Hunter’s Corner: There is demand for the Wild Goose boat launch

For the Monitor
Saturday, August 05, 2017

I am still in a state of shock that the Governor has pulled the plug on the Wild Goose boat launch on Lake Sunapee claiming it was “flawed.” Really? Traffic engineers from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation reviewed the plan and gave it their approval. Twice the opponents took it to the Supreme Court and twice their arguments were rejected.

In 2016, 106,000 resident fishing licenses were sold. In fiscal year 2017, 94,262 boats were registered in New Hampshire. This is quite a large voting block that would have appreciated the Wild Goose launch site that is now a dead duck. The voter numbers of Newbury and Sunapee pale by comparison.

A friend of mine, Ned, and his wife raised two sons. Ned’s job in the process was mentoring his sons on hunting, fishing and target shooting. It mattered not that if it were cold water fishing or warm water, lures, flies, or bait. At every opportunity, he would take his sons fishing.

His son and a friend even went so far as to making their own lures. Two weeks ago, they were trolling using lead core line when the son’s friend had a massive strike. After carefully reeling in the fish he was pleasantly surprised to net an eight-pound-plus lake trout. That was an impressive moment.

Tick tock: Time is running out to enter the 2017 moose permit auction. This is not an auction for the weak at heart as the winning bid will be in the high teens as previous years has shown. Sealed bids are due by Aug. 11. The successful bidder will be able to harvest one moose of either sex in most WMU’s with the exceptions of units H2N, H2S and K where permit issuance has been suspended. Individuals who receive a permit in this year’s New Hampshire open moose hunt lottery will not be eligible to participate in the auction. Official bid guidelines can be downloaded at nhwildlifeheritage.org.

In other news from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation, the foundation received a generous donation form the Knopf Family Foundation to the Wildlife Heritage Foundation to expand research by New Hampshire Fish and Game into climate, habitat and prey abundance of the endangered lynx species throughout northern New Hampshire.

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to Fish and Game, which is collaborating with the U.S. Forest Service in a five-year study in Coos County. To identify locations most likely to host lynx and to understand the dynamics affecting these animals in their natural habitat, as well as other winter-adapted carnivores, the study is being carried out by remote camera filming in the species natural habitat.

The Knopf Family Foundation grant allowed researcher to purchase 67 additional trail cameras, batteries and SD cards needed for the remainder of the study, as well as scent supply and snow stakes used to measure snow depth in remote locations in the White Mountain National Forest. Cameras are checked quarterly by Fish and Game staff and volunteers, and the data is being cataloged and tabulated by a research team from the Northeast Climate Science Center of UMass-Amherst. The program will continue through 2018, when all data will be compiled and a final study report released in 2019.

Most individuals understand the pigmentation and color issues that renders an animal albino. There is just the opposite and more rare process that will render an animal black. Such is the case involving a woodchuck at Pembroke Pines CC. This little guy has a black body and brown head. Woodchucks at Pembroke Pines feast on clover, which is more than abundant.

Ted Walski issued his report on the spring turkey season and the results were spectacular. Nearly 4,500 turkeys were taken, the second highest harvest second only to 2013 when 4,550 were taken.

“Last winter was relatively easy for wild turkeys because of low total snow cover, significant periods of bare ground sites, good mobility, good nutrition, and fat from the availability of acorns,” said longtime turkey biologist Ted Walski. “The semi-drought condition of spring (and) summer 2016 contributed to an above-average hatch.”

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