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Volume 7 Issue 3
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Do you have an interesting story to tell? It could be about a fishing trip with Dad or Grampa, maybe a hunting trip with some buddies or just about exploring nature with Grammie. We are always looking for good stories/pictures to publish in our paper. If you have a story that you think our readers might be interested in, then give us a call at 603-989-3093 or send a copy by mail or email to email@example.com.
On The Cover
Bobby Booth and Dylan Smith of Barre, Vermont - combined they are Db IceAdventures. Check them out on the web, monthly in The Outdoor Gazette or out on the Ice!"
Editor’s Back Porch
New Regional Shooting Facility
Devin and I attended the NH SCI Banquette this past month. What a great organization and what wonderful things they do to help promote and preserve our hunting heritage. At the banquet a gentleman came up to the podium to speak. He was brief and to the point. His excitement and passion for “his project” was more than evident as he spoke. This project is a new “regional” indoor firearms and archery shooting range. All governing bodies have approved the facility. Blueprints are made and estimates have been acquired. This completed body of work represents many hours of work done by many individuals/ members of New Hampshire’s Cheshire County Fish and Game Club (The future site of this regional indoor shooting facility). Why do I keep calling it a “regional” shooting facility? Well it is the goal of the CCFGC that this new 27000 sq foot building will be used by all levels of shooters for many things, including regional/ local col-
lege shooting matches. The hope is that with such a resource in our own back yard, that it will spur the creation of new shooting teams from
New England’s colleges and even the high school ranks. How cool
By Fred Allard
would it have been to have a high school shooting team when all of us attended high school here in New Hampshire and Vermont! I’d have dropped the ski team in a heartbeat (I’m a terrible skier but they needed
work and dreams of all those involved to fruition. Over 6 million dollars is needed to get this done! They have some money raised, but have a long way to go. I plan on helping them any way I can. If any-
a warm body to fill the last slot to form a Nordic team). Chances are there are many “regional” students that are not quite good enough to play basketball, but can shoot the lights out on the range or in the deer woods and would excel at this sport. The gentleman that spoke is the project manager. His name is Ed Csenge. I meant to speak with Ed before he left the banquet that night but missed him. Devin and I packed up our Outdoor Gazette display and headed home…I made it home and on my computer by 1:00 am. I looked at the project on the club’s website then sent an email to every officer in the club ranks. Ed got the message and we have met once now. Get to the point Fred! Ed’s speech at the NH SCI banquet was about looking for help, to raise the funds, and bring the hard
one out there can help them, and now us, every dollar, every idea to raise more dollars is needed. Look for more details coming in the April issue. Just think of the impact this will have on future northeast generations esp. when it comes to protecting our second amendment. This facility will help produce an educated, well informed and SAFE generation of American Gun owners and shooters.
Fred Allard lives in Haverhill, NH with his family. He is a Bowhunter Education Instructor, a scorer for the Northeast Big Buck Club, the New Hampshire Antler and Skull Trophy Club and the Vermont Big Game Trophy Club. He is the President of the Montshire Traditional Bowhunters. Fred can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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My name is joey Boucher and I'm 12 years old and I live in Rollinsford NH. This hunting season I shot a 331 pound (dressed) black bear in Bath, NH with my father. I used my new .308 caliber rifle and made a 102 yd. shot. This was a fair chase hunt, that a friend had helped set up. We were set up on a farmer's property where bears had been damaging his crops. After making my shot the bear ran into a corn field, we then heard the death moan. Scared to go in after it we called for help. As we entered the corn field we found that it had only traveled 15 yards. I was thrilled to see the size of my first bear!
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Joe Palmer of Barre, VT- Holds up a 2.3 pound Vermont monster Crappie. Photo courtesy of Tim French.
Life at High Altitude Train to Hunt
There are a lot of things you won’t be able to do: in pre hunt preparation, when you’re planning a trip to the West. Putting boots to the ground prior to a hunt for most people is out of the question, as 2000 miles for a scouting trip could be considered pretty extreme. There are other tools to help figure out what to expect if you have never been to an area before: Google Earth, forums, talking with parks and wildlife officers, and establishing the gear needed to accomplish your goals. While all of these things are a must, they are not nearly as important as getting off the couch and getting into the gym. Establish a routine- I see guys come into the gym and kind of waltz around from machine to machine with no set plan. With all due respect: don’t be a victim of ignorance. It’s tough to get started on a routine, especially if this is your first go around with a training regimen. There are a lot of websites you can go to www.livestrong.com, www.rockymountainathlete.com, or www.crossfit.com that have workout
plans already there, ripe for the picking. Once you find one that fits your needs, print it out and use it as a benchmark. Bring a notebook with you and write down your weights so the next time you come in you aren’t
By Cody Covey
two before your planned hunt and use that as a milestone along the way. Last year I did a Tough Mudder in Beaver Creek, Colorado which forced me to keep up with my routine. There were times along the
Squats are best served with free weights, but in a pinch a Smith Machine will do.
wasting your sets. Set a long term goal- I know that training to hunt may not appeal to a lot of people, and most people, including myself, need a little push. Find an event that falls a month or
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way when I would say, “elk season is still 5 months out and-I can get into shape a couple months before”. The only thing this mindset does for a person like me is enable them, which
of a certain weight on 3 or 4 different exercises. Try to be reasonable with these as it can be frustrating when you stop meeting them. Find a friend- everything is easier and a lot more fun if you have someone to do it with. I am fortunate enough to have a girlfriend that stays in good shape year around which gives me the perfect training partner. Not only does she help me get off my butt and into the gym but she’s also a big help when it comes to diet as she does most of the grocery shopping. There are days where you may say “I’ll just work out tomorrow.” On days like these your training partner may be able to give you that little push that changes your mind. The creatures you choose to chase are in optimum shape year around, live at altitude, don’t drink, don’t smoke, and only eat to live. Getting an edge on these critters is no easy task and isn’t for the faint of heart. Having all that pre-hunt training could end up paying dividends when you’re in the woods and it’s time to go meat mode.
Salmon, Trout, Bass Fly fishing, trolling, spinning 40 plus years experience Full or half days Master Registered Maine Guide
in turn would make my hunt harder down the road. Set short term goals- These can be as easy or as hard as your make them, as they are personal goals and only you know when you beat them. This could be as simple as running a mile with no breaks, or lifting 10 reps
Master Maine Guide Tom Rideout
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or visit our website at
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R i c h a rd Tr e m a i n e Optician
Workout 1: I use something similar to this for 6-8 weeks before switching to another workout. I would suggest pulling a couple exercises from each day as a starting point and work your way up to the complete regimen. The idea is to
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Until I can no longer Fishing is more than just a past time for many. It is a sport that can truly build bonds between people and the beautiful outdoors. In that moment it can bring individuals from all walks of life together to enjoy the simplicities of nature and her yield. We all live hectic lives and work hard, long hours. In these tough economic times we are all trying to provide for our families. We as Anglers look forward to, and cherish precious moments we get with our friends and family on the water in the great outdoors. I was very fortunate to be raised by a father who truly had a passion for the woods and water. It was in my life, as soon as I was able and will be in my life until I can no longer. For others, they have never experienced the joys and comradery of this fine sport. Introducing people to these activities is one of the most rewarding things we as sportsman and woman can do. It is one of the best feelings there is, to introduce your passion to someone else and mentor them in the skills of angling. My good friend and colleague, Chris Connolly, is one of those individuals. Chris, who was born and raised in Stoneham, Massachusetts, grew up far different than I did in Central New Hampshire. He was never introduced to fishing, specifically that of the hard water sort. My self ’s and Chris’s colleague and good friend Ryan Bonner introduced Chris to Ice Fishing in the Annual Meredith Rotary Ice fishing Derby for the first time in 2007. Chris immediately fell in love with the sport and of course the event. His good friend Ryan was an excellent mentor and well-respected fisherman. Ryan, Chris and I would talk about fishing the event from the time it constantly challenge your muscles so you don’t create muscle memory. As you get stronger you will want to add weight so that your last set brings
The mountains in the west are steep and unforgiving. Building your calves will help eliminate that deep burn while hiking. The Outdoor Gazette
ended until it began the following year. Planning, strategizing “what will we eat, what will we bring, where will we fish” we all loved it. Chris though, had never been a fisherman, he was a bit of a sophisticated “city boy”. But
By Travis Williams
While at lunch in the days leading up to Chris’s sudden and tragic death he looked at myself and Ryan and with a big infectious smile, almost giddy like a child proclaimed that this weekend the “Derby weekend” was
Chris, the authors fishing buddy and good friend, shown here with his 2012 Meredith Rotary Ice fishing Derby winner, a 22” 4.75lb. Rainbow Trout. Sadly this would be Chris's last rotary derby. He passed away unexpectedly this winter...Thanks to Travis for sharing this story about his close friend. not for that one weekend, for that one the greatest weekend of his year. weekend Chris was a “Country Boy” Ryan, Chris and I had lunch the Wednesday before the Derby and we and loved every second of it! Chris, a very smart, college educat- were all very excited about the ed, and successful businessman was upcoming event. Chris as usual was always paying attention. Every time Ryan tied a knot or set a Tip-up, Chris was there eager, and taking notes. All though he may have begun as a novice he certainly proved his skills as a tried and true Ice fisherman. Last year with more than 5,000 anglers competing in seven different categories Chris with a 22” 4.75# Rainbow Trout bested the field with the Largest Rainbow trout of the entire event. He was the lucky winner of $650.00 but it was the pride of the catch that Chris really loved. I guess you could say that with great passion, comes great success.
in great spirits and was as healthy as can be. We had NO idea that, that lunch, would be the last time we would see our friend and colleague, come Tuesday we would lose Chris to complications from influenza. At work Thursday Chris had called in sick with what we thought was just the common Flu. Ryan and I sent him E-Mails telling him to get better as we expected him on the ice with us as usual on Saturday for the first day of the Derby. Little did we know Chris had fished for the last time losing his short six-day battle with Influenza at the young age of thirtytwo. Losing Chris as a colleague and a friend is tough. He was too young and too special to be taken from us all so suddenly. The little time I spent with him on the Ice chasing the illusive fish, I will always cherish. His passion for the great sport of fishing cannot be described in words. Those of you that know what I’m talking about while reading this will just understand, others, well I invite you to share in this great sport that is fishing. A tribute to a good friend, colleague and passionate fisherman.
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you close to failure. Try to complete each workout below in 30-40 minutes, this should allow you 30-45 seconds between each set which in turn will keep your heart rate up.
Cody grew up in Corinth, Vermont and went to Vermont Techincal college where he graduated with a bachelors degree in construction management. He was born into a family of avid hunters and a love for the outdoors was instilled in him at a young age. After college he moved to Lakewood, Colorado to pursue a job as a Field Engineer in commercial construction and has lived there ever since. The rocky mountains are where Cody learned a love for elk hunting and the challenges of a western mountain hunt. He can be found hunting deer, elk and various other game in the fall and skiing the fresh powder in the winter. You can reach Cody at Cody.covey @whiting-turner.com March 2013
A Waterfowler's Perspective By Brian Bouchard
Two Hunting Dogs - Double Trouble or Double the Fun?
A lot a folks ask me about hunting with 2 dogs. I often get told that they are considering 2 new dogs but have heard getting two of the same sex and from the same litter can be a big mistake. They tell me that this is because they have heard they are harder to train and that if you try to keep them as house pets, as well as hunters, this could be disastrous. Well let me introduce you our two black labs, Tyson and Remi. They are turning 3 this April and are brothers out of the same liter. Born minutes apart. My wife & I have had them since they were 8 weeks old. They're living proof that the above mentioned disaster can certainly be avoided. These dogs are great retrievers, super obedient, and have never destroyed anything we own. Yeah they beat up the couch a bit from getting on and off 100 times a day. I truly think that by having 2 dogs along with them being brothers keeps each of them calm while we are gone. There is no anxiety because they have each other to keep them company. This is common
with households that have more than one dog. The trick to having a good hunting dog that will also be a good pet, is to
leader needs to be you. A dogs goal in life is to please it's master. So you need to establish the roles early on. You need to shower
treat them like family but let them know who the master will be. This is a must if you plan to have them obey you in the field as well as the home. Dogs are pack animals and prefer to be in groups. They need to have a leader of the pack to look to. That
them with praise and love to let them know they are part of the pack. You need to provide them with a healthy exercise regiment and maintain this exercise regiment consistently. This will get them conditioned to obey you and keep them from getting anxious and worked up from having to much energy. Feed them a healthy meal twice a day the same amount with a high quality dog food. Give them separate bowls of food. Do not let them fight over the same food source in the same bowl. DO NOT let the family treat them with junk food ever! They need to have consistent healthy treats that come from doing something correct. Not just a hand full of chips when sitting on couch or a scrap of food from the table. If 5 different people feed them 10 different items at different times for different reasons they will loose the reason they are being fed or rewarded. Feed them meals for nutrition and treats as rewards for doing what you asked them to do. Take your dogs everywhere you can together. Let them ride around with you in the truck while out scouting. Let them get out and scout the fields with you. Keep treats with you and a whistle. When you need them to get back in the truck blow the whistle, have them sit first next to truck and then have them jump in. Bring them with you when out getting permission for hunting land. This works well if the land owner is a dog lover. Don't take the dog out of the truck. Just have them with you in case the owner wants to come out and see them. If granted permission to hunt their land ask the land owner if it's ok to hunt with your dogs or if they prefer you not bring the dogs. Be sure to leave one dog at home at times and train them separately as
well. This will help them get used to not always going with you. If you don't set this behavior up early it can haunt you later if you only take one because of the lack of room for two. The one that stays home will whine the whole time your gone which won't be pleasant for the rest of the family that is home. If you are going to have two hunting dogs you need to be sure to be consistent with the training and the rewards. Do no play one against the other. Tyson & Remi have 2 totally different personalities. It's hard to believe they are brothers. Remi has energy to burn while Tyson is just strong and deliberate when he is working. If you plan to hunt with 2 dogs and they aren't accustom to being around each other it's good to let them "sniff" around a bit so that during the hunt they are not losing focus of the job at hand. Many times a young dog can benefit from hunting with a mature experienced dog. This might make for an interesting hunt so be sure your potential hunting buddies are aware of your plans. Do not bring a new dog to a hunt unless all involved are aware of what is planned. You want to make sure the other hunters don't mind that your dog is new to hunting. Hard to believe but there are some hunters out there that get upset if a new dog is in the mix. The only way a dog will learn to field hunt is to take them. It's like your first job. You can't get job experience without first having a job. Safety is very important for the hunters and the dogs. Make sure you have a first aid kit for both you and your dogs. When hunting with dogs there is always a chance for cuts and scraps. You can go online and find first aid kits that are affordable and priceless when needed. Keep in mind the temperature and the weather conditions your hunting in. You need to stay warm and so does your dogs. Cold water can be hard on your dogs. They won't complain much they will simply tolerate it. So be aware of how they are reacting to the conditions and any signs they are suffering. Be sure to allow them to warm up and get dry right after the hunt. Keep them hydrated and feed them after the hunt to have food to replenish the calories they just burned off. When traveling be sure to locate a hotel that is dog friendly. Check to see if the outfitter has a place to keep your dogs. If hunting with Fields Bay Outfitters and bringing your own dog we have a kennel that you can keep you dog or dogs
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April Turkey Hunting Workshop in Holderness
CONCORD, N.H. -- A free workshop covering the basics of hunting wild turkeys is being offered by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department on Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center at 387 Perch Pond Road in Holderness, N.H. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. To sign up for the workshop, or for more information, call 603-5363954. "Whether you're a beginner turkey hunter or a veteran looking for some new techniques, this course is for you!" said Tom F lynn, manager of Fish and Game's Owl Brook Hunter
Education Center. At the workshop, Dave Priebe, a Hunter Education instructor and Quaker Boy Turkey Calls pro staff member, will cover the basics of turkey hunting, turkey calling, turkey hunting safety and patterning your shotgun. Fish and Game Wildlife Division Chief Mark Ellingwood will talk about the natural history and behavior of wild turkeys. New Hampshire's spring gobbler season runs from May 3 through May 31. The state's youth turkey hunting weekend will take place April 27-28, 2013. Hunting licenses and turkey permits can be purchased online at huntnh.com.
in. There is nothing like having a hunting dog to join you on your hunting trips. Whether you have 1 or 2 dogs it will only make your hunt that much more enjoyable. Have plenty of patience with them and I assure you that watching them work will become the favorite part of your hunts. For more information on selecting a new hunting dog or how to teach an old one new tricks or if you plan on adding a second dog to your team
email me with questions and I will try to help or at least point you in the right direction to folks I know who know way more than me on training hunting dogs.
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I have been hunting deer and predators for over 30 years. Turkey for 15 years. Waterfowl for the past 10 years. Owner of Fields Bay Outfitters. I Live in St Albans VT with my wife Michele and our 2 sons Dillon & Kyle and our 2 labs Tyson & Remi.
Mountain Top Outfitters
To find out about course offerings at Fish and Game's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, get directions to the center, or explore volunteer opportunities at Owl Brook, visit huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_e d_center.htm.
Activities at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center are supported by federal Wildlife Restoration funds, a user-pay, user-benefit program funded through an excise tax on the purchase of sporting firearms, fishing equipment and motorboat fuels.
5-Day Newfoundland Moose Hunt - $3500.00 U.S. add a bear $300.00 more, if successful $500.00 extra 96% success rate. Bow Hunting starts two weeks before Rifle Hunting. Price includes licenses, taxes, guides, food and accommodations. Home cooked meals, hot shower, generator, electricity and satellite T.V. All meat processing and packaging are available at local butchers for extra cost.
Tel: (709) 955-2804/2500 Owner/Guide: Cell: (709) 695-8917 Art Ryan E-mail: email@example.com
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Box 162 RR#1 Doyles, NL A0N 1J0
Embrace Your Redneck Tendencies by Tina Corron
Snow in March is a Fact of Life here in New England. Sometimes we even have snow for Easter. Colorful, glossy catalogs arrive daily promoting the newest fishing equipment, updated camping gear, the latest and greatest items needed for the spring turkey hunt and of course the Victoria’s Secret Bathing Suit catalog. I peruse them all, sip some wine and once in a while I glance out the window at the snow steadily accumulating on my back deck. The weather forecast called for one to three inches; so far it looks like five or six with no signs of stopping. I can hear the steady scrape, scrape, scraping of the shovel as my husband, Dean, clears the front steps and driveway. I worry a bit about my teenaged son driving home from work on slippery roads. As I watch the snow falling, I wonder if the schools will be closed tomorrow, I start to anticipate with some trepidation the road conditions for my morning
drive. I am self-employed so I try to decide if going to work will be worth navigating icy road conditions or if I should cancel my appointments. It is like this with every storm. Carl Reiner has been quoted as saying: “A lot of people like snow. I find it an unnecessary freezing of water.” That poor man probably never
experienced the unprecedented bliss of a snow day. I kind of feel sorry for him. When I was a kid I remember anxiously waiting by the radio very early in the morning just hoping to hear the name of my school announced on the list of
school closings. My sisters and I were up early. It was the 1980’s and there were elaborate preparations involving a great deal of hairspray, followed by the argument with my parents about the wearing of a hat. No way was I going to school with the dreaded ‘hat hair’. This all occurred each morning before the school bus picked us up, at 7:00 a.m. So, on this wintery day, we needed that
school closing information early. No point in wasting perfectly good hair spray. There were three types of snow day. 1). The weather is so bad that school is cancelled the night before. This type can go one of two ways, you either get to sleep in and do what you want all day or it turns into type two. 2). The weather is so bad that school is cancelled the night before and your mother has all night to think of various cleaning chores that you will be privileged to perform all day. Or 3). The weather is pretty bad, but you got up at the regular time and were almost ready for the bus when you hear on the radio that school is canceled. This is the Ideal Snow Day, because you are already awake, your mother has not had too much time to think of ridiculous chores and you can quickly make yourself scarce so as not to give
your mother ideas regarding afore mentioned chores. One snow day I remember as a particular favorite, it was a Type 3 snow day. We were ready for school and my friend Amber was waiting for the bus with us, as she always did since she lived on a piece of land up the mountain next to a logging road. Amber’s parents were sort of ‘living green’ before that particular term was coined. We considered them a bit eccentric. They lived in a log cabin way up in the woods, there was no electricity but they had a generator to run a refrigerator, there was a gas stove for cooking, and they had a wood stove for heat. I loved going there even though it was a good two mile walk and most of that was up hill. When we heard those magical words, our school was closed, we decided to head up to Amber’s house pulling our sleds. As we started our trudge up the mountain, Mom called out the door with the finesse and volume of a drill sergeant “You girls better be back before dark. You hear me?!? I MEAN IT!!” It was cold out; I wore a hat without argument. We marched, two miles, in the snow (did I mention it was uphill?) towing our sleds to Amber’s house. I was worth the effort, though, because behind Amber’s house was a logging road that went quite a bit farther into the woods and uphill, that was our destination. We spent hours sledding that hill, it was exhilarating sledding down that hill, avoiding trees, hitting bumps and becoming air bourn, the landings were not so graceful but boy did we have a great time. It was so cold, but none of us noticed either the temperature or the time until it
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The Outdoor Gazette
started to get dark. I should mention here that my mother ran a punctual house and woe betide those who showed up late. In fact you had best be crawling on your belly with two broken legs because any other excuse was not going to fly. Come to think of it, you would be taking a huge risk with only two legs broken. My youngest sister was starting to get tired. I didn’t realize how late in the day it had become and it was nearly four o’clock. Darkness falls rapidly in the country and we were well aware of it. None of us was looking forward to having to explain to our mother why we were so late. We were just having fun and didn’t notice the time at all. As the oldest, it was my butt on the line. How in the world was I going to get all of us home before Mom blew a gasket? I remember expressing this concern to my friend Amber. She was such a problem solver. “Why don’t you just sled home?” she suggested I hadn’t thought of that. Even though we lived in the country on a dirt road, there was still traffic, not much but some and I worried about a car heading up the hill while we were heading down. “What’s worse, your Mom or
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getting hit by a car?” Amber asked. Good point. My sisters and I decided to risk death or dismemberment rather than face the wrath of our mother. We all climbed on our sleds, said goodbye to Amber and launched ourselves down the logging road. It was CRAZY FUN!! We found that we could even keep the sleds moving at a decent speed over the flat areas when we got to the ‘main road’ and just coast until the next downhill run. Aside from my sister running over her hand with the runner of a sled, it went quite well. She was a trouper ignoring her injury (it was pretty bad actually) and defying death to make it home on time. I have to say the two miles downhill was so much more fun than the two miles uphill, the sheer adrenaline rush of sledding at great speed on a welltraveled road. I bet we would have enjoyed it even more if we were not concerned about being decapitated either by low lying branches or our mother. We were so lucky, we only saw one truck and it was going slow since there was so much snow. I think the guy shouted something like “You girls are crazy!” but we were going so fast I can’t be sure. We did make it home, a couple minutes late but alive.
Frozen with cold, we put our sleds away and agreed that Mom did not really need to know how we got home, if she thought we walked home in a safe and responsible manner that was fine with us. Shelly, my youngest sister did need to have her run-over hand tended, and I did get some parental grief for ‘letting your sister get hurt’. What a day! I think it is number seven on my list of ‘best days ever’, well except for the part when my sister’s hand was injured. Right now I am relieved to see my son; Jake’s headlights reflect-
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ed in the kitchen window, he is home and safe. I hear the knocking of snow off boots and inhale the cold, sweet smell of fresh snow. Soon I will pull a shepherd’s pie out of the oven and feed my family dinner on a cold snowy night. A South Burlington, Vermont resident, formerly a “flatlander” and married to a Vermonter. She and her “Vermnter” husband have 2 sons aged 17 and 22, as well as a Brittany spaniel who behaves better than all of them. Tina was raised country and it is in her blood. Tina can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VF&W Hosts Waterfowl Info Session The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will host a waterfowl information session entitled “Boats, Blinds, and Buddies; The Waterfowl Experience” at Green Mountain Conservation Camp Kehoe in Castleton, VT on Friday, March 22 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.The event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required to attend. Game warden Rob Sterling will explain how waterfowl regulations are determined and why yearly changes can occur. He will also go over license requirements and safety issues. Fish & Wildlife biologist David Sausville will follow with a presentation on waterfowl, including identification of puddle ducks, divers, and
geese based on color, flight pattern, and size. The session will close with a presentation on duck blinds and on safely using canoes, kayaks, and motorboats while duck hunting. “Waterfowl hunters of all backgrounds will get something out of this event, but it is especially geared towards people who may be new to waterfowl hunting, or towards kids who are interested in getting into the sport,” said Sausville. The facility is located at 636 Point of Pines Road, Castleton, VT 05735. More information, including a complete listing of 2013 Camp Kehoe events, can be found at www.anr.state.vt.us/fwd/KehoeEdu cationCenter.aspx.
Mass Meanderings By David Willette
Dogs in the dunes
“I’m going to run out of ammohow embarrassing”. That was my thought as I shot at and missed the second coyote to come into our third calling spot of the day on a southeastern Massachusetts beach last month. I was invited down there by Brain Downs, a coyote hunting junkie and field-staffer for FOXPRO coyote calls as part of the research for my upcoming coyote hunting book, “Coyote Wars”. It was a great hunt, one of the best that I have ever been on, and as bad luck would have it, I didn’t run out of bullets, (I had only brought ten). And as Brain had said, we didn’t put any “fur in the truck”, but we did put lead into the air as both of us shot twice on two different sets and both of us missed cleanly. For the morning we saw six coyotes in seven calling scenarios, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the day. Everything you’ve heard or read about calling Eastern Coyotes is only semi true. Yes, they can seem difficult to call here in the East,
especially in the mostly wooded areas inland, where visibility is limited. But on the coast, and the
northeast has miles of coastline, there are plenty of coyotes to hunt, there are plenty of places to hunt them, and you’ll see plenty of coyotes while you hunt. Heck, we saw a couple of coyotes cross the road before we even started hunting. One of them, Brian kept in the headlights for five minutes at fifty yards by making squealing sound with his mouth. Like Downs said,
“I may work for Fox Pro, but I can’t sound like my FoxPro Fury GX7”. We could hear waves crashing on the beach in our first set, as we set up 200 yards from a restroom on a
public beach. Brian sat me down next to a small bush, set up the remote caller and decoy and then set himself about 50 yards beyond that. We were watching a large tree-choked swale, with large amounts of openness on each side, where Brain anticipated the coyotes would approach from. The crows were all over us the second Brian pumped up the volume on the squealing rabbit call, adding a touch of realism to our set up. Suddenly, two coyotes popped out of the far tree line over three hundred yards away and cautiously moved back and forth keeping their distance from our set up. After about 20 minutes, one of them decided to get a little closer, but then sat down, indicating that it still wasn’t convinced. Brian touched off the .204 Ruger and missed low, kicking up sand in the coyotes face. The coyote took off, and Brain gave him a quick bark to get it to stop for another shot, but by now the coyote was at the end of the rifles range and Brian missed again. We drove five minutes up the road and tried another spot. Here I didn’t see any coyotes, but Brain had one bust him at fifty yards when it came in from an unexpected direction. The third calling set was similar to the first, except that we didn’t have quite the visibility. Brain and the decoy were out of my sight, as Brain had me set up on the biggest dune in the area. After five minutes of scanning back and
forth, I noticed an object that looked out of place that I didn’t remember being there on my last pass. I had to crank the scope to nine power to confirm, and sure enough it was a coyote sitting there checking out the situation. Brian had said that when they sit down like that that they probably aren’t going to come any closer. The shot looked longer than I thought because I was shooting across a broad swale, so I held a touch over its head and let one fly. I could see the sand fly between its ears so I knew that I had overestimated the range. The coyote took off like a shot. Brain continued to call, easily changing the volume and type of call on the FoxPro, hoping to convince another coyote to show itself. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I glance over near the decoy and there was another coyote sitting there, not 50 yards from me. I slowly pivoted to get a shot, but I wasn’t far enough out of the coyote’s peripheral vision and it saw me move. He started to trot away and I touched off the .270 WSM, but I shot behind it, again seeing the sand fly, (it’s pretty neat), in another clean miss. There is a tremendous amount of opportunities to hunt coyotes up and down the coast, here in the northeast. These places are filled with deer and small game like rabbits, quail and pheasants to help attract and keep coyotes there. The coast at this time of year is totally void of tourists so there isn’t anyone around except for the very occasional local out walking his dog or going for a walk. Access is unlimited, with the numerous bike and hiking trails that weave through the landscape. Even if there isn’t a trail, the walking is pretty easy through the sand dunes. I can’t wait to get back there again with Brian. This is the most fun that I’ve had hunting in a long time. Only next time, I’ll bring more ammo. David Willette is a free-lance outdoor writer who lives in Western Massachusetts. He can be contacted through www.coyotewars.com
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Women's Intermediate Fly-Fishing Weekend
CONCORD, N.H. -Registration opens March 4 at nhbow.com for a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Intermediate Fly-Fishing Weekend on May 3-5, 2013, at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, N.H. Participants should have some flyfishing experience. Applications may only be submitted by mail. "The goal of this course is to help attendees move towards independence as fly-anglers," said Karina Walsh, who coordinates the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Let's Go Fishing Program, which teams up with BOW to present the program. The event begins with registration on the evening of Friday, May 3, and concludes at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The cost for the weekend is $295, which includes all meals, lodging, instruction and materials. Participants will stay in Rochambeau Lodge (two persons per room) at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, N.H. (alysonsorchard.com). Linens will be provided; baths are shared. Meals will be served family-style in the lodge dining room, with bag lunches provided for the two days afield. The course will cover the finer points of casting, such as accuracy,
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timing and shooting the line; reading the water and then picking a proper fly and knowing how to cast it; what to do when you catch a fish
during scheduled class time. The Connecticut River Valley provides a scenic backdrop for this event. The river and its corridor are
Connecticut River each year. The river is also home to perch, bass, pickerel, walleye, pike, shad and alewife.
– playing and releasing; and angling ethics. Participants will have the opportunity to fish both still and moving water. Attendees must supply their own rod and reel. A fishing license is not required
home to nearly 300 species of native animals. The Connecticut is a nationally recognized trout fishing river. Fish and Game helps to meet angler demand by stocking approximately 33,750 trout into the
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman programs in New Hampshire are the New by co-sponsored Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation.
Riverbank Tales Fishing Catalogs from The Past
It is catalog season again. This is the time of year when all the major outfitters send out their spring catalogs. I don’t get as many catalogs as I used to; maybe because I don’t buy as much from them as I once did. That is probably the best way to get off a mailing list, don’t buy anything. The internet is the other reason that there are fewer catalogs in the mailbox. The printed catalog may be an endangered species. Today’s catalogs lack the romance of catalogs of the past. There was a time when a catalog could take you to far off outdoor adventures. They were more like books than simple selling tools. Future generations will never know what they are missing. Old fishing catalogs have become quite collectable and some bring prices in the hundreds of dollars. I have been saving them for years, but only have a couple that might be worth anything. The ones I get in the mail now, with a few exceptions, I consign to the trash after a quick look.
Anglers older than I am will no doubt say that the real golden age
of catalogs came and went long before I came along. Anyone who has ever seen a copy of Hardy’s Anglers’ Guide will probably agree. I have a 1934 edition that gives a unique look at the past. It is
The North Country Angler has been in the “Valley” for over thirty years. We are a full service fly shop offering quality fly fishing gear and guiding. Bill and Janet’s 10 Year Anniversary as owners
2888 White Mountain Highway North Conway, New Hampshire www.northcountryangler.com Phone: 603-356-6000
by Bill Thompson about the same size as a paper back novel, the perfect size to keep in the bathroom. Most people equate Hardy’s as a fly fishing out-
fit. Not so, the little book is packed full of the “New Spinning Reels” and plenty of lures and plugs. There are also pages depicting their classic fly reels and of course bamboo fly rods. One of the more interesting pages advertises that Hardy will stock your ocean going yacht with provisions including wines and spirits. For my money it is the wonderful color plates of flies that make Hardy catalog so great. This is another thing that seems to be disappearing from catalogs. There was a time when they all featured pages of pictures of flies in full color. Just the other day a customer was in the shop looking for a pattern bible for salmon flies. Unfortunately I was unable to come up with a current book to meet his needs, all of the good ones are out of print. Fortunately I was able to help out by giving him an old copy of a Hunter’s catalog that had at least at least a half page of color photos of Atlantic salmon flies. Another catalog in my collection is the Big Little Book of Fishing. This was put out by Abercrombie and Fitch in 1968 when the company sold sporting goods to real men and women. It is interesting to note that the catalog contains
no pictures of nearly necked young men or women. What the catalog does have is pages of great fishing equipment. Should you have been smart enough to have invested in quality fishing gear in 1968 you could have retired by now, in relative luxury; how about a Payne fly rod at $235 or an Orvis Battenkill reel at a $100. Hardy Light Weight fly reels were selling for around forty bucks. A&F and Orvis spinning reels were selling for less than thirty bucks. When A&F was in its heyday it was the place to be outfitted for any outdoor adventure from the local trout pond to African big game hunts. Teddy Roosevelt outfitted his trips there. There are several pages devoted to safari clothing for gentlemen and ladies. One other thing missing from today’s catalogs is the great art work that once graced their covers. Remember the great pictures that used to be on your LL Bean Catalog? I have a copy from the fifties with the cover showing a hunter in a country store obviously retelling the story, to the owner of the store and the assembled customers, of the mornings fox hunt. He is raising his weapon and there is a dead fox on the floor at his feet. It is a good bet that this cover would not set to well with today’s LL Bean customer. The latest Bean catalog I got in the mail was all ladies fashions. Well, I guess that it is a whole lot easier to go to your computer these day’s and “Google” up what you’re looking for, but I for one would rather take a good old fashioned catalog to the bathroom with me then my lap top. Originally from Maine, Bill Thompson, with his wife Janet, lives in Freedom and owns North Country Angler fly shop in North Conway. He has been fly fishing for more than 30 years and is a licensed NH Fishing Guide. He has fished all over New England, in Canada and out West, but claims the Saco as his “home river.” He also writes a column for a local paper as well as articles in national fly fishing magazines. Bill’s email is email@example.com.
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Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel By Stan Holz
Here We Go Again … We’re All Now “Evil” Gun Owners
Well, it didn’t take too long after the horrendous Newtown school massacre for the anti-gun rhetoric to start. I guess that was to be expected, especially since one of those nasty Bushmaster “weapons of war” was used in the crime. Many politicians and the media are working very hard to paint anyone who has an interest in what they call “assault weapons” or “weapons of war” as a “gun nut” who has no right to own these “weapons of mass destruction.” As outrageous as these claims are, too many people are simply accepting these wild accusations and claims as fact. It seems the loudest voices are those with the least knowledge of what they’re talking about. Emotions trump facts every time. We are going to have a rough time of it. There are numerous anti-gun measures that have been taken off the shelves and will, at some point, be presented to Congress. The president has formed a commission on gun
violence which will soon be making recommendations for new restrictions. Oddly, not one progun voice sits on that commission. The anti-gun proponents are
doing is attempting to present hunters as the only legitimate voice of the gun owning public. Joe Biden, who chairs the new commission, has even said he will reach out to hunters. When
also using a “divide and conquer” strategy. What they are
discussing guns, I constantly hear the “Can this gun be used for hunting?” question being posed by the anti-gunners. I have even heard some supposed hunters saying they can’t see any reason to own “assault rifles.” Well, guess what? Your hunting rifle, if it’s a semi-automatic, probably IS an assault rifle under the proposed definitions! Aside from the fact that hunting has absolutely nothing to do with our second amendment rights, the guns on the proposed ban lists include many sporting rifles … even .22’s. While some of the new proposals may actually be helpful, some are simply mind boggling. The worst, like Dianne Feinstein’s new scheme, will actually ban
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the possession of all semi-automatic rifles and pistols that are capable of accepting a removable magazine. Even the old M1 Carbine of World War II fame is on her ban list. Existing guns will be grandfathered, but their owners must register them as if they were machine guns. No transfer or sale of those guns or their magazines would be allowed, and the guns and magazines would be destroyed upon the owner’s death. Since few of these guns, and none of the magazines, are currently registered, my expectation is that compliance would be near zero, making criminals of all of us. The bill will be introduced on January 22nd so, by the time you read this, we’ll know who well received it turns out to be. It is such an offensive piece of legislation, that I can’t believe it will garner much support from any but the most vehement anti-gun supporters. Other proposals deal with the mental health issues in this country, and how they affect gun violence. Yet another deals with the mail order sale of ammunition, and another tries to close what is referred to as the gun show “loop hole.” I expect those to be discussed and debated, but none of them directly impacts our right to buy and own firearms. I’m sure there will also be some proposals to ban high capacity magazines, as well as rifles that look like military weapons … but aren’t. For some reason that I never quite understood, ten rounds has become the socially correct amount of rounds one should have in a
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magazine. I don’t know why numbers like five, or fifteen, or twenty never come up, but ten seems to be the magic number. The logic is that fewer people will be shot in mass murders if the shooter only has ten rounds in his magazine. This can only make sense to someone who has never fired an actual gun. First of all, mass murders are rare in this country. When they happen, they can be devastating, but they are anything but commonplace. Has the concept of carrying more than one magazine ever been considered? Would a crazed individual bent on murder be any less lethal with twenty ten round magazines than he would be with ten twenty round ones? Ah, they say, but he would have to reload more often! No he wouldn’t, because all the magazines would already have been loaded. Dropping an empty magazine and inserting a new one takes seconds, not minutes. The entire argument against high capacity magazines is based on nothing more than a poor understanding of how guns work. In spite of this, I know we’ll keep hearing about how hunters don’t use high capacity magazines, therefore nobody should. Regarding “assault rifles”
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themselves, understand that they are simple semi-automatic rifles that are magazine fed. Their cosmetic features differ from most standard sporting rifles, but they function the same. They fire one shot only, with every pull of the trigger. Any new ban will do exactly what the old 1994-2004 one did; it will ban names and cosmetic features. Was the country any safer because bayonet lugs and collapsible stocks were banned from production? I recently watched Chuck Schumer claim that the old ban was effective because the crime rate dropped 6.7% while it was law. He was correct. What he neglected to mention was the fact that the crime rate had been dropping before that law was enacted, and it continued to drop after it expired. The crime rate continues to drop, and our crime rate with guns is at an all time low. In the meantime, our country has entered a national gun buying frenzy. So many people were so taken aback by all the antigun diatribes, that gun stores have been swamped. People are afraid that they won’t be able to buy guns in the future, so they are rushing out and stocking up on everything they can get their hands on. Magazines and AR
style rifles were quickly cleaned out, followed by handguns and ammunition. Brownells reported that a 3 ? year supply of magazines was sold out in 72 hours. Wholesalers were sold out of everything, which created shortages at the retail level where customers were finding empty shelves. As I write this, my own store is sold out of almost all magazines, most ammunition, all “assault” style guns, and most handguns. I do not have a single box of .22LR ammunition in the place, nor one box of 9mm pistol ammo. Quite frankly, I have never seen anything like this. I administer my business’ FaceBook page. The week after Newtown, we had nearly 14,000 “hits” on our page! Most of the people who posted comments were supportive and pro-gun, but not all. I was called a mercenary, shameless, and a seller of WMD’s by various posters. I was actually blamed for the murders of children. At that point I issued a warning and started deleting the most offensive posts and banning certain users. I have never had to do that before, but the emotions triggered by the school shootings were beyond reason for some people. So, yes, we will all be under pressure these coming months.
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Those of us who enjoy shooting military style rifles or high capacity pistols will now be the scum of the earth. We are the bad gun people, the gun nuts. Only hunters who use single shots and bolt action rifles, or hunt with shotguns, will be good people. Just remember, virtually every bolt action rifle out here is based on the military Mauser rifle .. a “weapon of war.” They may only come after our semi-automatics now, but what if they go after every “weapon of war?” Gun owners have to stick together on this. If the opposition succeeds in splitting our ranks into hunters and non-hunters, making hunters “good” and non-hunters “evil”, we will all lose everything we hold dear. I’ll just keep hoping that cooler heads prevail, and Congress will not let raw emotions dictate firearms policy for the rest of us. Stan Holz lives in Whitefield, NH and, with his wife Sandy, has owned and operated Village Gun Store there since 1974. He invites everyone to stop and visit. Aside from his interest in firearms and shooting, Stan is also involved in amateur astronomy, photo-graphy, ham radio and scuba diving. He can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Tracks Hurricane Hunt - Part II
I sat on the privy atop the open knoll in the woods behind our camp, and quietly scanned the forest around me. My gun sat propped against the tree next to me, in case I happened to spot a buck walking the trail that I knew crossed in front of me at the far edge of the terrain I could see from my “stand” on the knoll. After the deer ran by the tent, I was taking no chances. As the outhouse had no walls, I was kind of, well, “exposed”. I once read in a book, or several books, on disasters and rescues that accidents happen when a multiple number of factors go wrong all at once and combine to create an environment where catastrophe occurs. For example, if you are hunting and get lost, you will probably be OK. However, if you get lost, break both ankles scrambling through some rocks, and then get hit with a blizzard, things start to look very grim. It was this type of possible sequence of events that was running through my mind as I
By Brian Lang
sat evaluating our predicament of isolation in the back country with an approaching hurricane. To get ourselves back to town, we needed to navigate two shallow, rocky rivers and then make our way back down the lake, which could get very rough. To make the trip relatively quick and fast in the boat, we needed it very light, so would not be able to bring much equipment. Normally making this trip, we risk being stranded by a mechanical malfunction, hitting a rock, or very bad weather. In that case, we can shelter in place with all the supplies we have with us. Our rationale was that in our current situation, while trying to make a mad dash back to town, something could break or go wrong. Then we would be stuck with very little supplies, or an injury, and an approaching “superstorm”. I walked back to the tent and talked it over with Dad. We were both more comfortable trying to hunker down and ride out the storm right where we were. I cast
an angled glance, though, up to the crown of the towering, peaceful pines overhead and had thoughts
ridgelines, and then the edges of the balsam swamps and feeding areas in the diminishing light. It
Shelter from the storm, a nostalgic night in the Adirondacks.
of pictures I had seen of some strong storms that swept through these mountains in the past, leaving the woods looking like a giant game of pick- up sticks. Still, statistically I was safer than driving on the highway, right? Committed to our plan, we decided to preemptively move our sleeping gear and other supplies into the nearby lean to, rather than scrambling in the dark to retreat from the tent if we thought it had gotten too windy. Whatever our chances were, they must have been better in the solid log structure rather than the tent. It is actually a very old lean-to, in a sad state of disrepair, and has been abandoned by the state since it lies in a designated wilderness area. It is not to be replaced when it is finally no longer useable. This was the shelter my dad had stayed in when he first began hunting in the area 30 years ago. He survived blizzards and sub zero temperatures camping primitively in this shelter, and it was pretty nostalgic for him as he prepared to settle into it again. The roof was leaky, and a tarp had been stretched over the peak of the grey, weather wood shingles. The clumps of moss growing on the shingles blended with the woodland camouflage pattern of the tarp. We left it in place, and took the time to add a new one right over the top of it giving us two layers of protection. Then we went hunting. With the approaching storm, I thought there was the possibility of heavy deer movement. I spent the next several hours prowling the
was getting dark, with the wind picking up, and a light rain was starting to fall through the clattering limbs high up in hardwoods when I approached a spot a few hundred yards from camp that we refer to as the “T”. It was funny though, this year we had a discussion on why we call it the “T”, and discovered we had different ideas on exactly what about the spot comprised the actual “T”. As I came to the top of a rise in the increasingly stormy low light, I suddenly saw deer tails jumping in front of me. I made a quick scan of the bounding deer, looking for antlers, and then saw a lone deer standing still in the open, only 25 or 30 yards away. I had my gun on it instantly and saw it was a doe. The big, healthy deer glanced around at the blowing brush, probably not quite sure what had spooked them, and made a slow graceful hop into the protection of some thick brush. I trudged along then, back toward camp, and in the same exact direction the deer had ran. After moving about 50 yards ahead, I stood in the brush talking to Dad on the radio. It was pretty much dark, as I could only see maybe 10 yards or so in front of me clearly, but I heard movement in the brush. Then I saw the slow, nervous movement of a deer raising its tail right in front of me. The gray color of the deer against the brush in the darkness made it invisible, but the white of the tail stood out. The deer stayed put a moment, stomping its foot, then
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lowered its tail again. I waited, but did not know if it walked off. I kept moving back toward camp in the darkness, and every few yards this deer flashed its tail and took a few hops in front of me, always moving straight away in the same direction I was going. I then moved out into a small open area in the brush, and suddenly stumbled and gasped in surprise as the deer exploded in the dark just off my left shoulder, touching distance away! Again it stopped just about 20 feet in front of me. I could’ve pulled my flashlight and tried to get a better look, but I grabbed a deer call from my pocket instead and made a grunt. Maybe this wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I figured this deer already thought I may be another deer, and I could talk to it. I blew the grunt call, and a second later, the deer gave a low, pleading bleat and moved off into the darkness for good, no longer in my path. I then turned on my light picked my way through the brush back to camp. We fixed supper as usual in the tent on the woodstove, basking in the warmth, and having some beer. The tent was alive with the hiss of the propane lantern, the crackle of the stove, and the political commentary on the radio in the background. It is the only station we get, but usually interesting to listen to since we are always in camp the week of elections. After eating, we gathered our remaining odds and ends for the night and walked softly in the dark over the now damp blanket of pine needles to the leanto. The tent was now quiet and dark behind us with everything shut down. The only sound was the increasing wind roaring in the trees overhead. It felt like we were leaving a ship to get in the life raft. We lit a fire in front of the leanto with some kindling and wood we had stashed earlier, and hung the lantern from a beam overhead. It was cozy, like a tiny log cabin. In our sleeping bags, we read a little while with light from our headlamps and the lantern. Later, before going to sleep, I lay quietly in the lean to, looking above my head at the weathered log structure with many carvings and writings, initials and short messages accumulated over decades from countless back country travelers. The wind had begun blowing in big gusts now, leaking through the cracks between the logs. The smoke from the fire rode erratically on the swirling wind into the interior of the shelter, stinging my eyes slightly as I drifted off. I woke only a few times during the night to the sounds of heavy rains pounding the roof, and roaring gusts of wind howling in the trees and tugging at the edges of the tarp we had tied on the roof. It stayed put though, and thankfully
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we never heard any thunderous cracks of splintering wood. In the morning there were only some very small limbs scattered about the area, but later on in the woods we found some more significant trees that had blown down, including some at the site where we normally set up camp. One spot I hunted that following day was actually scarier than anything during the night. There were several blow downs already, and I witnessed a few large limbs crash down through the spruces, so I made my way quickly out of that area. Still- hunting along a steep hillside, Dad snuck up on a small buck. The 4 pointer simply stood up out of his bed as Dad crept along. He had his gun on the broadside deer immediately and could have easily shot it. After a few minutes the deer bounded off, somewhat confused and probably looking for another place to nap. Dad dreamed up a point system of sorts, like “catch and release” hunting. 1 point for seeing a deer, 2 points for being able to shoot a doe, 3 points for seeing a buck, and 4 points for getting a shot at a buck. “So, I have like, 12 points then” he mused, “because I could have shot that buck three times.” “Yeah, but wait” I protested, “Did you or the buck move at all during your ‘three’ shots?” “No” he replied. “Then that doesn’t count!” I argued. “Otherwise you could just pretend to pull the trigger an unlimited amount of times as the deer stands still, racking up ‘points’, although you created no real additional opportunities.” We had a good chuckle, working out the kinks of the new “game”. It was nice to have some action to talk about. We had one more hunting day left, and with the anxiety of the storm having “blown over”, I was focused 100 percent on the mature buck that had left sign on a distant ridegtop. The next day dawned cloudy and rainy, and I was thrilled. It was perfect for sneaking around in the woods undetected. I eagerly left the tent before dawn and climbed to the top of the closest hill, my pathway to hop across to the next ridge later in the morning. I sat for an hour in a stand where Dad had once shot a large buck, jumped another that we believe I ended up shooting, and we had both seen lots of other deer and sign. After it was fully light, and I started getting chilled (I was dressed lightly since I planned on moving around most of the day), I stalked carefully across to the other side of the ridge where I could see down below. I peeked slowly over the steep lip of the ridge, and spotted a deer, just 20 yards away and below me. As I brought the gun up
smoothly and carefully, I spotted the spikes on his head, deep brown in color with a slight curve, the tips approaching the top of his ears. He had no idea I was there as he fed on the moss hanging off the branches of a fallen tree. He lapped the moss hanging off the tree with his tongue, the way the dog licks the plates in the dishwasher if you don’t shoo her away. I said “pow” under my breath as the cross hairs settled on his chest, then brought the gun down slightly, and scanned the woods for more deer. Seeing none, I wanted to play a bit with this deer, so I grunted at him. He ignored the first one, but at the second “uurrrp”, his head shot up and he took a quick couple steps toward me, then staring in my direction, frozen perfectly still. He stayed there until at last he bounded away; clearly nervous since the sound was right in front of him and he could see there was no deer there. It was a great close encounter, and 4 points, I guess. Full of confidence, I crept and peeked over another 20 ridges like that, every time expecting to see a deer feeding in the rain, hopefully wearing a heavy rack on its head. I made a large loop throughout the day, and in the afternoon I approached the peak I had found on the first day with large, fresh rubs and a couple of scrapes. It
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was raining, with a slight breeze in my face. Everything was just right, the deer was here. I could feel it. I moved up the last pitch in ultra slow motion, the only thing moving was my legs, one short, careful step at a time. It started pouring rain, pounding relentlessly on my shoulders, drops falling like a little waterfall off the brim of my GoreTex hat. I moved up to where I could just peek my head up to see the plateau at the top, and just as I snuck my first look I saw a large deer’s hind end, white tail held high, take one silent bound over the far lip of the ridge and was gone. “Unbelievable!” I thought. The deer must have been looking right at me when my head stuck up over the edge. Maybe he heard something, or caught a whiff of me if the wind swirled, or maybe it was just bad luck, and he happened to be looking my way. I felt like I was hunting pretty well, but that’s hunting. Sighing in frustration, I moved as quickly as I could to the opposite side of the ridge, and angling towards the direction I saw the deer moving. It’s a long shot, but there’s always a chance of spotting the deer if they stop to try and figure out what spooked them. After moving a bit, I stopped and
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For rates and information call 207-486-9308 email: email@example.com www.sturtevantpondcamps.com and on Facebook
Anchor Points The Road Back to Competitive Archery
So, here it is the beginning of March, the winter days are getting shorter and signs of spring are starting to show up. It’s been a long nine months since my shoulder surgery. I’ve encountered a few highs as well as a few lows during the recovery process. In early January I decided it wasn’t possible to shoot in any archery leagues this winter. I didn’t have enough strength and I still had a fair amount of pain in my shoulders and arm while holding and executing a shot. Instead of shooting in a league I figured it would be best for me to familiarize myself with the whole shooting process since I’d been away from it for almost two years. In the process, I could analyze and critique my strengths and weaknesses, which would display the areas I have to work on to get back to a place where I feel that I can compete near or at the same level I did before surgery. My first week of shooting brought out a lot of positive feelings. I didn’t expect to be able to hold the bow very still while aiming since I hadn’t used any of the muscles necessary for shooting in a very long time. I made a goal of keeping all the arrows in the white on a 5-spot 300 round target and everything in the yellow on a 450 Vegas target. If I could accomplish those two things I knew I would have a realistic chance of getting back to a place that used to seem almost effortless and easy. I knew I would encounter a lot of peaks and valleys, too. During the first week I was amazed how steady my sight pic-
ture was while executing the shots. In past years I had always shot around 51 pounds during the indoor season. This year I
By Todd Mead
dot was still enough to let me know it wouldn’t take long before I got back to an acceptable level of accuracy.
This is the target from the most recent 450 round I've shot. I've come a long way since surgery!
dropped the weight down to 43lbs so I could comfortably draw the bow and shoot for a while without tiring out. To my amazement the sighting dot settled right into the center of the target and had very little drift before the shot exploded. Although all of the arrows didn’t find their way to the center, my
The first Tuesday of indoor winter league came quickly. Since my dad was shooting in the league and there was extra space on the line I asked if I could shoot a round with the guys. As would be expected, they all welcomed me back with open ar ms. I had dominated the indoor league in this club for the
last 20 years. In that time frame there had only been one year I didn’t win the league and that was the year I didn’t participate due to some other commitments. Over the 20 years I shot only two arrows out of the white on the 5-spot 300 round, too. It felt good to be toeing the line that I used to own. As one end led into the next some frustrations began creeping in. What used to seem so easy was now very difficult. I felt like I was making good shots and they still weren’t landing in the middle of the X. The harder I tried the worse I made it, or so it seemed. In the past I never wanted the shooting to end. On that first night this year I couldn’t wait to shoot my last arrow. I was worn out both mentally and physically. On the 450 round I’ve always averaged around a 448, so I’m not used to missing the 10-ring too often. After the first couple of ends I stopped counting the number of misses because I knew they were adding up quickly. Finally, after everyone was done shooting, packing their gear in their cases, and heading out the door, I summoned up enough courage to look at the score sheet. Timidly I glanced at it. Not knowing what to truly expect I was quite surprised to see my name followed by the score of 432. Although my average for a number of years had hovered around two points from perfect, the score on the sheet was my new starting point. I would have to use that as a starting gage. I rolled the target up, put in in my case, and saved it. It doesn’t look too terribly pretty
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next to all of the targets I have which were perfect scores, but it serves as a source of motivation and accomplishment at the same time. The first year I ever shot indoors I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. That year I ended up averaging about a 405 on the 450 round. I was quite satisfied and impressed with my performance. Within a year I was shooting in the 440s and before long I went into the high 440s and stayed there until I could no longer shoot my bow. Looking at the starting point I have now it feels good to know I don’t have as far to go this time as I did all those years ago when I was fumbling around while
learning how to shoot the correct way. At least I have the foundation built now, so that part of the equation doesn’t have to be addressed. All I have to do is find a way to practice a limited amount of time while finding a way to shoot through pain. Since I can’t shoot all the arrows I once did, I realized I have to find better ways to practice. I have to make every single shot count. That’s why I chose to take a different approach than I did in the heyday of my competitive shooting career. Back then I would shoot as long as I could. If I was shooting well I kept shooting and I would cut it off short if I struggled. Now, I do what I can and I try to shoot the best I can
when I have the time to shoot. Instead of going to the range every day and pounding out arrows I now do it at my desk at work and while riding in my truck. With both hands on the steering wheel I imagine all the sights and sounds of the range. I feel the people around me and hear what they’re saying. I listen for the arrows hitting the target and I watch myself executing perfect shots. I see my arrow headed to the target after the shot breaks and I see it fall down through my scope and slowly glide into the X. I see the center of the paper getting punched out and I watch the tiny particles from the paper fall to the floor as the round comes to a close. I do
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this over and over every day. Although I’m not back to the level I was at before surgery I’m already there on the mental level. We all know that in order to achieve great things we have to have a vision of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. My vision travels with me every day. As I long as I can see and feel the sights and sounds in my mind I’ll believe I can accomplish anything I set out to do. Todd is the author of Backcountry Bucks and A Lifetime of Big Woods Hunting Memories. You can catch up with him on his website: www.toddmead.com He resides in Queensbury, NY.
The Gazette’s Hunting and Fishing Solunar Tables
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Outdoors with Anita Shed Hunting: A Sign of Spring
I enjoy the wintery outdoors although its bitter grip is starting to ease. Snow still lies deep on the ground but warmer temperatures bring hope for spring. Late winter is a time when whitetail bucks shed their antlers. Shed antler hunting provides an opportunity to spend time in the woods, walking deer trails. I enjoy collecting shed antlers; it is much like the Easter egg hunt ritual I enjoyed when my children were young. The prize is not an egg, but rather, a shed deer antler. Antlers serve a key role in deer reproduction. The main purpose of antlers is to attract does for mating. Antlers are boney tissues that grow from two base points, called pedicles, on top of a buck’s head. As the antler grows, a soft tissue, known as velvet, covers the antlers and feeds nutrients to the growing bone structure. The whitetail buck's antlers grow larger each year until it reaches approximately 7 1/2 years of age. By early September, the velvet dries and is shed. Now the mature antler's bony structure is ready for the
autumn mating season. During the mating season, the buck displays his antlers to a doe and uses them to become the dominant male. The bucks spar with each other. They use
their antlers to fight one another continuously to establish dominance and claim does for breeding. Antlers are also used for protection against predators. This fighting causes physical exhaustion which depletes their bodies. Shedding their antlers allows them to blend in with does, protect-
Homemade Mint Hot Chocolate for two By Bill White
Nothing takes the chill off of a winter's day better than a cup of home-made hot chocolate. To add a special punch to it, I really like adding some fresh mint leaves.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips 2 cups of whole milk 1/2 cup of heavy cream 1 real vanilla bean 5 sweetmint leaves (and 2 sprigs as a garnish if you like) 1 tablespoon powdered white sugar Get a saucepan and add your cream and milk to it. Put it on medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Next, add the mint leaves and turn off the heat. Let it sit for around 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the mint leaves, put the saucepan back on medium heat and once you have it simmering again, add your milk chocolate chips. Use a whisk and stir evenly to mix the chocolate chips into the milk and cream as they melt. Add your vanilla bean at this point. I cut mine in half, then scrape out the vanilla inside of the bean with my knife. Continue whisking, to evenly distribute your ingredients. Last, add in the tablespoon of white sugar, mix it in well. Pour into your favorite mugs, and optionally garnish with a sprig of mint leaves if you like. Page 22
By Anita Williams
ing them from predators. If the antlers were not shed, the weakened deer would be vulnerable to attacks from wolves and coyotes. The buck experiences a huge drop in testosterone during the shedding process. He no longer has a drive or
need to fight. The shedding process does not cause discomfort for the buck. The tissue beneath the antler and the pedicles gradually disintegrates, causing the antlers to loosen. Then the antlers are ripe, and fall off. Antlers are a renewable resource. Deer do not grow antlers year-round. The buck grows a completely new set every spring and summer. The process of shedding antlers takes two or three weeks occurring late winter to early spring. The amount of time a buck retains his antlers depends upon his nutrition and genetics. New antlers will grow in the spring to prepare for a new mating season. Big bucks will most likely shed both antlers in close proximity to each other. Then, the buck will start the antler regeneration process, which takes all summer. It doesn't take long for antlers, once they are shed, to get buried in fresh snow or under leaves. Collecting shed antlers requires some of the same skills and knowledge I use when hunting. I look for antler parts, not the entire antler, and only on an overcast day so that the light colored antlers stand out more clearly. Shed antler hunting is similar to deer hunting: It may involve long hours of searching the woods, only to be left empty-handed. I enjoy the walk in the woods, and need to remember to be patient as not every shed hunting outing will result in a prize. Look for fresh deer droppings on the trails. When searching for deer bedding areas, keep in mind that bucks and does typically separate in winter, and it's the buck's spot I seek. Single urine holes burned into the snow indicate does, whereas bucks spray when they urinate. I walk slowly, almost as if trying to sneak up on an antler. I methodically check the trails so I
don’t miss an antler tip peaking through the leaves or snow. I am on the lookout for deer rubs on trees, where the buck tears up the bark. I also like to see large size and depth in deer tracks. All are signs that big bucks live in this area. A buck’s home range is generally one square mile of territory. I take notes for fall deer hunting. If I don't see the buck until next year, I will have a good idea where to find him. This is a great area to hang a stand for hunting season. I find most antlers in bedding areas, heavily used trails, and feeding areas. Today, while walking along the buck trail, I see an antler. I, with one motion, scoop the shed antler, smile, and silently congratulate the buck on surviving another hunting season and brutal winter. The shed antler trophy is added to the collection. I, like a lot of other hunting enthusiasts, use these shed antlers in my trophy room décor. The object of natural beauty sits on my fireplace mantle. I pour a cup of hot chocolate, to warm up, after a
long day’s walk in the woods. The fire light glows on my newly found shed. As an adventurous deer enthusiast who wants to learn more about deer and their habits, I find this is a great time to be in the woods. Anita lives in Grand Rapids, MN and is the mother of two adult children. She has been a hairstylist for thirty years. Her empty nest allows time to pursue interests of photography, bowhunting, fishing, travel and food. You can follow her on facebook , youtube and huntervids.com. Anita lives in Grand Rapids, MN and is the mother of two adult children. She has been a hairstylist for thirty years. Her empty nest allows time to pursue interests of photography, bowhunting, fishing, travel and food. Follow her on facebook and watch her videos @ "http://www.huntervids.com /?videos=northern-pike-spearfishinganita-williams-pokegama" http://huntervids.com/?videos=northern-pike-spearfishing-anita-williams-pokegamaThe Outdoor Gazette
scanned the woods, but never spotted the deer again. Later that evening, Dad spotted the body of a large deer in the area it ran to, but never got a look at the head. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometimes, but I’ve got a good idea where to start next year. As I made my way back down the ridge, the rain continued cascading down onto the hardwood ridge, the heavy drops splattering against the broad, flat surface of the saturated leaves creating a low, constant clattering noise in my ears. It became very foggy, and at times had trouble seeing more than twenty yards or so. I slid down a steeper pitch in my rubber boots, just about surfing over a smooth rock covered in a thick layer of wet leaves. Looming ahead of me in the fog, I saw a giant grey boulder about the size of a single car garage. There were a couple of small trees growing tentatively from the accu-
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mulated dirt and leaves on the top. Because of its size, there was a large section of the ridge just on the other side completely hidden from my view, yet only about 30 yards away. As I approached in the fog, the constant noise of the rain pounded in my ears. I’m sure they were playing tricks on me, but I swore I could hear talking, kind of distant and full of static, like a radio with poor reception. I froze in place, standing quietly and listening intently. I heard it come and go in waves, softer than louder, the voices with background noise, like a group of people eating a meal or doing dishes. My imagination ran wild, and I began thinking of what could be just on the other side of that boulder. A group of hunters camped out on a remote ridge? I thought of the images in the paintings and old pictures of the loggers and woodsmen who roamed these mountains
freely, long ago. I thought of how hunting in these woods, which remain unchanged other than by nature’s forces, can essentially transport you back in time. If I poked my head around the boulder, maybe I would spot a small group of hunters or loggers, wearing wool clothes such as mine, rustling up a midday meal over a small fire and discussing their days adventures, while tucked up under the lip of that giant boulder, taking shelter from the storm. There was nothing so dramatic behind that rock, thankfully. My ears were clearly playing tricks on me after 7 hours of hearing nothing but the steady hammering of the rain against the ground. It would have been pretty spooky if there were any of those old pots and stove pieces there, though. I headed back wearily towards camp feeling like my wet coat was an extra ten pounds on my back.
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We almost felt silly about how much we worried over the storms approach, but we’re very thankful to have had no trouble. Others were not so lucky. On our little radio in the tent we listened in awe to the reports from New York City and New Jersey, and our hearts go out those who got hit with the worst of the storm. Everyone always remembers exactly where they were for any major event, and for hurricane Sandy, we were in the woods. Brian Lang lives with his wife, Michelle and two children Megan and Ben in Reading, VT. Brian grew up in VT and started enjoying his outdoor pursuits at a very young age. He is an avid hunter, fisherman, camper, and hiker and hopes to give his kids the same wholesome upbringing he enjoyed in the New England outdoors. When he's not outside, he works as an MRI Technologist. He can be reached at Bclang78@gmail.com.
The Captain’s Corner By Matthew Trombley
The up and down sea saw of this winters weather continues, from three or four day stretches of sub zero temps, to days above freezing with rain that has settled or eliminated snow pack in some areas. You wouldn’t get folks in the coastal regions of New England to believe it, as the February Nor’Easter that crippled southern New England fell on the weekend of the Worcester Ma. hunting & fishing show & cancelled our plans to drive down & check it out. I made for a rough weekend of travel in most of the northeast and certainly greatly diminished attendance of many outdoor shows. With the closing of the Harrisburg Pa. show (that was supposed to fall on the same week) it has made a hardship for many outfitters & charter captains that count on these trade shows to encounter many of the upcoming years perspective clients. That being said if you have interest in booking a trip of any sort in the upcoming year, be sure to contact your guides or outfitters from
years past and see how their seasons are shaping up! We have been busy getting things
A 95" shed found this month on one of our Illinois properties!
back in order with our sister busi-
MOUNTAIN DEER TAXIDERMY With over 20 years of experience in taxidermy, we pride ourselves in our ability to preserve your trophy to look as it did in its natural habitat. We work annually on about 300 mountings and presentations of many varieties of wildlife; deer, bears, moose, coyotes, fox, fisher, turkeys and more. We also work on animals from other parts of the globe including Africa. In addition to being entertaining, the stories of the hunters who are our cus tomers provide information allowing us to suggest possible ways to present and mount the trophies that they have bagged. Our high quality work can be seen by our many repeat customers that seek out our services. The presentation of your trophy can be head wall mounts or full body depictions. We are also the State of Vermont Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Big Game Reporting Station. A specially designed outdoor scale system with tall vertical clearance is also provided for easy weigh-in of all species.
Call Rodney or Theresa Elmer 1308 Loop Road - Northfield, VT 05663
ness, - Foothills Outdoor Expeditions, which is the consulting agency we began over six years ago. Our web site is getting a much needed over haul to get new and up to date infor-
mation about all of the outfitters we represent, with new photos, better graphics & links to our charter business and wool clothing line. We represent over 20 outfitters across the US, Canada & Africa! Everything from Mid West Whitetails, Rocky Mountain Elk, South Africa Kudu, even monster Alaskan Moose & Dall Sheep! WE have some great early season deals on Illinois whitetails and New Brunswick Black Bears, plus some new offerings such as self guided Montana rifle Elk & Newfoundland Moose hunts. Stay tuned as we are planning to release the new & updated web site for the business in the next few months. Till then if you have interest in hunts please don’t hesitate to contact me or check our Facebook page out, just type in Foothills Outdoor Expeditions! The more traditional winter weather (compared to last winter) has allowed some great ice angling across the region in the last four to five weeks. We have attended some of the local derbies in western Vermont in the last few weeks, getting in some pan fishing, along with a few Bass & Pike. Some of the local waters have been putting up some really nice fish, such as a 16lb Northern Pike & 11lb Lake Trout that lead the leader board on the Lake Dunmore Derby. Some nice catches of Perch have also been hitting the ice from Dunmore & Chittenden Reservoir in Rutland County. Lake Hortonia & the Bays of Southern Champlain have been
producing some really nice limits of Crappie & Bluegill as well. Tactics for each vary as Perch tend to hug bottom in most waters, but Crappie love to suspend around weed edges & structure in their traditional haunts. This is where having a flasher such as units by Vexilar or Marcum can greatly increase catch rates by giving valuable information of how deep fish are suspending & what the over all depth of the water you are fishing is. Jigging & tip ups can take fish, but having some of the new limber short spinning rigs set up for ice fishing has made getting baits back to the fish so much quicker! Pan fish have been taking both small minnows such as Arkansas shiners, and small jigs or flies tipped with waxies or spikes. Some of the new soft plastics that are on the market can work well from day to day, so have a mixed tackle box is always an asset. Pike & Bass have been doing well in the mid to lower water column, setting up in 10 to 15ft of water with medium golden shiners on tip ups. Waters that have Trout or Salmon in them have been producing with shiners or dead smelt set just below the ice as the cold water species love to cruse this time of year. The lake Trout from Dunmore have had plenty of smelt in them, which is a great sign as many of the bodies of water
The Captains son with a Largemouth on the ice.
in western Vermont have seen a sharp decline in native smelt stocks with the infestation of non native bait fish, the Alewife. The Alewife’s have produced some wonderful growth rates on the Brown Trout, in Lakes Bomoseen & St.Catherine where they increased stocking has taken place to help offset the high numbers of Alewife’s. Though most fisherman I have spoken with have yet to see the nice Brown Trout out of those bodies of water this winter.
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Big Game Processing Workshop - April 6, in Holderness
HOLDERNESS, N.H. -Learn how to process your own big game animal from field to freezer at a free workshop being offered at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H., on Saturday, April 6, 2013. The workshop will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Please note that this session does not include lunch. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To sign up, call the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center at 603-536-3954. At the workshop, Rick Warbin, owner of Baker River Deer Farm in Wentworth, N.H., will give participants a basic overview of the steps involved in processing your own big game
animal. The session will cover topics such as basic field dressing, tips to avoid meat spoilage, skinning and capeing, equipment needs, determining cuts of meat, boning the meat, and packaging tips. Warbin has many years of experience in the butchering business, so bring all your questions. For more information on Fish and Game’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, visit HuntNH.com/Hunting/hunter_ ed_center.htm. Activities at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center are supported by federal Wildlife Restoration funds, a user-pay, user-benefit program funded through an excise tax on the purchase of sporting firearms, fishing equipment and motorboat fuels.
Late Spring & ice out can produce these brutes, as a close friend of mine caught one over eight pounds in Bomoseen while fishing for Bass in the early spring with Stick Baits! One never knows what each day can produce! The Lake effect snow machine has been steadier this winter on the east end of Lake Ontario, producing a nice snow pack on the Tug Hill Plateau and the wilderness sur-
rounding the Salmon River Reservoir. This spells a now full impoundment that has greatly increased the Salmon River Flows from the shallow flows of last fall. Steelhead fishing still remains good, with the warmer days that get above freezing temps with some high sun light producing some really nice catches of both bright fresh run fish and dark males primed for the spring mating season! We are planning
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some well awaited float trips on the river in both March & April, which tends to produce some outstanding fishing prior to the fish heading back to the lake! Hopefully with a steady warming trend and light rains we will see the river flow rates stay with in normal numbers & enjoy the double digit days this fishery is so noted for! I know one thing for sure….i like many have had a touch of cabin
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fever and can’t wait for the Shamrocks of March to welcome in another awesome season of rod bending action ahead!! Matt Trombley is a career firefighter, residing with his wife & son in Florence Vermont. He is a U.S.C.G licensed Master captain, guiding & chartering fishing trips through out Vermont & New York. His charter business, 3rd Alarm Charters can be viewed at www.3rdalarmcharters.com
The Trap Line By Randy Barrows
Beaver are a large water dwelling rodent with large webbed shaped rear feet and a larger paddle shaped tail. Beaver are the largest of the water dwellers and can measure more than forty inches long and weigh in excess of sixty pounds. The fur of the beaver ranges from light to dark chocolate in color with guard hairs making it one of the most sought after furs. Beaver mate for life and usually breed between January and March with the young being born after a 128 day gestation period. Litters range in numbers from one to eight but two to four are more common. The young remain with their parents for about two years and mature at two years of age. Beaver only have one litter per year. Beaver live in large holes in the banks of ponds, lakes and rivers. More common are the large dome shaped huts made of sticks and mud. They enter these homes from under water level keeping them
safe from ground dwelling predators and the weather. Beaver are truly Mother Nature’s engineers. It is an amazing feat for an animal to build its own shelters from sticks left over from feeding and mud. More amazing is how
they build dams out of these materials to back up streams to create their water compounds. Being a nuisance trapper I get many calls every year from folks who have been invaded by these rodents. They can drop many trees in one
evening and flood hundreds of acres of property in the same amount of time. Early in my trapping career I thought knocking down a dam would take care of the problem but to my surprise I would knock it down at dark and return in the morning to find it completely rebuilt. And if you think you can
keep knocking it down they will leave you are sadly mistaken as they will win every time. Beaver feed on both tree bark and water dwelling plants. They will chew down a tree, strip it of its branches and then haul them to the bottom of the pond. Once on the bottom they roll rocks and mud on them to keep them submerged so they can easily be accessed after the water ices over. Does it sound like what we as humans do to pack away the chow from the garden in the root cellar to have easy access to it when the snow piles up outside ?.Beaver are creatures of habit following the same routes every day. As long as food and shelter are plentiful they will stay in the area and once the supply dries up they pack up their bags and head for greener pastures. Beavers deposit secretions to mark their territory from their castor gland to stake out their territories and to communicate to family members and outsiders. Fresh cut sticks or trees and
mounds of mud along with dams and lodges are all signs of beaver activity. Beavers are carriers of tularemia and Guardia so caution should be taken when handling them. Tularemia is a nasty virus so gloves should be used when handling them. Guardia is a parasite found in the water where beaver live. A sip of pond water will get you a lot of saddle time on the porcelain horse. A little precaution here will prevent you from spending your fur check money on doctor visits. As with all trapping you will need to scout for places to trap beaver. Any farmer or landowner who has beaver problems will welcome you with open arms. Remember permission is mandatory, not an option. Once permission is gained, scout the area thoroughly to find where the beaver are feeding, traveling and living. Make a map of these locations or mark with surveyors tape so you know where to begin. This is important as trapping for beaver in Vermont usually starts after the weather has gotten cold so chances are your sites will be snow and ice bound. Next time I will walk you through all the sets for beaver trapping, how to handle the fur and even how prepare the meat for dinner. Until then keep your waders patched, your lures in the shed and take a kid outside with you. Randy lives in Milton, Vermont, has trapped in Vermont for 43 years, is a hunter Ed Instructor and an Advanced Trapper Instructor for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Randy and wife, Diane & their family, own and operate Arrowhead Trapping Supply. Randy is also a Vermont State Licensed Fur Dealer. They can be reached at Critrgitr@msn.com or 802355-7496, on facebook or at www.arrowheadtrappingsupply.com.
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Behind the Sights By Charlie Chalk
In Kentucky Elk Country
Deer, bear, and moose…they exist in our back yard, but the fourth, lower fifty-state species eludes us. I am talking about the elk, those majestic species with large racks and the haunting calls ringing through the mountains. Most think of a Rocky Mountain adventure for the hunt, but they are a lot closer than that; in fact less than a 24-hour drive for most to a land of free range elk. The state of Kentucky has a herd estimated at 10,000 in the eastern part of the state. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation began in 2002 the process of restoring elk to lands where they were native but had been extinct. In fact, in some places the eastern elk had not been seen since the Civil War. RMEF helped release 1,547 elk into Kentucky during 1997-2002. Now with approximately 10,000 elk, the state boasts the East’s showcase herd. In 2011, for the state’s eleventh elk hunt, 800 hunting permits were available (200 bull and 600 antlerless), and participating hunters harvested 551 elk and achieved a success rate of 65 percent. For 2012, the state has added another 100 permits.
To date, RMEF has helped fund 31 projects supporting elk restoration in Kentucky with a total value of more than $6.1 million. Sixteen counties in
east Kentucky are the primary hunting region for elk, with tags available for in and out of state hunters. Let me share with you my work on elk hunting in Kentucky and how you apply and what to expect when you arrive. All tags for what the state calls “quota hunts” are chosen by lottery with ten percent going to non-residents. You can
apply for two tags in four categories ( bull firearm/ muzzleloader, bull archery/ crossbow, cow firearm, cow archery, but not two of same tag type). They cost you $10 each and are only online at fw.ky.gov You can apply from
Dec.1-April 30. In May, a drawing is held and you will be asked which of the Elk Hunting Units you prefer along with second and third choices. Assignments are chosen in July. Depending on your choice of weapon and choice of bull or cow, you could be hunting anywhere from mid-September to mid-January. You will have a full week to fill your tag and with limited hunting pressure and if you are willing to truly hunt hard, you should be successful. Odds of being drawn are very good for non-residents, being around 1 in 742 for a bull/firearm and 1 in 560 for bull/archery. Cows fair better with 1 in 100 firearm, 1 in 63 archery. You may take two assistants who may not hunt. License costs are currently $365 for the permit and $130 for a KY hunting license. Special fees are available for youth hunters. Depending on the week you are chosen for your elk hunt, you may also wish to get a deer permit for an additional $60 which will allow you to take two deer, also. KY deer licenses cover bow, crossbow, gun and muzzleloader for the one fee. Deer Hunters Take Note: Kentucky is now ranked # 1 in the most Boone and Crockett trophy deer of all the states! A 180 5/8 was top typical for 2011 with 166 total deer scoring in the record books. It is assumed that more may have been taken that were not scored. 2012 season was a record year with 131,388 deer taken. Let’s assume you are successful so let’s get into what you can expect in this land wandered by the likes of Daniel Boone. Well, expect eastern Kentucky to be
mountainous. Not like the mountains of the northeast these are lower, but extremely sharp. Much of the region is coal country and reclaimed mines from mountain top removal, have created vast high meadows of just a few acres to hundreds. Surrounding these are dense hardwood forests. This is prime habitat for elk to thrive. Hunting on private land is a privilege not a right so you must ask and have verbal or written permission, even if the land is not posted. The state has set aside hundreds of thousands of acres of public land in Wildlife Management Areas, where you can hunt freely. Kentucky Wildlife has good maps of the areas on their website and in their printed hunting guide. There are National Forest lands in the region also open to hunting. Much of the early season is on while the state park campgrounds are open, so you could camp or there are many motels located in almost every town. Late season will be cold but not severe. You may see snow, but very likely roads will be icy. The well graveled and maintained mountain roads wind between the hills and may not see the sun until late in the day preventing melting and then refreezing quickly. Eastern Kentucky is hunter friendly. The people are for the most part welcoming and a good resource as to herd locations. Be friendly and courteous and they will be the same. Many families have lived here for generations. Some ask if you need a guide? Guides are available and KY Wildlife could help you there. Indications are that most go it alone, but like I said, you need to prepare to hunt hard and put in your time. You must stay in your assigned zone, but online maps show the areas of the original release sites and current known herd locations. When you get our animal down, you must call and report the kill by midnight of the day taken. Called a “Telecheck”, this is important. You will tag the animal with a number you will be given. Tags must be on prior to giving the animal to a butcher or leaving the state. There you have it; elk hunting in the east. Charlie Chalk is an outdoor writer and has a background as a professional Firefighter and is a member of the American Mountain Men, an organization that emulates the life of the fur trappers of the 1800's and their survival on the land.
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From the back of a canoe Memories
There are only a few things in life that happen only once; birth and death being two of them. Our family was very fortunate with long longevity; I had three grandparents who lived to be 97, 98 and 99 and great grandparents that lived into their late 80’s and 90’s. I was born in 1940 and my father was in the Navy during the war. The only memory I have of him during the war was a brief time we lived on Staten Island in New York and taking the ferry. My mother and I lived with both grandparents during the war; the Norton’s in Portsmouth and the Lord’s in Kittery Point Maine. I remember the houses and kids who lived in the area. There used to be an iceman with a horse drawn wagon. In the summer he would give kids small chips of ice. I was the only grandchild for a while and probably somewhat spoiled but it fostered a relationship that lasted almost sixty years. I was not the only one; whenever I visited my grandparents it was not uncommon to have other grandchildren and later great grandchildren stopping by. One of my father’s first jobs when he got out of the service was working in a war surplus store. I got a lot of things from the store including my first pup tent; two shelter half’s that buttoned together. When I was in the Marines the same tents were still in use. The first time I was allowed to camp out it was with strict orders to stay close to the house. We went about a quarter mile back and my father could not find us when he went to check on us. There were no sleeping bags just army blankets also from the store. In the 40’s we camped at Great East Lake with a larger tent which probably came from the store. My father built a platform for the tent with side walls and bunks; it seemed like the greatest thing in the world. I was disappointed when he built a camp and we had to move inside. After the camp was sold in the mid 50’s we used the tent to camp at Dolly Corp campground and latter at Burnt Meadows pond in Brownfield Maine when our kids were small; the tent got a lot
of use over the years. I used hand lines to fish the Piscataqua River near out house in Kittery but Great East Lake was where I learned to use a fishing rod. There were bass, pickerel, yellow and white perch. Fishing and swimming were the primary occupations of the
By Jim Norton
know the ship was in. That was how my grandfather met my grandmother. When my father and grandfather started taking me hunting walking was what we did; we seldom stopped to take a stand; years later I graduated to a BB gun and finally to a 32-20 my grandfather gave me; which I
Five generations - Jim Norton Sr, at 91, my granddaughter Rachel, her daughter Alethea, named after my mother and my daughter Bonnie.
kids in the nearby camps; fishing at night was a family activity. My grandfather, father along with any uncles at camp would be on the water after dark. We were close to the basins which seemed to be a hot spot along the channels and what we called the sunken island a large rock pile. Top water lures like the jitterbug were favorites; while hellgrammites were the best live bait. Great East was also my introduction to hunting. Before I was allowed to hunt my great-grandfather Foster used to take care of me while the guys were in the woods. He was retired from the Lighthouse Service. He always smoked a pipe; probably where I picked it up from. Edgeworth was his tobacco; it came in a blue tin can. He gave me the cans which were used for various tasks from holding hooks to worms. My wife picked one of the cans up from a yard sale; it would have been nice to have one of my great grandfathers’ tins or pipes. When my great grandfather was in the Lighthouse service one of his ships was the Hibiscus out of Portland. When the ship came into port he used to send one of the men to his house to let his wife
still have. My grandfather was an excellent shot with a pistol and rifle and at one time won the NH small bore championship. He was also a bird hunter and raised German Shorthair Pointers. The dogs were named Tuck & Ginger. When I was in Cub Scouts I got my first dog from one of the litters; Rookie. She died when I was in my early twenties; we covered a lot of York County in Maine together. When I was twelve my grandfather gave me my first job; helping him build a house. It was a ranch; he said when people got older they should be on one floor. Somehow he neglected to consider the basement which required stairs. He cut the lumber which I helped with; had it milled and built the house. In the design he forgot closets which my grandmother never let him forget. When he retired from the Navy Yard he purchased a lobster pound in Sebasco Estates Maine which he operated for years. My wife and I visited them while we were dating. Although she grew up in York she had never had lobster. My grandmother used to have it as a side dish for breakfast fried with salt port; in sandwiches for lunch and dinner when we were there. His dog at the time which I think was another Tuck had lobster instead of dog food. He used to cook lobster for tourist and put a few in for the dog. The dog would let them cool off; open the shell and pick out the meat to the amazement of the tourist. I hunted a few times with my father and grandfather after I got out of the service; my grandfather hunted into his 90’s around the Diamonds but my father stopped hunting probably in his 50’s. When I was in junior high and high school I used to work summers with my father. By then he was working on the Navy Yard and used to work afternoons in the summer so he could do odd jobs during the day. I started out painting and wall papering and we did a few roofs. My father was very religious and ethical; if
there was anything that went wrong he would fix it at no charge. My father’s work habits and ethics stayed with me throughout my working career and contributed to whatever success I had. Although we didn’t spend a lot of time together hunting or fishing we did spend time together at camp and made a few canoe camping trips. My parents had a third son later in life about 20 years younger than I am; unfortunately he had downs syndrome. My mother had a difficult time coping with it; she always worried about my brother and in the end I thought it contributed to her death in her late 60’s; a relatively early age at least in our family. I wondered how my father and brother would cope but they both did remarkably well. My brother moved into a group home. A few years later my father married a great woman Kay, the two families still stay in contact. She died of cancer a few years after the marriage and we wondered again how my father would survive. He started dating a widow Marjorie who turned out to be another remarkable woman; they were together for about 14 years until she died in 2007. My father always thought he would die before she did; he was wrong. She was a retired nurse and insured my father took his medication for Parkinson’s which he developed later in life. I’ve had a few clients with Parkinson’s; it’s a terrible disease. In 2008 my father, brother and sister and her husband spent the 4th of July with us in Errol and had a great time. That September we went to Indian River Maine. I wrote about the trip in the November 2010 column. My father had never seen the house he was born in. We knocked on the door of the house and explained the situation; a retired couple lived in the house and invited us in. It turns out he was a retired lobster fisherman and her mother was a Norton; probably a relative. In 2010 after a series of bad falls related to Parkinson’s my father moved into assisted living at Sentry Hill in York; a great place, at least from our prospective. My sister had been visiting him daily for years and my brother and I visited him about once a week. Last April he moved to the nursing home section of the facility and steadily declined. He was in a wheelchair but still had numerous falls. He always would tell us to do other things with our time instead of visiting him. I don’t know how he lasted as long as he did; on January 11 he died, ten days short of his 94th birthday. Jim Norton is a native of New Hampshire and author of the book Granite Lines. He enjoys fly-fishing & tying, bird hunting and a variety of other outdoor activities and is also a registered NH fishing Guide. Visit his website at www.nhriversguide.com The Outdoor Gazette
Governor Cuomo anounces NY open for fishing & hunting
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced NY Open for Fishing and Hunting, a plan to streamline hunting and fishing licenses and reduce license fees to support tourism opportunities and benefit sportsmen and sportswomen throughout the state. The proposal is part of the 30-day amendments to the 2013-14 Executive Budget and would reduce fees paid by hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers and trappers while maintaining support for the state’s fish and wildlife programs. The proposal simplifies the current license structure to foster recruitment and retention of resident and non-resident hunters, anglers and trappers. The State would greatly reduce the number of licenses offered and lower many fees for both resident and non-resident holders under the proposal. The proposal also will make permanent a free marine fishing registration, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2013. “I know the recreational and economic value hunting and fishing bring to New York State,” Governor Cuomo said. “The sporting community bolsters tourism across the state. According to a national survey, more than $8.1 billion of economic activity is created as a result of sporting activity in New York. Under my proposal, it will be easier for more New Yorkers and visitors from across the country to take advantage of New York’s rich sporting tradition.” The current license process is confusing due to the number, type and potential combinations of hunting and fishing licenses. In addition, fees are presently higher in New York than in many neighboring and comparable states. The proposal would: • Reduce by 11 the number of licenses available while maintaining all current hunting and fishing privileges and opportunities • Reduce the price of a hunting license by 24 percent from $29 to $22 • Reduce the price of a fishing license by nearly 14 percent from $29 to $25 • Make fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase • Create a non-resident license structure which is the same as the resident license structure • Fold trapping privileges into the hunting license for no additional fee for certified trappers • Maintain Junior Trapper and Trapper Mentor opportunities • Reduce fees for non-resident hunting and fishing licenses to attract more out-of-state participants • Retain discounted licenses for youth, seniors, military disabled and Native Americans. Previously, a fishing license was only valid from the date of purchase through the end of the season, and The Outdoor Gazette
anglers who bought a license in mid season did not get a full year’s worth of use. Under the new plan, anglers will get a full year of fishing no matter when they purchase the license. Also, the proposal consolidates both small-game and big-game license privileges into a single hunting license. In addition, the proposal creates a non-resident license structure which affords the same license privileges as resident licenses. The proposal also makes the marine fishing registration permanent. It was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2013, which would have required anglers fishing in the marine district to purchase a license for $10. Under Governor Cuomo's bill, marine fishing will continue to be free. New York State Department of Environment Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Hunters and anglers are the foundation of the state’s conservation community, concerned about caring for the state’s habitats, forestland and waterways. Governor Cuomo’s proposal will make it simpler for people to purchase licenses, help attract newcomers to hunt and fish in New York and ensure that the programs that the hunting and fishing communities enjoy continue to be funded.” In addition, DEC has made substantial progress in both the rehabilitation of existing boat launch facilities and construction of new facilities. By the start of the 2013 boating season, five new boat launching facilities will be open: Chaumont Bay and Point Peninsula Isthmus on Lake Ontario, Upper Hudson River in Fort Edward, Lake Champlain in the City of Plattsburgh, and Cuba Lake Boat Launch in Allegany County. Work is underway for a boat launch on Round Lake in Saratoga County. Significant boat launch rehabilitation efforts include: the complete upgrade of the "Crusher" Boat Launch of the Raquette River and lengthening of the Horicon launch ramp on Schroon Lake. Plans are underway for expansion of the Second Pond boat launch on Lower Saranac Lake, repairs to the Peru Boat Launch site on Lake Champlain, reconstruction of the Northville launch ramp, and installation of a new boarding dock at the Saratoga County Boat Launch, both on Great Sacandaga Lake. Governor Cuomo’s proposal aims to improve New York’s position as a destination for both resident and out-of-state hunters. According to a 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation, over 90 million U.S. residents ages 16 years and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011. Wildlife recreationists spent about $145 billion on
their ventures. Moreover, New York State remains near the top in hunter and angler licenses, an estimated 1.88 million anglers and 823,000 hunters, indicating a mostly stable group of participants. The same study found in 2011 New York was second in the nation in total angler spending on fishing-related items and sixth in non-resident angler spending. This spending generated an estimated $108 million in state and local taxes. In 2011, New York was fourth in the nation in spending by hunters and generated an estimated $290 million in state and local taxes. New York ranks third in the nation in total number of resident hunters. While providing relief to sportsmen and sportswomen, this proposal will ensure that the Conservation Fund remains solvent through the financial plan (State Fiscal Year 2018-19). New York will continue to provide services, programs and projects to boost hunting and fishing opportunities. The State will also be working closely with the conservation community in the coming months to identify projects to enhance hunting and fishing access and improve wildlife habitat. Chair, Kemper, Jason Conservation Fund Advisory Board, said, “The Conservation Fund Advisory Board is very pleased that the Governor has decided to simplify the sporting license structure and reduce some of the fees associated with these licenses. CFAB is confident that these actions will increase participation in hunting, fishing, and trapping in New York State which will continue to enhance the positive economic impact to the State of New York that these activities generate.” Lance Robson, Chair, New York State Fish & Wildlife Management Board, said, “The Board welcomes the simplification of the existing license structure and the reduction of the fees for most of the sporting public. This plan will make participating in hunting, fishing and trapping more affordable while continuing to provide the funds, now and going forward, to continue or even expand our current fish, wildlife and habitat management programs.” Chuck Parker, President, New York State Conservation Council, said, “From the feedback that I have received as President of the New York State Conservation Council, I would like to report that the Council
is glad to see the proposal of a simpler license structure system as presented by DEC and the Governor’s Office and endorsed by the Conservation Fund Advisory Board. With the simpler license fee system there should be an increase in numbers and participation of hunters, fishermen, and trappers while still yielding a very positive economic impact to the NYS Conservation Fund, which should lead to increase funding possibilities being proposed.” Ron Urban, President of Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, said, "The Governor's proposal is good for all anglers by reducing fees and making licenses simpler. Moreover, it increases recreational experiences on New York's waters. We have great natural resources in this state and this proposal will encourage people to get out and enjoy New York." Tom Marks, Captain and Owner, Gr8 Lakes Fishing Adventures, said, “The Governor's proposal is great for tourism. It will help attract people to New York State. I view the state’s fish and wildlife as a gold mine and this proposal will remove impediments to bringing tourists to New York.” David Turner, Director of Oswego County Office of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, said, “Oswego County and New York State are blessed with an abundance of natural resources that inspire visitors from around the world. Simplifying the licensing system and reducing the fees is sure to help make our visitors experiences here even more enjoyable. The annual fishing license date-of-purchase proposal is will likely help to increase angler activity throughout the state. We are pleased the Governor and the DEC are proposing to make it easier and less expensive for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy all that we have to offer.” Tony DiLernia, Captain Rocket Charters NY-delegate to MASFMC and Director of Maritime technology at Kingsborough Community College, said, "In announcing the proposal to make the free marine fishing registration permanent, Governor Cuomo is following through on his commitment that some things in life should be free, including fishing in the ocean. This is an example of government providing a service to New Yorkers without taxing for it."
Reflections of the Outdoor Angel By Mary Kay
Fishing in the cold
There’s one thing I have really been enjoying – none other than fishing! However, I do not like to be cold. So fishing in the cold, a.k.a. ice fishing, wasn’t big on my wish list. Yet, when I would be going to a cabin in Southwestern Wisconsin my first request was to go ice fishing! We’d just come through some REALLY bitter winter weather and 20 degrees sounded quite balmy for ice fishing. I think the key to my fishing expedition was knowing that we’d be stationed in a cabin on the Mississippi River and have tip ups to alert success. I am not the kind who can sit idly by waiting though. I have to be out doing! After losing my bag on the trip, I had to construct a warm outfit. I gathered layers from numerous sources and topped it all off with a blaze orange snowsuit. I once again had reverted to being dressed like a man. How could I not though when I was wearing MEN’s clothes?!? I left the confines of a warm cabin and plodded, yes plodded, down to the ice. I made my way to the few in our
group already gathered on the ice. First words out of the men’s mouths had to do with my pink gloves. I assumed they realized the gloves
clashed with the bright orange, but I didn’t care. I was here to ice fish! Let’s get started. The guys were standing around visiting with cold beverages in their bare hands. They
were more brave than I was, but I bet next time they’ll be sporting some pink gloves! I saw the holes had already been drilled and the bucket and poles were ready to go. Why aren’t we fish-
ing?? Maybe when they finished the adult energy drinks (beer) we’d tackle (nice fish reference?) my dream. Drinks done, ok here we go. Nope, they reached for another. I asked when we’d start fishing and they said we were. The small rods were in a holder, not in my hand. How was I fishing? If you can’t beat them join them came to mind. I would have my own beer and stand around and “fish”. It was explained to me that we were waiting for the tip ups to pop and then we’d know there was a fish on the other end. I wanted to double my chances so I took hold of the cute little rod and plopped it in the hole. I was jigging and swigging (the beer) and nothing was happening! At least I was warm. Slowly our group meandered onto the ice and I thought now things would really get hopping. They did all right but it was a lot of storytelling and laughing. Why weren’t they fishing? I guess I was the one who wanted to fish and the wonderful people of Wisconsin were more than willing to accommodate me. Another friend of the group showed up with his chocolate lab, Lucy, and 3 ? year old granddaughter, Bella. She immediately got into the spirit and wanted to fish. My kind of gal! Now I have a fishing partner. She had no sooner gotten her line in the water when she exclaimed “I got one”! I was jealous! Of a 3 ? year old. She’d been on the ice, in a very cute outfit, for 5 minutes and she had a fish. I was dressed rather frumpily and had been out for an hour and had nothing. Bella pulled in her line and I was somewhat relieved to see it was empty. I can
NOT be upstaged by a toddler. Lucy, the lab, sprinted by and showed off her catch. She had a fish in her mouth. What is going on here? A dog catches fish, but me, the accomplished angler, has nothing. I really don’t consider myself an accomplished angler, but every time I’ve been out I have had success! The action all along the Mississippi River seemed to be slow. No one appeared to be catching anything, hopefully not even a cold! While my fishing partner was distracted a bait fish was rigged on her line and put back in the water. She was told to keep fishing and again she immediately said she had one. This time however it was true! The excitement was priceless. Her Grandpa T took the photos while she proudly displayed her catch. Now it was my turn! Bella had her fun! Plus she was pulled on a saucer to our spot. I had to walk all by myself I still wasn’t catching anything but Bella had one more. Same method as before! It made the day to see her joy. I realized I wasn’t wearing my fish ring; was this the reason I wasn’t catching? I had a pair of leopard gloves under my pink gloves to keep warm, but that wasn’t working too well. I guess I wanted to warm my hands but didn’t want to look like a quitter. Who do you suppose jumped at the opportunity to take the battery for the auger and put it back on its charge? That would be me. I looked like I was helpful/concerned. Not the cold wimp I really was! Our group reconvened in the cabin. The warm layers meant for outside were not needed, yet I didn’t shed anything except a tear or 2. The men were manly and took off the coats etc. At one point I noticed one of the manly men, actually a retired firefighter and the 1st one to have commented on my pink gloves, had on a PINK belt. He claimed it was orange, and then changed that to salmon. If anyone knows color it’s me, and his belt was PINK! It’s ok though, real men wear pink, and he wore it quite well I must say. Even though my ice fishing was more beer drinking and storytelling, I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I will give it a try again, but I will have to remember my key equipment – my crystal fish ring! Look out ice fishermen; I will be taking over your territory. Mary is the host of “The Outdoor Angel”. This is an Outdoors show that features a novice woman out hunting and fishing with the industries top pros.. Mary Kay will inspire the uninspired to enjoy the great outdoors
The Outdoor Gazette
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The Outdoor Gazette
Fish & Wildlife Management By Wayne A. Laroche
Ecology of the White-Tailed Deer in Northern New England
White-tailed deer hunting is passionately pursued by of millions of people in northern states where deer numbers are more or less controlled by the ecological and environmental conditions existing during winter on 5-15% of landscape annually occupied by deer. This special part of the landscape is technically named:” deer wintering area” or “winter deer habitat.” Most deer hunters still refer to these areas as “deer yards.” Deer hunters are interested in issues that influence the number of deer available each fall. Land owners are interested in deer as they impact crops, forest, and landscape management. Peter Pekins and Matthew Tarr from the Universities of Maine and New Hampshire published: “A Critical Analysis of the Winter Ecology of White-Tailed Deer & Management of Spruce-Fir Deer Wintering Areas with Reference to Northern Maine” in 2008. The full document is 154 pages long www.umaine.edu/cfru/All_coop /Publications/Pekins_RR_Complete. pdf and contains a wealth of information. The authors also published the Executive Summary separately www.umaine.edu/cfru/publications/Pekins_RR_ExecutiveSummary .pdf. Both of these documents contain details that many hunters and land managers might find interesting. However, being technical papers, they may not be especially easy for the lay person to decipher. The following is my interpretation, commentary and attempt to “boil down” the main points made in the Executive Summary. In this article I will concentrate on the ecological elements discussed in these articles. Next month, I will focus on the management recommendations that are based on these ecological elements. Text enclosed in quotation marks is from the publications cited
above. 1. All deer confined by snow to deer yards tend to lose weight. This happens because the quality of forage available during winter is low to moderate at best compared to other times of year. This means that even when
culty moving through deep snow and burn relatively more calories than larger deer. Fawns can’t reach as high for food. Larger and more aggressive deer are able to fend them off and restrict their access to forage. 4. The remaining 50-65% of the
Deep snow is hardest on fawns who struggle with deep snow, expending more energy while getting less forage than larger deer.
plenty of forage is available in a deer yard, it provides less energy (calories) per pound than forage available at other times of year. 2. The whitetail’s ability to seasonally store fat within their bodies for later use is their primary adaptation for surviving winter. Fat reserves going into winter make it possible for deer to survive extended periods of time during which they can’t eat enough forage to satisfy their daily calorie requirement. 3. It is more difficult for fawns in deer yards to find enough forage to meet their daily calorie requirement than it is for adult does. When whitetails are confined to winter deer habitat for 90120 days in northern New England, body fat typically accounts for 35-50% of the daily energy expended by fawns as opposed to 10-25% for adult does. Fawns burn up their fat supply faster than do adult does. Fawns are the smallest deer. Fawns have more diffi-
daily energy needed by fawns and 7590% needed by adult does is supplied by the calories consumed from forage. Simply put, as the “income” of calories consumed per day decreases, the “burning” of fat reserves and other body reserves must increase to meet the daily fuel cost. Management of your income, bank account and fuel consumption at home works about the same way.
depth and the depth that deer sink into the snow changes through the winter. Thawing and freezing may cause crusted snow that at times can allow deer to easily travel over deep snow expanding the area used and allowing access to more forage. On the other hand, crusted snow can hinder movement if the crust is not strong enough to fully support deer. 6. The best winter cover for deer is provided by mature forests with trees being >30 feet (10m) tall with about 50% of trees being conifers creating a 50% crown closure. The exact amount of conifer cover required for deer is unknown, however, in areas where snow depth regularly exceeds 20 inches (50cm) deer may require conifer stands having on the order of 70% crown closure. In areas where snow depths rarely exceed 8 inches (20 cm), 30% crown closure may be enough to sustain wintering deer. 7. Winter mortality of deer is density-dependent. This means that as the number of deer per unit area (per acre or square mile) increases, mortality also increases. This makes sense because all deer confined in a single deer yard are competing for the same, limited amount of forage. More aggressive deer get to eat more. Fatter deer are better able to outlast deer with less body fat. Fawns being less aggressive and having smaller fat reserves, as a rule, can be expected to begin dying
Whitetails move to deer yards when snow depth reaches about 12 incheds.
5. Winter deer mortality can be expected when confining winter conditions exceed 90-100 days. Snow depth is the main factor triggering deer to head to deer yards. When about twelve inches of snow (30 cm) covers the ground, deer begin moving. Deer become confined to deer yards when snow depths are 16-20 inches (40-50 cm) or more. Dense conifers and steep slopes result in some areas having lesser snow depths providing for easier travel for deer and causing deer to concentrate in these areas. The size of the area being used by deer expands and contracts as snow
first and to have a higher mortality rate during winter. The best way to improve winter deer survival is to manage deer yards to maximize browse availability while at the same time managing forest canopy or other conditions so that they enhance deer mobility. This will improve access to browse. Fat reserves and body condition are best maintained in fawns as well as older deer through high caloric intake provided by quality browse. 8. Winter mortality of deer from coyote predation is density-independ-
Continued on page 45
The Outdoor Gazette
The Maine Hunter By Steve Beckwith
The Ultimate Savage
Often times I am asked what is the best firearm to purchase for an all around rifle for hunting. I have many friends using the Winchester Model 70 and the Remington 760/7600 – 742/7400 models. Excellent guns if you like a pump, bolt or semi-auto rifle. Most calibers that these guns are sold in will do the intended job. I personally like the caliber .308 as my choice of round in a 180 grain Remington Core-Lokt round nose soft point, it will take down everything from a coyote to a moose! I have had every one of those model guns throughout my life, mainly because I listened to my friends telling me how much they love their guns. But what I have learned over my many years of carrying my gun and shooting so many animals I can no longer remember them all, I learned it’s all about what works for you. It’s all about what feels right when you raise your gun to fire at an animal and the balance in your hands of many hours of walking and stalking in the woods in your life. Because each of the guns I mention in this article are all a person needs to take down and accurately harvest any animal that roams in New England’s woods. So remember as you read about my choice of the ultimate hunting weapon, my choice does not have to be your choice and vice versa! My gun of choice hit my hands when I was sixteen years old, I started out using a Winchester 38-40 at ten years old I recall it was heavy and longer then I was tall, but it was my first lever action rifle! Then my older brother Jerry went off to college and let me use his Winchester model 100 semiautomatic .308 for my next four years of deer hunting, I finally settled down at age fifteen, aiming rather then pointing at my deer and I lost one nice buck and a doe that year because that Model 100 jammed after the first shot, I connected but both deer were never recovered. My Dad taught all five of his boys how to hunt and being the youngest of my brothers the year I turned sixteen Dad announced to me that his back and battle with gout was affecting his work and now that I could hunt on my own, Dad said to me that he was hanging up his hat and never hunted again. Much to my disappointment, Dads announcement to stop hunting was my opportunity to get my hands on his rifle and stop using my brother’s one shot, jamming semi-auto! My Dad carried a Savage 99E in .300 Savage and I started carrying his gun. Maybe it was the pride of that gun being Dads, but that year I harvested The Outdoor Gazette
my first deer and became sold on the Savage Model 99 Lever action. I used that gun until I was twenty (1980 for those doing the math.) when I decided it was time to give that one back to
Dad and buy my own. I remembered the simplicity of the Winchester Model 100 with it’s clip loading feature and wanted to buy the Savage model 99C in .308 which is the clip version of my Dad’s model 99E. The Model 99E has a rotary type magazine that is rather difficult to load quickly and unloading it a nuisance, as you have to lever out each round until empty to unload it! The 99C came out in the mid sixties; it sported a standard four round clip and one in the chamber for the five shot capacity it sports. I have been using the 99 Savage for over 36 years now as my weapon of choice. As previously mentioned, I have owned numerous makes and models and I still have many of them in my gun case today, but I always grab the Savage model 99C when I go hunting! I will give the Winchester model 98-lever action a very close second to that of the Savage 99. (I wish now I never sold the one I had.) I could grab a Winchester model 98 and head to the woods with the same comfort level it is a very sweet gun! It’s all about how the gun feels to me when I carry it in the woods, and when I shoulder it to fire at game. I especially like the accuracy that a lever action provides over that of most semi-auto loading guns, my shot group is always a little tighter on paper. I know what everyone say’s that the bolt action is the most accurate gun available, but let me tell you this, the lever and the pump action rifles hold very tight groups perfect for taking down any game you will ever encounter in New England. So if you love the way your gun feels and carries? Enjoy the one that feels right to you! If you know your gun, like I know my 99C, you can shoot almost as fast as anyone with a semi-auto. I would dare to say that I can shoot with better
accuracy then most hunters can with a semi-auto! I say that because when I shoot my gun and lever in the next round I am more likely to get back on my target because it forces you to realign yourself with your sights, where a semi-auto allows you to stay on your
sites but does not take into consideration the gun creeping up with each shot from the recoil. I have heard many times in my life when another hunter approaches me after I have shot a deer and they see my lever action rifle in my hands they’ll often say, “I thought you had a semi-auto because the two shots I heard were so close together”. I have shot many deer and bear on film and off and I usually fire at my target as many times as my crosshairs are on the animal when the animal is still in a forward motion and although I do miss occasionally it is much more rare these days because I have used the same firearm for so many years. The sights on your gun are also a personal preference. We hear people spout about how open sights or peep sights are the best for jump shooting deer, running shots etc. Well, again that is completely false, if you understand the sight and how to use it of any type you can become just as accurate as with any other type of sight on your gun. I know that statement will start a long thread in any hunting chat
room or forum, but the truth of the matter is that practice makes perfect, not the sight on your gun! I can follow a running animal with my scope set on 1.5x (1.5x 4.5 variable) with both eyes open one around the scope and one looking through it, at the point my crosshairs close in on the target I send my eye focus down my dominant eye and through the scope and squeeze! Many an animal has fallen in my life to this method and to me having the ability to increase magnification on longer shots allows for a more accurate placement in the kill zone then open or a peep sight. For me it helps to lesson un-recoverable animals and hours of tracking which in New England often lead to coyotes devouring your deer before you recover it. But back to the gun of my Dads, the Savage 99E in .300 Savage caliber, my son rightfully named after his Grandfather, turned eighteen, my Dad signed his Savage 99E over to Russell, who is learning the same things as I did! That there are many guns to try and buy, but at age 28 he still reaches into his gun case for the Savage 99 when he goes deer hunting! So in our family the scoped out Savage 99 is here to stay, it is now on it’s third generation and the 4th generation, my Grandson Parker at age two is eying that rifle too! Steve Beckwith is a Registered Maine Guide, ThermaCELL Pro Staff, and owns these owns these websites: • MaineGuideCourse.com • MaineHunters.com • CoyoteCrosshairs.com • MoosePermit.com • MaineGuidedHunts.com He is a life member, editor and webmaster of the North Berwick Rod and Gun Club. A videographer, website designer and internet entrepreneur with his online portfolio located at MultitaskWebsites.com, Steve can be reached through any of his websites.
Hard Water Fishing A Different Approach To Lake Trout
No matter what you are fishing for you will find people going about it different ways. For this one reason, fishing with numerous people is one of the best way to expand tactics and techniques. A few years back, while in college, a friend asked if I was interested in a trip to look for lake trout. Having never caught a laker at that point in my life, I jumped at the opportunity. He warned me that the success of the trip would be dependent upon the availability of smelt and that he hadn't been yet since the season had only recently opened. Other than that, a simple set up on a tip up would suffice. He suggested 8 pound monofilament with a size 4-6 hook and no weight. With the way my work schedule worked out, I wasn't able to be at the lake until 8 am missing the morning bite by only a few hours. Not knowing where to go and no cell phone service, I waited in the parking lot for what seemed like forever him to pick me up at our designated time. It didn't take long for me to realize that the morning bite was one that I
shouldn't have missed. As I opened the door, a 24 inch laker flopped on his car mat as it was just pulled from
the ice before he came to pick me up. He had caught his smelt early and was set up before sunrise. The fish were active that morning and needless to say, I couldn't wait to get back out to the spot and start fishing! After examining the area that we were going to fish the night before with both aerial photographs and
By D & B Ice Adventures
bathymetric chart, I figured out why the fish were there. We were fishing a rocky hump in four feet of water protruding from deep water (100'+) on one side and a 30-40 foot flat on the other. This area offers just about every type of water the trout could
desire. On the 3/4 of a mile ride out, the anticipation grew. Because his morning run was so good, the first task was to go catch more smelt. In this lake, we look shallow at the mouths
above. As most smelt fisherman know, their bite is normally light to none so basically the tactic is to watch for the line moving to the side. If you are sitting in a shack sight fishing is possible. After catching enough smelt for the rest of the day, we punched our holes and got to setting up. As we started filling out our spread, my friend explained to me his thoughts on his bait placement in the water column. He told me to stick my face in the hole and watch for a second while my eyes adjusted. When I did, I could see the bottom clear as day. The water was about 15 feet deep but he proceeded to tell me that this whole lake is crystal clear. The clear water, coupled with the area we cover with our tip ups being all up hill means that the fish are looking up as they travel their corridors. Therefore, setting the smelt only a few feet below the ice tends to be more productive than close to the bottom. Also, the area we fish has clusters of boulders and the number of snags you get fishing the bottom is unreal. The rest of the day was filled with
Ice fisherman's, bird's eye view, in to a clear Vermont lake of small streams where the smelt chasing flags and great comradery stack up in the fresh water. The one with a few more friends that showed we were at on this trip trickles out up. At one point, we set up a pop up into 1-3 feet of water. We used Hali shanty and punched a few holes. jigs with size 16 jigs tied in line Continued next page
The Outdoor Gazette
With the surroundings blacked out, we spend the down time between flags sight fishing. We were set up over a small rock/sand bottom in
The Outdoor Gazette
about 12 feet of water. The fish were cruising through and super aggressive. We fished bucktails, spoons, and jigging raps. The shinier the better!
Since that first trip, I have been back quite a few times and tweaked my approach for catching these trout. I now prefer to fish in the dark. The best bite seems to be before sunrise and after sunset; a few hours on either side. Also, I still fish high in the water column but if I stay for a mid day bite, I like to stagger my baits high and low in the water column and move them over slightly deeper water. The fish seem to settle down for the day but still cruise through. Through the years, I have caught numerous fish that came out of the hole \puking up crayfish. Live or dead they work! I have spent numerous hours looking through holes for crayfish crawling around the bottom to put on my hook. They bite quite well on any live bait that you put in front of them. They are the only bait that I have found that work better than live smelt. One of the biggest additions to my lake trout fishing arsenal is jigging. Sure, we managed to hook up with a few when we first started fishing up there but with the addition of a Vexilar to my equipment, I find that I am far more efficient. Through talking with people on the lake, I have stocked a tackle box with colors and jigs that work. Mainly, I run bright colors but I like precious metal colors as well. If I choose to tip my bait, I like to fillet a smelt and
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run about 1/3 of a side on a treble hook. For tactics while jigging, I find that taking my bait away from the fish is the best method. The fish go nuts! I work up and down the water column in 10' increments aggressively ripping on my bait, trying to draw a fish in. When I draw a fish in, I slow the jigging only moving it up and down a few inches but never let it go completely motionless. I give the fish only a few seconds to react before I start reeling up trying to get it to chase. Most bites come hard and fast. Regardless of what or how you fish, there is no set way that is fool proof. Keeping your options open and having a few tricks up your sleeve is the best way to stay be productive on the. D & B Ice Adventures is based out of Barre, Vermont and composed of two fishing fanatics: Dylan Smith and Robert Booth. With an equal drive time to the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, the hardest decision is whether they want to catch giant bluegill on the river or huge pumpkinseed on the lake with crappie in the mix at both. These decisions have been logged through their blog www.dbiceadventures.wordpress.com which gives details on what they have to endure to be successful. You can checck them on facebook too at www.facebook.com/DBIceAdventures.
Southern Side Up Bad Guys
As far as deer go, the first day of deer season was like a holiday when I was a youngster. It always meant a day out of school. I hear tell that some schools in some other states even shut down for the season opener! Well, that was then and this is now. At 16, Pops figured that I was good on my own, I had a hunting license, only a formality, I had already been hunting alone for some time. Being of the explorer type, I was never in sight of my father except when we first left the truck! Most days, sight was measured in miles! Anyway, the folks decided to head to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom for their opening of deer season. This left me home alone and to fend for myself, no big deal, I would be in the woods anyway. Mom was a little concerned about my school attendance while they were away, they were in Vermont until the following Wednesday night but, oh well. They were leaving that Friday after they were out of work. Saturday found me up and out early, in the woods before daylight. I
By Alex Cote
was sitting atop a small riddle that dropped off sharply and almost immediately went right back up like ridges on an alligators back. I could hear a lot of commotion over the other side of the ridge at first light and all at once, it simply went away, the noise stopped. I held my ground for maybe half an hour or so. I was sitting against a huge red oak tree. These ridges were full of towering oak and lead into a beech grove that has since been all cut off. A faint rustling got my attention and I convinced myself it was a squirrel, until the squirrel grew antlers! I saw the tall basket rack before I could see any other part of the deer. I raised my lever action 30/30 and waited. The rack disappeared as quickly as it had appeared! In my haste to assess the situation, I hadn’t taken into consideration the steepness of the hill. The buck had simply put his head down to gorge a nut or two, he hadn’t gone anywhere! Rather than staying put, I jumped to my feet only to send the deer bounding to parts unknown only to him. What a bone-
head move that was. Apparently fate was on my side that brisk November morning, well, sort of ! I sat back down and felt the warm sun warm by entire upper body. I think that I must have dosed off for a bit, only explanation I have. I lost maybe 15 minutes of the day someplace. I heard faint rustling yet a second time. Fully convinced that this time it was most definitely a squirrel. I turned to see a deer standing directly behind my looking at me. I couldn’t imagine where the deer had come from. I knew that it was real, it was so close I could see it blinking its eyes. I wheeled around with the rifle and fired. The deer kick up in the air and ran past me up and over the rise, and the next one too! There was blood on the leaves making it easy to follow. As I crested the second ravine, I was looking down into the next valley. There lay my deer but there was another hunter standing next to it. He hollered to yet another hunter that joined him from behind. As I made my way towards them, I heard a faint whistle and one of the hunters with the deer hollered “Over Here”! By the time I had gotten to the deer there were two other hunters and another on the way. I smiled and said that it was a nice deer. One of the guys wearing only a red flannel shirt and a baseball hat said “yes it is isn’t it”? The second guy said” Yep, nice deer I shot here isn’t it“? Then I looked at him and said that I had shot the deer a couple of ridges over. By the time we has finished this exchange in conversation, the third guy was there. He asked who had shot the deer. The guy in the shirt nodded in the direction of his buddy and said that he had. I spoke up saying that I had and this is where it ran to! Things were turning ugly at this point. What was I going to do, three of them, one of me, these guys being grown men, me, a 16 year old kid, I was pissed. They were waving their guns in my direction, it wasn’t right but it also wasn’t worth it. I looked for a vehicle that they may be in but saw none. I called the police and fish and game. Both sympathized with me but they needed more information to go on than I could provide! I called my dad in Vermont and he felt awful but he couldn’t do much from where he was, so I faced the reality of it all and sucked it up! I called the police and fish and game. They told me that they would check out the area for vehicles but I never heard back from them. I was beside myself, how dare these guys do this! They did and there wasn’t a damn thing that me or anybody else could do about
it! Well, as the days went on, it became a little less painful. Still hard to believe it had happened, even tougher to swallow that it had happened to me! I went back into the area several times after the fact but never saw hide nor hair of any of the three. Fact of the matter was, I never saw another hunter, period. Very unusual for that piece of woods in those days. Dad knew it was bothering me and he and my brother John did all they could to cheer me up. We made plans to hunt over the thanksgiving holiday break together. Well, as if an omen, it stated to snow Thanksgiving eve! It must have snowed well into the night because when we woke Thanksgiving Morning, there was better than a foot of snow covering everything! Perfect way to start the day, Dad and I headed to our favorite haunt. It was cloudy and overcast, the skies threatening more white stuff, mom had told us to be home no later than 11:00, she needed help for family dinner at 2:00. By 9:30 or so, we had had enough, or at least dad had so we headed home. We had seen so tracks at all. Friday was another day. We slept a little late and by the time we had left the house, the sun was peaking over the horizon. It looked to be a great day, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was warm too! We parked at the farm house, dad fearing that we would get stuck in the snow trying to drive up the logging road at all. At the end of the farmer’s fence, I ducked into the woods. Dad’s plan was to continue on the road, get well above and then hunt down towards me. There was fresh deer sign everywhere in there but because there was so much snow, I was having a hard time seeing just how big any of the tracks were. I had seen the tracks of a real bruiser in there early on in the season, but there wasn’t really any way of telling what was happening here now. I just wasn’t as in tune to reading sign then as I am now that’s all! There was snow falling from the hemlock trees all around me causing me to be a bit jumpy. I sat on a log that I had sat on in the past and smoked a cigarette. I stood up, snuffed out the snub and buried the filter into the ground where I had cleaned out the snow then carefully filled it back in! I took my rifle and slung it over my shoulder and there he was! A huge buck was bounding my way through the snow. I pulled up and he was no more than 20 yards broadside. I cut loose with a shot that seemed to not even phase the buck. I let go another with the
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The Outdoor Gazette
Taxidermy Trails By Rodney Elmer
Do we need to ban Taxidermy?
That title should grab your attention! Sound crazy? Sure does, as bad as banning guns, knives, drunk driver's jeeps, or sticks that polk you in the eyes when walking through the woods?! If I went to my representative and asked to introduce a bill to ban taxidermy, say, in two years, and all of America's "sheepy" consumers over ran my shop for that time buying everything in site, I'd be rich, the bill would not become law anyway! Sounds like a strategy? Double or tripple my prices?!! In general I thought that most sportsman were not "sheep". I thought they lived their own destinies, were self reliant and understood the "Laws" that really mattered. Nature's laws! You know, ware a coat, stay out of ice water, keep eating, keep breathing, importatnt stuff ! If people think they are losing something, then they pay attention! "Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains EVIL interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." George same results and just like that he was gone! I wanted to cry right there! In fact, I may have! I took off on a run after him. I didn’t go to far and I saw him, piled up stone dead. As big as he was scared hell out of me! I wouldn’t go near him at first. I made several circles around him before I would get close enough to touch him. His chestnut colored antlers captivated me. I sat on his back and held onto the rack for what seemed like an hour! Now what? I had no frigging idea what in the hell to do now. There I was with this huge deer in a foot of snow, I had a knife and a drag rope. Hell, I had never seen a deer this big, never mind shoot one! I had only cleaned out a couple of small does alone to this point. bucks had I didn’t want to bother Dad’s hunting so I tied the rope to the antlers and began to drag him, Guts and all, NOT! I was able to lift his head a little. I put my rifle down and found a 2 foot long stick and attached it to the rope. With the stick behind me and pulling with both hands, I managed to at least drag the The Outdoor Gazette
Washington First President of the United States.
This saying came to mind as I watch a German Soldier shoot a woman prisoner on TV. "Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not." Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States. As I watched a special on how Saudi fat cats were kicking local tribesman of their lands to grow food for the rich only. "There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. "Noah Webster American Lexicographer. This last saying should be remembered most as our goverment turns into a law making factory and our
president want's a third term! Carreer politicains. Should we be surprised our young people think a gun is how you solve your problems,
after witnessing hundreds of shootings and killings on the tube we parked them in front of ? People will listen then, (while waving the gun! DUUUUH!) Look America, a nation that lives by the sword will die by the sword. Keep your families strong and responsible. Be good fathers, husbands and sons.Learn from the past, look to
Alex Cote resides in Deerfield New Hampshire. He is on the Pro Staff for Northwood's Common Scents! He is also a scorer for the NHASTC. Alex and his son spend as much time outdoors as possible and he only works when he has to.
Rodney Elmer and his wife Theresa own and operate Mountain deer taxidermy in Northfield,Vermont.
MOUNTAIN DEER TAXIDERMY
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buck maybe 15 feet at a time! This was going to take some time at this pace. I heard dad’s muffled holler through the snow covered trees. When I saw his all red figure making his way towards me, I instantly knew everything would be ok. The look on my fathers’ face was one of shear pride! We took the deer to a tannery where dad worked and put him on a leather scale. He was 230 pounds plus! It took 4 of us to hang him in the garage at the house. So, to those that claimed my first deer that year, THANK YOU! I honestly hoped that you chocked on every bite! But had you not been so tough, I never would have taken the mighty buck that I did. As it turned out in later years, the last deer that I would take on a hunt with Dad.
your and your childrens futures.Hold people responsible for their actions! Remember what our Dad's would say? "If you want it done right, do it yourself !" Get off the coach and get in there. If your on the computer, email those people. On the phone, call them! If you think it might not make any differnce, try and find out what does work. Support those who actually do things to help. Remember when lazy and stupid was the exception? I loved the majors artical last issue. They say god created all men, and Sam Colt made them equal. Where did wisdom and understanding go? Put them back at the top of the priority list. Take a good look at my photo, of gun control. The rifles are empty, the hearts are full of love and understanding and clear thinking, the spirits are bright and hopeful. There is nothing hear that does not belong, a wild place of wild things. Would God not smile?
With over 20 years of experience in taxidermy, we pride ourselves in our ability to preserve your trophy to look as it did in its natural habitat. We work annually on about 300 mountings and presentations of many varieties of wildlife; deer, bears, moose, coyotes, fox, fisher, turkeys and more. We also work on animals from other parts of the globe including Africa. In addition to being entertaining, the stories of the hunters who are our cus tomers provide information allowing us to suggest possible ways to present and mount the trophies that they have bagged. Our high quality work can be seen by our many repeat customers that seek out our services. The presentation of your trophy can be head wall mounts or full body depictions. We are also the State of Vermont Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Big Game Reporting Station. A specially designed outdoor scale system with tall vertical clearance is also provided for easy weigh-in of all species.
Call Rodney or Theresa Elmer
1308 Loop Road - Northfield, VT 05663
The Coastal Zone Species Spotlight - Summer Flounder
It’s hard to even type the words “summer” as I look out at 2 feet of snow still on Cape Cod on this late February afternoon. It’s been a tough winter for us fisherman with cabin fever or spring fever as I call it. By now I’m usually casting small flies or clam worms to sea run white perch and hold over stripers in 50-60 degree weather. Instead it’s been a constant 30 degree rain and snow mix in between the three winter storms since hurricane sandy hit our shores in October. At least my gear has been tended to much more than usual for this time of year. I normally have many trips booked for the spring run of fish by now, but this weather has most of us still thinking it’s a ways off. No worries, for the first few days of nice weather will light up my phone and email with clients booking the prime dates for sure. Summer Flounder or, Fluke as they are called by most New Englanders are one of the region’s most popular game fish. Fluke are members of the flatfish family that share our waters with a few of their
cousins, the smaller winter flounder and the not so popular windowpane
Bob Gallinger, Acton MA.
variety. New England had a significant spring run of winter flounder for many generations with the species being very popular sport from shore and small boat fisherman from New Jersey to Maine during the cooler late winter and early
Captian John Curry By Captain
spring months. As species often due they were on a declining cycle for the past 20 years. They tolerate cooler water temps much more that their
fair weather cousins and I’m happy to say that Boston Harbor has seen a good run of fish the past few years well into June. The Windowpane flounder is a very thin and almost diamond shaped flatfish. They are called windowpane because they are so thin you can actually see through to their rib cage and skeletal system if you hold them up to the sun or a light. It’s hardly worth trying to fil-
join the other. The resulting migration is one of nature’s perfect ambush predators. Fluke can actually change their skin pattern similar to a chameleon, to match the sea bottom for the ultimate camouflage pattern. I bet Mossy Oak® would love to figure out that trick! Fishing for fluke is based on many traditional methods and a few new aged techniques that can put some keeper sized fish in the cooler. The Fluke grow larger than winter flounder with some specimens breaking the 12 pound mark in our waters each year. Fluke is a very important commercial and recreational fishery in New York and New Jersey. Rhode Island and Massachusetts also enjoy both fisheries with the majority being recreational pursuits. Fluke are very aggressive feeders and as ambush predators it’s important to look at a few key factors when targeting these summer visitors. First of all, fluke like to feed in between tidal movements and the stringer the tide the better. I always check the season dates (May 22nd to September 30th. 5 fish daily limit with a 16.5” min. length) and the moon phase calendar to plan my fluke charters accordingly. A new moon and a full moon will always produce stronger tides and baitfish migrations. Once you have the tides matched up right look
Pair of fat fluke from Buzzards Bay, MA.
let these aggressive bottom dwellers. Unlike the winter flounder, the windowpane and fluke are both left eyed flatfish, meaning that when looking at them from the tail towards the head, their mouth is left of their eyes unlike the right eyed winter flounder. All flounder species begin their lives with their eyes on either side of their bodies like most fin fish, swimming upright as larval flounder for only a brief period of time. Soon they begin to hug the bottom for both protection and food and lay on their side in what looks like an unnatural manner. As nature often performs the unexpected, one eye of the flatfish actually migrates to one side to
for a mix of sand, rock and weed as the best bottom structure. Being ambush predators fluke like the diversity offered in a mixed bottom contour environment. While I have caught keeper fluke on large sandy flats, stick to the mixed bottom for better results. Study the chart well and look for those areas with mixed bottom structure and varied depth ranges. Fluke like the upwelling currents when a bottom suddenly comes up while the tide is pushing bait over the top of the rip line. Fluke are fished with many different baits and lures, but if you want to score consistently stick with the many spinner
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The Outdoor Gazette
from previous page style drift and trolling rigs available from your local tackle shop. I prefer the “fluke rig” made by Magna Tackle right here on Cape Cod. They even make a large version called the “Doormat Size” as that is what large fluke are often referred to around here. The idea is very simple, on a basic conventional set up ( I like the new Tsunami AirWave –TSAWBC661XHL rods, paired with the tried and true Penn 320GTI spooled with Berkley Big Game XL mono) tie on a 2-3 ounce bell sinker to the three way terminal tackle on your factory made leader and tip the skirt or rubber squid with a piece of
the real thing, as in some squid strip or I prefer a nice belly slice off a fresh mackerel. The traditional method is to drift the bait as the current takes you over prime ambush points. And once you pick up a few fish, pick up-re-bait and start the drift over again. This is pretty simple and relaxing and maybe that’s why the fluke is such a popular sport for many young and old alike. Of course I like to mix things up and try things that aren’t so status quo in the fluke fishing communities. For one thing I have learned that by slow trolling again the current you can often pick up fewer, yet larger fish. I Magna Tackle Small Fluke Rig.
Bill from Upstate NY with a keeper Fluke, Upper Buzzards Bay, MA
Attention Attention New New Hampshire Hunters Hunters
have a theory as to why this can work, but don’t tell any serious old school “fluker”. You will get some strange looks, trust me. By trolling against the current your bait will present its self longer in the strike zone, but you cover less water. I would rather study the chart and look for fewer larger fish myself, but as the NMFS reduces the size restrictions sine the species is rebounding in its cycle, any day you can get out on the beautiful waters of Cape Cod and drift for fluke is a good day in my book. Did I mention that fluke are about as fine a fish to eat as any that swim in fresh or salt for that matter? I like to roll my fillets over a
handful of lobster stuffing and bake them with a few brushes of melted butter and lemon. Man I can’t wait for spring! I know many anglers who simply fish for fluke without targeting any of the many game fish that swim in our waters from May to November. Capt. John Curry grew up in Rehobeth, MA and summered on the Cape mainly in the Bass River area. He has over 30 years of fishing and boating on Cape Cod and Rhode Island waters. Currently living in W. Yarmouth and summers in Bourne. He runs a sportfishing business on tha Cape, visit his website www.capefishing.net.
The New Hampshire Antler & Skull Trophy Club 7th Edition NH Big Game Record Book is now available!
• New State Records • Boone & Crockett Trophies • Hunting Stories • NHASTC Hall of Fame • Incredible Antler Racks! and much more. Don’t wait till they’re gone, order yours today!
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Please allow 2 - 4 weeks for delivery. Mail or photocopy this form and send to: NHASTC Record Book Roscoe Blaisdell, President 22 Schribner Road Raymond, NH 03077
Trail Camera Photo Contest Sponsored by Chadwick’s Trail-Cams
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2012 Trail Camera Photo Contest
Jay Gilmour- Australia!
Sponsored by ChadwicksTrailcams.com Send in your trail camera pics, and for every picture that is published in The Outdoor Gazette you will get one chance to win one of three Trail Cameras.
Two (2) Winners will be drawn randomly and announced in the January 2013 issue. Plus One (1) Winner/Owner of “The Trail Camera Picture of the Year”, will be chosen by the Outdoor Gazette staff and folks on our Facebook page. The “Pic of the Year” will be on the cover of the Jan. 2013 issue!
Are you worried by sending in your pic of that trophy buck or huge bull moose, will give away your secret location? No need to worry! We will post your pics anonymously, with as little info as you like. Your secret is safe with us!
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2011 Trail Camera Photo Contest Winners ; Trail Camera Picture of the Year is Dan Green from Lyme, NH Random Winners - Thomas Flynn from Holderness, NH and Mary Emery from Enfield, NH
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Cody Marriott - Wester n NY
February March 2013 2013
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Primitive Skills Tracking Survivability
A number of times I’ve written that we are only two things beyond our genetics; the environment we immerse ourselves in, and what we choose to focus on in that environment. The caveat is that within the span of a single life time these two elements (each within your power to alter) will influence which aspects of your genome are more available than others. Simply, the choices you make effect the behaviors and preferences of the next generation. “Survival” is a perfect subject to bear out how profound and simple this ‘’power” of yours (choice) actually is. The concept of “living” apart from the concept of “survival” for our species is a new development. Homo habalis, our first known toolmakers, were living within the context of an out door environment. They relied on hunting, gathering, and traveling in response to what was seasonally available and they, like all other flora and fauna, had their population kept in check by the carrying capacity of the landscape. “Life” and “Survival”, it is safe to say, were synonymous. It is from this point (around 2.5 million years ago) that our
By Michael Douglas
brains began to increase in size. With the arrival of Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago) the cranium size of our lineage had doubled and was on
physical evidence. Neanderthals existed over half a million years ago and had larger adult sized craniums and greater strength than modern man. The physiological forerunner of anatomically modern humans,
A community of skills practitioners accelerates learning for all involved. the increase. We reached the apex of Archaic Homo sapiens, evolved strength and brain size in our evolu- between 400,000 and 250,000 years tionary history in the species before ago. DNA evidence suggests that sevmodern man, Homo sapien nean- eral haplotypes of Neanderthal origin derthalensis. This is a species that is are present among all non-African generally understood to have tool mak- populations, and Neanderthals may ing abilities, as well as indicators of cul- have contributed up to 6% of their ture and ceremony, all supported by genome to present-day humans. Anatomically modern humans evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic, about 200,000 years ago. The transition to behavioral modernity, with the development of symbolic culture, language, and specialized lithic technology happened around 50,000 years ago according to many anthropologists. Domestication began with agricultural practices some 15,000 years ago. Interestingly, wherever agriculture became an alternative to other population controls the species flourished until the soils and resources were exhausted in that area. The rich flood planes of the Middle East, are now dune and rock deserts. This can be tracked in our migrations through the dust bowl of North America in to
modern forestry/cattle dilemmas in the Amazon Basin and de-forestization ramifications around the world. Haiti, with no trees, has lost nearly a third of it’s landscape to erosion and is dealing with malnourishment in 40% of their population. From the perspective of a population that hasn’t fully depleted their supports (i.e. Most of North America) this would be considered “Survival”. Empowering yourself with these bits of information may take you to uncomfortable places and ugly conclusions, but it is important to fully appreciate the value of your choices and actions to the contrary by recognizing the stark and very real alternatives. “Survival” is a temporary and unsustainable state. It is meant to be a brief period of transition with a definable outcome. You either recover or you die. The indicators of being in a state of “Survival” are fear, suffering, the feeling of hopelessness, frustration, or panic and elevated stress levels. Awareness and compassion diminish and combativeness and/apathy increase. Dehydration, malnutrition, injury and most commonly, the artificially and chronically triggered “flight or fight” response, are all indicators that one has ceased normal life processes and the body has entered a state of survival. Remember, “Choice” is often the difference between a survival response and wellness. It is important to differentiate what causes this response from what happens to you when you are “well”. You begin to experience a base line sense of joy. You become relaxed yet aware, compassionate and artistic, and a sense of connection to everything and everyone around you guides you toward actions that cultivate wellness in others and the landscape. We can emerge from this recent chronic state of survival simply by spending more time outside. First, being outside increases our awareness
Continued on page 49
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ent. This means that the mortality rate from coyote predation of deer within the confines of a deer yard does not increase as the density of deer (number of deer per square mile or acre) increases. Why is this? The density of coyotes across the landscape within the area of a deer yard is most likely limited by spring and summer conditions that control survival of pups. The number of coyotes within “striking distance” of a deer yard should be pretty much set well before deer go to the yards. Thus, an increase in the number of deer in a deer yard has no direct bearing on the number of coyotes in a yard preying on deer during any given winter. Coyotes are territorial animals. It is believed that coyotes, themselves, limit the maximum density of coyotes that will occupy any given area by chasing off or killing other coyotes. 9. All sources of winter deer mortality are dictated by winter severity. Snow depth is the most important factor affecting deer mortality. As snow gets deeper, deer have difficulty traveling (expend more calories) to obtain forage. As a result, deer remain more and more confined to areas having lesser snow depths. This causes deer to concentrate into smaller areas where less forage is available and movement is more restricted thus increasing vulnerability to coyote predation. 10. Coyotes prey on both bucks and does of all age classes. However, fawns are most vulnerable because of their small size. Because fawns are also the most vulnerable age-class to malnutrition which weakens them, coyote predation may have an additive affect on fawn mortality as winter severity increases. This means that given the same number of deer and coyotes in any given yard, more fawns than expected will die from coyote predation as winter severity increases. Once again the best way to manage for this is to manage the habitat as discussed in 6. above. 11. “Coyote predation should be considered a limiting not regulatory factor of deer populations because depressed regional deer populations in Quebec have recovered after a series of mild winters…” I believe that this
statement is generally true. However, evidence from studies in New York and Pennsylvania suggest that when deer numbers are reduced to low levels that coyote and bear predation on fawns
reluctant to abandon it.” Deer learn the location of the deer yard by following their mother. One might expect that a deer spending months within a small area must become quite familiar
Whitetails are confined to deer yards when snow depth exceeds 16-20 inches.
may prevent deer population recovery via fawn predation. Control of both coyote and bear numbers may be necessary to recover deer populations in some situations. The availability of high quality fawning habitat/cover may also affect bear and coyote predation. Deer inhabiting more mature forests where under-story growth is limited will likely have increased rates of fawn mortality caused by bear and coyote predation. Forest management practices can also address this issue. 12. Deer productivity is reduced after severe winters. Increased winter mortality reduces the number of does producing fawns the following spring. Poorer body condition of does coming out of severe winters results in fewer fawn per doe being born. The condition of fawns at birth and milk quantity/quality of does may also be reduced resulting in increased mortality of fawns after birth. As a result: “The impact of a severe winter can have a lagged, 2-3 year effect, and a series of consecutive severe winters that continually depress productivity and enhance predation can produce regional population decline.” On the flip side, it takes several years having mild winters for deer populations to recover. 13. “…deer display very strong fidelity to their DWA and are very
and comfortable with the area. Reluctance to abandon a well known area seems expectable. Deeper snows outside of the yard, lack of familiarity with other nearby areas of suitable habitat, and greater susceptibility to predators outside of the yard: all are likely causes resulting in establishing “strong fidelity” of individual deer to a specific deer yard. 14. It is not know how deer colonize new deer yards or what happens to deer when their deer yard is destroyed by logging, fire or defoliation of the forest canopy. Research is needed to learn about these things to better
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understand what management techniques might be developed to improve the rate of colonization of new yards or to minimize of potential mortality resulting from destruction of a deer yard. Radio or GPS tracking of deer would be the best way to study these issues. I would speculate that orphan fawns could result in colonization of some new yards. I would also speculate that deer migrating longer distances to yards might be forced to “stop short” by occasional storm events that might happen to severely restrict travel during migration. If the area within which the “stop short” of their traditional yard provides enough suitable winter habitat for deer to survive, some animals might be expected to return to the new area instead of traveling to the original yard. Both of these possible colonization methods would likely depend on haphazard events. Wayne Laroche directed Vermont’s Department of Fish and Wildlife from 2003 until 2011 serving as the Commissioner. He holds degrees in both fisheries and wildlife management from the Univ. of Maine and California State Univ. Wayne is a native Vermonter and currently resides in Franklin, VT. He enjoys tracking whitetails in the big woods of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Wayne can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Gazette’s Book Review
By Colonel J.C. Allard
New England Seacoast Adventures By Stephen Jermanok The Countryman Press 2002 241 pages, $19.95 ISBN: 0-88150-510-2 Sometimes those who love New England’s North Country and spend their time mainly in the interior uplands need a change of pace. Fortunately New England is blessed with all manner of landscapes and opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. New England remains something of a paradise in that regard. For those seeking a change of scenery from the mountains and the Great North Woods, New England’s more than 5,000 miles of Atlantic coastline beckons. The same sorts of outdoor pursuits exist and thrive at the coast as further north and west in the interior. Stephen Jermanok’s 2002 guidebook New England Seacoast Adventures provides a comprehensive and easily usable field reference to myriad activities in hundreds of locations, from Greenwich, CT in the southwest
to Eastport, ME in the northeast. It earns its subtitle “A Complete Guide to Outdoor Recreation from Connecticut to Maine.” Jermanok, a native New Yorker now residing in Newton, MA, lists right up front the activities his guidebook details across the region. And the guide offers something for almost everyone. Backpacking, beachcombing, bird watching, camping, canoeing, fishing, golf, hiking, horseback riding,
mountain biking, road biking, rock climbing, sailing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, swimming, surfing, and walking abound amid the beaches, bays, islets and inlets of New England’s extensive and varied shore. Consisting of six chapters: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts: Cape Cod and the Islands, Massachusetts: Boston, the North Shore and the South Shore, New Hampshire and Southern Maine, and Maine, New England Seacoast Adventures is a tough slog when taken cover to cover. It’s a guidebook, not a narrative. It’s a reference, not a story. Each chapter in Jermanok’s guide contains some lore and history of the area covered. It also spells out the activities found there as well recommendations for camping and sight-seeing. Scattered throughout are enough black and white photographs to spark some additional reader interest. As a guide, it rates among the best available. Jermanok’s earlier work, as author of Frommer’s Great Outdoor Guide to Vermont and New Hampshire and coauthor of Lonely Planet’s Guide to New England, made him an expert at this special writing niche. He is well organized and direct. He is informative but entertaining enough to make the readers want to see these places and experience these outdoor sports and adventures for themselves.
New England Seacoast Adventures is a book for the backpack, bicycle pannier, satchel, or automobile glove box, not the library shelf. It is meant to be taken on the road, to the beach, or in the boat. It is meant to be used, dog eared and marked with the owner’s margin notes. This book is a tool, just as a map, a compass or a kayak paddle are tools to get someone to a beautiful, interesting and special place. Those of us who live in New England are blessed to have the four distinct seasons and wonderful landscape vistas at every turn. We are privileged to live in a diverse natural world which provides almost endless opportunity for sporting activities. We are also privileged to have dedicated people among us, like Stephen Jermanok, who spend endless hours and days researching and writing such a comprehensive source book. Now it is up to us to take up the tools and get outside to start enjoying all of the great variety that New England offers. the owns who Anyone Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Guide needs to also own New England Seacoast Adventures. Col. J.C. Allard lives in Pittsfield, NH about 20 miles north by east of Concord. “We're in the shadow of the Belknap mountains here, but we can see Mt. Washington on a clear day”.
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Pictures Gone Wild Our reader submitted photos
While kayaking in the Green Mountain National Forest, Dora White of Bridgewater, Vermont met up with these two frisky bull moose...Thanks for sharing these photos with us Dora!
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Bucks and Bones By Trevor Bunnell
One Track Leads To Another
It was, what I would call the, first real snow of the year, and like so many storms of the last few deer seasons it came in late and was still coming down in the early hours of the morning. The wind was blowing the snow sideways. It was mid season and we had shot a few nice deer from camp in less than good conditions. In some big country in New Hampshire, Mikey and I found ourselves with high hopes, Before I go any further I think I should tell you about my good friend, Mikey, he is twenty six years old and a good size man, perhaps one of the strongest men I have ever had the pleasure of being around. Mikey is one of the most laid back guys in the camp, which is probably why I like to hunt with him so much. It seems that Mikey and I spend the better part of a month together every fall. With the snow coming down so hard, we knew the deer where going to be held up and thus, no tracks being laid. We decided to hunt a spot which I had seen some buck sign in earlier in the week while hunting with my brother, Heath, and our friend Ben. I’ll tell you much more about them in another story. So with about an hour before first light, Mikey and I throw back the seats of my Toyota and decided to get some rest. When it finally got light Mikey dropped me off about a mile and half from the previously mentioned spot while he went south, so that he could hunt back to the north. As luck would have it, the storm ended shortly after Mickey had dropped me off. I had only gone about a half a mile into a soft wood ridge when I caught what looked like a nice buck track. As the deer led me north- east up a small hard wood mountain range. I started to have my doubts about the size of the deer, but
I figured I should still follow the buck, with hopes to get a good look at it or maybe find a bigger track along the way. As I worked my way eastward, I found myself in a tenyear-old cut. Some big hard woods mixed with whips and open spots. The buck was pawing the ground and I could see where his antlers
scanned the woods, not seeing him I figured I was wrong and started down the little ledge, as I hit the flat shelf I saw a flash to my right, it was at that moment that I knew that I had blown round one! I had gotten within twenty yards of that deer and not seen him; he had been lying down beside a small fir. After checking his bed, it was as I figured he probably weighed in around 160,
travis is shown here with his 2012 Granite State mnster buck. The big buck weighed 220 lbs and scored 151in. made an imprint in the six inches of not a deer I really was looking to fresh snow. I probably would have chase all over the mountains with the been going even slower if I thought element of surprise gone. It was now almost ten and I was he was a buck that I really wanted to really disappointed that I had not shoot. As he fed out of the cut and moved come across a bigger track so I called into some more hard woods I could Mikey to see where and what he had see a shelf of spruce off in the dis- going on, all he said was that he was tance. It only made sense to me that not far from the truck and could he would be headed right for it as it come find me. I was fine and would would be a great place for him to lay stay with the original plan where he down and watch his back track . The was working himself up and across a sun was high in the sky and the wind good size river, which led into a big was calm, so about four hundred mountain basin. With no track I picked up the pace yards from the spruce, I left the track and went to my left, which would and was able to cover a mile, workput the wind in my favor, so that I ing myself off the mountain and could work my way down to that the down into some active logging . In shelf. When I reached the shelf there hopes of finding tracks that would was about a five-foot drop off. I lead the way, but no such luck. When I heard shots come from where the day had started thinking to myself, somebody was having a good day. I decided to swing east and get a little deeper, I walked another mile and I could see some tracks up in front of me. By now it was about noon and the day was looking better, it seemed a nice buck was chasing a doe around and they were headed up the side of a three thousand foot mountain that had been cut earlier in the year and there was lots of food around. As I followed them, it was apparent that she wanted nothing to do with is shenanigans. She led both him and I through the thickest woods she could find. When we were in any open woods, she was on the run. Just when they would get near
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to the top, she would drop down just to go back up to the top again. The weather was also changing and light snow was falling. The doe led us up a draw in the mountain. It was one of those spots deer probably use a lot. The kind of spot that if you sat there day in and day out, you probably could shoot a nice buck every year. If you possess that kind of patience that is, in the big woods the deer are few and far between. Just as the deer and I were about to go down the other side of the mountain I could see another buck track going in the direction we came from. This track looked bigger to me, kind of like, “I went up there driving a Volkswagen and came back with a Bulldozer”. The track was bigger and headed back in the country I just came from. I chose to leave the buck and doe. As we left the spruce and went back to the cutting it seemed as though we were on a string, we went about a mile crossing the river without changing course. Mikey was working his way northwest about three miles away. By now the snow was coming down hard but luckily the track was not getting snowed in and I could tell that I was not losing ground and this deer was close. After crossing the river I followed him up as they started up another mountain. Slightly to the left I followed the buck track up a shelf. Despite the wind and snow in my face, I could still see that he went up to yet another shelf, which was made up of big hardwoods. Visibility was good, other than the snow, which was now blizzard like. As I followed the shelf, the buck turned back to the lower shelf that was going parallel to the one we were on. I was scanning in front of me only glancing at the track. After about fifty yards, or so, I decided to move over to the tracks so I could see the lower shelf as well. Just as I made it to the edge of the shelf and the tracks, I looked down on the shelf below and there was a deer. Instantly putting the scope on nine power, showed it was a buck licking himself. At that moment his head came up and exposed his front shoulder, I squeezed the trigger of my 270. He donkey kicked, so I knew he was hit good! All of a sudden there were two more deer I quickly looked at them and then returned my attention back to the buck that was running up and away from me. The second shot put him over backwards and sliding down the hill between the two shelves. I remember thinking it must be after four o’clock as it seemed to be getting dark, to my surprise, when I
Continued next page
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and slows our respiration and heart rate. As our pace slows we notice more and disturb less of our surroundings. This increases the ease at which we can locate and acquire shelter, water, fire, and food. You sense of connection to the landscape increases, allowing you to respond proactively to subtle shifts in the wind, bird behaviors, and cloud patterns to avoid being caught in a storm or by a predator. At night, you are no longer afraid of the shadows because they keep you safe, hidden, silent. You are a shadow. It is a peaceful, non-dramatic, exhilarating sense of belonging and wellness that washes over you when you are literate enough in the environment that sustains you. You can’t get enough of it. No matter how much you pour yourself in to the landscape you always feel like there is so much more to know, to learn, to experience. Before long you want to encourage the landscape to reach its full potential as well. It might start with bird feeders, but quickly evolves to encouraging plant and animal diversity and health. Edge areas, edible forest gardens, medicinal plant propagation; these are just a few of the symptoms of a person recovering ownership of their own overall health. The spread of “dis-ease” has looked at my radio/GPS it was only a little after two. I got Mikey on the radio and he gave me the truck location. We made plans to meet at the truck, so that he could help me get the deer out. We both had about three miles to the hike. Mikey and I talked to some of the loggers to see if we could go by their job site to retrieve the buck as well as locating Ben and Phil to help. As it turned out it was a pretty interesting day, as the shots I had heard earlier had been Ben’s. He had missed a buck, which was not like him but he did not seem to dejected, as it was a small buck. The plan was Ben, Mikey and I would get dropped off about half a mile from the deer and then Phil would take the truck back down the road about a mile. This meant that
become the perceived “baseline” of many a chosen world view. Wellness is the stuff of fairy tales and delusional noble savagery in the minds of those
innate, naturally occurring strategies. It is our choice to empower one over the other. By creating stronger neural networks toward manifesting bounty
Immersion in the outdoors instills a sense of belonging rather than fear. ensconced in the flight or fight para- (over the enforcement of fear based digm. Both wellness and survival take reactions in our brains) we improve our a lot of emotional investment and calo- life, lessen the severity and frequency of rie expenditure. The difference is in the survival response, and are more apt the wake that each leaves. In one to survive an actual survival scenario. approach “those with the most toys It is for this reason that survival win”, and in the other, we “leave it bet- “instruction” should start from a founter than we found it”. Because these dation of wellness and share skills approaches are expressed in different designed to orient folks back toward parts of the brain, one “frame of their own platform of well-being. Too many schools share simple skills mind” does not make sense to the other until it is experienced. Both are designed to get folks out of a high stress situation only to return to a chronic from previous page baseline of stress. This is the result of we would not have to pull the deer addressing symptoms instead of root straight up the mountain. By the causes. This path is easier, simple to time we got back to the buck it was almost dark. We took pictures and then began the one-mile drag. I led the way as Ben and Mikey pulled the deer in a jet sled. One guy in front and the other, “with a rope on the back?” Now this must sound funny, but was a must so that the lead guy did not get run over going downhill. We had always used the old method of a rope and a stick but this system seem to work pretty well. With a lot of hard pulling we were back at the truck around seven. This is where having strong friends, Mikey, and one who runs five Ks for fun, Ben, is a great combination. The next morning found us at the scale, dressed weight was 220 and he had ten points, gross score 151.
Continued from page 46
understand, and quick. It also falls far short of effective skill sharing and is the mark of ignorance, laziness or worse, neglect. The good news is that we can make the internal shift from fear-based reactions to being proactive from a place of joy instantly. We may stutter, stop, fall back to our old patterns when tired or stressed, but nature rewards healthy behaviors with beneficial emotions and results. The defaults to old patterns lessen as one learns to laugh at themselves each time it happens. Fear and uncertainty is gradually replaced by gratitude and curiosity. Your physical skills and awareness will also experience explosive growth. If you chose to be offended by this article that is lesson enough. If you choose to try out some of these concepts, please share your results. Learning through shared experience is the next logical step. Only through the shared experiences of folks reclaiming their own expression of wellness can we begin to establish resilient and healthy communities. Michael Douglas has been sharing Survival, Tracking, Awareness, Wild Foraging, and Primitive Technology at the Maine Primitive Skills School since 1989. He continues to be a student of the natural world and our abilities to interact with it through his school and full immersion trips in the North Woods. He is eager to answer questions and hear your comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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