Outdoor News

July 2016
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

July. Let summer begin! Although fishing has begun to peak, there is much angling left. Togue (Lake Trout) will be found by those willing to go down deep with lead core line or downriggers. Fly fishers are keeping a vigil over the ever-popular Green Drake hatch on trout ponds. Stripers and mackerel runs keep it going for salt water anglers. Bass fishermen are enjoying Maine's incomparable bass fishery.

And, believe it or not, bear hunters and bear guides have already begun laying plans for the annual bear season that begins the end of next month!

Meanwhile, if you were lucky enough to boat a fat landlocked salmon, don't forget to poach it, apply an egg sauce and find some fresh garden peas to go along. Happy Fourth of July!

Vermont State Game Warden Robert Currier is shown here receiving Vermont’s Warden of the Year Award from Governor Peter Shumlin. Pictured (from left) Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter, Warden Robert Currier, Governor Peter Shumlin, and Col. Jason Batchelder

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

Vermont - Warden of the Year

Robert Currier of Colchester is Vermont's State Game Warden of the Year. A state game warden since 2011, Currier received the award in recognition of his excellent service from Governor Peter Shumlin on May 31 Montpelier.

"I want to thank Robert for his outstanding performance in protecting Vermont's fish and wildlife resources and serving the people of Vermont," said Governor Shumlin. He added that Warden Currier was chosen for “his professionalism, his strong work ethic and willingness to assist other law enforcement agencies.”

Lt. Curtis Smiley, Currier’s supervisor, also commended him for his ability to conduct thorough investigations of hunting and fishing violations. “Warden Currier exceeds all expectations by apprehending a high volume of violators. Despite his effectiveness as a warden, he remains highly respected as a member of the sporting community. The public often acknowledges his strong work ethic and fair application of the law,” said Smiley.

“Our warden force provides a broad range of services that go above and beyond protecting fish and wildlife,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “In Warden Currier’s case, his peers chose him as Warden of the Year because he exemplifies a high standard that others strive to reach.”

Warden Currier’s district includes the towns of South Hero, Milton, Colchester, Winooski, Burlington, South Burlington, Westford, Essex, Underhill, and Jericho.

Shikar-Safari Club International, a private wildlife conservation group, sponsors a warden of the year award in each state and Canadian province to help promote and encourage the enforcement of wildlife conservation laws. Currier received a colorful framed certificate honoring his selection as Vermont’s State Game Warden of the Year, provided by Shikar-Safari Club International.

Vermont - Muzzleloader Antlerless Deer Permit

Vermont’s muzzleloader season antlerless deer hunting permit applications are now available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). A quick-link to the information and online applications is on the home page. Applying online automatically enters you to win one of ten $50 Cabela’s gift cards.

The Fish and Wildlife Board met on May 25 and set antlerless deer hunting rules for the fall deer hunting seasons.

Hunting for antlerless deer will be statewide for the October 1-28 and December 3-11 archery season. Last year, hunters took 2,618 antlerless deer during the archery season.

One deer of either sex would be allowed for youths during the November 5-6 youth weekend hunt. Youths took 761 antlerless deer during the 2015 youth weekend hunt.

The December 3-11 muzzleloader season would have 18,950 antlerless permits distributed in 16 of Vermont’s 21 WMUs, which is estimated to result in 2,700 antlerless deer being taken.

Landowners who post their land may not apply for a muzzleloader landowner antlerless deer permit.

“The number of muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits was increased to account for the expected increase in the deer population following the exceptionally mild winter of 2016,” said Nick Fortin, deer project leader for the Fish & Wildlife Department. “The recommendation is intended to allow moderate population growth in most of the state while stabilizing or reducing deer densities in a few areas.”

“We expect the statewide deer population to be 140,000 to 145,000 prior to the start of the 2016 deer seasons,” said Fortin.

The deadline to apply for a muzzleloader antlerless deer permit is August 26.

Maine - IF&W Seeks Nominations for 2016 Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Annual Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award.

This award, which is presented by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, honors individuals who have been dedicated to the wise use of our natural resources and who are embedded in Maine’s rich outdoor traditions.

This is the second year of this very special award and the Department is now seeking nominations of individuals who have hunted, trapped and fished in Maine for a combined total of 40 years. For example, an individual who has fished for 20 years, trapped for 10 years and hunted for 10 years would be an ideal candidate. Candidates should have also demonstrated a form of mentoring, teaching or instructing outdoor activities.

The 2015 Annual Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award recipients, Harland Hitchings and Joseph Boudreau, were recognized by Commissioner Chandler Woodcock at the annual Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Banquet held last September.

Nominations should include the nominee’s name, address, phone number, photograph and a few paragraphs about the individual, their experience in the Maine outdoors, and an explanation of why they are a deserving candidate. The nominator should also include their contact information. Nominations, which are due by 5 p.m. on August 8, can be sent by email to Bonnie Holding at bonnie.holding@maine.gov or by mail to 284 State St, SHS 41, Augusta, Maine 04333. Please note, if you nominated an individual last year who you would like to nominate again this year, please contact Bonnie Holding. If preferred, a nomination form can be downloaded by visiting http://www.maine.gov/ifw/pdfs/lifetimeoutdoorachievementaward.pdf

The recipient(s) of this year’s Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award will be selected by a committee of individuals from the Department and will recognized at the Sportsman Alliance of Maine Banquet in Waterville on September 10, 2016.

Maine Wildlife Artist Passes

Prominent Wild Wings artist Persis Clayton Weirs passed away Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the age of 73 after a brief illness. She was living in Maine on the Penobscot Bay where she grew up hiking through the woods or walking along the shoreline in search of ideas for her paintings. She lived her life passionately as demonstrated by an unwavering love of her family, dedication to her many animals, and her ongoing enthusiasm for painting. She was a great sports fan, especially her beloved New England Patriots.

Wild Wings and Persis enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. “Persis always felt indebted to Wild Wings as we gave a voice to her artwork; and Wild Wings greatly appreciated her loyalty to our company,” recalls Sara Koller, vice president. “We will miss a prolific and talented artist.”

Inspired by a deep love for the outdoor lifestyle, Wild Wings was founded in 1968 to produce nature-inspired art of the highest-quality. Now representing more than forty of North America’s most talented and diverse painters and sculptors, Wild Wings has a long history of providing quality products and top-notch customer service. Wild Wings produces a wide range of art, gift and home décor products under the Wild Wings, Terry Redlin, Mill Creek Studios, Great Northern Art, Nature’s Window, Loon Lake Decoy Company and Bouquet & Company brands. Wild Wings’ corporate headquarters are located in Lake City, Minnesota. For more information or to join our catalog mailing list or email newsletter, phone 800-445-4833 or visit www.wildwings.com.

Maine - Eagle Shot and Killed

Maine Operation Game Thief has offered a $2,500 reward to anyone with information that leads to a conviction for the person(s) responsible for killing a bald eagle. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering an additional reward of up to $2,500 for information which leads to the conviction of any responsible party.

On April 15, a female, adult Bald Eagle was found dead beside a logging road in Days Academy Grant, east of Moosehead Lake. A concerned sportsman reported it to game wardens which responded and collected the bald eagle. The eagle was taken to Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine where an examination revealed it had been shot. It is believed to have been killed in early April.

The Maine Warden Service is looking for any information related to the senseless killing of this Bald Eagle. Those with information are asked to call Operation Game Thief at 1800-ALERT-US (207-287-6057) or Public Safety Dispatch in Bangor at 1-800-432-7381 (207-973-3700).

Maine - Graduates New Game Wardens

The Maine Criminal Justice Academy graduated 63 new police officers this spring from the 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program (BLETP) in Vassalboro. Of those 63 officers, four were Maine game wardens who will now be entering their next phase of training. They will participate in an intensive Warden Training Officer (WTO) program involving field work, team building and problem solving. Following the WTO program will be a twelve-week Advanced Game Warden Academy also based out of the Academy in Vassalboro.

Graduating today for the Maine Warden Service are Game Wardens John Carter, 28, from Unity, Kale O’Leary, 23, from Fort Kent, Nicholas Raymond, 24, from Winslow, and Harrison Wiegman, 24, from Leeds. Maine’s newest game wardens have been assigned their patrol areas. Carter has been assigned to the Blue Hill district, O’Leary is headed for the Masardis district, Nicholas Raymond will be going to the Fort Kent district, and Harrison Wiegman will be covering the Jackman district.

The Maine Warden Service has always produced top candidates and this BLETP was no exception. Game Warden Wiegman was elected class Vice President and took with him two additional class awards, one for attaining class valedictorian as well as the academic proficiency award. Game Warden John Carter was also named a class officer and held the role of treasurer.

Governor Paul LePage addressed the newest BLETP graduates by providing the commencement address. The Maine Warden Service congratulates all those who graduated today and their families and wish them all a safe and fulfilling career in law enforcement. Attached photo: From left to right, Game Wardens John Carter, Nicholas Raymond, Harrison Wiegman and Kale O’Leary.

Maine Warden Service locates missing Rockwood man

The body of a missing fisherman from Rockwood was located by game wardens May 13 in Brassua Lake. That afternoon the Maine Warden Service received a call regarding a missing fishermen who had not been seen since Thursday, May 12, 2016. Richard Weymouth, 80, of Rockwood, Maine was said to have gone fishing on Thursday. Family and friends had not seen or heard from him since. His vehicle was also missing from his residence.

At approximately 2:00 p.m. Weymouth’s family called the Maine Warden Service. Four game wardens including a Maine Warden Service aircraft responded. Family and friends located Weymouth’s vehicle off the Demo Road near the South Branch of Brassua Stream in Brassua Township. A search of the area turned up some of his fishing gear.

Game Warden Will Shuman responded in a motorboat to the area and located a body in Brassua Lake. The body has tentatively been identified as Richard Weymouth by game wardens. The body was transported to the Maine Medical Examiner’s office for examination and positive identification. Maine Warden Service was assisted by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and a Maine Army National Guard Helicopter.

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