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October 2012

The Outdoor Gazette


Volume 6 Issue 10

Publisher/Editor: Fred Allard Graphic Design: Dan Millet

This “redneck” hood ornament was spotted in Bradford, Vermont. Nice Vermont buck!

! w o n E B I R C S sub

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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 fred@theoutdoorgazette.com.

On The Cover

This bedded New York buck was captured by Michael Turner of Western, NY. October 2012

Page 3


Editor’s Back Porch

Bowtober

Well it’s October (Bowtober) and that means time to bowhunt. This October I spent a great weekend with my 2 older sons, Devin and Josh, along with my dad, my brother and nephew at our deer camp in Worcester, Vermont. The company

By Fred Allard

was good but the hunting was terrible. Maybe it’s us? Naw can’t be! My nephew Garrett did manage to scare the b’jesus out of 3 deer and get a shot. But in true Allard form, scaring them was as close as he got … that makes him the most successful

Nightly ritual on our Ohio deer adventure - a campfire and deer stories This hunt is on public land, which hunter in our family that weekend! Later this month I am headed to is fairly abundant in this state. The Ohio for the second time. Last year hunting is tougher than I expected, my buddy John Flynn of N. but still worth the trip. Public land Haverhill NH accompanied me to whitetails are no push over even in a South East Ohio. Continued next page

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state like Ohio. I did manage 2 shots on a beauty of a six point, my last evening there. The evening was dead quiet. I could hear the deer approaching a mile away. The area’s geography has many of those little “hog back” ridges and the noise echoed so, that at first I could not discern which direction the deer was approaching from. Finally after at least a 5 minute wait, I noticed the deer’s back just

over a “hog back”, only 20 yards in front of me. The buck came up over, straight toward me, then turned and stood broadside at 15 yards staring at me. I drew quickly and released as soon as my finger reached my anchor point. My arrow was perfect, that is if the deer had not ducked at the sound of my bowstring. I shaved hair from his back. The deer took a few bounds and stopped at the edge

Remnants of deer seasons past, permanent treestands are no longer legal here

The Outdoor Gazette

from previous page

One of the many man made lakes (full of bass), a biproduct of strip mining decades ago of the ridge where he had come have scared deer in. from. The yardage now 20, I knocked an arrow and let fly. The shot was dead center in to a sapling, Fred Allard lives in Haverhill, NH with 12 yards from me. Because the his family. He is a Bowhunter Education ground between the buck and me Instructor, a scorer for the Northeast Big kind of “hollowed” (a hollar) out, my Buck Club, the New Hampshire Antler and arrow was about 10 feet off the Skull Trophy Club and the Vermont Big ground. Anyway the six-point had Game Trophy Club. He is the President of enough of this, I don’t think he ever the Montshire Traditional Bowhunters. Fred can be reached by emailing fred@themet an Allard in the woods before. Ohio, added to my list of states I outdoorgazette.com.

October 2012

Page 5


Stick and String By Fred Allard

September Encounters

Two weeks of New Hampshire’s bow season are in the books. I have had a great season so for. No, I have not taken a deer as of yet, but my critter encounters have been numerous. I have not had much time to hunt, maybe 5 or six outings, but all but one, have produced deer sightings with one day being a 9 deer day! Great for NH, or anywhere for that matter. The acorn drop has been good and I had found an area last year with many oaks, in a big woods section of central NH. The area of oak trees encompasses about 50 acres but the surrounding wilderness has none. Last year there were no acorns here and poor deer hunting, this year acorns are in and the deer are all over this acorn oasis. My first morning in the spot a spotted a doe and a 4-6 point buck out at about 45 yards. Too far for me, and my recurve to shoot. On my way out that morning, I hung a trail camera to see what was going on in “my” oak forest.

Do to work and life etc it would be almost week before I could return. I spotted 2 does

ground on this hunt, snuggled up against a large, forked oak tree with some small hemlocks for cover. About 4 pm or so I slowly turned my to the left and

The largest of the bucks that showed themselves at one of my NH stand locations this September. Of course, I was not there out of range this am. I left the in my peripheral vision I picked camera there, as I knew would up the wag of a tail not 5 feet be back the next evening and from me. My heart went from 60-160 in no time flat and I would pick it up then. The next evening the forest completely turned my head away was very loud, as acorns drooped from the deer. I listened intently and grey squirrels worked the oak trees and worked on their winter stores. I was on the

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want to spook her, so I waited, hoping she would move off so I could slip out of the woods with out spooking her. She wouldn’t leave and kept getting closer. She got so close she finally winded me, so much for remaining undetected. The nine–deer-day. I headed in

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needed another year before I launched an arrow at her. I have seen her 3 times total now, each time I see her, she gives me a shot opportunity. Back to the forked tree, as I let the little deer walk, I spotted an adult doe at 15 yards moving down the ridge with the little one. The brush was too thick and I never got a shot off. I picked up the trail camera on my way out that evening. At home, my son josh and I went thru the pictures. 5 bucks along with many does, including the little doe. Sweet! I’m in the right spot. So I went back couple more times the first time after picking up the camera I spotted two does out of range early in the evening, then at last shooting light a single large doe came in 30 yards from me and milled around, eating acorns for quite sometime. I wasn’t feeling good about the distance, so I waited for her to move closer. She did move closer, but not until shooting hours were over. I didn’t

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October 2012

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from previous page to the woods for a six -hour sit. On my way in, I jumped 3 deer. They appeared to be a doe and 2 skippers but I can’t be sure. I was in my spot and at about 2pm I spotted 4 more deer working thru the oaks to my right. They were at 40 to 50 yards, no chance for a shot. A couple hours later I spotted two deer working their way down the ridge right towards me. The weather was rainy and

the woods were silent as a result. The little doe was one of the deer; a larger doe accompanied her. They hung up at 40 yards and feasted on fallen acorns for about 30 minutes or so. The little doe, twice during this time frame, made her way in to shooting range. The bigger doe stayed out of range. Then with out warning she stopped eating and starting walking down the ridge. Her path would take her about

This seven point came by only once during daylight hours. He was the 5th buck to pass by my stand this September. I only layed eyes on one.

This six point showed itself many times during legl shooting hours.

This little spike still sported his velvet at the beginning of New Hampshire’s bow season This little doe came by me so many imes, I felt like I should name her.

This larger 6 point only came by at night...Could be a tough deer to kill and may be around for years to come.

15-17 yards to my left. OH YA!...OH NO is reality. As I drew to shoot, I thought for sure I d be eating venison that night. During the time I was watching the 2 deer so intently another deer had worked it’s way just behind me. The quiet woods hid its approach. So as I drew to shoot, you guessed it, the deer behind me blew and ran scaring the two does in front of me and scaring the #$%^ out of me as well! Just like that my hunt was over, no other deer showed themselves that day. Exciting, and disap-

pointing at the same time. That’s bowhunting. Experiences like this just sweetens occasional success. Two weeks down, 2 1/2 months to go! 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 works as a Registered Nurse at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Fred can be reached by emailing fred@theoutdoorgazette.com.

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Page 7


A Waterfowler's Perspective By Brian Bouchard

Duck blinds on water, where, when and how?

For you die hard waterfowl hunters who seem to need to do it all when it comes to the pursuit of those web-footed feather covered creatures we refer to formally as waterfowl, here is some of what you need to know to build a duck blind on the water. There are certain things you should know before building a duck blind in the water. First thing to do is to figure out if you are allowed to build the blind in the desired location. Well actually the first thing is to make sure there are ducks in your desired location. If not the rest doesn’t really matter. After you find birds and you have made certain that building a blind is allowed, you need to check your state & federal regulations. There are certain dates this can happen. In Vermont, its no sooner than the first Saturday in September. The owner of the blind has to have their name and address permanently affixed to the blind with waterproof paint

Page 8

or a rust proof tag. Also many Waterfowler’s are surprised to find out that you are not allowed to go in early and “tag” or

The “blind” before cedar was applied

“mark” your spot thinking you are laying claim to it. The only way this can be done is to go

October 2012

build it on the first Saturday of September. I have heard stories of some die-hards getting mad when someone came and built a

blind on “their spot”. Some of these blinds I heard have even had gas accidentally spilt on them and they somehow caught on fire. My approach is to be more neighborly and to find a good unused spot to build my blind. I always try to respect those that come before me and those who have been building blinds for years. To me it’s their spot until they relinquish it. If and when you do erect a blind on the water it needs to come down the next year on or before February 15th if built on Lake Champlain. Any blinds built on surrounding waters other than the lake can be left until May 15th of the following year from which it was built. Again, check the regulations for your state. If building a blind on

Leo on a hunt, enjoying the new blind

private land off the lake or rivers you will need the landowner’s permission and be sure to affix your name and address to the blind. So what to use to build this Taj Mahal duck blind? What we use is whatever we can to build us a safe rugged blind that will hold 4-5 guys and hide a 16-foot duck boat. We elevate this blind about 8 feet off the water which is perfect for diver ducks who swoop in low as they approach. The added elevation allows you to shoot downward making the shots really put a hurting on them. We cover the blinds in cedar harvested from local farmers. This helps with the divers, and also the puddle ducks & geese that approach from above. A suggestion here is to find a good renewable source of cedar. It takes a bunch to cover a structure of this size. The key is to prepare most of the blind prior to your arrival. We prefab the blind in my garage and do some final assembly on shore. Much safer, and

Jay Leduc hunting from the new blind

easier, than in the water. Be sure to have it 95% painted before, to avoid it needing paint afterwards. Most any flat latex paint gray or black works well. Painting a blind from a boat floating around is tricky so before hand is a must. We build two 4x8 structures, legs and all (except the walls) on shore and carefully, I repeat, carefully bring these two structures out to our spot via boat. Then we stand the structures up end-to-end creating a 16x4 foot platform. We nail these two structures together and then put up the sidewalls that are 42 inches tall

Continued next page

The Outdoor Gazette


(so Leo can see over). After the platforms are nailed together, and the walls are up, we run bracing all around it. We then construct the boat hide, which is simply a lean-to type set up jutting out from the top of the back walls to the water. See illustra-

Leo and the author, working on the blind

tion for details. You will need to pound in several braces running from the final structure into the water and into the ground. Be sure to go deep enough to avoid the waves and wind from taking your blind to shore for you prematurely. Then it’s time for the cedar to go up. We take full-length small trees that are 2-inch diameter in size but about 12 feet tall and nail & tie wrap these to the sides of the structure. You will need to get creative on this and really

from previous page

cover it well. The pre-painting will help create shadows and darken the blind. We then lay smaller looser pieces all over to fill in the gaps. It’s easier than it sounds. So if you haven’t before you should consider building a blind

over the water. It’s a great way to get up out of the boat while still being in the thick of it. This allows you to be safe and be able to film the hunt or prepare food. The possibilities are endless. It’s also a great way to introduce kids to the sport. Once you have built a solid blind you will feel like the king of the world. You will have a place you know you can always go to have tons of fun with your hunting buddies. Imagine this, cool fall mornings setting out the decoys,

Phil and Brian ( the author) take a break from the hunting action for a photo-op climbing up into your nice cozy hunt with the Fields Bay blind. Counting down to legal Outfitter crew. shooting time. It’s just a matter of time before the first ducks I have been hunting deer and predators for approach your blind. Then the over 30 years. Turkey for 15 years. shotguns start a blazing and the Waterfowl for the past 10 years. Owner of birds start to fall. Good luck this Fields Bay Outfitters. I Live in St Albans VT with my wife Michele and our 2 sons season. Email me with any questions Dillon & Kyle and our 2 labs Tyson & on how we do it or to book a Remi.

Leo and Brian, admiring thier handy work

The Outdoor Gazette

October 2012

Page 9


Taxidermy Trails By Rodney Elmer

My Mountain

I simply can’t wait! The cool mornings and nights make me so excited, like a kid at about to be free for recess! Soon I’ll be free to hunt! The Hunter Ed. classes just get us talking and teaching about the outdoors earlier, and add to the tension of breaking free from the daily grind and like a happy puppy ready to bust out the door! I picture myself loading my old friend and walking away from the rig, up my favorite mountain. At first the pace is fast, but all is good. Mountains slow you down and when I reach the top, I find the best view. It’s time to stop and take a long breather. Cool mountain air, a grand wilderness view, and it’s time to let go of a year’s worth of being the dad, the husband, the taxidermist, the mechanic or Mr. fix-it. No more bills, no worries, deadlines or talking. No more feeling half alive or chained, or committed in any way. The door to recess starts with this first step from that spot. Free at last! Thank god the all mighty, I’m free at last!

Over the years, after reading as much about our sport as possible, I came across a statement that has explained my feelings toward hunt-

The view from the author’s favorite mountain

ing the best. “A true sportsman, hunts for freedom. To make his own choices and

MOUNTAIN DEER TAXIDERMY

strides. To live and die of his own accord as those he pursues. To be as free as the buck he hunts, no fences or barriers, beyond challenge. To belong to mother earth, full of life and wild.” “ In the process he will

discover his strengths and weaknesses, finding his place in time and life.” The beauty of it all, is each of us can make our own choice’s each fall to live out our own realities and

each visible. If I, was ever a deer it would be this one. He lived where few other’s tread. He loved to travel miles, and had earned his place among others and of course lived on my favorite mountain. As I tracked him, calling him to his death, full well knowing today was his last, a raven followed and pointed the way. He stopped a hundred yards short in a tall spruce and went silent. I whispered to the bird, “We’ll see.” Now we where locked in a story that played out with uncanny predictability. The 5 mile long trail, the buck’s bolting, stopping to look back, the shots taken, his will to live strong and inspiring. Little can we be there during the rest of their lives. When they were born, when they ran from the coyote, or made it through a long cold night. But he died by my hands, my presence brought on his end. This was his last place alive, a grim reminder that someday I will lie in my last place. A connection not to be ignored. He is more then flesh and bone. He’s a gift from something bigger then us. A survivor, who has earned his place in this scene. He hangs on the wall now, reminding me of the day our realities crossed and that I belong to something much

With over 20 years of experience in taxi dermy, 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 customers 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.

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Page 10

rediscover who we are. Our values will be tested, as will our bodies and spirits. He was not laying in his 4th bed. He’d moved off the ridge at a steady pace toward the north, on to the next of the mountain’s fingers. The 1 1/2 “ thick crust made my steps echo among the fir trees but my soft steady grunting did hold him standing above bed #5, staring and listening, as if his life depended on it, which it did. Time stopped as we stared at one another, only parts of

October 2012

greater then my humbled self. We are so lucky to live on such land, to have such freedoms! I to must earn my way to fit in such a beautiful picture. Have fun piecing your hunting experiences together and finding yourself along the way. Now back to my school work ,,, so I’ll be able to go out to recess. Rodney Elmer and his wife Theresa own and operate Mountain deer taxidermy in Northfield,Vermont. The Outdoor Gazette


The Outdoor Gazette

October 2012

Page 11


Mass Meanderings By David Willette

The best deer hunters

Millions of people hunt throughout the United States. People that come from all walks of life, rich, poor, and everyone in the middle hunt. The most common big game animal hunted by all these folks is the white-tailed deer. As expected, hunting styles range from the typical ‘take a stand andwait’ method, where a hunter finds a likely spot in the woods where hethinks a deer may pass, to tracking, and “still hunting”, and a few more. The “take a stand” method is probably the most common way to hunt whitetails and is usually the most effective. There are many factors involved in this method such as; the weather, game movements or lack of it, other hunters inadvertently ruining your vigil, the ability to stay very still in bad weather, and the luck of not being scented by deer on their approach to your stand. With a great deal of preparation and some luck, a hunter can avoidall these pitfalls by choosing the right stand. This is the key to stand hunting. This is what separates the sea-

Page 12

soned deer hunters-the guys who always get their buck, from the nimrods who just walk in the woods and

find a comfortable stump. Another method used to hunt deer is tracking them. This is extremelydifficult without snow and very hard to do in steep mountainous country

like we have around here. The guy that can track down a whitetail buck year after year is a legend in deer hunting circles. The cousin to the deer tracker is the “still hunter”. Here the hunterhangs out in likely deer places and slowly hunts through the woods. Slowly means that this hunter can cover two hundred yards in anywhere from five minutes to an hour. This hunter spends more time not moving than he does moving. Still another method is “driving” deer. This is when hunters take predetermined stands where deer are likely to go by. “Drivers”, (walkers), then start to try to move deer by the standers. It sounds easy but the key is knowing where the deer go when pushed in a certain direction and having the standers get into place undetected. Out west the “spot and stalk” method is used to hunt deer. Here hunter’s glass across valleys and ravines to spot deer then plan a stalk to try to get close. Whitetails are just too jumpy and are less tolerant to any strange noises, smells or movements. Here long shots are the norm

October 2012

and what a hunter doesn’t have in deer knowledge, he makes up in marksmanship. Down in the deep-south deer are driven by dogs through the swamps and hunters wait at “crossings”. At times the shooting is fast and furious, but only when the deer run across an opening and the hunter is watching. There are a few differences in hunting styles between the rest of the country and the Northeast, but the biggest difference is in deerpopulations. Here in New England the success rate is dismal, the baglimits are meager, and populations are very low compared to the rest of the deer-hunting world. What this all means is that here in the Northeast we work harder forour deer, a lot harder. I don’t know about you but from the moment Istep from the truck I’m thinking about being quiet, where my scent is going, how I’m going to approach my stand, from which direction theother hunters will be coming, etc. Day in and day out deer hunters in the Northeast worker harder andhunt smarter for their deer than deer hunters in other parts of the country. We have the toughest weather conditions, the fewest deer, the most hunting pressure, the least amount of good food and the highest predation rate. Raise your hand if you’ve hunted all week and you’ve never seen adeer, or maybe a few tails. This doesn’t happen in most other parts ofthe country. You don’t see “Bucks Tecomante” filming any of episodesup on Mt. Katahdin. Around here guys shoot the first legal deer that comes by, if theysee one at all. In other parts of the country they have the luxury ofbeing choosy because a better deer may come by, and it usually does. Yes around here the deer hunting isn’t that good. But you know if Iwere to come back in life as a deer, I wouldn’t pick New England to live. The deer hunters here are too good and I wouldn’t last very long. David Willette is a free-lance outdoor writer who lives in Western Massachusetts. He can be contacted through www.coyotewars.com

The Outdoor Gazette


Game Wardens Asking For Help Deer Poaching in Ripley, Maine Ripley, Maine - The Maine Warden Service is looking for assistance from the public in solving a serious poaching incident in the town of Ripley. Sometime during the nights of either Friday October 5 or Saturday October 6, a person or group of people night hunted and killed four deer on the Lane Road in Ripley. Maine Warden Service was notified Monday morning October 8 and started an immediate investigation. The investigation has determined the following: Two does and a lamb were night hunted, shot, and left in a field. Wardens determined another deer was night hunted shot and taken. All the deer appear to have been shot the same night. Wardens then found nearby parts of a boned out deer they believe was from the deer that was taken. Maine Operation Game Thief (OGT) Board of Directors has authorized a $3,000 dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or

The Outdoor Gazette

person’s responsible for the illegal killing of these deer. Maine Game Wardens need the public and sporting community to assist in stopping criminal hunting activity this time of year. Some examples of criminal hunting activity that wardens need assistance from you are hearing shots at night in areas known to be inhabited by wildlife, spotlighting [or illuminating fields], illegal tree stand or blinds on

landowners property, baited areas, illegal killing of wildlife by night hunting, or exceeding the bag limit. Maine Game Wardens would also like to remind people that to ensure a game warden response to criminal hunting activity please call Operation Game Thief at 1-800- 253-7887 (1800- ALERTUS) or on the web go to www.maineogt.org. You can also report by filling out the Tip

October 2012

Reporting Form on line. Either way, the information will remain anonymous. A reward is also possible if the complainant so chooses. If you have information that can lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the night hunting of the four deer in Ripley and want to collect a $3,000 dollar reward, please call Maine Operation Game Thief at 1-800- 253-7887 (1-800- ALERTUS) or on the web go to www.maineogt.org and remember, you can report by filling out the Tip Reporting Form on line. Be a Sport and Report.

Page 13


Riverbank Tales by Bill Thompson

Two Fly Contest

This year, for the first time, the North Country Angler guides fielded a team in the Upper Andro Angler’s Alliance “Two Fly Contest’. The team was headed by Rick Gerber, our drift boat captain and Nate Hill and I as the anglers. The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance is a group of anglers and conservationists who are dedicated to making the upper Androscoggin River, Maine, a blue ribbon trout fishery. The late Rocky Freda, of Sun Valley Sports, was one of the founding members and the driving force behind the Alliance’s creation. The “Two Fly Contest” and the drift boat competition are important fund raising events for this fine organization. The contest, as the name suggests, is a fishing tournament where each contestant is limited to two flies only; should a contestant loose their flies they are out of the competition. Needless to say a great deal of thought goes into the fly selection. Nate and I agonized over our choices right up to the

last second. All fish caught, during the tournament, must be immediately released. The oarsman is the score keeper. He is charged with keeping count of all fish caught

Putting in...

and measuring any trout over 12 inches. Only trout are counted with the exception of a possible trophy chub; there is a prize for the largest chub. The contest for Rick Gerber and

I began Friday afternoon with the drift boat competition. The event was held at Bethel Outdoor Adventures. Rick and I arrived right at 2:00 P. M. and there were already two boats ahead of us putting in. Once the boats were all in

the water a quick meeting was held to go over the rules. The object of the race was to row up river and than run a slalom course down stream. After running the slalom the boat’s anchor was to be dropped and the boat had to come to a dead stop. The last portion of

Just before the first boat set off we were all handed a raw egg which was to arrive at the take out intact. As the newbie’s we were at a slight disadvantage. We made a dash for the head of the slalom course and immediately backed into some hidden rocks. We were hung up for just a moment, but it cost us time. Rick made a brilliant recovery and we headed into the most difficult turn of the course. Again Rick showed his rowing skills and we had no trouble the rest of the way. I think we may have paused too long at the anchor drop and this cost some more valuable time. Rick put all he had into the final sprint in a valiant effort to make up time. In the end we came in fourth. The boat that came in fifth was ironically last year’s winner; apparently he ran into the same rocks as we did at the head of the course. That evening all of the competitors were treated to a wonderful dinner at The Bethel Inn. After the dinner there was a final briefing on the rules and we registered our flies. The next morning came early as we put our boat in at 5:00 A.M. Teams are able to choose their

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the race was a sprint to the finish line. Each boat must carry a passenger in the bow seat. It was my job to be the “crash test dummy”. We drew fifth place out of five boats, so we were the last to go.

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Page 14

launching sites at any point from the Shelburne Dam, in New Hampshire to Rumford, Maine. We chose to put in at North Dam in Shelburne; on the New

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October 2012

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Hampshire side. Our take out point would be Gilead, Maine. In the early hours of the morning we parked our shuttle car and headed for the dam. There is no boat launch at North Dam and the only way to get a drift boat in the water is to lift it over a guard rail and slide it down a steep gravel bank. I doubted the wisdom of doing such a thing, but two boats were ahead of us and had already accomplished the impossible. Thankfully there was a bystander watching the action who lent a hand. What are the odds of finding someone at five in the morning at North Dam watching fishermen launch drift boats; not to mention someone that we happened to know? Rick considered the launch to be the highlight of the day. With the boat safely in the river we began to seriously fish. The rest of the day did not go as well as we had planned. The fishing was slow and we were not alone in this assessment as the other boats that launched where we did faired no better. Our reasoning for putting in on the New

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Rick Gerber our drift boat captian. Hampshire side was that we knew this section of the river far better than the Maine side. In fact all of the trout we caught were in New Hampshire. In retrospect this might have been an error in strategy as the Maine side had been stocked previous to the contest.

The one thing we did catch was chubs. Much of the flat water on the Maine side is referred to as “turtle water”. Can’t say we saw any turtles, but we saw plenty of chubs. As for the flies we picked, the Zoo Cougar was the hot fly. Nate was top rod in our boat and the Cougar caught the most trout. His second choice was a Wood’s Special. I fished a Craven’s Conga and a Mega Prince. The Conga proved to be a chub killer, but failed to account for any trout.

This year’s winner of the drift boat race was Sam Lambert of Bath Maine with second place going to Kate Farnham also from Maine. The Rocky Freda “Turtle Water Trophy was shared this year by two boats: the Schiavi/Northern Lights team rowed by Scott Smith of Norway, Maine and Skinny Moose Media/Northern Maine Drifters rowed by Brian Randel of Cornish, Maine. I am not sure where the North Country Angler boat placed, but we did get on the board and some boats did not. All and all a good time was had and as they say “a day on the water……….” you know the rest. Besides having a great day we had the satisfaction of raising money for a great cause and with any luck we will be back next year. See you on the river. 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 bill@northcountryangler.com.

On the river

The Outdoor Gazette

October 2012

Page 15


Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel By Stan Holz

Shiff the Gunman

I opened my gun store back in 1974. During the first few years, I constantly heard stories about a legendary character named “Shiff the Gunman.” Someone gave me an old copy of a picture of the man, and I still have that hanging on a wall of my store. I don’t hear much about Shiff any more, nor did I ever know much about who he was, or what kind of business he did. I though it was time that I learned something about old Shiff. A search of the Internet turned up very little, so I had to use some old research techniques I learned when I was in college. Yes, as strange as it may now seem, I actually resorted to looking at paper records. I was fortunate enough to have an old catalog in my own collection of gun memorabilia … “The Famous Shiff Collection,” which was a listing of all Shiff ’s inventory after his death. In addition to the gun listings, it had a short biography of the man, as well as some poor quality black and white pictures. Next, I paid a visit to the Whitefield Public Library. The librarian (who happens to also be my wife, Sandy) was very helpful in getting more information for me. Sandy found that the Lincoln Library still had some old articles about Shiff, and they gladly sent a packet of information up to Whitefield. So, who was Shiff the Gunman? Although there are many blanks in his history, I did manage to put together quite a bit of information about the man and his business. His full name was Carroll B. Shiff and he was born in 1878 in Waterloo, Iowa. His gun business was conducted out of his home on Eastside Road in Woodstock, New Hampshire. He died, under somewhat mysterious circumstances, in August of 1952. His birth date was never really verified, and his age in 1952 was listed as anything from 74 to 97, although the 74-year-old guess was probably close to his true age. Mr. Shiff ’s background is, like his date of birth, not really well known. One source I read claims he was born in a covered wagon, was an Indian fighter, trader, hunter, cowboy, and guide. It is also claimed that he had only sixteen weeks of formal schooling. Other sources state that he was a Phi Bet Kappa graduate of Harvard, and was a ranch boss for Teddy Roosevelt. He did, in fact, Page 16

write articles for hunting and fishing magazines, so he must have had at least some formal education. He was also very opinionated and was

He sent out frequent mailings with lists of what he had for sale. His fliers advertised “Shift With The House Of Shiff The Gunman.” “The Best For Less. Nothing Less Than Right At Any Price.” “Buys, Sells, Trades. Over 60 years has

a staunch Republican, hating everything about the Democratic Party. He particularly had no use for Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman, whom he called “King Franklin the Damned” and “Delirium Truman the Rascal.” It is known that, around 1919, he did work as a ranger in the White Mountain National Forest. He also worked as a hostler for the railroad, and a coal passer for the Parker Young paper mill in Lincoln, NH. His gun shop was a collection of every type of gun and ammunition.

eliminated the risk to BOTH parties. My list is worth any Man’s Stamp to see inside.” He advertised 423 guns in stock, but I have seen other of his listings that claimed more than 800 guns available. He said his business started in 1878, which is usually listed as the year of his birth, so that has to be taken with a big grain of salt. He stocked Winchesters, Marlins, Colts, Remingtons, and a huge selection of both flintlock and percussion antique firearms. Looking through that final catalog is just amazing. American military flint-

October 2012

lock muskets were selling for $25 to $65, Sharps rifles for less than $40, and Winchester 1886 rifles for less than $65. In total, over 1,000 items were listed in that last catalog. Shiff would only wait on one customer at a time. He would ignore anyone waiting, until he had finished with that one person. He also never answered his telephone, claiming it was for outgoing calls only. He never owned a car and kept guinea hens in his yard because they would make noise if anyone approached the house. He always dressed in a floppy felt hat and wore long wool socks. His long white beard was always his most recognizable feature. He was completely self sufficient, grew his own food, and cut his own wood for heat. He was a prolific reader and subscribed to many magazines and kept a large library of books on hand. Every day he would close his shop at 11:30 AM for lunch, turn on one of his four radios to listen to the news, and then not open the doors again until 2 PM. No one was allowed to enter the store between those hours. He loved talking to gun enthusiasts, but didn’t have much use for anyone who he thought wasted his time. In August of 1952, Shiff was found unconscious at his home. The local paper reported, “Carl L. Shiffer … was found unconscious in his locked and gun-filled home here late yesterday with a serious head injury.” They didn’t even get his name right. He was first taken to Littleton Hospital, and then transferred to Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover. He died there, a few days later. At first robbery was suspected, but the door was locked from the inside. A complete inventory was done, and no guns were found missing. He kept cash in a jar, and that was also untouched. The conclusion was that Mr. Shiff either suffered a dizzy spell or had a heart attack, causing him to fall and fracture his skull. At the time of his death, he had $21,000 in his checking account and $18,000 in his savings account. His inventory, at that time, was valued at well over $100,000. So that’s the story of Shiff the Gunman. A colorful and eccentric hermit, he made his living selling guns out of his house in Woodstock, New Hampshire. Today, his collection of firearms and ammunition would likely be worth millions. That collection

Continued next page

The Outdoor Gazette


Pennsylvania Added to List of States on CWD Importation Ban T he Pennsylvania Ag riculture De partment announced on October 11 that chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been discovered at a captive deer facility in Adams County. Further investigation deter mined that the CWD positive deer had been exposed to animals from captive facilities in both Lycoming and Dover Counties. All three of these deer far ms have been quarantined. The Ver mont Fish & Wildlife De partment reminds hunters traveling outside Ver mont to hunt that the regulation restricting the importation of deer and elk carcasses, which is designed to protect Ver mont’s wild deer from chronic wasting disease, remains in effect. The white-tailed deer is one of America’s most successful conservation stories. In the early 1900s deer were largely extir pated from the United T he restoration of States. deer populations is a true testament to the conservation mindset of sportsmen and women. However, the spread of CWD may currently be the big gest threat to North America’s deer hunting culture and tradition. CWD was first detected in deer confined at high densities with sheep and cows that had

was sold by an outfit called “The Shiff Associates” out of Danvers, Massachusetts. On the Internet, I’ll occasionally come across an old gun for sale that the owner claims was originally bought from Shiff, but those are quite rare. I have no idea how that final sale of the Shiff collection was done, whether by individual catalog sales or with an auction. It sure would have been nice to see some of those guns first hand … it would have even been

been exposed to non-CWD variants of a transmissible spongifor m ence phalopathy (TSE). Over the last decade CWD has been detected in 21 states and two Canadian provinces. Therefore, the Fish & Wildlife Department is taking measures to prevent the introduction of infectious diseases to the state’s deer herd. T hese measures include an importation ban on carcasses from states where CWD has been detected and educational ef forts aimed at infor ming hunters on the importance of limiting the utilization of urine based scents. Hunters can find infor mation on CWD and Ver mont’s carcass importation ban at the Ver mont Fish & Wildlife Department’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com). “Hunters should be aware of the impacts CWD would have on Ver mont’s deer hunting culture and traditions,” said Ver mont’s Deer Project Leader Adam Murkowski. “As our under standing of CWD has increased over the last decade the results have reinforced the importance of limiting the distribution of CWD on the landscape. While no strong evidence currently exists to demonstrate other species or humans can contract CWD after coming

into contact with a CWD positive deer — given the potential for inter-species transmission, Ver mont’s CWD response plan details the steps that would be taken to protect Ver mont’s hunting culture, traditions and ag ricultural industr y in the event CWD is detected. These ste ps properly require the depopulation of deer herds in areas where the disease is spatially distributed.” “Hunters should not alter their plans based on a state’s CWD status, however, hunters bringing deer or elk from any of the CWD-listed states or provinces into or through Ver mont simply have to get them processed according to the regulation before doing so.” Ver mont rules on importing and possession of deer or elk from areas with chronic wasting disease (CWD) and captive hunt areas or far ms: • It is illegal to import or possess deer or elk, or parts of deer or elk, from states and Canadian provinces that have had chronic wasting disease, or from captive hunt or far m facilities with the following exceptions:

• Meat that is cut up, packaged and labeled with hunting license infor mation and not mixed with other deer or elk during processing; • Meat that is boneless; • Hides or capes with no part of the head attached; • Clean skull-cap with antlers attached; • Antlers with no other meat or tissue attached; • Finished taxider my heads; • Upper canine teeth with no tissue attached. Ver mont’s CWD importation regulations apply to hunters bringing in deer or elk carcasses from the following states and provinces, which now includes Pennsylvania: Alberta, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, K ansas, Mar yland, Minnesota, Michig an, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. A fine of up to $1,000 and loss of hunting and fishing licenses for one year are applicable for each deer or elk imported illegally.

from previous page

more of a treat to have been able to meet the legendary Shiff the Gunman. 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 saholz@myfairpoint.net.

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October 2012

Page 17


Family Tracks Wading Wet

I moved in a half crouch, slowly stalking my way upstream towards the bathtub sized pool of crystal clear water. The fly landed with barley a whisper on the small window of silky smooth water alongside the boulder. Just seconds after the fly began its merry little voyage downstream, a trout eased up from seemingly nowhere and, after pausing for just a split second, it grabbed the fly in a quick little splash and was hooked. “Ahhhhhhhhh,” the scream echoed through the trees. “Get it, get it!” the voice yelled. I ignored the yelps behind me, yelling back “I got one guys, come here!” No response. Yelling louder over the gentle but persistent rush of water I tried again. “Hurry up guys, I got one, come see it” I yelled as the little trout dashed among the shallow water, then slipped down a miniature rapid at my feet and popped off the line. “Aww, I lost it” I said, mostly to myself. Looking back, I saw Ben chest deep in his shorts and T-shirt in the middle of a little pool I had just fished moments before, chasing the

Page 18

By Brian Lang half sunken orange butterfly net down the stream, which he was supposed to be following me with. The bright colored handle stuck out just above the surface. His sister Megan kneeled in the gravel alongside the pool, in her clothes too, shrieking with delight as her brother wallowed in the water like an otter that ate too many lollipops. I had an urge to check out the stream running through my land after the heat of the summer. The

filled in completely and was now only inches deep. But over the summer, some new little pockets had formed along my stretch, and some old ones seemed to hold on. The low, clear water left few options for where the trout could be and I thought a small dry fly could be a fun way to see who may be around. The kids followed me out to the garage to grab a rod and the little fly box I use when fishing this stream. I opened it, surveyed the dry flies, and

Ben on the prowl for fish and frogs, if he could just hang on to the net!

trauma of Irene almost exactly a year ago had made some major changes to the streambed, and I hadn’t fished much here since. A chest deep hole right at my house had been

selected a Royal Wulff. I held the fly up for show and tell, showing the kids that it’s a floating fly, and pointing out the nymphs that were supposed to sink. “Its name is a Royal Wulff ” I explained. “Say Royal Wulff ” I instructed. “Woyal Wolf ” said Ben with determination. “No, Wulff ” I said, trying accentuate the difference, although I guess it is pretty darn subtle. “Royal Woof ” said Megan with confidence, imitating a dog perfectly. I chuckled and followed the kids down the path to our stream, rod in hand, and Ben out front with his net he wanted to snatch up the fish with. It was sunny and warm, with the water scarcely up to my knees. We splashed lightly into the water, still refreshingly cold even after the hot, dry summer. I told them to stay behind me as I made my way upstream, floating the fly over each little hole. I pointed out the floating white wings dancing down the current to Megan as she stood by my side, but after a couple casts with no rises she lost interest and drifted back toward normal kid activity in the water, flipping sticks and turning over stones. As I fished along, I had to be careful to not hook my kids splashing about behind me with my back cast; it was certainly more challenging than not getting stuck in the trees, at least the tree limbs stayed in the same spot! I hooked a few fish such as the one at the beginning of the story, pretty little brookies about 6 or seven inches. There were several splashy rises by fish barely the size of my finger, a

October 2012

good sign for the fish population in the future. I fished one little pool that survived the flood, a little undercut bank next to a large rock, especially hard because it looked so good. I had no strikes, and moved upstream fishing the next pool. Megan made her way up behind me splashing and playing cheerfully, soaking wet from head to toe, and entered the pool I had just fished hard. As she slid around on the rocks I saw movement, a shadow, in the tiny riffle in front of me. I focused on the movement and saw a large trout, deep in the body and dark in color against the light gravel bottom, shoot up through the shallow water and settle into the small patch of white water just in front of me. Megan, my little trout driver, had just given away this tough old small stream lunker’s secret! I found it amazing that this trout was living where a year ago a car had washed downstream, coming to a rest mere yards from the fish’s hiding spot. I decided to skip the pool he swam into and instead hit it on the way back. After going upstream another 75 yards or so, both Meg and Ben cackled like hyenas when they both got stuck up to their knees in a patch of “quicksand” requiring me to drag them out accompanied by a great sucking sound. It was a good turning around point. I carefully crept back down stream to the big trout’s pool and tied on a small streamer. I swam it through the pocket as enticingly and as patiently as I could, waiting for the solid “jolt” I knew would I would feel if that fish decided to eat. He was either still spooked, or had moved on because I had no action. I now knew he existed, though, and where he lived, which was exciting. Ben shivered with cold as we walked up the driveway and into the house, a crisp breeze blowing across our wet skin and damp clothes. The kids stripped out of their clothes, left a sopping wet pile of clothes near the front door, and ran to get into their warm pajamas. As I picked up the cold, dripping garments I daydreamed of the big trout, the fly, and just the right rainy day I would need to catch him prowling the shallows, hungry. 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 Outdoor Gazette


The Camera Man

A few years back I used to borrow my dad's camcorder a lot to film wildlife and some of my hunting and fishing exploits. I mentioned to him on several occasions that if he were to by me my own camcorder, he would be able to use his own. He would always make some statement like I didn't need a camcorder I had his. But I did try to take good care of it. Finally one day shortly after our third child was born, My mom said I should be filming these kids or they were going to grow up and we would miss it. This was a perfect opportunity to work on a new camcorder. So I promised to film the kids if they would choose this Christmas to give the gift of a new camcorder. But it had to have night vision a gozzillion power zoom so I could film the kids sleeping in the dark or playing on the other side of the yard. Mom and Dad saw right through that plot immediately and said OK but you have to film the kids and send us tapes to watch. Oh you bet, I sure will. You got it. No problem.

Ya, right! Like that happened. The following hunting season I drew a nonresident tag for deer in Montana. Hey, I am going to make a great home movie of my Montana hunt. I discuss the details with my dad and we set a date to meet at the old home hunting grounds. I tell him of my plans to have him film the hunt. We plan the ultimate over the shoulder filming of a great shot on a nice buck. Finally the weekend is here that we had waited for. I arrive about two hours ahead of schedule and start filming some nice bucks and some of the rutting behavior. I have seen at least a dozen bucks that I would love to take on film. One of them even stood on the road just a few yards in front of me and posed for my camcorder. We had hit the weather just right the season just right and maybe even the alignment of the stars was nothing short of monumental. Perfect for a home movie about a deer hunt. I head back to the meeting place and see my dad slash camera man coming. Perfect timing.

We said our hellos and went for a look around before setting up camp for the night. We saw several nice bucks. None of them were easily accessible not even the one that was on the road just an hour earlier. He had moved off nearly a mile. Darkness shut us down. We planned to go after that buck in the morning. Daylight found us scanning the hills for the nice buck. It would be neat if we could have this guy on film the day before we harvested him and get that on film too. Not much later we saw him with about 15 does. We planned a stalk. Our plan called for some crawling in the snow to get to a high point for a shot. I hand him the camcorder, grab my gun and away we go. Around the hill and to the top through a low spot. Then we have to crawl for a ways, I always say about a quarter mile on our bellies in the snow. It was actually about 150 yards. But still soaking wet and cold. Finally we get to the top Of the knob. I see the buck herding his does. I estimate the yardage, a

very long shot. What a great situation for filming. I keep checking behind me and there is the cameraman dad, camera in hand and looking just glad to be there in the snow with me. I settle in for a shot with a dead rest. Man is this going to be a good home movie. I take the shot and the beautiful 5x5 crumples into a heap. What a beautiful shot on a perfect day and it's all on film. WOO HOO! I turn around and very proudly say, "That was great, did you get that on tape?" Dad answered, "How do you turn this silly thing on?" I laughed at him and said, "Ya right. You're kidding, aren't you?" He said, "No, how do you turn this stupid thing on? It was working fine and then it just went black." "Oh no. You forgot to push the record button." Ward Anderson Antelope Outfitters -- Outfitter Western Family Outdoors -- Founder Outdoor Filming and Outdoor Writer Cell 307-401-0718 Home/Office 307-532-2262 www.antelopeoutfitters.com

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October 2012

Page 19


Anchor Points By Todd Mead

Broadheads

With hunting season approaching it can sometimes be a mad dash to find a broadhead that will fly well and perform flawlessly in the field. It’s easy to get sucked in by all of the advertisements in magazines and on television. When the advertisements start jumping out at you the first thing to ignore is the statement that the broadhead will hit the same spot as your field point. In many cases the design of the broadhead will increase the likelihood of a tighter group, but until it is shot there’s no sure way of telling where it will impact the target as compared to your field tip. Every year people go into archery shops all across the country and buy broadheads the night before the season opens because all of their friends tell them that there’s no need to shoot them before going out the next day. They’ve been promised that the broadheads will hit exactly the same as the field points. It makes my skin crawl when I hear it and I do my best to explain the advantages of experimenting with the new equipment before heading into the woods. It’s the responsible thing to do and it gives us a greater chance at a quick and humane kill. When fall rolls around I try a variety of broadheads with my setup. I shoot fixed blade broadheads as well as mechanicals. After a few rounds of shooting it’s fairly easy for me to narrow my choices down to a couple of brands. I won’t get into the controversy surrounding fixed blade and mechanical heads, but I will tell you that I always end up choosing the head that is the most accurate out of my set-up. I want to have the utmost confidence that I can put the arrow where I’m aiming. If something happens and I make a poor shot I also

want to know that the set-up will be forgiving. I follow a few simple guidelines after I narrow my selection down to

tern in different places I have to start examining my set-up. Keep in mind that I’m right-handed so the things that I mention below will be reversed for a left-handed shooter. If the broadheads hit directly

The author’s father took this nice buck with perfectly tuned broadheads. the last couple of heads. The first above your field points it’s a good thing I do is shoot consistent groups idea to move your nocking point up with my field points and record how and try it again. Almost always this the arrows group. When you’re small adjustment will bring the doing this you have to take into con- group back down to where your field sideration your ability. If you consis- points hit. The opposite holds true if tently shoot 3-inch groups at 30 the broadheads hit low. At that point yards with your field points your you should lower your nocking point broadheads should be about the until the arrows all hit in the same same. place. After I record my groups I shoot If the broadheads hit to the right 3 arrows tipped with broadheads. If of the field points there could be a they all hit in the center I’m obvious- few different things causing the ly ready to head into the woods. problem. One of the first things I However, if the groups form a pat- look at is the location of the arrow

rest. Many times the arrow rest will be a touch too close to the riser. If you make small adjustments and slowly move the arrow rest to the left (away from the bow) it may solve your problem. It’s absolutely essential that you shoot enough arrows to see if the change affected the grouping of the arrows. If moving the rest doesn’t correct the problem there’s a chance that your arrow is too weak for the set-up. The best way to tackle that problem would be to decrease the poundage of the bow. If your broadheads hit to the left of your field points it’s usually because your arrow rest is too far away from the riser. In this case you should move the rest to the right (toward the bow) and see if that gives you a more favorable group. This scenario could also mean that your arrow is a little too stiff for the set-up. This can be curbed my increasing the draw weight of the bow. Many bowhunters think that tuning broadheads is a hassle, while others don’t bother doing it at all. I try to make the project enjoyable by seeing the results that appear after I make small changes to my set-up. I’ve given you a small guide to follow, which will work in most cases. Although it’s not a cure all, it will probably help you. If you try all the examples I’ve given and you’re still getting poor results it might be time to make a trip to the local archery shop. Don’t be afraid to try different things to make your hunting rig as forgiving as possible. It will only increase your odds when opportunity presents itself. 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.

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October 2012

Box 162 RR#1 Doyles, NL A0N 1J0

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Send us your pictures so all our readers can enjoy them

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October 2012

Email jpg’s to fred@the outdoorgazette.com Don’t forget to write down your names and ages, where you were fishing, hunting etc... and where you live. Thank You.. Fred

Page 21


Guided by the Light or is That a Train Coming? Crunch Time

We’ve all said it – “I tried every pattern in my boxes and still no fish.” However, we have more tricks up our sleeves than we might be aware of. Here’s a sample of alternatives to the habits that too often dictate how we fish “Thou shall cast your dry fly upstream at all times.” Oh, really? Sometimes you can’t. Why not try a downstream drift? Lightly pulling back on the forward cast lets the fly drift back toward you so that it lands just downstream of you. This gives you time to precisely place the fly in the fish’s feeding zone. As an added advantage, the resulting drift is unusually long and the fly is the first thing to enter the fish’s window. The downstream dry fly cast has become a regular cast for me, especially when I’m fishing a fly that has poor buoyancy. The downstream cast is much less affected by crosscurrents because the fly is drifting straight down from my position. If you try this downstream alter-

native, you’re automatically set to try a second little used tactic – stripping in the dry fly against the current. You can either skitter it on top, or, swim it like a submerged wet fly. This retrieve lets

you cover additional water by guiding the fly back up through

By Tony Lolli

water, to the side of the feeding lane, and entice additional fish that are not set up in the seam. The “standard” streamer cast is quartering downstream and across. I’ve had good luck on fish in heavy water, such as landlocked salmon, by casting upstream and

retrieving downstream through deep pools and drop-offs. The salmon often seem to be holding in deep water while watching for baitfish to be swept over their holding areas. Salmon on the West Branch of the Penobscot below Seboomook Dam would react quickly and often clear the water as they took the fly on the way up as the fly came into view. I have a few (too many) flies in my boxes that have never been wet. I’ll bet the beer money you do too. During a recent visit to the Rapid River, I tried a peacock bodied parachute with a sparkle yarn post as my first fly of the day. I don’t know who was more surprised; me or the 17-inch Brookie. I’ll be trying unused flies again, soon. You should, too. Fishing droppers can be a pain in the neck. I don’t often have the patience to get set up this way. There’s an obvious advantage in offering several patterns at the same time – the smorgasbord technique - and it offers the additional advantage of fishing flies at several depths. If the flies are small, the easiest

way I’ve found is to tie 12-inch droppers off the bend of the fly ahead. It’s still a pain, but one I can live with. If the flies are large ones, I have a leader set up to make changing flies easier. My heavy, multi-fly leader is tied with 2x droppers made from the standing leg of consecutive blood knots. The 2x mono is stiff enough to stand off from the main leader. Each dropper has a metal clip attached and is about 4-inches long. This length also reduces droppers tangling around the main leader. The metal clips make it easy to change flies without shortening the length of the dropper. Some claim dapping is possible on small streams. It’s as simple, they say, as snaking the rod tip out through the offending brush and dancing a fly on the surface while monster fish, unable to be approached from any other angle, will glom onto your offering and guarantee your picture in the local newspaper. Horse hockey!!! Unless I have a chainsaw, this particular technique has never worked for me. What “they” fail to explain is how to get the line out while snaking the rod tip through the mountain laurel and still get the fly to the water rather than wrapped around every leaf and twin in the county. A variation of this, however, is effective when fishing from boulders in deep water. Rig a set of large dropper flies, but, on the point, use a split-shot rather than a point fly. Now you can get the rig deep and bounce it around well below the turbulent surface. If you lose the split shot, so what? So, there you have it: half a dozen alternatives to quitting early and heading for the pub because the fish are not cooperating. Not that there’s anything wrong with a cold one before noon. Remember: it’s 5PM somewhere. Tony Lolli is from Cabot, VT. His book, Go-To Flies: 101 Pattern the Pros Use When All Else Fails is available online from Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

ROSCOE BLAISDELL Official Measurer Boone & Crockett Club Pope & Young Club NH Antler & Skull Trophy Club Maine Antler & Skull Trophy Club

22 Scribner Road, Raymond, NH 03077

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October 2012

rblaisdell1@comcast.net

603-895-9947

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This Bone Collection was on display at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland, Vemont. This collection of Vermont trophy bucks were taken by the Kimball family.

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October 2012

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The Captain’s Corner By Matthew Trombley

October…quite possibly the best month of the year!

I sit here typing, reflecting on the past fishing season, anticipating the fall temps & colors, thinking of so many things yet to get done before snow flies! Wood to finish stacking, chimney to be cleaned, touch up painting on the siding….oohh, lets not forget winterizing the boat & taking that to storage! Stands yet to be hung (yes I am behind!), decoys and waterfowl gear to dig out blinds to be set. Get in some target shooting, (both archery & firearms) clean up the camp & finish yard work there as well! Lets not forget digging out the River & Steelhead tackle, checking leaders, loading new tackle & lures, changing out some of my bass gear on the drift boat & putting in the river equipment….Phew…so many things & not enough time! But reflecting on the past season has me smiling ear to ear, but also shedding a tear after loosing an uncle in the past month. So glad to have enjoyed

One of the groups from VT & NH with limit catch's from Lake Ontario this August. the memories that so many years in the woods & cherishing waters with he & my family, had been made. I was less then a week into my three-week tour of charters on Lake Ontario when I received the call from home that he had passed suddenly in his home at the young age of 67. He was an avid outdoorsman who lived for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling & Atv’s. He had just taken up the art of trolling for Trout & Salmon in the last With over 20 years of experience in taxidermy, few years, after getting some we pride ourselves in our ability to preserve time out trolling on a couple of your trophy to look as it did in its natural habitrips in the spring for Striped tat. Bass with us. He hadn’t had the We work annually on about 300 mountchance to make it out to The Big

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ings 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.

were enjoying one of the best late summer Salmon seasons in 20 years! I canceled a couple of days to make the trip home to be with my family & attend the funeral, so much reminiscing about years at camp during Deer season & winters out Ice fishing! Made me proud to be of an outdoor family that celebrated someone’s life with the values that have been instilled in me over the years, the same ones that I instill in my son today! No doubt I have been rewarded with one of the best fishing seasons I have enjoyed yet! Our

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.

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O’ with us yet, but had grinned at the thought of doing battle the Kings of Lady O’! He would have had a tough time whipping away the smile he would have had this year, as we

October 2012

Spring Striper season was fantastic considering the early war m weather we had. Our Lakers & Landlocks on Champlain continue to grow &

Continued next page

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The Captains Uncle with a Striper he caught this May.

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look wonderful with lack of Lamprey scars! But what can I say about the Ontario fishery but simply amazing!! We had so many limit catches I lost count! Some absolutely astonishing days with Line screaming Kings, mixed with some tenacious Coho’s, some really nice Brown’s and a few Lakers mixed in for good measure, including a pig that tipped the scale at ounces shy of 20 pounds! Some groups returning from years past that were rewarded with much better fishing then previous trips, some new ones making the voyage from Vt & NH whom witnessed first hand just what this incredible fishery can dish out! High Fives, sore arms & heavy coolers where the norm, with groups heading home after each trip in awe of the size and quantity of the fish we landed while on the water! If you haven’t had the chance to experience the thrill of doing battle with the Trout & Salmon of Lake Ontario, you need to book a trip soon! But plan on making the trip more then once, as once your bit by the Jaws of the King Salmon, you will long to come back for more! Now that the lake season is over for us the river season is in full swing, although some low

October 2012

from previous page

water is making it a bit tougher this year. The kings of the Salmon River aren’t letting the low water slow them down as we are experiencing one of the best runs on record! It certainly goes hand in hand with the Lake fishing this season produced, let’s hope some coming rains will produce a Steelhead run that is just as phenomenal! I am heading back over during the next few weeks to get in some Salmon fishing of my own, but it’s the Steelhead that follow later in the fall that leaving me longing for more! Balancing with mornings in the duck blind, evenings in the tree stand & quite possibly a trip to the seacoast for some gunning….leaves me wondering when I will enjoy the colors of October mixed with the wonderful Chrome of those Steelhead. But rest assured…we will find time. As there is no finer time of the year, if we could just add a few more days before the Ghosts & Goblins arrive! 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

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The Trap Line By Randy Barrows

Muskrats Part II

I start by walking the area; I plan on trapping to see where the majority of the sign is. I look for feeding beds, homes sites, droppings and other physical evidence and then decide what sets to use at every location. The following sets I have used for years and they constantly produce. A bank set is easy to make. Using your boot or a spade carve out a ledge in the bank approximately eight inches wide with a ramp down to water level. Just below water level at the end of the ramp I use a 1 ? trap either staked solidly to the bank or wired to a rock in deep water. Either way a rat steps into a trap and it will head for deep water and the weight of the trap will keep the catch submerged. Rats love to investigate these ramps in hopes of finding food. If there is no action within a day or two spice up the set with some liquid lure, a piece of carrot, or the rat’s favorite food, an apple. Feed bed sets work well also and are easily located by looking for

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chewed up pieces of grass and weeds in a mound type form. Again place your 1 ? in water and lightly

cover with liquid mud and stake securely. Rats also love to crawl up on

stumps and logs to sun themselves. Rats inspect every nook and cranny every time they pass a area looking for a meal. Traps placed around these perches with a solidly placed

to eight inches deep. Place lure on the end of a small stick and plant it right next to the holes entrance. The lure attracts the rat to the set by scent on the wind. Place a carrot

trap will pick them up here. Try to anchor in deeper water to avoid chew offs and to keep your catch away from predators. It really sucks to go through all the motions only to have your catch dined on before you get to it. Culvert sets work well as most culverts are on town or state owned land. A quick check with the local highway superintendent will usually get you permission. These little fur balls cause lots of damage yearly to highways. A trap set in the inlet and outlet of culvert will catch you rats. As always stake to the max. The downside to trapping culverts is you will lose traps to Jonnie Sneakum, or trap thieves. It happens a lot not just in society but trappers are affected also. Pocket sets are my favorite sets to make. Simply make a hole in the stream bank at water level about six

chunk or a piece of apple inside the hole with a trap of choice directly under the hole should seal the deal. Do not forget to stake solidly use a drowner set. Stay tuned for part three next time. Hell, I will even tell ya how to cook them and eat them. Until then keep your waders patched, your lures in the shed and be sure to take a kid out doors. See ya on the trap line.

October 2012

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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October 2012

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Behind the Sights Black powder and Beating Wings

A bird bursts out of the brush just a few yards ahead. You pull the gun to your shoulder and cock the hammer; all in one smooth motion. A sound, low and mellow followed by a cloud of powder smoke effects all your senses. You are hunting with the tools of another generation that have been revived and returned to the field. I am describing the exciting sport of muzzleloading shot gunning. The fastest growing outdoor sport today, is muzzleloading. Fueled by hunters who want extra time in the deer woods, there is truly a revival of muzzleloading. But for some, the lure of muzzleloading gets in the blood. The symptoms of this are the desire to hunt more with muzzleloading and less with “modern” guns. If left uncontrolled, the purchase of flintlock rifles and smoothbores will occur and ultimately the hunter can be seen using blackpowder almost exclusively. So, are you interested in muzzleloading shotguns? Let me share a

few tips for the newcomer and dispel a few notions about their effectiveness on game. Welcome to the world of blackpowder and beating wings. Gun choices are limited to three basic types. The single shot, the double, and the inline single shot.

Rare, are the flintlock doubles; these are custom-built guns of high price and great beauty. For

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By Charlie Chalk those who are new to muzzleloading, I suggest the single or double with percussion hammers. They are reasonably priced ($300-400) and reliable. Inline shotguns have fallen out of favor, and while some are seen on used gun racks, no makers are currently producing them. Most singles and doubles currently produced are steel

proofed and some have screw in chokes. The twelve gauge is the best all-around choice, but 10 gauges are available, if you hunt turkey or geese. One word of caution here about old guns. First, consider all old guns loaded. Almost 50% of old guns delivered to gunsmiths are loaded and most still have an active powder charge. Second, any Damascus barrels are considered unsafe at any charge. Retire them to a place of honor, for their days of service are over. Once you have made your choice on guns, you will need to choose proper accessories. I have been shooting muzzleloaders for 41 years. In the beginning I had everything possible. Most of it was in my shooting pouch or my pockets. I was a walking machine shop; able to dismantle a gun in the field and fix any problem. Not so today. Now I advocate simplicity. Most guns never break down. Carry only what you need to load the gun and clear a load. Two methods work to make loading simple. The hunting pouch is a classic look. Worn over the shoulder, with a powder flask in the pouch would give you a place for everything. The disadvantage is that they can get in the way in high brush and tend to fall forward each time you bend over. A better way is the pocket system. Any jacket with four pockets will do fine. If you are right handed, begin in the lower right pocket with powder flask or powder con-

October 2012

tainers. The pocket directly above holds powder wads and shot cards. The lower left holds pre measured shot charges or your shot flask. The upper left holds your caps in a good dispenser. Two tools, the nipple wrench and pick, round out the gear for a day in the field. Cleaning rods and swabs can remain in the vehicle, just in case a midday cleaning in order. The best gun and accessories mean little if you can’t build a good load. Here is where you, the shooter, control all the variables. Each gun in unique and requires practice before the season. For instance, some guns shoot better with wads rather than plastic shot cups. As a starting point we use a “rule of thumb” that says powder and shot are equal in VOLUME. So start with 75 grains of powder and fill the same measure with a load of shot. Try this again at 80 and 90 grains. One of these three will give nice patterns, as a rule. A better way is to use the Lyman “Black Powder Handbook”. From here you can choose the exact load and know its velocity and muzzle energy. A common mistake among muzzleloading shooters is what is called “blowing your pattern”. This happens when too much powder is used behind a given shot charge. Firing test patterns on large sheets of wrapping paper will tell you just how dense your pattern is at a given distance. If you see open areas in the pattern, try dropping the charge of powder back by 5-10 grains. Practice will tell you the best load for accuracy and power. It is possible to get loads in the 1100 f.p.s. range, that have 1800 ft./lbs. of energy. You can work up a load that works best for long-range shots in the open and one for short-range woodland shots. If you know the area you plan to hunt, just pick the best load for the present conditions. As with all of us, we have a gun that fits and just feels right. My choice for a shotgun is any reproduction double gun, and there are several on the market, or for a single shot the Thompson/Center “New Englander”, still found on the used gun racks. 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. The Outdoor Gazette


The Outdoor Angel By Mary Kay

Orvis Visit

Hi ho, hi ho it’s off to Orvis I go. I don’t know why but that was running through my head. Stephanie Calabro, owner of White Rocks Design Studio (whiterocksds.com) and hostess for the week, would be accompanying me to Manchester, VT for a day of play! She’d done some fishing as a child and looked forward to recapturing some of her youth. Or at least that’s my idea for her. Not only is she the creative genius behind the graphic design on my car (check it out on face book – The Outdoor Angel with Mary Kay) she is quite the tour guide. She pointed out the sights as we headed to Orvis. You can smell the money in Manchester. Not literally of course, but just looking around I knew this was a place I could explore. But there would be no time for shopping, I was going to learn all about Orvis and fly fishing! Walking in the door of the Orvis Flagship Store changed my mind about shopping. There was plenty to drool over in this store. I started to pick out furniture for my log cabin. Doesn’t matter that I don’t have one – yet – I knew how it would be appointed! First up we met with Phil where we would tout the ponds and feed the fish. He extended his hand and I eagerly took what I thought were cocoa puffs. Before I could pop them in my mouth he said they were for the fish. Let them get their own, I forgot to have breakfast! It was a feeding frenzy like I’ve never witnessed. Phil handed some food to 2 eager children and I overheard the 4 year old boy tell his dad “he’s the best guy ever”. I had to laugh and wonder what dad thought of that! Next up was Bill who would be the store “tour” guide. Bill is a retired school teacher easily talked everything from the Orvis history – oldest mail order business around – to the fly fishing school. I guess school is 2nd nature to him. Orvis is not only known for their Fly Fishing expertise, they have hunting options also. I talked with John regarding the selection of guns and A. was amazed with their beauty and B. wanted to take out a home equity loan to be able to buy a couple! Being that I haven’t had that much shooting experience I highly doubt I need a $75,000 gun. But I’d sure look good toting that around the field! Feeding, history and shopping done we met with Peter Kutzer. He is a fly casting instructor for the school as well as the star of the Orvis TV show. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit that Stephanie and I were impressed! Not because of his celebrity status but his looks and height. This man is tall, dark and handsome! He stood shoulders above us at 6’8” and had a voice like velvet, but I digress. We were sup-

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posed to concentrate on the ponds – not Pete! He gave a tour of the rod factory and thoroughly impressed us with his knowledge, or maybe it was his good

wasn’t paying attention in class! Great now I’d flunk and he wouldn’t let me in the water. Never fear, Pete was not that kind of instructor. He didn’t give a test or even a quiz. It’s been awhile since I was in a classroom setting so I’ve dodged

Mary about to head off on her “Orvis” adventure!

looks. Again, back to the task at hand! I’d never really thought about what went in to making a fishing rod. Why would I, shoes and purse are more my speed. But these are crafted in multiple steps and each checked for quality along the way. I really wanted to get in the waders and catch some fish but Pete had a whole different idea. Didn’t he realize I’d already fished 6 times? Why would I need lessons? I guess I’ll appease him and pretend to learn! I didn’t have to pretend to long because I really was learning, I was hanging on every word that dripped from Pete’s lips. I’m teasing and Pete would know this. He was that kind of guy and we had a fun filled day with a friend. Even though we’d only met him 20 minutes prior he felt like an old friend. Stephanie and I were older than he was though. With our casting skills polished we headed across the street to the Fly Fishing School. It would be here we FINALLY be outfitted in our waders. I can’t explain what my fascination is with the waders. Being that I didn’t think ahead I didn’t have socks on. I had camouflage Mary Jane heels which are certainly not worn with socks – it would ruin the look! I had to wear a man’s shoe size 7 waders in my bare feet. Pete obviously wasn’t going to be chivalrous and remove his socks. I think he secretly thought he’d teach me a lesson. Watch and learn Pete. I’ll show you how it’s done! Next up the Batten kill. We learned it was redundant to say Batten kill river because kill means river but I don’t remember in what language. Guess I

another bullet so to say. Pete said he’d be taking us to one of his favorite pools. I didn’t bring my suit along and told him so! I had promised fresh fish for dinner and work to do. Well his idea of a pool and mine are different. I guess it’s an east coast /Midwest thing. A short hike later and we were at his pool. He said we’d be waist deep and I carefully trudged in. Now waist deep to him and waist deep to me are totally different. Remember earlier when I mentioned he’s 6’8”? His waist is a lot further up than mine and I didn’t want to get my hair wet. We compromised and went in waist deep according to my definition. I won again! I casted, not at all well, but didn’t give up. Being in the water doing this is a lot different than standing on shore. I had to be concerned with my footing on the

slippery rocks. I had swarms of caddis flies whipping my face. I didn’t know what to do with my left arm. I couldn’t let it dangle at my side and get wet after all. There’s a lot to think about when fishing! The least of my worries was hooking in to a fish. I’ve done that with success, big fish too. I attribute a lot of this to the ring I always wear when fishing. It is a crystal Koi, very pretty and it has brought me success. Cast after cast and nothing. I believe I did have a few bites but I wasn’t setting the hook properly. I had too much to think about. Foremost I needed to keep my balance or I’d be riding home soaking wet. We didn’t think to bring a change of clothes. Although, Stephanie was only up to her ankles in water, she needed to concentrate. Wet, slimy rocks are slippery. We moved to another area when Pete said the Batten kill is notoriously hard to fish. This made me feel better and somewhat relieved. I didn’t want my streak broken, I’ve always caught something. Well, his “easier” area was not easy. I did spot a fish, the crystal clear water was breath taking, but he was hiding under a dead tree over hanging the river. Pete and I stealthily (his word) made our way into the river. He asked if I wanted to give it a go. I decided I probably get tangled up on the log and preferred to see him in action. He tried several casts in perfect form but didn’t get our fish. His line did get snagged and he felt that scared off our target. Well come to find out it was all catch and release so I didn’t feel too bad going away empty handed. We capped off our day with some local cuisine at the Publyk House. This restaurant was tucked into the hills with sweeping mountain views from all angles. Good food, good conversation and good friends. What could be better? We had a divine day meant for divas! Just kidding about the diva thing, but we did pull off the look in our waders! Lots more from Vermont, so make sure to follow along!

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From the back of a canoe September Reflections

We’re in Errol guiding the last two weeks of September. The leaves are turning; it’s now the 18th and every day the color is more noticeable. It will probably peak next week. The foliage in the Errol and Colebrook area is always phenomenal yet the majority of tourists are unaware that in September they could avoid the Columbus Day traffic in the White Mountains and drive through Dixville and Grafton notches and along the Connecticut and Androscoggin for great scenery. On the other hand I’d probably be the first to complain about excessive traffic; moose watchers are bad enough. It’s not the end of the fishing season but by the time October rolls around the majority of our season is over. There may be a trip or two a week and sometimes there are a few trips in November but by and large trips will be winding down. There’s always mixed emotions with the end of any season; hunting or fishing. With guiding it’s a lot of days on the water and on the road. Sometimes we’re away for weeks and often two to four days. Being able to book trips in the same general location is always an advantage; like doing the Androscoggin and Connecticut or Pemi and Saco. In the spring we’re usually south of the notches and in the summer and fall it’s primarily up north. That’s not always possible and driving 180 miles after a long day on the water is never enjoyable. We have a camp in Brownfield Maine which is 30 minutes from the Saco and an hour from the Lower Androscoggin and another 45 minutes to Errol. Driving two hours one way is about the maxi-

Page 30

mum I want to do but not always an option. I have a friend who had an apartment in Canaan Vermont for the summer. That turned out to be convenient for trips on the Connecticut and even the Androscoggin. Staying a day or two extra to fish worked out pretty well. Androscoggin Rainbow

Getting an apartment up north for the summer is a consideration for 2013. There’s thirty or more miles of good water south of Pittsburg to wade and drift. We don’t have the fish per mile of western rivers but we have some great water. Out west you catch and in the east you fish. Not that we don’t have days that may equal fishing the west. If you have one savor the memory; it may be a long time before you have another. We usually take a trip out west in our slow season the end of July or beginning of August; that’s the time we get to fish for a few days. This year we skipped it for personal reasons. We ended up with an open day September 17th. Clients from Chicago who were with us last year had to cancel a trip. My partner

By Jim Norton Gerry and I used to fish together a lot before we started guiding. Now we seldom have the time to fish together so we took advantage of a free morning and were joined by my wife Barb. The river had been fishing reasonably well given the warmer than normal water temperature. Although there were a few autumn caddis and mayflies around

there was not enough hatch activity to turn the fish on. We had been picking up a few on stimulators. Gerry started out fishing a caddis and only produced one strike before finally switching to streamers and landed two rainbows. Fishing with a good angler can be intimidating, Barb had been fishing a streamer without a strike but she connected on two consecutive casts. That was the start of a good morning of rainbows, brookies and browns. I took a break from the oars and landed a few including a couple of elusive chubs which they did not seem to have the skill to catch. Gerry was in the back seat; I didn’t notice he has his camera until we got back to the house in Errol. Here is the link on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=7qgrPjzOA88&feature=share&lis t=UUK98S0Xl41DftClT9VvEABw Fast forward a few days to the 20th; the day the column is due. We’ve had a few nights in the 30’s and the water was 58 this morning; probably the first time it’s been below 60 since June. It made a big difference in how active the trout were. I had a client who landed several rainbows, a few brookies, a brown and a salmon and he has only been fly fishing a few times. Everyone we’ve had who has been on the Androscoggin loves the river. Labor Day weekend I had a client from Utah who camped at Mollidgewock campground. He has a drift boat and raft and fished the Green River. The Green has something like 12,500 trout per mile. He said an average day is about 40 plus fish. He did not get anywhere near

October 2012

that number but had a great time and the river and scenery was fantastic. Every year we get clients from different countries; in September I had a client from Tasmania. The island has reservoirs with large brown trout which he fishes for with dry flies. He was not used to fishing rivers but turned out to be a very adept angler. He was touring the northeast and Canada and wanted to fish the Androscoggin; he had a great time. In July I had an angler from England; his daughter who lives in NH arranged the trip as a birthday present. He was about my age. One of the questions we ask is do you have any health issues. He said he could walk several miles a day. He retired from the post; the equivalent to our post office and walked 12-14 miles a day. For exercise he walked several miles a day along the beach where he lives. The beach is similar to the Saco in North Conway. We fished the Saco, Ellis and Pemi and covered a lot of water. His fishing experience was primarily salt water and he was also a tier, he read the water pretty well and had no problem adjusting to the rivers. As a coincidence he was good friends with someone who lives about a half mile from us. It turns out the person is a bird hunter and has hunting dogs. I’ve often stopped and talked to him over the last thirty or so years running past his house with the numerous setters we’ve had. I never knew his name and I doubt he knew mine. Another couple I had out in September are 79 & 80. They took up fly fishing when he retired as something to do together. They had never fished before. Both were excellent casters; unfortunately it was one of those days when the fish were not cooperating. She had one large trout to the boat in heavy water. It was a strong fish and made a run under the boat and got off. I would like to think when we’re there age we’ll still be able to fish and enjoy life. We talked about different places we fished and when. We were both in Montana during 9/11. They ended up driving home and talked about all the flags they saw on bridges along the way. We stayed and fished in Utah. On the flight home we went over New York City. It was a clear night and we could see the smoke columns rising from the towers. A sight I’ll never forget. Jim a native of New Hampshire enjoys fly-fishing & tying, bird hunting and a variety of other outdoor activities and is a registered NH fishing Guide www.nhriversguide.com and author of the book Granite Lines. The Outdoor Gazette


N.H. moose hunt is October 20-28, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. — For nine exciting days, from October 20 to 28, 2012, lucky moose permit holders and their hunting partners will have the experience of a lifetime taking part in New Hampshire’s annual moose hunt. A total of 275 permit holders were drawn in this year’s lottery, randomly selected by computer from a pool of more than 13,400 applicants. In addition, five hunters will have the chance to hunt moose because they were the highest bidders in an annual auction that benefits the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, and one permit was granted to youth with serious medical conditions through the Hunt of a Lifetime program. Last fall, New Hampshire hunters had a statewide success rate of 71%. Each hunter with a moose permit is assigned to hunt in one of 22 wildlife management units throughout the state. Most have spent the past several weeks or months scouting out potential hunting spots in their assigned areas. After taking a moose, hunters must have the animals registered and inspected at one of seven check stations around the state. There, wildlife biologists check each moose to collect information about the overall health of the moose herd. Moose check stations draw many interested onlookers, a reminder of the economic and sym-

bolic importance of moose in New Hampshire, particularly in the North Country. A list of moose check stations is posted at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_s pecies/hunt_moose.htm. Whether or not you’re hunting

Vermont residents Russ Baker (left) and Dave Ferry (right) pose with their 2011 bull moose. “Thank you, N.H. Fish and Game, for the adventure of a lifetime!”

moose this year, get into the spirit of the adventure with a limited-edition 2012 New Hampshire moose hunt commemorative shirt. The new collection is available (through November 23, 2012) online at www.huntnh.com/mooseshirt. As part of a sound management strategy, the moose hunt has been an

November Deer Hunting Opportunity For Massachusetts Paraplegic Hunters

MassWildlife has offered interested paraplegic hunters the opportunity to hunt deer during a special threeday season since 1972. The idea grew from a program New Hampshire's Fish & Game Department conducted at that time. MassWildlife staff work with volunteers to help place hunters in areas at several hunt locations in the state. When a hunter successfully shoots a deer, the waiting volunteers assist the hunter by retrieving the deer, field dressing it and getting it checked in with MassWildlife staff on site. Sportsmen and volunteers alike enjoy this opportunity to spend time together in the great outdoors, counting the hunt as successful if they are fortunate enough to see a deer. Hunt History In 1972, the deer hunt was held at the Phillipston WMA and the following year in the town of Rowe. The hunt location then moved to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in subsequent years. Due to access issues on the islands, locations in Williamstown and in and around Mt Washington State Forest were utilized for much of the 1980's and 1990's with an occasional location in Middlesex County. Since 2000, the Department of Conservation and The Outdoor Gazette

annual event in New Hampshire for more than twenty years. By 1900, moose were scarce in the Granite State. With the implementation of hunting restrictions and scientific management funded by the federal Wildlife Restoration Program, sup-

Recreation has hosted a third site at Quabbin Park in Belchertown. In 2003, a partnership with the US Army at Devens (formerly Fort Devens) resulted in a fourth location for paraplegic sportsmen to try their luck. Each year, approximately 25-30 paraplegic hunters sign up for the special hunt. In the past five years, these hunters have taken an annual total of 7-8 deer, amounting to a greater than 25% success rate. For a number of these people, it's the only opportunity they have to hunt, an activity that is an important part of their lives. Paraplegic sportsmen and women with an interest in participating in this hunt should contact Trina Moruzzi for more details at (508) 389-6318.

ported by an excise tax on hunting equipment and ammunition, the population has grown to about 5,000 animals today. New Hampshire’s first modern-day moose hunt took place in 1988, with 75 permits issued in the North Country. At that time, New Hampshire was home to at

least 1,600 moose. Hunters are reminded to avoid consuming moose liver and kidney. Studies conducted by Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have revealed high levels of cadmium in some moose livers and kidneys sampled. As a result, officials from the Environmental Health Program at the N.H. Department of Environmental Services recommend that no moose kidney be eaten, and preferably no liver. If individuals do choose to eat moose liver, it should be from moose no older than 1.5 years. If the moose is older than that, consumption should be limited to a maximum of two meals (assuming six ounces per meal) of moose liver per year. Biologists at moose check stations can determine the age of the animal for hunters. If you have questions about this issue, call David Gordon, DES Environmental Health Program, at 603-271-4608. Try your luck in the moose hunt next year! The next moose hunt permit lottery will open in late January 2013 and run through mid-May; the drawing occurs in June. Visit a photo gallery of successful N.H. moose hunts — and find out more about moose hunting in New Hampshire — at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_s pecies/hunt_moose.htm.

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Page 31


Fish & Wildlife Management By Wayne A. Laroche

Managing Moose: Challenges and Chances

The month of October brings the opening of most of our fall hunting seasons. As much as I like to hunt deer, I must say that moose hunting has resulted in some of my most exciting and memorable hunting experiences. Calling a big bull moose, as you would call a gobbler, from 400 yards certainly can make your heart pound. Whether he comes grunting at every step or suddenly and silently appears in the shadows of the woods at 30 or 40 yards, calling in a bull moose is a thrilling experience. And yes, the experience of harvesting a cow or calf can be just as rewarding for many hunters. Unfortunately for moose hunters and “would be” moose hunters, moose numbers are not large enough in the northeast to withstand the same level of hunting pressure that white-tailed deer populations can. As a result, limited numbers of licenses are issued each year to hunters by lottery. This means that the “luck of the

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draw” can result in hunting opportunities being few and far between for some of us. There are more than a few moose lottery applicants that have applied for permits

too conservative in the number of permits that they issue? Could more moose hunting opportunities be provided without bringing significant risk to moose populations?

Moose hunting in the northeast provides unique experiences and life-long memories.

year after year to no avail. Given the limited opportunities to moose hunt it may be fair to ask: Are fish and wildlife agencies

Is a high success rate more important than providing hunting opportunities to a greater number of hunters as long as harvest goals are met? Does the “tourist value” of sustaining a high moose population justify the inevitable increase moose/vehicle collisions? These are all questions that should be considered as wildlife agencies apply the art and science of moose management. Being a hunter and having been the head of a wildlife agency in the northeast, I do have my own opinions concerning these questions and some insight into what makes the management system tick. It is my opinion that the biologists recommending moose permit allocations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont tend to be generally conservative, approaching overly conservative, most of the time across most of moose country. Why? It is my opinion that much of this conser-

October 2012

vatism stems from the ready criticism that hunters so freely express to wildlife managers and politicians when animal numbers trend downwards as opposed to any significant risk that might result from a year or two of over-harvest. Yup, some should check there feet for bullet holes. If we take a look at the rate at which Vermont’s moose population grew from just a few animals in the 1980’s (as indicated by roadkills, other non-hunting mortality and growth of the moose harvest, it seems clear that there is essentially zero risk of causing an extinction of Vermont’s moose herd via over-harvesting under the current lottery permitting system perhaps even if every applicant was given a permit for a year or two. Once over-harvest is detected, permit numbers can simply be cut back. The moose population would be expected to bounce right back and grow at a similar rate as in the past. That is, as long as habitat conditions continued to provide adequate amounts of food and cover. www.vtfishandwildlife.com/libra ry/Reports_and_Documents/Hu nting_and_Trapping/Big_game/ Big_Game_Management_Plan_% 2 0 2 0 1 0 % 2 0 %202020/_Chapter%203%20%20Moose.pdf A far bigger threat to Vermont’s moose population than regulated hunting is the potential loss of suitable habitat that resulting from aging forests. In parts of Vermont, the pattern of past harvesting and reductions current forest harvesting may result in a greater proportion of the forest reaching stages that provide little browse for moose. Although increases in the amount of public forest land has insured that we will have places to hunt, this also has increased the likelihood that the

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The Outdoor Gazette


from previous page

amount of older aged forested will increase as state and federal agencies have policies or administrative capacity that may minimize the harvest of timber. I see reductions in suitable moose habitat as a being greater potential risk to sustaining a substantial moose population in Vermont than over-harvesting. Even if moose harvests were too high for a time, the time necessary to recovery for a moose population would be far shorter than the time needed to restore habitat suitability via forest regeneration. The biologists know all of this. They know that they can’t “stockpile” wildlife. Winter ticks that infest moose provide a good example. When moose numbers get too high, ticks increase in abundance and can literally drain the blood and energy from moose resulting in animals with decreased body weight and reproductive potential. In the worst case, hair loss during the winter will result in moose mortality as bare skin is exposed to cold temperatures. So, the moose die from “natural” causes at a higher rate when the mortality rate from hunting decreases. Still, biologists remain conservative. In general, state fish and wildlife agencies hear more complaints and criticisms from the public than complements and encouragement. When the public is happy, the lines of communica-

tion are remarkably silent. On the other hand, just a few disgruntle folks can cause a lot of noise. Few people relish criticism and politicians certainly don’t like that kind of noise, so wildlife managers who would prefer to work on wildlife are forced to deal with communication and politics, things that few desired or were trained to deal

it strengthens the conservative nature that most game managers tend to have. Whether from lack of population data, over cautious harvest targets, or socio-political desires to see more moose, too many moose is a “lose: lose” situation. Too many moose result in forest and habitat destruction, human fatalities on

Hilda and Dave Putnam from Pennsylvania enjoyed a successful Vermont moose hunt in 2011. Hilda was the lucky hunter.

with. So, the next time you thing a biologist isn’t aggressively managing for moose or other species near and dear to your heart, ask yourself if you would if you were in his or her shoes. Unconstructive criticism more often than not tends to “shoot sportsmen in the foot” resulting reduced rather than increased hunting opportunity as

the highways, and lost hunting opportunities when the population finally crashes and can not recover because the habitat has been destroyed. Constructive criticism of wildlife managers, on the other hand, is a good thing. We the hunters and public should be at the same time questioning and encouraging our wildlife managers so that they do

HUNT HARD AND HUNT SMART

move forward, embrace new technologies, gather more and better data, and that improve assessment techniques to better determine the quality, quantity and condition of wildlife populations and habitat conditions. We should also be encouraging our politicians to provide adequate funding and political support for sound, science based wildlife management. Sound wildlife management practices have far more likelihood of consistently providing the social values that both hunters and nonhunters hope to gain from our wildlife resources compared to the political ping-pong that occurred all to frequently in the past decades. I will be guiding a moose hunt again this fall in Vermont. I can’t wait. Here is hoping as many of us as possible get the opportunity to enjoy the great experience of moose hunting in the northeast. If you haven’t drawn that lottery permit, don’t give up the hope. 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 deerwayne@franklinvt.net.

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The Outdoor Gazette

October 2012

Page 33


The Gazette’s Book Review

By Colonel J.C. Allard

HUNTING BIG WOODS BUCKS By Hal Blood Woods N’ Water, Inc., 2003 168 pages, $24.95 ISBN: 0-9722804-3-X In 2003, Master Maine Guide and owner of Cedar Ridge Outfitters in Jackman, ME, Hal Blood published his first book, Hunting Big Woods Bucks. The passage of time has neither diminished nor dulled this significant addition to the hunting book genre. In fact, October serves as a perfect time to re-read or discover for the first time this important work. Why now? October is prime time for any serious deer hunter to be honing skills and polishing any scouting preparations begun over the spring and summer. Blood’s book is a valuable tool for any deer hunter, be they novice or well-seasoned nimrod. Spending some time reflecting on Blood’s tips, techniques and experiences can make any deer hunter a better deer hunter. Blood writes a straightforward narrative free of embellishments

and the sentimentality that often pervades other hunting and fishing publications. He augments his narrative with dozens of black and white photos taken by himself and others, as well as pen and ink illustrations by the author’s niece, Katie Nesslerode. The first twelve chapters are devoted to the mechanics of deer hunting with chapter headings such as: “The Nomadic Whitetail,” “Being Prepared,” or “Track Him

Down.” These chapters contain just enough autobiography to keep the reader interested. Chapter 13 is actually six individual stories of significant bucks that Blood or his clients successfully hunted using Blood’s techniques. The 14th and final chapter covers Blood’s views on the future of deer hunting. Here he touches on forest land management, hunter-non-hunter relations, and deer-coyote relations. Hunting Big Woods Bucks makes extensive use of the sidebar to illustrate its main points and themes. Every couple of pages, the author inserts a box containing some anecdote or example that reinforces what he has said in the main body of the text. Someone caught in a quick reread just before setting out to hunt could rapidly find a lot of gems by scanning just the sidebars. If there is anything lacking in this book, it would only be noticed by someone who hunts in the more southerly parts of New England. Blood’s home territory and his expertise lie in the rugged terrain of the deep north woods. Those who hunt closer to urban areas or at the edges of agricultural land and hard-

wood forests may need another book of specialized techniques for those places. That said, the preponderance of Blood’s advice and recommendations work anywhere whitetail deer populations thrive. Hunting Big Woods Bucks remains an important inclusion for any deer hunter’s library. The information it contains remains as fresh today, nine seasons on, as when it was first published. No one who calls themselves a deer hunter ought to miss this book. In 2009 Blood released Hunting Big Woods Bucks Volume II. With at least six seasons more experience to weave into it, the second volume should prove at least as valuable as the first. We’ll be seeking a copy of that second volume to review before another deer season comes rolling around. Hal Blood is an extraordinary deer hunter with a wealth of useful information to impart to the rest of us. 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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October 2012

The Outdoor Gazette


Fall Turkey Shotgun Season Coming Monday-Friday, October 15-19, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s five-day fall shotgun turkey hunting season takes place Monday through Friday, October 15-19, 2012, in all but six of the state’s Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). Areas open to fall shotgun turkey hunting encompass much of the Connecticut River Valley and southern New Hampshire, including WMUs D1, D2, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L and M. Because fall harvest tends to favor females and given the number of permits sold each year, the fall shotgun season is restricted to 5 weekdays only, to avoid overharvest and a subsequent impact on spring hunting opportunities. For a map and more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire, visit w w w . h u n t n h . c o m /Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_tur key.htm. The turkey license required to hunt turkey in New Hampshire covers both the spring and fall turkey seasons during a calendar year; the price is $16 for residents and $31 for non-residents. In addition to the turkey license, residents also must have a current N.H. hunting, archery or combination license, and nonresidents must have

a big game hunting or archery license, depending on their hunting plans. Youth hunters are reminded that they do require a turkey license. Hunters may take only a single turkey (of either sex) during the fall, either with bow and arrow during the archery season, or with a shotgun during the shotgun season. The bird must be tagged with the “fall” tag that comes on the turkey license. New Hampshire also has a long fall archery season for turkey, which runs from September 15 through December 15 throughout the state, with the exception of WMU A in northern N.H., which is closed to fall turkey hunting. Ted Walski, N.H. Fish and Game’s turkey project leader, advises that the state’s wild turkeys are doing well this year. The early summer 2012 wild turkey brood survey indicated a favorable hatch, which will add a significant number of turkeys to the fall population. A majority of the hatch occurred during May, because the mildest winter in 40 years stimulated early green-up and nesting. Walski reports numerous observations of abundant turkey flocks throughout the state during September and

October. All this means there should be some good opportunity for turkey hunting in New Hampshire this fall. With the virtual absence this year of beechnuts, wild apples and other small fruits, turkeys are more likely to be found in fields rather than in the dense woods. Last fall (2011), hunters registered a total of 643 turkeys in New

Hampshire during the fall season, 432 of them taken during the fiveday shotgun season. Since turkeys tend to gather in groups in the fall, hunters are advised to be extremely selective in deciding when to shoot, both as a matter of safety and to guard against hitting more than one bird with a single shot. “Even if the turkeys are not ‘flocked up,’ their cryptic coloration, coupled with the pellet pattern cast by a shotgun, requires that hunters exercise extreme restraint when choosing a shot,” says Fish and Game Wildlife Division Chief Mark Ellingwood, adding, “Pursuit of flocks visible from public roadways is discouraged for reasons of safety and fairchase.” Licenses, permits and more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire is available at www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_ species/hunt_turkey.htm. Want to take a friend hunting? Check out the new Apprentice Hunting License, which allows people a chance to hunt under the guidance of an experienced hunter age 18 or older, without having to take a Hunter Education course first. Learn more at www.huntnh.com /Hunting/apprentice.html.

N.H. youth deer hunt set for October 27-28, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s youth deer weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 2728, 2012, is the perfect time to take a youngster hunting. This special weekend gives young people age 15 and younger the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor, without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm; the idea is to concentrate your time and attention on coaching your young companion. Prospects for this year’s youth season are good, according to Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. New Hampshire’s deer population is healthy and will provide excellent opportunities. In 2011, young hunters took 475 deer The Outdoor Gazette

during the youth weekend, up 21% from the previous year. “The weekend is a chance to introduce young people to deer hunting, under the careful guidance of an experienced adult,” said Gustafson. “You can build bonds for a lifetime while tracking a whitetail through the autumn woods or deciphering the sounds of the forest from a tree stand. We hope hunters will spend the weekend with their sons and daughters, grandchildren or young friends, helping them learn what hunting is all about.” Gustafson notes that hunting can also help youngsters learn about the environment, conservation, tradition and ethics, and it can build a deep and abiding appreciation for the wildlife and wild places that many of our citizens and visitors cherish. New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. Nonresident youth may participate in New Hampshire’s youth deer weekend only if their state of residence allows New Hampshire youth to participate in its youth deer hunt. For more about New Hampshire’s youth deer hunting weekend, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Youth_ deer_wknd.htm.

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Southern Side Up By Alex Cote

Skinny

We all remember certain parts of our youth, good bad and the ugly. I remember my father being short with me on more that one occasion. I wonder if my kids will remember me being short with them? Well, the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree, GO FIGURE! We also have friends that we all remember some fondly, some we would rather forget. Skinny was one of those you can’t forget. Skinny lived on the other end of town, right near the river! In fact, the river was damn near his back yard. He was the envy of the group, he could fish anytime that he wanted and he owned a Mitchell 300 open face fishing reel! That fishing reel was Skinny’s pride and joy and it was the envy of the neighborhood and beyond. If you looked at the reel the wrong way and you got threatened with bodily harm from skinny or his sister Bunny! When he wasn’t home, Skinny could be found at his grand father’s house whom also lived on the river.

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This being a major bonus for us, to go ice fishing every day. The river behind his grandfather’s made a little pond of sorts where the cur-

rent flow slowed and the river froze quite nicely. Funny how as a kid, you remember the pond being really big! Anyway, being a small town, my parents and Skinny’s parents and grand parents, were all good friends so as kids, we did a lot

together. No surprise there I guess. In fact, Skinny’s sister Bunny was my afterschool babysitter when she could find me. She called my Alley Cat! My recollection of Bunny in my younger years is her being the

on to tell me that President Kennedy had been shot. For the rest of us kids, Ole Skinny had it all he was the lucky one. Hell, he even had one of those Crossman 760 pump air guns. If the rest of us were lucky, we could convince him to sneak it out once in awhile to plink some cans or a blue jay or two maybe a pigeon or squirrel. We were never very lucky, being the youngest of four, Skinny’s father had put the fear into the boy and he toed the mark pretty well, in fact, he was a tough one to get to stray at all. Very uncharacteristic of the rest of the group, we all strayed and hovered between fact and crap most of the time! One of his greatest endeavors was to learn Taxidermy! Not only could he shoot blue jays and squirrels whenever he wanted, he even got to “stuff em” afterwards! His first mount was a blue jay, and a damn handsome one at that! Come to think of it, I think it was his only mount! Wonder if he still has it packed away someplace? He had a small room upstairs at his house where he practiced his craft. His next handiwork was building a ship in a bottle. He completed that and went on to build many more a skiing accident In fact, the last I heard, he was off in the tropics on some island, still building boats! At some point in our young lives we had made a bet. I remember the stakes being a five spot, Skinny remembered it as a gentleman’s bet. I had a real hard time with that, we were only kids, we were no gentlemen! Anyway the bet was who was going to shoot the first deer. It seems as though I was maybe 8 at the time, both our

October 2012

father’s hunter and at times hunted rabbits together. Skinny being the kid who was the perfect kid and me who did what I damned well pleased clearly gave me the edge. As I said before, Bunny was my afterschool sitter. That was when my grandmother was out of town visiting one of my Aunts or Uncles. Anyway I think that it may have been mid August. Pop kept his hounds in a kennel on a hill crossed the railroad tracks in back of our house. The kennel was easily visible from the back of the house. On one certain afternoon, I was in the back yard and just happened to see a deer feeding in the raspberry bushes next to the dog kennel. I snuck into the house and grabbed an old 12 gauge single shot from the Old Man’s gun cabinet. I grabbed what I believe today was a couple of number 4 shot shells and proceeded out the front door of the house. Gram was in the kitchen at the sink and the front door was the only way out undetected so I seized the moment! As I crossed the railroad tracks, I loader the gun when I got to the top of the hill the kennel was on the deer was nowhere in sight. Then she popped he head up. I touched off and she went right down on the spot. What in the hell had I done! I was scared to no end. I left the deer in the bushes and snuck the gun back to its rightful place in Dad’s gun cabinet. Several days went by and nothing had been said. I was the one feeding the dogs anyway; dad had no reason to go up on the hill. By this time, the deer smelled real bad. That night at the supper table, the look on my father’s face said it all, and I knew that I was in deep dodo. When he asked me about it, I denied it of course but gram had heard the shot, it scared years off her life and done the right thing and gone to my father. He went and found the deer. He made me take a shovel and bury the deer in the woods. He should have warmed my backside but he didn’t he got me where it really hurt. He vowed that it was going to be a long time before I was ever going to touch a gun! It hurt boy did it hurt. But thinking back, the punishment could have and probably should have been much worse. But deep down, I had hurt my father too. He loved to hunt and shoot with me and now he couldn’t out of principal.

Continued next page

The Outdoor Gazette


Preliminary Figures Released N.H. Youth Deer Hunt Set for the 2011 Maine for October 27-28, 2012 Wildlife-Related Activities

Augusta, Maine -- Maine Department of Inland fishe r i e s an d Wild lif e has rl ea sed figures that forty-nine perc e n t o f all Main e resident s 16 ye a r s of age an d ol der hunte d , f ish e d or wat ched wil dl ife i n 2 011 an d a t ot a l of $ 1.4 b i l l i on we re sp e nt in t he st at e o n those activities, according to a pre limin ar y re por t by t he U. S. Fish and Wi l d l i f e Se r v ice. T h e N a t i o n a l S u r ve y o f F i s h i n g, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Re c r e a t i o n , w h i c h i s c o m p i l e d eve r y f ive yea r s, l ooks at participation in and e x p e n d i t u r e s f o r h u n t i n g, fi s h i n g an d wild l ife wat ching by s tat e, re gion and nat ion. T h e p re limin ar y sur vey a l so fo un d th at a total of 1.1 mil lion residents and nonresidents did some sort of wi l d l i f e - associated a ct ivit y in M a i n e, i n c l u d i n g 8 3 8 , 0 0 0 w i l d l i f e w a t c h e r s, 3 4 1 , 0 0 0 a n g l er s an d 181, 000 hunt er s. A total of $799 mil l ion we re s p e n t on wild lif e wat ching in M a i n e, i n c l u d i n g $ 5 1 4 m i l l i o n in trip - re lat ed expenses

At one point, after his skiing accident, Skinny had wanted to get out into the woods hunting. I assisted him the best that I could and got him settled in on a stand. I went about 200 yards away and parked myself down. After maybe 20 minutes, I heard the deer coming in the dry leaves long before I saw them. I pulled up the lever action 30/30 and drew a bead on the largest doe in the group. I squeezed the trigger and the firing pin went snap! I cocked the hammer again and the results were the same! I worked the

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and $ 17 2 m i l l i o n o n e q u i p m ent . When i t c a m e t o f i s hi ng a nd h u n t i n g, $ 6 4 4 m i l l i o n we r e s p e n t i n M a i n e, w i t h $ 3 1 7 m i l l i o n g o i n g t ow a r d s t r i p s a nd $ 267 m i l l i o n b e i ng s p e nt o n equip m e nt . Residen t s a nd no nre s i d e nt s spent a c o m b i ne d 7 . 3 m i l l i o n days watchi ng w i l d l i f e aw ay f rom t hei r ho m e, 3 . 9 m i l l i o n days fishi ng a nd 2 . 5 m i l l i o n d ays hunt i ng i n M a i ne. N a t i o n a l l y, 3 8 p e rc e n t o f t he U.S. p o p u l at i o n e nj oye d some for m o f w i l d l i f e a s s o c iat ed act i v i t y i n 2 0 1 1 , s p e nding a co m b i ne d $ 1 4 5 b i l l i o n on t he a c t i v i t i e s. T he nu m b e r o f p e o p l e who fished inc re a s e d by 1 1 p e rcent nat i o na l l y b e t we e n 2 0 0 6 and 2011 , whi l e hu nt i ng p a r t icipat ion i nc re a s e d by 9 p e rcent dur i ng t hat t i m e. T he U. S. F i s h a nd Wi l d l i f e S er vice s t a r t e d re l e a s i ng t he sur vey in 1 9 5 5 , m a k i ng t hi s t he 12t h ve r s i o n o f i t . T he fina l nat i o na l re p o r t fo r 2 0 1 1 wil l be ava i l a bl e i n N ove m b e r and fina l s t at e re p o r t s w i l l b e rel eased i n De c e m b e r.

lever of the rifle watching for the bad round to eject. The chamber was EMPTY! In my efforts to get Skinny in the woods and set up, I had forgotten to load my rifle! The three deer ran in the direction of the spot I had set Skinny up in. I was waiting for a shot.I waited and waited some more. No shot. I made my way towards him to see what had happened and here comes the three deer at a full run right at me! Then over the hill from where the deer had run came another bud, Jamie chasing after

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire’s youth deer weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 27-28, 2012, is the perfect time to take a youngster hunting. This special weekend gives young people age 15 and younger the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor, without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters. Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firear m; the idea is to concentrate your time and attention on coaching your young companion. Prospects for this year’s youth season are good, according to Kent Gustafson, Deer Project Leader for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. New Hampshire’s deer population is healthy and will provide excellent opportunities. In 2011, young hunters took 475 deer during the youth weekend, up 21% from the previous year. “The weekend is a chance to introduce young people to deer hunting, under the careful guidance of an experienced adult,” said Gustafson. “You can build bonds for a lifetime while tracking a whitetail

the deer! The deer had in fact gone buy Skinny but because of his hip surgery, he couldn’t get his body turned to shoot. Not a shot was fired that afternoon! As far as the bet with Skinny went, he won fair and square. I couldn’t claim bragging rights for what I had done although I had tried. It took several years but I got to hunt again. It took several more years and Skinny shot a legal deer out hunting with another family friend. Not a monster but it didn’t need to be. Then, he changed his

October 2012

through the autumn woods or deciphering the sounds of the forest from a tree stand. We hope hunters will spend the weekend with their sons and daughters, g randchildren or young friends, helping them lear n what hunting is all about." Gustafson notes that hunting can also help youngsters learn about the environment, conservation, tradition and ethics, and it can build a deep and abiding appreciation for the wildlife and wild places that many of our citizens and visitors cherish. New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. Nonresident youth may participate in New Hampshire’s youth deer weekend only if their state of residence allows New Hampshire youth to participate in its youth deer hunt. For more about New Hampshire’s youth deer hunting weekend, visit www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Yo uth_deer_wknd.htm. For more infor mation on deer hunting in New Hampshire, visit www.huntnh.com/Hun ting/Hunt_species/hunt_deer. htm.

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tune and insisted that the bet had in fact been a five spot. In those days, that five spot was like a Benjamin today. My my, how things change don’t they? I haven’t seen Skinny for close to 40 years but when I do run into his sister, Bunny still calls me Alley Cat! 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.

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The Coastal Zone Captian John Curry By Captain

Close to Home - New England’s Saltwater Variety

I’ve had the good fortune of stalking many prized game fish all over this great nation and a few exotic ports in between. There’s nothing like the thrill of a tarpon as it leaps skyward or the bulldog battle of a gag grouper trying to tangle your gear on a reef. Slipping into a mangrove lined creek pitching live baits to root hugging snook and sea trout is also right up there. Not to mention my favorite form of fishing, sight casting on the flats for bones, permit and the occasional shark. Contrary to ones belief this type of fishing can be had right here in New England. While we obviously lack most of the warm water species that exits in our sub-tropics we have the equivalent right here in our own backyard. From Down East Maine to Narragansett Bay we have as much diversity in our saltwater game fish as anywhere I’ve been. Just replace their tarpon for our acrobatic bluefish. Black sea bass

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are a dead ringer for grouper when it comes to that style of fishing. I would match a striped bass any day for a snook or even a

it. Picture this for a moment; you’re at the bow of my Cuda 23 with a 9 weight fly rod in hand ready to launch a silverside pat-

When planning your trip to the “Coastal Zone” this fall or next year, this chart is a handy tool to help make your trip a success.

redfish. Our summer flounder or “fluke” as we call them are one of my favorite game fish to target not only for their fine eating, but they have an attitude to go with

tern fly when I give you the signal, its 82 degrees with a light breeze from the southwest. Were in 3 feet of water and the sand dunes are covered in a late afternoon shade of pink and orange. Terns are working a school of baitfish just off the flat where the first break line meets and outgoing tide eddy. From my perch high up on the stern I can see four shadows moving slowly on our port side. I whisper, “ten-o’clock fish moving to your right cast 30 yards”. Your fly hits the water perfectly five yards in front of them. “Stripstrip-stop, wait one’s taking a look, strip again!” You’re on to a 25 pounder and she is taking the business end of your rod on a 40 yard run. After a 20 minute battle we have her boat side. A few pictures and a high-five end a perfect day of flats fishing for

October 2012

stripers on Cape Cod. That’s right I said Cape Cod. Minus the palm trees you wouldn’t know the difference most days. Most of us think of New England as a deep drop bottom fishing venue for such delicacies as cod, pollock and haddock. “I haven’t been deep sea fishing in years” is a common discussion when booking trips for my guiding service based out of Cape Cod. I tell my clients to take the words “deep” and “sea” out of their vocabulary to make a point. We most likely will be fishing a variety of species using a variety of techniques and in most cases in less than 30 feet of water. Just like our southern game fish, our northern species do run certain times of the season. We can always count on striped bass from April – October and the blues run great from MaySeptember. It’s not uncommon to boat 4-5 different species in one trip on my boat. So the next time you are with the family at Disney World take the time to experience some red fishing on the famed Space Coast of Florida, but if you want to experience the same thrill and in my opinion much better scenery for possibly less money than round trip plane ticket to Florida, hire a guide in New England when the weather warms up and tell them you want to explore the variety that our coastal waters have to offer. 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 Outdoor Gazette


2012 Trail Camera Photo Contest 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!

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

It’s a Granite State Sweep!

Send photos to: fred@theoutdoorgazette.com with the subject line “TC Photo Contest 2012”

The Outdoor Gazette

October 2012

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Trail Camera Photo Contest Sponsored by Chadwick’s Trailcams

Anonymous submission -

Alex Cote of Raymond New ham pshire

Anonymous - Central, NH

al, NH Anonymous - South Centr

Anonymous - Conn. River

Anonymous - Central, NH

Valley, NH

Anonymous - Central Ver mont

Josh Allard - Haverhill, NH Page 40

South West, NH.

October 2012

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Trail Camera Photo Contest Sponsored by Chadwick’s Trailcams

Rob Burkhart - Central Ver mont

ont Marty Wall- Bethel, Verm

Marty Wall- Bethel, Ver mont

ont Marty Wall- Bethel, Verm

Alan Barrows -Killington, Ver mon

t area

ort, NH...I Ar mand Archiblad - Newp The Outdoor Gazette

llinois pic October 2012

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The Maine Hunter By Steve Beckwith

The ultimate hunting challenge

I started filming hunts about ten years ago, it was very unproductive in the first three or four years, mainly because I would start off my season with good intentions to film my own hunts or my sons hunts, but after the first set up of the day, the camera would be left in the camera bag or at home, because it was hindering our success at bagging our intended game! Filming hunts rule number one, never leave home without a video camera! About six years ago I developed a team

I recommend an inexpensive monopod with a swivel head, I use black plastic wire ties to secure the monopod to my stand, usually attached to the gun rest on my stand. of pro-staff, (Maine Hunters.com) all guys with an interest to film and produce video hunts here in New England, my goal as the leader has always been “do the best you can with the time you have to invest in filming hunts” with that being said I will add that my staff are all volunteer, they each have regular jobs and film strictly for the love of being involved in a outdoor video production adventure. I am very fortunate to have a team so willing to film so that we can bring “real” New England hunting to your TV sets, something that is rather unusual here in New England. To further explain New England hunting is not commonly seen on the big name TV hunting channels as a rule, because the sporting industry that supports these TV shows are only interested in what brings them the most viewers for their advertising dollar. Time and time again we have been told by larger perspective sponsors, “ Film big racked deer, hogs, sheep, etc., in western states like Ohio or Illinois and then we will

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talk about sponsoring your hunting show!” Maybe some day the outdoor industry sponsors will wake up and realize that New England hunters are some of the highest skilled hunters in the world and where we hunt and the conditions we hunt under cannot even be compared to cropland, funnel hunting of out west! What we have learned is the most important factor in filming a successful hunt is video first and harvesting is a bonus, this is very hard to do when you work nine to five and only have Saturday and a couple Holidays off from work. Most camera guys are hunters and the drive to fill their tags is quite overwhelming. Over the years our staff has become more devoted to the video first and harvest second theory, but still a work in progress! Filming your own hunt without a cameraman can be achieved and the best method for decent footage is to treestand or ground blind hunt, this helps to eliminate your extra movement needed to film an animal as it arrives into view. When the animal arrives into view film the animal as it approaches your shooting area and use this opportunity to zoom in on the animal full and then pan back away, look the situation over and film as long as you can. As the animal approaches the shooting lane zoom out and try to time it so when you raise your bow or gun for the shot the animal will still be in the video frame. After the shot is made return to the camera and zooming into the animal as quickly as possible. In a perfect scenario this works great for self-filming a hunt! Not all situations allow for pre-footage or movement from the camera to the weapon, often times you get busted by the game making moves, this can cause you the harvest! If it does, at least get the video! Other methods like sitting against a tree or brushing yourself into the brush or blow downs using a good quality tripod are also an effective way of self-filming. Filming a hunt with a cameraman equals double trouble in the woods! Twice the movement, twice human odor, double

Filming a hunt with a cameraman, equals double trouble in the woods! stand placements, and communications Ultimate Hunting Challenge! Good luck times two! As with any close encounter hunting and filming your hunts! Examples of our filmed hunts can be hunting scent control is your number one priority, when you take two humans into viewed for free by going to our sister webat is free registration the woods and place them shoulder-to- site shoulder in a tree or blind the human scent www.NewEnglandOutback.com. If you factor increases, decreasing your success are a new or old, large or small film video ratio! Keeping scent under control is a cru- team register on our website and then send cial part of filming success! We find tree us a note requesting video uploading and stands; good human odor control and set- we’ll get you set up too! ting up with proper wind direction are our best defense for filming. Then the issue of Steve Beckwith is a Registered Maine double the movement comes into play and Guide, ThermaCELL Pro Staff, and communication between shooter and owns these owns these websites: cameraman. The cameraman has to be as • MaineGuideCourse.com stealthy as the shooter and the shooter has • MaineHunters.com to wait until the cameraman whispers, take • CoyoteCrosshairs.com him! Double trouble occurs when the • MoosePermit.com shooter takes the shot, before the camera- • MaineGuidedHunts.com man gives the ok! He is a life member, editor and webmaster Filming the game that you harvest puts a of the North Berwick Rod and Gun Club. double edge sword into your hunting plans, A videographer, website designer and interbut the rewards of capturing your hunting net entrepreneur with his online portfolio memory on film for others to enjoy and located at MultitaskWebsites.com, Steve your family to enjoy for generations is the can be reached through any of his websites.

October 2012

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Pictures Gone Wild Our reader submitted photos

Bobby House - The pic was taken by my uncle while we were hiking in Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest.

This Moose was seen alongside the road in Jackman, Maine.

Kevin and Nick Campagna, Averill, 2012 Archery The Outdoor Gazette

Vermonter Brad Lathrop w a 4pt 132 lb green mountain buck October 2012

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The Outdoor Gazette October 2012