While others may be enjoying a final weekend at camp or finishing back-to-school preparations, many of the region’s trappers will set course for Bethel this weekend and will enjoy an event that has become an annual tradition.
According to Pete Tinker of the Maine Trappers Association, the New England Trappers Weekend has been held in the western Maine town for more than three decades. This weekend’s get-together will be the 34th annual version of the event.
“There’s going to be a lot of demonstrations and a lot of trappers tailgating, selling traps, both new and used,” said Tinker of Searsmont, who helps promote the show. “There’s plenty of stuff for kids and plenty of room for camping.”
Tinker said even though the event is billed as a “New England” gathering, trappers don’t let state or country borders discourage them from attending.
“I know they come from all over, even New York, and trappers from Quebec filter down there, too,” Tinker said. “It’s a big turnout. We’re going to have beautiful weather this year. It’s going to be great.”
The trappers’ weekend kicks off today and runs through Sunday. Kids’ events on Saturday include an egg toss, a sack race, a tug of war, a one-legged race and an eel race.
Dealers will set up today and a variety of seminars will be held on Friday and Saturday. Experts will share tips on trapping techniques for bear, beaver, fisher and canines, among other species.
A coon dog trial and auction also are on tap.
A church service will be held on Sunday, just before trappers hit the road for home.
Tinker said Maine has about 2,000 licensed trappers, including about 1,000 who belong to the Maine Trappers Association.
And the veteran trapper said he looks forward to the yearly meeting with his peers.
“When you get a bunch of trappers together, talking, it’s like a bunch of hens in a henhouse. They just don’t let up,” Tinker said. “[The weekend] is a rendezvous type of thing. Before the season starts, we can talk things over.”
Admission is $5 per adult, and camping costs $5 per night.
Alewife plan comments sought
As we’ve reported in past editions of the BDN, the International St. Croix Watershed Board is considering a management plan that provide for the restoration of alewives in portions of the watershed.
The plan is controversial, as many Down East guides oppose the move, while many conservation groups feel that the plan isn’t aggressive enough.
We won’t rehash those arguments here, but if you’re looking to share your two cents’ worth on the issue, you’re in luck.
The international board has extended its comment period on the proposal until Sept. 17. According to a press release, the decision was made “to ensure that adequate time is provided to receive comments from all interested parties, given the amount of public interest in this matter.”
For more information on how to submit comments, and to learn more about the plan, go to www.ijc.org/rel/st-croix-alewife.
Calling all callers
Are you ready to channel your inner duck? Are you looking for a bit of good-natured competition?
If so, you may want to head to Cabela’s in Scarborough on Saturday for Maine State Duck Calling Championship.
Registration for the contest begins at 10 a.m., and the top caller in the open division will advance to the World Duck Calling Championship in Stuttgart, Ark.
Competitors will vie for honors in youth, women’s and open divisions. Adult registration is $10, while youths pay $5.
According to a Cabela’s press release, winners of each division will receive a plaque and a store gift card. For more information, e-mail Paul Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contest is being held in conjunction with the store’s Fall Great Outdoor Days, which features several outdoor-related seminars and presentations from vendors and experts.