Thursday, August 1, 2013

August PERFECT for Coyote Hunting and Bass Fishing!

Coyote Hunting 
While hunters can shoot coyotes in Maine all year round, a special night hunting permit allows hunters to shoot coyotes at night until Aug. 31st. While use of spotlights is certainly extremely beneficial, hunting under the added illumination of a full moon offers an even higher degree of visibility, providing more accurate species identification and faster target acquisition in a larger kill zone. The full moon on August 20th will afford the last really good opportunity to pursue these critters at night until the coyote night hunting season re-opens in mid December.

Those new to the exciting sport of predator hunting will find August the perfect time to get out and try their luck, as young coyotes will be out and about in the early evenings. These awkward, uneducated teenage coyotes are typically much easier to dupe and will often forgive calling mistakes that would typically run off more wary mature coyotes. If wanting to try hunting coyotes and yet to do so, this is the month! The shear number of available predator calls is mind blowing and newbies often have a difficult time making a selection that is both easy to operate and works well on Washington County coyotes. The “Original Tweety” call by Verminator is a small hand held call, quick to learn and operate and capable of producing a wide range of calls from wounded bird to rabbit to deer by simply placing the reed at different depths within the mouth. For those looking to attempt some basic howling, the Primos Mini-Mag Howler is a fantastic starting call. While it does require a fair amount of practice before attempting to take it afield it is still one of the easiest howlers to learn to call well. Additionally, howling mistakes made by newbie predator callers will not be that important in August as teenage coyote howls frequently crack and are not as perfect and on key as the adults.

The Stud Mill road is a dirt highway through the vast Maine wilderness, providing access to thousands of miles of prime coyote hunting opportunities. One of my personal favorite spots is located in and around Cranberry lake (DeLorme’s The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer (MAG), Map 35 E2 and 3). Hunting in groups of 3 or 4 people a common technique involves using a vehicle to drop off individuals at set intervals and have them try calling. A couple miles between each caller is sufficient spacing and allows each person plenty of breathing room. Once the driver parks the vehicle and is in place, they call for about an hour and then drive back and collect the other hunters. This sequence can be repeated over and over and allows a group to cover a lot of miles calling. Just remember to take turns being the last man out of the truck as stud mill coyotes seem to be forgiving of vehicles that simply drive by but a stopping vehicle makes them extremely cagey and the last man out of the truck usually shoots the least number of coyotes.

 Please remember that the Stud Mill road and all of the connecting side roads are a titanic and complex maze for the uninitiated. When dropping off hunters, be sure to have a plan in place for pick-up that involves colored marking ribbons at drop off positions, a set meeting time to be by the roadside and GPS waypoints. Being lost in the Maine woods anytime of year isn’t an enjoyable option and a simple plan makes this scenario completely preventable.

Bass Fishing
Haven’t yet quite quenched that bass fishing desire? Well, now is the time to get out there on the water. While a certain contingent of anglers believe strongly in a strict policy of catch and release that does not match my ideals. Fishing without keeping a few of these delectable trophies to me is a lot like chewing and not being allowed to swallow . . . there is simply an enjoyable component of the fishing experience that is inherently missing.

If planning to try hauling in a few hogs for the deep fat fryer, the perfect size bass is in the 2-3 pound range. This size makes for a good-sized filet for the exerted effort and also provides a younger fish less likely to be loaded with copious amounts of mercury. Though many will brag about their award winning frying batters, I prefer a easy to prepare whole milk, egg, flour dip. Simply put each of the three ingredients in separate bowls and dip the filets into each bowl, completely covering them with each of the ingredients. Once the pieces are completely covered with batter they can be lightly dropped into the deep fat fryer where they sputter in the hot oil till they reach a golden brown color. Once removed pat dry with a paper towel, salt heavily and drop on a plate with a side of garlic smashed potatoes and a couple ears of corn on the cob, lightly sprinkled with chili powder. DELICIOUS!

Bass #50 for the Day
It is certainly no secret that Washington County contains numerous truly epic lakes and ponds, filled to the brim with large and small mouth bass. Topping this listing of impressive waters is Grand Falls Flowage (DeLorme’s The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer (MAG), Map 36, A-2). This shallow 6,691acre body of water contains submerged logs, stumps and aquatic vegetation making it perfect habitat for birthing big bass. The flowage also commonly produces small mouths in the 3-4 pound range due to strict length limits. While bass certainly thrive in this location that does not mean they will necessarily be easily caught. A number of factors including time of day, ability to locate promising bottom structure and lure selection presents just a few of the variables that will need to be carefully considered.

One way to stay updated on the latest bass fishing action is to check out: This local bass fishing club was established to promote bass fishing in Washington County and the surrounding area. Their primary goal is to improve the sport through such endeavors as introducing more youth to bass fishing, promoting catch and release and helping to improve the quality of fishing in Downeast Maine. The president Matthew Mitchell and the rest of the club members enjoy promoting the sport, answering questions and assisting other anglers in finding that magic selection of lures, time and habitat that will lead to a successful day on the water!

1 comment:

  1. Good to see the Duckman out and about. Glad you dragged him away from the Principals Office!


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