October 1, 2014

Maine Hunting Report

A Report/Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

FW Hunting Report for September 30, 2014

Southern Lakes Region – Region A

In Region A, October 1 marks the beginning of pheasant season, and IFW biologists and clubs have been busy releasing birds throughout the region.

“We had our first pheasant release on Monday, and we have two other releases planned for October 5 and October 19,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Corey Stearns. Stearns said that over 40 birds were released at each of the 22 sites, releasing over 880 birds so far in the region.

Releasing the pheasants before the season, or on a Sunday during the season, gives the birds some time to acclimate to their surroundings. Over the course of the season, both the department and area Rod and Gun clubs will release over 2300 birds at 22 different sites.

Hunters are reminded that they must purchase a pheasant hunting permit. Proceeds from the permit go directly to fund the pheasant program. For more information on the pheasant program and a list of release sites, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/pheasant.htm

In other news, Brownfield Bog has been busy with waterfowl hunters, and upland hunters might want to check out the western portion of the Brownfield Bog Wildlife Management Area which offers good habitat for grouse.

Turkey hunters are also gearing up. While Stearns mentioned that the number of broods seems to be lower this year, he is still seeing quite a few turkeys right now.

“There is still plenty of opportunities for turkey hunters, and there seems to be more people talking about it,” said Stearns, who reminds hunters that you can take two turkeys this fall on the permit you purchased in the spring.

Central and Midcoast Maine

If you are looking to go grouse hunting on opening day in central Maine, bird hunters ought to find a reasonable number of birds.

“Average May rainfall generally means an average bird crop,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper. “So I am expecting that hunters should see reasonable numbers of birds in Central Maine.”

If you are looking for a spot to hunt, you should visit Frye Mountain, one of the Department’s many wildlife management areas. Frye Mountain possesses an excellent network of roads, and is managed with selective cutting for varying ages of young forests.

If waterfowl is your passion, it should be a good early season in central Maine.

“Word on ducks is that there’s a good acorn crop which means better than average wood duck shooting. Teal are already showing up at Merrymeeting Bay,” says Kemper. “There will also be some good mallard hunting on the Kennebec and Sebasticook when the time comes.”

Kemper also noted that there are lots of migrant geese in local fields around Unity but very few hunters. Take the time to ask for permission and you can have some outstanding hunting.

Downeast Region

With a wet early spring and summer, and higher water levels into July, expectations for birds are fair to moderate Downeast.

“It wasn’t a washout, but it certainly wasn’t the best nesting season that we’ve seen,” said IFW wildlife biologist Tom Schaeffer.

If you are looking to go turkey hunting this fall, there are some new opportunities in the Downeast region. Check out WMDs 19 and 28.

“Along the coastal plain in Hancock and Washington Counties, the spring numbers seemed down. However, that is not the case as you move more into the interior where the numbers look pretty favorable,” said Schaeffer.

During spring waterfowl brood counts, Schaeffer noted decent waterfowl broods, and expects hunters to have a good season.

A check of area tagging stations has the bear numbers below last year, even with hunter numbers looking pretty good. Looks like hunters had success early, but with what seems to be a low volume of natural foods, bears have denned up early.

Schaeffer noted that a few hunters have had success with the resident goose season, as some hunters have enjoyed decent numbers on a few local fields.

Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountains Region

In the Rangeley and western mountain regions, bird season is set to begin.

“While it didn’t seem to be a particularly bad spring, our waterfowl numbers were off,” said IFW wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey. “If I had to venture a guess on grouse, I would have to say it looks about average.”

Turkey hunters in the southern part of the region are likely to see lower numbers of birds this spring.

“Our turkey numbers are down, as they were hit hard by the winter,” said Hulsey, who added that over recent winters, he has been averaging between one and four complaints from area farmers. This past winter? Not a one.

Moosehead Region

IFW regional Wildlife biologist Doug Kane has seen a good number of birds in his travels this summer, and hunters should be happy with what he’s seen.

“I always look at clutch sizes for an indicator of what we’ll see in the fall, because once these chicks start flying, mortality goes way down,” says Kane.

Most of the clutches he saw at flight stage this year numbered between three and six chicks.

“When we have had the great grouse years, I see clutch sizes that are more than five,” said Kane. “This year, I saw a lot of clutches that were 4-5.”

With the cooler weather settling in last week, Kane started seeing more birds.

“It was like someone flipped a switch, they just started showing up on the roads, both the bigger birds and the younger birds,” said Kane. “It should be a pretty good year.”

Turkey hunters are getting ready in the southern part of the region, and even though the numbers for this spring might have been down, things look good for the fall.

“Both turkeys and grouse seemed to nest well. There was plenty of rain, but it was not extended, and it was usually followed by warmer weather so the chicks and poults could handle the cold,” said Kane.

Bear season is slowing down in the Moosehead region, as Kane says, for when they are getting ready to den, they are traveling less.

“Most of the natural foods are gone, bears are heavy and they seem to be ready to den earlier in this non-beech nut year,” said Kane.

And if you are excited about deer season, Kane says the number of deer he has seen is very good, boding well for the upcoming season.

Penobscot Region

If you are looking to go grouse hunting in the Penobscot region, it looks to be a good season, not great. According to IFW wildlife biologist Mark Caron, sightings have been consistent through the summer.

“It can be hard to predict. I have heard from Patten and north of there from people training dogs that there are good broods. It was not a great hatch in our area,” said Caron. “Once thing is for sure, once the leaves come off, things get better,” said Caron.

Page Farm, with its improved network of roads is a popular destination for grouse and woodcock. It provides steady hunting right through October.

If you are looking to go turkey hunting, you can now hunt the fall in Wildlife Management Districts 10, 11 and 19. There is one bird limit for those areas. Caron says turkey habitat is a little better in 11 than in 19.

How waterfowl hunters will fare can be more difficult to assess, as there are so many different waters in the region for hunters to hunt.

“There’s plenty of beaver bogs and backwaters, and usually early on the hunting can be pretty good,” said Caron. He added that it can be busy on the first day, but it usually quiets down after that.

Aroostook Region

If you are looking to go bird hunting, you may want to head north.

“All indications in our area is that the grouse season should be good to excellent,” said Rich Hoppe, IFW wildlife biologist. “I’ve been talking with sportsman, and most people have been seeing a lot of birds.”

Hoppe said that with the great spring and summer, survivorship has been high, there have been good numbers of broods, and by all indications, there is not as much mortality as years passed.

Northern Maine is increasingly becoming a destination for bird hunters from throughout the northeast and beyond. Sporting camps are becoming increasingly filled during the month of October.

As far as waterfowl, Hoppe added that he’s seen more ducks than normal for this time of year, and it has been great weather. While there aren’t a lot of waterfowl hunters in the region, it is a great destination for waterfowl hunters, for those who do come north find a lot of success.

HSUS’ Pacelle Doesn’t Pass His Own Smell Test

I seriously considered awarding Wayne Pacelle, the head of the biggest fraudulent and corrupt entity posing as an animal welfare institution, the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS), with the Tom Remington Horse Excrement Award. That would be giving him more recognition than he deserves and raising his moral standards up a bit.

True to HSUS’ deceitful ways, Pacelle attempts to discredit long-time outdoor writer Tom Hennessey for presenting facts about bears and bear hunting. Pacelle accuses Hennessey of twisting the facts and calls Hennessey’s opinion piece of work of slander against HSUS.

Pacelle then spends the remainder of his piece of propaganda lying like a well worn rug in the entrance way of a house of ill repute.

Pacelle and his fraudulent HSUS are the biggest liars in the world. Nothing they say is ever true. The only way they can function is to lie, cheat and steal because nobody in their right mind who knows the truth about HSUS would give them one thin dime.

Pacelle knows he is a fraud but he must pay his enormous salaries and so he walks the walk and lies the lies.

And yet, our media, our society, props this clown and his corrupt organization up by making them appear legitimate. HSUS is a political lobbying organization and yet our own corrupt government allows HSUS, a non profit, to lobby when rules forbid it. What does that tell us about both HSUS and the Federal Government. Because Washington is corrupt, HSUS is sheltered. Pacelle knows that and that is why he does and says what he does because he knows there are no repercussions, only more money to be made fraudulently.

So, for Pacelle to try to discredit Hennessey is about as dishonest as is the entire corrupt organization for which he is the front man.

Pacelle should return to Washington and continue hanging out with all his sleazy, slime-ball buddies roaming the halls of Congress and the White House.

Liars Behind Bear Referendum Whining About IFW Opposing It

“It is legal for state employees to speak out on ballot issues, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office. But political observers say it’s unusual for a department that receives funding from a state to play an advocacy role in a ballot measure. The IFW campaign also is complicated by the fact that some of the wardens also work as hunting guides.”<<<Read More>>>

Seriously! Maybe it’s inappropriate that the Humane Society of the United States, deceives the public in order to confiscate money from them to pay their big salaries and pay off lawsuit debts. Maybe it’s inappropriate that every media outlet in Maine is inundated with the non factual talking points provided by the Humane Society of the United States. Maybe it’s inappropriate that the Humane Society of the United States, Wildlife Alliance of Maine and all the totalitarian socialist supporters believe it is their right to force the rest of the world to follow along with their perverted animal perspectives. Maybe it’s inappropriate that many of those actively promoting this referendum and raising money for that purpose, are also owners, managers and members of animal rights, humanistic, socialistic, totalitarian organizations that will profit from the campaign and the results of a win in this campaign.

Odd isn’t it? Here we are discussing whether or not it is ethical that the agency that manages Maine’s black bears, and all other wildlife, funded by about 7% from Maine public money, should be presenting scientific facts that would put their position as bear managers in a difficult situation, and never one word about the unethical lies being perpetuated by the Humane Society of the United States, et. al. and any benefits they might get out of this.

Just what is appropriate?

It’s a great commentary on the condition of our society.

George Smith: A Hero….(in his own mind)

You ought to read Smith’s latest on his Bangor Daily News blog. Let me see if I understand what he wrote:

He dumps on the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, I guess because it seems the board there understands that the Humane Society of the United States, will never stop with their harassment until they have done away with all consumptive outdoor sports, and George doesn’t.

Then he props up the Humane Society of the United States, I suppose because he thinks like they do that trapping and hounding sucks. If we just give up a little, they will go away. Memories are too short I guess. It was after the last HSUS attack that everyone tiptoed around out of fear that HSUS and other would come back with lawsuits and another referendum. How did that work out anyway?

This is followed by a general looking down the nose at all hunters because, well, I think because they don’t think and act like he does.

If that isn’t enough, he substantiates his position that he doesn’t have a position, by relating an incident in which hounding ended up in a bad light. Therefore all hounding and all trapping is bad. I wonder if we should ban all journalism because some or most of it sucks?

And then, true to form, paints himself as a hero because, “I succeeded in convincing the woman to vote No.”

I’m not exactly sure as to whose side Smith is on. Can’t he just let his anti hunter/hunting ways lie dormant long enough to put this referendum to rest. Or is it that he hopes it does fail then he can become another hero in his own mind because “I told you so?”

What Question 1 Means for Maine

This article was written by Gerry Lavigne, former Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer biologist and is found on the website of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Here is a lead-in to his work:

The methods by which Mainers hunt and manage black bears are being put to the referendum test, as Question 1 on the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot. Sound familiar? It should. Only a decade earlier, in 2004, Maine voters rejected a similar referendum.

The money and influence behind both referendums are the same: the Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS), and a local group called Wildlife Alliance of Maine (WAM). The purpose of both referendums is the same: to ban the use of bait, dogs, and traps for recreational bear hunting in Maine.

Referendum proponents want us to believe that these bear hunting methods are unfair, cruel, and unnecessary for bear management in Maine. None of these assertions are true.

This is not merely a case of making choices regarding which of several equivalent bear hunting methods to allow. If Question 1 passes, the ability of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) to manage bear populations will be severely compromised. As a result, there will be negative biological, social, and economic impacts throughout Maine, from Madawaska to Kittery.<<<Read More>>>

Old Hunter Says Action or No Action Has Consequences

Ironic, in a way and yet tragic. A guy sends a letter to a local Maine newspaper claiming, in part, that too many humans is what the problem is with bears.

All the while, I guess the letter writer should be somewhat relieved that one human, from his home state of New Jersey, is dead and not so much because the bear he wishes to protect was killed too.

As tragic as it was in the death of the individual, it is a sad commentary on the human condition that a human life is expendable to save that of an animal.

NewJerseyBear

Claim: Hound Hunters Abandon Dogs After Hunting Season

In a propaganda piece allowed in the Bangor Daily News, September 18, 2014, Patsy Murphy, speaking for the Animal Welfare League of Greater Portland, makes the claim that hound hunters abandon their dogs after hounding season.

The league has seen its fair share of “stray” and “owner surrendered” dogs during and after hounding season.

And, as is expected from propaganda pieces, Murphy offers no data to support that claim.

It was brought to my attention, as I am not a hound owner nor do I hound hunt, that it is very unlikely that a hound hunter would abandon their dogs during or after a hound hunting season. As an example one website offering hunting hounds reveals they aren’t cheap.

To be placed on the list to receive a young started dog, you must send a $500.00 deposit and when the pup is ready to be picked up the full balance is due. I sell my pick of the litter pups for $2,200.00 and the other pups for $1,500.00 each.

In much the same way as somebody made the claim that over 7 million pounds of junk food was dumped into Maine forests, with no facts to support the claim, now I suppose we can expect mindless people to claim as fact that hunters abandon their dogs when they are done using and abusing them.

Maine Can’t Afford to Lose Bear Referendum

“Allowing that the economic, recreational and societal benefits of bear hunting, as is, are immeasurable, Maine cannot afford to lose the bear referendum. To do so not only would encourage the continual erosion of the outdoor traditions, cultures and heritage symbolic of the state, it also would degrade and dishonor the DIFW’s extensive bear-management program — arguably the most respected nationwide. Think about it.”<<<Read More>>>

Maine’s Moose Hunt Opens September 22, 2014

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — On Monday, September 22, over a thousand moose hunters will enter the woods, embarking on what many call the hunt of a lifetime.

While Monday marks the first day of moose season in northern and eastern Maine, the moose season is divided into four segments and continues throughout the fall during the weeks of October 13-18, November 3-8 and November 3-29 in southern Maine. In all, 3,095 permits were issued to hunt moose in Maine this year.

Regulated hunting seasons is how the department controls Maine’s moose population, estimated at approximately 65,000 to 70,000 animals. Maine’s moose population is a valued resource, due to the high demands for both viewing and hunting.

The number of permits issued for each moose hunting district varies depending on moose population density in the district and publicly derived populations objectives, such as managing for recreational opportunity (hunting and viewing), road safety (reducing moose-vehicle collisions) or a combination of both.

“By adjusting the number and type of permits available to hunters, we can control the moose harvest and manage population growth,” said Lee Kantar, IFW’s moose biologist. “In the northern part of the state, the goal is to reduce the moose population, and in other areas, stabilize or increase the population.”

Last year, with over 4,000 permits issued, 2,971 moose hunters were successful, translating to nearly three out of every four moose hunters getting a moose. The 72 percent success rate is in stark contrast to bear or deer hunting, where success rates range historically from 18 to 25 percent. Moose hunting in Maine continues to be extremely popular, with over 53,577 hunters applying to the moose lottery for a chance to hunt moose.

This year, the number of moose permits issued to hunters was decreased. The department issued 3,095 permits statewide, down from the 4,110 that were available last year.

“Based upon our research, we felt this was necessary,” said Kantar. “Decreasing the amount of permits will help lessen the impact of winter tick on the state’s moose population.”

In particular, the department decreased the number of antlerless only or cow permits that are available to hunters. Antlerless-only permits were decreased in wildlife management Districts 1-5, 7-9 and 12-13. This is the northern and northwestern part of Maine, including the northern portions of Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, Piscataquis, Penobscot and Aroostook Counties.

Winter ticks have been documented in Maine since the 1930s. Periodically, there are peak years when the number of ticks increased substantially, and last year was a peak year. The number of moose permits were reduced to offset the impact of the high tick year.

All successful moose hunters are required to register their moose at an area tagging station. At these stations, IFW wildlife biologists collect data that provides insight into moose population health.

Biologists will measure antler beam width and diameter. A tooth is removed in order to determine the age of the moose. Ticks are counted on four different areas of the moose to compare numbers to years past. In later weeks, moose hunters who shoot a female moose are required to bring the ovaries, which are examined to determine reproductive success.

This biological data is combined with data from the ongoing moose radiocollar study, as well as the aerial moose population and composition surveys to give biologists a clearer picture of the health and status of Maine’s moose herd.

Olson’s Trappers Weekend Reveals Huge Support Against Question One

“On Saturday at trapper and fur trader Neil Olson’s 38th annual New England Trappers Weekend in Bethel, large signs were just about everywhere urging the few thousand participants to defeat the referendum. Additionally, the Maine Trappers Association was holding a 50/50 raffle and auction with all proceeds going to fight the referendum.

Many trappers view the referendum as an attack on their right to hunt and on deeply steeped hunting traditions.”<<<Read More>>>