Outdoor News

May 2017
Edited by V. Paul Reynolds

May. The sweet of the year.

For the angler who likes to get after lake landlocks early, who loves to feel the bite of the wind on his face as his Grey Ghost Streamer fly trolls smartly through a brisk "salmon chop," the sweet of the year may be late April or early May. The trout angler, on the other hand, who waits patiently to match the hatch with a #14 Parachute Adams, may not taste the sweet of the year 'til late May or early June. The challenge for all fishermen, of course, is the timing: being there and having a line in the water when the sweet of the year comes calling.

At press time, spring is looking elusive. But over the years we have seen that, when it comes to spring in Maine, expect anything.

The sweet of the year may catch you by surprise, so get the spring chores done, and be ready to get after those fish!

Tight lines.

CAPTION FOR PHOTO ABOVE: Senior Warden Mark Schichtle and K9 Magooch perform a demonstration for a camper at Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s Green Mountain Conservation Camp. The pair are one of two sets of law enforcement officers statewide that were awarded the 2016 K9 Detection Team of the Year.

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

New Hampshire Moose Hunt Lottery

If you want to hunt moose in New Hampshire this fall, now is the time to enter the lottery and try your luck on the adventure of a lifetime. Applications for the lottery cost $15 for residents and $25 for non-residents (nonrefundable) and are available online at huntnh.com or from any Fish and Game license agent. A total of 51 permits are proposed to be issued this year.

Apply now by visiting N.H. Fish and Game at www.huntnh.com/hunting/moose-lottery.html, where you can apply online or print out a mail-in application. Lottery applications for 2017 must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight Eastern Time, May 26, 2017, or delivered to N.H. Fish and Game headquarters in Concord before 4 p.m. that day. Applicants are encouraged to apply online and early, so there is less chance of submitting an incomplete application.

If you are applying, be aware that the estimated density of moose in the South West Region, comprised of Moose Management Units H2-North, H2-South, and K has declined to the cut-off threshold established in the Moose Management Plan. As a result, the proposal would suspend permit issuance in these three units (no permits would be issued) during the 2017 lottery. In addition, permits would also be reduced in the North and White Mountain Regions. Applicants should rank all units to maximize their chances of being offered a permit. If successful in the lottery and offered a permit for a unit they prefer not to hunt, the permit can be declined without loss of accumulated points.

New Hampshire’s nine-day moose hunt starts the third Saturday in October. This year’s hunt runs from October 17-29, 2017.

Each applicant can choose to be entered into the lottery or to accrue a point only and not be entered into the lottery. This benefits those hunters who know they will not be able to hunt this year and want to continue to accrue bonus points. A bonus point system improves the chances for unsuccessful applicants who apply each consecutive year. Don’t miss a year, or you’ll lose your points! Hunters who are drawn and accept a permit are not eligible to enter the lottery or to apply for a bonus point for the following three years.

Annual harvest of moose provides valuable information on the physical condition of moose, as well as a unique recreational opportunity.

Maine - IFW Biologist Receives Highest Honor

Charlie Todd, IFW’s Endangered Species Coordinator who spearheaded the recovery of bald eagles in Maine, received the Maine Chapter of the Wildlife Society’s highest honor last week when he was presented with the Award of Professional Achievement.

The award is given to wildlife professionals who have a sustained record of exceptional contributions and career achievements… and who exemplify a level of excellence and productivity that has resulted in significant advances in knowledge or lasting benefits to wildlife conservation.

“Charlie’s career is remarkable in both achievement and length,” said IFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. “His impact in Maine and beyond is extremely noteworthy.”

Charlie’s accomplishments are well known, as for 30 years, he oversaw Maine’s bald eagle program. During that time, Maine’s eagle population rose from 41 nesting pairs in 1976 to over 750 nesting pairs in 2012.

Known as a hands-on biologist, “Charlie spent thousands of hours in small planes monitoring eagle nests and locating new territories. He reared eagle chicks and fostered them back into nests, banded scores of nestlings, provided eaglets to other states for re-introduction, and rescued and rehabilitated injured eagles for later release.”

Charlie is also known for his ability to get multiple groups with diverse interest together to work towards common goal. According the award, “Charlie worked tirelessly…protecting eagle nest sites. This required extensive collaboration and communication with hundreds of private landowners, industrial forest landowners, land trusts, and municipalities. His skill in working with landowners, coupled with an easy-going manner often helped defuse potentially tense interactions with landowners and industry personnel. Charlie’s diplomatic approach and technical expertise resulted in many collaborative projects with Native American tribes, universities, pulp and paper mills, state and federal agencies, and other conservation partners.”

In addition, Charlie was responsible for coordinating the state’s re-introduction and management of peregrine falcons. This included leading a hacking program for 15 years, surveying remote cliffs scattered across Maine, monitoring active nest sites, and working with landowners and state and federal agencies as peregrines took up residence on bridges, popular hiking trails, and in urban settings. Today, thanks to Charlie’s leadership, Maine is now home to about 25 nesting pairs of this once extirpated species.

“The Department is extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated biologist managing our most vulnerable species,” said Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso. “Charlie embodies what many of us all hope to be some day.”

Maine - Wardens Seize Gatots

Maine game wardens seized five small alligators last month in Augusta. Shortly after noon, game wardens responded to a call of a man in possession of five small alligators. Yifan Sun, 20, living in Augusta, was found to be in possession of the alligators; a restricted species here in Maine without proper permits.

Sun did not have a permit and was issued a summons for Importing or Possessing Wildlife without a Permit, a class E crime. Sun is cooperating with game wardens. The alligators were temporarily taken to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife regional office in Sidney for care. Augusta Police assisted with this case.

There are several reasons why the Department restricts ownership of certain wildlife species and requires a permit for their importation or possession: The first is public safety, which is the reason crocodiles, alligators, and most venomous snakes and lizards are restricted. Secondly, some exotic species have the potential to become invasive and disruptive to Maine’s natural habitats if they escape into the wild. Lastly, some species have conservation concerns in their native range that can be magnified by illegal sale

Maine - Wardens Apprehend Rabbit Hunters

With all the news this winter surrounding Maine’s busy snowmobiling season, Maine’s game wardens remain diligent about conserving our natural resources as well. Five hunters from Massachusetts and one from Maine were apprehended Saturday, March 18 for killing 67 snowshoe hares over their limit. Working on a tip, a team of Maine game wardens, Maine marine patrol officers and USF&W agents closed in on the group who had been hunting on Great Duck Island Saturday.

Upon inspecting them, the hunters were found to be 67 snowshoe hares over their daily bag limit. In total, the group of six had killed 87 hares during their day of hunting. One individual was also summonsed for hunting without a license. Great Duck Island is in the town limits of Frenchboro and is approximately a ten-mile boat ride from Southwest Harbor. The Island is owned by the Nature Conservancy.

Summonsed were:

Andrew Mays, 52 from Southwest Harbor, ME (10 snowshoe hare over limit)

Carlos Almeida, 47 from Acushnet, MA, (hunting without a license, 10 SNH over limit)

Abilio Fernandes, 61 from New Bedford, MA, (10 SNH over limit)

Luis Fidalgo, 52 from North Dartmouth, MA, (10 SNH over limit)

Antonio Fidalgo, 54 from Acushnet, MA, (10 SNH over limit)

Antonio Borges, 69 from Acushnet, MA, (10 SNH over limit)

Maine - Hiker Found Dead

Brian Peters, 57, from Mt. Vernon, Maine was found dead last month after he was reported overdue home by his wife. Peters was located by searchers along a hiking trail in Rome. He was last seen at about 1:00 PM when he left a parking area to snowshoe to the top of Round Top Mountain. Members of the Rome Fire Department located the Peters shortly after 9:00 p.m. while conducting a ground search with game wardens. Searchers had been searching trails off the Watson Pond Road.

Maine State Police along with Belgrade Rescue assisted on scene. Game wardens indicate that Peters was well prepared for hiking and had good communication with his family regarding his hiking trip. A correction from this morning’s release now states that this could have been a medical event rather than exposure. The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office will be evaluating this incident

Vermont Game Warden Awarded

A Vermont state game warden was one of two winners of a statewide award for the 2016 K9 Detection Team of the Year. The award was given to Senior Warden Mark Schichtle and his black lab Magooch, by the Vermont Criminal Justice Canine Committee.

Schichtle and Magooch were recognized for their numerous contributions to important law enforcement cases. These include several instances in which the duo located shell casings from bullets used in wildlife poaching crimes that led to arrest and conviction.

“Warden Schichtle is extremely effective at using Magooch to make himself more approachable to erase barriers that sometimes exist between law enforcement officers and the public,” said Col. Jason Batchelder, chief warden for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “Everybody loves Magooch, so his presence allows them to look past the warden’s uniform and see that Mark is a member of the community, there to serve. Warden Schichtle and Magooch are exceptional at connecting with kids, creating a generation of Vermonters who, when they see a warden’s green truck, know we’re there to help.”

Schichtle’s colleagues also recognized the K9 units’ ability to assist in a variety of settings that can otherwise be difficult to find evidence. They cited a reckless endangerment case involving a man who fired a rifle along railroad tracks. The South Burlington Police Department was unable to find the shell casing using a metal detector due to the large amount of metal along the tracks. K9 Magooch quickly located the shell, corroborating the victim’s story and leading to an arrest in the case.

“Our K9 units provide an invaluable resource for all Vermonters,” said Batchelder. “In addition to finding evidence and suspects involved in fish and wildlife crimes, they have located many missing people, including children and people with disabilities. People are alive today thanks to the great work of Warden Schichtle and Magooch.”

Maine - Boy Rescued in Stacyville

Nine-year-old Rowen Ross of Sherman was found cold but otherwise in good health after spending more than nine hours in the woods last night. A tracking team to include a State Police K9, a game warden and a Baxter Park Ranger found Ross huddled under a large tree near the Penobscot / Aroostook County line at approximately 9:45 PM. In freezing temperatures and icy conditions, the team spent several hours methodically tracking Ross using the K9 and Ross’ intermittent tracks found in the frozen snow.

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