Hunter’s Corner: Now’s the time to watch and enjoy wildlife

For the Monitor
Published: 6/27/2018 12:25:18 AM

Summer is finally here. Now is the best time to enjoy and watch wildlife at a safe distance. Perhaps the most enduring is the current fawn crop, which is robust because it was an easy winter for the deer population.

The white dots on the fawn’s coat is a natural camouflage. The doe will park the fawn in a thicket or protected area while she feeds. She will return periodically to nurse the fawn. This is done to minimize the scent on the fawn to afford the fawn greater security from predators. If you spot a fawn, leave it alone. The doe is nearby and your interference could jeopardize the safety of the fawn.

Bear cubs are born during the sow’s hibernation. When they leave the den, the sow is the teacher showing them how and where to seek food. The first lesson they are taught is when there is danger, climb a tree. The male bears are only around during mating season and pose a threat to bear cubs. The sow is highly protective and if you pose a threat to the cubs she will react with a vengeance. The opportunity for multiple births is strong. I’m not sure what the record number of cubs is but I seem to remember a sow with five cubs a few years back. Give the sow and her cubs a wide distance.

Moose calf watching is a fun sport when kept at a safe distance. When the calf is born, its neck is so short the it must kneel to reach the ground. They will grow in an almost explosive way. In the first week of life, they will be three feet tall and weigh approximately 65 pounds, and in six weeks it will expand to slightly less than 100 pounds and the height of a grown whitetail buck. At five months it may stand more than 5 feet tall. It has been said that the most dangerous animal in the world is a cow moose protecting her calves.

Turkeys also make for interesting watching. The poults look like furry footballs. Each hen will nest on 10 to 18 eggs. In a normal spring, poults have two enemies: rain and predators. This has been a relatively dry spring so the threat of pneumonia was greatly reduced. The other factor is predation. Poults go through a fattening time eating insects, berries, and seeds. At the end of this period they will be capable of flying to bushes and low hanging branches to roost for the night and avoid prowling predators. Hen turkeys will merge their flocks together for additional safety. Eighty-four percent of the forage is vegetables and 16 percent is animal matter.

Another species that has benefited from a relatively dry May are partridge chicks. A typical May is cold and wet. This weather pattern spells disaster for partridge chicks as they just can’t survive. This might turn out to be the turnabout year most die-hard partridge hunters have been yearning for.

My final animal watching suggestion is red fox kits. Their coloration with the white stocking boots on their feet make them adorable to watch. A few years back, on the 10th fairway on what is now Pembroke Pines there was a family of three kits. These kits were a riot to watch as they cavorted with their antics.

Anglers have options

June is also a prime month for fishing. For warm-water anglers, the bass are in post spawn. Smaller lake and pond anglers are in for a real treat. For those who prefer to fish on Winnipesaukee, this may be a superb time to hit the big lake. Salmon fishing has cooled down and will return when the thermal inclines set in sometime in July.

If you are a cold-water angler, the time to head north is now. The place to go is Pittsburg. Be it from a boat or from shore, the opportunities have never been better. Soon casting live suckers from the shore of First Connecticut Lake will provide fast action. The Connecticut River below Murphy’s Dam has always been a hot spot for big browns, and further down the river has proven to be a hot spot for rainbows.

If you have a hankering for some striper fishing, Great Bay maybe a good choice. The school-size stripers action is picking up and will soon be followed by the really big ones. The daily limit is one striper 18 inches in length or larger. There are several launch sites on Great Bay, but you have to be careful with the tide.

Permits on hold

If you were waiting for WMU L permits to go on sale on the same day WMU M go on sale you will have to wait a bit longer. Rules adopted by Fish and Game in accordance with their statutory authorization must go before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

Because there were proposed changes to the number and method of issuance of WMU L permits, they cannot be issued until the entire rules package receives final approval. The JLCAR is playing politics on this issue because interlopers take exception to the expansion of beagle training using live hares.

Four thousand WMU permits will go on sale at a cost of $36 for two deer tags on July 16 at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.

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