| Just that quick, we’ve gone from having little or nothing to do outdoors to more opportunities than we can handle. September means the last of our open water fishing options (discussed last week); bear hunting, striper fishing (if you want to travel to the coast) and deer hunting in the Expanded Archery Deer Season.
The Expanded Archery Deer Season is designed to allow hunters to take advantage of growing deer herds in areas where rifle hunting is not allowed by law or by landowners. In general, in our area this means parts of Brewer, Bangor, Hampden, Hermon, Old Town, Orono and Veazie. There are other opportunities available in Augusta and Waterville.
These areas are not too far away from us for a good afternoon or weekend of hunting (no Sunday hunting is allowed, of course). I’d be remiss if I attempted to gloss over the finer points of the hunt (which begins Sept. 11), so here is the word and gist of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife mandate on participating in the expanded archery season:
“Our intent is to provide additional deer hunting opportunities in locations in which deer populations can withstand additional hunting pressure without negatively impacting other existing deer hunting opportunities or human safety. Accordingly, we have identified a number of areas in central and southern Maine which meet these criteria. They include Wildlife Management Districts 24 and 30, and other areas as described below. All are characterized by intensive residential development interspersed with small woodlots. Much of this area cannot be hunted with firearms due to municipal ordinances banning discharge of firearms.
A cautionary note: Nearly all land in the Expanded Archery Hunting Zone is privately owned. Some of it is not deer habitat. Parts of it remain unhuntable due to sanctuaries, municipal ordinances against archery discharge, or simply because individual landowners do not support hunting and-or trespass on their land. We strongly urge all hunters to obtain landowner permission during the expanded archery season. Pre-season scouting is essential to your success. Please hunt ethically. Your behavior while afield may well determine the future of these hunts.”
The special season takes place Sept. 11 through Dec. 11, 2004. Sundays are closed to deer hunting. Hunting is restricted to designated areas only (see the MDIFW website at http://www.state.me.us/ifw/hunttrap/h-exarch.htm).
Archery hunting only is allowed in the expanded archery zone.
Hunters who have a valid archery license will be able to purchase multiple antlerless permits for $13 each and one buck permit for $33. Permits will be available from license agents by the last week in August. (Junior hunters 10 years of age or older and under 16 years of age may hunt during this season with their junior hunting license but must purchase the expanded archery permits.)
The bag limit is one buck and/or multiple antlerless deer (with appropriate expanded archery permits). Deer must be legally transported and registered as for other deer seasons. All other archery deer hunting laws apply. Refer to your Hunting Regulations Summary Booklet available from licensing agents or request a copy by sending an e-mail to the MDIFW.
If you are a woman and want to know what this and other things in the Maine outdoor world are all about, the MDIFW has a program for you, too. Becoming An Outdoors Woman is one of the more successful education programs in the U. S. and is available in every state. Have you ever wished for an adult summer camp (if only for a long weekend), where you could try a variety of outdoor activities under the supervision of experienced teachers and guides? If you have, read on, because Maine's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) Introductory Skills Weekend is just that opportunity!
B.O.W. programs, which are sponsored by the MIDFW, are designed primarily for women ages 18 and up. This year’s Maine BOW Weekend Workshop weekend is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, September 17, 18, 19 and will be held at Lake Megunticook, at Bishopswood Camp in Hope, Maine
The workshop will be held Friday morning through Sunday noon, September 17-A participation fee of $190 covers everything: good food, rustic accommodations, all equipment and lots of educational handouts. Some scholarships are available.
A complete Hunter Safety Certification course is available as a course for the weekend. Participants in Hunter Safety Certification will take four required classes with additional evening instruction and a Sunday afternoon final test.
A brochure and registration form are posted at www.mefishwildlife.com (click on Education, BOW). Registration forms are also available from BOW coordinator Dorcas Miller at (207) 582-5600; 76 Williams Rd, Chelsea, ME 04330; or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is first come, first served, so don't wait!
Schedule of classes at the Introductory Skills Weekend can be seen on the MDIFW’s website. Topics range from basic fishing skills, trapping, canoeing, hiking, backpacking and trip planning, archery, kayaking, orienteering, fly tying, archery and...well, it will be a full weekend!
This course is the ideal solution to the common “abandoned spouse” syndrome. Learn to do these things and you, too, can leave the house on the weekends and head for camp! Women tend to be better anglers, hunters and campers than most men because they have more patience, are less competitive and seem to enjoy the outdoors for its own sake. Some men have forgotten how to enjoy what they do because they are too busy trying to impress their friends.
Having a lady in camp who knows what she’s doing (and who can do it better!) can be a definite asset. I once hunted out of a camp in LaGrange that included one little lady from New Zealand who was, without a doubt, the best, most accomplished and most determined hunter of them all! I know for a fact that Sylvia Crowley could shoot better than most hunters I’ve met (she invariably took her deer with one shot - in the neck -- from her Winchester Model 94 .32 Special), and most years she also shot the biggest buck in camp! This lady (who was in her 50s when I met her) grew up shooting ducks with a .22 rifle (which was common, if not legal, in New Zealand prior to World War II), so you know she could shoot!
Anyway, if you know a woman with this kind of potential, sign her up, sponsor her, but get her to the BOW course on time. The sport will be better for it!