The weather is perfect for a cast and blast

There is so much opportunity for outdoor experiences in Maine and they are closer than one may think. So, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife officials said one should consider combining a hunting and fishing experience in one day or a weekend for an unforgettable "cast-and-blast" adventure this fall.

The combinations are endless.

September is the perfect month for outdoor activities. It is cooler and less buggy. The fish are biting and hunting season is kicking off with a bang.

Remember, many rivers, brooks and streams in Maine are open to fishing with flies or artificial lures only until Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Most lakes and ponds in the North Zone are open until Sept. 30 and many lakes and ponds in the South Zone are open year round.

Be sure to review Maine's fishing laws before you plan a trip.

Upland and migratory game birds

Perfect for newbies, hunting upland and migratory game birds is an exciting experience. Warmer temperatures make this hunt a bit more enjoyable for hunters who find later season hunts too chilly.

Wild turkey

Spring wild turkey hunts are popular tradition for many. The fall wild turkey hunt offers a slightly different experience. While scouting for deer season, wild turkey might be a harvest of opportunity.


Bear hunting requires lots of planning and prep work, but is an unforgettable experience which can fill one's freezer with lean, delicious table fare. If one wants to give it a try this year, hire a Registered Maine Guide.

Other species

Don't overlook squirrel and snowshoe hare later in September. These small species are great eating and an easier harvest for beginners and youth hunters.

If one has not completed a hunter safety course, but would like to give hunting a try, take a moment to learn more about the apprentice hunting license. Consider talking with a friend, family member or coworker who might serve as a mentor to help one get started.

Looking for a great place to hunt? Maine's Wildlife Management Areas offer wonderful opportunity. Find one in your neck of the woods.

Maine is fortunate to have landowners who offer access to private property. Read more about exploring private land in Maine

Bald Mountain Pond

Cold, clear Bald Mountain Pond in Northern Maine welcomes anglers, hunters, hikers, and paddlers from across the country. Anglers enjoy the remote fishing opportunity for wild brook trout that reach upwards of three pounds, and the Department now owns the boat launch that assures there will always be access to the pond.

Hikers on the Appalachian Trail skirt the far shore, threading through century-old forests, taking in views of Mount Katahdin, and bedding down for a night in the sturdy hikers’ shelter a few steps from the pond’s banks. Many through-hikers even call reaching this spot the highlight of their journey.

The timber companies that once owned the pond and the surrounding forest historically allowed recreational access to the area — but that arrangement was more of a tradition than a guarantee.

When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity emerged to protect this extraordinary place, the MDIFW teamed with more than a dozen partners to permanently open access to this spectacular stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Now, a locked gate will never stop future visitors.

The 2,620 acres surrounding Bald Mountain Pond’s rugged shoreline, and an iconic stretch of the Appalachian Trail, will remain protected from development and open to the public forever.

Private land use

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reminds the majority of us enjoy outdoor adventures on private land.

Maine is fortunate landowners allow access for outdoor recreation, for without that generosity, there would be few places to explore, the MDIFW states. Respect property and take extra steps to show your gratitude.

The following are seven ways to be a good land user:

• Always ask for permission.

• Learn what matters most to the landowner.

• Provide detailed information.

• Know your boundaries.

• Keep it clean.

• Keep it legal.

• Say thank you.

It is important to remember the private land one uses for recreation belongs to someone else and accessing it is a privilege, not a right.

Learn more at

What do purple stripes mean?

Have you noticed a tree, rock or post painted with a vertical purple stripe and wonder what it means?

One vertical "OSHA Safety Purple" stripe at least one inch in width and at least eight inches in length means "Access by Permission Only" when it is placed on trees, posts or stones between three and five feet off the ground.

Remember, in addition to paint marks or signs, landowners also may, either verbally or in writing, personally communicate to others that access is prohibited. It is unlawful to remove, mutilate, deface or destroy a sign or paint mark that is placed in order to prohibit or restrict access; and it is unlawful to post the land of another without permission of the landowner.

Show support, become an outdoor partner

The Outdoor Partners Program provides funding to protect Maine's longstanding tradition of public access to privately-owned land.

Funds from the Outdoor Partners Program go to:

• Enhanced law enforcement in areas where problems occur.

• The landowner sign program, which offers an alternative to "No Trespassing" signs and aids landowners in managing access to their land.

• Equipment to investigate and prosecute landowner abuse and criminal trespass complaints.

• Promotional and educational programs designed to promote and maintain access

Learn more at

Be safe, enjoy time on water

Many look forward to boating, fishing, kayaking or canoeing and Maine provides ample opportunity.

Before one hits the water, review the following safety tips to be sure time on water is nothing but fun memories:

• Always wear a life jacket. In the case of an emergency, it could save your life and if you think you will have time to put it on after you are in the water, think again.

• Stay alert and be aware of others on the water.

• Always operate the boat at a safe and reasonable speed for your surroundings.

• Never drink and operate a boat.

• Check weather before leaving shore and carefully observe changing weather.

• Watch for wildlife.

• Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and wear a hat and sunscreen to avoid overexposure to the sun.

• Always tell someone where you are going — and when you will be back.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at or by phone at 594-4401.