The Berkshire County League of Sportsmen (BCLS) is looking for a group of kids to enjoy its Youth Outreach Fishing Day on June 7. Trout are stocked into a private pond, fishing equipment and bait are provided and burgers and hot dogs are cooked up. Every kid catches fish which will be cleaned by volunteers so that they can bring them home to show their parents and to eat. Some kids prefer to let them go. They also go home with the fishing equipment and big smiles.
The League foots the bill, and volunteers from Cheshire Rod & Gun Club and Adams Outdoor for Youth do the cooking, prepare the equipment, etc. The kids usually have one-on-one mentoring from volunteers from throughout the Berkshires. This annual event is geared toward kids that don’t normally have the opportunity to learn how to fish. The maximum number is 25. In the past, the League has hosted: Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Cerebral Palsy kids, Key Program, COTY, Northern Berkshires Neighborhood, State Street “T” Youths, and others.
If you know of a group that would benefit from such a day, contact Mike Kruszyna at (413) 743-7156. ****
Wayne MacCallum, of Grafton, MA, Director of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW), recently received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to wildlife conservation. (Wayne Bailey was a legend of modern turkey management and a key player in the development of the NWTF).
“MacCallum, an avid angler and hunter, particularly for turkey and white-tailed deer, serves as an outstanding example of conserving wildlife to preserve our nation’s hunting heritage”, said Becky Humphries, NWTF Executive Vice President of Conservation. “From his early days as a wildlife biologist to now, he has demonstrated his commitment to sustaining wildlife, habitat and hunter numbers.”
“Winning this award is a reflection not of my work, but of the collective efforts of wildlife professionals I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years,” MacCallum said. “The hunting community is responsible for conserving wildlife, and we’ve done a phenomenal job. It’s an honor to preserve and pass on conservation and hunting ethics to future generations.”
MacCallum is the longest serving director of the MA DFW and is the senior director in the United States. He serves as chair of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Clerk of the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation and a board member of the Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp. He is a former president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).
The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is a pistol shooting organization that sets rules for competitive pistol matches. Locally, the outdoor matches are held at the Lee Sportsmen’s Association (LSA) in the warmer months. While competitive challenge pistol matches continue to grow, additional Safety Officers are needed.
LSA will be hosting an IDPA Safety Office Class next Saturday from 8AM-4PM. The cost is $30 for Lee members and $55 for non-Lee members. This IDPA certified class will give instructions on the rules of setting up stages, scoring, officiating matches and range safety.
Prerequisites: Must have a pistol permit from your state of residence, be a member of IPDA for 6 months prior to the class and reviewed the IPDA rule book and participated in matches. Non- members of IDPA can join now at www.idpa.com. Cost is $40/year and they will holding future safety officer classes that you will qualify for. Contact Andy Swanton firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Incidentally, the LSA will be holding turkey, steak, pork loin and money shoots every Sunday in March. Click onto leesportsmen.com for more information.*****
Basic Hunter Education courses will be conducted at the following locations: Cheshire Rod & Gun Club, on March 3, 7, 10, 14, 17 and 21 from 6 to 9 PM. Pittsfield High School, on March 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20 from 6 to 9 PM. As of this writing, there were still openings. To enroll, call (978)772-0693.
Some 100 ice fishermen participated in the 23rd annual Locker Room Ice Fishing Derby which benefitted Lee Youth Football. The heaviest fish (adult) was a 4 lbs 2 oz pickerel caught by Brandon Lucchese. In the youth category, there was a tie between Lucas Trumps and Shyloe Gray with pickerel weighing in at 1 lb 2 oz. *****
As the old saying goes, “Time flies when you are having fun.” I can’t believe I have been writing this column 10 years now. The Magnificent Scribbler, Ted Giddings, wrote the weekly outdoor sports column for over 50 years and stepped down in December, 2003 at the age of 97. The following March 7, 2004 my first column was run. Although I could never fill Ted’s shoes, it truly has been an honor to follow his steps. Many thanks go to the Berkshire Eagle for running this column and for the sports editors (Brian Sullivan and Matt Sprague) who sometimes had to straighten out my messes.
Thanks also to my home-based editor, my wife Jan, for her perspectives, especially from a woman’s point of view. If she didn’t understand something that I wrote, then chances were good that other women wouldn’t either, and appropriate clarifications were made before the article was submitted.
Thanks to the numerous DFW folks, local sportsmen and women, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts for constantly feeding me interesting subjects to write about along with pictures. Most of all, thanks to you, the readers who invited me into your home to share your morning coffee these past 520 Sunday mornings. Your readership has never been taken for granted and I pray that it never will. What a wonderful way to retire.
Gotta run, I’m already working on column number 521.
Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413) 637-1818