Hunter’s Corner: Meredith Rotary Derby set to kick off next week

For the Monitor
Published: 1/28/2019 7:22:29 PM

My brother emailed me a picture of a turkey he shot in December. I think it was a Merriam turkey and it appeared to be well over 30 pounds. Ranchers and farmers in Montana are issued predation permits for turkeys owing to the damage they are capable of doing.

Ted was hunting with his longtime hunting partner Howard. Ted was using his Browning Auto-5 (hump back) with 2 ¾ inch magnums No. 5 shot. Those made easy work of the turkey. You really don’t need to jump up to the 3 inch magnums to take down a turkey.

This past snow storm was a bummer as far as ice fishing was concerned. The bays and inlets on Lake Winnipesaukee are the first to ice over. We have friends that stay in the cabin next to us for the May Winni Derby who have been fishing very successfully.

You need a snowmobile or ATV to get where they were fishing and they were catching 3-pound rainbows.

They were fishing in a sandy bottom area. The ice depth was 11 inches and safe for fishermen and machines. The ice was crystal clear and solid. Rainbows are in search for food so they are in constant motion. When they get to where your tip-ups are located, you are in for some fast action.

The storm we were supposed to get didn’t happen. The project winds following the storms would have blown the powder snow off the ice but the sleet ruined that opportunity. The rains Thursday may give rise to the chance for slushy ice, which is not good.

The Meredith Rotary Derby is slated to kick off on Feb. 9-10. This is the 40th year of the derby and Meredith Rotary contributions from 1982-2018 amounted to $2,165,041. One of the best changes they ever made was when the top prize was no longer the largest tagged rainbow trout to seven species to black crappie, cusk, lake trout, pickerel, rainbow trout, yellow perch and white perch. The top fish in each species for each day go into a pool. So, if you have a top fish and you can only have one, you stand a one in 14 chance of winning the first, second or third prizes.

The other great change was not restricting the fishing to several lakes. Now it is from any New Hampshire public waters. No bass, brown trout or salmon will be accepted. You can’t legally catch a salmon anyway. Should you hook a salmon do not bring it out of the hole, simply cut the line and the hook will in time dissolve. Entered fish become the property of the derby and are donated to the Squam Lake Natural Science Center.

For those starting to feel the effects of cabin fever there are two outdoor shows to put on your calendar. The first is New Hampshire Farm & Forest Exposition on Friday and Saturday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester (700 Elm St.). Billed as “New Hampshire’s Greatest Winter Fair,” this family-friendly event offers commercial exhibits, seminars, demonstrations, animals, an auction and activities for all ages.

The second is New Hampshire Outdoor Expo, which kicks off March 8-10 at the Hampshire Dome in Milford. Spring fever will have you ready to check out the latest fishing and outdoor gear and choose from dozens of hunting and fishing seminars presented by industry celebrities and professionals.

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