Saturday, February 25, 2017

World Ice Fishing Tournament Feb.24-Feb.27 Riga, Latvia

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

USA,   USA,   USA,



It's game day! These are the anglers who will be competing for the USA today and tomorrow. Myron Gilbert, Lawrence Luoma (alternate), Chad Schaub, Kevin Kowalski, Ben Blegen and Nick Schertz. We'll give you an update after the day one weigh-in.

Good luck from the Outdoor Scene Nation on wnri.com Worldwide Livestream

Tune in Sunday at 9 am

Friday, February 24, 2017

Canadians win Laconia derby, but N.H. mushers on the rise

Posted by Wayne G. Barber
Guy Girard of St. Thomas de Joliette, Quebec, finished strong Sunday to win the 88th Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby. (DAN SEUFERT/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)
LACONIA — Canadian musher Guy Girard won the 88th Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby on Sunday, and two other Canadians took second and third place.

Mushers from the Granite State also placed highly in this year’s race. That’s a sign of things to come, and an indication of the growing popularity of the sport in the state, said Jim Lyman, president of the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club.

“The sport is strong and we have a lot of support,” Lyman said Sunday. “This (Laconia) race will be around for a long time.”

Guy Girard of St. Thomas de Joliette, Quebec, finished first with an overall three-day time of 2:26:02. In second place was Claude Bellerive of Charette, Quebec, whose overall time was 2:27:20. Finishing third was Jean-Rene Saucier of Woburn, Quebec, who had a time of 2:28:36.

Third place had been occupied by Rejean Therrien of St. Emile, Quebec, but he dropped to ninth place after a difficult run Sunday that likely had to do with a flu-like illness that affected his dogs, Lyman said.

Finishing fourth was Doug Butler of Bristol, Vt. a longtime Laconia racer, with a time of 2:31:30. In sixth place was Angie Carter of Penacook at 2:39:03; in eighth place was Eddie Clifford of Raymond, with a time of 2:41:44.

Racheal Colbath of Gilford finished in 10th place at 2:47:55, and in 13th place was Peter Franke of New Durham at 3:27:27.
This year’s race was dedicated to the late Keith Bryar II of Moultonborough, the two-time winner of the race (2002 and 2011) whose father won the race three times in the 1960s.

About $4,000 was raised for a scholarship in Keith Bryar II’s name. He died last year at 57.

Veteran musher Randy DeKuiper of Hesperia, Mich., described the race as “one of the top two or three races in the country.”

“It’s always a great trail and they put on a great event here,” he said. “Always have.”
Source:  DAN SEUFERT Union Leader

88TH ANNUAL LACONIA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SLED DOG DERBY
February 17, 18, 19, 2017
OPEN CLASS FINAL TIMES




BIB#'S







FRI
SAT
SUN
finish
DRIVER  
HOMETOWN
SPONSORS
SPONSORS
FRI
SAT
SUN
TOTAL
9
13
13
1
Guy Girard
St. Thomas de
 Joliette, PQ
EJ PRESCOTT
EJ PRESCOTT
0:47:52
0:46:49
0:51:21
2:26:02
7
12
12
2
Claude Bellerive
Charette, PQ
PISCOPO EXCAVATION
SUN VALLEY COTTAGES
0:48:07
0:47:45
0:51:28
2:27:20
2
10
11
3
Jean-Rene Saucier
Woburn, QC
TRUSTWORTHY HARDWARE
WATERMARK MARIN
 CONSTRUCTION
0:49:14
0:47:52
0:51:31
2:28:36
3
9
9
4
Doug Butler
Bristol, VT
CHADWICK BAROSS
CIVIL TAKEOFFS
0:49:34
0:49:43
0:52:13
2:31:30
13
5
8
5
Bernard Saucier
Woburn, QC
AIRPORT COUNTRY STORE &
 DELI
ADVANCED PAVING &
 EXCAVATION
0:53:35
0:50:06
0:52:48
2:36:29
11
6
6
6
Angie Carter
Penacook, NH
BELKNAP SNOWMOBILERS
WEMJ 107.3 & 1490
0:52:55
0:52:09
0:54:00
2:39:03
1
7
5
7
Hermel Bergeron
St. Angele, PQ
GUISEPPE'S SHOWTIME
 PIZZERIA
GRANITE STATE GLASS
0:52:41
0:53:10
0:54:30
2:40:21
6
8
7
8
Eddie Clifford
Raymond, NH
STAFFORD OIL
TILTON TRAILER RENTAL
0:52:19
0:52:32
0:56:53
2:41:44
8
11
10
9
Rejean Therrien
St. Emile, QC
AIRPORT COUNTRY STORE &
 DELI
BOULIA GORRELL
0:49:07
0:49:33
1:03:52
2:42:32
10
4
4
10
Rachael Colbath
Gilford, NH
BELKNAP TIRE
CENTRAL NH AMATEUR
 RADIO
0:56:42
0:53:37
0:57:36
2:47:55
4
3
3
11
Randy DeKuiper
Hesperia, MI
FAY'S BOAT YARD
STAMPING
 TECHNOLOGIES
0:57:48
0:55:07
1:00:10
2:53:05
12
2
2
12
Rodney Tinkham
Groton, VT
IRWIN MOTORS
HK POWERSPORTS
1:01:25
1:03:05
1:04:32
3:09:02
5
1
1
13
Peter Franke
New Durham, NH
GILFORD WELL
GILBERT BLOCK
1:08:29
1:06:34
1:12:24
3:27:27

Massachusetts Volunteers Honored for Introducing Women to the Outdoors

Posted by Wayne G. Barber


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As dedicated volunteers for the National Wild Turkey Federation's Women in the Outdoors outreach program, Jennifer Ford and Kelly Dalbec have helped countless women get their start outdoors.

In recognition of their tireless work, Ford and Dalbec were co-honored with the Annie Oakley Award, the highest honor given to Women in the Outdoors volunteers. They accepted the award during the 41st annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.

Annie Oakley might be best known for her shooting skills, but she also influenced generations of women to try something new. The same is true for Ford and Dalbec.

"I am proud to accept this award on behalf of our entire [Central Mass WITO] committee and all of our volunteers. It truly is a team effort," said Ford, from Holden, Massachusetts. "It was not that long ago that I was the student learning these same skills. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give back and pass along the excitement of the outdoors to other women."

Dalbec, of Rutland, Massachusetts, agreed. "I am honored to be a 2017 Annie Oakley award winner, representing all of the Massachusetts WITO volunteers," she said. "They are the best of the best, who over the last 5 years have shared their skills and knowledge, inspiring woman of all ages to step outside and try something new."

The NWTF determined this year's award winners based on how their work strengthens the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Ford and Dalbec met as attendees of a Basic Hunter Education Class after each developed an interest in hunting and shooting sports. From there, they have come full circle and now are hunting mentors, instructors and organizing Central Mass WITO events.

"Jennifer, Kelly and the many WITO volunteers across the country help ensure, each day, women experience our wild places and outdoor lifestyle," said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. "The NWTF is proud of their accomplishments and is excited about the great things these two women will do for the future of hunting and the outdoors."

About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, recruit or reactivate at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

85,193 Deer Harvested During 2016-2017 Maryland Hunting Season

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

 Do you think of Maryland as a Whitetail Hot Spot in our Country ?

Estimated Whitetail Deer population in Rhode Island about 14,000

Frederick County Leads State in Harvest Totals

Maryland hunters harvested 85,193 deer during the combined archery, muzzleloader and firearm seasons (Sept. 9, 2016-Jan. 31, 2017), according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The harvest exceeded the 2015-2016 total by more than 1,000 deer.

Included in the statewide total were 7,684 deer taken on Sundays open for deer hunting, representing an increase of 19 percent compared to last year.

"Our Sunday harvest continues to grow as hunters take advantage of additional weekend days to spend in the woods," Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. "This growth is remarkable considering some counties have only one Sunday open to hunting in firearm season and three of our highest deer density counties have no Sunday hunting at all."

The 2016-2017 statewide harvest included: 29,042 antlered and 53,318 antlerless white-tailed deer; and 1,284 antlered and 1,549 antlerless sika deer.

The harvest in deer management Region A (Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties) decreased 8 percent, from 9,190 to 8,490 deer this year. These hunters reported 5,067 antlered and 3,423 antlerless deer.

Hunters in Region B (the remainder of the state) harvested 76,703 deer, up 3 percent from last year's 74,832. From this year's total, 25,259 antlered and 51,444 antlerless deer were reported in this area.

Frederick County led the harvest totals again this year with 7,556 deer, followed by Carroll County at 5,663 and Baltimore County with 5,367. Montgomery and Washington counties rounded out the top five with 4,873 and 4,736 deer, respectively.

Deer harvest results by county and type of deer harvested, with comparison to the previous season, are available below:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

UMass rejects 4-H youth shooting sports program

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

U.S. shooter Kim Rhode competes in the women's Skeet final at Olympic Shooting Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Rhode won a bronze medal in the event. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS) (Robert Gauthier)
The University of Massachusetts has declined to host a youth shooting sports program run by 4-H.
UMass representatives say the university is exploring a more broad-based program, but some gun owners see an ideological intent.
"It's absolute social bias against gun owners," said Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners' Action League, a Massachusetts gun rights advocacy group. "You're being handed a successful program that's been vetted nationwide, and then handed the funding for the program. What's the problem?"
Currently, every state except Massachusetts and Rhode Island has a shooting sports program as part of its 4-H. The national 4-H organization runs hands-on educational programming in areas like agriculture and science. The shooting sports program teaches kids how to shoot firearms, but also teaches them about safety and responsibility when it comes to shooting, hunting and archery.
Massachusetts' 4-H program is run by the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.
Ed Blaguszewski, a spokesman for UMass Amherst, said the university studied the shooting sports proposal made by the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation and examined the variety of different 4-H shooting programs around the country.
"Rather than focus limited resources on shooting sports only, the university is actively exploring development of a more broadly based program that includes instruction in hunting, fishing and conservation as part of our youth development activities," Blaguszewski said. "The hunting aspect of the program would include the basics of gun safety and the shooting sports."
The push for the shooting sports program began about two years ago, with the advocacy of Mandy Deveno, a 4-H volunteer club leader and licensed shooting instructor from Bellingham, Massachusetts.
Deveno begin shooting trap with her father at a young age. Now, her daughter is becoming interested in archery and her son in rifle shooting. Deveno is originally from Wisconsin, and she talked to the directors of 4-H shooting sports programs in Wisconsin and Illinois. "Bringing the shooting sports program into 4-H would offer an activity that we find that youth are really engaged in," Deveno said.
Deveno said after Illinois created a shooting sports program, membership in the program grew by 25 percent over four years. She predicted that bringing the program to Massachusetts could grow 4-H membership by 11 or 12 percent, particularly among teenagers, who often lose interest in extracurricular activities.
Laurie Flanagan, executive director of the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation, said Deveno broached the idea, and the foundation supported Deveno's request.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife was willing to pay $60,000 a year for three years to cover a shooting sports coordinator and training at UMass.
Peter Lorenz, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said the state agency was approached by 4-H leadership in the spring of 2016 and asked to become a partner in the shooting sports program, which would be conducted by UMass Extension. If the program were implemented, the agency agreed to provide $180,000 over three years through the Inland Fish and Game Fund, which raises money from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses by hunters, anglers and trappers.
But UMass rejected the idea.
When Deveno asked why, Steve Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst, emailed Deveno that the university was interested in a broader program. "We are working hard to conceptualize a program that would encompass fishing, hunting and environmental conservation," he wrote in the email, a copy of which was provided to The Republican / MassLive. "We believe that such a program would fit well with the mission of the College of Natural Sciences and the University of Massachusetts."
But Wallace said he does not understand the reasoning. "It doesn't make any sense to us," Wallace said. "We have a nationally recognized program in 48 other states, apparently the funding was all set for the first three years, we had a volunteer that was about to take it on and help 4-H launch this program. ... We're trying to figure out why UMass would say no to education, when this is what it's all about." Source:        Shira Schoenberg | sschoenberg@repub.com masslive.com 


Sportsmen's Alliance, Maine Trappers Victorious in Lynx Lawsuit  

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, U.S. District Judge Jon Levy issued his ruling in a lawsuit that sought to revoke the state of Maine’s Incidental Take Permit (ITP), which would open individual trappers to Endangered Species Act (ESA) violations. Judge Levy ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s use and application of ITPs were lawful and in keeping with the requirements of the ESA.

The ruling is a clear victory for the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, trappers in Maine and the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife. In his ruling, Judge Levy found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “actions were in keeping with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act…the National Environmental Policy Act…and the Administrative Procedure Act…”

“We are extremely pleased that District Court Judge Levy has sided with reasonable and responsible management,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance president and CEO. “Today’s clear ruling is nothing short of a full victory for trappers, but also hunters and anglers, too. This case had far-reaching implications for how Endangered Species Act policies would be implemented. If anti-hunting organizations can ban all trapping in the areas where protected lynx are found, what’s would stop them from banning fishing in streams or rivers that contains endangered fish species?”

The case, filed by the anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups Center for Biological Diversity, the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, the Animal Welfare Institute and Friends of Animals, was essentially a backdoor attempt to use the Endangered Species Act to stop trapping in the state. At the heart of the legal battle were Incidental Take Permits, which are granted under the ESA and provide for limited, incidental taking of federally protected species. Without such protection, individual trappers and state wildlife agencies could be held liable for ESA violations every time a lynx was accidentally caught in a legal trap.

“Today is a great day for Maine trappers, and this judgment vindicates the great work of the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife,” said James Cote, director of government affairs for the Maine Trappers Association. “We are so pleased with this outcome, which is positive for trappers and Canadian lynx alike, and that wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with the Sportsmen’s Alliance.”

Canada lynx, which are listed as a threatened species in the U.S. due to fragmented populations at the southernmost range of their habitat, are abundant north of the border in Canada. In fact, there are many who believe that the lynx populations should be removed from the ESA altogether.

This is not the first time that the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Maine trappers have prevailed in trapping litigation. In 2010, we successfully defended against a similar lawsuit that also tried to use the Endangered Species Act to stop trapping. That case paved the way for trapping to continue.

Joining the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation in the most recent case was the Maine Trappers Association and the National Trappers Association

Will the Airbow be next in New England ?

Posted by Wayne G. Barber


Maryland:

   Airbow Approved for Deer Hunting

Bloomfield, NY - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow has been approved for use in the firearms season for Whitetail and Sitka deer. The Maryland firearms season typically runs for two weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving and for three days in January and will allow hunters to choose to hunt with an exciting new tool, the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow.

Maryland joins a growing list of states allowing for the use of the Airbow during their hunting seasons. Arizona, Missouri, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington State allow big game animals to be legally taken with the Airbow. Feral hogs can be taken in Georgia, Florida and Texas while coyotes and other predators may be hunted with the Airbow in over 30 states. Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina allow the Airbow to be used for alligator hunting.

Crosman Corporation Communications Manager Jason Reid says, "We are very pleased to learn the state of Maryland has approved the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow for use in the general firearms season for big game like whitetail and sitka deer. The Airbow will provide expanded opportunities for hunters across the state to ethically harvest game this fall."

The Pioneer Airbow is an all-new category of big game weapon featuring full length arrows and full weight broadheads, all driven by air. Based on Benjamin's proven American-made PCP platform, the Pioneer can be cocked with two fingers (and decocked just as easily), and fires 8 shots in the same amount of time it takes to fire three from a crossbow, all at a blazing 450 FPS.

The Pioneer Airbow enhances everything enthusiasts enjoy about archery hunting while making the sport safer and more accessible. "Crosman Corporation is actively working with states across the U.S. to educate them on the efficacy and safety advantages of the Airbow, and we look forward to more states expanding access to this revolutionary hybrid hunting weapon," says Reid.