September 27, 2020

Maine IFW Hunting Report For November 21, 2014

This report is issued by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Southern Lakes Region – Region A

“Hunters are seeing plenty of deer. Some hunters are being selective right now and passing on does or smaller bucks,” said IFW Wildlife Scott Lindsay. “Usually around now, we will start to see more of these hunters taking deer.”

Lindsay said that while numbers may be down a bit from last year as expected, hunters are still seeing good numbers of deer and good size ones as well.

“While there haven’t been any huge deer, we are seeing plenty of deer in the 200-210 pound range throughout our region,” said Lindsay. “We are even seeing some of these large deer in some of our more developed coastal towns.”

Pheasant season is still ongoing, with more releases of pheasants planned for the Bragdon site in Wells and Blackberry Hill area in Berwick. Hunters are reminded that a pheasant stamp is needed to hunt pheasants. For more information on the pheasant hunting program, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/pheasant.htm.

Central and Midcoast Maine

In central Maine, many deer hunters continue to find success after some early season struggles with heavy snow.

“I know things are going well because I haven’t heard any complaints,” said IFW wildlife biologist Keel Kemper.

Kemper said that some tagging stations and meat cutters are up from last year, and other areas are down. It has been an odd deer season, as some areas had upwards of 16 inches of snow early in the deer season.

“We had a slow start to the season, but since the snow has melted, things are coming along,” said Kemper. While most hunters enjoy a tracking snow, 16 inches of it was too much of a good thing.

Kemper said that while he has seen good numbers of deer, he has only seen a “smidgeon” of deer over 200 pounds so far. He expects that to change “as the rut is starting, and the bucks are chasing does.”

Waterfowl hunters in the area are also having success, with good wild rice crops at the Ruffingham Meadow Wildlife Management Area in Searsmont as well as other places.

Downeast Region

Downeast, it seems like old times.

“Things are going well…Down along the coast, it’s like the old traditional deer season,” said IFW wildlife biologist Tom Schaeffer.

Schaeffer said there seems to be a noticeable difference this year with more people driving around dressed in orange, and the occasional deer hanging in a successful hunter’s yard.

“The effort is very noticeable this year, mostly in the central and western part of Washington county,” said Schaeffer.

Already Schaeffer said he has seen a good crop of yearling deer and younger bucks.

“The younger aged deer are well-represented. If we get a continuation of some decent winters, coastal Washington County could be better than it has been in a long time,” said Schaeffer.

For the first two weeks of the season, Schaeffer noted that it was the best deer hunting conditions he has seen since 1988. He said there has been tracking snow for much of the season, cool weather, and more importantly, there hasn’t been a lot of warmth, wind and rain.

“Last Saturday was a fantastic day with the tracking snow,” he added.

Of note, Schaeffer recently saw on 234 pound buck, as well as a hefty 257 pound buck. He figures he might see a couple more of them before the season ends.

Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountains Region

Seems to be business as usual in the western mountains regions of Maine.

“We’ve had good conditions as it is still cold, with snow through most of the region,” said IFW wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey. “We’ve had some great days to hunt, with some soft snow at times.”

Hulsey has been gathering biological data from harvested deer throughout the region. This gives biologists insight into the health of the deer herd.

He’s gathered samples from private citizens with deer hanging on their property, meat cutters, taxidermists and others.

Hulsey will take note of the general condition of the deer, including fat content, and talk with hunters to find out more about what they are seeing, how hunters are faring, and other related info. In some cases, biologists will remove a gland to test for chronic wasting disease, and with freshly killed deer, may draw a blood sample to test for eastern equine encephalitis.

Checking harvested deer is invaluable as it provides both biological data with the deer, and anecdotal evidence concerning hunter effort and participation.

All this data is combined to give a clearer picture of the age structure and health of the deer herd, and gives the department the tools they need to manage the deer population.

Moosehead Region

Three-quarters of the way through deer season, there are some good signs in the Moosehead region.

“Things are pretty good. We are seeing more deer in the southern part of the region, and more deer in the northern part,” said IFW wildlife biologist Doug Kane. Oddly enough, there have been fewer deer registered this year right in the Greenville area.

“I think hunters are seeing deer throughout the region, so they are traveling outside of Greenville because they are optimistic,” said Kane.

Conditions are good throughout the region, as there was snow from Monson north earlier this week. Hunters have been using it to locate where deer are already congregating, or to track a buck. Kane did mention that with the cold weather, it was a bit noisy in the woods.

For the next two weekends, Kane and other IFW personnel will be setting up a check station at the Greenville rest area where they will check between 20 and 30 deer on both Saturday and Sunday.

The biological data gathered gives biologists insight into the health of the deer herd in the region. They also gather a lot of anecdotal data on what hunters are seeing not only for deer, but for moose and grouse as well.

Penobscot Region

“Deer season is going pretty well,” said IFW wildlife biologist Mark Caron in the Penobscot region. “We are getting a lot of good reports of hunters seeing deer, both does and bucks.”

Caron thinks that deer in his region may have fared through the past winter a little better than initially believed. “The deer got a break when we had the thaw midwinter, and even though winter hung on into April, they did not burn as much fat.”

Throughout the region, all of the tagging stations appear to be doing fairly well.

“We had all that snow, and that tracking was good, which helped many hunters,” said Caron.

Caron noted that there was on monster buck killed last weekend. It was a 19 point, 254-pound buck shot in Prentiss. He also got reports of another 200 pounder that was shot in Stacyville. The condition of the deer that Caron has seen are good, with plenty of fat, as it was a decent year for apples and acorns where they appear in the region.

If you have already tagged out with your deer, Caron says that the duck hunting has been very good this year, with whistlers coming in heavy over the Penobscot, and mallards still around big time. Some ponds are skimming over, congregating birds for a bit, but they usually are opened up again by evening.

Aroostook Region

A mid-week snowfall left two to three inches of snow on the ground in most of the Aroostook region, and deer hunters in the area are doing well.

“Registration stations are having one of their better years up here,” said IFW wildlife biologist Rich Hoppe. “We may not be seeing the number of hunters that we have seen in years past, but the deer hunters up here are quite content, and the deer population still seems to be on the upswing.”

Hoppe expects the good hunting to continue, with the recent snow, and the deer beginning to move with the onset of the rut this past week.

Hoppe says he has seen quite a few crotch-horns and spike horns from hunters who have been hunting along the edges of fields and roads. He’s checked larger deer, and those are coming from hunters who are getting off the roads and deeper into the woods.

Bird season goes till the end of December and bird hunters are still finding success along hedgerows in the woods. There’s still fruit on many trees, said Hoppe, and birds seem to be all over the place. “We’ve had a very good bird year as well,” said Hoppe.

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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.

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Maine IFW Hunting Report for December 6, 2013

IFW Hunting Report for December 6, 2013

Compiled By Mark Latti with IFW Wildlife Biologists

Region A – Southern Lakes Region

Region A wildlife staff has been busy throughout York, Cumberland and Oxford counties collecting scientific samples from harvested deer.

“The number of deer harvested is certainly higher than it has been in recent years,” says IFW Wildlife Biologist Scott Lindsay, “We are seeing good representation of multiple age classes throughout. Our staff has seen more deer this season than we have seen in a while.”

Lindsay noted that overall the health of the deer he has seen is excellent.

“I have seen fawns that are near 70 pounds, and a good percentage of bucks in the 230 pound class,” said Lindsay, who noted that deer winter survival has been good, remarking about several does who were so old, their teeth were practically worn down.

The two-week muzzleloading season has started and Lindsay said that he hasn’t seen a great number of muzzleloaders, but with the two-week season, there is still plenty of time to get out there.

Pheasant season is ongoing, and one club in Wells has one more release of 100 birds planned at the Bragdon Pit site. For more information on the release, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/pheasant.htm.

Grouse season is still ongoing, and Lindsay noted that harvested grouse have a lot of winterberry in their gizzard. Look for those bright red berries on an otherwise drab background and you should have some luck finding grouse.

Region B – Central and Midcoast Area

After a hectic first three weeks of the deer season, unsettled weather calmed things down in Region B.

“The last week of the season, the numbers just seemed to fall off the table,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper. “We got all that rain, the wind, and then it froze. It was like walking on potato chips in the wood.”

With that type of weather, it was no wonder the numbers went down.

“Effort was way down last week. Effort drives success, so when effort is down, so is success. Still, numbers for this season will be up. I thought it was going to be way up, but the last week slowed things down.”

With the wild weather the last week of the firearm season, many hunters who were waiting to “cash in” their Any Deer permits were unsuccessful, but now look towards the muzzleloading season as one last chance.

“There appears to be a fairly strong muzzleloading contingent as we are seeing a larger muzzleloading harvest,” said Kemper, who added that he as seen some really big bucks at the meat cutters since the muzzleloading season began.

Region C — Downeast

Unsettled weather last week impacted deer hunters Downeast.

“The good hunting conditions we had didn’t hold through the last week, and that tempered effort and success,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Tom Schaeffer. “Last week presented its challenges, but overall, things look encouraging.”

However, Schaeffer noted that the deer harvest is certainly up in the coastal part of Washington County.

Attention now turns to muzzleloading, and other game pursuits. Much of the Downeast region has one week of muzzleloading season, but grouse season continues through December and the coastal and southern waterfowl zones are still open for duck hunting.

“Typically, the trend is that hunters turn to waterfowl. Ponds are skimming over and there is some good late season duck hunting in Washington and Hancock County,” said Schaeffer. “If you like grouse hunting, many woods roads remain open, and typically there’s not a lot of snow this time of year so there is pretty good access.”

Region D – Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountains

In Region D, the early numbers point to a successful deer season.

“The Rumford tagging station, our biggest tagging station, keeps meticulous records, and they are up a lot from last year, probably a 25% increase,” said IFW wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey.

“Hunting conditions for the season were pretty good for not having snow,” said Hulsey, “and throughout the season, I never got a complaint about the deer season, which is unusual.”

It’s now muzzleloading season in Region D. The season in the northern part of the region is for one week, but muzzleloaders get two weeks in 12, 13, 16 and 17.

Waterfowl season is now over as well in Region D. One hunter had an interesting observation on the season, which was not as productive as it usually is for him. This hunter walks into different areas, hunting small waterholes. He had a “terrible” year, because a lot of the areas that he hiked into were completely dry due to the lack of rain.

Grouse hunting continues through the end of the month, and hunters might get a shot at some well-educated grouse by driving the many logging roads in the area.

Region E – Moosehead Region

“Deer season in the Moosehead region ended up about where we expected,” said IFW wildlife biologist Doug Kane. “Most of the stations were at or above where they were last year.”

In fact, Kane said that most of the stations were up about 25%, and only one tagging station in the area was the same as last year.

“The yearling and two and a half year olds showed up very strong in the harvest,” said Kane, which showed both good winter survival and reproductive rates. “That bodes very well for the future.”

Kane noted that there were a number of bucks that were taken over 200 pounds, but maybe a little less than what may expect since those age classes were hit hard by the bad winters in 2008 and 2009. Still, things look good for the years ahead.

“There are a lot of happy hunters this year,” said Kane. “There was a lot of deer activity and a lot of deer sightings. All those signs point to a very good future.”

Kane did note that he expected to see more bear harvested during the deer firearm season, but that did not materialize.

“There was a very strong beech nut crop this season, and I thought that we would see more bears taken,” said Kane, “but even with the strong food year, it looks as though most bears denned up early.”

Region F – Penobscot Region

“We had some great tracking snow on Monday, and we are already seeing some muzzleloaders getting deer,” said IFW wildlife biologist Mark Caron. In the Enfield area and parts of Washington County, there was five inches of snow. “That was the day to go muzzleloading.”

Throughout the region, every deer tagging station showed an increase in numbers.

“Everybody was up. In Shin Pond, they registered a little over a hundred deer, and there were similar stories elsewhere. They even ran out of tagging books in some regions,” said Caron.

“It was a good year, people were seeing deer and taking deer, and the good weather carried through the season,” said Caron.

Caron said there were a lot of nice deer in the 180-200 pound range, although he didn’t see many over 250 pounds. He did note a lot of yearlings and two and a half year olds in the harvest.

“Most hunters weren’t waiting. They were shooting if they saw a deer,” said Caron. “Over the past few years, I think many hunters have gotten into the habit of shooting when they see one.”

Grouse hunters are still out. While some of the roads may not be great, bird hunters can still be seen walking the woods roads.

“Some hunters who tagged out early on deer still go out and hunt. While the roads are starting to get a little worse, hunters are still getting out and walking,” said Caron.

Region G – The County

Up in the County, it’s been a good deer season.

“The deer harvest looks to be up about 20% in our area. Individual tagging stations are up between 10 and 50% for the season,” said IFW wildlife biologist Amanda DeMusz, who noted that the Gateway in Ashland had registered over 230 deer for the season.

Deer weights have been strong, with several over 200 pounds, but many in the 150 pound range and above. “Everyone seems to be talking about the deer being bigger and heavier,” said Demusz. The Gateway had 40 deer registered over 200 pounds.

Bird hunters are still seeing birds, but grouse hunters may want to look up when they are looking for birds.

“The grouse are spending a lot of time in trees with the cold weather,” said DeMusz. “Particularly in spruce and fir trees.”

Coverts that were productive in the early fall might not be as productive now, as the conifers provide some degree of shelter for the birds. Once the snow gets deeper, they will be on the ground more often.

Snowshoe hare are also become more visible, or invisible, depending on the amount of snow. Hare are losing their summer colors and are turning white, but most right now have a mottled look to them. Snowshoe hare season runs through the end of March.

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Maine IFW Hunting Report for October 28, 2013

Compiled By Mark Latti with IFW Wildlife Biologists

Southern Lakes Region

“People are seeing a lot of deer, we have received a lot of positive feedback from archery hunters, and I think deer hunters will have plenty of opportunities this fall,” said IFW wildlife biologist Scott Lindsay.

The southern part of the state has experienced below average winters the past two years, and it has rebounded from the severe back to back winters in in 08 and 09. “All the data from last year suggest that hunters should have some good opportunities this fall.”

Lindsay said that he has seen a lot of deer, and has received a lot of positive feedback from hunters.

The last pheasant release went well, and positive comments continue to come from hunters and landowners. Hunters appreciated having the release sites on the department website (www.mefishwildlife.com) complete with maps.

Lindsay also noted that he has seen more turkeys than he expected at area tagging stations, and the increased opportunity for fall turkey hunting (longer season, higher bag limit) seems to be attracting a lot of hunters.

Central and Midcoast Maine

“I am very optimistic about deer season,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper, “We’ve got WMDs 17 and23, and there are a lot of deer being seen there.”

Kemper has noticed a lot of deer, and has gotten reports from a lot of hunters scouting in the field.

“Even the serious deer hunters are optimistic with the rebound we are seeing,” said Kemper, who said he has been watching some really nice bucks in two areas he likes to hunt.

Looking for places to deer hunt? Kemper rattled off towns like Vassalboro, Unity, Jefferson, Thorndike and others. He expects tagging stations in those areas to be busy.

If you like to waterfowl hunt, acorns may be spotty, but there are plenty of wood ducks and teal still around. Kemper also noted that when he went by Sebasticook lake the other day, he stated “the place was black with geese and ducks.”

Downeast Maine

Downeast, prospects for deer season are looking better than they have in a while.

“We are close to rebounding from the back-to-back severe winters we had,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Tom Schaeffer. “We are getting favorable reports from the public who are saying they are seeing more deer, particularly does and fawns.”

Schaeffer said he is encouraged with what he has seen and what he has heard.

“It should be a decent year,” said Schaeffer, “If we continue this trend and have another decent winter or two, we could see some significant improvement in the deer herd Downeast.”

Schaeffer did note that all areas Downeast are not equal. Some areas are pretty good and other areas don’t have much for numbers. “There are some hotspots with good numbers of deer,” said Schaeffer.

Schaeffer said one way to know that deer numbers are up is due to deer complaints.

“We received an increasing number of deer complaints in gardens and in blueberry fields,” said Schaeffer.

This will probably be the last week for woodies noted Schaeffer, who said he is still running into wood ducks, but with the cold weather coming in, it might be short-lived.

However, the cold weather should bring in a number of other ducks from northern regions that begin to button up.

Rangeley Lakes and Western Mountains Region

Moose season is over in the Rangeley area, and IFW wildlife biologist Bob Cordes spent much of the week at the moose registration station in Oquossoc

“We tagged 91 moose for the week, which was the same number as last year,” said Cordes.

It was the same in Rangeley as it was in much of the state, with unseasonably warm weather during much of moose season.

“It was pretty warm up there, and moose were not moving much,” said Cordes, who added from year to year the weather changes so he doesn’t know whether to expect to wear long johns or sunscreen.

Now that moose season is over, hunters are eagerly awaiting deer season.

“I think the deer season is going to be outstanding. Deer numbers are back to the pre-2008 years. I am seeing plenty of deer around, and I am getting reports of more deer,” said Cordes.

Cordes mentioned one landowner who has had three does visiting regularly, and two of the does have twins.

“The last few years we have had some milder winters and we have had good overwinter survival with pretty good fawn production,” said Cordes.

If you are bird hunting, Cordes noted that early on, he saw a lot of resident woodcock, but bird hunting remains somewhat spotty. There some good spots, but it’s nothing like last year.

Moosehead Region

Deer numbers and sightings are up in the region, as IFW wildlife biologist Doug Kane says that hunters in the southern part of the region should have an excellent opportunity at bagging a buck. The northern part of the region has not rebounded as quickly as the southern part of the region, but numbers are definitely up from where they were three years ago.

Turkey hunters are also having some good luck in the southern part of the region.

“Hunters are finding turkeys. The effort isn’t there like in the spring, but those that are hunting are killing some turkeys,” said Kane.

Grouse hunting in the area is about average, but there a lot of hunters out in the region, according to Kane.

Moose hunters in the region were challenged both by the warmer weather and the later date of the season.

“The way the calendar fell, this was about as late a season as there could be, and the bulls weren’t responding as it was post-rut,” said Kane.

Kane said some hunters who solely hunt the roads were discouraged, but Kane also thinks the hunt is changing.

“I had a friend, and they walked on the winter roads, away from the main roads. They saw 18 moose over the week, and passed up on three bulls, including a close encounter with a bull with close to a 60” spread,” said Kane.

“They worked from daylight to dark, walking the roads,” said Kane. “It was a little unconventional, but they were finding moose.”

Penobscot Region

“I am getting a lot of comments from people who are seeing a lot of deer, particularly does and fawns,” said IFW wildlife biologist Mark Caron. While there are not a lot of permits in the Wildlife Management Districts that comprise Region F, Caron feels that with another good year, there will be more permits.

“In general, the deer are doing much better in our region. People are going out of their way to say that they are seeing deer,” said Caron, who attributed the increase to the milder winters recently.

For upland bird hunters, hunting remains spotty for grouse, and Caron noted he hadn’t seen many people out woodcock hunting, but that should pick up as the flight birds start to come through.

Caron has seen some duck hunters, but not a lot. Caron notes that with so much water in the region, duck hunters spread out, and you don’t generally see many.

Hunters are getting turkeys in WMD 18, but he expects that next year, there will be more hunters and an increased effort as hunters get more accustomed to the fall season. Area tagging stations have registered a handful of turkeys.

Aroostook Region

Week 2 of moose season is over up north, and the numbers are pretty impressive.

Hunters registered over 600 moose at the six area tagging and there were many impressive bulls registered.

“The heaviest was over 950 pounds and had a spread of over 62 and a half inches,” said IFW wildlife biologist Amanda DeMusz, “Many were in the 700 pound range.”

Those 700-pound moose might have topped out near 1,000 pounds if they were taken in the September season. “Moose can drop 200 pounds during the rut,” said DeMusz.

There are still a few bear being registered by hunters said DeMusz, but hunters are getting excited about the upcoming deer season.

“The outlook is pretty good for deer season,” said DeMusz, “At the Presque Isle Sportsman’s Forum, people were saying they are seeing some pretty good bucks. We also have some any deer permits in WMDs 3 and 6.”

Bird hunters are finding that grouse are spread out, but there seems to be higher numbers in the western part of the region. “Head out west of Allagash, the birds are still out there, you just need to get off the roads,” said DeMusz who said the leaves are off the tree, and the birds are more visible. “Get off the roads and into the coverts.”

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