Archery season opens tomorrow morning one half hour before sunrise (unless you hunt on a Wildlife Management Area which opens at sunrise) and it ends on November 30. Hunters are allowed to take two antlered deer and a doe if they have an antlerless permit. If they take all three during the archery season, they are done for the deer hunting season (including the shotgun and primitive arms seasons).
Also, the fall wild turkey hunting season opens tomorrow and runs until November 2. Be sure to check the regulations governing this sport.
New this fall, hunters and trappers have two options for checking in deer, turkey, bear, and most furbearers. As in the past, animals may be brought to a game check station, or they can use the online MassFishHunt system to report or check their game via computer. There are two exceptions to this process:
1. During the shotgun deer hunting season, all deer must be checked in at a deer check station in order for the DFW to collect biological data.
2. All bobcats and otters must be checked in at a furbearer check station because they are internationally regulated species.
Tagging and online reporting for bear, deer, and turkeys: are as follows:
Attach the paper tag from permit or license for bear, deer, or turkey to the carcass immediately upon harvesting the animal.
Log in to the MassFishHunt system to report them online within 48 hours of harvest. NOTE: Hunters must complete this checking/reporting process BEFORE processing game for consumption, or taxidermy.
After answering the online game checking questions, the system will assign a confirmation number for each individual animal reported. This number must be written on the tag attached to the carcass. The confirmation number written on the tag is the official seal issued by MassWildlife and takes the place of the traditional metal seals used at check stations.
The tag must remain attached to the animal until the game is skinned, butchered, or otherwise prepared for food purposes; or for mounting by a taxidermist.
Confirmation numbers are non-transferable to other animals and they cannot be used for any other game animals except the ones for which they were issued.
Deer hunters are reminded that during the shotgun season for deer, all deer must be checked in at a deer check station.
Hunters and trappers can report their furbearers (beaver, coyote, fisher, fox and mink) online also. Log in to the MassFishHunt system and follow the instructions on how to report the harvest of these animals.
Meat processors and taxidermists can only take into possession bear, beaver, coyote, deer, fisher, fox, mink, or wild turkey with either an official DFW metal or plastic seal affixed to the carcass or pelt or with a tag noting the assigned MassFishHunt confirmation number affixed to the carcass or furbearer pelt. It is illegal to accept any of the above game animals without a DFW official seal or confirmation number written on an attached tag. Bobcat and otters may not be accepted into possession unless tagged with an official plastic seal. *****
Flyfishing guide and author Marla Blair will be the guest speaker at the Taconic Chapter of Trout Unlimited meeting this Thursday evening, at the Bass Water Grill on Rte 8 in Cheshire. She will be discussing “The Hatch and body language for trout and choosing a pattern”. She will also demonstrate the tying of her iconic Jailbird emerger fly during social hour. Marla achieved international fame when she wrote the popular fishing book Practical Fly Fishing. The event is free and open to the public. Social hour starts at 5 PM, Marla’s presentation starts 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.
Staying with TU, congratulations go to the Mass/RI Council of TU for receiving national recognition in TU National’s quarterly publication of Trout. Magazine Members of the 13 Massachusetts and Rhode Island chapters received an appeal for help in replanting a portion of river bank at the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) Indian Hollow Campground. Located along the banks of the Westfield River in Chesterfield it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Some 225 willow tubelings were secured and 85 volunteers from each chapter (including our local Taconic Chapter) planted them in about 2 hours. Their efforts have been praised by the ACOE and the Chesterfield Conservation Commission. Incidentally, Paul Knauth of Dalton is in his third term as Council Chairman. *****.
There will be a Multi-State Firearm License Course next Sunday at 1:00 PM at the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club. 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.*****
In last week’s column I erroneously listed the end of the coyote hunting season as being March 28, 2014. The correct date is March 8, 2014. I knew that and don’t know why I wrote otherwise. Freudian slip, I guess, or wishful thinking.