Outdoor News

July 2017
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!

CAPTION FOR PHOTO ABOVE: New Maine Chief Warden Pilot, Jeffrey Beach

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 - Veteran Raft Guide Takes Over Penobscot Ops

Having guided hundreds of raft trips down the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Luke DiSilvestro has recently been named Northern Outdoors' Penobscot River Manager. A raft guide and video boater, who until recently spent his winters on ski patrol at Sugarloaf, Luke will be integral to all aspects of Northern Outdoors' Katahdin Adventure Base Camp on the Penobscot River, and an important link between the Penobscot River operation and Northern Outdoors' headquarters in The Forks.

"We've been rafting the Penobscot since 1976, but only in 2015 did we establish a base camp on the river," says Northern Outdoors co-founder, and Maine's first female whitewater guide, Suzie Hockmeyer. "With Luke's ten years of experience on Maine's wildest river, his many safety certifications, and his knowledge of hiking around Baxter State Park, steps away from our campground, we're confident Luke and his team will be able to share their infectious love of the Katahdin Region."

The first rafting trip down the Penobscot is June 1. Northern Outdoors runs the 15-mile river section from top to bottom, from McKay Station to Nevers Corner, with a grilled lunch between the upper and lower parts.

Penobscot rafting trips are offered every day from June 1 until September 10. Northern Outdoors' Katahdin Adventure Base Camp is at Abol Bridge Campground on the Appalachian Trail, with Rip Dam Cabins ten miles up the Golden Road for a less rustic experience. Rafting, hiking and fishing packages are available.

Maine - Chief Warden Pilot Named (Pictured Above)

The Maine Warden Service promoted a new Chief Pilot last month in Augusta. Game Warden Pilot Jeffrey Beach, 46, from Fairfield served in the US Air Force for seven years as an aircrew member (loadmaster) on C-5 aircraft. Additionally, Pilot Beach served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August of 1990 to August of 1991 and was awarded the Air Medal for aerial flight during that conflict.

Pilot Beach attended the University of Connecticut and majored in Natural Resource Economics and English. A 17-year veteran of the Maine State Police, Pilot Beach attended the 44th Maine State Police Academy which began in November of 1995. He patrolled Troop C his entire career as a State Trooper with assignments in Somerset County for four-and-a-half years, Interstate 95 for 10 years, and as a patrol supervisor (Sergeant) for two-and-a-half years. Pilot Beach has been an Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC) instructor for nine years for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and led the EVOC Instructor program for one year.

Chief Pilot Beach has been a licensed pilot for 27 years and holds a commercial license with ratings for instrument, multiengine, seaplane as well as a being a certified flight instructor. Chief Pilot Beach has been a game warden pilot for the last three-and-one half years. The position of Game Warden Pilot has many responsibilities to include search and rescue, law enforcement, and assisting with fish and wildlife resource management. Chief Pilot Beach looks forward to his new role as Chief Pilot and is honored to hold this position in the Maine Warden Service Aviation Division.

Maine - Canoeist Recovered

Last month, game wardens have recovered the body of a South Berwick woman from the Saco River. Divers recovered the body of 38-year-old Jennifer Bousquet. A search has been ongoing when game wardens were first notified that Bousquet went missing in the river. She and her boyfriend, Brian Day, 54, also from South Berwick, were paddling the Saco River when their canoe overturned. Day was able to make it to safety.

Bousquet’s body was located about 350 yards downstream from where it is believed she entered the water. Her body was located in about eight feet of water by a game warden diver. With the recent rains, river levels were high and conditions were dangerous for divers. Several factors made search and recovery efforts both dangerous and time consuming. High water levels, poor visibility, cold water temperatures and considerable river debris challenged divers during this four-day search and recovery effort. Additional search equipment such as remote cameras were used underwater to search hard to reach and dangerous areas containing debris.

Search and rescue K9 teams from the Warden Service also combed the shorelines of the river since Saturday to help locate Bousquet’s body. Lifejackets were located at the scene; Bousquet was not wearing a lifejacket when recovered. This case remains under investigation by the Maine Warden Service.

Game wardens continue to investigate a separate incident involving two Fryeburg Police officers who crashed their patrol boat on the Saco River as they responded to the incident above. One officer from that crash remains in critical condition today at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Maine - Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is now accepting nominations for the 2017 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 use of our natural resources and who are embedded in Maine’s rich outdoor traditions. Hunting, fishing and trapping are an important part of the heritage of the State of Maine and this award celebrates the achievements of an individual while sharing their experiences for the future generations benefit.

This is the third 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 or could have fished for 30 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 2016 Annual Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award recipients, Oscar Cronk, Gary Cobb and Jim Martin 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. Please keep in mind that we do not know these candidates so you should make sure that your information is complete. The nominator’s contact information should also be included. Nominations, which are due by 5 p.m. on August 7, 2017 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 and would like to nominate that person again this year, please contact Bonnie Holding. If preferred, a nomination form can be downloaded from 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 be recognized at the Sportsman Alliance of Maine Banquet in Waterville on September 9, 2017.

Vermont - Rich Watkin - Warden of the Year

Senior Warden Rich Watkin, Ph.D., of Wilmington is Vermont's State Game Warden of the Year. Watkin received the award in recognition of his excellent service from Governor Phil Scott on May 24 in Montpelier.

Lt. Greg Eckhardt, Watkin’s supervisor, praised him for his exemplary attitude and dedication to the job. “Rich is knowledgeable in all aspects of the job,” said Eckhardt. “He understands the intricacies of fish and wildlife law and has an excellent working knowledge of the wildlife and habitats common to his patrol district.”

“Rich is professional, polite, hardworking, dependable, honest and always willing to help others whenever asked. He is highly regarded by his peers and is a great asset to both the Fish and Wildlife Department and the State of Vermont,” added Eckhardt.

“Warden Watkin represents so many of the things that makes our warden force the professional and well-respected institution that it is,” said Commissioner Louis Porter. “He goes out of his way to serve his community, from teaching kids at the local elementary school about wildlife to giving free snowmobile rides to disabled children.”

Warden Watkin’s district includes the towns of Stratton, Somerset, Dover, Searsburg, Wilmington, Stamford, Readsboro, and Whitingham.

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. Watkin received a colorful framed certificate honoring his selection as Vermont’s State Game Warden of the Year, provided by Shikar-Safari Club International.

Maine - Porter Man Drowned

Game wardens have recovered the body of a missing Porter man. Duane Day Sr., 53, was recovered from Plain Pond last month in the town of Porter. Day had left to go for an evening of hornpout (catfish) fishing.. When it was discovered he had not returned home as of this morning, family went to Plain Pond where he had planned to fish. It was there that family located his truck and capsized flat bottom boat.

The boat had no motor and remained on the surface about 75 feet from shore. A game warden K9 team and the Maine Warden Service Dive Team searched the shoreline and water today. The water was heavily obscured by vegetation making detection difficult. Day was located beneath his boat by game warden divers at 2:00 this afternoon in nine feet of water. It is unknown how Day entered into the water and died. Two lifejackets were found with the boat; Day was not wearing a lifejacket.

The body was transported to Watson, Neal and York Funeral Home in Cornish where it will then be taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta later today. This incident remains under investigation by the Maine Warden Service.

Vermont - Wildlife Biologist Recognized

Kim Royar, wildlife biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife and resident of Wallingford, was awarded the 2017 Canute Dalmasse Award by Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore in recognition of her outstanding contributions to conservation.

The Canute Dalmasse Award is given annually to an agency employee who demonstrates an exceptional dedication to natural resources, the protection of public health, the people of Vermont, and to her co-workers.

Nominated by her peers for the agency-wide award, Royar was lauded for her integrity, sense of humor, and commitment to conserving natural resources for the people of Vermont. Royar has worked for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for 35 years, during which she has served as district wildlife biologist, working to protect wildlife habitat and to conserve a wide range of species from beavers to bobcats. Royar has also been instrumental in reintroducing a native weasel species, the American marten, to Vermont. More recently, Royar served as deputy commissioner and as special assistant to the commissioner.

Maine - ATV Riders Reminded

Maine has a 6,000 mile ATV trail system, the largest in New England, thanks to the generosity of private landowners who allow the use of ATVs on their land.

This private landowner support has allowed Maine’s recreational ATV industry to grow and prosper, from a fledgling recreational industry to economic catalyst in many rural parts of the state.

Maine registers nearly 70,000 ATVs annually, and ATV riding contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Maine’s economy. In 2002, there was just over 2,000 miles of trails and less than 50,000 ATVs registered in the state.

The backbone of the ATV economy are private landowners who have worked with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) to create a vast network of trails that allows for ATV recreation while protecting private property.

Since 2005, this agreement was based on a maximum width of 60” for ATVs. Maine’s ATV trail system is designed for use by ATVs that size as trail widths, water crossings and trail entrances are designed for an ATV 60” wide or smaller. ATV trails maps and brochures clearly mark the ATV size requirement. Agreements with landowners that allowed the trail system to be built are based on that size.

With side-by-side ATVs growing both in size and popularity, there has been an increase in the number of complaints associated with oversized ATVs damaging private property, bridges, and trails.

IFW and ACF are reminding ATV riders about the 60” maximum width limit on many trails within the Maine State ATV Trail Network. Over the next few weeks, signs will be posted on certain ATV trails reminding ATV riders of the size limit. The Maine Warden Service and The Maine Forest Service will also be enforcing the maximum width limit on state trails where these signs are posted as well.

Private landowners, in conjunction with the state, have supported an industry and created an ATV trail network that is instrumental in supporting not only those who enjoy ATV riding, but business and jobs that support ATVing. Please support all landowners by observing all signs and respecting private property when riding an ATV.

Maine - Child Found Safe

Last month a 5 year old New Jersey boy became separated from his relatives while hiking, off of the Hussey Hill Road in Acton Maine. Once the relatives realized he was missing they searched for several hours with no results and then called the York County Sheriff’s Office around 8:00pm to report the boy lost in the woods.

Maine Game Wardens, along with York county deputies, Maine State police, Acton fire department and York County EMA responded to searching.

Canine teams from the Maine warden service, a bloodhound team from New Hampshire, and Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MESARD) volunteer K9 team responded.

Game Wardens on the Incident Management Team gave out assignments and at approximately 2 am Monday morning, MESARD handler Dorothy Smail and her K9 Tala, located the boy in their search area, about approximately ½ mile from where he was last seen in the woods. He was then brought back to his relatives and taken to a local hospital to be checked out.

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