flow of water at the Franklin Falls Dam, which helped the search effort immensely, according to Fish and Game.

The N.H. Fish and Game Department was assisted by the Boscowen Fire and Police departments, Penacook Rescue, Concord Fire and Police, Capital Area Mutual Aid, Webster Police Department, the N.H. Marine Patrol, N.H. Army National Guard, N.H. Office of the Medical Examiner, N.H. State Police, Merrimack County Sherriff's Office, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Franklin Falls Dam).

N.H. Fish and Game urges everyone who chooses to enjoy the waters of the state to exercise caution and to always be mindful of currents, wear personal floatation devices when boating or paddling, and remember that all water can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Vermont - Saxtons River Man Jailed

A Saxtons River man was sentenced to serve 90 days to three years in jail on May 4 in Brattleboro Superior Court after being arrested by a Vermont state game warden and convicted of several charges.

Ryan Goodrich, 30, pleaded guilty to spotting and locating wild animals, two counts of driving under the influence, attempting to elude law enforcement, resisting arrest, violating conditions of release, credit card fraud, and possession of stolen property.

Last November 1, Warden David Taddei observed Goodrich shining a spotlight in a field and woods in Rockingham at about 11:30 p.m. and attempted to pull him over, but Goodrich fled and a brief high speed chase ensued. After being stopped, Goodrich was found to be intoxicated, driving while his license was suspended, and he had a loaded muzzleloader in the vehicle.

Less than three weeks later Goodrich missed his court date at the Brattleboro Superior Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. On November 20, Warden Taddei and Trooper Mike Sorensen pulled Goodrich over in Saxtons River. He resisted the officers when they attempted to take him into custody and was found to be intoxicated again, resulting in a second charge of DUI.

Goodrich was arrested once more on April 12, for violating his conditions of release when he was found to have been drinking alcoholic beverages. Goodrich also had an unrelated case involving credit card fraud and possession of stolen property that he pled guilty to.

In addition to the jail time, Goodrich will forfeit his right to hunt, fish and trap for three years in Vermont and 43 other states and have to attend a remedial ethics course to be eligible to obtain licenses in the future.

Mr. Goodrich began serving his sentence on May 29 at the Springfield Correctional Facility.

If you have information about fish or wildlife violations, you can contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378) or online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/laws_thief.cfm. Rewards are paid for information leading to an arrest. You can also contact your warden through the local state police barracks.

Vermont - Moose Hunt Auction is Open

Vermontís lottery for moose hunting permits closed June 17, but thereís one more opportunity to get a permit for this fallís moose hunt. Vermontís auction for five moose hunting permits is open until 4:30 p.m. August 13. Bids will be opened and winners notified on August 14.

Auction winners will hunt in one of several wildlife management units (WMUs) open to moose hunting and choose to hunt during the October 1-7 archery season, or in the October 17-22 regular season.

Vermontís 2014 Moose Harvest Report on Fish & Wildlifeís website has details on last yearís hunt, including the towns where moose were taken. Look under moose hunting.

Bids must be entered with a sealed bid form available from Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

A minimum bid of $1,500 is required, and winning bids are typically at least $4,000. Bids do not include the cost of a hunting license (residents $25, nonresidents $100) or moose hunting permit fee ($100 for residents and $350 for nonresidents).

Additional information about the auction is on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Departmentís website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Moose permit bid packets can be obtained by calling Fish & Wildlife at 802-828-1190 or by emailing (cheri.waters@state.vt.us).

Proceeds from the moose hunting permit auction help fund Vermont Fish & Wildlife educational programs.

The lottery drawing for 225 regular moose season permits and 40 archery season permits will be held at 10:00 a.m. on July 16 at the Barre Fish and Game Club in Barre.

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