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Hunter

Hunter’s Corner: Voice your opinion on waterfowl hunting season

Fish and Game will be holding a public meeting on proposed season dates and bag limits for the 2013 waterfowl hunting season on Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Fish and Game headquarters on Hazen Drive. Comments at the meeting will be considered in finalizing New Hampshire’s 2013 season dates.

Duck and waterfowl population levels this year in New Hampshire and in the Atlantic Flyway remain in good shape, according to waterfowl biologist Edward Robinson. In New Hampshire, breeding waterfowl surveys indicated higher duck and goose populations than in recent years. However, persistent rainy weather after nesting will most likely result in lower duckling and gosling survival.

The proposed waterfowl season is very much like last year’s. The overall duck season is 60 days, with a bag limit of six birds daily, and the Canada goose season is 60 days, with two birds in the daily bag. One change in this year’s regulations is that all possession limits for ducks and geese and other migratory game birds will be three times the daily bag limit, rather than two times the bag limit, as has been the case in the past.

∎ The proposed Northern Zone waterfowl season would open Oct. 2 and run through Nov. 30.

∎ The proposed Inland Zone waterfowl season would open Oct. 2 and run through Nov. 3, then reopen Nov. 26 through Dec. 22.

∎ The proposed Coastal Zone waterfowl season would open Oct. 3 and run through Oct. 14, then reopen Nov. 26 through Jan. 12, 2014.

In addition to your regular hunting license, you will need a federal duck stamp and New Hampshire duck license. You will also have to complete a HIP survey.

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The New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) and Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) are hosting a half-day workshop on game camera selection and use. Nationally recognized wildlife biologist Kip Adams will be speaking about game cameras and their use in managing and monitoring wildlife populations. Game camera manufacturers will also be on hand to discuss game camera options and advances in camera technology.

The workshop will be held Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. to noon at Elks Lodge No. 1210 on Route 28 in Epsom. The cost is $10 for NHTOA or QDMA members, $20 for non-members. Registration is available from the NHTOA office at 224-9699.

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Do you enjoy learning about New Hampshire’s natural history and resources? Are you concerned about the future of the state’s forest, wildlife and water resources? You may be interested in becoming a Natural Resources Steward for UNH Cooperative Extension or a Wonders of Wildlife (WOW) docent for the NH Fish and Game. Joint training for these volunteer programs is coming up this fall at Fish and Game’s Hazen Drive headquarters.

WOW docents are Fish and Game volunteers who present one of four prepared and interactive programs about wildlife and habitats to elementary school classes in New Hampshire. Training through UNH Cooperative Extension’s Natural Resource Stewards training program is one avenue for becoming a WOW docent.

Open to all, the Natural Resources Steward program emphasizes hands-on training. Learning is both in the classroom and in the field, with topics that include: New Hampshire’s wildlife and its habitats; tree identification; evaluation, planting and care; land conservation and protection; invasive species identification and management; sustainable living and permaculture; ecological landscaping and more.

After the course, participants are required to complete 40 hours of volunteer service in their communities or through a partnering agency’s program.

The next 13-session training course will be held on Fridays beginning Sept. 6 at Fish and Game headquarters on Hazen Drive. In addition to being a volunteer program, the course can be taken for college credit through Great Bay Community College. For more information, contact Mary Tebo Davis at 641-6060 or mary.tebo@unh.edu, or Mary Goodyear at 271-6649 or mary.goodyear@wildlife,nh.gov.

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The Vermont moose lottery went by the wayside with no luck to be had. The only shot I have remaining is a friend of mine is on the New Hampshire alternative list. Other than that, it looks like the focus of my attention this year will be whitetails. And barring any unforeseen events, 2013 should be a banner year for deer hunters. The herd is in excellent shape and numbers are improving. Of the three northern New England states, New Hampshire has the smallest number of deer of the three. I attribute this mostly to habitat deficiency. Sound forest management practices would partially cure this situation, but that is not going to work because the loudest voices tend to drown out reasoned timber harvesting solutions.

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

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