Time is right to hunt turkeys in western mountains, pheasant in Southern Maine, waterfowl in midcoast
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help hunters in the weeks ahead. Here’s the most recent report.
Southern Lakes Region
Hunters are enjoying the pheasant season in southern Maine.
“We have had two pheasant releases so far, and we have one final release for the season on Sunday, Oct. 20,” said DIF&W wildlife biologist Scott Lindsay. “We have received some very positive comments about our two dozen release sites.” You can find a list of the pheasant release sites on the department website at www.mefishwildlife.com.
Lindsay said there has been a lot of outreach with area landowners about the release sites and very good cooperation with the area rod and gun clubs.
“One member even set a new standard for landowner relations by baking and delivering apple pies to about a dozen landowners,” said Lindsay. “That type of outreach goes a long way towards keeping land open, and allows us to keep stocking pheasants.”
It is also the middle of the archery season for deer, and Lindsay said that during the first week, “some very impressive animals were brought to registration stations,” but as is typical, it slowed down after the first week.
Lindsay noted that there are also a lot of turkey hunters out taking advantage of the expanded opportunities for turkey this fall.
“We have a pretty good number of turkeys coming through the registration stations,” said Lindsay, who said a lot of the birds are poults but there are some pretty good adults as well. “We have noticed a lot of people out turkey hunting, particularly compared to past falls.”
Central and Midcoast
“Reports out of Merrymeeting Bay is that birds are moving around, but location is the key” for waterfowl hunters, said biologist Kendall Marden. “Some areas are hot, others are not. Warm weather is holding up the migrating birds coming through, as well as the woodcock flight.”
Marden said that there are small groups of partridge here and there, and you can find them if you are willing to look for them. Several groups have had days with multiple flushes. Those with dogs are getting more flushes than others.
“Turkey hunting has been somewhat slow, but people are picking up birds here and there,” said Marden, who noted there are lot of small broods, and late broods as well with younger birds.
If you are looking to go duck hunting, Marden suggests the Merrymeeting Bay WMA. There are over 5,000 acres in the WMA, spread out in multiple locations in the bay. Check out your DeLorme Atlas Map 6 for where these parcels are located. Green Point in Dresden is also a good location for launching and setting up.
Western Mountains Region
“Grouse numbers seem to be down in the region, but the woodcock numbers seem to be good,” said DIF&W wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey.
Hulsey also noted that he is seeing lots of turkeys in his region, but contrary to southern Maine, he is not seeing a lot of hunters. “
“If someone wants to hunt turkeys, they should have great hunting,” says Hulsey.
Hulsey added that if someone wanted to go archery hunting for deer, they should try the Chesterville WMA and take a canoe ride down the river. It is quite an effective way to take a deer. Be aware the first one hundred yards of the river is a little low right now, but it is pleasant paddling for the remainder.