Gene Chague | Berkshire Woods and Waters: Novice women hunters, Junior Conservation Camp and an unusual bird sighting | Sports

Seventeen female deer hunters participated in the 2021 MassWildlife Program to Become a Woman in the Outdoors (BOW) Deer Hunt. On the opening day of the rifle deer hunting season on November 29, they experienced deer hunting with the help of volunteer guides at Fort Devens.

According to Marion Larson, Head of Information and Education at MassWildlife, nearly all of the women watched deer and all of the participants enjoyed hunting. Two women cut their first deer ever. “Sharing that experience was exciting and magical at the same time. This course was amazing. Thank you to everyone who made it what it is!” said one of the novice fishermen.

MassWildlife expressed its sincere appreciation for the enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer mentors who shared their knowledge and support with these women.

To prepare for the directed hunt, the women attended a virtual seminar in October where they learned about deer biology and management, hunting systems, where to find deer hunting places, and tips on deer hunting. Later in the month, they took part in an in-person field seminar at the Shirley Rod and Gun Club where they learned about proper clothing and other useful hunting gear, spent time at the shooting range, and found out how to look for a deer tag, estimate distances and when to shoot or not shoot Deer, then trace the path of blood.

In addition to shooting skills workshops and hunting seminars designed for adult women, BOW offers other workshop presentations such as: basic hunting, rifle hunting, kayaking, map and compass, forest reading, archery, pond and stream adventures, and nature photography. , martial arts, outdoor cooking and games, edible plants and more.

To learn more about MassWildlife’s BOW program, click on the Becoming an Outdoor Woman page on the MassWildlife website.

Mass. Junior Conservation Camp. mass

Jerry Conlin poses

Jerry Conlin, 15, poses with his flying dog Gunner. Conlin placed first in the sporting clay rifle competition at Massachusetts Junior Camp last year.

I’ve written about this camp in the past, but it’s a great program worth repeating. MJCC provides a unique experience in conservation, shooting sports, and outdoor recreation education for youth. The camp program introduces them to the ethical responsibilities of hunting and fishing and encourages careful stewardship of our natural resources. It also aims to educate campers about the conservation of natural resources and responsible use of the environment. Natural resource professionals from state agencies provide hands-on experiences, presentations, and lead discussions on wildlife, fisheries, and forest management.

The MJCC program is open to boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17. This year’s camp dates are August 7-19, 2022. This year, they will host camp at Moses Scout Reserve located at 310 Birch Hill Road in the town of Russell. Applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. (Reservations opened on January 1.)

Although campers may apply on their own, more than 85 percent of them are in foster care. Each year, the Berkshire County Athletic Association (BCLS) sponsors two children (a boy and a girl) and Lenox Sportsmen’s Club sponsors four. The Cheshire Rod & Gun Club and Adams Outdoor Youth Club are giving money to both to help defray the costs. The scholarship costs $1,100 per young person for two full weeks, which covers accommodation, food, and activities expenses.

Now you know why these clubs hold so many raffles and events: to raise money to send young people to MJCC for free. There are no better places to spend our money on our youth.

Camp reserves the right to limit the number of campers of a particular gender in order to create separate, balanced accommodation for sleeping.

Campers must be prepared to work in an environment that requires good behaviour, teamwork, and attention. Much camp is spent in an educational setting and students are expected to be attentive, polite, and unobtrusive.

Much of the instruction is “hands-on,” and all students participate in instruction that includes firearms of several types, bows, arrows, hunting and camping equipment and interaction with wildlife. Students are expected to understand how dangerous it is to handle such equipment and interact with wildlife.

The happiest campers are those who are interested in the outdoors and wildlife management programs before attending MJCC. Teens who are sent because a relative is an outdoorsy enthusiast may hate the camp approach, unless they have a personal interest in the outdoors, and often end up going home. For this reason, BCLS (and possibly other clubs) ask young people to write a letter explaining why they want to go to camp.

If you are unsure of your child’s interest in camp, he or she suggests that you allow him or her to browse through pictures of the camp program. Or just ask 15-year-old Jerry Conlin. Last year, the BCLS Association sponsored him.

Jerry said that what I love most about camp is “probably the shooting, all kinds of shooting like trap, rifle targets, archery. They had some 3D targets there too. It was really fun.” They also had some swimming, boating and fishing lessons there.

Asked if he had learned anything new, he said, “They had one class on plants. We learned about certain plants, those you can eat and those you shouldn’t and what they’ll do to you if you eat the wrong kinds.”

Jerry won some awards. At the end of the two weeks there was a camp level competition and he won first place in sport rifle clay and took third place in shooting. The day before the actual competition, shooters had to qualify. Only three people in the camp were qualified to shoot rifle and rifle and it was one.

Jerry had a great time. “Being around a group of kids with the same interests is great,” he said. He became close friends basically with everyone at his camp site, and he still keeps in touch with them.

If parents would like their child to attend camp, but need financial assistance, click on the MassWildlife website, complete the Camper Scholarship application and submit it as soon as possible. They will do their best to match your child with groups that have reserved a place, but don’t have a stroller.

Is this a vagrant eagle?

sea ​​eagle

The Steller sea eagle, native to Asia, has been spotted near the Taunton River in Massachusetts.

Have you heard of that strange lost eagle? Well, according to MassWildlife, it’s a Steller’s sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus, which is native to Asia, specifically Japan, Korea, China and Russia.) It was first seen in August 2020 in Alaska on Denali Highway about 4,700 miles from its location. original range. It has since been seen in New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada in July of 2021, in Nova Scotia in November of 2021, guess what, two weeks ago it was spotted on the Taunton River in Massachusetts.

It has a distinctive yellow beak with unique white markings on its wings with large white tail feathers. Steller’s sea eagle weighs up to 20 pounds and has a wingspan of 6 and a half feet, making it one of the largest birds of prey in the world.

Birders is confident that the same Nova Scotia eagle has also been seen in various parts of North America due to the unique white markings on its wings. The New York Times thinks it may have been spotted in Texas this year, but they’re not positively certain because it was photographed only sitting, not with wings outstretched where the hallmarks can be seen.

Experts say it’s possible for birds to lose their sense of direction when they move away from their natural habitat, possibly due to the effects of climate change or a navigational error. Or is he a tramp, which is common. According to Alexander Lees, a bird-displacement expert at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), homelessness occurs when a bird veers off course, possibly due to a navigation error, or may have been veered off course due to harsh weather patterns. Displacement may also help migratory birds expand their ranges, a survival advantage as global warming alters suitable habitats for many species.

Experts suspect that they may migrate with native bald eagles along the coast, return to their natural ranges in northeastern Asia or stick to the east coast.

Time will tell.

Stay safe!


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