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Hunter’s Corner: Springing ahead on the outdoors front

Welcome to daylight saving time. We are 11 days away from the vernal equinox (the first day of spring) and I’m trying my best to get a clear view of the light at the end of the tunnel of winter, hoping beyond hope that it is not a train coming in the opposition direction. The only good news is the azimuth of the sun increases on a daily basis as does the number of minuets of daylight. I know the Monitor is looking for the worst pot hole, but I think frost heaves may be a better measurement.

News from Oak Hill is that the cold weather has delayed maple sap collection by at least two weeks; without warm days, the cold temperatures have it totally shut down. The good news from Oak Hill is that for the second year in a row, a lynx is on the prowl. This is well below the range thought to be for lynx.

February was definitely a banner month for the Wildlife Heritage Foundation. It was one of four groups to benefit from the opening of the newest addition of Bass Pro Shops in Hooksett. The estimated contribution to the foundation will be in the neighborhood of $15,000. Also, was the N.H. Liquor Commission partnered with Bacardi and Horizon Beverages to provide the foundation with $1 for every 750ml bottle of Bacardi products sold at N.H. liquor stores. This includes all Bacardi brands, Dewar’s, Gray Goose, Bombay, Benedictine Liqueur, St. Germain Liqueur and Cazadores Reposado. Horizon Beverage Company distributes Bacardi products. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation is a non-profit group that is tasked with raising money to support special projects at N.H. Fish and Game.

Meanwhile, champagne corks were popping at Fish and Game following a N.H. Superior Court ruling. For decades, Fish and Game has been trying to establish a boat launch on Lake Sunapee on property known as Wild Goose. Wild Goose consisted of a 130-acre parcel abutting the state park and 3.3-acre parcel with water frontage for a state boat launch. Legal action was brought by the Town of Newbury and the Lake Sunapee Protective Association to prohibit Fish and Game and the Council on Resources and Development (CORD) from building the launch.

Presiding Justice Larry M. Smukler held that the petitioners have not sustained their burden that CORD’s is illegal or unreasonable, thus their petition for writ of certiorari is denied. Gaining access for anglers is critical for Fish and Game to fulfil its mission. Unfortunately, given the current budget crunch at Fish and Game, there is only $25,000 in the budget for design and engineering, so it will be some time before the Wild Goose site construction can proceed.

Last week there was an outdoor show at the Grappone Center. This was the perfect tonic for those with cabin fever. This was the show promoter’s first venue in Concord and he plans on returning next year. The next stop for the show this weekend is Rutland, Vt.

LHR Sporting Arms of Rochester was there showcasing its latest hunting rifle, the Redemption Center Fire (RCF). A single-shot with interchangeable barrels, the RCF comes in calibers .223 Remington, 30/30 Winchester, .44 Remington Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45/70 US Government, 20-gauge turkey choke, and 20-gauge rifled barrel. The fit and finish of the mating of wood and metal is exceptional. I already own a .45/70 Marlin Guide Series and love it. Mine is magnaported and I think if you are looking at either the .444 or the .45/70, I would recommend getting the barrel magnaported.

I also met with Capt. Matt Trombley who operates 3rd Alarm Charters, based in Rutland. He charters in some interesting locations. In April, it is Lake Ontario for brown trout, in May it is the Hudson River from Kingston, N.Y., for striped bass, in June and July it is Lake Champlain for lake trout and salmon, and come August it is back to Lake Ontario for King and Coho salmon. Each spring, striped bass move up the Hudson River all the way to Troy. If you would like more information, go to 3rdAlarmCharters.com.

Four national conservation organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to enter into a unique partnership to reach more than 1 million conservation supporters. Ducks Unlimited (DU), Quail Forever (QF), National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and Pheasant Forever (PF) are partnering to ensure our hunting heritage remains strong, according to DU CEO Dale Hall.

The goals of the partnership will be achieved through the support of an engaged and growing community of outdoor enthusiasts, including the members and supporters of the partner organizations, who share similar visions.

“We’re losing 6,000 acres of habitat every day. Hunters fund conservation but now we’re at the point where less than 10 percent of the American population hunts, so the funding is going away,” NWTF CEO George Thornton said. “We know we can’t solve this alone. It’s bigger than one organization.”

Combined, these organizations have helped conserve more than 30 million acres of wildlife habitat, and through this partnership, shared conservation goals will be achieved more efficiently.

(Bob Washburn can be reached at hunterscorner@aol.com.)

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