July 14, 2020

Seeing Double

I was sent this photograph along with others by one of our Maine Hunting Today members, Swampbuck. The brief caption read these two albino moose were seen near Bathurst, New Brunswick Canada.
Two Albino Moose spotted near Bathurst, New Brunswick Canada

Thanks, Swampbuck.

Tom Remington

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Forget Everything You Know About Tracking

This was to be the title of J.R. Absher, The News Hound’s, article at his blog at ESPN Outdoors. He opted out of the story but sent his information over to me to see if I would be interested in picking up on the story. Thank you J.R. and by the way readers, if you haven’t been over to read the News Hound, I highly recommend it.

After I got the info I thought to myself, “Oh, cool! This is interesting.” And then I remembered getting a photo back last year, 2005, during the Maine moose hunt that will be directly related to this story. With the blessings of J.R., here’s what he had written.

Forget everything you know about deer tracks!

In one of those “you’ve got to see it to believe it” stories, alert ESPNOutdoors.com News Hound blog reader Bruce Norton of Rushford, Minn. scanned and e-mailed this clipping from Sunday’s Winona (Minn.) Daily News showing a whitetail deer with the most bizarre footwear we’ve ever seen.

Besides sporting respectable headgear, this buck that recently fell victim to a vehicle near Alma, Wisc. has hooves that appear to be at least five to ten times the average size.

Not only would one expect that these malformed toes led to this nice buck’s demise on the roadway, it’s hard to even fathom what kind of track it left in soft soil when it walked.
The photo’s caption indicates that Jarrad Fluekiger at The Main Channel Fishing Shop in Alma intends to have a full mount made of the unique animal.

The caption also notes that biologists believe that a diet high in specific minerals or proteins may have led to the oversized hooves.

Unfortunately, the Winona paper has not posted the photograph on its Web site.

So once again, we turn to our astute blog readership. Have you heard or read anything about this specific deer—or are you aware of this anomaly occurring in other ungulates?

Let us know!

Included in the story was a copy of a photo. I cleaned it up as best I could. Below the picture, I will include the caption that came with it.
Elf Deer killed by automobile in Alma, Wisconsin
This deer killed by an automobile recently in Alma, Wis., has overgrown hooves and biologists believe it is likely the result of eating something high in minerals and protein, said Jarrad Fluekiger of Alma. Fluekiger said the deer was recovered and placed in a cooler at the Main Channel fishing tackle shop in Alma. Doreen Burt at the shop said the owner, Lee Fluekiger, plans to have the whole deer mounted.

Not to be outdone by those in Wisconsin, Maine has a similar story but on a grander scale – of course you don’t really think the first story has a chance do you?

Last season during Maine’s annual moose hunt, the below cow moose, affectionately nicknamed the Elf Moose, was bagged by a hunter in northern Maine. Here’s the short story that accompanied the moose followed by the picture.

An interesting cow, referred to as the “Elf Moose” which has been observed around the Beaver Brook Road (T14R5) for the last two years was harvested this past week by Traci Bushey, the Ashland IFW Headquarters Warden Service Radio Operator. A real oddity as observed in the attached picture is the excessive growth of the hooves.
This cow had rear hooves over 15 inches long that curled upward. The animal did seem a bit skinny, perhaps due to reduced mobility from the hooves, but there was no problem with the meat.

Elf Moose killed during 2005 Maine moose hunt.

Tom Remington

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Black Bear Bagged In Woodstock, Maine

160 lb. black bear shot in Woodstock, Maine
This 160 pound female bear was bagged by Don Jackson on September 1, 2006. He was sitting in a treestand in the late afternoon looking over his bait high on a mountain top in Woodstock, Maine. both photos taken by Randy Baker
Don Jackson with his 160 lb bear taken in Woodstock, Maine

Tom Remington

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Hunting Photo Ops By Political Candidates

They always go on during any campaign and any of us who are smart enough to understand the intent of a “hunting trip” by a political candidate can usually smile and hope. Hope? Yeah, hope that someone will be able to capture one of those pictures that ends up hurting the candidate more than helping them. Afterall, you always get what’s coming to you in the end, right?

Any politician knows that they are also fair game – no pun intended – when they call in the press in an attempt to paint themselves in a light that doesn’t always work out the way they had hoped.

In Texas democratic candidate for governor Chris Bell, did just that. He went on a dove hunting escursion on Sunday and invited the press. This knee-slapping report was filed by the Star-Telegram.

Bell, a lawyer and former U.S. House member from Houston, said the Sunday hunt was his first since a 1998 venture in the Panhandle.

“I’m certainly trying not to be anything I’m not,” Bell said before the hunt. “A lot of what you do in a campaign is symbolic. Plus, I think I’ll have some fun.”

Hunting guide Tony Timmons said Bell didn’t fire a shot during the twilight excursion. The candidate’s borrowed shotgun was in the safety position when he took aim on a bird and tried to pull the trigger.

Oh if we had only had a photo of that moment in history.

For those who might not remember other incidents, let me see if I can refresh your memories in this photo op during a recent presidential campaign.
John Kerry posing for photographers on a hunting trip

In case you didn’t pick up on the obvious things in the photo, let me help. The first obvious “oooops” is the dog in the background. The dog is heading in the opposite direction of where the “hunter” is aiming his gun. The second is his left thumb is completely blocking any attempt at sighting the weapon.

It would be hard to tell in this photo who knows less about hunting, the shooter with the gun or the shooter with the camera.

Tom Remington

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Just Chillin'

I figured this was fitting considering we are the Black Bear Blog and all… Below is a photo of an Asiatic black bear having a rest at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. (Hat Tip: Huckleberries)

Steven Remington

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Building A Kayak From Driftwood And Scaps

Jack Ryan, a member of Indiana Hunting Today and the Indiana Hunting Forums, provided a link to this website. It’s a pictoral progression on how to build a kayak from driftwood and other scraps found. Really it’s worth the click to go over and check out the craftsmanship.

Tom Remington

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What Are You Tracking Today?

One of our contributing writers for U.S. Hunting Today has been in Maine on a bear hunting trip. I have received from him photos of other people’s bear they got and yesterday I got some more photos from him – everything but a picture of his bear. Hmmmmm!

Hey, Rod! Aren’t you forgeting something? Er, uh……oh, maybe you’re saving them for the suspenseful tale you’ll be sending soon.

While we wait for that pulitzer prize story, here are a couple of pictures from the group he sent me yesterday. The first picture is of three different tracks to put into perspective the size of different animals. It shows that of a whitetail deer, one of a moose and one of a size 10.5 man’s foot.

The second picture is a shot Rod took of a misty morning someone in the wilds of Maine.

Thanks Rod

Three Tracks

Maine misty morning

Tom Remington

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Wildlife Abounds In Bethel, Maine

At our camp in Bethel, Maine we have been fortunate enough to get to see a few wild animals that inhabit our woods.

Young Moose

While my wife was excavating an old dump site on our land, she heard what she thought was me coming to check up on her. When she looked up, she saw this young bull staring at her as if to say, “What are you doing here?”

He really had no interest in leaving the area and hung around for awhile. My wife came and got me and I was able to get him to pose for this shot (picture). Since this picture was taken, I’ve seen this guy a few more times hanging around. He has since grown some small antlers.

Baby Chick Partridge

This was the coolest. I was in the process of running my chain saw and cutting up some dead trees and blow-downs. I looked up and saw a female partridge standing on a stump about 20 feet away. She was obviously excited but unlike other times when I’ve encountered a grouse with chicks, she wasn’t that agressive. She more or less remained on the stump with ruffled feathers.

I turned off the saw because I thought the chicks would be nearby. When me ears began to get accustomed to natural noises, I could hear the chicks peeping. Before I could get my saw and get out of there, the chicks (I counted about eight of them) spotted me and began following me wherever I went. These guys were so tiny they had real difficulty negotiating the terrain but they were determined to catch up with me.

I estimated the chicks might have been only days old as you can see from the photo. I got my wife and we headed back to camp in hopes that the chicks would become reunited with their mother.

After about an hour we quietly ventured back to the area where the chicks were. Mom had successfully gathered up her young but they were still hanging around. Before the chicks spotted us again, we gathered up our gear and left them alone.

Tom Remington

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Moose Takes a Trip to Maine

Well that would be our very own Moose from Moose Droppings, just got back from a trip to Maine to do some fishing and sight seeing. Despite the high waters he at least had a good time with friends and family. He was able to take some fabulous pictures. He came across what looked to be loon eggs and snapped a picture. He was able to capture a couple pictures of a black bear.

Head on over to his site to check out the pictures:
http://skinnymoose.com/moosedroppings/?p=57

Steve

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Family Fish Day in Bethel, Maine

Despite the torrential downpours all weekend the Family Fish Day that took place this Saturday over in Bethel was a success. Most people stayed in where it was warm and dry but there were still a lot of children who came out and faced the rain and wind.

I first arrived at my parent’s camp the night before with my 2 older children, Elizabeth and Sam. The following shows them roasting marshmallows over the campfire. This picture was taken about 10pm.

The next morning we woke up to rain coming down in buckets. As you can see from the next picture we were all dressed from head to toe in rain gear.

Not too long after standing around the stocked pond Kiley Walker from the Bethel Area reeled in one of the only 2 fish (trout) caught all day. The following are the 3 pictures I took.

After an hour or two of fishing we all sat under the outdoor tent trying to remain warm and dry. The following is a picture of my 2 kids sitting at one of the picnic tables.

MIF&W came and helped out and provided fishing poles for everybody to use.

Alpacas were even there:

Then it was time to do our give aways. There were a ton of prizes to be given out and many kids walked away with a smile. Our very own Tom Remington announced the give aways. As you can see from the following picture he is presenting a nice tackle box to be given away:

My daughter Elizabeth walked away with a nice fishing pole:

Though it rained all weekend we had a great time and it was a great experience for those kids who came out and made it happen. Next year let’s hope the sun is shining and we can get more kids to come out and have fun. I did happen to get a nice picture of the covered bridge at the Big Adventure Center, where the event was held.

Steven Remington

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