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Hunter

Time to try your luck in the moose lottery

We are heading into moose lottery season. On Saturday, Maine will be holding its moose lottery with the results going on line later in the day. New Hampshire will hold its lottery on June 21 at Fish and Game Headquarters. The results also will be posted online.

Recently, someone was so upset with the moose lottery, thinking it was rigged, that they filed a right to know claim with the department. The executive director sought to quickly diffuse the situation by calling in a representative of the Office of Information Technology who has designed and operates the system. The technician quickly explained how the system works and ran it twice to demonstrate. The questioning individual was so impressed that he walked away with complete confidence in the moose lottery system.

In case you haven’t picked up your copy of the 2012 Harvest Summary, there should be plenty available at the drawing. The lottery drawing has evolved to its present form as a major event for Fish and Game. While many deserve credit for this change, Peter St. James has been a driving force, broadcasting live on 107.7 The Pulse so those who cannot attend may monitor the proceedings. It is always a fun occasion, and if you have the time to stop by, you will not be disappointed unless you don’t make the draw.

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Women who want to learn about firearms can sign up for a special Beyond Becoming an Outdoor-Woman (BOW) “Firearms from A-Z” workshop taking place July 13 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness. The workshop fee of $55 includes program materials, use of equipment and lunch. Participants must be 18 years or older.

This is a one-day workshop that gives women a chance to become familiar with all firearm action types, using the correct ammunition, proper maintenance, safe handling and storage. The session includes a live shooting opportunity at the range.

To sign up for BOW “Firearms from A-Z,” visit mhbow.com and download the workshop brochure and mail-in registration form. To request a registration form, email aquatic-ed@wildlife.nh.gov or call 271-3212. Registration forms will be accepted by regular mail only. BOW workshops fill up fast, so sign up soon if you are interested. The class will be limited to 20 participants.

Beyond BOW courses expand the offerings of traditional Becoming an Outdoors-Woman fall and winter workshops. These in-depth courses are designed to help women gain the skills to be able to participate in outdoor activities on their own.

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I was glad to see the winner of the Winni-Derby finally took and passed his lie detector test, but I have a suggestion: Change the rules from winners will have to take a lie detector test to winners “may” be required to take a test if there is a suggestion of foul play.

Much has been done to reduce the numbers of hook-wounded salmon by reason of the single hook rule for live bait over the past two years. One excuse given for the decline in salmon weights is that all of the big salmon have been caught. Given the size of the lake, I found that explanation implausible. As a fishery, Winnipesaukee is one of the best. The smelt population is in good shape. The rainbow trout population is expanding. In the not too distant future, rainbows may exceed in weight the salmon being caught.

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I am waiting for the turkey harvest numbers to be released. I have a sneaking suspicion the numbers will be off this year. Weather conditions were optimum for early nesting, and in conversing with several hunters, they were met with stark silence in areas that had been a hotbed of toms calling hens in the past.

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For those of you who have been thinking about putting in food plots and mineral blocks to aid in antler development, now is the time to put them in. Based on what I have learned, they work. We have great habitat, but lack in mineral concentrations. Food plots and mineral blocks supplement what are lacking. Come the fall hunting season, the baiting regulations will apply, but as for now, you are good to go.

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

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