HUNTING REPORT

Deer projections good around the state

A Whitetail Deer crosses a ridge in Banff National Park near Lake Louise, Alberta November 22, 2012.
ANDY CLARK | REUTERS
A Whitetail Deer crosses a ridge in Banff National Park near Lake Louise, Alberta November 22, 2012.
Posted Oct. 31, 2013, at 11:25 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help hunters in the weeks ahead. Here’s the most recent report.

Western mountains

Moose season is over in the Rangeley area, and wildlife biologist Bob Cordes spent much of the week at the moose registration station in Oquossoc.

“We tagged 91 moose for the week, which was the same number as last year,” said Cordes.

It was the same in Rangeley as it was in much of the state, with unseasonably warm weather during much of moose season.

“It was pretty warm up there, and moose were not moving much,” said Cordes, who added from year to year the weather changes so he doesn’t know whether to expect to wear long johns or sunscreen.

Now that moose season is over, hunters are eagerly awaiting deer season.

“I think the deer season is going to be outstanding. Deer numbers are back to the pre-2008 years. I am seeing plenty of deer around, and I am getting reports of more deer,” said Cordes.

Cordes mentioned one landowner who has had three does visiting regularly, and two of the does have twins.

“The last few years we have had some milder winters and we have had good overwinter survival with pretty good fawn production,” said Cordes.

If you are bird hunting, Cordes noted that early on, he saw a lot of resident woodcock, but bird hunting remains somewhat spotty. There some good spots, but it’s nothing like last year.

Southern lakes region

“People are seeing a lot of deer, we have received a lot of positive feedback from archery hunters, and I think deer hunters will have plenty of opportunities this fall,” said DIF&W wildlife biologist Scott Lindsay.

The southern part of the state has experienced below average winters the past two years, and it has rebounded from the severe back to back winters in ’08 and ’09. “All the data from last year suggest that hunters should have some good opportunities this fall.”

Lindsay said that he has seen a lot of deer, and has received a lot of positive feedback from hunters.

The last pheasant release went well, and positive comments continue to come from hunters and landowners. Hunters appreciated having the release sites on the department website — www.mefishwildlife.com — complete with maps.

Lindsay also noted that he has seen more turkeys than he expected at area tagging stations, and the increased opportunity for fall turkey hunting (longer season, higher bag limit) seems to be attracting a lot of hunters.

Central and midcoast

“I am very optimistic about deer season,” said DIF&W wildlife biologist Keel Kemper, “We’ve got WMDs 17 and 23, and there are a lot of deer being seen there.”

Kemper has noticed a lot of deer, and has gotten reports from a lot of hunters scouting in the field.

“Even the serious deer hunters are optimistic with the rebound we are seeing,” said Kemper, who said he has been watching some really nice bucks in two areas he likes to hunt.

Looking for places to deer hunt? Kemper rattled off towns such as Vassalboro, Unity, Jefferson, Thorndike and others. He expects tagging stations in those areas to be busy.

If you like to waterfowl hunt, acorns may be spotty, but there are plenty of wood ducks and teal still around. Kemper also noted that when he went by Sebasticook Lake the other day, he stated “the place was black with geese and ducks.”

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