June 26, 2009
In its early days, when camping and other outdoor activities were often more necessity than recreation. In the last 100 years, hotels, airlines and interstate highways meant that camping and time spent outdoors became one of the many ways for families and individuals to spend their time away from work. But in 2009, camping and outdoor recreation is returning to a similar level of necessity and relevance as that of a century ago, making this inexpensive and accessible recreation option as important as ever. A recent AP-wire poll showed that 56 percent of Americans will not take a leisure trip this summer - up from 51 percent in 2005. Already this year, one-third of Americans surveyed said they have cancelled at least one trip because of time and money constraints.
A wealth of outdoor-recreation opportunities can be enjoyed within a short distance of home - requiring, in many cases, less than a full tank of gas for the entire excursion. Even backyards and surrounding properties can provide excellent outdoor recreation opportunities and can be a welcome change from another night of television and other mundane activities. With the help of the Internet, visitor’s guides, newspaper articles and magazine features, families can easily find destinations ranging from modern to primitive to best suit their comfort needs and outdoor experience levels. And no matter where families go, the memories of starry nights and campfires won’t soon be forgotten.
June 19, 2009
Registration for Becoming an Outdoors Woman Cooking Workshop starts June 15. Do you wish you could turn that venison, grouse, fish fillet or basket of berries into a delicious wild dinner? You’ll know just what to do with those wonderful wild foods after taking the new Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop called “Cook Like a Wild Woman” being offered August 22 and 23 at the NH Fish and Game Department’s Barry Conservation Camp in Berlin.
The weekend will incorporate hands-on preparation of luscious wild delicacies and cooking methods for a variety of wild game and fish. Participants will prepare their own Saturday evening dinner and Sunday morning brunch using wild ingredients. Recipes and menu planning will be included. This is not a vegetarian weekend! The workshop costs $60, which includes all meals, lodging (rustic cabins, cots), instruction, recipes, menu planning and cooking materials.
A brochure and mail-in registration form are now available to download at www.nhbow.com. You can also call 271-3212 or e-mail email@example.com to request an application.
June 12, 2009
TakeMeFishing.org gives some good information. Finding fishing bait in your backyard is a wonderful way to kick off a fishing trip with your children. They’ll love the outdoor treasure hunt and learning about nature. Worms are the most popular bait, and you can find them almost anywhere.
Other good baits are grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars.
June 5, 2009
Hunt of a Lifetime, in conjunction with the NH Chapter of Safari Club International and the New Hampshire Guides Association, is looking for two young people to take part in the NH Hunting Adventures program.
The program, established by law in 2007, allows the NH Fish and Game Department to issue two hunting permits to New Hampshire residents 21 or under, with critical, life-threatening or terminal illnesses. The participants may hunt any game species; however, the moose permits are valid from October 1 through the end of the regular moose season. Permits are valid throughout New Hampshire for either sex.
The selected applicants are exempt from licensing and hunter education requirements, but must be accompanied by a properly licensed person who is 21 years of age or older. Hunting equipment, guide services, accommodations, transportation and taxidermy are provided by local and national sponsors. Additional information is available at www.nhsci.org or e-mail at Hunting@nhsci.org.
May 29, 2009
New to New Hampshire? Have you gotten your fishing license yet? The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is launching a new pilot program to increase fishing license sales targeting lapsed anglers who have moved within the last two years. Fourteen state fish and wildlife agencies nationwide are participating in the “Movers Program,” RBFF’s latest pilot state initiative. This includes New Hampshire.
“We are thrilled to launch this new pilot program which reminds anglers that great fishing and boating opportunities exist in their new home state,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “This unique program allows us to identify and contact lapsed anglers who have moved and encourage them to buy a new fishing license. We know that this additional revenue will help state agencies keep our waterways clean and fisheries healthy.”
You may get two separate postcards, to be mailed in May and June, which will remind lapsed anglers of the fun and excitement of the sport. Each direct mail piece will encourage them to visit state-specific pages on TakeMeFishing.org to purchase a fishing license. Based on data from RBFF’s recent direct mail efforts, approximately 3 percent of lapsed anglers fail to renew their license because they moved out of state.
If you neighbor is new to town, why not ask them if they would like to go fishing?
May 22, 2009
My pardon to my female readers, but I found a great book to review, The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide: Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood. Author Frank Miniter talks about what used to be considered the measure of a man, then offers the life skills he feels necessary - if not essential - to becoming an “ultimate man.” An ultimate man, incidentally, is measured by the old standards: meaning what you say, offering a lady a seat, being a hero to your children, and proving your manhood with a “real coming of age.”
It’s a read that explores the universal traits attributed to a man: self-confidence, precision, wisdom, humility, bravery, strength, and knowledge. But it’s also packed with practical information on “how-tos” from fending off a bear attack or packing a first aid kit to tossing a curveball, wooing a lady, or choosing the perfect knife or survival firearm. Miniter also includes a guide to making the perfect martini, how to rescue a child from a swift-flowing stream or even standing up to injustice. There are also profiles of “ultimate men” from Socrates to Theodore Roosevelt, Lou Gherig, Floyd Patterson and Winston Churchill. In short, it’s not only a “how-to” book, it’s a guide to essential male skills, attitudes and philosophies. Find it at your bookstore.
May 15, 2009
You may have old, in-the-way hunting, fishing and camping equipment collecting dust in your basement, attic or storage space. Fishing rods and reels, antique lures, old trolling motors, wooden duck decoys, outdoor magazines, books, knives, game calls, posters, guns and other outdoor memorabilia can be extremely valuable.
Did you know you can sell old outdoor magazines? Books like Doubleday’s Turkey Hunter’s Bible, with only 5,000 copies published in 1994, originally sold for $15. But today, a copy of this book often will sell for $200 or more.
How do you determine the value of your treasure trove of outdoor equipment and printed materials? Two of America’s leading outdoorsmen and journalists have answered the demands for the appraisal of vintage outdoor products. The CFP Appraisal Company stands ready to help.
Award-winning writers Jim Casada and J. Wayne Fears have impeccable outdoor credentials to appraise your outdoor gear. Now during hard times with everyone searching for more ways to turn trash into treasure, you may be sitting on a small fortune in outdoor equipment that you don’t need and don’t use. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Appraisals, 4112 Camp Horner Road, Birmingham, AL, 35243 to learn more about having your vintage outdoor gear appraised.
May 8, 2009
A boat operator with blood alcohol content above 0.10 percent is estimated to be 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than a sober operator. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating under the influence contributes to 34 percent of fatal boating accidents.
Here are some tips from FindLaw.com on how to avoid a BUI and also stay safe on the water this summer.
May 1, 2009
Wildlife biologists from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department have published the 2008 New Hampshire Wildlife Harvest Summary, online at http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunting.htm. The report confirms that the severe winter of 2007-08 contributed to a reduced deer harvest in 2008; the total take was 10,916 deer, a 19 percent decrease from the near record harvest of 13,559 deer in 2007. Despite population and harvest decreases, the statewide adult buck kill in 2008 was the fifth highest since 1962.
Hunters took 439 black bears in New Hampshire during 2008. Moose hunters took 333 moose during the nine-day season in 2008, a 65 percent success rate. Turkey hunters registered a total of 4,107 turkeys from 232 towns during the 2008 May, spring season and Youth Hunt weekend. Hunting activity has a positive impact on New Hampshire’s economy; according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 60,000 people hunted in New Hampshire in 2006, generating more than $80 million of direct hunting-related expenditures in the state.
April 24, 2009
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the Federal Junior Duck Stamp program in 1994 to showcase the talents of the nation’s young artists while teaching youngsters about the value of wetlands and waterfowl conservation. The contest creates an opportunity for teachers to connect conservation issues with artistic expression.
Samuel Gray, 13, of North Hampton, has taken top honors among young NH artists in the 2009 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest. Gray’s oil painting of a wood duck, entitled “Solitude,” was chosen from among 48 entries as NH’s State Best of Show in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest.
NH’s first place winners for Grades K-3 included Paul Hynes, 9, of Windham. Grades 4-6, Veronica Morrier, 10, of Plaistow. Congratulations!
A display of the winning artwork opened at the NH Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord during Discover WILD New Hampshire Day on Saturday, April 18, and will remain on display through May .
You can also see first-place winning entries at Fish and Game’s Website at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Education/Jr_Duck/Junior_Duck_Gallery_09.htm.
April 17, 2009
With ethanol-enhanced gasoline already causing issues for power boaters, the federal government is pondering boosting the use of the additive, fueling opposition from the marine industry. The ethanol industry is pushing for more of the additive to be put in regular gasoline, much to the chagrin of the boating and other industries utilizing smaller motors. In older boats with fiberglass fuel tanks, fuel hoses and seals are being damaged by the alcohol in the blend. The tank’s reaction creates a sludge that fouls fuel systems. Carburetors choke and die. The fuel also creates more water separation problems, leading to more fuel-filter sales. The owner of an older boat could be facing work just to get on the water. Most newer boats don’t have the problem. Their fuel tanks, hoses and rubber rings are made to withstand a 10 percent concentration of ethanol. It is more of a problem in boats that don’t see a lot of use. Fuel sits in the tanks, water separates and a film forms inside the tank. Last month an ethanol trade association petitioned the EPA to boost the amount of ethanol. But, a coalition of groups affected by current E-10 changes called on the EPA to base its decision on science.
April 10, 2009
Volunteers make many Fish and Game programs available. From those who place fish in our streams to those who work to keep access open, there are opportunities available. The “Let’s Go Fishing” program will hold two-part certification training for new fishing instructors. Many adults and children around the state have taken these courses, but Fish and Game needs your help as volunteer instructors. The certification program is required in order to be an instructor in this long-standing program. Training is free. To sign up, call Lisa Collins at 271-3212 or e-mail email@example.com; in addition, you must print out and return a Let’s Go Fishing volunteer application form, which can be found on the Fish and Game Website (or ask to get one by mail when you call). Visit ttp://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/lets_go_fishing.htm. Applications must be received by April 20 to reserve your spot in the trainings.
April 3, 2009
Celebrate Earth Day by bringing the family to Discover WILD New Hampshire Day -- Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the NH Fish and Game Department on Hazen Drive in Concord. Admission is free. This festival is fun for all ages - kids can try archery, cast with the “Let’s Go Fishing” program or do wildlife craft projects. See retriever dogs in action, big trout and salmon in a real stocking truck, trained falcons and battling bull moose. Check out gas-saving hybrid vehicles and ideas for conserving energy and protecting our environment. Throughout the day, enjoy ongoing exhibits, presentations, walks and demonstrations. Visit www.WildNH.com for details.
At the event, more than 35 outdoor, wildlife, environmental and conservation groups from throughout the state will present exhibits and demonstrations exploring all that’s WILD about New Hampshire, including the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Trailblazers, the Loon Preservation Center, Trout Unlimited, Amoskeag Fishways, Appalachian Mountain Club, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, the Little Nature Museum, the NH Wildlife Federation and NH Audubon.
March 27, 2009
Large majorities of hunters and anglers say they are more likely to buy products from companies that support wildlife and fisheries conservation efforts, according to a recent survey. Hunters and anglers also perceive specific firms as being particularly strong in their support for conservation. A significant 67 percent of hunters and 52 percent of anglers stated that they are “much more likely” to buy products from conservation-supporting companies. A further 22 percent of hunters and 29 percent of anglers describe themselves as “slightly more likely” to buy products from such companies.
A list of companies to choose from was provided to each respondent. The top five brands were (the figure following each company or brand name indicates the percentage of respondents who perceived that company as a conservation supporter):
March 20, 2009
If you’re looking for a summer camp where your kids will have fun while getting outdoors and active, consider Barry Conservation Camp in Berlin. Youth who love the outdoors, prefer a small camp and enjoy hands-on learning about outdoor skills, conservation and the environment will feel right at home. Barry Camp is a weekly, overnight summer camp offering specialty weeks for youth (boys and girls) age 10-16. Each camp week costs $450. To register, contact 4Hcamps@unh.edu, call 862-2184 or visit http://ceinfo.unh.edu/4H/4HCamps.htm.
There are four sessions:
March 13, 2009
Really got “cabin fever?” Free evening talks by fishing experts at Fish and Game Department headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive in Concord. Programs begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free. No pre-registration is required, just come on down and join the fun. The series includes:
March 6, 2009
Right now is prime time to sign up to take a hunter education class. To purchase your first hunting license in New Hampshire, you must complete a hunter education course before you can hunt. Individuals 16 years old and older need a hunting license to hunt in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department offers Hunter and Bowhunter Education classes around the state, as well as Trapper Education. To find a class, visit http://www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed_schedule.htm or call 271-3214.
The basic Hunter Education course averages about 16 hours of classroom instruction, hands-on demonstrations, small group activities and a live-fire experience on a shooting range. A Bowhunter Education course typically runs for 8 to 10 hours, both in and out of the classroom. Courses are taught by trained, certified volunteer instructors according to national guidelines and state standards. In addition to traditional classes, Fish and Game offers a home-study option for completing the Hunter Education requirement. This option takes about the same amount of time as a classroom course. Initial preparation is done at home; participants then attend a required field day involving a written exam and field skills testing.
February 27, 2009
Experts say winter conditions in late March and April are especially critical for deer. At that point, deer may have burned through most of their fat reserves, so very cold temperatures or persistent deep snow depths can push them over the edge. Adult deer survive such conditions better than fawns, so the full impact to hunting season results can lag a year or two. Even though adult females may survive until mid-April, their body condition may be depleted enough that when fawns are born four to 10 weeks later, they still have too little energy to produce milk needed for twins. So, not only can winter affect last year's fawn crop, it can affect the upcoming fawn population too. How well deer populations respond to winter is very dependant on the abundance and condition of deer wintering areas, or deer yards. When severe winter weather occurs, deer need cover from accumulating snow and cold winds, as well as security from harassment. Deer try to maintain a reduced metabolism during winter in order to conserve energy while moving and feeding less. Weather is not the only cause of depleted fat reserves well before spring. Consistent harassment by domestic dogs throughout winter causes local deer die-offs. All dog breeds can be guilty, and chase-related deaths occur whether or not deer are actually caught.
February 20, 2009
The Dog Tags for Kids Project is dedicated to helping United States Service men and women in most harm’s way connect with their children at home. Specially engraved Dog Tags in the appropriate service color are provided free to the service members for their children. Dog tags are engraved “With Love From Dad, U.S. Army, Iraq 2009.”
The dog tags must come from the parents so all dog tags are sent to Iraq, Kuwait, or Afghanistan at the request of the service members to send to their children; from their hearts to their children’s hearts. They are a grassroots project depending entirely on volunteers and donations to continue this mission. All donations go through the Kids Charities of the Antelope Valley, a 501(c)3 charity. The goal is to see the every parent soldier in most harm’s way who wants a dog tag for his/her children receives one at no charge to the service member or their families.
Interested? Get more info at www.dogtagsforkids.com.
February 13, 2009
New Hampshire fishing and hunting licenses for 2009 are here. Licenses are good for the calendar year, from January 1 through December 31, 2009, so the sooner you get yours, the more days of outdoor recreation you’ll be able to enjoy. Licenses can be purchased online at http://www.WildNH.com or from Fish and Game license agents statewide.
For hunters and anglers concerned about maintaining access to pursue their sports, the $10 Wildlife Legacy donation (a check-off on the multiform license) provides an opportunity to support Fish and Game’s Landowner Relations Program. A decrease in access is one of the most significant threats to the future of hunting and fishing in New Hampshire. The Landowner Relations Program works in partnership with hunters, anglers and landowners to maintain hunting and fishing access to private lands. Learn more at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Inside_FandG/Wildlife_Legacy_Initiative.htm.
February 6, 2009
Officials at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are reminding those getting outdoors this winter to stay safe on the ice. “This year, we’ve already seen wide-ranging temperatures, deep snow and high winds that can shift ice on water bodies,” said Major Tim Acerno of Fish and Game Law Enforcement. “Outdoor enthusiasts should always test the ice before venturing out onto ice-covered waters.” Assess ice safety by using an ice chisel or axe to chop a hole in the ice to determine its thickness and condition. Continue to do this as you get further out on to the ice, because the thickness of the ice will not be uniform all over the water body.
Though all ice is potentially dangerous, the Cold Region Research Laboratory in Hanover offers a “rule of thumb” on ice thickness: There should be a minimum of six inches of hard ice before individual foot travel, and eight to ten inches of hard ice for snow machine or ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) travel. Keep in mind that it is possible for ice to be thick, but not strong, because of varying weather conditions. Weak ice is formed when warming trends break down ice, then the slushy surface re-freezes. Be especially careful of areas with current, such as inlets, outlets and spring holes, where the ice can be dangerously thin.
To download a brochure from Fish and Game called “Safety on Ice - Tips for Anglers,” visit http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/fishing.htm.
January 30, 2009
On January 15 at the SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) in Orlando, FL, the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) unveiled the “Whitetail Report,” a detailed look at the status of whitetail populations and deer hunting in North America. The “Whitetail Report” focuses on emerging issues and current challenges facing the whitetail. To download the Whitetail Report, visit http://www.qdma.com/media/. Among many topics in the 68-page report, you will find:
Plus, many other current issues, as well as supplemental information on Quality Deer Management techniques, whitetail biology and the latest in deer research.
January 23, 2009
Remember cap guns? Jim Shepard, outdoor writer, recently put this out — If you wanted to buy a toy gun, where would you look? A question put to me by a perturbed parent who wanted to give his sons play guns after they’d discovered The Rifleman on television.
If you answered Toys R Us, you’d be mistaken. Ditto, KB Toys (unless you want a backyard safari bug net gun or a Jango Fett action figure). Wal-Mart offers action figures, a Halo Replica Plasma Rifle ($119.88 - back ordered), Lazer tag and Nerf-N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster (shooting, you guessed it, nerf thingies), but I couldn’t find a cap gun of any sort.
Unfortunately, gratuitous violence has fared much better. I could choose a video game for any number of gaming systems that allowed me to slice, dice, dismember, burn, mangle and, yes, shoot my opponents. Virtually (ouch) any video platform offers violent games with realism that would have given most of us nightmares as kids. Seems kids can’t play with toy guns, but parents are more than willing to load ‘em up on violence that rewards the ability to inflict mayhem with absolutely no consequences.
And the cap gun challenged father let me know he did, finally, get some toy guns. They came from the Cabela’s catalog.
~ Jim Shepherd
January 16, 2009
January 9, 2009
Charles Miner Jr., Landowner Relations Program Administrator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, says, “As another year comes to a close and our hunting and fishing adventures become memories, it’s time for us to remember the landowners who, through their generosity, helped to make these experiences possible,” said Miner. He suggests the following points for hunters and anglers to keep in mind when thanking those who allow access to their property for outdoor recreation:
“Hunting and fishing are New Hampshire traditions that will only continue if we all follow the basic principles of being a good neighbor,” Miner said.