It’s halfway through the first full week of deer season (at least as far as we firearms hunters are concerned) and my deer-hunting friends and acquaintances are all saying the same thing I am.
Where are the deer?
Of course, since all of my friends and acquaintances know I have a hard time finding deer, it’s entirely possible they’re just saying they’re not finding deer so I don’t feel bad.
On second thought, probably not.
Either way, I hope your deer season is going better than mine … and I’m reasonably sure it is.
In order to help take your mind off your hunting woes, I’ve got a bit of ground to cover today, and a lot of information to pass along.
To begin, we’ll head up to Greenville, where Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife fisheries biologist Tim Obrey checked in with a pair of news items you may find interesting.
First, if you want to learn more about the deer you can’t seem to find, Obrey said a program that will be held tonight might give you a leg up on the competition.
The Natural Resource Education Center in Greenville is sponsoring a program to discuss whitetail deer management in northern Maine.
The program starts at 7 p.m. at the Nickerson Elementary School Library, and the guest speaker is Lee Kantar of the DIF&W.
For the record, Kantar is the department’s head deer and moose biologist, and is a valuable source of info for hunters and wildlife-watchers alike.
“It’s a great chance for hunters and the general public to learn about what is happening with the deer herd in the north country, especially after the very hard winter in 2008,” Obrey wrote.
Second, Obrey passed along an update on one of my favorite waters, and said organizers of a popular winter togue derby have settled on the dates for this winter’s event.
“The upper section of the East Outlet [of the Kennebec River] is still open to fishing and the rumor is the fishing is pretty good,” Obrey said. “Anglers are catching some of the newly stocked brook trout which are running 12-to-14 inches, as well as some very nice salmon. The weather forecast is warm for the end of week so anglers should get out and take advantage.”
While this week’s balmy weather may favor fly fishermen, it doesn’t serve as much of a harbinger of winter.
Still, it’s not too early to mark an important weekend on your calendar.
Obrey said the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce has decided to hold its second annual Togue Derby on Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1 next year.
Cash and prizes will be up for grabs, and participating anglers will be helping DIF&W biologists toward their goal of thinning the abundant lake trout population in Maine’s largest lake while raising money for charity.
I headed up to the derby last winter and was amazed at the number of people who took part. All seemed to be having a good time, and hundreds of fish were caught.
A bit closer to home, tonight’s an important one for those involved in Atlantic salmon conservation and restoration, and anglers may want to head to Brewer for a public meeting and hearing.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have scheduled the meeting to gather input on a proposal that would affect the Penobscot River.
On the table is a plan to expand the endangered species listing of Atlantic salmon for the Gulf of Maine population of fish.
In particular, the listing would include the Androscoggin, Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers.
In addition, the federal entities are looking to designate critical habitat for the proposed population of fish.
A first information session and hearing was held Wednesday in Augusta. Tonight’s session will be held at Jeff’s Catering on Littlefield Way in Brewer.
The information session runs from 6-7 p.m. while the hearing will run from 7-9 p.m.
Meals, meals, meals
In our continuing effort to make sure that the area’s hunters don’t waste away while tromping through the woods, here are a couple more possibilities for those seeking a good meal at a reasonable price.
ä In Monroe, the Monroe Lions club will hold its annual hunter’s breakfast Saturday from 5-10 a.m. at the Monroe Church on Route 139.
The meal is one of two major fundraisers the Lions Club uses to fund scholarships and youth sports in the area.
ä In Garland, the Garland Grange will host a hunter’s supper Nov. 14 from 5-7 p.m. The menu features baked beans, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, bread and desserts. The price is $6 for adults and $3 for kids ages 5-12. Little tykes under 5 can nibble for free.
The grange hall is located on Oliver Hill Road.