Helpful tips for hunters and fishers

Posted Oct. 13, 2010, at 6:08 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:37 p.m.

Moose hunters are wrapping up their efforts in the state’s second six-day session. Bird hunters are enjoying their time in the Maine woods. Late-season anglers are taking advantage of the opportunity to fish selected waters that are open beyond the traditional Oct. 1 closure.

And we’ve got a few outdoor items to share with you. Let’s get right to it.

No permits, no waterfowl

Veteran waterfowl and bird hunters certainly don’t need any reminders, but a news release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife indicates there may be some confusion that needs to be cleared up.

Here’s the deal: If you’re older than 16 and you want to hunt waterfowl in Maine, you need to purchase both state and federal permits. The state migratory waterfowl permit will set you back $7.50 and you can purchase it from any state Maine Online Sportsman’s Electronic System, or MOSES, agent or on the Internet at www.mefishwildlife.com.

The federal duck stamp also is required. Go to your local post office and you can buy one for $15.

Part of the confusion may stem from the fact that when buying their licenses through MOSES, hunters are asked if they intend to be a migratory bird program participant. Some hunters are apparently answering yes and assuming that their responsibilities have been met.

That’s not the case: You’ve still got to buy the permits.

In addition, you’ve also got to hold a valid big-game or small-game hunting license.

To further unconfuse you (or not), here’s another complication that sometimes confounds first-time hunters: Woodcock are migratory and hunting seasons for the species are set by the federal government. However, they’re not migratory waterfowl, and you don’t need a federal or state migratory bird permit to hunt them.

A big-game or small-game license suffices for woodcock, as it does on ruffed grouse.

Who’s cooking breakfast?

The state’s firearms season on deer is just a couple of weeks away and hunters are undoubtedly getting a bit anxious.

The questions abound.

Where to hunt? What will the weather be like? How’s the deer herd looking? And (importantly) where are we going to eat breakfast?

Hunter’s breakfasts are a tradition in these parts and we want to help hungry hunters find a good place to fuel up before heading afield.

That’s where you come in.

If your organization is holding a hunter’s breakfast (or, for that matter, a hunter’s lunch or a hunter’s supper), we want to hear about it. In turn, we’ll let our readers know the options.

Then, all you’ll have to do is buy a few more pounds of bacon, sit back, and wait for the crowd to roll in.

Moose on film

In last weekend’s edition I shared the tale of a catch-and-release moose-hunting trip that I enjoyed with friends Chris Lander and Pete Warner.

Theoretically, we also were hunting birds on the excursion, but no grouse appeared during our hunt.

That’s OK. We did see plenty of moose, and we came back with some pretty good photos and video.

Ideally, we would have shared one of those videos with you earlier. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible. But I’m happy to report that it’s now available on our website.

Lander filmed a moose-calling sequence that ends with a large bull moose closing to about 35 yards of us.

It’s pretty good stuff (save the Blair Witch Project film effects when the moose started running), and I think you’ll enjoy it.

While we’re on the topic of the Internet, if you want to keep up to date on our outdoor offerings, you might want to head over to our Facebook page, where you’ll get regular updates of stories we’re working on and where you can pass along information to us. If you’re a Facebook user, just search for “Bangor Daily News Outdoors.”

Park celebrates Halloween

Thousands of visitors head to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray each year to learn more about the critters that live in our woods. Come October, staffers pull out all the stops to provide fun Halloween activities for the entire family.

The seventh annual Halloween Fest will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22 and 23. Adults and kids alike are invited to wear costumes to the event and take advantage of the many seasonal activities.

Two haunted hayrides will run simultaneously every five minutes, and the park will be lit up by jack-o’-lanterns. Pumpkin bowling, a hunt for eerie night noises and a leaf pile plunge are among the highlights.

Attendees are advised to bring their own flashlights to the event. Park staffers will provide red cellophane to cover the flashlight beams, providing better night vision.

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