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Hunter

Hunters Corner: Keep an eye out for deer and moose

Many drivers frequently see deer and moose along the highways. For deer, the areas abutting the highways, especially the interstates, are seeded with grass and clover. Those patches of wildflowers along with the grasses and clover serve as a food plot.

Does nursing their fawns need extra nourishment and they find it along the highways. Typically, what will happen is the does will park the fawns in a safe place and then commence feeding and sometime attempt to cross the road. When this happens, they are at risk of getting hit by a car.

Moose, on the other hand, come to the side of roads to find salt that was used to treat the roads in winter. If it weren’t for the salt, there would be little conflict with vehicle except when it is a natural travelway for moose.

One of the things N.H. DOT is doing to make traveling on I-93 and I-89 safer is to increase visibility by cutting back trees. This allows the motorist to see deer and moose sooner. Generally, if you see a deer there may be more seeking to cross the highway. Usually the only time you will see more than one moose is when a cow is with her calves. The best advice when traveling at night through areas that contain moose and deer is to slow down.

Speaking of moose, the best way to enter the Vermont moose lottery is online. You can download the WMUs and then apply online. Unique to Vermont is a moose archery season. The out-of-state fee for the regular season and archery season is $25 for each and you can enter both if you choose. The drawing will be held Aug. 1.

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The National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. commissioned a study of first-time firearms buyers and how the guns were being used. The study was conducted this past March-April and involved consumers ages 22-65 who bought their first firearm during 2012. InfoManiacs, Inc. conducted the research. Key findings include:

∎ The majority of first-time buyers (60.3 percent) tend to be active, using their gun once per month or more, with one in five reporting usage of once a week or more.

∎ Target shooting is by far the most popular shooting activity among first-time gun owners, with 84.3 percent saying they used their firearms for this purpose, followed by hunting (37.7 percent) and plinking (27.4 percent). Practical pistol shooing (17.3 percent) and clay-target shooting (14.6 percent) were shooting sports also enjoyed by first-time buyers.

∎ First-time gun owners participated in hunting (53.2 percent), practical pistol shooting (46.3 percent), clay-target sports (44 percent) and gun collecting (42.4 percent).

∎ The top factors driving first-time gun purchases are home defense (87.3 percent), self-defense (76.5 percent) and the desire to share shooting activities with family and friends (73.2 percent). Women , in particular, are highly focused on personal defense and self-sufficiency.

∎ Older first-time buyers – the 55-65 age group – indicated concern that firearms may no longer be available to them.

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Earlier this month, Inland Fisheries Division Chief Jason Smith issued an advisory on exotic wildlife and plants. What precipitated the advisory was the fish kill at White Park Pond. The pond, it seems, is overpopulated with goldfish, koi and bluegill. He speculated at how the fish got there and advised the following:

Koi and goldfish are exotic species that must not get into state waters. One reason is that koi and goldfish can present a health risk to native fish species. Ornamental fish raised in captivity have developed resistance to certain diseases, due to the typically stress free environment of an artificial setting. Koi and goldfish that appear healthy can be carriers of pathogens such as Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) and Spring Viremia of Carp Virus (SVCv). SVCv, in particular, can cause serious problems in wild baitfish populations. Many of our wild and native fishes have never been exposed to some of the emerging pathogens. Therefore, many of our wild fishes have never had the opportunity to develop an immune resistance to these potential diseases. This is why all baitfish and fish being imported for aquaculture must pass a pathological inspection prior to an import being approved.

Fish and Game lists all ornamental or aquarium fish as “non-controlled” provided they remain in a “closed system.” These same rules prohibit the release of any fish and wildlife without a permit. Chief Smith wants you to help protect the natural resources of New Hampshire by being conscious of the fact that those plants and animals you enjoy in your water garden or aquarium are illegal to release into the wild, where they threaten native wildlife.

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

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