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Thanksgiving a Key Date for Hunters

November 17, 2018

Thanksgiving week for the hunter means so much. The end of another pheasant season here in Massachusetts, getting ready for the big day with family on Thursday and the much anticipated opening day of shotgun deer season next Monday.

Those who hunt deer in the Bay State will find more animals than at any time in history. Biologists have managed the herd to a point where there are well over 100,000 now calling the state home.

The concentration of deer is widespread. No longer do hunters from here travel to the Berkshires as the only place to find a deer. They are from coast to coast. In fact there are too many deer in the northeastern section of the state, some areas of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and areas in the Central part of this state.

Those areas have deer in excess of 20 and as high as 50 per square mile.

Now it’s up to you to do your homework by knocking on doors and obtaining permission to fill those tags.

Hunters are reminded that if you are lucky enough to harvest a deer it must be taken to a check station during the first week of the season. Biologists will be on standby to take a tooth, check for ticks, take a blood sample and age the deer. The report on your harvest will also be sent to you.

As always during the season, looking like a pumpkin is the fabric of the day when afield. An orange hat and a vest covering all of your chest and back is mandatory. A total of 500 square inches covers your body and you can’t have enough. Deer are color blind so orange means nothing to them.

Your shotgun can hold no more than five rounds at a time. Yes, hollow points are legal and your shotgun can be semi-auto or pump.

When this season is done the smoke pole folks will finish out the year starting December 10 until the end of the year December 30.

Drop me a note if you bring home some venison.

Outdoor news & notes

Snowy owls have returned to southern Maine and New Hampshire. It will not be long before they are found in big numbers on the Parker River.

Feds gave approval to dispatch 93 seals that are killing too many salmon in Oregon. We have 25,000 seals here eating 20 percent of their body fat every day on striped bass. Maybe a few thousand should be taken out at Monomoy.

Pennsylvania elk hunters killed 99 last week for a 96 percent success rate, making this a destination hunt for hunters.

Mass Wildlife is doing some netting on the Quabbin and came up with some huge fish including a 26-pound 39-inch lake trout that has a tag and chip now in it. Catch it and you own the state record.

New Hampshire gun season is open now for deer and the Granite State Food Bank is also open for all donations. They will take venison, bear or moose. Thousands of hungry mouths are fed every year by the generous donations of sportsmen. To donate call 603-669-9725 and ask for Ray Martin.

As many of you know we have the Atlantic sturgeon here in the Merrimack River. The Feds are looking for any pictures, conditions of fishing, sighting of fish, or GPS location you can provide on this river or any place else. If you have any information please call 1-844-788-7491.

Lastly, New Hampshire had a record 70 bald eagle chicks fledge this year. Since records have been kept since 1988 there have been 497 making it.

Bill Biswanger’s email address is bboutdoor1@aol.com

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