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10/1/14           #10

 

2014 EARLY SEASON BLACK BEAR HARVEST: A NEW RECORD

FALL TROUT STOCKING

SURPLUS ANTLERLESS DEER PERMIT SALES REMINDER

CALLING ALL HUNTERS AND COOKS, SEND US YOUR RECIPES

AUTUMN OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS

MASSWILDLIFE AWARDED FEDERAL GRANT FOR PLOVER MANAGEMENT

DUCK HUNTERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SCIENCE

ONLINE HARVEST REPORTING EASIEST FROM DESKTOP COMPUTER

UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

 

 

2014 EARLY SEASON BLACK BEAR HARVEST: A NEW RECORD

Preliminary reports reveal a record 202 black bears were harvested by licensed hunters in central and western Massachusetts during the September 2 – 20 bear season. The tally includes 186 bears that were reported online (either by home internet users or by staff at physical check stations), 6 bears checked in at check stations in the Western district, and 10 bruins checked in at Connecticut Valley district check stations. The previous bear harvest record was set in 2012 with 185 bears reported for both the September and November seasons.

Rifles, muzzleloaders, archery equipment, and revolvers were permitted during the September season. The late bear season begins November 3 and ends November 22, 2014. Bear hunters are reminded that revolvers are prohibited during the November season. Successful hunters can report their harvest online using the MassFishHunt system or take their bear to a check station.

 

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FALL TROUT STOCKING

MassWildlife began stocking rivers, streams and ponds statewide on September 23. This fall we will be stocking 67,900 trout, comprised of 61,900 rainbows and 6,000 browns. The rainbow trout include 34,100 fish over 12 inches in length of which 27,800 fish are larger than 14 inches. The brown trout average 12 inches. The fish come from DFW’s McLaughlin, Montague, Sandwich, and Sunderland Hatcheries and are distributed in fairly equal quantities to each of the five Districts. A list of trout stocked waters is posted on the agency website. Water bodies typically stocked in the fall are underlined. Anglers are advised to contact the District Office in their area to confirm stocking schedules.

 

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SURPLUS ANTLERLESS DEER PERMIT SALES REMINDER

As in previous years, the sale of surplus antlerless deer permits by Wildlife Management Zone will be staggered. The 2014 sale dates are:

• Zone 11 permits go on sale on Tuesday, October 7 at 8 A.M.

• Zone 10 permits go on sale on Wednesday, October 8 at 8 A.M.

• Zone 13 and 14 permits go on sale on Thursday, October 9 at 8 A.M.

Once on sale, permits are available until sold out in each Wildlife Management Zone. To purchase a surplus permit, log into the MassFishHunt system, or visit a license vendor location or any DFW office location. Please note that not all license vendor locations open at 8 A.M.

If purchasing a surplus permit online, it is easiest to use a desktop computer. However if you choose to use a mobile device please consider the following: To access antlerless deer permit sales you must click Desktop View at the bottom of the screen. Visit our website for complete instructions on purchasing surplus antlerless deer permits.

Reminder: The antlerless deer permit Instant Award Period remains open until December 31. Hunters who applied for an antlerless deer permit by the July 16, 2014 deadline can return to the MassFishHunt system to try to win a permit. This is NOT a first-come first-served system. The odds of winning an antlerless deer permit during the instant award period are the same regardless of when you try to win. Hunters have one chance to try for an Instant Award antlerless deer permit.

 

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CALLING ALL HUNTERS AND COOKS, SEND US YOUR RECIPES

Hunting season is right around the corner. With luck, you will soon be sitting at a dinner table set with a delicious meal of a sustainable food harvested here in Massachusetts! For many, hunting is a family tradition passed down through generations – and the traditions aren’t limited to knowledge of the field. Preparing wild game or fish, whether using family recipes or creating your own, is part of the fun.

MassWildlife wants your recipes for wild game or fish to use on a new part of our website currently being developed. If you have a great recipe to share, please send it (along with a photo if possible) to Astrid Huseby at astrid.huseby@state.ma.us. Or mail the recipe and picture to MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Attn: Astrid Huseby, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. Please let us know whether or not  you would like us to include your name with the recipe.

 

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AUTUMN OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS

Fall is a great time to be outdoors enjoying the dazzling colors, crisp air, and wildlife activity. Whether your passion is hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, or just taking in the scenery, a few common sense safety reminders will add to your enjoyment during a day in the field.

• Be Safe, Be Seen, Wear Blaze Orange! Whether you're hunting, hiking, or walking your dog in a rural area, it is best to wear a blaze orange cap or vest. Wearing blaze orange makes you highly visible. Take a moment to watch an eye-opening video about the effectiveness of blaze orange.

• Respect the water. Canoeists and kayakers are required to wear life jackets from September 15 to May 15, but all water enthusiasts, including anglers who wade in larger rivers, would be wise to wear floatation devices especially now that water and air temperatures are cool.

• Know your limits. Don't take off on a long hike, hunt, or bike ride if you're not physically ready. Tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.

• Watch the weather. New England weather is notorious for changing quickly. Be prepared with an extra layer of clothing, warm hat, and gloves.

• Expect the unexpected. No one expects problems while spending a day outdoors, but having a fanny pack with a few first aid items, matches, water, extra food, pocket knife, map, compass, whistle, cell phone, and flashlight can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones.

• Respect other outdoor users. Mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, hunting, and hiking are not mutually exclusive activities. Know the hunting seasons and who is likely to be sharing the woods and waters with you. Keep dogs under control and respect other outdoor users’ right to enjoy our wild open spaces.

Remember basic hunter safety.  Licensed sportsmen and women are reminded to treat every firearm as it were loaded, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times. Accurately identify your target and know what lies beyond it.

Outdoor activities are among the safest recreational pursuits available. With a little common sense, they’ll stay that way.

 

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MASSWILDLIFE AWARDED FEDERAL GRANT FOR PLOVER MANAGEMENT

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) was awarded a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) grant of $188,694 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that helps protect the piping plover, a shore bird listed on both state and federal endangered species lists. The HCP funding will help DFW continue its work with towns, conservation organizations, and other recreational user groups in developing a management plan for the beach-nesting birds. The Habitat Conservation Plan will allow beach managers more flexibility in allowing beach access to people while also protecting Plovers.

To date, efforts in Massachusetts to protect Piping Plovers have yielded a significant increase in their population. In 2013, 650 Plover pairs were documented – up from 140 pairs in 1986. “This competitive grant award recognizes the success of the Massachusetts’ Piping Plover management program and will allow us more flexibility as we work with local communities to manage Massachusetts plovers in perpetuity,” explains Dr. Tom French, DFW’s assistant director for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. “The funding of this plan will benefit the birds, beach users, municipalities, and others who manage and enjoy the Commonwealth’s beaches.”

Massachusetts was one of four states in the northeastern part of the country with a successful grant award. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife awarded HCP grants of nearly $1.5 million for management activities protecting endangered and threatened species. The grants supported conservation planning in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and wildlife habitat acquisition in Maryland and Virginia.

 

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DUCK HUNTERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SCIENCE

If you shoot a hybrid duck this season consider donating it to science. Researchers from the University of Washington are studying these hybrid birds and are asking for donations from waterfowl hunters across the country. Ideally, researchers would like to receive the entire bird for genetic analysis and for the creation of study skins for future use, including the development of an illustrated guide to hybrid ducks. However, in some cases a good photograph along with a tissue sample are also helpful. For more on how you can help, and to view the hybrid gallery, visit hybridduck.blogspot.com.

 

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ONLINE HARVEST REPORTING EASIEST FROM DESKTOP COMPUTER

When reporting (“checking”) a harvest online, it is easiest to use a desktop computer. However if you choose to use a mobile device to check your game, please consider the following: mobile device users should click Desktop View at the bottom of the screen (see photo). If Desktop view is not selected, you cannot access the Report a Harvest feature. Visit our website for more on game checking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS AND HEARINGS

 

October 7, 2014: Fisheries and Wildlife Board Meeting, Westborough. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at 1:00 P.M., at DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road (off North Drive) in Westborough. Call (508) 389-6342 for more information.

Two Public Hearings will be held at the same location beginning at 3:00 P.M.

  1. To establish and amend rules and regulations governing the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s designation of a Youth Deer Hunt. Click here for details and links to proposed regulations.
  2. To amend the list of species of animals and plants protected by the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. Click here for details and links to proposed regulations.

October 9, 2014: Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee Meeting, Westborough. The meeting will be held on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road (off North Drive) in Westborough from 1:30- 4:30 P.M. in the Southwest Meeting Room, Room #103.

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