Outdoor News

December 2017
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

December. A good month in Maine to blackpowder hunt for that elusive November buck, chase rabbits with hounds, or- for the most intrepid outdoorsman - a time to hunker down in coastal duck blinds with hot coffee and lovable old Labs.. Many outdoorsmen and women will get out the fly tying vices, or merely sit close to the fire with family and some good outdoor catalogs. From all of us at the Northwoods Sporting Journal, a very Merry Christmas to our readers and our advertisers. And may your New Year be full of health, happiness and memorable hours in New England's Great Outdoors.


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 - Wardens Arrest Moose Poacher

Vermont State Game Wardens arrested a suspect in a high-profile Northeast Kingdom moose poaching case this weekend. Gerin Fortin, 20, of Irasburg was arrested on Sunday and charged with six counts of big game violations, including taking game by illegal means and in a closed season, and two counts of shooting from a motor vehicle.

Fortin allegedly shot a cow moose from his pickup truck on Saturday, September 23 in Westmore. According to a witness, Fortin then struck it with his truck and shot it again in the head. The moose was killed out of season and at night.

Fortin allegedly chained the moose up to his truck and dragged it more than 11 miles to the town of Orleans, where it was left to rot by the side of the road. The moose was lactating, indicating that she likely had a calf with her.

Vermont’s regulated moose hunting seasons are in October, and are limited to a small number of hunting permits that are allocated through a lottery system. Fortin did not possess a moose hunting permit.

Fortin’s Ford F150 pickup truck was seized as evidence, along with his rifle, ammunition and truck chains. These items stand to be forfeited upon conviction.

Fortin is due in Orleans County Superior Court on December 26, 2017. He faces fines and restitution of up to $8,000 and up to one year in jail.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking anyone with information about any poaching activity to call their local warden through their nearest state police dispatch, or they may leave an anonymous tip to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).


Maine’s New Deer Man

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has named a replacement for outgoing deer research biologist Kyle Ravanna, who quit his post last spring after only a few years on the job. Ravanna replaced well-known state deer biologist Gerry Lavigne, who served his position for 30 years. Maine’s new Bangor-based deer research biologist is Nathan Bieber from Rochester, MN. Bieber assumed the position on Aug 30th of this year.

Bieber, an avid deer hunter himself, brings a variety of occupational experiences to this position. According to the Department, Bieber’s field experience includes capturing and collaring deer for several seasons in Wisconsin, trapping wolves in Minnesota and surveying grassland birds in North Dakota.

Bieber received his BS in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Minnesota and his MS from the University of Nebraska.


2017 New Hampshire Moose Hunt

New Hampshire's 2017 moose season wrapped up with hunters taking a total of 37 moose – 25 bulls and 12 cows – according to preliminary numbers from New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Moose Biologist Kristine Rines.

That means that hunters achieved a 68.5% success rate during the 9-day season. A total of 54 hunters took part in the hunt – 51 lottery permit holders, 1 medical deferment from last year, 1 permit auctioned off by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and 1 Hunt of a Lifetime participant. In 2016, the overall success rate was 72%.

Around the state this year, preliminary numbers show moose hunters having an 80% success rate in the Connecticut Lakes Region; 71% in the North Region; 69% in the White Mountain Region; 100% in the Central Region; and 0% in the Southeast Region. No permits were issued in the Southwest Region.

More than 6,850 people entered the moose hunt lottery this year for a chance to win a permit for the New Hampshire moose hunt.


Vermont - Barnet Men Arrested for Poaching

Three Barnet men were recently arrested and charged with multiple counts related to a nighttime deer poaching incident.

Carl Sanborn, 47, and his son Jonathan Sanborn, 20, allegedly shot with a bow and arrow at a deer decoy on the night of Saturday, October 21. The decoy was placed by Vermont State Game Wardens in an area in Danville with a strong history of poaching activity. The vehicle, a convertible driven by a juvenile, aged 16, then led wardens on a high-speed pursuit. Another 13-year-old juvenile was also in the vehicle and is not being charged.

During the pursuit, a bow and rangefinder were thrown from the vehicle and recovered by wardens. An official Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department emblem, owned by the State of Vermont, was found affixed to the front of the vehicle at the time it was stopped.

Carl Sanborn is being charged with seven counts, including taking big game by illegal means, hunting while under revocation, failure to stop for a game warden, and contributing to juvenile delinquency. He faces more than two years in prison and $14,000 in fines. Sanborn has previously been convicted of 24 fish and wildlife crimes dating back to 1993, and was sentenced to 81 days and fined $6,800 because of the convictions.

Jonathan Sanborn was charged with six counts and faces more than two years in prison and $8,000 in fines.

The 16-year-old will be processed as a juvenile. He was charged with eight counts, including a felony charge for attempting to elude police, and faces more than eight years in prison and $12,000 in fines.

The car, registered to Carl Sanborn, along with the bow, rangefinder, and light were all seized and stand to be forfeited to the state upon conviction. All three men also stand to lose their hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for three years.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking anyone with information about any poaching activity to call their local warden through their nearest state police dispatch, or they may leave an anonymous tip to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).


Maine - Hebron Hunting Fatality

Game wardens continue to investigate the death of a Hebron woman as a result of a hunting related shooting incident. Karen Wrentzel, age 34, from 490 Greenwood Mountain Road, died yesterday morning around 10:30 after being shot in a hunting related incident. A 38-year-old Hebron man hunting deer with his father has been identified by game wardens in connection with this incident. The incident took place off the Greenwood Mountain Road, near the Minot town line. Wrentzel was not hunting when she died and had no affiliation with the two men.

Members of the Maine Warden Service Forensic Mapping Team and Evidence Recovery Team were on scene yesterday and will likely revisit the area as this investigation continues. Game wardens continue to question the two men involved as well as witnesses; the two men have been cooperating with game wardens. The Maine Warden Service is working with the Office of the Maine Attorney General on this case.

Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police and fire and rescue members from both Hebron and Minot assisted yesterday. This incident remains under investigation; no further information will be released at this time. This is Maine’s first fatal hunting incident since 2012 in Wales. Maine licensed 219,000 hunters in 2016


Maine - Greetings Fellow Fly Tyer’s

The Penobscot Fly Fishers will be hosting their annual Fly Tying Symposium on Saturday December 9th doors will open for tyers to set up at 9:00 and from 10:00-3:30 for general public at The Penobscot County Conservation Association Clubhouse 570 North Main St. Brewer, ME.

The scope of our event is to bring tyer’s together to demonstrate their skills and share ideas. The event is open to the public and you are welcome to bring fly tying related things to sell, but the main focus is demonstrating fly tying. There is no charge to exhibit or to attend.

If you have attended before you know what a fun day this is for sharing fly tying tips, new techniques and camaraderie with like minded folks. If you haven't attended, then this is the year to start!

The club will have coffee and lunch available to purchase..

If you would like to reserve a space, please contact Rob Dunnett by email at class@penobscotflyfishers.com. Due to the size of the venue we are limiting participation to around 24 tyers. When signing up please indicate if you would like a full 8’ table or would be willing to split a table.


Study of Maine’s Remote Trout Ponds

By Mary Gallagher, state fisheries biologist

The Native Fish Conservation Group, a section of the Fisheries division that focuses on conservation and restoration of native fish, has completed another successful season of surveying some of Maine’s remote and difficult to access ponds.

We work in conjunction with the Regional Fisheries Biologists to document and assess these waters for potential management changes. In 2017, we surveyed 29 of these remote ponds and 19 of these were ‘new’ pond surveys. This means that the pond had never been surveyed before. Hard to believe, but yes, even in 2017, we still have waters in Maine that have never been formally surveyed.

Our goal with the survey is to establish a base understanding of the pond’s fishery resources, its water quality and habitat conditions.

We collect a variety of information while conducting a survey. Often the first challenge often is just getting there! This sometimes requires skillful navigation with the assistance of GPS and we sometimes have to compensate for obstructions along the way, like a decommissioned road We sample for fishes by using a variety of gear, such as gill nets , minnow traps , and experimental angling . These places are difficult to get to and we probably won’t be coming back anytime soon, so we will use just about any method we can to collect information!

Sometimes, we sometimes find previously undocumented populations of wild brook trout and sometimes, we manage to catch the smallest pond inhabitants through a combination of luck and determination .

As part of this work, we also assess the water quality and physical condition of the ponds. Although the primary focus of this whole effort is to document additional wild brook trout resources and coldwater habitat, we record and measure whatever we find at the pond once there.

For some of these ponds, it’s difficult to even consider them as a pond. Water level can be quite low at the time of the survey or the ‘pond’ is really just a wide spot in a stream . We often find the remains of old log driving dams or structures on the outlet as well .


Maine - Warden Pilot Recognized for FAA Award

A retired Maine game warden pilot recently received the FAA’s most prestigious award. Retired Game Warden Pilot Gary Dumond received the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award given at Old Town, Maine Nov. 6th.

Dumond served with the Maine Warden Service from 1972 to 1992 as a game warden pilot. He has continued to fly with the Warden Service on an as-needed basis as a reserve pilot and instructor, more recently over the last year. Dumond flew helicopters in Vietnam prior to flying for the State of Maine. He has accumulated 21,000 hours of safe flying over his lifetime and has been responsible for saving many lives and locating many lost persons.

Gary lives with his wife Pauline in Eagle Lake and remains as passionate about airplanes and flying as ever. “Flying with Gary Dumond is like traveling with a living history book. From the air, Dumond will see a lake, pond or old sporting camp and will often have a story to tell about it” stated Jeffrey Beach, current Chief Pilot for the Maine Warden Service.

Dumond served with the Maine Warden Service from 1972 to 1992 as a game warden pilot. He has continued to fly with the Warden Service on an as-needed basis as a reserve pilot and instructor, more recently over the last year. Dumond flew helicopters in Vietnam prior to flying for the State of Maine. He has accumulated 21,000 hours of safe flying over his lifetime and has been responsible for saving many lives and locating many lost persons.

Gary lives with his wife Pauline in Eagle Lake and remains as passionate about airplanes and flying as ever..

The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers.


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