Shotgunning for snowshoe hare keeps all of my focus this time of year. The flash of white contrasting against the emerald green of spruce and fir thickets gets my heart pumping every time I kick one out. Much the same as grouse hunting in the fall, the surprise of the flush and fast moving game makes for an exciting hunt.
It’s no secret that the deer population in Maine has been on a downward trend for several years. While pockets of the state hold decent whitetail numbers, many rural and remote regions continue to see a decline in mature deer. A mild winter and abundant food sources this past year hasn’t changed that as far as I can see. One thing that has changed though is the ratio of predators to deer I see and hear on Tucker Ridge year after year. It’s time for us to get serious about predators.
This time of year there is a lot going on for the Maine hunter. Black bear is still open, archery season for deer is open and firearm season is right around the corner. Ruffed grouse, wild turkey and snowshoe hare are all open right now too.
Our Stand #1 location is prime black bear and whitetail deer country. Numerous heavily used game trails network through this site.
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
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
Christmas morning 2015 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.