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Maine's Moose problem

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Millinocket Moose

I woke my son up at 1:40 in the morning so that we could be in Millinocket by 4 AM. I have made it a point this year to take advantage of local Maine guides who are struggling because of the cancellations from out-of-state hunters and anglers. Many guides and outfitters have great discounts on trips and as a local, I am happy to take advantage! We had been in quarantine for 12 weeks at that point and it was leading up to my son’s birthday. So at 4am, we met up with Paul Sannicandro of Moose Woods Guide Service to go on a moose safari. 

The weather called for rain but we were determined to find a few moose before the storms rolled in.With bug spray, binoculars, cameras and face masks, we headed out on the Golden Road to find some moose.  We didn’t have to go far before Paul spotted a young bull. Excitedly and quietly, we hiked close to the edge of the pond to get a better view.  The sun was just starting to crest the trees and illuminate the snow on the peak of Katahdin. It was one of t…

Front yard birding

We have known since we bought the house, that there were owls around. I frantically flagged down Hubs when I was on the phone being intereviewed and saw one land on a dead tree across the backyard, so that we could get some pictures. We hear them at night calling to one another and occasioanlly, we hear them in the morning when we take the dog out. There is two, maybe three nearby.

Since we have been at home for weeks, I have found myself going for walks during the naptime. On this particular day, the sun was shining and I was headed towards the mailbox when I heard an owl hoot.  It was close. I spun on my heels, ran inside and grabbed my camera.  I told Hubs to come with me and help me find this owl.


We did.  He spotted it first and I tried to be as quiet as possible (on a bed of dried leaves) to get some photos of the sleeping owl.  Eveneturally he got annoyed by me and flew justa  few trees away.  We didn't follow up but smiled at the fact that we could see him and watch h…

Finding sheds in the Maine woods

I noticed the black against the white trees, "moose!" I called out to Lee.  Eating along the side of the logging road, she was spooked by our approaching truck and disappeared into thick sapplings before I could take a picture.  I took it as a good omen that today would be productive.

Snow in May is not unheard of in Maine but the few inches that had fallen the night before, would not make shed hunting an easy task this morning.  I was still excited and the break from quarantine life was welcomed.  The fresh Maine air can reset anyone's state of mind.

We walked down old skidder trails and split up to cover more ground.  Snow fell from the higher branches as the sun began to rise.  I had been walking for just a few minutes when Lee came to find me and had me backtrack on to the road that he had been on.

"Walk right down this trail and look inside the tree line" Lee instructed me.  He had already found the first shed of the morning amid two inches of snow and bla…

Chronic Wasting Disease in Maine

If you had asked everyone in the room to vote right then and there, I would bet that supplemental feeding of deer would have been made illegal. The room was packed with people at the Augusta Civic Center, listening to a presentation by Dr. Krysten L. Schuler, Wildlife Disease Ecologist at Cornell Wildlife Health Lab about her research on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and what is being done in the 26 states currently impacted.
CWD is caused by a mutated protein that are found in prions. Deer shed prions through bodily fluids and once in the soil, CWD can stay there for months if not years.  The worst spreaders of the prions are those big, adult bucks that we all covet. CWD is fatal and in the same family as Mad Cow Disease. The Centers for Disease Control describes Chronic Wasting Disease saying, "It may take over a year before an infected animal develops symptoms, which can include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, and other neurological symptoms." It also recommends…

Eagles on the trail

Reason number 3,657,935 why my Dad is the best: As we were snowmobiling, we approached a bog and three eagles with about 20 crows took off.  It could only mean one thing in my book - something was dead.  We circled back and walked around in the snow but the birds had left and we couldnt find anything that would resemble a meal.  A part of me thinks that we were in the wrong piece of land and should have been on the other side of the bog but in our snowmobile gear, we were not going to cover a lot of ground.  I was disappointed that we couldn't find what the birds were eating but I was able to get some good pictures of one of the mature eagles and the immature eagle that were flying around.






Enjoying the sun

This winter has been lacking in the snow department so Staci and I took advantage and went out to look for antler.  We didn't find any but not for a lack of trying.  Some trail camera photos from later on that week showed even the smallest of bucks still had its antlers on.  But, we enjoyed the warm sun and some great views of the local bog.