2013 PRELIMINARY DEER HARVEST
EXOTIC ANIMAL REGULATION AMENDMENTS
FRESHWATER SPORT FISHING AWARD WINNERS
MASSWILDLIFE AT SPORTSMEN’S SHOWS
HABITAT SITE WALKS
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AWARDS
WEB TIP OF THE MONTH
UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) reports that the preliminary deer harvest for 2013 (excluding Quabbin and any data not yet received) is 11,413. Although preliminary, this figure is up 4% from last year’s total harvest. The preliminary archery season harvest of 4,474 is up 15% from last year, the preliminary shotgun season harvest of 4,625 is down 7% from last year, and the preliminary primitive season harvest of 2,314 is up 11% from last year.
2013 Preliminary Deer Harvest by Season
and Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ)*
*WMZ map at: mass.gov/dfw/wmz-map
Regional Preliminary Summary: The 2013 preliminary harvest data for zones 1-5 shows a decrease in female harvest and a corresponding increase in adult male harvest, indicating that deer densities in these zones are increasing toward DFW’s goals. Deer densities in Zones 6-9 appear to be within DFW’s goals. Densities in Zones 10 and 11 are still above goal, but more towns are increasing access to lands for hunting, which is one of the most important parts of managing deer in a suburban setting. Deer densities on Martha’s Vineyard (Zone 13) and Nantucket island (Zone 14) remain significantly above DFW’s management goals, but preliminary results from this year’s harvest show an increase in the female harvest that is critical to reduce deer densities.
Online reporting was available during deer season for the first time during the 2013 archery and primitive arms seasons (hunters must still report harvested deer at a check station during shotgun season to facilitate collection of biological data); over 70% of the deer taken during those seasons were reported by hunters through the MassFishHunt system.
Not only is the online reporting system convenient for hunters, it allows DFW to provide preliminary harvest totals much earlier than in previous years. It also allows DFW to break down the preliminary harvest information by Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ). While total harvest by zone can be informative, it doesn’t provide the complete picture for monitoring trends in deer density because total harvest is influenced by antlerless deer permit allocations in each zone.
The DFW Deer Project Leader analyzes harvest, biological, and hunter effort data, along with hunter success rates, female versus male harvest, and other factors to manage deer populations in each zone. An analysis of this information is now underway for the annual spring deer management review. A complete harvest summary will be posted on the DFW website shortly after the annual deer review.
Lastly, hunters who include their email addresses in their MassFishHunt profile will receive a hunter survey by email in February.
Pet shops, veterinarians, and prospective exotic or captive wildlife owners need to know of recent changes to state wildlife regulations affecting the types of wild animals that may legally be kept as pets in Massachusetts. These regulations, passed by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board in 2013, became official on January 3, 2014.
The changes allow new species of wildlife to be kept as pets, treated by veterinarians, or sold in licensed pet shops. Of particular interest to the pet owning public is the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps) a small mammal that is now allowed as a pet. Most of the wildlife newly legal to keep as pets are reptiles, including: green tree python (Chondropython spp.), the Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus), all of the jungle runners (Ameiva spp.), true chameleons, frilled lizards (Chlamydosaurus spp.), spiny-tailed lizards (Uromastyx spp.), and one small species of monitor, the Spiny-tailed or Ridge-tailed Monitor (Varanus acanthurus). This monitor is a small reptile that can easily be distinguished from juveniles of all the larger species, none of which may be kept as pets. No permits are required by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for possession any of the above mentioned animals.
One turtle, the Red-eared Slider, will no longer be legal to keep as a pet in Massachusetts. This turtle has been prohibited because unwanted pets were released so often that they have now become established as a breeding non-native turtle in several areas of the state. Any existing pet slider (prior to January 3, 2014) will be grandfathered and may continue to be kept by its owner for the rest of its life, but the owner should keep a date-stamped clear, in-focus photo of its belly (plastron) as documentation. No permit is necessary to keep a “grandfathered” turtle.
Massachusetts' regulations regarding the possession of wildlife are among the strictest in the country. The goal of these regulations is to protect both the interests of wildlife and the public. The Division recommends that prospective pet owners learn about the laws pertaining to the possession of wildlife in Massachusetts before acquiring an animal and consult with a veterinarian to determine what animal is suitable for their household's abilities, lifestyle and commitment to pet care. For more detailed information about keeping exotic or captive wildlife see the Wildlife as Pets link on the MassWildlife website at mass.gov/dfw/wildlife-as-pets.
Winners of the 2013 Freshwater Sportfishing Awards have been announced! Mark Mohan Jr. of Pembroke is the Angler of the Year; Jake Souza of Berkley is the Youth Angler of the Year. The list of 2013 Adult and Youth Gold Pin Award winners will be posted to the MassWildlife website during the week of February 3. The Freshwater Sportfishing Awards ceremony will be held later this year and an announcement will be made when details are finalized. Meanwhile, interested anglers of all ages who would like to participate in the 2014 program are encouraged visit the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program web page to find out how to submit their trophy catch!
In February MassWildlife is hitting the road to set up at outdoor and sportsmen’s shows around the state. Stop by the MassWildlife booth at one of these shows and chat with staff, pick up information about hunting and fishing regulations, spring trout stocking, or general wildlife information. Computer kiosks will be set up for those interested in purchasing 2014 hunting and fishing licenses. MassWildlife staff will be on hand to assist customers; however, those purchasing licenses must use a credit or debit card for the transaction. Cash or checks will not be accepted.
February 1-2 – 35th Annual Southeastern MA Sportsman’s Show, Bridgewater – Sponsored by the Standish Sportsman’s Association, the event features over 40 dealers and many displays on hunting, fishing, boating, taxidermy, and wildlife. Show hours are Saturday, February 1st, 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. and Sunday, February 2nd, 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
February 6-9 – New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo, Worcester – Worcester County school teachers in attendance can learn about opportunities for their students to participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program administered by MassWildlife. Expo hours are Thursday, February 6th, 3:00 - 8:00 P.M., Friday, February 7th, 12:30-9 P.M., Saturday, February 8th, 10:00 A.M.-7 P.M., Sunday, February 9th, 10:00A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
February 20-23 – Springfield Sportsmen’s Show, West Springfield – Show hours are Thursday, February 20th, 3:00-9:00P.M., Friday, February 21st, 12:00-8:00P.M., Saturday, February 22nd, 9:00A.M-7:00P.M., Sunday, February 23rd, 10:00A.M.-5:00P.M.
Interested conservation-minded citizens are invited to attend habitat site walks at two Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) to learn about habitat improvement projects that will be implemented by the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW). If you are interested in attending either of the site walks listed below, see our calendar of events for more details.
February 11 – Bolton Flats Wildlife Habitat Site Walk, Bolton/Lancaster – Join DFW Ecologists and Foresters from 2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. to walk the Pine Hill section of Bolton Flats WMA in Bolton and Lancaster. Learn how MassWildlife will restore uncommon Sandplain Grassland habitat and Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak shrubland habitat to benefit rare and declining species. Please dress warmly for the weather and wear sturdy boots. An inclement weather date is set for February 14. Contact John Scanlon at (508) 389-6324 for more information or to check on the inclement weather plan.
Directions and meeting location: Take Route 495 to exit 27. From exit 27, take Route 117 West for approximately 4.5 miles. Take a right (north) onto Harvard Road. After approximately 0.4 miles Harvard Road turns sharply to the east and becomes Pine Hill Road. Cross the railroad tracks on Pine Hill Road and after ~1/4 mile there will be a gate on the left side of the road (north). This gate is the access to the site.
February 13 – Frances Crane Wildlife Habitat Walk, Falmouth – Join DFW Ecologists and Foresters from 2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. to walk the Pheasant Area of Frances Crane WMA in Falmouth and learn about habitat improvement plans. DFW has been working to improve habitat conditions for rare and endangered grassland birds on the northern section of Crane WMA. The next phase involves converting second growth forest on abandoned agricultural lands by clearing invading pine and oak trees and planting native warm-season grasses. Please dress warmly for the weather and wear sturdy boots. An inclement weather date is set for February 14. Contact John Scanlon at (508) 389-6324 for more information or to check on the inclement weather plan.
Directions and meeting location: From Boston area, take Route 3 to the Cape Cod Canal. At the Canal, go partly through the traffic circle to Route 6 (Scenic Hwy) west. From Route 6, follow the signs to Route 28 south, and the Bourne Bridge. Go over the bridge and continue going south on Route 28 to Route 151. Go east on Route 151. After approximately 2 miles there will be a sign for the Nickelodeon Theater on the left (north). Immediately after the theater, there will a sign for the Frances Crane WMA. Take a left (north) onto the unpaved road at the sign and follow approximately ¼ mile to the end. This is the primary parking area for Frances Crane WMA north.
Nominations for Massachusetts public or private school-based programs that promote environmental and energy education will be accepted until March 28, 2014. Programs topics can include wildlife and natural resource conservation, ocean science, and other related subjects. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will review applications for the Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award and announce the winners in mid-April. The contest aims to recognize teachers and students who inspire their communities by exploring challenging environmental and energy issues. Contact Meg Colclough at (617) 626-1110 or email@example.com for more information. Click here for nomination form.
When visiting the MassWildlife website, use the light gray vertical navigation buttons on the left to find major topics on the site. The horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page leads to other state energy and environmental agency websites.
February 13, 2014 – Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee Meeting, West Boylston. The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee will be meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at the DFW Field Headquarters Office located at 100 Hartwell Street, Suite 230, West Boylston from 1:30- 4:30 P.M. in Conference Room A. Click here for directions or call MassWildlife at (508) 389-6360.
February 18 – Fisheries & Wildlife Board Meeting, West Boylston – The February meeting of the Fisheries and Wildlife Board will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 12:00 noon, at the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Field Headquarters, 100 Hartwell Street, Suite 230, West Boylston. The meeting is open to the public and the building is handicapped accessible. Click here for directions or call MassWildlife at (508) 389-6342 for more information.
January 8 - February 15 – Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit, New Bedford – A combination of the top 100 pieces of Junior Duck Stamp Artwork will be on display at the Buttonwood Park Zoo at 425 Hawthorn Street, New Bedford. Contact Gail Janeczek at (508) 991-6178 for more information on the Buttonwood Park Zoo exhibit. Learn more about the Junior Duck Stamp Art contest by visiting our website or by contacting the JDS coordinator, Pam Landry at (508) 389-6310 or by email at Pam.Landry@state.ma.us.
February 1 – Buffumville Lake Ice Fishing Festival, Charlton – This event, made possible by cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers Buffumville Lake, the Charlton Conservation Department, and the MassWildlife Angler Education Program, takes place from 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. at the North Cove Picnic area off Oxford Road, in Charlton. This is a free, non-competitive, family friendly, learn to ice fish event. Bring your equipment, or borrow ours - limited equipment and bait will be provided. Open to the public – for information, contact Todd Girard at 508-248-2247, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jim Lagacy at 508-389-6309 or email@example.com.
February 1 – Kids Ice Fishing Event, Hopkinton – Sponsored by the Woodville Rod and Gun Club and The Pikers, the event will take place from 11:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. at Lake Whitehall in Hopkinton. Meet at the state boat ramp area located near the intersection of Dale Rd. and Wood St. (Route 135) in Woodville (Hopkinton). Children ages 14 and under accompanied by a responsible adult are welcome. Pre-registration is required, call (508) 435-4148 or email Lawrenceofwoodville@gmail.com before January 30th. **When registering for this event be sure to include the name and age of each child participating as well as a phone number where you can be reached in case the event is postponed due to lack of safe ice. No-safe-ice-date is Sunday, February 23rd, 2014.
February 9 – Macgyver “Ed” Peary Ice Fishing Derby, Billerica – This event, co-sponsored by Billerica Recreation Department, and the MassWildlife Angler Education Program will be held at Nuttings Lake from 7:00 A.M. to 2:00P.M. The Derby is open to the public, registration is on site the day of the event, but please RSVP by calling (978) 987-3487 to let them know you intend on coming and to check if there is safe ice. Parking will be available at Micozzi Beach in Billerica – enter lake through the Turnpike Market parking lot. If you have extra ice traps (tip-ups) please bring them to share. Bait will be available onsite for a minimal charge – bring a bait bucket. For more detailed information call (978) 987-3487.
February 23 – Bald Eagles and Quabbin Reservoir, Belchertown – Quabbin Reservoir played a vital role in the reintroduction of the Bald Eagle to Massachusetts. Join Andrew Vitz, State Ornithologist with Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, for a presentation on the extirpation of Bald Eagles and their steady increase since their reintroduction up through the 2013 breeding season. This event is located at the Quabbin Visitor’s Center, which is handicapped accessible. The talk is from 2:00 – 3:00 P.M. and is open to the public.
February 25, 27 and March 4,6 – Basic Saltwater Fly Tying Course, Charlton – Sponsored by the Town of Charlton and the Angler Education Program, the event will be held at the Charlton Senior Center (37 Main St) from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. This is a FREE four-session course (weather permitting) for beginning fly tyers only. Participation in all four classes is strongly encouraged. All tools and tying materials will be provided. The minimum age for participation is 12. Space for the class is limited, pre-registration is required. Contact Todd Girard at 508-248-2247, firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-register.