Outdoor News

February 2018
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

February. Not a bad month for outdoor types. If you look closely, you'll notice longer days. Cabin fever sufferers take heart. There are sportsman shows and ice fishing derbies that make a relatively short winter month go even faster. On late afternoons toward the end of February, when the sun's rays begin to hold promise and the wind stays down, it can be downright pleasant near those icefishing holes.

If you're shopping for winter diversions beyond the bunny hunts or tying bench, don't forget to check out the many sportsman shows, ice fishing derbies and bait dealers whose ads appear this month in the Sportin' Journal.

As we said in this space last year at this time, the best part of the month is the perennial promise that helps Mainers endure the abbreviated days and prolonged nights: the coming of March, then the April thing, and then spring!

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: info@sportingjournal.com

Maine - Warden Plane Breaks Through the Ice
(Pictured Above)

A few weeks ago a Maine Warden Service airplane was safely removed from the ice on Eagle Lake. With the assistance of a Maine Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, the Cessna 185 aircraft was retrieved without incident. On Wednesday the 18th, Game Warden Pilot Jeff Spencer, based out of Eagle Lake, was returning from a bear telemetry flight in his assigned Cessna 185 aircraft equipped with skis.

Due to strong winds that morning, Pilot Spencer chose to alter his normal landing pattern slightly onto Eagle Lake. After landing, Pilot Spencer proceeded to taxi across the ice toward the Warden Service Plane Base located on the west shore of Eagle Lake. While taxing, Pilot Spencer crossed an area of thin ice and the aircraft broke through. Pilot Spencer was able to exit the aircraft without injury. The aircraft became partially submerged but was suspended by its wings and tail.

Maine Warden Service Chief Pilot, Jeff Beach, stated this afternoon that it appeared the aircraft sustained no structural damage. The engine and avionics are currently being dried in the Warden Service hangar at Eagle Lake. Critical components will be assessed for any possible damage in the coming weeks. Attached photo courtesy of the Maine Warden Service.

Maine - Tilberg Named to New Post

The Forest Society of Maine has named Karin Tilberg as its new executive director. Tilberg joined the Bangor-based nonprofit in 2011 after working as the deputy commissioner at the Maine Department of Conservation during the Baldacci administration. She has served as the interim head of the Forest Society of Maine since the sudden death in August of Alan Hutchinson, a well-respected figure in national conservation circles who helped build the organization into one of Maine’s most influential and effective land trusts.

Vermont Wardens Make Several Arrests

Vermont State Game Wardens made several deer poaching arrests in northern Chittenden County this past fall. 

On December 1, wardens staked out near a fawn deer that was shot out of season from a motor vehicle but not retrieved.  Three hours later, two men, Andrew Duprey, 23, and Thomas Parah, 23, both of St. Albans, retrieved the deer and were apprehended by wardens.  They confessed and turned over Francis Cross, 67, also of St. Albans, for shooting the deer.  All three men were charged and face fines and jail time, along with a three-year loss of their hunting privileges.  Cross also faces the loss of the rifle used in the shooting.

On December 2, John Russell, 47, of St. Albans led wardens on a high-speed pursuit after wardens attempted to stop him for allegedly aiming a loaded muzzle loader out the window of his vehicle at a deer decoy. The pursuit ended with wardens conducting a high-risk vehicle stop, and he was arrested and turned over to Chittenden County Correctional Center after bail was set by a judge. Russell was charged with one wildlife violation, along with several counts for fleeing the scene, including a felony for attempting to allude an officer. He faces up to $4,500 in fines and up to seven years in prison.

On December 5, wardens responded to a tip of someone spotlighting deer along a road in Westford.  Using a license plate included in the tip, they tracked down Stephen Daily, 62, of Westford, and found blood and deer hair in his vehicle.  Wardens then executed a search warrant in the home of Kevin Daily, 66, also of Westford and discovered the carcass of a deer they believe was illegally taken.  Both men were charged with multiple fish and wildlife violations, and face potential fines and jail time, along with a three-year loss of their hunting privileges. 

“Vermont’s State Game Wardens were vigilant and effective this fall at protecting the state’s wildlife from poachers,” said Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s head of law enforcement.  “They not only made several high-profile arrests, but we believe their presence on the landscape also deterred many would-be poachers and prevented several potential safety issues. The public provided us with numerous calls and tips this fall, showing that Vermonters will not stand for poaching. The vast majority of Vermont’s hunters are safe, ethical and law-abiding, and those few that choose to break the law should expect to see blue lights in their rearview mirror before long.”  

If citizens have information about any illegal activity relating to Vermont’s wildlife, they can anonymously call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378) or report online at vtfishandwildlife.com.   Rewards are paid for information leading to arrests. 

Maine Recruiting for Six Deputy Game Warden Slots

These 6 positions are part time positions, from May 9, 2018 to the end of August, as a Deputy Game Warden assigned to specific bodies of water to enforce recreational boating rules and regulations. Two deputies will be stationed and housed in Naples, Maine at our Naples warden camp, one Deputy will be stationed in the Belgrade Lakes area with no housing available, and two deputies will be stationed in the Forks area with possible housing in Greenville. It will be expected that these Deputy Game Wardens will work in state issued watercraft, patrolling specific bodies of water. The Deputy’s primary mission will include, educating the boating public, handing out department-sponsored literature, issuing warnings and summonses for boating violations.

JOB DESCRIPTION:This is certified, uniformed, law enforcement work as a member of the Maine Warden Service, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, under the direct supervision of Warden Service Personnel, protecting inland fish and wildlife resources and the safety of the public. This Deputy Game Warden’s work includes:

• Patrolling an assigned lake or lakes. Patrolling is usually done alone in areas where there is a concentration of boats and boating activity. While on patrol, Deputy Wardens will inspect boats for compliance with recreational boating rules and regulations. Patrol may be conducted on foot or by truck, boat, or canoe.

• Issuing warnings and summonses, primarily on lakes, rivers and other bodies of water where recreational boating is occurring. In addition to enforcing recreational boating safety rules and regulations, Deputy Wardens are empowered to enforce fish and wildlife, recreation, and environmental laws under the direction of certain Warden personnel.

To be a successful Deputy Maine Game Warden, an individual must possess knowledge of wildlife, hunting, fishing, trapping, and in this case boating specific operation; a strong desire to work in law enforcement; self initiative; and a willingness to work out-of-doors in adverse weather conditions, often times without assistance. In all cases, a Deputy Warden seeks to promote good public relations and compliance with all fish and wildlife regulations.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: In order to qualify, you must:

• Have a high school diploma or equivalent;

• Be at least 21 years old by hire date -OR- 20 years old and have completed an Associate’s Degree or 60 credit hours of post-secondary education by May 10, 2018.

• Must provide proof of successfully passing the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s ALERT examination. This exam needs only to be passed once. The cost is $50.00 starts at 8:00 am sharp and is usually the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, with the Physical Fitness test immediately following. This needs to be done before your oral board at the beginning of February, so please call the academy to set it up @ 207-877-8000.

• Must successfully pass the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Pre-Employment Physical Fitness Test or have proof of a valid passing score within the past year, good thru February 1, 2018, the cost is $35.00. If you have more questions on this, you may call Deb @ 207-877-8000.

• Have or be able to obtain a valid Maine Class C motor vehicle operator’s license;

• Be willing to locate for the summer to Naples or Greenville at a state facility or to Belgrade lakes area with no state housing.

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