Hunter’s corner: A trip up north to Pittsburg provides ample fishing, hunting opportunities

Monitor staff
Published: 7/12/2016 12:58:54 AM

We had a special family gathering a few weeks back in Pittsburg. If you ever needed to head to the North Country to clear some cobwebs away and enjoy some quality time in the real New Hampshire, now is the time to visit Pittsburg.

Fishing and ATV activities dot the landscape. We stayed at Cabins at Lopstick and the first thing you notice is how clean and well-maintained the cabins were. The cabins we stayed at were located across from First Connecticut Lake. There was an active hatch and the fish were reacting to the hatch by jumping all over the lake. Lopstick has approximately 55 cabins on several lakes so you can tailor your experience. And yes, at certain cabins, you can bring your dog.

If you are looking for some exciting shore bank fishing for lake trout and rainbow trout, Third Connecticut is your destination. Fishing with live suckers on the bottom will attract trophy-size lake trout. Night crawlers below the surface will bring on foraging rainbows. If you have a canoe or kayak, you can fish the hatches for rainbows. If you are interested in a great fight on light tackle, rainbow trout is definitely high on the list.

My brother-in-law Jimmy decided in the early morning hours to drive up to the Canadian border to see what wildlife was there for the viewing. He spotted seven deer, three moose and a bobcat with kittens. This was another ‘wow’ moment.

My nephew has been spotting moose on a highly frequent basis in WMU A 2. Joel has also been spotting a doe with three fawns in the same location for several years.

The North Country has been quick to stake out the claim to being the go-to place for ATV activity. There are in excess of 1,000 miles of ATV trails. The cost of an ATV and the trailer required to take it from place to place is comparable to the top-of-the-line snowmobile and trailer.

There are two locations that offer 12-month ATV activities. For the rest of the state, it appears that ATV activities are limited to 10 months a year. On the other hand, snowmobiles are lucky to get in one month of activity, and in a good year, two-and-a-half months of snowmobile activity. The most popular ATV right now is the side-by-side, although there are some four-seaters gaining in popularity.

The moose lottery in Maine and New Hampshire produced the same results as years past – no hits, no runs and no men left on base. Oh well, such is the case with a lottery.

However, if you still want a shot at New Hampshire moose, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation will be auctioning off two moose permits that will be good in the WMU of your choosing. This is the third year in a row that the Foundation will be auctioning off two moose permits.

The two highest bidders will receive a free 2016 moose permit, as well as a 2016 NH hunting license. In case of a tie bid, the earliest postmarked signed bid will prevail. Last year, the auction garnered five bids from three states, with the highest bidders tied at $14,001. The winners were from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Official bid guidelines and documents can be downloaded from the foundation’s website at nhwildlifeheritage.org, or by calling 496-2778. Sealed bids are due by Aug. 5.

There is still another option for a big game hunt: Canada. I have twice received promotional materials on big game hunting in Newfoundland and Labrador. With a current population of 120,000, the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador have one of the highest population densities of moose on the continent. That is roughly one moose for every 4.3 residents. These Newfound trophy moose can have racks up to 50 inches long and weigh up to 1200 pounds.

It doesn’t stop with moose, however; there are black bear and woodland caribou hunts, and if you accomplish all three it is considered a “Newfoundland Grand Slam.” The average price for a guided hunt for moose was $5,000 and included all licenses. The black bear hunts start at $3,500. As to be expected, the most expensive are the woodland caribou hunts, which start at $9,500. The main difference between the woodland caribou and their Pacific Northwest cousins is the table quality of the meat. The migration factor kicks in and degrades the meat quality.

So if Newfoundland and Labrador are possible adventures in your future, go to newfoundlandlabrador.com and click on “Things to Do” and then “Hunting” and you’ll have a complete list of lodges and offerings. But whatever you do, do not click on “Angling”; ten-pound brood trout and Atlantic Salmon may just provide the ultimate angling temptation. The prices for angling are on a per-day rate.

Summertime and the living are easy if we can only get through the current heat wave. Have you gotten your “get out of jail free card” yet? What I am referring to is the Hike Safe Card. If you are not negligent in your activity, you will not be liable for certain liability for repaying search and rescue costs.

The annual cards can be purchased for $25 for an individual or $35 for a family (parents and minor children). They are good through the end of the year.

“Buying a card is an important way to help ensure that personnel trained in wilderness rescue are there to coordinate search efforts if you are lost or hurt in the backcountry,” Fish and Game Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Jordan said.

Fish and Game average 180 search and rescue missions each year. For more information, go to wildnh.com/safe.

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


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