Outdoor News

August 2014
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. There’s plenty of fishing left. But it’s 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? It really doesn't get any better.

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: The Outdoor Writers of Canada announced that Northwoods Sporting Journal columnist Gary W Moore (pictured above) took third place for magazine column in the 2014 National Communications Awards. His winning piece titled “Maturity and Guns” appeared in the December 2013 Northwoods Sporting Journal.

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 - Anydeer Permits

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting applications for the 2014 Any Deer (Antlerless) Permit Lottery. Online applicants have until 11:59 p.m. August 15 to apply at www.mefishwildlife.com, and those who want to apply with a paper application must do so by the end of the day on July 25.

This year, there will be a total of 37,185 any deer permits available in 12 districts. These districts are primarily in southern and central Maine. This is a decrease from last year when there was 46, 710 permits available to hunters.

“In the fall of 2013, we saw an increase in the number of successful hunters for the third straight season, a sign that the deer herd is rebounding from the back-to-back severe winters in 2008 and 2009,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “While the deer population has made gains since 2009, this past year’s long, cold winter dictates that we move cautiously with the number of any deer permits we issue.”

The department monitors winter severity throughout the state in order to assess the impact on deer. White-tailed deer are at the northern edge of their range in Maine, and winter severity is a limiting factor concerning population growth.

This past winter marked the first in four years with above average winter severity throughout the state, the first since 2009. As a result of the winter, IFW wildlife biologists have recommended decreasing the number of Any Deer permits throughout the state. Earlier this year, the department decreased the number of moose permits available and suspended the turkey season in Northern Maine.

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.

It is free to apply for the Any Deer permit lottery. The lottery drawing will be held on September 9, and results will be posted on the Department’s web site after 2 p.m.

Hunters who do not receive an Any Deer permits are only allowed to shoot an antlered deer.

Paper applications must be postmarked by July 25 or delivered in person to 284 State Street in Augusta before 5 p.m. on that date.

Online applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on August 15 and can be found by visiting www.mefishwildlife.com.

Hunters during the 2013 deer season killed 24,795 deer, an increase of 15% over the 2012 harvest of 21,552 deer. The 2013 harvest is the third consecutive year the deer harvest has increased, reflective of a deer population that has grown since the back-to-back severe winters of 2008 and 2009.

Residents applying to hunt on their own land without a license and applicants with a legal residence outside the U.S. or Canada must use the paper application and may not apply for an Any Deer permit online.

Deer hunting season (firearms) begins with Youth Deer Hunting Day on Oct. 25. Youth hunters may take a buck statewide or an antlerless deer only in the wildlife management districts where Any Deer permits will be issued this fall.

Maine Resident Only Day will be held on Nov. 1 this year.

Deer hunting season (firearms) runs from Nov. 3 to Nov. 29.

For more information on deer hunting in Maine, visit www.mefishwildlife.com.

Vermont - Sporting Journal Writer Recognized(Pictured Above)

The Outdoor Writers of Canada announced that Northwoods Sporting Journal columnist Gary W Moore took third place for magazine column in the 2014 National Communications Awards.

His winning piece titled “Maturity and Guns” appeared in the December 2013 Northwoods Sporting Journal.

Moore is a resident of Bradford Vermont. He is a freelance writer and photographer who has had a syndicated column appearing in Vermont and New Hampshire newspapers for 37 years. His work as has also appeared in countless regional magazines as well as Field & Stream, Vermont Life and the Boston Globe.

Maine - Holding Named to IF&W Post

Maine fishing guide Bonnie Holding has been named Director of Information &

Education for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. She started her new position on Monday, June 16.

Bonnie is a very accomplished Master Maine Guide with 26 years of experience. She has guided fly fishing at Megantic Fish and Game Club and Tim Pond Camps and has also served as fly fishing instructor at LL Bean. Bonnie has also owned and operated Goldsmith Gallery at Sugarloaf for the past 23 years, and prior to that was the first woman employed as a Sales Associate in the LL Bean Hunting and Fishing Department.

Bonnie has also served as the Coordinator for the Casting for Recovery Program here in Maine for the past 16 years, has been an active volunteer at the Maine Special Olympics Winter Games for the past 20 years and has been a volunteer Fly Fishing Instructor for the Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program for the past 12 years. She has also served as a member of the IF&W Brook Trout Working Group.

Bonnie has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Great Women of Maine Award in 2011, the LL Bean Outdoor Hero’s Award in 2010 and the Grassroots Advocate Award in 2009. She was featured in Outdoor Life Magazine in 2005 as one of the top female guides in North America. We are pleased to have Bonnie join our team here at IF&W. She is widely known and respected in a variety of arenas. She will be a wonderful asset to our department. Bonnie brings a great deal of experience in the outdoor education field, as well as strong leadership and communication skills.

New Hampshire - NH Doe Permits

Hunters who want the chance to take additional antlerless deer in Wildlife Management Unit M in southeastern New Hampshire during the fall hunting seasons can now buy a special permit from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Again this year, a total of up to 4,000 hunters will be allowed to purchase Special Antlerless Deer Permits for Unit M. NEW this year, all Unit M permits will come with 2 deer tags at a cost of $26. These permits will no longer be sold with a 1-tag option. This change was made in an attempt to increase harvest rates in WMU M without increasing hunter density in the area.

Another first for this year was that 500 Special Antlerless Deer Permits for Unit L were sold beginning July 1. These permits came with 1 deer tag at a cost of $13. With only a limited number available, these permits sold out quickly and are no longer available.

Interested hunters can purchase Unit M permits:

* Online at https://www.nhfishandgame.com
* Over the counter at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord;
* By mail - for a printable application, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Unit_M_permits.htm; or
* By calling 603-271-3422 to request a permit application by mail.

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 purchase the permits. Applicants also must hold a current New Hampshire hunting or archery license.

Special Unit M permits have been issued in New Hampshire since 1997. This will be the first 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.

New Hampshire - Wildlife Rule Changes

Highlights of final wildlife rule changes for the 2014-2015 hunting seasons were announced today by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The Department has recently concluded its biennial season-setting review of the rules.

Highlights of the 2014-2015 New Hampshire Wildlife Rule Changes:

The number of either-sex deer days during the muzzleloader and/or regular firearm seasons has increased in several wildlife management units (WMUs). To view a chart showing WMU-specific either-sex hunting days, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_deer.htm.

When taking deer, no person shall possess more than one muzzleloading rifle or one muzzleloading handgun.

500 special Unit L antlerless only permits will be available beginning July 1 at 9 a.m., each with 1 tag ($13 plus a transaction fee).

All special unit M permits will now come with 2 tags at a cost of $26 plus a transaction fee. A total of 4,000 Unit M permits will be issued. Unit M permits will be available July 1 at 9 a.m.

The length of the season to bait for deer has been reduced in WMUs A-L. The 2014 deer baiting season in these WMUs will run from October 22 through November 19. In WMU M, where the deer population is above goal, the deer baiting season will still run from September 15 through December 15. Bait permit applications for private land must be submitted by October 1. (This is a brief summary - additional regulations apply. For more information, go to http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunting_PDFs/Baiting_Rule_Changes_2014-15.pdf).

From the close of the bear baiting season through December 15, baiting for coyote will be restricted to the use of meat, animal parts, carrion or fish.

A baited area will not be considered an active bait site when all containers used to hold bait, such as barrels, plastic bags, pails and boxes, and all bait material are completely removed.

The still hunting/stalking season for bear in WMUs H2, K, L and M has been lengthened by 7 days, to run from September 1-28.

The still hunting/stalking season for bear in WMUs G, I1, J1 and J2 has been lengthened by 14 days, to run from September 1 through November 25.

A fall archery turkey season has been established in WMU A, to coincide with the archery deer season and will run from September 15 through December 8.

Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education are now combined into one course, referred to as Hunter Education.

For specific dates for the 2014 hunting seasons, visit:

Deer, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_deer.htm

Bear, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_bear.htm

Turkey, visit http://wildnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm

Additional information will be available in the 2014-2015 N.H. Hunting and Trapping Digest, which is published in August.

Maine - Moose Calling Champs

The winner of the final round of moose calling sponsored by the Maine Professional Guides Association (MPGA) was Eric Ward, of Greenville Junction, ME, runner up was Frank Hathaway, of Riley Brook, New Brunswick and Dave Leavitt of Woodland, ME came in third.

For the first time, this year a youth section for those under 16 was added; the top young callers from each regional competition were invited to take part in the final round of the championship. Our youth winner was Carter Barthelman of South Portland.

Altogether it was a fun event for all - we had some great contestants and an enthusiastic audience. Many thanks to everyone who was involved!

We hope that you will be able to join us for next year's event, which will take place in Bethel!

Maine - Save Maine's Bear Hunt - Super Banquet

Help save Maine's bear hunt and management programs!

Show your support by attending the Save Maine's Bear Hunt super banquet. The event will take place on Saturday August 9, at the Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Dr, Augusta.

Doors open at 3:00, and the banquet begins at 6:00

Throughout the evening there will be all sorts of fun activities including:

* Live Auctions: Premium Hunting / Fishing Trips
* Home Furnishing / Cabin Decor Prizes
* Everyone who attends will be entered in a drawing for a $5,000 Cash Grand Prize! (Sponsored by U.S. Sportsman Alliance)
* Lots of opportunities to play games and raffles to win guns and bows- 1 Gun or Bow will be raffled off for every 25 people in attendance! (Sponsored by Vermont Bear Houndsmen)

You can reserve tickets and tables online at http://savemainesbearhunt.com/superbanquet.php or download the Ticket Order Form and mail to:

The Maine Wildlife Conservation Council, 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, Maine 04330

If you have any questions, call at (207) 623-4505 or email superbanquet@savemainesbearhunt.com

Thank you for your support!

New Hampshire - NH Moose Auction

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire announces the launch of the 2014 NH Moose Permit Auction. Official bid guidelines and documents can be downloaded from the Foundation's website at http://www.nhwildlifeheritage.org or by calling 603-496-2778. 2014 marks the sixth annual auction run by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire.

As the non-profit partner of NH Fish and Game, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire has voluntarily reduced the number of permits requested from Fish and Game for its Moose Permit Auction to two. "NH Fish and Game significantly reduced the number of public lottery permits this year due to the impact of ticks on the moose population," said Foundation Chairman Steve White. "We believe that we must also reduce our permits this year to do our part to help protect the NH moose population in future years."

This year, the Foundation is authorized to auction two permits to the two highest bidders. Permit holders will be required to possess a valid 2014 resident or non-resident New Hampshire hunting license. The two winning bidders will receive free 2014 NH hunting licenses, as well as 2014 NH moose hunting licenses. The next three highest bidders will receive free NH 2014 hunting licenses. In case of a tying bid, the earliest postmarked signed bid will prevail.

SPECIAL FOR 2014: Courtesy of LHR Sporting Arms in Rochester, NH, the highest winning bidder will receive a 50% off coupon towards the LHR's new RCF Centerfire Rifle. This newly designed rifle has the option of 7 interchangeable barrel configurations on one receiver, and changes easily without tools in under a minute! The RCF Centerfire Rifle will not be on the market until the fall of 2014, so the highest bidder will be one of the first to have it! Check out more details of this special rifle at http://www.lhrsportingarms.com.

Proceeds from the auction help support critical fish and wildlife conservation initiatives, along with education programs of the N.H. Fish and Game Department, including Canine Search and Rescue, Barry Conservation Camp, Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, the Great Bay Discovery Center, Operation Game Thief trailer, orphan bear cub rehabilitation, Karner Blue Butterfly Restoration Program, aerial stocking of remote ponds, Operation Land Share, Endangered wildlife camera monitoring, Dive Team boat, and NH Hunting and Fishing Expo. In 2013, the Foundation also supported the North American Moose Conference, which was held in N.H.

New Hampshire - Moose Permit Winners

The adventure of a lifetime is in store for 124 people who have been offered permits to hunt moose in New Hampshire this October. They are the lucky winners in the state's 27th annual moose hunt lottery drawing, held today at New Hampshire Fish and Game Department headquarters in Concord, N.H.

Longtime Fish and Game Wildlife Division staffer Rita Boisvert, just a week away from retirement, was given the honor of pushing the button to start the computerized random selection. Then the traditional reading of the winners' names began, with an enthusiastic audience in attendance, gathered at Fish and Game to enjoy a doughnut, swap stories and listen hopefully for their name to be called as a participant in this year's hunt.

The winners were selected from a pool of more than 10,400 applicants. In addition, over 1,400 people submitted an application for a bonus point only, but are not included in the lottery. The bonus point system improves the chance of winning for each consecutive year you enter and are not selected.

The names of the 2014 winners and alternates are posted on Fish and Game's website at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Moose_hunt/2014_Moose_Winners.html.

Winners will be offered permits to hunt moose in a specific Wildlife Management Unit during the October 18-26, 2014, season. Each permit winner is assigned to one of 22 wildlife management units (WMUs) in which he or she can legally hunt. Winners are allowed to enlist a guide and one friend or relative to help on the hunt as a "subpermittee." In addition to many New Hampshire residents, winners hailed from Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, as well as many from New Hampshire.

The happiest person in the room was most likely Kevin Lefebrve of New Boston, who has entered the lottery since it began in 1988. Today he was pulled for a permit in Wildlife Management Unit A-2 in northern New Hampshire. Lefebrve had been selected once before (in 2004) for a permit in another part of the state, but never saw a moose. He still had a great time, but this year he expects to bring home a moose. "I'm excited," said Lefebrve, with a big smile. "Two years ago my buddy got picked for A-1 and got a moose - that's right next door, so to speak, so it should be good."

Others in the packed room put their dreams away for another year, including Patrick Graham of Manchester and his young grand-nephew Wyatt Lemireux of Holderness, who sported matching hand-lettered "It's our birthday - A moose tag would be sweet!" T-shirts.

Last year (2013), New Hampshire hunters took 180 moose, for a statewide success rate of 64%. Regional success for moose hunters last year ranged from 87% in the North Region to 25% in the southeastern part of the state.

Hunters whose names were selected in today's drawing will be notified by mail. Lists of successful applicants and alternates are available at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Moose_hunt/2014_Moose_Winners.html; at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord; and at the Department's regional offices in Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton.

New Hampshire has had an annual moose hunt since 1988, when 75 permits were issued for a three-day hunt in the North Country. This opportunity has been made possible by careful management of moose populations. An ongoing research project being conducted by Fish and Game in cooperation with the University of New Hampshire, will provide additional information to aid in moose management efforts (learn more at http://wildnh.com/Newsroom/2014/Q1/moose_study_update.html).

Vermont - Vermont’s Moose Hunt Auction is Open

Vermont’s lottery for moose hunting permits closed June 17, but there’s one more opportunity to get a permit for this fall’s moose hunt. Vermont’s auction for five moose hunting permits is open until 4:30 p.m. 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 18-23 regular season.

Vermont’s 2013 Moose Harvest Report on Fish & Wildlife’s website has details on last year’s hunt, including the towns where moose were taken. Look under “Hunting and Trapping” and then “Big Game.”

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 $22, 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 Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). Moose permit bid packets can be obtained by calling Fish & Wildlife at 802-828-1190 or by emailing (fwinformation@state.vt.us).

The bid packets include a map of Vermont’s Wildlife Management Units with revised boundaries effective this year.

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

The lottery drawing for 285 regular moose season permits and 50 archery season permits will be held July 17 in Montpelier.

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