Outdoor News

June 2018
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

June is bustin’ out all over, and like they say, June is “troutin’and bassin’ time.” With more than 5,000 lakes and ponds, thousands of miles of rivers and streams and 400 remote trout ponds scattered throughout the Pine Tree State’s sprawling wilderness, there is room enough for all of us to find solitude and sustenance for the soul - and maybe even some fish. So get the garden in early, and get after those wonderful brookies and feisty bass. Be sure to read this issue of the Journal thoroughly. It’s chocker block full of fishing’ tips and places to go. Don’t forget to buy a fishing license -you can do that online now - register your boat, grease the hubs on your boat trailer, bring a kid along and wear a life jacket.

Paul Fuller (right), who writes a monthly column for the Northwoods Sporting Journal, receives a First Place writing award from V. Paul Reynolds, board member of the NEOWA. (Photo by Mary Julius)

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 - Coastal Forests Purchased and Protected

According to a press release issued in early May, a collaborative effort between The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, New England Forestry Foundation, Blue Hill Heritage Trust, and Downeast Salmon Federation will provide opportunities to conserve more than 17,000 acres of forestland to protect wildlife habitat, ensure future recreational access and support the economies of nearby coastal communities.  

The Maine Coastal Forest Partnership celebrated a major milestone with The Conservation Fund's purchase of 17,881 acres in Hancock and Washington Counties on May 1. The Fund’s acquisition provides the time and opportunity to secure funding to permanently conserve large, ecologically important forestland.  

“Working forests, coastal landscapes, and aquatic habitats define Maine’s environment, communities, economy and way of life,” said Tom Duffus, Vice President and Northeast Representative for The Conservation Fund. “Through the Maine Coastal Forest Partnership we are ensuring that forestland of community- and state-wide importance will always remain as forests, and by working together we can implement permanent conservation solutions that meet the needs of people, protect wildlife habitat and provide economic benefits.”  

Composed of three distinct properties, the lands will ultimately be conveyed to local conservation partners for perpetual protection and management. The partners now turn their collective attention to raising the funds to complete their acquisitions.       

The 13,799-acre Spring River-Narraguagus Forest property in Hancock County will be acquired by The Nature Conservancy. 
The 2,070-acre Venture Brook Forest property in Washington County will be acquired by the New England Forestry Foundation.
The 2,012-acre Meadowbrook Forest property in Hancock County will be acquired by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.  

The Conservation Fund acquired the lands from H.C. Haynes, Inc., through its Working Forest Fund® program, which enables the protection of large working forests across the country from conversion and fragmentation. During its temporary ownership, The Conservation Fund will work with each organization to sustainably manage the forestland for the improvement and protection of both forest and aquatic resources, while maintaining current leases and public recreational uses. The Conservation Fund will continue to pay property taxes.  

About the land  

Spring River-Narraguagus Forest

Spanning 13,799 acres, the Spring River-Narraguagus Forest property in Hancock County is adjacent to The Nature Conservancy’s 9,700-acre Spring River Preserve. Conservation of the Spring River-Narraguagus Forest will help maintain a forested connection between the Downeast coast and Maine's north woods, helping protect habitat for wide-ranging wildlife and allow for species to move in response to a changing climate. The property includes 3.75 miles of lakeshore on Narraguagus Lake, one of the significant headwaters of the West Branch of the Narraguagus River, as well as two miles of frontage on the north side of Spring River, seven miles of frontage on the West Branch, and 46 miles of interior tributary streams. This land is important as a buffer for high value aquatic habitat that supports native brook trout and salmon fisheries - and provides public access for fishing and canoeing.  

Venture Brook Forest Located in Washington County, the 2,070-acre Venture Brook Forest property will be acquired by New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF). The property protects water quality and habitat for brook trout and Atlantic salmon, and supports vital white-tail deer wintering habitat. This property will be managed as a working forest, which will help maintain forest jobs and provide fiber for local mills.  

The 2,012-acre Meadowbrook Forest property in Hancock County offers more than nine miles of roads through the woods, providing ideal recreational access for bikers and stroller walkers. Blue Hill Heritage Trust (BHHT) will acquire the land, a vital link in a documented north-south wildlife corridor, once funding from the National Coast Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, becomes available.

Maine - Hunting Restricted During Manhunt

Governor Paul R. LePage issued an Emergency Proclamation in early May that suspended all hunting, including the start of turkey season, in the portions of Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Fairfield where the manhunt continues for the fugitive who police are seeking in connection with the shooting death of Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Corporal Eugene Cole earlier this week.

“I am using my executive authority to ensure the safety of the public and our law enforcement officers,” stated Governor LePage. “We are heartbroken yet determined to find the fugitive and bring him to justice as swiftly as possible. I thank our law enforcement officers and those from the federal government and surrounding states for their hard work in difficult conditions over the past several days.”

The suspension was later lifted when the alleged killer was captured following an extensive manhunt in wooded areas .

Keep Birdfeeders from Spring Bears

Black bears are emerging from their winter dens, and with natural foods in short supply this time of year, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is receiving calls concerning bears looking for easy meals in backyards around birdfeeders, trash cans, chicken coops and grills.

The department is reminding homeowners to remove potential bear attractants from their yard. You can learn more at http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fish-wildlife/wildlife/wildlife-human-issues/living-with-wildlife/bears.html

“Due to the late spring, we anticipate that bear complaints could reach higher than normal levels this year. Spring is the time of year when natural foods for bears are scarcest, and as a result bears will often seek accessible food in people’s back yards,” says Jen Vashon, IFW’s bear biologist.

Already, the department has received 27 nuisance bear complaints this spring, with the majority coming from the Kennebunk/Arundel area as well as the greater Bangor area. Annually, the Department handles approximately 500 nuisance bear complaints, with May, June, and July being the busiest months for complaints.

“Maine has a growing bear population and bears are becoming more common in central and southern Maine, increasing the potential for conflicts,” said Vashon. “We want to remind people to remove attractants so they don’t create a potentially dangerous interaction with a bear.”

Black bears emerge hungry from their dens after losing between 15-40% of their weight during winter and they immediately start looking for food. Bears will often turn to suburban attractants such as bird feeders, pet food, and unsecured garbage bins when natural foods are not available.

Bears that live near people often rely on foods inadvertently provided by people, such as highly nutritional sunflower seeds being fed to birds. Birdseed and other attractants should be removed to prevent attracting or creating nuisance bears.

In order to keep your home less attractive to bears, please:

Take down bird feeders, rake up and dispose of bird seed on the ground, and store remaining bird seed indoors.
Keep garbage cans inside until the morning of trash pickup
Keep your barbecue grill clean by burning off any food residue, disposing of wrappers and cleaning the grilling area after use. If possible, store grills inside when not in use.
Store pet and livestock food inside, and cleanup any uneaten food.
Keep small livestock behind a fence or in a secure building, especially at night.
Keep dumpster lids closed and locked.
Keep outbuilding and garage doors closed.

New England Outdoor Writers Association 2018 Awards

Best Article – Magazine

1st – Todd Corayer - Allagash Wilderness
2nd – Gabe Gries - Jigging Spoons
3rd – Angelo Peluso - The Alligator Blues

Best Column – Magazine

1st – Nelson Sigelman - The Answer to Your Deer Problem
2nd – Paul Fuller - Understanding Bird Scent – Part I
3rd – Angelo Peluso - The Last Rainbow

Best Opinion – Magazine

1st – Dennis Jensen - Why I hunt

Best Humor – Magazine

1st – John D. Silva - Natural Selection

Best Article – Newspaper

1st – Angelo Peluso - A Dose of Wilderness Wisdom
2nd – Dennis Jensen - ‘Old Boys Club’ Goes Down in Defeat
3rd – Dennis Jensen - Mountains, Wildlife Took Precedence Over 60 Windmills

Best Column – Newspaper

1st – Dennis Jensen - Happy Deer Year
2nd - Marc Folco - An Alaskan Adventure, Just for the Halibut
3rd – Todd Corayer - A Block Island Dispatch from the Cold of December

Best Opinion – Newspaper

1st – Marc Folco - The Only Thing We Have to Fear – Is Not Snakes
2nd – Gary Moore - Fish & Wildlife Releases Names of Moose Permit Winners
3rd – Gary Moore - Bears Nearly Killed Because Humans Wouldn’t Listen

Best Humor – Newspaper

1st – Marc Folco - Think You Can Out-run a Bear?
2nd – Dennis Jensen - Camp Swampy Catalog: New Products for Winter
3rd - Todd Corayer – Trailer Trash Spoiler Alert: Nothing Happened at the DMV

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