Fast forward to the first week in June!
I had to abandon the post I was writing because we got hit with a flood again this year! This years flood peaked about six inches less than last years historic level. Still a level that, once again, caused damage and hardship for all involved. Most folks in the flood zone were at least a little better prepared this year but some residents were still struggling with the after effects of last years mess, myself included.
Fast forward once again to the end of August. I had to stop writing my blog after starting back up after the peak of the flood because of the tremendous amount of work on my plate. Severe flooding two years in a row and some health issues had my activities outdoors slowed down considerably. Ken and the boys didn't get hit but Jamie did have some water in his basement that needed tending.
Most of the locals I talked to felt that the flooding of the Saint John River system didn't help the fishing for most species. The late, cold spring slowed runs down by as much as two weeks. Things did seem to get back to normal in July but what is normal these days?
The 2nd Annual JDI Fishing Derby was held during the Chipman Summer Festival and attendance was doubled over last year. That means this tournament is being well received by the fishing fraternity and will continue to grow. The proceeds from this tournament goes to the Chipman Fish and Game Club to fund projects. JD Irving is the corporate sponsor for this tournament and they have spared no expense in organizing this fishing derby. Volunteers from the fish and game club were out in full force, with help from Irving's work force in Chipman. Doug Tyler was MC for the event and is always a popular speaker at the microphone. He was helped out by Jim Lawless, GM of Woodlands and Robert Fawcett, head of Corporate Relations for JD Irving. The overall tournament was a success and the weather held off until the end of the day. Tents helped to ward off the heavy rain showers and kept the closing ceremonies dry. Here is a link https://www.facebook.com/Chipman-Fish-Game-Club-217555511667995/ to the Fish and Game Club. Look for the live feed and other details of the tournament. I'm not going to go through the list of winners but I did want to mention Lucas Leavitt because he cleaned up in the youth category and also did really well in the kids derby held earlier in the summer. This young man loves to fish and it's starting to show. His name is in the winners circle on a regular basis and is someone to watch at future events. Honorable mention goes to Keith Murray and Adam Mountain for their catches. My old buddy George Palmer took third place in the yellow perch category. Congrats buddy! Here is a short clip of the storm as it hit Chipman at the end of the tournament.
We may have been dealing with a flood again this spring but we had returning bear hunters from Germany, so we were hard at it tending baits and preparing stands for our bear hunters. We run baits in three zones but this spring zones 17 and 18 got most of our attention. As usual, we had multiple bears at ALL of our baits and there were some nice boars in the mix.
Our hunting party from Germany consisted of Nils and Manfred and their lady friends. This was Nils' second hunt with us and he is an experienced and capable hunter. Manfred has had some experience hunting roe deer and hogs in his native Germany but that is the extent of his hunting experience. Nils tagged out on two nice boars by mid week of their hunt and Manfred had two very good chances early in the hunt before wounding the weirdest looking bear any of us have ever seen! This bear looks downright creepy! I'm hoping this bear survived and there may be a good chance it did. We had a team of trackers with a dog and couldn't find it after a couple hours of searching the area. Manfred had already missed a good shot at a nice bear earlier in the hunt , so when he drew some blood out of a bear, he decided to call it a day. I thought he was a very good sport about it. Manfred may have gone home without killing a bear but he had some exciting memories to share when he got back home! Here is a picture of the strange looking bear that Manfred wounded.