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Hunter

Weather makes arrival

Also: Poachers apprehended

To all those who did not appreciate the snow a week ago Saturday, I apologize. It was my fault.

Having watched the weather trends, I began lighting snow candles on Thursday evening and they worked. I was able to alter where I was hunting in one piece and I pushed out three deer that I thought to be does. The area was to the rear of a moderate swamp surrounded by an oversized horseshoe of a ridgeline. At least I am finally seeing deer.

Sunday was a different story. My plan was to go out Sunday afternoon, but the fog rolled in. I don’t hunt in the fog. One of the cardinal rules of hunting is that the hunter needs to see what is behind the deer he is shooting at. You can’t do that in the fog. Earlier this fall, two Maine deer hunters simultaneously shot at the same deer. One of the hunters died as a result. Maine had a mandatory hunter orange rule, but this did not stop the tragedy.

Today is the last day of the regular firearms deer season, with the archery season ending Dec. 15. I would like to give you some kill numbers on bear and deer from Fish and Game, but this has been an off year for getting information from Fish and Game. The biggest deer checked in to Marshall’s is a 225-pound, 11-point buck. Unfortunately, it was road kill and the same vehicle that hit the deer took out a mailbox in upper Boscawen. There are suspicions as to why the driver never stopped.

In the annual battle of which takes more deer, the 308 or the 270, the 270 is leaving the 308 in the dust. In so far as my plans for today, it will be a busy afternoon. Who knows, maybe it is my time to catch lightning in a jar.

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Roger is a semi-retired long distance trucker who grew up 30 miles outside of Lansing, Mich. Most people visualizing deer hunting in Michigan tend to think of the Upper Peninsula and all that goes with some great recordings. Upper Peninsula Michigan is rifle country. Lansing and the rest of southern Michigan tend to be shotgun country.

It has been 35 years since Roger was able to visit his relatives on Thanksgiving. Roger made it this year and wanted to deer hunt with his brother. His dad died in 2002 and when he made his wishes known, his mother suggested he use his dad’s shotgun and slugs for the hunt. On what would have been his father’s birthday, Roger shot a doe that was Roger’s first deer. It turned out to be a remarkable Thanksgiving for Roger and his family.

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I love it when the bad actors get caught, because in addition to breaking game laws, they are robbing all of us of our hunting traditions. A cooperative effort between N.H. Conservation Officers, U.S. Border Patrol Agents and Quebec Provincial Wardens has made a concerted effort to address the illegal entry of Canadian hunters into the U.S. for the purpose of poaching moose.

The maintained border between Pittsburg and Canada is a trimmed corridor resembling a power line right-of-way, locally known as the “slash.” Pittsburg shares 56 miles of soft border with Canada, along which are hundreds of Canadian hunting shacks and blinds. Some of the shacks are rudimentary, and others resemble elevated camps, fully equipped with propane heaters, cook stoves and sleeping bunks.

Thanks in part to a federal Homeland Security grant titled “Operation Stonegarden,” teams of officers conducted surveillance of several hunting shacks, as well as foot patrols on the border of the upper reaches of Hall Stream. Some of these patrols required hiking in 1-1 ½ miles and spending chilly nights in sleeping bags in 17-degree temperatures.

Pay dirt was struck on Oct. 13 after hearing gunshots in close proximity to the officers. CO Mark Hensel and his K-9 Sig were called into action and Sig tracked on the poachers’ scent to freshly killed moose next to a salt block. Both perpetrators were Canadian and pled guilty to charges with fines and restitution totaling $3,240, loss of Canadian moose tags, and one of the two lost New Hampshire hunting privileges for two years. A job well done goes out to all of the officers involved and a special well done goes out to Sig, who is a certified police K-9.

Fish and Game COs are seeking help from the public in identifying suspect(s) who shot a moose on the evening of either Nov. 27 or Nov. 28 in Berlin and left it to rot. No meat had been removed from the animal. Anyone with information that may be relevant to this case is asked to call Fish and Game’s Region 1 Office in Lancaster at 788-4850, Fish and Game Dispatch at 271-3361 or operation Game Thief at 800-344-4262.

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

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