Page 34 - WCM Summer 2022
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  Simply enjoy this amazing opportunity and remember if you are in Western Maine, you’re in bear country.
If you’re looking to see a bear in the wild, the odds are greatly against you, as their sense of smell and hearing is unparalleled. They will likely know you’re there well before you have a chance to see them. That said, it is still possible. Consider keeping the wind in your face, and seek places that hold blueberries in good numbers in the summertime, and you’ll be on the right track to an encounter. Morning and dusk are good times to see
a bear, but it’s possible to see one just about any time of the day. Evans Notch on Route 113 is a great place to start, as well as Evergreen Valley in Stoneham. Hiking trails are numerous, and there are several great campsites in that portion of the White Mountain National Forest.
Moose, the iconic symbol of Maine once seen often along roadsides, and even strolling through town centers, are now seen less frequently. There are still plenty of moose, but you’ll likely have to look a little harder to find one. Once you get off the beaten path, you are likely to find more evidence of them. Look for large hooved tracks, chewed browse (vegetation that is up off the ground), and the unmistakable piles of moose droppings. Moose are wanderers, and they seek new growth in recently logged areas. They prefer cuts that are 3-5 years old. They also crave aquatic
vegetation; small ponds, bogs, and swampy areas typically offer good moose activity, especially during the warmer months.
Brownfield Bog in Brownfield, Mosquito Pond in Albany Township, and Patte Brook Marsh in the White Mountain National Forest all provide good opportunities. Moose are crepuscular, meaning they move most during the early morning hours, as well as at dusk, and into the night. If you’re new to Western Maine (and even if you’re not), consider this when driving at night: moose are dark colored with lighter legs, and despite their size, are very hard to see at night. Another good chance for encounter is Route 26 through Grafton Notch to Lake Umbagog. But it’s hard to beat the Rangeley region. Travel Route
17 north from Mexico, up and over Height of Land, to Route 16, passing Cupsuptic Lake, and towards Aziscohos Lake. This will put you in the middle of some extraordinary moose country. If you’re looking to get some mud on the tires, venture off the blacktop to either Morton Cutoff Road or Lincoln Pond Road areas off Route 16. Better yet, walk them at dawn or dusk. Just be cognizant that these areas are managed by Seven Islands Land Company, and the logging trucks and equipment have the right of way.
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