If one is enjoying Maine's outdoors, remember it is trapping season and trappers may be using the same private or public land.

Trapping provides many benefits to people and wildlife populations, and trapping regulations are strictly enforced by Maine's Game Wardens.

If one happens to come across a trap, remember trappers must have landowner permission to be there, and it is unlawful to disturb traps, disturb any wild animal caught in a trap, or shoot an animal that is caught in someone else’s trap.

If one's dog is unleashed, there is a remote chance they may get their foot stuck in a trap. Rest assured, traps used in Maine hold an animal's foot but are not designed to cause harm or pain to the species, in fact, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists utilize these same traps to catch, research and release many Maine species unharmed.

The best way to prevent one's dog from stepping in a trap is to follow Maine's leash laws and keep a dog leashed.

Trapping season is highly regulated and allows licensed individuals to trap abundant species such as fox, coyote, muskrat, beaver, bear, fisher, and others. Trapping helps keep populations stable and healthy, protects property and habitat, and provides biologists with valuable data to help prevent and manage disease and predict population trends.

In the unlikely event one's dog gets caught in a trap, stay calm and follow a set of steps.

A dog’s reaction to being caught in a foothold trap can vary from calm to frightened. If a dog gets caught in one, follow these steps:

• Stay calm and get help: If available, get a second person to assist.

• Protect yourself: Some dogs may be calm, others may be frightened and attempt to bite, especially as the trap is removed from their foot. Protect yourself by securing the dog’s muzzle using a jacket or vest, or by placing a barrier between you and the dog.

• Open the trap: If possible, put the trap flat on the ground. To open the trap, push down using your hands or feet on the levers located at either end of the jaws (see arrows in the photos). This will release tension on the jaws and allow you to remove the dog’s foot.

• Respect the trapper, and obey the law: It is unlawful to take or destroy a trap without permission from the owner.

• Prevent future incidents: Follow leash laws and keep your dog on a leash.

Get outdoors — to fish

The days are shorter and cooler, making spending time outside more important for one's physical and mental health. November is an exciting month to fish in parts of the state with experiences not available during warmer months.

In addition, fall stocking has begun, which begins anglers an opportunity before ice fishing begins.

Reminders: Firearms hunting season is underway. It is still safe to fish, hike, and explore, but wear orange or a bright neon color to be extra safe. The water is cold — if spending time on the water, use caution and wear a lifejacket. The same body of water you fished this spring or summer may have different laws now that it is fall, so review Maine’s fishing laws before you go.

Click to see fishing report.

Plan winter fishing trips

Maine has some of the best licensed outfitters and guides in the country. Their services vary from half-day trips to multi-day adventures. Enjoy a customized adventure, learn from a professional, and explore new waters.

Registered Maine Guides are happy to bring all ages and experience levels on ice-fishing and outdoor adventures. Plan a trip for yourself, you and friends, or a family.

Private lands

Roughly 94 percent of Maine's forest land is privately owned, and more than half of that land area is open to the public. In total, landowners voluntarily open up more than 10 million acres of working farms and forests.

This access is an incredible gift, and in order to preserve it, everyone who ventures outdoors needs to understand the contribution landowners make, said MDIFW officials.

When it comes to accessing private land, there is the law, and then there is the unwritten rule:

• The law – Unlike most other states, Maine operates under an implied permission structure, meaning that if land is not posted, it is legal to use the land.

• The unwritten rule – Always ask permission. Hunting, fishing, or otherwise using private land without the owner's permission is a careless move that puts everyone's future access at risk.

When venturing into the Maine woods, follow the unwritten rule.

Learn more about how to be a good land user and become an Outdoor Partner at mefishwildlife.com/outdoorpartners.

More fishing opportunities

Fall is here, and lucky for anglers, there still are hundreds of lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds open for fishing. During the fall months there are special regulations in place as some species are spawning, so be sure to consult the 2020 Open Water and Ice Fishing Laws. To help you find a fishing destination for your fishing group, check out the attached pdfs below.

By general law, South Zone lakes and ponds are open to year-round fishing, unless listed as closed with a special regulation. If one wishes to fish a lake or pond in the South Zone, check the lawbook to make sure it is not closed.

For many anglers fall is an ideal time to wet a line. The cooler temperatures, less bugs, and not to mention fall foliage views can make fishing even more enjoyable. One can also pair a day or weekend of fall fishing with bird hunting for a blast-and-cast experience.

While some rivers, streams, and water bodies closed in October, there is still plenty of fishing opportunity around the state.

Podcasts cover gamut

Have you heard about the MDIFW's newest podcast series?

When it comes to enjoying the Maine outdoors, like anything, everyone learns differently and has a different "why."

Some learn from their parents at a young age, others find a mentor as an adult, and others seek online videos to begin a passion like no other. In the department's newest podcast series, "Take Aim," host Katie Yates meets with department staff and Mainers of different backgrounds to discover their outdoor stories.

Visit mefishwildlife.com/changers to listen now or search for Fish + Game Changers on a favorite podcast app. New episodes released every Monday.

Busy time, traffic in northern Maine

A number of factors likely will increase traffic in the North Maine Woods this fall. Remember, you are not the only one there. So, how does one drive safely on privately-owned forest roads.

All roads within the North Maine Woods are privately-built and owned primarily for the purpose of managing and moving forest products. The private landowners are willing to share their roads with members of the general public in order to visit the region’s many lakes and ponds and other natural resources for the purposes of hiking, hunting, fishing, and berry picking, to name a few.

Logging trucks and other commercial vehicles have the right of way, Pull over when meeting these vehicles.

Travel at posted speeds but no more than 45 mph.

Keep to the right when approaching a corner or cresting a hill.

When dusty conditions exist, wait for the dust to clear before proceeding.

When approaching active equipment near the roadside wait for acknowledgement from equipment operators before proceeding to pass.

Stay clear. Never leave vehicles in the middle of the road when chasing partridge or moose. Do not park in front of gates or roads.

Help North Maine Woods staff by being safe and cooperative at checkpoints. While employees are wearing masks, and there are barriers between them and customers, we need others to help by wearing masks too.

Be patient at checkpoints. Many moose hunters are first-time visitors to North Maine Woods, so it takes more time to register them.

Increased hunter traffic on roads will impact workers and logging truck drivers.

Be responsible when dressing out game. Do not clean birds or moose at campsites or leave moose paunches in the roadway.

Respect other users. Trapping is perfectly acceptable in the North Maine Woods. Tampering with someone else’s trap or with an animal in a trap is a felony offense.

Respect wood workers. Entering a job site that is posted with “Safety Zone, No Access” signs may result in being banned from properties managed by North Maine Woods.

And if one encounters a forester, or other landowner representative in travels, take a minute and thank them for supporting traditional access to lands they manage. Foresters and other representatives wish everyone enjoys their visits to this region this fall. With your understanding, patience and cooperation, everyone can enjoy working and recreating in the North Maine Woods this fall.

Why is the North Maine Woods going to be so busy this hunting season?

The first week of grouse season overlapped with the first week of moose season. There were a lot of people on forest roads on the same week. Hunters should avoid major truck haul roads as much as possible.

Travelers in the North Maine Woods are reporting a significant number of partridge showing up already and word is out on social media.

The number of moose permits issued for Wildlife Management Zones 1, 2, and 4 within North Maine Woods has increased by 20 percent over last year.

Gasoline prices have impacted hunting traffic in the past, but prices are close to $2 per gallon this year, so many people will road hunt this year.

And to top that, other hunters from the U.S. are not allowed to hunt in Canada this year, so more of them will be coming to Maine.

Attention hunters: Note that the St. Pamphile tagging station located on the Canadian border in T15R15 WELS is not open for the 2020 hunting season. Hunters will need to use an alternative tagging station to tag big game.

Become game warden

The Maine Warden Service is hiring seasonal deputy game wardens.

This is certified, uniformed, law enforcement work as a member of the Maine Warden Service, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, under the direct supervision of Warden Service Personnel, protecting inland fish and wildlife resources and the safety of the public. These are part-time positions, from May 9, 2021 to the end of August.

Deputy Game Warden’s work includes:

Patrolling an assigned lake or lakes. Patrolling is usually done alone in areas where there is a concentration of boats and boating activity. While on patrol, deputy wardens will inspect boats for compliance with recreational boating rules and regulations. Patrol may be conducted on foot or by truck, boat, or canoe.

Issuing warnings and summonses, primarily on lakes, rivers and other bodies of water where recreational boating is occurring. In addition to enforcing recreational boating safety rules and regulations, Deputy wardens are empowered to enforce fish and wildlife, recreation, and environmental laws under the direction of certain warden personnel.

To be a successful deputy Maine Game Warden, an individual must possess knowledge of wildlife, hunting, fishing, trapping, and in this case boating specific operation; a strong desire to work in law enforcement; self-initiative; and a willingness to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions, oftentimes without assistance. In all cases, a deputy warden seeks to promote good public relations and compliance with all fish-and-wildlife regulations.

The hiring process is open until Dec. 20.

The Maine Warden Service also is hiring full-time game wardens.

Visit mainegamewarden.com/gethired to learn more about a career as a game warden, how to become a game warden, or to apply.

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