JOHN HOLYOKE

Let’s talk turkey

Posted May 11, 2011, at 10:28 p.m.

Turkey season is in full swing and hunters have been rising early, heading into the woods and participating in one of the state’s most enjoyable hunts (the early wake-up call notwithstanding, of course).

And I’m sure that some of you have turkey tales to tell. Unfortunately — this also may have something to do with all the sleep-deprived turkey hunters — I’ve yet to hear about any of your turkey hunting exploits.

That has to change. Each year I share a few great stories from local hunters who have had memorable days in the field and I’d like to do the same this year.

How do you get your turkey tale in the paper? Well, it’s impossible to tell you exactly what we’re looking for. A few things to keep in mind: If every turkey story you’ve ever heard sounds a lot like the one you’re going to tell, it might not make the cut. If your hunt was a garden-variety excursion with a garden-variety result, you may not catch our eye.

But if your hunt went abnormally well (or unbelievably askew), we’re listening. If your daughter shot two birds with one shot, we want to hear about it. If your tale has a unique quality that everyone — not just grandma — wants to hear about more than once, drop us a line. And send along some cool photos if you have ’em.

Mail stories to me at the Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329, or email them to the address below.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you — and so are thousands of BDN readers.

Veazie trap season under way

As I drove along the Penobscot River on Tuesday, I noticed that the upstream snowmelt and a week of wet weather had certainly had an impact: The water was high and roiling at the site of the former Bangor Dam.

A few miles upstream, however, the seasonal chore of catching, counting and transporting Atlantic salmon to the Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery has kicked off, and fish have already begun showing up in the river.

Personnel from the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ Bureau of Sea-Run Fisheries and Habitat staff a fish trap at the Veazie Dam for several months each year and capture those sea-run fish as they return to their native waters.

Staffers opened the trap on May 2 this year and as of Monday — after a week of monitoring — four Atlantic salmon had been caught at the Veazie Dam, according to the DMR website. Another salmon was caught in the Narraguagus River in Cherryfield, according to the site.

A year ago, 1,316 salmon were caught in the Veazie trap during the season. Here’s hoping for a huge return of fish during the 2011 trapping season.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled and update readers periodically with trap counts as they become available.

Adventure race on tap

You’re sick of living a humdrum life. You’re looking for some excitement. Or, perhaps, you’re just one of those people who don’t consider a day complete until you bushwhack through the woods for 1.5 miles, go mountain biking for another nine, canoe 9.5 miles and then hit a climbing wall.

Either way, the folks at East Grand High School have an event for you: Their sixth annual Adventure Race will take place on Saturday, and you’re invited to take part with a partner.

Now, if you’re like me and the entire 20-mile course sounds a little ambitious, don’t fret: Organizers will let you split up the tasks and compete as a team of up to six participants.

Check-in is 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the East Grand gym. Awards will be presented at about 3 p.m.

The entry fee on the day of the race is $30 — call Dave Conley at 448-2743 first to make sure there’s still room — and a variety of prizes will be up for grabs. Go to www.eastgrandschool.org/adventure-race for more information.

More on turkeys coming up

On Tuesday I spoke with two of the state’s most knowledgeable bird experts — biologists Kelsey Sullivan and Brad Allen of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife — and this weekend I’ll share some of their thoughts on the turkey season that’s under way.

Allen and Sullivan will pass along some anecdotal reports from tagging stations around the state, and let you know what other hunters are seeing and hearing.

The duo also will share information about turkeys that you might not have known; much of that information can have a direct impact on your hunting success, and will help explain why you’re seeing — or not seeing — while you are on your trips afield.

Stay tuned.

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