The October Outdoor Odyssey – Fiddlehead Focus

0

Most outdoor enthusiasts have a favorite sport. Fishing, biking, canoeing, hunting, kayaking, photography, bird watching and other activities all have their followers between the mud season and winter. October is a special time, however; it’s the heart of the hunting season throughout Maine, but especially here in Aroostook County.

Most outdoor enthusiasts have a favorite sport. Fishing, biking, canoeing, hunting, kayaking, photography, bird watching and other activities all have their followers between the mud season and winter. October is a special time, however; it’s the heart of the hunting season throughout Maine, but especially here in Aroostook County.

Most shooters have a favorite season or career, but the outdoors options have changed dramatically over the past ten or twenty years and now it can be difficult to know what, where, when and how to hunt. If you check closely, there are actually 10 hunting seasons this month and a handful of late season fishing opportunities.

White-tailed deer hunting is the most popular big game outing in North America, and here in Pine Tree State, Aroostook County in particular, most sportsmen wait all year round for earn money. While November is the prime time for rifle hunting, many hunters head to the fields and forests this month with a bow or crossbow in hand. The archery season seems to be gaining popularity every year, and new regulations allowing crossbow use as well as bonus deer permits in several areas will further increase participation.

Here in Maine, even as popular as deer hunting, another career attracts much more interest and participation in shooting for both sexes and a much wider age range. Ol ‘Pat, formerly known as ruffed grouse, attracts hunters everywhere for a longer season that ends in December. There’s more action, a bigger limit, and hunting closer to home in farming countries on the urban fringes; and my personal taste ranks partridge meat over game every time.

Speaking of waterfowl, hunters can enjoy hunting Maine’s smallest and biggest game birds this month, both on the same day if you like. Woodcock season has always been an October season and this is a great time to brush up on timberdoodle as it is the peak of their migration from Canada, through Maine and south to some weather. hotter. A well-trained, sharp-nosed pointer or passer is a great asset in locating and holding birds in thick cover, but a pair or trio of gunners using stop-and-go tactics can also hunt a lot of woodcock. . Persistence is key as a blanket may only hold three or four birds a day and more than a dozen days later when a flight arrives to stop, rest and feed.

Partridge hunting is in full swing right now and continues until December. These tasty upland birds are the most sought after game species in Maine. (Courtesy of Bill Graves)

The wild turkey fall season is only a few years old and hunting is only legal in Zone 6 so far. On the positive side, there are a lot of herds throughout the area and the hunting pressure is quite low as most hunters still focus on partridge and waterfowl. It is legal to shoot any bird of any gender and size, and you do not need to register your fall turkey. The season ends on November 6 and bows and crossbows can be used as well as shotguns to catch a bird.

Using chicken decoys during the spring hunt with proper calls during mating season is very effective, but fall hunts require different tactics. Place a jake or two decoys and a tom in a field near a staging area, then use a mouth call or electronic call to simulate a fight for dominance. Usually other males will rush to investigate. It’s also productive to seek out and locate a preferred foraging field, then set up near an approach or exit trail in the early morning or mid-afternoon to ambush hungry gobblers. moving.

Aroostook County is part of the northern Maine area for migratory waterfowl seasons. We enjoy hunting duck and goose for over two months, both ending in early December. In some years, the early snow cover and very cold weather can freeze streams and cover patches of food, sending birds flying south sooner than we would like. Over the past two years, however, global warming has worked in favor of hunters, extending the seasons, and even when ponds and lakes have frozen over, ducks and geese have simply moved to the rivers that flow nearby. in order to relax.

Of course, several weeklong moose seasons begin in the last week of September and continue through the end of October in zones 1 through 6, the Aroostook region. The number of licenses has been increased for this year’s lottery and hunters can choose to drive and spot, stalk and spot in the woods or select a probable area and try to summon a moose within range. rifle or bow. For the most part, it’s the hunt of a lifetime, yielding fond memories and lots of delicious freezer meat.

While the black bear bait hunt ended on September 25, catching a bruin with dogs or a trap will remain legal in October. The general bear hunting season with normal spot and rod big game guidelines will run until November 27. Most bear shootings over the next few months will be accidental, with a hunter actually chasing deer, moose, or other game.

Other options available are more for small game, but some attract a good-sized hunting contingent. Included in the career group this month are the fox, coyote, rabbit, raccoon, and gray squirrel. With Sunday hunting still not permitted in Maine, what better day to float a boat or canoe, cast a fly or a lure, and enjoy the colors and aromas of fall. Late season fishing can be excellent as trout and salmon spawn and are very aggressive, and cooler water increases the activity level of bass, muskellunge and several other species. Most of the waters are artificial lures and catch and release this time of year, but fish are plentiful and other anglers are scarce.

The only problem with our October Odyssey is that with so many options, the month is too short and the days too few.


Source link

Share.

Leave A Reply