April 21, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. — With the early spring weather, people are getting outside more, and some are observing young animals. If you encounter wildlife, even young animals that appear to need help, the kindest — and safest — thing to do is to leave them alone and let nature take its course, say officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Reports have already begun coming in to Fish and Game and local wildlife rehabilitators from people who have picked up young animals, often mistakenly thinking they are orphans. “Picking up fawns, baby raccoons or young animals is an error in judgment,” says Fish and Game Lt. Robert Bryant. “People think they’re doing a good deed, but they are often removing the animal from the care of its parents and exposing themselves to the risk of disease. What’s more, these actions may result in the animal having to be euthanized for rabies testing.”
Young wild animals (including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians) typically have their best chance of surviving when they are in their own natural environment, says Fish and Game Wildlife Programs Administrator Mark Ellingwood. What should you do if you find a young animal? “Give wildlife plenty of space and leave them alone and in the wild, where they belong,” he said.
Ellingwood explains that seeing a deer fawn alone, for example, does NOT mean that it is orphaned or that it needs your help; it is normal for a doe to leave her fawn alone while she goes off to feed in the early morning and evening hours. In many cases, the doe will not return until nightfall. “Fawns are not defenseless creatures. Their cryptic coloration, tendency to stay perfectly still and lack of scent are all adaptations that help them survive,” Ellingwood said. Does are easy to detect because of their size and scent, so they generally keep a distance from their fawns, except during brief nursing bouts, so that predators don’t key in on them. If sympathetic people repeatedly visit a fawn, it only serves to prolong the separation from the doe and delay important feeding.
“This hands-off policy also applies to bear cubs and moose calves,” Ellingwood continued. “It’s also worth noting that sows and cows can and do actively protect their young. In any case, if you’re lucky enough to see a deer fawn, bear cub, moose calf or other wild animal, count your blessings and leave the area.”
Only qualified people with special rehabilitator permits, issued through N.H. Fish and Game, may take in and care for injured or orphaned wildlife. Unless you have these credentials, it is illegal to have in your possession or take any New Hampshire wildlife from the wild and keep it in captivity. For a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, go to http://www.wildnh.com/Wildlife/wildlife_rehabbers.htm.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.wildnh.com.
April 16, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. — The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire officially opens its second annual Moose Permit Auction today. As the official non-profit partner of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Foundation is authorized to auction up to five permits to the five highest bidders. Proceeds from the auction help support critical fish and wildlife conservation and education programs and facilities of the N.H. Fish and Game Department.
“Proceeds from the auction allow the Foundation to both sustain and create important Fish and Game conservation, educational and outreach programs that help preserve our hunting, fishing and wildlife-viewing traditions for the enjoyment of future generations,” said Dr. Donald A. Normandeau, Chairman of the Foundation.
Deadline for receipt of auction bids is August 4, 2010. Bids will be opened on August 6, 2010. To download an official bidder’s packet, go to http://wildnh.com/foundation/moose_auction.html. Packets also may be requested by emailing the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (603) 545-4873.
The 2010 moose hunting season in New Hampshire runs from October 16 – 24. The largest moose taken in 2009 (940 lbs dressed weight) was registered in Berlin, N.H., by one of the auction bid winners. The 2009 Auction garnered 66 bids from nine states. Bid winners came from New Hampshire, Maryland and Mississippi.
Successful bidders in the 2010 Auction will need to show proof of a previous hunting license or a certificate of completion of an approved hunter education training program. Winning auction permit holders will be able to harvest one moose of either sex in a wildlife management unit of their choice, and will be responsible for purchasing their own 2010 NH hunting license to accompany their moose permit. Individuals who receive a permit in the 2010 New Hampshire moose hunt lottery are subject to the rules of the lottery, and will not be eligible to participate in the auction. A portion of a winning bid may be tax deductible as a charitable donation; potential bidders should check with their tax advisors to determine eligibility.
Additional information on moose hunting in New Hampshire, including rules, permits, licenses and a gallery of photos from successful New Hampshire hunts, can be found at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_moose.htm.
As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire raises money and works with wildlife professionals and conservation educators to fund the conservation of wildlife and natural places important to New Hampshire’s family traditions such as hiking, hunting, fishing and watching wildlife. Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation has supported many Fish and Game projects through grants and sponsorships, including the 2009 National Hunting and Fishing Day Expo & N.H. Tour, Discover WILD New Hampshire Day, and production of WILD TIMES for Kids, a fish and wildlife publication that reaches 30,000 schoolchildren in classrooms across New Hampshire. To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help, visit http://www.wildnh.com/foundation.
April 16, 2010
2010 SPRING GOBBLER SEASON LOOKS GOOD FOR N.H. TURKEY HUNTERS
New Hampshire’s turkey hunters can expect a productive spring gobbler season, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department turkey biologist Ted Walski. The spring season opens Monday, May 3, and runs through May 31 statewide. Last winter was a relatively easy one for turkeys and other wildlife in N.H. Read more at http://www.wildnh.com/Newsroom/News_2010/News_2010_Q2/Turkey_season_041610.html.
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TIPS FOR TURKEY HUNTERS ON GOOD LANDOWNER RELATIONS
Hunters getting out for New Hampshire’s spring turkey season (May 3-31) can do a lot to help promote positive landowner relations, says Charles Miner, Landowner Relations Coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. More than 70% of New Hampshire’s land is under private ownership, so practicing good landowner relations is the key to maintaining access. A few basic strategies can make a world of difference. Read more at http://www.huntnh.com/Newsroom/News_2010/News_2010_Q2/LR_turkey_hunter_tips_041610.html.
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TIME TO SIGN UP ONLINE FOR MAY HUNTER AND BOWHUNTER EDUCATION COURSES
Now is the time to register for Hunter and Bowhunter Education courses, so you can get your hunting license and head for the woods! Many new courses begin in May; dates and locations listed. Read more at http://huntnh.com/Newsroom/News_2010/News_2010_Q2/HE_May_courses_041610.html.
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DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO HUNT MOOSE IN N.H.!
If you want to hunt moose in New Hampshire this fall, enter the lottery and try your luck on the adventure of a lifetime. Read more at http://www.huntnh.com/Newsroom/News_2010/News_2010_Q2/Moose_Lottery_040210.html.
April 15, 2010
HOLDERNESS, N.H.: Learn to find your way in the wilderness at a beginning level map and compass navigation workshop being offered Saturday, May 15, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H. Space in the class is limited. Pre-registration is required, and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, contact the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center at 603-536-3954. There is no charge for the course.
Workshop participants will learn the basic skills they need to navigate using a map and compass, enabling them to find their way in the woods while hunting, hiking or enjoying other outdoor pursuits. Whether you are a novice or just looking to brush up on your knowledge of how to use a map and compass, this workshop is for you.
Participants will spend some time in the classroom learning how a compass works, how to read topographical maps, and how to use them together. Once comfortable with the basic knowledge learned in the classroom, participants will head out to practice their skills in an outdoor setting by navigating the Owl Brook map and compass course.
The mission of the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center is to educate individuals in the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to become safe and responsible hunters, trappers and stewards of the state’s natural resources. Its facilities include shooting ranges, classroom space, interpretive trails and orienteering courses. To learn more about Owl Brook and find directions for getting there, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed_center.htm.
Activities at Owl Brook are made possible by Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration funds.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.huntnh.com.
April 14, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. — Fishing in New Hampshire’s designated trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds opens this year on April 24 (the fourth Saturday in April), offering anglers the chance to experience exciting fishing in some of the Granite State’s most scenic surroundings. These ponds are managed specifically for trout, and fishing is allowed through October 15.
“These trout ponds are often the best waters in a given area for a variety of reasons,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Fisheries Biologist Don Miller. “Excellent habitat, low species competition and the fact that these ponds are closed to ice-fishing allow these waters to be managed for the trout fishing enthusiast.”
Ponds managed for trout may be stocked with one or more species, including brook, rainbow and/or brown trout, with age classes ranging from “yearlings” (8-12 inches), 2-year olds (12-15 inches), and 3+ year olds (measured in lbs.!).
“Trout are prized by anglers because they can be a challenge to catch, and fishing for them is one of the traditional rites of spring,” Miller said. “Whether your passion is a multi-colored brook trout, a leaping rainbow or the determined fight of a brown, there’s a New Hampshire trout pond within reasonable driving distance for you.”
Hot Hole Pond and Clough Pond in Loudon, French Pond in Henniker, Mount William Pond in Weare, Dublin Lake in Dublin, Lucas Pond (tiger trout) in Northwood, and Barbadoes Pond in Madbury are a few of the generously stocked early season hotspots where opening day trout are taken. It gets no better than this for taking the youngsters along with a simple “garden hackle” (worm) under a bobber, or floating PowerBait fished just off the bottom.
As the ice recedes from the more northerly locales and higher altitudes, some of the most popular ponds in the Lakes Region, White Mountains, and North Country become accessible, such as Echo Lake in Franconia, Russell Pond in Woodstock, Conner Pond and Duncan Lake in Ossipee, White Lake in Tamworth, Perch Pond in Campton, Saltmarsh Pond in Gilford, Spectacle Pond in Groton, Back Lake in Pittsburg, Fish Pond in Columbia and Little Diamond Pond in Stewartstown.
For those looking for a true wilderness experience, check out one of the approximately 50 remote trout ponds Fish and Game annually stocks with fingerling brook trout via helicopter (listed at http://www.fishnh.com/Fishing/trout_remote.htm). Flat Mountain Pond in Sandwich, Cole Pond in Enfield (fly fishing only), Butterfield Pond in Wilmot, Peaked Hill Pond in Thornton, Black Pond and Lonesome Lake in Lincoln are just a sampling of these delightful ponds, where fingerling brook trout often grow to 8-10 inches by their second growing season, and it’s not unusual to pull in brookies 15 inches or longer. Trophy remote-pond brook trout three or more years old, some in excess of 17-18 inches, are available.
Archery Pond in Allenstown (with a wheelchair-accessible casting platform) and Stonehouse Pond in Barrington are two popular fly-fishing-only ponds that are typically ice-free and well stocked for the opener. If you travel over to Antrim and fish Willard Pond, you will be treated to a “north country experience,” forested, undeveloped shorelines and the “triple treat” of fly-fishing, brook, rainbow and tiger trout. Following the receding “glacier” north, Upper Hall Pond in Sandwich, Sky Pond in New Hampton, Profile Lake in Franconia, White Lake in Ossipee and Coon Brook Bog in Pittsburg all offer excellent opportunities to “match the hatch” throughout spring and early summer.
Many trout ponds received a surplus stocking of older-aged fish last fall, these trout will really surprise you with their size and beauty!
For a list of trout ponds and fly-fishing-only ponds in New Hampshire, as well as a description of special rules that apply to certain ponds, consult the 2010 New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest, available online at http://www.fishnh.com or from any Fish and Game license agent when you buy your license.
April 13, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. — There are two talks left in Fish and Game’s free Wednesday evening sessions on outdoor topics. This week’s presentation (April 14) explores fly fishing with veteran angler Angus Boezeman; and the series wraps up on April 28 with a talk and slide show about adventuring on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail given by the Trail’s Director Kate Williams. Talks begin at 7 p.m. at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. Pre-registration is required; reserve your space by calling 603-271-6355. Attendees will not receive confirmation unless the program is at capacity.
STREAMSIDE STRATEGIES – April 14: Get tips from expert fly fisherman and registered New Hampshire fishing guide Angus Boezeman at his talk, “Streamside Strategies,” which will take you through the mechanics of reading the stream, fly selection and advanced presenting techniques for fly fishing. Boezeman offers an in-depth knowledge and passionate enthusiasm for fly fishing in New Hampshire.
CANOE AND KAYAK THE NORTHERN TRAIL – April 28: The Northern Forest Canoe Trail traverses the roof of the Adirondacks and the Northern Forest. Called the “magnificent obsession” by the New York Times, this inland water trail traces traditional Native American travel routes across 740-miles in New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine. Join Kate Williams, Executive Director for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail since 2004, for a virtual journey along this diverse and enchanting route. Learn about the variety of opportunities available along the route for trips of various lengths, from an afternoon to a lifetime. Maps and a newly released guidebook will be available for sale, along with other information about the Trail. For more information, visit http://www.NorthernForestCanoeTrail.org
or contact email@example.com.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.wildnh.com.
April 12, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. — Celebrate Earth Day by bringing the family to Discover WILD New Hampshire Day — Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. Admission is free. This outdoor festival is fun for all ages – kids can try archery, cast with the “Let’s Go Fishing” program, and create wildlife arts and crafts. Sample a fish fillet or build a bird house. See retriever dogs in action, live animals, big trout, trained falcons and the “Battling Bull Moose of Fowlertown” life-sized exhibit. Check out gas-saving hybrid vehicles and other ideas for conserving energy and protecting our environment. Exhibits, presentations and demonstrations throughout the day. For more information, visit http://www.WildNH.com. The event is held rain or shine. Food concession available.
Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), with support from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire.
Discover WILD New Hampshire Day brings together more than 35 outdoor, wildlife, environmental and conservation groups from every corner of the state. Stroll through exhibits and demonstrations exploring all that’s wild about New Hampshire, ranging from the Appalachian Mountain Club, the N.H. Wild Turkey Federation and N.H. Audubon to Trout Unlimited, the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge and the Loon Preservation Center. Meet Smokey Bear and learn about New Hampshire forests and lands. Find out how to protect the state’s air and water quality by visiting DES exhibits on watersheds, wells, dams and household hazardous waste. Get an up-close look at alternative-fuel vehicles and take a free tour of the DES air quality monitoring station.
Special presentations will go on throughout the day inside Fish and Game headquarters:
* 10:15 a.m.: Wildlife Photography Basics – Alan Briere, professional photographer
* 11:15 a.m.: It’s Easy Being Green – Department of Environmental Services
* 12:00 noon: Nature’s Technology – Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
* 1:00 p.m.: Whose Eyes Are These? – New Hampshire Audubon
* 2:00 p.m.: Please Turn Off the Lights! – Wildlife Encounters Zoo
Nature walks, tours and demonstrations add to the fun:
* What’s In Your Pack: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 1:30 p.m.
* Landscaping for Wildlife: 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.
Participate in on-going activities throughout the day:
* Take a free tour of the DES Air Quality Monitoring Station
* See retrieval dogs in action
* Learn to find your way with basic map and compass
* Practice casting with “Let’s Go Fishing” instructors
* Become a Junior Conservation Officer
* Explore the Discovery Room & Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit
The Fish and Game License Office will be open during the event, so stop by and purchase your fishing or hunting license while you’re at Discover WILD New Hampshire Day. Check out new Fish and Game official merchandise, including hats, shirts and more!
Discover WILD New Hampshire Day began in New Hampshire in 1989 as an observance of Earth Day and a celebration of the state’s wealth of natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities. More than 5,000 people attended last year’s event.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services works for the protection and wise management of New Hampshire’s environment. Its responsibilities include ensuring high water quality for water supplies, ecological balance and recreational benefits; regulating the emissions of air pollutants; fostering the proper management of municipal and industrial waste; and managing water resources for future generations. Visit http://www.des.nh.gov.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve, manage and protect the state’s
fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.wildnh.com.
April 9, 2010
CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s 2010 youth turkey hunt will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 1-2, the weekend before spring gobbler season gets underway on May 3. This year marks the sixth annual youth turkey hunt weekend in New Hampshire. During the 2009 youth weekend, young hunters took an impressive 570 gobblers, or 14.1% of the total spring turkey harvest in the state (very similar to the previous year).
To participate in the special weekend turkey hunt, youth hunters must be age 15 or younger and must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older. The adult may not carry a firearm or bow and arrow. Youth hunters do not need a hunting license, but they must have a valid turkey permit ($16 resident, $31 nonresident). Accompanying adults must hold either a current N.H. hunting or archery license AND a turkey permit.
For more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire and a link to online license and permit sales, go to http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm.
The special weekend provides youth and mentoring adults a quiet, noncompetitive time in the woods, where they can focus on safety, ethics, hunting methods and natural science.
“Nothing generates more compliments, letters of thanks, and photographs of proud parents and beaming kids, than our youth turkey weekend,” said Mark Ellingwood, wildlife programs administrator for Fish and Game. “We take great pride and satisfaction in providing young people and mentoring adults with the opportunity to learn safe hunting practices, to put lean, healthy, natural food on their family table, and to enjoy the spellbinding wonders and beauty of New Hampshire’s spring woodlands.”
“Youth weekend is a great opportunity for an adult and child to spend time together without the stressful distractions of modern life,” Ellingwood added. “Our spring woods are full of spellbinding natural beauty, be it spectacular spring flowers, the melodious mystery of feverishly singing migrant warblers, or the thundering reverberations of gobbling turkeys from their ridge-top roosts. Oh sure, bring your shotgun, but also bring your binoculars, your camera and your field guides; you won’t be disappointed. It’s a sure-fire way to build bonds with your son or daughter that will last a lifetime.”
In addition to their special weekend, youth can hunt during the regular spring gobbler season (May 3-31), when accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older (all youth require a valid turkey permit). For more details on youth hunting in New Hampshire, see http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/youth_hunting.htm.
Fish and Game urges all turkey hunters, including youth, to memorize the following list of ten safety guidelines before going out in the field:
1. Never stalk a turkey. It rarely works and it increases the risk of an accident.
2. Never wear red, white, blue or black over or under-clothing, as these are prominent colors of displaying gobblers.
3. Never call from a tree that is thinner than the width of your shoulders.
4. Never jump or turn suddenly in response to a suspected turkey.
5. Never call from a site where you can’t see at least 40 yards in all directions.
6. Never imitate a gobbler call while concealed in a stand.
7. Never presume that what you hear or what responds to your call is a turkey.
8. Never think that your camouflage makes you totally invisible. To ID yourself to other hunters, wrap an orange band around the tree nearest you.
9. Never hide so well that you can’t see what’s happening around you.
10. Never move or wave to alert approaching hunters; shout “stop” instead.
Hunter education is not required for youth hunters under age 16. Youth are encouraged to complete the hunter education course between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday. Many hunter and bowhunter education classes are available in April. To sign up, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed.htm. Hunter education classes are made possible by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.HuntNH.com.