Black Bear, Giant Tuna, Deer Food Plots and DYO (Dig Your Own) Trout Ponds – All Covered This Month
Black bear hunting is big business in Maine – annual harvest numbers run between 2,700 and 3,100. And the majority of bear (about 60%) are taken by out-of-state hunters, meaning solid employment for many Maine guides, as well as a stream of income to landowners who leasing sites, and revenues to those supplying bear bait.
The general season on bear (hunting over bait) started August 28 and runs through November 25; the season for hunting with dogs runs September 11 through October 27; and deer hunters can take bear during the regular seasons without the use of dogs or bait.
The cover photo of The Maine Sportsman’s September issue of a huge bruin striding purposefully through a clear-cut pays homage to this grand animal, while the theme continues on the inside pages:
1) Steve Vose, who has guided for bear in our state, recounts his springtime, 2017 successful bear hunt just across the Maine border into New Brunswick;
2) Bill Graves, who has taken 12 bear in 14 years with different caliber handguns in The County, recommends hunting Canada geese in the mornings before climbing into your bear stands in the afternoon; and
3) Jim Lemieux, in his “Greater Penobscot Bay” column, reports on the results of his interview with Maine bear biologist Jennifer Vashon. More than 170 bear were taken in Hancock County last year, and Jim also reports that regional baiting hotspots include North Orland, Bald Mountain and Big Hill.
And speaking of “big,” loyal reader Sandy Lamoreau shared a great true story and photos in this month’s “Letters” section, in a piece titled “A Tuna Adventure to Remember.” Sandy joined up with Matt Reed to haul in a 7-foot, 316-pound giant tuna from a location about 25 miles from Georgetown – all using their 20-foot sport fishing boat. Congratulations, Sandy and Matt!
In this month’s “Big Game” column, Joe Saltalamachia completes Part 2 of his 2-part series on whitetail deer food plots. Having provided information in the August issue on how to locate a food plot and what crop to grow, he follows up this month by detailing specific hunting strategies to allow Maine hunters to harvest the buck of their dreams.
The Sportsman sent “Moosehead Report” columnist Tom Seymour to a Piscataquis County Conservation District meeting earlier this summer, to learn (and write) about the ins and outs of building your own trout pond. From soil types, to pond shape (hint – if you build an island in your pond, it will soon be home to messy ducks and geese!), to depth and even what to feed your trout, Tom faithfully reports on the information from the session. Tom has maintained his own pond for many years, and provides another bit of information for anglers – if the trout are actively feeding in your home pond, the wild fish in streams will likely be biting that day, too!
Frequent special section contributor Cathy Genthner has ridden ATVs much of her life, but she’s never owned one. That changed this year, as she purchased a CF-Moto CForce 500 two-up. Based on the first few months of ATV ownership, in this issue she offers Part 1 of a two-part series, titled “Getting Into the Sport of ATVing.” An excellent reporter (as well as a Maine guide), Genthner relates the results of interviews with Mike Lee of ATV Maine, as well as Brian Bronson, ATV coordinator for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.
And also on the ATV front, David Van Wie, in his “Danger in the Outdoors” column, asks the question: “On-Road Use of ATVs – How Safe Is It?”
All this comes to you in the September issue, plus moose-hunting preparation, an introduction to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray from King Montgomery, a year-end legislative report from George Smith, and Jim Andrews’ tribute to the North Maine Woods – and much, much more.
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And thanks again to our informed readers, our many distribution outlets and our loyal advertisers.
Will Lund, editor