Fur, fish and game

Christopher Gooding
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SPRINGHILL: Despite rising fuel and food costs a respect for Cumberland County's fish and game is trumping would-be poachers.
Department of Natural Resources supervisor for the Oxford office Mike MacDonald reports there has been no noticeable increase in illegal fishing this season.
"Enforcement people are out stopping people fishing and there has not been an abnormal amount of people charged," MacDonald said.
There are two key groups of fishers that take to the region when fishing season starts up, MacDonald said. Those who come for the spring trout season and then in the fall for salmon. With one batch of anglers behind them DNR is reporting average participation along the River Philip and are not projecting a decline this fall.
"We have a lot visitors, especially from Maine, in the fall."
As the fishing season winds down and more begin to think about the fall deer season there's all the more reason for hunters to stay on the straight and narrow: the annual antlerless deer draw in the area is jumping up to 7,000 tags.
"The population is a lot higher in this zone," MacDonald said. "We see it with the number of road kills we respond to. We picked up three just today."
A string of relatively easy winters witnessed deer populations in Cumberland County skyrocket. More and more does, MacDonald said, are calving fawns that thrive in the easy conditions.
"It was a good winter that wasn't hard on them when they have their young and more survive."
The number of tags available for antlerless deer is a significant increase compared to last year's lottery for just 2,000 tags.
"We have had major problems with deer," David Sangster, executive director of the Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Growers Association, said. "I have photos of fields with as many as 50 deer in them."
It's yet to be determined what the deer population has cost blueberry growers but the increased deer population is a problem for growers right across the province. Deer leave the woods to eat the new shoots off blueberry bushes in the spring, Sangster explained, and some growers have reported sightings of as many as 100 deer in a single field making quick work of the popular export.
"We're certainly pleased DNR is looking to increase the lottery this year. It's very serious and we're looking at ways of documenting it better in the future."
Bears, too have been a problem for blueberry growers, Sangster says, but the prevalent issue is with the bee hives growers employee to pollinate the season crop.
"Bears have always been a problem. They feed on the beeries but now it's the damage they do to beehives."
Electric fences are a popular deterrent, Sangster says, but if a bear is determined and stubborn it will find a way to satisfy its sweet tooth.

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Growers Association

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Oxford, River Philip Maine

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  • ACTION
    March 09, 2010 - 09:26

    DNR...WHAT A JOKE...WARWICK SITS IN HIS OWN TRUCK IN OXFORD TRYING TO CATCH KIDS ON HIS OWN TIME...THESE GUYS ARE A JOKE AND THE THING IS...EVERYONE KNOWS IT...