According to Steve Bateman, organizer of the 23rd annual Harry A. Bateman Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Derby, over 220 anglers registered for the event on Saturday, June 4 at the Onota Lake pavilion. Thanks to them and the numerous sponsors, the derby realized its $5000 goal. This derby has county-wide support with many sponsors digging deep into their pockets, possibly because so many people’s lives are touched by cancer these days. The weather that day couldn’t be nicer nor the food tastier. Here are the derby winners:
Children’s Heaviest Game Fish Category: 1st Place: Jason Sweetser – rainbow trout – 2 lbs 5 oz, 2nd Place: Rebecca Stimpson – rainbow trout – 2 lbs 2 oz, 3rd Place: Rose Proper – rainbow trout 2 lbs 2 oz.
Children’s Heaviest Non-Game Fish Category: 1st Place: Brody Baumgartner – white perch – 9 oz, 2nd Place: Marissa Wendling – bullhead – 9 oz, 3rd Place: Brandon Barde – pumpkinseed – 7 oz.
Adult Heaviest Game Fish Category: 1st Place: Alex Kent – Largemouth bass – 3 lbs 8 oz, 2nd Place: Steven Fones Sr. – Largemouth bass – 3 lbs 7 oz, 3rd Place Martin Farrell – Rainbow trout 2 lbs 7 oz.
Special Heaviest Fish: Bass – Tim Lambert largemouth bass 3 lbs 9 oz, Perch/Crappie – Shaun Hereforth – crappie 1 lb 3 oz, Carp – Matt Clark 11 lbs 1 oz common carp, Trout (adult) – Dave Christman – rainbow trout 2 lbs 10 oz, Trout (child) – Dylan Lambert – rainbow trout 2 lbs 6 oz.
The Sportsman Award, won by 13 year old Angel Sayers, was well deserved. According to Steve Bateman, she was out there all day fishing sometimes over her waist in water.
Dylan Lambert was the winner of the award dedicated in memory of Chris Porter, Alex Kent was the winner of the award dedicated in memory of John and Thelma Drury. All passed away in the last year or so. Six kids won bicycles that day.
Report Wild Turkey Sightings Sportsmen and women, birders, landowners, and other wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to assist with the annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey. MassWildlife conducts a survey from June through August each year to evaluate turkey brood numbers. “The brood survey serves as a long-term index of reproduction,” explains Dave Scarpitti, Turkey Project Leader. “It helps us determine productivity and allows us to compare long-term reproductive success, while providing some estimation of fall harvest potential.” Turkey nesting success can vary annually in response to weather conditions, predator populations, and habitat characteristics.
New this year, they are asking people to record observations of male turkeys, so be sure to count all jakes and tom turkeys that are seen. Scarpitti also points out that citizen involvement in this survey is a cost-effective means of gathering useful data, and he encourages all interested people to participate. A new turkey brood survey form is posted on the agency website. You are encouraged to look carefully when counting turkey broods as the very small poults may be difficult to see in tall grass or brush. Multiple sightings of the same brood can also be noted.
The survey period runs from June 1 – August 31. Completed forms should to be mailed to: Brood Survey, DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.
New Bowhunting/Archery Workshops
Here in the Berkshires, there has been a need for bowhunting instructors for some time. Well, MassWildlife is introducing two new archery programs: Explore Archery and Explore Bowhunting. Educators from town recreation centers, school groups, 4-H, scouting groups, and other community groups looking to provide a new learning opportunity might consider implementing one, or both, of these new programs.
Explore Bowhunting is designed to help instructors teach outdoor skills to students age 11 and older. Using 23 versatile lessons and hands-on activities, students gain confidence interacting with the environment and strengthen their appreciation for wildlife and the woods. MassWildlife trains and certifies instructors and offers all Explore Bowhunting equipment for loan free of charge.
Explore Archery is an international style target shooting program that promotes a lifelong interest in the sport of archery to participants of all ages. Again, MassWildlife trains educators and allows them to borrow equipment free of charge. This allows any certified instructor the ability to create an archery program in their area.
Both programs have a mandatory training course and one can attend either training workshop or both. The local workshop will be held at MassWildlife Western District Office, 88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton on July 18. The Explore Bowhunting workshop will start at 8:00 am and run until 1:00 pm. The Explore Archery course will run from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Are you encroaching on DFW’s Wildlife Management Areas? If you are, better look out. They have new tools for spotting encroachment and other illegal activity. Using aerial photography, GIS surveys and official survey plan anchor points they can see exactly where their boundary lines are. If you have a shed on their property or are mowing parts of it, etc., they will know and may come knocking at your door.
Don’t rely on obtaining ownership through adverse possession. According to the DFW legal department, there is no adverse possession with state property.
The Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Board conducted its May meeting at the Western District Headquarters of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) in Dalton, MA, on May 26. At that meeting, DFW Deer Biologist David Stainbrook presented his 2015 deer review and made recommendations for the 2016 Deer Permit Allocations.
The Statewide 2016 deer harvest was as follows: Youth hunt – 146, Archery – 4,187, Shotgun – 4,088 and Primitive Firearms – 1,633, totaling 10,054. The breakdown was as follows: 5,814 adult bucks, 3,439 does and 801 button bucks. The total number was down from the 2014 harvest by 6% and the 5 year average by 4%. Stainbrook noted that last year’s deer hunting season was unique in that due to the lack of snow, there was an abundance of food and the deer didn’t have to move as frequently or far to get to the food. That could explain why fewer deer were seen and taken this last deer season. Neighboring states also had similar experiences. (Use that as your excuse for not getting a deer last year.)
Because antlerless harvests vary according to the permits issued, DFW monitors the adult bucks for trends as long as changes in hunting hours, success and reporting rate are factored in. In the Western District (zones 1 through 4S) here is the 2015 breakdown of bucks harvested by all methods: Zone 1 – 218, up 25% from previous year and up 39% from 5 year average, Zone 2 – 417, up 4% from prior year and up 25% from 5 year average; Zone 3 – 338, up 9% from previous year and down 3% from 5 year average; Zone 4N – 343, down 2% from prior year but up 10% from 5 year average; Zone 4S – 174, up 14% from prior year and up 7% from 5 year average.
These figures make up part of the formula for determining deer permit allocations. Another factor is the age structure. In our district, 50% of the 2015 harvest was made up of deer 2 ½ years and older. That tells the biologists that there is no unbalanced age structure and consequently no overharvesting taking place. These figures have been consistent over time. In Zone 1 – 3, the population is increasing, in Zone 4 -5 it is stable, in Zones 6 and 8 the population is on the lower end of the desired range.
Based upon these statistics and other factors, Stainbrook’s recommendation to the Board was to keep the 2016 antlerless allocations unchanged in all zones except for Zone 6 which will be reduced from 450 to 300, Zone 8 from 2,800 to 2,500 and the Quabbin area reduced to 500. In our area, Zone 1 allocations will be 400, Zone 2 – 175, Zone 3 – 1,100, Zone 4N – 375 and Zone 4S 275.
There will be no changes in the youth permits this year but DFW is closely monitoring them. Last year (the program’s 1st year) some 1,339 youths participated in the one-day special hunt, bagging 146 deer of which 90 were antlerless. This year, they expect around 2,000 kids participating. The numbers of antlerless deer harvested by them may very well affect deer densities in some zones.
Last year, the Board was concerned about the effects of the historic 2014-2015 snow totals, especially in eastern Massachusetts, and what impact, if any, they had on the deer population. To help determine that, deer biologists analyzed dead deer from across the state to determine the causes of death. A good method for determining if death was caused by starvation is the analysis of the fat content in the bone marrow. The analyses concluded that the fat contents were about normal and there was no evidence of massive starvation. There were a few instances where it appeared some died of starvation, but that was in areas of high deer densities in eastern Massachusetts, where some towns closed their borders to deer hunting.
Another good indicator is an increase in the direct mortality of fawns over the winter. Biologists did not see any drop in the 1 ½ year old deer harvested in 2015. There are other indicators of winter mortality, called indirect mortality. That is where a deer or fawn survived the winter but their antler mass was less than in normal years; ie not enough protein to grow the body and the antlers. The 2015 harvest did not indicate any unusually low antler mass. Also, according to Stainbrook, there was no drop in fawn reproduction across the state last spring.
As a result of all of the analyses, it was concluded that the historic winter did not seriously impact the Massachusetts deer population.
Bow Hunting Course
There will be a MassWildlife Bow Hunter Education Course at the Worthington Rod & Gun Club, 458 Dingle Road Rte. 112, Worthington, MA on Sunday, June 12 from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. Students must attend the all day class to successfully complete the course. Call 508-389-7830 to enroll; classes are filled first-come, first-served, and enrollment cannot be processed via email.
Spring Trout Stocking
DFW Western District Manager, Andrew Madden has announced that the spring trout stocking has been completed for 2016. I must say they outdid themselves this year with large, beautiful fish. If you have been paying attention to the sizes of the winning trout in the fishing derbies, you have to agree, for it was not uncommon to see trout caught which weighed in excess of 2 lbs. Now, all that has to be done is for you and the youngsters to catch some. Tight lines!
The 24th Annual Harry A. Bateman Memorial Jimmy Fund Fishing Derby will take place on Saturday, June 4, at the Frank Controy Pavilion at Onota Lake in Pittsfield from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM. No fishing license is required because it is Free Fishing Weekend for the state of Massachusetts.
The derby’s purpose is to raise money for the Jimmy Fund – Dana Farber Cancer Institute For Children. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Jimmy Fund in memory of Harry A. Bateman a former member of Central Berkshire Bowman and I.U.E. Local 255 who was well known throughout Berkshire County and who became a victim of cancer in 1992.
Many trophies and prizes will be given out to the adult and youth winners of the fishing derby. There is even a special category for those fishing with a bow & arrow. All fish must be weighed in at 12:00 PM and can be caught at Onota Lake from boat or shore. Fishing tackle is given with the trophy prizes and 2 prizes for heaviest trout. A sportsman award is given out to a child which includes a tackle box with over $100 of tackle.
Fee is $10 for adults and $5 for children 14 years old and younger and it includes food and beverages. No alcohol is served at this event. All children receive a free gift and they get a chance at winning a mountain bike. The carp shoot is part of the fishing derby because that was something that Harry enjoyed. Advanced tickets may be purchased at Avid Sports, Dave’s Sporting Goods, Maces Marine and Onota Boat Livery.
Readers may recall that the derby organizer, Stephen Bateman recently received the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen’s Lifetime Achievement Award for organizing and running this derby. It has raised over $25,000 for the Jimmy Fund over the years.
Family Fun Day
Also next Saturday, from 10 AM to 4 PM, Mass Audubon at Pleasant Valley welcomes all to its Family Fun Day, its annual day of fun and learning for people of all ages. There will be live animal demonstrations, music, guided nature walks and talks and hands-on crafts activities, displays and more. The event is free but food will be available for purchase.
There will be kids’ crafts and educational exhibits by Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Housatonic Valley Association, Flying Deer, and Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association. At 10:30 AM and 12:15 PM there will be a puppet show “The Twig Family in the Oak Tree; at 11:30 AM a family concert by George Wilson; at 1:30 PM “Birds of Prey” Live Raptor Show and at 3:00 PM Tom Tyning’s “Turtles are Terrific!”
MassWildlife’s Anniversary Open House
MassWildlife has been conserving fish and wildlife since 1866. You are invited to join them in celebrating its 150th anniversary at an open house also next Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at its Field Headquarters at 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA. There you can experience the breadth of agency programs through interactive displays, demonstrations, and guided walks. This event is family oriented and will feature live animals, guided nature walks, interactive fish and wildlife displays, crafts, and hands-on activities like archery, casting, and simulated target shooting. Governor Baker plans to be there. Visit www.mass.gov/masswildlife150 to see all anniversary events and information.
Lots of things going on next Saturday. Good excuse to get away from the yard work.
Fishing Derby Winners
According to Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club spokesman Tim Minkler, 78 anglers participated in its fishing derby which was held on May 22 at Stockbridge Bowl. It was a nice day to fish with a little bit of everything – sprinkles, clouds, sun and then it warmed up at the end to around 60 degrees. Here are the results: Largest Trout – Colin Mackie of Becket, 3 lb, 13oz, 20 inch brown trout; Largest Bass – Bob Felix of North Adams, 4 lb, 7oz, 19 inches; Largest Pickerel – Mike Soncini, of Housatonic, 4 lb, 14oz, 27 inches and Largest Bullhead – Seth Slemp, 1 lb, 3oz, 14”. Wow! What great fish!
The Age 12 and Under Winners: Largest Pickerel: First – 12 year old Chris Jordan, Great. Barrington, 1 lb 15oz, 20 ½ inches; Second – 7 year old Mitchell Keenan, Lee, 1 lb, 16 ¼ inches; Third – 10 year old Collin Parker, West Stockbridge, 14 oz. 16 inches, Largest Bullhead – Dylan Trumps, Lee, 15 oz, 12 ½ inches; and Largest Rock Bass – Collin Parker 6 oz, 8 ½ inches.
The following waters were stocked with trout last week: Westfield River in Huntington, Chester, Middlefield and Worthington; Littleville Lake in Huntington, Deerfield River in Buckland, Charlemont and Florida, Goose Pond and Laurel Lake.
Last weekend my wife Jan and I were camping at Indian Hollow along the East Branch of the Westfield River in Chesterfield, MA. The Massachusetts/Rhode Island Council of Trout Unlimited (TU) rented the camping area for the weekend and delegates from all of the TU chapters were there to conduct business and do a little flyfishing. Next to our campsite was a group of about 30 men who were part of the Project Healing Waters program. Some were war veterans who were down on their luck and some were their mentors.
I had hoped to write about this group during this Memorial Day weekend, but as you can see, there were a lot of time-sensitive articles which had to get into this week’s column. I hope to write about the veterans in an upcoming column. Please remember them and their fallen comrades this weekend.
Ten enthusiastic anglers tried out their newly acquired fly fishing skills at the Wild Acres Pond in Pittsfield on May 10. They had taken a 6 week course entitled Getting Hooked on Fly Fishing which was taught by Taconic Chapter of Trout Unlimited board members through the OLLI – Berkshire Community College program. Teachers included William Travis, Henry Sweren, John Burns, BenWoods and Marc Hoechstetter, some of the best flyfishers in the Berkshires.
The course included a video about the joys of fly-fishing. Other segments included an introduction to the gear and equipment, macro-invertebrates, fly casting, knots, fly selection and two segments fly fishing on water. The flies were tied by the instructors. LL Bean donated 3 rods, reels and lines and Orvis donated a rod, leaders and tippets.
Bob Bott and his wife Nancy were at Wild Acres. They said that they had always wanted to learn how to fly fish and this was a good way to begin. You can feel the grace and the movement of the rod, said Nancy. Leigh Merlini said that she was not a sportswoman but was taking the course because she always wanted to learn how to do it. She commented on how wonderful the instructors were. Chris Kersten recently retired and he took the course because he never had the time to learn to fly fish before. OLLI seemed to be a perfect way to get started.
Bob Derosiers got interested in taking a course when Henry Sweren mentioned that TU folks were teaching flyfishing to youngsters. Bob wondered if TU would teach it through OLLI. There was so much interest that they immediately filled the class. Incidentally, he attended the recent flyfishing film festival at the Wahconah Country Club and won the door prize, a fly rod that Taconic TU President Alan Gray had built. Bob caught a smallmouth bass with it on this day, the first fish on a flyrod for him in 50 years.
Michelle Fitzgerald took the course because her late husband was a fly fisherman and left a lot of equipment. She had to decide whether to take up fly fishing or sell the equipment. She had a great time and caught her first fish on a fly rod, a smallmouth bass. Her husband would have been so proud of her.
Mary Ann Hayden signed up for the course because it was something that her sons, who are now grown men, took up and loved. “I feel like a kid” she said “Its so fun.” I always loved nature and this is just another way to tune in to it. “(I love) just watching the water and beautiful surroundings.” She also loves fishing with a barbless hook and can release the fish unharmed.
Mark Gross also had a great time. He felt that it was better late than never to take up this sport. He used to fish the Retallic Pond in Richmond with barbless hooks back in the 1970’s but it has since silted in.
Lee Abraham had never flyfished before but rather fished with a spinning rod. He saw the course advertised and felt that this was an opportunity that he shouldn’t let go by.
Barbara McShane said that flyfishing was something she always wanted to do. She considers herself a “miserable fisherman, not good at all” but is enjoying the sport. She is determined to become a proficient flyfisher.
All of the participants had nothing but praise for the instructors. There were no grumpy old men there that sunny day but enthusiastic fellows who were all smiles. The beaming ladies with their fly rods, vests, sun glasses, and stylish fishing hats looked pretty spiffy.
Onota Fishing Club Derby winners
In spite of strong winds and choppy waters at Onota Lake last Sunday, 75 kids and adults signed up for the derby. That’s according to President Ed Blake. Board members Paul Carr and Fred Ostrander ran the event assisted by fellow members Chuck Leonard, Wobbey Barnes, Chris Cimini, Ray Wesselman, Andy Zurrin, Fred Valentine, Rick Pierce, Paul White and probably others.
Derby winners in the youth category were 5-year old Hunter Proper who caught a 2 lb 4 oz, 17 inch rainbow trout. It was the largest trout of the day in either the youth or adult category. Second place went to his cousin 6-year old Anthony Corkins who caught a 2 lb 4 oz, 16 ½ inch rainbow. Third place went to 12 year old Emma Kostyun with a 1 lb 7 oz, 14 ¾ inch rainbow.
Winners in the adult category were Nick Mancivalano with a 2 lb, 16 inch rainbow. Second place went to Ed Kucka with a 1 lb 12 oz, 15 ½ inch rainbow and Mark Farrell took 3rd with a 1 lb 10 oz 15 ¼ inch rainbow.
There was plenty of food there and it was excellent, especially Rose’s chowder. You never know who you will meet at these fishing derbies. Matt White, former Boston Red Sox southpaw pitcher was there. You may remember him on the Red Sox team of 2003.
The following waters were stocked with trout last week: Westfield River in Chester, Chesterfield, Huntington, Middlefield, and Worthington; Deerfield River in Buckland, Clarksburg and Florida; Green River in Williamstown, Housatonic River in Pittsfield (SW Branch), Greenwater Pond, North Pond, Upper Highland Lake, Littleville Reservoir, Pontoosuc Lake, Goose Pond, Laurel Lake, Lake Buel, Big Pond, Otis Reservoir, Onota Lake, Richmond Pond, Stockbridge Bowl and Windsor
Last Friday the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen sponsored an elementary school trout stocking day at Windsor Lake in North Adams. The participants included all of the 4th graders in North Adams including students from the Greylock, Brayton and Cole Avenue grammar schools. MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Western (DFW) District Manager Andrew Madden and staff brought 500 beautiful, frisky rainbow trout to be liberated.
DFW staff netted a few trout at a time from the hatchery truck tank, placed them into 5 empty gallon buckets and one or two kids ran the buckets to the lake’s edge and tossed the fish out of the pails into the water. Lofting those fish from a pail can be tricky and sometimes the fish, pail and everything went flying into the waters, as evidenced by the picture. Some also landed on the ground, but DFW staff immediately picked them up and tossed them into the water unharmed. The kids did a great job and all 500 of the fish were released – shook up, but unharmed. Even some teachers got into the act by running the buckets of fish to waterfront and releasing them, too.
In addition to DFW personnel, there were representatives from the County League, Adams Outdoor for Youth, Cheshire Rod & Gun Club, DCR, MA Angler’s Education, and others. Environmental Police Officer Terry Davis was there to ensure that no anglers caught any of the fish in front of the kids while they were stocking. After the stocking, the kids ate their lunches in the pavilion building
What a great day for the kids. What better way for them to spend a school day connecting with nature, especially following a grueling week of exams.
Youth Turkey Hunt follow-up
Here are the names of the last week’s successful youth turkey hunters who were sponsored by the Lee Sportsmen’s Association: Matt Fletcher, Curt Wilton III, Devon Atwell, Sam Harding, Kade Groeber and Miles Houle.
Incidentally, according to Astrid Huseby, who heads up this program for the DFW, 73 toms were checked in online statewide. That doesn’t include any birds checked in at any physical check stations. Congratulations to all the youth turkey hunters, the clubs that sponsored the programs and to the mentors.
The following waters were scheduled to be stocked with trout last week: Westfield River in Becket, Chester, Huntington, and Middlefield; Deerfield River in Buckland, Charlemont and Florida; Green River in Alford and Great Barrington, Farmington River in Otis and Sandisfield, Housatonic River in Lee (C/R) and Pittsfield (S/W), Green River in Williamstown, Hemlock Brook in Williamstown, Dry Brook and South Brook in Cheshire, Wahconah Falls Brook in Dalton, Town Brook in Lanesborough, Ashfield Pond, Greenwater Pond, Pontoosuc Lake, Laurel Lake, Lake Buel, Garfield Lake, Otis Reservoir, Richmond Pond Stockbridge Bowl and Windsor Pond.
The Berkshire Hatchery Foundation in Hartsville-New Marlborough is having a free children’s fishing derby next Saturday, May 14 from 9 to 10:30am at its lower pond. Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
The Onota Fishing Club is having a Trout Derby at the Controy Pavilion at Burbank Park on Onota Lake next Sunday, May 15, from 6am to 1pm. The entrance fee is $10 with kids 12 years and under free. There will be a 50/50 raffle, prizes for kids, and a cash prize for the biggest fish. A fish fry will follow which is included with the paid entry, including hot dogs and hamburgers. The cost is $10 for non entry.
Next Saturday, May 14, there will be a Western Mass Woodlands for Wildlife Walk at Haskell Farm in Peru, MA. You are invited to join MassWildlife’s Habitat Biologist, Marianne Piché, and others for an easy field walk and discussion to highlight forestry and habitat management work done on the Haskell Farm. You will be able to hear songbirds as you tour young forests and grasslands that provide critical food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. Mass Audubon, MA DCR’s Service Forester, and Steve Hayes consulting forester will be on hand to share information about why certain wildlife species are declining, forest management practices that enhance wildlife habitat, and new cost share programs available to help you manage your woods for wildlife. Free and open to all, pre-registration is requested. Call (413)625-9151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, directions, or to register.
Tournament bass fishermen can help MassWildlife collect information on trophy bass by submitting bass creel survey forms. Data such as how long it takes to catch a bass, average weight and the number of trophy bass landed allows biologists to track trends in individual waters. A copy of the data you submit will be sent to your e-mail address. If you prefer to report your Creel Survey in paper format and mail or fax it to the DFW Field Headquarters address on the bottom of the form.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone: (413) 637-1818
Along with their mentors, youths took to the woods in the wee morning hours last Saturday morning taking advantage of the special Youth Turkey Hunting day. The early morning weather couldn’t have been better and lots of gobblers were seen by most. Rick Gale was responsible for teaching the class and organizing the hunts for the Cheshire Rod & Gun Club. Eleven kids participated with five of them bagging gobblers. Three others had shot opportunities but didn’t connect. Successful hunters were 13 year old Grace Krzanik who was mentored by her father Scott. This was her 3rd season hunting and 1st tom. She took it at 23 yards and it weighed 19 lbs. 14 year old Bryant Martin, who was mentored by Bill Adelt, took a 20 lb 12oz tom at 30 yards. Both were one shot kills. Other successful hunters were Mia Gale, Lucas Jamros and Paolo Kareh, but they did not return to the club after their hunt. At the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club, spokesman Mike Buffoni reported that 18 youths went out and 6 of them got gobblers. All of them saw plenty of turkeys and had a great day. The largest tom, weighing in at 21 lbs, was taken by Matthew Fletcher of Lenox. (Sorry, I was unable to get the names of the other successful hunters.) Buffoni reported that there were a lot of big toms around this year due to the non-existent winter.
At the Lee Sportsmen’s Association, spokesman Matt Ranzoni reported that 6 youths participated and three of them were successful. The lucky hunters were Owen Bush, Hunter Briggs and Donovan Caccomo. (Donovan came all the way from Milton, NY to participate.) All three birds were jakes. The other hunters also came close to bagging their birds. It is interesting to note that some of this year’s mentors participated in the Youth Turkey Hunt when they were kids and they are now passing on their knowledge to younger hunters. Such was the case with Sam Polastri. He was mentored by his dad John and now that he has turned 18, he was mentoring his younger friend Matt LeProvost this year.
After the hunts, each club provided tasty lunches. Incidentally, the regular spring turkey hunting season opened the following Monday and runs until May 21. Turkey hunting is one of the most dangerous types of hunting. Unfortunately, we had an accidental shooting last week in Williamstown. If you have youngsters interested in taking up this sport, I strongly urge that you to get them enrolled into next year’s Youth Turkey Hunt program. If you plan to be a mentor, you might listen in yourself. Check out the MassWildlife web site to find out which local clubs are involved, how the program works and how to enroll. izes are given away to the winners of the fishing derby 8 trophies for the Children 4 trophies for Adults & 3 trophies that can be won by adults or children, there is even a special category for those fishing with a bow & arrow. All fish must be weighed in at 12:00 p.m. and can be caught at Onota Lake from a boat or the shore. * SCALE WILL BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY AFTER 12:00 Pm. * Fishing tackle is given with the trophy prizes & 2 prizes for heaviest trout. A sportsman award is given out to a child which includes a tackle box with over $100 of tackle. Fee is $10 Adults $5 for Children 14 years old and younger. Fee includes Food & Beverages. All children receive a free gift and a children 5-14 years old a chance at winning a Mountain Bike boys girls. The carp shoot is part of the Fishing derby because that was something that Harry enjoyed. Food and beverages are provided to all entrants. Hamburg’s hotdogs, coffee, doughnuts, soda. No alcohol is served at this event. Advanced tickets may be purchased at Avid Sports, Dave’s Sporting Goods, Maces Marine & Onota Boat Livery. Everyone still needs to register before all fish can be weighed in
The following waters were scheduled to be stocked with trout last week: Westfield River in Chester, Chesterfield, Huntington, Middlefield, Russell, and Worthington; Housatonic River in Hinsdale and Dalton, Hop Brook in Tyringham and Lee, Pelham Brook in Charlemont and Rowe, Sackett Brook in Dalton and Pittsfield, Farmington River in Otis and Sandisfield, Hudson Brook in Clarksburg, Kinderhook Creek in Hancock, Bennett Brook in Hinsdale, Yokun Brook in Lenox, Dunbar Brook in Monroe, Trout Brook in Peru, Windsor and Westfield Brooks in Windsor, Norwich Pond and Littleville Lake in Huntington, Goose Pond, Windsor Lake in North Adams, Big Pond in Otis, Onota Lake, Pelham Lake in Rowe, and Stockbridge Bowl.
The Lee Sportsmen’s Association will stage a steel fun match at the club on Thursday, May 5, starting at 5:30 pm. Rim fire and center fire pistols only, 9mm to .45. No Magnums. Steel is 5 consecutive rounds, so it works best if you have 5 magazines that you can change one right after another. But if you don’t, they can accommodate by having a person reload. Match cost is $7.
Also at the Lee club, the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is having a mandatory orientation for new shooters on May 7 at 10am prior to its scheduled match. The match cost is $15, with sign-up by 12pm. There will be a safety briefing at 12:45pm. First shot at 1pm. Cold Range Rules apply, six stages, bring 150 rounds. There will be a classifier after the Match for an additional cost of $15.00. For more information on both of the above events, contact Shawn Sullivan at email@example.com.
Ducks Unlimited Banquet
The Berkshire Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be having its annual banquet at the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club on Saturday, May 14 from 5 to 9 PM. There will be general raffle prizes, a silent and live auction. Proceeds will be used to support wetlands conservation. Tickets cost $40 and can be obtained from Joe Delsoldato at 413-717-0983 or from JP Murphy at 413-822-3915 or from Dave’s Sporting Goods in Pittsfield.