Tag Archives: Maine

Maine Moose Permit Deadline Fast Approaching

A reminder from the Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Don’t miss your opportunity to apply for the 2016 Maine Moose Permit Lottery

 

Hunters who dream about the hunt of a lifetime are reminded that application deadlines are quickly approaching!

Paper applications for the 2016 Maine moose permit lottery must be postmarked by April 1, 2016, or delivered to 284 State Street in Augusta by 5:00 PM on April 1, 2016.

Paper applications are available by contacting the Department at (207) 287-8000 or from our website at www.mefishwildlife.com.

The deadline to apply online is 11:59pm on May 16, 2016. The online application process is fast and simple and provides instant confirmation. To apply online, please visit https://www5.informe.org/online/moose/.

Applicants are awarded bonus points for each consecutive year that they have applied for the lottery since 1998 without being selected and each bonus point gives the applicant an additional chance in the drawing.

Bonus points are earned at the rate of one per year for years one to five, two per year for years six to 10, three per year for years 11 to 15 and 10 per year for years 16 and beyond.

Since 2011, applicants can skip a year and not lose their bonus points. So if they applied in 2014 but not in 2015, they still have their points available if they apply in 2016.

The moose permit drawing will take place on June 11, 2016 at Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine.
For more information about moose hunting in Maine and the moose permit lottery, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lotteries/moose/index.htm

Sugarhouses across the state open this weekend for Maine Maple Sunday!

From the Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:

March 21, 2016

For more information, contact: Samantha Howard at 207-287-7620mainemaplesunday-2016

Commissioner Whitcomb formally announces adoption of international grading system for maple syrup to promote the industry

AUGUSTA – Commissioner Walt Whitcomb today formally announced that Maine has adopted the international grading system for maple syrup. His notification, required for adoption of this international standard to take effect, comes in advance of this year’s Maine Maple Sunday, held Sunday, March 27, 2016. Most Maine producers have already implemented the voluntary standards in hopes of providing consumers with a better understanding of the natural product they are buying.

Maple Sunday is held annually, every fourth Sunday of the month. Participating sugarhouses will be open for visitors to enjoy freshly made maple syrup and candy, demonstrations of syrup production, sugarbush tours and a variety of other family activities.

Governor Paul R. LePage recently highlighted maple tapping season with Maine Maple producers on the Blaine House lawn by following an annual tradition: the tapping of a maple tree. The Governor recognized the economic contributions of Maine’s maple syrup industry and potential for continued growth.

“Maine’s maple industry contributes an estimated $48.7 million to the Maine economy,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “That includes a direct contribution of $27.7 million and multiplier effects. The Maine maple industry is working hard to realize its potential for creating more jobs, business opportunities and locally-produced products valued by consumers.”

The voluntary standards announced by Commissioner Whitcomb are designed to match those used by other countries in order to give consumers standardized information for selecting maple syrup. It is in response to a 2010 petition from the International Maple Syrup Institute, an organization of producers in the United States and Canada.

“The new system, utilized by most Maine producers, combines 4-5 different systems into one standard that is easier for consumers to follow,” said Whitcomb. “Customers benefit from a system that more accurately portrays what they are buying and how it tastes. Retailers can also more easily choose the grades they want to stock based on customer preferences.”

Maine Maple Statistics:

  • 545,000 gallons were produced last year, worth $17.4 million
  • Maine’s industry has an annual statewide economic contribution, including multiplier effects, of an estimated $48.7 million in output, 805 full-and part-time jobs, and $25.1 million in labor income
  • Maine has the third largest syrup industry in this country. Maine has the largest maple producing county in the country – Somerset County
  • Maine has around 1.4 million taps

Some sugarhouses will hold events on both Saturday and Sunday. For a list and map of participating sugarhouses, visit the Maine Maple Producers website: http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf

IFW Commissioner Opens Fishing Season Two Weeks Early

From The Dept of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Press Office:

DIFW Shield smallFor Immediate Release: March 16, 2016

Effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 17, the 2016 Open Water fishing season will begin, two weeks earlier than usual, per an amended rule by the Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The amended regulation allows bodies of water that were closed to open water fishing until April 1, 2016 to become open to open water fishing effective March 17, 2016.

Anglers throughout the state may now get a chance to enjoy the early spring by fishing on their favorite waterway earlier than usual.

Many lakes in southern and even central Maine are completely ice free. The lower than average snowfall also means that rivers and streams are at low springtime flow levels, making for easier fishing.

Anglers are likely to find more fish available in waters that were stocked last fall. Poor ice conditions meant less time for ice fishing, leaving many trout and salmon that normally would have been caught in the winter still there for spring anglers.

The early open water fishing season does not apply to waters with special season opening dates starting after April 1, 2016. This rule does not close any body of water currently open to ice fishing or open any water to ice fishing that is currently closed to ice fishing.

In addition, all waters with S-10 and “CO” designations will also be open to fishing. All other S-codes, tackle restrictions, daily bag, possession and length limits still apply as listed.

If you are fishing from a boat, the Maine Warden Service is urging boaters to wear their lifejackets. Prolonged immersion in cold water can kill, and wearing a life jacket can greatly increase your survival chances if you are in the water unexpectedly.

The beginning of the open water season also means that the department stocking trucks will be busy. The department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife begins an ambitious stocking program in mid-April and by the time ice starts to cover lakes in the fall, over 1.2 million fish will have been stocked in waterways across the state.

If you haven’t purchased your license yet, please visit www.mefishwildlife.com to purchase your license any time of the day, any day of the week

Please be sure to check the 2016 fishing law book for regulations specific to the water you wish to fish.

The Christmas Hare

Headshot

By John Floyd

Christmas morning this year was certainly a gift. The unseasonable temps made it feel like we were back in Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful, bright morning and the air was clean and crisp. When I first met the day, the thermometer on the front porch read 32 degrees. A far cry from the norms of single digits expected this time of year.

I stoked the wood stove, then added a few logs. Moira brought her tea and a cup of coffee for me, and we settled by the tree. Our dogs Chuck and CJ were already settled, having the experience of Christmas past and knowing what was wrapped in some of those packages. You see, our dogs open their gifts themselves, with the term “open” used liberally.

After the exchanging of gifts and the calls made to family and friends wishing all a Merry Christmas, I cast an eye toward Moira and asked, “We still on?”

“You betcha!” came the reply. With only a week left, my grouse season wasn’t over just yet.

Moira grabbed her gear and ushered CJ, our Beagle, out to the Jeep. When I grabbed the 20 gauge from the gun cabinet and my vest, our Yellow Lab, Chuck, needed no ushering of any sort. He knew what that meant.

We had only recently started bringing Chuck out into the woods to flush ruffed grouse for me. His enthusiasm certainly made up for his lack of experience, as I had three times more flushes in a day than I had hunting alone. These hunts were intended to be an introduction for Chuck and just to have fun. We all could get out, get some air and exercise and hopefully put some grouse in the freezer as a bonus.

What a perfect way to spend a beautiful Christmas morning in Maine.20151209_150623

We parked at the head of a logging road I had some luck at previously and got geared up. CJ on the leash because when that ‘ol girl gets her nose down, she suddenly becomes deaf and gets out too far. Moira isn’t having that.

We moved down the trail with the sun in our eyes, Chuck working the edges like he knows what he’s doing. I suspect he does somewhat, he hails from hunting bloodlines. We just never put him under the gun back in Pennsylvania. Limited opportunities as they were.

As we climbed a hill, approaching the entrance to a clear cut on my right, I asked Moira to hold back with CJ. I knew this was prime habitat and had flushed birds there before. Chuck and I moved up into the clear cut and I put him to the right side of me, ahead about 5 yards.

“Where the birds at?” I asked him.  He bee-lined to the edge of some bramble near a log and the air exploded with the unmistakable beat of “Thunder Chicken” wings.

A big male grouse was airborne and moving from my right to left, flying low. I brought the gun up, but didn’t have a shot. Remember my inexperienced bird dog? He was jumping through the air nipping after that bird. We’ll have to work on that.

The bird cleared Chuck then did what ruffed grouse do. He hit the afterburners and like a fighter jet, made a hard right turn toward the safety of the tree line. I snapped a shot off, but knew I was behind him. Those are some fast birds.

Moira and CJ joined us in the clear cut and we formed a plan. Knowing grouse fly to safety in about a hundred yards or so, we decided to move up through the cut the rest of the way, check for any more hanging tight, then try to flush the bird again. I saw where he went and knew another skidder trail was behind the treeline.

We reached the skidder trail and once again Moira held CJ back while Chuck and I advanced. “Where the birds at Chuck?” I asked him. Once again, he turned right into the edge of the treeline off the trail and flushed that bird a second time! This time I got a shot off quickly, but that bird got into the thick stuff in the blink of an eye. I knew I was ahead of him this time, but it was pretty thick in there. Chuck and I went in to investigate.

“Find the bird. Find the bird, Chuck.” We quartered the area, but didn’t find a bird. I wasn’t too surprised, I didn’t hear the tell tale sound of the bird down “Whump” when they hit the deck. Nevertheless, I was proud of Chuck. He had a great morning. He was getting bored standing still in the woods while I marked the spot for future reference, so I sent him back out to Moira on the trail.

As I put my phone back in my vest, I saw a flash to my right front. Was that the belly of my grouse? Was it just some snow falling from an overloaded spruce?20151225_122351

Nope! It was a fast moving Snowshoe Hare that decided it was “Go time”. I brought up the gun, got in front and touched it off. The hare went down and I walked in after it.

I came out to the trail grinning. Moira asked, “Did you get that grouse?” I replied, “I got something!”

“You got a Snowshoe? It’s beautiful!” said Moira. And it was. A big beautiful male. The dogs were excited and so were we. What a way to cap off a great morning hunt.

I learned something new that Christmas morning. Always be prepared for an unexpected gift in the Maine woods.