Last month, I wrote about 96 year old Rene Wendell of Pittsfield who, in the olden days, was a local trapper. You may recall that his grandfather got him got started skinning animals when he was a youngster, progressing from skinning mice and moles to larger critters. It is a must for a trapper to be able to skin animals.
Everything that he learned about taxidermy was learned from a book entitled “Home Taxidermy for Pleasure and Profit’ by Albert B. Farnum written in 1916. He still has that book. He also learned bit by bit on his own.
One day he shot a wood duck and brought to a taxidermist in Sheffield whose last name he believes was Shaw. He had a big room off of his house, loaded with all kinds of mounted birds and animals. Rene really respected him and couldn’t wait to go down there to see all of his mounts. He would always have a few question regarding procedures and visited him frequently, to the point that Shaw got tired of him. Seeing Shaw’s mounts is what got him interested in taxidermy.
He began mounting fish and animals for himself and, later on, for others. He stuffed the fish with Plaster of Paris. Now days they use plastic molds. When it came to mounting deer heads, he used to skin the heads, scrape the fat off, salt them and ship them off to San Francisco to have them tanned. In the meantime he made the head forms out of paper mache and ordered the artificial eyes. He has mounted just about every local legal game bird, freshwater fish and animal.
He has mounted many deer heads, prepared full mounts of bears, beaver, fox, coyote, bobcat and you name it, including the pictured moose which was shot by his son Bill in VT. He regrets the fact that he never got a whitefish or cisco to mount, but he has mounted just about every other freshwater fish around here – gold fish, tiger trout, tiger muskies, common carp, etc. He claims to have mounted the largest brown trout taken out of Onota Lake and a record pike taken out of Pontoosuc Lake.
He loves everything about our woods and waters. Besides the hunting, fishing and trapping, he enjoys the hobby of collecting various butterflies, moths and other insects, some of which have been exhibited in the Berkshire Museum. He also has an impressive collection of arrowheads and other Native-American artifacts. He even has a handsomely framed collection of old barbed wires.
I recognized Rene’s name but couldn’t remember where. I know his son, also named Rene, is a conservation ranger at Bartholomew Cobble in Sheffield.. But he is a younger man. Then it dawned on me. In the spring of 1968 I had caught a large pickerel ice fishing in Laurel Lake and wanted to mount it. At the time, I was working at the First Agricultural Bank and some friends there suggested that I contact a fellow employee (Agnes Wendell), whose husband mounted fish as a hobby. He did indeed mount the fish and did a wonderful job. Guess who it was….the one and same.
In the 10 years of writing this outdoor column, I have met some very interesting and memorable outdoorsmen, but Rene Wendell has to be one of the most impressive of them all. *****
Starting next Saturday, the Lee Sportsmen’s Association will be having trap shooting. The shoots will run from 9 AM to Noon on Saturdays during the month of March. Everyone is invited with instructions available to newcomers. Click onto leesportsmen.com for more detail. *****
Also next Saturday at 9 AM, the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club will be having a multi-state firearms course. This course is unique in that it qualifies you to apply for licenses in Massachusetts, Utah, New Hampshire and Maine. A Utah concealed firearm permit issued to a non-resident is honored in 32 states. If you apply for all 4 licenses, you will be legal in 36 states. The fee for the entire 5-hour course is $150 or you can take just the Utah segment for $100 or just the Massachusetts segment for $80. The fee is due in cash at the course. There is no exam but bring a pad and pen to take notes. Seating is limited and preregistration is required. Call or e-mail and provide your full legal name plus date of birth to Robert J. McDermott at (413)232-7700 or email@example.com.*****
Successful anglers to be honored
In the Freshwater Sport Fishing Awards Programs, anglers receive bronze pins for catching fish of certain minimum weight requirements for 22 species. They must have their catch weighed at a certified weigh station and submit an affidavit and photo of their catch to the Sportfishing Awards Coordinator. Beginning in 2005, a youth category was added to recognize anglers 17 years and younger for their accomplishments.
Anglers who catch the largest fish in each category in a calendar year receive a gold pin and plaque commemorating their accomplishment. During 2013, Berkshire waters yielded four trophy fish
In the Adult Division, Richard Garhartt, of Berlin, NY, took the largest brown trout. It came out of Onota Lake in Pittsfield weighing11 lbs 4 oz. In the Youth Division, Nathan Luczynski, of Cheshire caught the largest bullhead out of Cheshire Lake weighing 6 lbs 1 oz. (You may recall seeing a picture of that fish and the 6 year older in my March 3, 2013 column). Tauri Adamczyk, of Taunton, MA caught the largest carp weighing 23 lb 2 oz out of Woods Pond (Housatonic River) in Lenox Dale/Lee. The largest northern pike, one weighing 21 lbs 4 oz was caught out of Lake Buel by Hunter Kempf, of Sullivan, NH.
It is interesting how so many out-of-area fishermen are focusing on our waters. I hope the Chamber of Commerce is paying attention.
Since 2002, the Angler of the Year Award has been given to the person who weighs in the largest number of species that meet minimum weight requirements for the previous calendar year. The award promotes awareness of the Commonwealth’s underutilized fish species and recognizes an angler’s ability to catch a wide variety of trophy species. Beginning in 2013, the Angler of the Year is now awarded in two categories: Youth and Adult.
The 2013 Adult Angler of the Year was Mark Mohan Jr., of Pembroke, MA. He caught 16 bronze pin fish. They were: 1 smallmouth bass, 2 bullhead, 1 crappie, 2 white perch, 1 yellow perch, 6 sunfish, 1 brown trout, and 2 rainbow trout.
The 2013 Youth Angler of the Year was Jake Souza of Berkley, MA. He was also Angler of the Year in 2012. Last year he caught 21 bronze pin fish. They were: 2 largemouth bass, 1 smallmouth bass, 2 bullhead, 1 white catfish, 1 crappie, 2 white perch, 2 yellow perch, 1 chain pickerel, 4 sunfish, 2 brown trout, 1 rainbow trout and 2 tiger trout.
None of the above fish were caught in Berkshire waters but rather down east or on Cape Cod. *****
Hard water anglers (ice fishermen) will be able to take advantage of an early February stocking of broodstock Atlantic salmon. Each district received a limited number of them ranging in size from 3-11 pounds from the Nashua National Fish Hatchery in Nashua, New Hampshire. Last week, DFW personnel stocked an undisclosed number in Windsor Pond in Windsor and Stockbridge Bowl. *****.
John Burns will be the guest speaker at the Taconic Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s monthly meeting at the Bass Water Grill in Cheshire this Thursday evening. He is a River Steward, botanist, and TU Crooked Staff winner. He has been involved in watershed associations in VT and MA., while also working with state fisheries in electro-sampling, stocking, shoreline surveys, and macro-invertebrate inventories. He will be presenting a watershed approach to fishing and conservation efforts focusing primarily on the Housatonic, Westfield, Deerfield, and Hoosic Rivers. The event is free and open to the public. Social hour starts at 5 PM, the presentation at 6 PM and dinner off of the menu (if you so choose) to follow at 7 PM. For more information, contact Ron Wojcik at (413) 684-4141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. *****
The Springfield Sportsmen’s Show is taking place on February 20-23, 2014 at the Big E, West Springfield, Massachusetts. The show includes the best of hunting, fishing, boating and adventure recreation that the outdoor world has to offer all bundled together in one great event. For those interested in purchasing 2014 MA hunting and fishing licenses, MassWildlife staff will be on hand to assist; however, those purchasing licenses must use a credit or debit card for the transaction. Cash or checks will not be accepted. Click onto http://www.osegsportsmens.com for more information. *****
There have been some big fish caught through the ice this winter. Usually, I show those caught by youngsters. Lest people think we old timers can’t catch big fish any more, take a look at the 18 lb, 40 ½ inch northern pike caught out of Pontoosuc Lake recently by grandpa Tom Tatro of Dalton.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413)-637-1818.
Recently, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) reported that the preliminary deer harvest for 2013 (excluding Quabbin and any data not yet received) was 11,413. Although preliminary, this figure is up 4% from last year’s total harvest. The harvest figures for the previous four years beginning with year 2009 were as follows: 10,381, 10,699, 11,081 and 10,938. In the Western District (WD), which includes all areas west of the Connecticut River (Zones 1 – 4) some 1,664 deer were taken. For the previous four years beginning with year 2009 the figures were 1,667, 1,568, 3,417 and 1,626. Interestingly, Zones 10 and 11 in eastern Massachusetts yielded over 5,000 deer in 2013.
The statewide archery season harvest was 4,474, up 15% from last year. Harvest figures for the previous 4 years beginning with year 2009 were as follows: 3,492, 3,778, 3,765 and 3903. In the WD, 577 were taken with the bow last year. The WD archery harvests for the previous four years, beginning with year 2009, were as follows: 449, 466, 522 and 453. Zones 10 and 11 yielded 2,321 in 2013.
The statewide shotgun season harvest was 4,625, down 7% from last year. For the previous 4 years beginning with year 2009 the harvests were as follows: 4,927, 4,846, 5,349 and 4,950. The WD shotgunners checked in 739 in 2013, which compares with the previous 4 years beginning with year 2009: 857, 815, 904 and 842. Zones 10 and 11 yielded 1,661 in 2013. Some 660 more deer were taken with the bow out there last year than with shotgun.
The statewide primitive season harvest was 2,314, up 11% from last year. The previous 4 years beginning with year 2009 were: 1,958, 2,068, 1,959 and 1,958. In the WD, muzzleloaders checked in 350, which compares with the previous 4 years as follows: 360, 285, 251 and 301. Zone 10 and 11 muzzleloaders checked in 1,020 deer in 2013.
Online reporting was available during deer season for the first time during the 2013 archery and primitive arms seasons. Over 70% of the deer taken during those seasons were reported by hunters through the MassFishHunt system.
Not only is the online reporting system convenient for hunters, DFW claims it allows them to provide preliminary harvest totals much earlier than in previous years. It also allows them to break down the preliminary harvest information by Wildlife Management Zones (WMZ). While total harvest by zone can be informative, it doesn’t provide the complete picture for monitoring trends in deer density because total harvest is influenced by antlerless deer permit allocations in each zone.
The DFW Deer Project Leader analyzes harvest, biological, and hunter effort data, along with hunter success rates, female versus male harvest, and other factors to manage deer populations in each zone. A complete harvest summary will be posted on the DFW website shortly after the annual deer review. Hunters who included their e-mail addresses in their MassFishHunt profile will receive a hunter survey by email in February. *****
The Lenox Sportsmen’s Club will be having its annual Valentine’s Dinner Dance next Saturday evening at 7PM at the clubhouse on New Lenox Road. Tickets costing $25 pp are available from all board members. There will be a roast beef dinner catered by That’s Amore Fine Catering and dancing to DJ Russ Davis. BYOB.
Members should be in great shape for the 6AM registration for their annual Hard Water Open, ice fishing derby on Stockbridge Bowl the next morning.
If that isn’t enough, on the following day (President’s Day) the LSC will be having its 32nd annual rabbit hunt. Pre-registration is required, (Ron Carr at (413)442-5122). The entry fee is $10 with prizes for the heaviest dressed hare and cottontail. Weigh-in deadline is 4 PM followed by a venison goulash dinner. *****
Starting next Friday and running through Sunday, the 17 annual Northeast Fishing and Hunting Show will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center at 100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT. Click onto http://www.fishinghuntingshow.com for more information. *****
Congratulations to 12-year old Dylan Sondrini of Pittsfield who caught the above pictured largemouth bass last weekend and winning the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club Ice Fishing Derby on Echo Lake. It weighed 6 pounds, was 22 inches long and had a girth of 17 inches. Although he was ice fishing with his dad, Nathan, he set up his own tip-ups and figured out how to catch that big fish. Thanks to his proud mom, Nina, for sending in the picture.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413) 637-1818.
2014 ICE FISHING DERBIES
Day(s) Date(s) Organization’s Name Lake Time Adult Child Notes:
Sat 02/08/14 Great Barrington Fish & Game Mercers Pond 7AM – 2PM $15 $5 All kids win something! Includes spaghetti dinner
Sat 02/08/14 Ashfield Rod & Gun Club (Kid’s Derby) Ashfield 8AM – 12PM N/A Free Prizes for kids only & spagehetti dinner ($5 for adult)
Sun 02/09/14 Jimmy Fund Onota 6AM – 2PM $15 $5 Free food with ticket!
Sun 02/09/14 Lee Sportsmens Association Goose Pond 6AM – 2PM $10 $6 Includes dinner @ Club House (565 Fairview St, Lee)
Sun 02/16/14 Cheshire Rod & Gun Club Cheshire Daybreak-4PM $10 Free 1st & 2nd lakes only
Sun 02/16/14 Lenox Sportsmen’s Club Stockbridge 6AM – 2PM $10 Free Kids under 12 free with registered adult
Sun 02/16/14 Tom Wren 9th Annual Memorial Pontoosuc 5AM – 3PM $10 $5 100% of fees paid out
Sat 02/22/14 Megan Babcock 1st Memorial Pontoosuc 6AM – 3PM $10 $5
Sun 02/23/14 Onota Fishing Club (Gelaznik Derby) Onota 6AM – 12PM $10 $5 Includes breakfast, lunch and prizes @ Pavillion
Sun 02/23/14 The Locker Room (Lee Youth Football) Laurel Dawn – 2PM $10 $5 All kids win something! Includes pasta dinner.
Sat 03/01/14 Wayne Mickle Memorial Pontoosuc 6AM – 5PM $10 $5 100% of fees paid out
The above is the schedule of upcoming ice fishing derbies this winter. The Lanesboro Voluntary Fire Dept. and Izaak Walton derbies have already taken place and the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club Echo Lake derby ends today at 1:30 PM. No information has been received as to whether Smitty’s is having a derby this winter. Our thanks go out again this year to Paula Dailey at the Onota Boat Livery in Pittsfield for compiling the 2014 schedule of ice fishing derbies and posting them on its web site Simply log onto Onotaboat.com to access that list.
While there, check out the leader board current standings in the Onota Boat Livery Ice Fishing Contest. If you are entered into that contest and catch fish smaller than a 20 lb 1 oz northern pike, a 5 lb largemouth bass, a 1 lb 10 oz perch, or a 5 lb 9 oz trout, throw it back, unless of course if you intend to eat or mount it. Actually, the leader board is updated frequently and you might want to check it before going out ice fishing. *****
This year the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo will be held on four days at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. The hours are as follows: Next Thursday from 3 to 8 PM, Friday from 12:30 to 9 PM, Saturday from 10 AM TO 7 PM and Sunday from 10AM to 5 PM. It is advertised as the region’s biggest, most talked-about annual fishing and outdoor sports show. Attendees can experience the latest innovations in fishing, hunting, boating and camping. They can try out the best gear, talk to top manufacturers and learn from world-class outdoor sporting professionals. Click onto http://www.newenglandfishingexpo.com for a listing of exhibits, guest speakers and more.
MassWildlife reports that they will have a booth at the Expo and will be selling hunting, fishing and sporting licenses. They will only make credit card sales (no cash or checks). Staff will be available to help people purchase their licenses.
Also, the MassWildlife Sportfishing Awards will not be presented at the DCU Center this year like they have in the past. Instead, the winners will be notified by mail, probably next week, if they won the gold pin and trophy. The awards will most likely be presented to the winners this summer in the new energy-neutral Westborough Field Headquarters building. I hope to announce the award winners in next week’s column. ****
Hey tree huggers (term of endearment), did you know that there are trees in our state that are very, very old? For example: there is a yellow birch that is 386 years old, a northern red oak that is 336, eastern hemlock 285, white ash 256, black birch 255, pignut hickory 253, American beech 252, pitch pine 229, red maple 228, sugar maple 225, white pine 198, shagbark hickory 197 and hop- hornbeam 183? According to an excellent article written by Joe Choiniere in the most recent issue of Massachusetts Wildlife magazine, they are located on Mt. Wachusett in Princetown/Westminister. Most of that issue is devoted to managing our forests. If you can get ahold of that issue, it is well worth the read. Better yet, get a subscription, 8 quarterly issues for only $10.
Karen Kruszyna, of Cheshire, last year recipient of the Berkshire County League of Sportsman Lifetime Achievement Award, made an excellent suggestion at a recent League meeting. She suggested that each sportsmen’s club check with the various town and school libraries and donate subscriptions to Massachusetts Wildlife if they are not already receiving it. I’m sure kids and adults alike will enjoy this publication. *****
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will have a prime rib and chicken marsala buffet dinner at the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club on Saturday February 15 at 5:00 pm. The cost for an individual supporting ticket is $70 which includes meal and membership in the RMEF. Couples tickets cost $105 and include two meals and one supporting membership. Many quality items will be offered through live and silent auctions, drawings and door prizes. Contact Gary Johnston at (413) 298-3623 or Howie Wilson at (413) 528-2497 for more information. Don’t delay for there is an early bird special (2 for 1) on the general raffle tickets if you purchase a ticket by February 8.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413) 637-1818.).
I love listening to the old timers describe how it was in the old days, especially as they relate to the outdoor sports in the Berkshires. When I heard that 96 year old Renee Wendell, of Pittsfield, was once an avid trapper, I just had to meet him. I had never done a column about trapping and wanted to hear about it
Renee came from a family of outdoor sportsmen and any wild game that was shot was not wasted for his mother was an expert cook of wild game. He still talks about her cottontail rabbit and noodle meals she used to prepare. He also was fascinated with the outdoors, considering the woods his “outdoor playroom”.
His grandfather used to babysit him while his father and mother worked. To keep him occupied, gramps would pay him five cents for every mouse or mole that he trapped and skinned, a skill that became very useful to him in the future This went on for some time until he saw gramps throwing a pelt into their woodstove. That ended his mouse skinning career.
When he was ten or so, his dad bought him a trap in a hardware store. Shortly afterwards, Renee found a freshly dug hole in the woods in back of their house and he set up the trap, staking it well. He couldn’t sleep at all that night, wondering what he might find in the trap the following morning. He got up early and ran to the trap to check. Something had been trapped. He couldn’t make out what it was, for it was half in the hole and half out. He ran and got his father, who shot it. It was a skunk. He brought it home and while he was skinning it, someone offered him fifty cents for it. He sold it to him.
One day he was trapping muskrats and while coming out of a swamp near Pontoosuc Lake with 2 or 3 muskrats, a guy asked him what he was going to do with the meat. Use it for bait, he said. The man then and there offered him a couple of dollars for it. Turns out that he was from Louisiana and they ate muskrats down there. So Renee got the pelt and a couple of bucks.
He trapped raccoons for an Italian fellow who paid him two dollars each. One day he trapped a fox and when asked what he did with the meat, he told him he threw it out. Too bad, that fellow would have given him two dollars for it. Hey, what to heck, meat is meat.
He used to get $2.50 for a muskrat pelt, $10 to $20 for raccoons and a dollar an inch for a beaver pelt. A pelt measuring 30” by 36” would yield $65. Fur buyers used to come around buying up all of the pelts. Toward the end of the trapping season they would have two auctions in Sheffield. He enjoyed his hobby and made money doing it. He always made $300+ each year to help buy Christmas presents, pay taxes, etc. He was helping his family as well as the environment because “Animals weren’t getting managed. If you don’t harvest them, something else will. You can’t stockpile game.” he said.
Later on, when he worked a 2nd shift, he would get up early to check his traps. Over the years he had some interesting experiences. He recalls one early morning when he was trapping near Richmond Pond and he heard a fellow calling for help. He was ice fishing and the ice broke under him. Renee ran to a nearby cottage and they called for help. Rescuers arrived quickly and saved him. One time in Becket, he also broke through ice near a beaver lodge. They usually keep the waters open there and the ice was thin and covered with snow. Before he knew it, he was up to his neck in water and muck. What saved him was one little stick about ¼ inch thick and he grabbed hold of it and got out.
Fox were always a challenge because they could smell a trap under an inch of dirt and he had to treat his traps. He boiled them in tree bark and leaves and then waxed them with bees wax (fox aren’t afraid of bees). Then he would set the traps under an inch of wet leaves or moss.
Renee quit trapping when steel traps were banned. “Can you imagine carrying a bunch of box traps with you? And what do you do with them in the trap? Some of these new laws don’t make sense.”, he said.
I was fascinated listening to him but it turned out that he had much more to tell. That will be covered in a future article. *****
The Pittsfield Sportsmen’s Club will be holding its 4th Annual Hunt Raffle and Buffet Dinner at the ITAM in Pittsfield on Saturday evening, February 8. Doors open at 5PM and dinner at 6PM. Cost is $15 for adults and $8 for children under 10. The proceeds from the event benefit PSC Land Development. Tickets are limited. This is a serious raffle with a whitetail deer hunt in Illinois, a fishing charter on Lake Ontario, a drift boat fishing trip on the Salmon River and many more prizes. For more information, contact Travis Delratez (413)441-7979 or Ed Bushey (413)443-9371. *****
Still no schedule of ice fishing derbies occurring this winter. In the meantime, I will list those that are approaching within a week. Next Sunday, the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club will be holding its 37th Annual Raymond M. “Skip” Whalen Ice Fishing Derby from 7AM-1:30PM on Echo Lake in Stockbridge. Click onto its website Stockbridgesportsmensclub.org for the details.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413)637-1818
On Thursday, January 9 at 3:30 PM, John and Linda Morse of the Beachwood area of Stockbridge heard a thumping on the side of their cottage Investigating through the large picture window, they observed not one, two or three but four young bears attacking their bird feeder which hung on the eave and a suet feeder which hung on a shepherds-hook pole in their yard. When John and Linda made loud noises, they “hightailed it through the woods with feeders in mouths”.
John believes they were yearlings and found it very strange they would be out of hibernation given the very cold temperatures being experienced this winter (it was 18 degrees that day). Rattlesnake Mountain is home to many Stockbridge bear sightings and he suspects these four wandered in from there, obviously quite hungry.
The food must have been so tasty that they returned for another helping last Sunday. This time the Morses saw them coming and removed their new bird feeder. They then called the police. The bears made a hasty get-away when the cops arrived, probably heading back to their secret den. Talk about a den of thieves!
With this on again–off again winter, they probably just can’t get a good winter’s sleep and decided to get up and grab a midwinter snack. Perhaps we all should bring in our bird feeders at night until Mother Nature decides where she is headed with this winter.
Incidentally, according to the January issue of the MassWildlife News, 147 black bears were harvested during the 2013 September and November bear hunting seasons. Licensed hunters in western and central Massachusetts took 120 of them in the early season, and 27 in the late season. Successful hunters took advantage of the online harvest reporting system which was available for the first time during the 2013 season. They checked 102 bears using the online system; 45 bears were checked in person at check stations.
Statewide bear harvests for the last 5 years beginning with the year 2009 were as follows: 169, 144, 131, 185 and 147. Western District stations for the same period reported: 61, 57, 45, 47 and 57. *****
The Harrison Brothers, trout fishing guides, will be the guest speakers at this Thursday’s Taconic Chapter Trout Unlimited meeting which will be held at the Bass Water Grill on Rte 8 in Cheshire. They had great experiences guiding in other parts of the world, but their loyalty remains here in western MA where they have guided year round since 2007. They grew up fishing rivers around the area and will share slides and stories about fishing the Deerfield and other rivers of western MA. The event is free and open to the public. Social hour starts at 5 PM, the presentation at 6 PM and dinner off of the menu (if you so choose) to follow at 7 PM. For more information, contact Ron Wojcik at (413)684-4141 or email@example.com. *****
According to Berkshire Beagle Club spokesman John Demary, the rabbit hunt last Saturday was an overall success considering the rainy conditions. There were no hares taken so they awarded prizes for the 2 largest cottontails. The winners were. Paul Viale of Lee, with one weighing 3.04 lbs, and Tim Cahoon of Pittsfield with one weighing 3.00 lbs. Twenty five people attended the dinner of venison pasta, venison stew, and venison Chili. *****
Next Sunday, the Lee Sportsmen’s Association (LSA) will be having a turkey, steak, spiral ham or pork shoot from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Following that there will be a fund raiser dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 PM with roast moose, moose stew, and spaghetti and meat balls. The cost is $12/adult, $6/under 12. The money will be used for raising pheasants which will be stocked onto local public lands next fall. Contact John Polastri at (413)822-8278.
An NRA License-to-Carry course will be held at the LSA on January 27 and 31 from 5:30 to 9:30 PM. The course, with 2 mandatory sessions, costs $100 and preregistration is required. Successful completion qualifies one to apply for a MA LTC Class A or FID. Contact Larry Karlquist at 442-7807. *****
Congratulations to 11-year old Caleb Pollard of Lee for recently catching the above pictured 24 inch 5 lb chain pickerel out of Laurel Lake. He was ice fishing with his family when it hit and fought like the dickens, making 5 runs. He caught it using a shiner and 6 lb test leader. The fish would have qualified for a State Freshwater Sportfishing Award ( bronze pin) or perhaps even the gold pin but it was not weighed on a certified scale. That’s ok though for his dad Jeremia made a batch of tasty fish cakes using that and several other fish they caught that day.
Qestions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: 4(13)637-1818.