Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Vermont Moose Hunt Auction Nets $30,761 for Wildlife Education

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Vermont's annual auction of five moose hunting permits closed on August 10, with $30,761.50 taken in from the five winning bids. The auction helps fund Fish & Wildlife Department educational programs, such as the Green Mountain Conservation Camps for youths.

Bids do not include the cost of a hunting license ($26 for residents and $100 for nonresidents) and a moose hunting permit fee ($100 for residents and $350 for nonresidents). Winning bidders can choose to hunt in any one of Vermont's Wildlife Management Units open for moose hunting.

The Fish & Wildlife Department held a lottery July 29, when 80 moose hunting permit winners were drawn from the more than 4,900 people who applied.

Hunters are expected to take close to 34 moose during Vermont's moose hunting seasons. Archery moose season is October 1-7. Regular moose season is October 21-26. Wildlife biologists estimate Vermont has 2,000 moose statewide.

Mass. HIP Survey Required

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

HIP Survey Required

Woodcock, snipe, rail, duck, and goose hunters must register with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Harvest Information Program (HIP) each calendar year by taking a HIP survey. HIP surveys are only available through the MassFishHunt system. Non-resident hunters must complete a HIP survey for each state where they hunt. Duck and goose hunters purchasing a state waterfowl stamp are automatically prompted to complete the HIP survey during the transaction. Waterfowl hunters who hunted in January and February of 2017 have already completed the HIP survey for the entire calendar year do need not take any action.

Hunters who only hunt woodcock, snipe, or rail must complete a HIP survey as a separate step during or after their hunting/sporting license purchase. They do not need a waterfowl stamp.

Your hunting/sporting license will show whether you have completed a HIP survey. Check near the top of your license for the words "HIP Survey Completed." If you do not see this phrase, you can take the survey via the MassFishHunt system. You can also visit any MassWildlife office or license agent location to take the HIP survey. Be sure to reprint your license after registering. HIP data gathered from game bird hunters is used by state and federal biologists to evaluate hunter effort and harvest.

Vermont: Deadline for Antlerless Deer Applications is August 24

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Vermont: Deadline for Antlerless Deer Applications is August 24

MONTPELIER, VT – The deadline to apply for an antlerless deer permit to be used during Vermont's December 2-10 muzzleloader deer season is Thursday, August 24.

Antlerless deer hunting permit applications are on Vermont Fish & Wildlife's website (, and printed applications are available from license agents statewide.
New this year, hunters applying online for an antlerless permit will do so through the online license sales system as if they were purchasing a license or a tag using their conservation ID number, or CID#. Landowners who do not have a Conservation ID number will need to create a profile through the online license sales system to apply for a landowner application even if they do not intend to purchase a hunting license.

The December 2-10 muzzleloader season has 24,500 antlerless permits distributed in 18 of Vermont's 21 Wildlife management Units (WMU), which is estimated to result in 3,608 antlerless deer being taken.

Landowners who post their land may not apply for a muzzleloader landowner antlerless deer permit.

"We recommended an increase in muzzleloader season antlerless deer permits this year to account for the increase in the deer population following another mild winter in 2017," said Nick Fortin, deer project leader for the Fish & Wildlife Department. "Much of Vermont has experienced two consecutive very mild winters. As a result, the recommendation is intended to stabilize or reduce deer densities in some parts of the state while allowing for moderate population growth in other areas."

VTF&W Photo by John Hall
Deer hunters have until August 24 to apply for a Vermont antlerless deer permit for use in the December 2-10 muzzleloader hunting season.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Americans Win Three World Cup Golds, One Bronze in Compound Finals

Posted by Wayne G. Barber
BERLIN - World Archery called it a "strong message from the States' newly-formed worlds squads." Three gold medals and a bronze at the fourth stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup spoke for themselves, as the USA compound women's, men's and mixed teams all clinched the top spot on the podium - and an individual bronze to round out the medal haul.

This week's fourth and last World Cup event of the season - before the World Cup Final and the World Archery Championships - was an important training event for a U.S. compound team that included a solid mix of veterans, like bronze medalist Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) and relative newcomer Kris Schaff (Billings, Montana). This is the first event in which the entire compound World Championships squad has competed internationally as a team, and it was a resounding success.

According to World Archery, the USA women's squad of Paige Gore (Red Bluff, California), Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin) and Cassidy Cox (Albuquerque, New Mexico) - ranked second after qualification - faced an outperforming number nine team from Great Britain, who upset top-seeded Mexico in the eliminations, in the final.

Tied at 55 points after one end, the British team put in an eight and a seven at the back of the second end to fall behind. They managed to claw ground back over the back half of the match, but a perfect three 10s from the American trio put the match out of Archery GB's reach. It is both teams' best finish of the season in the compound women's team event.

"It was a really tough match. It put us to the challenge with the rain, the wind and how our equipment was, but I think we figured it out really quick and then worked together really well to keep up with the conditions when they were changing," said Keller.

The three young American athletes, none of whom are older than 22 years of age, who were selected to represent Team USA at the next World Archery Championships ahead of more experienced archers, have found quick form prior to the worlds.

There was continued excitement for Team USA fans as the compound men's final with Denmark went down to a shoot-off after the two teams tied at 233 points following the regulation 24 arrows. They then drew again, with perfect 30-point groups in the shoot-off - but the U.S. had an arrow closer to the middle of the target, and was declared the winner.

"This is a good World Cup victory - but we beat them, they beat us and that will probably continue back and forward. The real prize for us is still in October in Mexico," said Steve Anderson (West Jordan, Utah), referring to the Antalya final - where the Danish team won.

"This is our first time shooting together as a team," added Gellenthien. "I think we gained a lot of confidence today and it's going to be a good step moving forward. I'm really excited for Mexico City."

Gellenthien also appeared in the mixed team event, where he and Gore competed against Mexico for the gold medal - and won. The Mexican team was a tough pairing of Linda Ochoa-Anderson and Julio Fierro, with Ochoa ranked fourth in the world. Team USA, however, scored a three-point lead in the second of four ends, and never looked back, finishing atop the podium with a 156-153 win.

The squad's sole individual medal today was guaranteed to Team USA by virtue of a matchup between Anderson and Gellenthien. The pair tied with near-perfect scores in the first and second ends of the match, and then Anderson took a one-point lead in the third end. The match swung in Gellenthien's favor, however, when Anderson dropped a point in the fourth end, tying at 117-all, and Gellenthien was able to shoot a perfect 30 in the last end for a one-point bronze medal win.
Team USA recurve archers Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) and Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) will take to the stage tomorrow to compete for mixed team bronze in the recurve finals and last day of competition at the Hyundai Archery World Cup. Results are available at World Archery's website, and the finals will be live-streamed on the Olympic Channel. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About USA Archery

USA Archery is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of archery in the United States. USA Archery selects and trains Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup teams, as well as developing archery at the grassroots level across the United States. For more information, visit

Friday, August 11, 2017


Posted by Wayne G. Barber
PROVIDENCE -The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced it is hosting a free informational seminar on deer hunting this month. The program is designed to educate hunters of all ages and experience on ways to increase their success hunting whitetail deer. 
WHEN:      Saturday, August 26| 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE:     DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife Education Center, 1-B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter
The workshop is open to the public and will include classroom and field activities.  Participants will learn about where to hunt, clothing and equipment, practicing for success, tree stand tips, scouting, calls and calling, reading signs, animal recovery techniques, and field dressing tips. The session will be led by hunter education instructors from DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. The program will be held rain or shine, and appropriate dress for weather conditions is suggested. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch, snacks, and beverages.  Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Jessica Pena in the DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife at
Deer hunting has a long tradition in Rhode Island, supporting family customs and tourism to the state.  According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, hunting contributes more than $18 million annually to Rhode Island’s economy.  There are approximately 17,000 licensed hunters in Rhode Island.  Hunter education is offered as part of DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program.  Safety training is required by law in Rhode Island for beginning hunters. To date, more than 40,000 people have completed a hunter safety course in Rhode Island, helping to dramatically reduce related accidents in the state and elsewhere.  A complete schedule of hunter educational offerings is available at
Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at for timely updates.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CMP New England

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

The New England Games is held at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site and is hosted by the Vermont State Rifle and Pistol Association, along with the Burlington Rifle and Pistol Club. A variety of matches fired during the event accommodate both rifle and pistol, new and experienced marksmen alike.

Popular matches such as the Rimfire Sporter, Garand/Springfield/Vintage and Modern Military Match, As-Issued 1911 Pistol Match, Military & Police Service Pistol Match and a Pistol Two-Man Team Match are fired throughout the Games. Additionally, an EIC Pistol Match, .22 Rimfire Pistol Match, Carbine Match and Vintage Sniper Match will be sure to challenge competitors of all ages.

Register on-line at

For more information, visit our website at

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

National Parks Lifetime Pass Fee to Increase on Aug. 27, 2017

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

A stampede of seniors has descended upon America’s national parks, many of them hoping to buy a $10 lifetime pass before an act of Congress causes the cost to spike to $80 later this month.
“Many sites are running out of passes and there’s a high demand,” said Kathy Kupper, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service. “Online orders are generally 100 a day. Right now, it’s 11,000 a day.”
The senior pass, available to people 62 and older, allows the pass holder and a carload of companions to enter any of 2,000 sites throughout the country, including the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock.
Christina Marts, the deputy superintendent for the park and the Saint Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire, said “people are scurrying to get their passes” by Aug. 27, the last day the pass can be purchased at its current price.
“Annually, the two parks sell just over 1,200 senior passes a year,” she said. “This year, we’re already well over 2,000.”
The run caused both locations to temporarily run out of passes, Marts said, though a resupply had allowed them both to stock back up as of Thursday afternoon.
She recommended that people call Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller at 802-457-3368, ext. 222, to make sure they’re in stock before visiting specifically to get a pass.
But she said many people who come to buy a pass are taking a more full advantage of the visit.
“We are certainly seeing an increase in visitation, and we certainly hope that as people are coming to buy their passes that they take an opportunity to enjoy all the parks have to offer and make a day of it,” she said.
The increase, though dramatic, is the first hike in more than 20 years. When Congress first established the senior pass in 1974, they were free, and remained that way until 1994, when the $10 price tag was fixed.
Kupper said the national agency just printed 400,000 more passes to meet demand, and that she expects sales to hit 2.5 million passes, more than triple the usual annual total of about 800,000.
According to the Census Bureau, there are about 48 million people age 65 or older in the country, where the 417 national parks drew 320 million visitors last year.
Though the run, and the price bump, will increase revenue for the National Park Service as a whole, the Upper Valley’s two locations actually may take a loss, because the legislative change, which Congress approved in December, comes with a restructuring of how the money is allocated.
Admission revenues make up just a small percentage of each park’s budget, but they currently are retained within the park in which they were generated.
Under the change, Marts said, all admission revenues will instead go to a national endowment, with individual parks invited to apply for dollars for specific projects. She expressed confidence that the end result would benefit the local parks, but the specifics of the arrangement have yet to be worked out.
“We haven’t seen guidance of how the endowment fund is going to be managed,” Marts said. “We’ll certainly track the details as those develop.”
Kupper said the increase in revenues will help to close a chronic gap between the needs and revenues of the national parks.
“There is a big maintenance backlog,” she said. “So many have infrastructure you don’t think about, sewer systems and electric systems.”
The $80 new price tag on the senior pass will bring it into alignment with the “America the Beautiful” annual passes on sale to National Park-goers of all ages, but after the switchover, there will be a purchasing option that will lessen the impact of the cost increase.
Seniors also will be able to buy an annual senior pass for $20. If they accumulate four $20 passes, they can trade them in for a lifetime senior pass at no additional charge.
Kupper said that, because of the order backlogs, those who purchase a pass online might not get their pass in the mail for months, but will be able to use their receipt to gain admission during the interim.
Though federal law prohibits the National Park Service from recording demographic data on its visitors, the conventional wisdom is that seniors — who often have recreational time and an innate appreciation of nature — make up a majority of the visitors to the sites.
Marts said visitors can challenge themselves on rugged hikes, but the parks also work to include programming for people of different levels of physical ability.
“At Marsh Billings we offer a variety of tours that include the historic home of George Perkins Marsh and Frederick Billings, the mansion and a wonderful collection of artwork,” Marts said.