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Hunter

Hunter’s Corner: Final day for deer for archers

Today is the last day of the fall archery deer and turkey season. When the final numbers are released, it should be a significantly up season for all deer hunters. Just about every time I went hunting with Scotty and Brett, we saw deer. Last Saturday, hunting on fresh snow we were seeing tracks of bucks and does that we never imagined were traversing a particular open field we took to approach certain runways.

The deer are going to have a difficult time surviving this winter. There were spotty acorns. Two hunters reported seeing young deer munching on oak leaves. I can’t imagine how much nutriments the deer were gaining. What we need is a snow blanket to cover the grasses because the snow acts as an insulating blanket whereby grass shoots provide for a rich nutrient source for deer. Second- through fourth-year hard hack provide buds that are an even greater source of energy for deer.

When deer are at their lowest point, they eat hemlock. Hemlock has little nutritional value, but it gives the deer’s multi-chambered stomach a false feeling of being full. Digestion is a delicate process in which if anything foreign is introduced, the consequence to the deer is more often than not harmful. This, among other reasons, is why Fish and Game strongly advises against feeding deer during the winter months. But, if you stubbornly insist upon feeding deer, the most difficult time for deer to survive is March-April, just before green-up. It is then when deer are most vulnerable.

So, is hunting over for the season? Hardly. Through Dec. 31, squirrel, partridge and pheasant are still open. Rabbits and hares are open through March.

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Savage Arms used to offer the perfect late-season firearm. It was an over/under .22/410. This was optimum for a quick flushing partridge or a chance at a sitting snowshoe hare. I checked with Savage’s website and it wasn’t listed, so I checked with Brad Marshall and, sure enough, it’s been upgraded with a synthetic stock and it comes with two versions: .22/410 and .22 MAG/410. It is the Model 42 with a MSRP of $480 that Brad sells for $445.

If there is a hunter or angler in your household, your one-stop shopping is at Fish and Game headquarters or its mail-order gift shop at wildnh.com?Shop/shop.htm to order logo shirts, hats, mugs or order 2014 Fish and Game calendars.

What is the most popular gift a hunter or angler can receive? A gift certificate for a 2014 hunting, fishing or combination license. For those who hunt, fish and just enjoy the outdoor New Hampshire experience, a gift subscription to the New Hampshire Wildlife Journal is just the ticket to many months of enjoyment and enlightenment.

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The Wildlife Heritage Foundation announced partnerships with Amoskeag Auction Company, Inc. and Lang’s Auction, Inc. The programs will provide the opportunity for individuals to sell unused or unwanted firearms or fishing tackle and donate the proceeds of the sale directly to the foundation. Board Chairman Steve White says the foundation is excited to team up with these two internationally known auction houses and offer a new way to donate. The official non-profit partner of N.H. Fish and Game, the foundation raises money in support of the department’s educational, conservation and wildlife programs important to New Hampshire’s quality of outdoor life, and to preserve wild places and wild things in New Hampshire for generations to come.

Both Amoskeag and Lang’s are leaders in their fields. Amoskeag Auction Company, Inc. is a long-established specialty firearms company located in Manchester and is known as one of the major firearms auction houses in the nation. Lang’s Auction, Inc., in Waterville, N.Y., sells antique and collectible fishing tackle. For more than 20 years, Lang’s has been the leader in antique and collectible tackle, and has the world’s largest tackle database for accurate appraisals.

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Free ice fishing seminars are coming to Fish and Game headquarters in January. They will begin at 7 p.m. On Jan. 15, Adrian Lavoie of YOAdrian Charters (Rocky Balboa would be proud) will present a seminar on ice fishing for lake trout and white perch by jigging and tip-up fishing. Lavoie is entering his 10th year of professional guiding on New Hampshire lakes. He will de-mystify the new gear that is available to make ice fishing more comfortable and productive.

On Jan. 22, Tim Moore, a licensed N.H. fishing guide and owner of Tim Moore Outdoors, will talk about the tools, tactics and techniques that he used to pull hundreds of fish through the ice every winter. Moore has ice fished in New Hampshire for more than 30 years and has been featured on N.H.’s Wildside TV, and NH Chronicle. He is an Ice Team Pro as well as a member of Clam Outdoors, Vexilar, Maki Plastics and Oozie Jig Pro Staffs. Moore spends much of his ice fishing time on Lake Winnipesaukee.

“It’s a big lake with a ton of diversity,” he said. “I can spend the morning fishing for lake trout, and then switch to chasing crappie, sunfish or perch in minutes.”

Last year’s welcomed change to the Meredith Rotary ice fishing derby had the effect of expanding the species that can be the ultimate winner and expanding the lakes and ponds that can produce a winning catch. For more information on the winter outdoor talks, contact Mark Beauchesne at 271-6355.

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

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