Edited by V. Paul Reynolds
Dwindling daylight, frosty mornings, acorns bouncing on the camp's tin roof, clear vistas across the hard wood ridges. For the deer hunter, this is the best time of the year, period!
Rifle season for deer is upon us. Thousands of hunters from all over New England and beyond will take to the woods in search of their prize - a whitetailed deer.
Our senses, overloaded as November approaches, tell us that this is the time to fill the freezer and prepare for winter. Though the law book dictates when we can hunt, without it we would still know. Following the path laid before us, we will continue the tradition, providing food for our families and solace for our souls.
CAPTION FOR PHOTO ABOVE: Tammy Miller of Fairfax with her 931 lb. bull moose she took on the second day of Vermont’s archery moose season. Her bull topped the previous archery record 919 lb. moose taken last year by Kevin Rice. (Photo by Eric Miller)
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Vermont - Record Moose Taken by Fairfax Woman Bowhunter
Pre-season scouting in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom paid off on the second morning of the state’s archery moose hunt for Tammy Miller of Fairfax, Vermont.
Using a compound bow, Miller took a 931 lb. bull moose with an antler spread of 53 ¾ inches on October 2 while hunting in Norton with her husband, Eric. Miller’s huge bull topped the 919 lb. previous archery record moose taken last year by Kevin Rice.
“Five weekends of hard scouting enabled us to be hunting in an area with good moose trails and scrapes,” said Miller. “After being in the area for a few minutes Friday morning, we heard the bull raking branches not far away, but it seemed to be moving away. Eric raked some nearby branches with a moose scapula and called by mouth to imitate another bull moose. Fifteen minutes later the bull appeared about 15 yards away, presenting a nice shot.”
“It was the hunting experience of a lifetime,” she added.
Vermont’s archery moose season began October 1 and ends October 7. The regular moose season is October 17-22.
“A total of 225 regular firearms moose season permits and 40 archery moose season permits were issued for Vermont’s 2015 regulated moose hunt in order to sustain Vermont’s moose population in balance with available habitat,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose biologist. “Congratulations to Tammy Miller for a well-planned hunt and taking a new archery record Vermont moose.”
Maine Boater Perishes
An Albion man died in September during a boating incident on Lovejoy Pond. David Fann, age 57, died while fishing with his father Arville Fann during a fishing trip in their canoe. At approximately 1:40, the canoe capsized when weight shifted from their movement and both men entered the water.
Nearby fisherman Owen Pierce from Lisbon heard hollering and responded. When he arrived he aided both men to shore; David Fann was unresponsive. There we no lifejackets in Fann’s canoe. David Fann was pronounced dead at the scene. Cause of death has not yet been determined and the Medical Examiner’s Office has been notified. Fann’s body was released to Gallant Funeral Home in Waterville. Maine State Police, Albion Rescue, Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, and China Rescue assisted.
Maine Moose Season Kicks Off
On Monday, September 28th, nearly 900 moose hunters entered the Maine woods seeking Maine’s most majestic mammal. This is the 35th year of Maine’s modern moose hunt, a hunt which resumed in 1980 after being closed since 1936.
While Monday marks the first day of moose season in northern and eastern Maine, the moose season continues through the fall and is divided into four segments including the weeks of October 12-17, November 2-7 and November 2-28 in southern Maine. In all, 2,740 permits were issued to hunt moose in Maine this year.
Regulated hunting seasons are how the department manages Maine’s moose population. The number of permits issued for each moose hunting district varies depending on moose population density in the district and publicly derived population objectives, such as managing for recreational opportunity (hunting and viewing), road safety (reducing moose-vehicle collisions) or a combination of both.
"Maine’s moose population is a resource treasured by many," said Lee Kantar, IFW’s moose biologist. “By adjusting the number of moose permits in different areas of the state we can manage the population and provide opportunities for both hunting and viewing.”
In 2014, there were 3,095 moose permits issued, and 2,022 hunters were successful in getting their moose. The 65% success rate is in stark contrast to bear, turkey or deer hunting, where success rates range historically from 18 to 30 percent. Moose hunting in Maine continues to be extremely popular, with over 52,374 hunters applying to the moose lottery for a chance to hunt moose.
All successful moose hunters are required to register their moose at the nearest tagging station. At these stations, IFW wildlife biologists collect data that provides insight into moose population health.
Biologists will measure antler beam width and diameter. A tooth is removed in order to determine the age of the moose. Ticks are counted on four different areas of the moose to compare numbers to years past. In later weeks, moose hunters who shoot a female moose are required to bring the ovaries, which are examined to determine reproductive success.
This biological data is combined with data from the ongoing moose GPS collar study, as well as the aerial moose population and composition surveys to give biologists a clearer picture of the health and status of Maine’s moose herd.
Vermont - Muzzleloader Antlerless Deer Permit Winners Announced
Deer hunters who applied for a Vermont muzzleloader season antlerless deer permit by the August 28 deadline can now go to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) to see if they will be receiving a permit in the mail.
The department announced the winners on September 23, after conducting a randomized computer drawing.
“Hunters may check our website to find out if they will be receiving a muzzleloader season antlerless permit,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “Knowing the answer will help them plan their hunting this fall.”
Permit winners are listed in two categories: regular lottery winners and landowners.
It is a violation for a landowner to apply for a landowner antlerless permit if they are posting their land against hunting.
A total of 9,650 December muzzleloader season antlerless permits are authorized for use in 10 of Vermont’s 21 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). The permits will be in postcard format and will be mailed to recipients in November.
“The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was reduced from the 17,050 issued last year due to a decline in deer numbers caused by two severe winters in 2014 and 2015,” said Porter. “The department’s recommendation for antlerless deer hunting is based on population growth estimates, biological data, deer sighting rates reported by hunters, and winter severity data, as well as input from game wardens, foresters and the public.”
Due to the reduction in permit numbers, there are a small number of unallocated permits in WMU N. On October 1, those permits will be for sale on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website to hunters who did not win a permit in the September 23 drawing.
Hunter success with muzzleloader antlerless permits typically ranges from 10 to 35 percent depending on WMU. WMU-specific success rates are taken into consideration each year when issuing antlerless permits in order to better manage the harvest of antlerless deer.
“Harvesting antlerless deer affords Vermont hunters the chance to secure locally sourced food for their families,” Porter noted. “It also helps the department balance the deer population with the available habitat.”
Maine ATVer Killed
Maine Game Wardens and State Police Troopers responded to 144 Shepard Road in Sidney Sept. 18th to a Fatal ATV crash involving 2 people. .. Haley Cummings, age 18 of Sidney, was a passenger on a Polaris 850 ATV operated by Alexander Biddle, age 21 of Pittston. Cummings was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS personnel. Biddle was transported by ambulance to Maine General Medical Center in Augusta with non-life threatening injuries.
Evidence at the scene indicated the ATV traveled off the side of a gravel driveway and into the ditch at an apparent high rate of speed striking several trees, ejecting Cummings, and rolled on top of Biddle. Cummings body was released to Knowlton-Hewins-Roberts Funeral Home in Augusta. Alcohol appears to have been a factor in the crash. Maine State Police and Sidney Fire/Rescue assisted. The incident is still under investigation.
Maine - New Deputy Commissioner Named
Jim Connolly was named Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in September replacing retiring Deputy Commissioner Andrea Erskine. Connolly first joined the Department as a wildlife biologist in 1980 and currently serves as IFW’s Director of the Bureau of Resource Management.
As director, Connolly oversees the wildlife division, the fisheries and hatcheries division, and the program services division. In his new role of acting deputy commissioner, he will manage the day to day operations of the department which includes the bureau of resource management, the bureau of warden service, the information and education division, and the engineering division.
“Jim’s expertise and experience will be an asset in his new role as acting deputy commissioner,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “His knowledge of the department, its personnel, and his ability to work with the public will serve the state of Maine well in his new position.”
Maine - Recipients of the 2015 Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award Honored
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is pleased to announce Joseph Boudreau of Waterville, Maine and Harland Hitchings of Princeton, Maine have been selected as recipients of the 2015 Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award.
Boudreau and Hitchings were selected from a pool of over 100 nominees based on their extensive experience in hunting, fishing and trapping in the Maine outdoors as well as their dedication to the wise use and conservation of our precious natural resources.
At the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Banquet on Saturday, September 12 in Waterville, Maine both recipients, among their family, friends and peers, were formally recognized by Commissioner Chandler Woodcock.
Joseph Boudreau of Waterville, Maine has been an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting and fishing his entire life. A father to eight sons and three daughters, Joseph provided opportunity for his children to experience all that the Maine outdoors has to offer. Known for sharing his passion for the Maine outdoors, Joseph celebrated each year with family and friends by hosting a large wild game dinner and even authored his own wild game cookbook. Joseph has also assisted Ducks Unlimited with projects over the years.
Harland Hitchings of Princeton, Maine retired from the Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife after 55 years of service. Harland worked for 13 years as a game warden and later served 42 years as a regional safety coordinator, responsible for safety educational classes and activities in Washington and Hancock counties. Harland found his work as a safety coordinator deeply satisfying and was dedicated to ensuring both kids and adults were properly prepared (certified) before they received their licenses and ventured afield.
An avid outdoorsman, Harland credits his passion for spending time in the Maine outdoors for his long life and often advises younger folks to “spend more time outside, instead of watching TV and playing on computers”.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Seeks Bear Teeth from Hunters
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding successful bear hunters to make every effort to submit a bear tooth so wildlife managers can collect critical information on Vermont’s bear population.
Teeth submitted by hunters are used to determine the ages of bears. Department staff use age and sex data to estimate the number of bears in Vermont and to determine the status and health of the bear population. Envelopes for submitting teeth are available at all big game check stations.
“Successful bear hunters have a real opportunity to give back to our management of this magnificent big game animal,” said Forest Hammond, bear project leader for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “The premolar tooth we’re asking hunters to extract is actually small and easy to loosen with a knife. Directions for removing the tooth are on the back of the envelope provided by the check station, and a short video showing tooth removal is linked on our website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).
Vermont has two bear hunting seasons. The early bear hunting season, which requires a special bear tag, starts September 1 and continues through November 13. The late bear season begins November 14 and continues through November 22. The limit for bears remains one per calendar year.
“Carefully regulated hunting plays a very important role in wildlife management by helping to control the growth of Vermont’s bear population now estimated at about 6,000 bears,” said Hammond. “Minor fluctuations in the bear population will always occur due to changes in food availability, winter severity, and hunter success. Despite these fluctuations, we look at the long-term trends to manage for a healthy, robust population.”
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