After spending three hours in a ground blind during Saturday’s Youth Deer Day, Sarah Strauch of Lamoine took a brief break to regroup and refuel.
According to her grandfather, Joe MacDonald, the good-natured ribbing she received during her lunch break may have given her a bit of added motivation for the afternoon session.
“We went to Bub’s, an eatery over in Danforth,” MacDonald said. “She got razzed a little bit, being a girl. ‘A girl can’t get a deer,’ [they said]. And that made her try all the harder.”
Junior hunters had Saturday to themselves in Maine, as the state observed Youth Deer Day. Hunters between 10 and 16 were accompanied by an adult hunter and allowed to shoot a deer of either sex … if they were lucky enough to see one.
Saturday’s blustery conditions may have made hunting difficult, but the effort paid off for many.
Strauch, a 15-year-old sophomore at Mount Desert Island High School, headed back to the blind and sat for another three hours. With a half-hour of legal hunting time left, she filled her tag.
“She got it with a single shot. It dropped in its tracks. A well-placed shot,” MacDonald said.
Strauch shot the deer with a .44 magnum that formerly belonged to her great-grandfather.
The deer was the first for Strauch, who took the hunter safety course over the summer and was hunting on MacDonald’s land in Bancroft with her father, Kurt.
MacDonald said the four-point buck weighed 124 pounds, field-dressed, and probably weighed close to 150 on the hoof.
And he said his granddaughter was pretty pleased.
“I’ve never seen her so excited,” MacDonald said. “She was excited all day and all night.”
Stetson man wins warden truck
Earlier this year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife unveiled its plan to give away a 1957 replica warden truck to one lucky hunter or fisherman.
On Friday, the DIF&W awarded that truck to Timothy Moore of Stetson. Moore emerged as the winner from a pool of more than 275,000 applicants who bought a license or applied for the any-deer or moose lottery on the Internet.
The DIF&W’s goal was to attract more users to the Maine Online Sportsmen Electronic System, a bulky name, to be sure, which is more recognizable as “MOSES.”
In short, MOSES allows outdoors enthusiasts to purchase licenses via the Internet. And that’s an option that more and more Mainers are taking advantage of.
According the DIF&W, Internet license sales are up 44 percent, and 38 percent of all moose hunters last year applied online. More than 60 percent of those who applied for any-deer permits did so via the Internet.
That’s good news for all of us: The perennially cash-strapped DIF&W saves money every time we use the Internet to buy a license, because they don’t have to then pay to have staffers re-enter the information into another computer when our paper forms reach Augusta. Other savings are achieved by reducing printing and mailing costs.
And don’t worry about the snazzy truck’s cost: The warden truck program was funded through the sales of DIF&W logo merchandise.
While Moore was this year’s winner in what is surely the state’s most exclusive fish and game lottery, don’t fret. You’ll get your chance (however slim) next year.
The DIF&W has announced it will give away another “classic prize” in 2007: A handcrafted boat that will be made by Rangeley Boat in Carrabassett Valley.
All you have to do to enter the contest is give MOSES a try. You can do so at www.mefishwildlife.com.
FFIM seeks grant applications
FlyfishinginMaine.com, one of the state’s most active Internet fishing communities, is accepting applications for project grants for 2007.
FFIM event director Ken Beaulieu said the goal of the grant program is simple.
“We want to engage the Maine fly fishing community and we think there are many organizations out there that we just don’t know about and could use our support,” Beaulieu said.
The monetary grants may vary in size, with the maximum award being $5,000.
Organizations submitting grant applications must be centered on fly fishing and have an impact on the state’s fly fishing community.
In 2006, grant winners included the Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsman’s Association and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.
Applications can be found on FFIM’s Web site. In order to meet the group’s environmental goals and minimize the unnecessary use of natural resources, FFIM is moving toward a paperless grant process and encourages the use of the Internet for grant applications.
All applications must be received no later than Dec. 31.
John Holyoke can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 990-8214 or 1-800-310-8600.