Conservation group aims to save one deer at a time
NEW SWEDEN, Maine — The Aroostook County Conservation Association is celebrating its 10th year of conservation-related activities in The County and will hold its next public meeting Friday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Northeastland Hotel in Presque Isle.
The group’s primary mission is to enhance and preserve the whitetail deer herd in Aroostook County; however, all species of wildlife benefit from its habitat improvement projects and the wise use of renewable resources.
ACCA board member Paul Camping said, “Our motto is ‘Helping one deer at a time,’ and as deer enthusiasts we understand the importance of good nutrition and predator management, both of which increase the winter survival rate of deer and lead to successful fawning in the spring.
“A large part of what we do involves habitat improvement projects such as the planting of food plots which are strategically located throughout The County,” he explained, noting the group has planted nearly 440 acres of food plots.
The food sources benefit deer, moose and turkeys by making sure they are well-nourished prior to winter. When winter conditions make the plots unavailable, the group offers the deer limited amounts of supplemental food consisting of a 50-50 blend of oats and barley.
“This feeding program is strictly monitored to make sure that the health and safety of the deer and nearby motorists are not jeopardized,” Camping said. “The grain we use is purchased and grown in Caribou and Frenchville and the combined cost to us over the last eight years has been nearly $20,000.”
In addition, ACCA members have planted 16,000 maple, oak, hemlock and cedar trees to improve the winter browse available within the habitat.
Among its other activities, the group works to send children to conservation camps to learn about important outdoor activities, and last year sent five youth to the Lugdon Lodge Summer Camp. ACCA donated $300 to the 2017 Presque Isle Elks Club youth fishing day at Mantle Lake, and $100 to the Sportsman’s Inc. fishing event on Madawaska Lake.
ACCA operates with a volunteer-only staff and welcomes new members. Those who care about wildlife are welcome to attend the April 20 meeting and to consider joining the group.
For additional information,visit the Aroostook County Conservation Association’s Facebook page or website at www.ACCA-Maine.org.